Donald Shoemaker, Neil Larry Shumsky, and James Sochinski Honored with Emeritus Title
November 1, 2019
During its August meeting the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors conferred the emeritus title on the following faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences:
Donald Shoemaker, Professor of Sociology, joined the Virginia Tech community in 1974. He was recognized for his scholarship in the field of criminology, especially the causes, consequences, and societal reaction to juvenile delinquency; his research resulted in the publication of five books and numerous articles. He conducted cross-national research on juvenile delinquency as a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the University of the Philippines. Active in the teaching of undergraduate and graduate students, he garnered the Department of Sociology Teaching Excellence Award and a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Leadership of Service-Learning Students. Shoemaker earned his bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College and his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Georgia.
Neil Larry Shumsky, Associate Professor of History, was honored for his contributions to scholarship on American urban, immigration, and social history. He authored, edited, or co-edited seven books and published more than 30 articles and book chapters; he also served as a Fulbright Scholar in Austria. He was the co-principal investigator for several grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education. Shumsky taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses and served as the Department of History Director of Graduate Studies. He also served in leadership roles in the Faculty Senate. A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1972, Shumsky earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
James Sochinski, Professor of Music, made significant contributions to music at Virginia Tech as a composer, with works such as “Legend of Alcobaca” and “Sweet Land of Liberty” becoming part of the standard repertoire national and internationally. His arrangements for The Marching Virginians, especially the “Hokie-Pokey,” also garnered widespread acclaim. Recognized for his expertise in the use of technology in the music classroom, his teaching accomplishments garnered him the Teaching Excellence Award and the XCaliber Lifetime Achievement Award. Sochinski joined the Virginia Tech community in 1977; he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri, a master’s degree from the Peabody School, and a Ph.D. from the University of Miami.