Students and Faculty Are Chosen for Skull Honor at WPI

Contact: Arlie Corday, WPI Media & Community Relations

WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Skull Senior Society of Worcester Polytechnic Institute has tapped 15 people including 13 junior-year students and two faculty members for the Skull Class of 2001. The society has been an important part of WPI since its founding in 1911. Among its goals is the preservation of the traditions of the university. For those chosen to continue the legacy, it is both an honor and a responsibility. The following are new members of to the society:

David S. Adams, Ph.D., originally from Miami, Okla. Associate professor of biology and biotechnology at WPI, he earned a 1974 B.S. in physiology at Oklahoma State University, a 1976 M.S. in biophysical sciences at the University of Houston and a 1979 Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Texas. He has taken postdoctoral studies in molecular biology, at Rockefeller University from 1980-84). His honors include First Edition, Who's Who in Science and Engineering; research grants from the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health (for the control of gene expression); the 1991 WPI Trustee's Award for Outstanding Teaching; the 1987 and 1988 Outstanding Biology Teacher of the Year; top honors for three consecutive years at the State Science Fair; and top honors senior year in the International Science Fair, Baltimore, Md. He has served as president of the WPI chapter of the Sigma Xi Research Society (1990-91); 1994 chairperson of the Faculty Awards Committee; 1990 chairperson of the Committee on Academic Operations; 1998-01 chairperson of WPI's Biosafety Committee; member of the WPI Radiation Health and Safeguards Committee (1995-01); and faculty sponsor of the Phi Sigma Biology Honor Society and Bioclub (1986-01). The author of more than 30 papers, his research focuses on designing new drugs for treating heart attacks and strokes, and he is best known for helping create the first animal model for Alzheimer's disease, which was used over the summer to make the first Alzheimer's vaccine.

Liz Amaral, a biotechnology major from Fall River, Mass. She is vice president of operations for Alpha Gamma Delta (AGD) sorority and previously served as activities coordinator. Chairperson of the Student Alumni Society, she has represented AGD at a leadership conferences in Bowling Green, Ohio, and in Denver, Colo. She has served as orientation leader for two years and is a past member of Goat's Head Committee, Women on Women's Issues, Panhellenic Judicial Board, Society of Women Engineers, Newman Club, Pen Pal Program, Winter Carnival Committee, Quadfest and Founder's Day Committee. She has traveled to Denmark to complete an Interactive Qualifying Project, a WPI requirement.

Nick Arcolano, an electrical engineering major, with a minor in international studies, from Broadalbin, N.Y. A member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), an international organization of electrical engineers, and Eta Kappa Nu honor society, he has served as a student representative on the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department's Undergraduate Program Committee. President of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and business manager of WWPI campus radio station, he will soon begin his second year as a Student Orientation Leader.

Chris Bitzas, a mechanical engineering major from Agawam, Mass. President of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and former steward, he has served on the Interfraternity Council Judicial Board, as tri-captain of the varsity soccer team and vice president of the Indoor Soccer Club (and former treasurer). He has volunteered with the Worcester City Cleanup, Walk for Diabetes and the Bancroft Tower Halloween Haunted House for children.

Christopher Brassard, a biochemistry major from Leominster, Mass. He is a member of Zeta Psi fraternity where he serves as scholarship chairperson. He is the activities chairperson for the Interfraternity Council and a member of the cross-country and outdoor track teams.

Katie Gagnon, a civil engineering major from Coventry, Conn. She is involved in the Student Alumni Society, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Global Ambassadors and Crimson Key. This past year she served as an Orientation Leader, and was recently made a member of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, and Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering society. She is one of four editors for WPI's yearbook, the Peddler. Through her sorority, Alpha Phi Omega, she organizes frequent service projects on and off campus. She is also a member of the WPI crew team.

Amelia Gilbreath, a biomedical engineering major, minoring in music minor with a concentration in electrical engineering, from Spencer, Mass. She has served as an Orientation Leader and has been a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, Concert Band, Orchestra, Woodwind Quintet, Crimson Key tour guides, the Student Alumni Society and Alden Voices Choir.

John Goulet, Ph.D., from Hubbardston, Mass., has been a mathematics professor at WPI since 1993. He earned a 1973 B.S. in mathematics at WPI and a 1976 Ph.D. in mathematics from RPI. He was previously head of Computer Information Systems at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine, and mathematics professor at Colby College in Waterville Maine. His honors include the Ralph Huston Award as Outstanding Graduate Instructor of Mathematics (at RPI in 1975), EMSEP Faculty Member of the Year (1999), and membership in Tau Beta Pi and Pi Mu Epsilon honor societies.

Jennifer Hardy, an electrical engineering and international studies double major, minoring in management, from Chelmsford, Mass. She has been a member of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society; Eta Kappa Nu, national electrical engineering honor society; Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity (including as a pledge trainer); Newman Club, a service organization; Crimson Key tour guides; Orientation Leader for two years; and co-chairperson of the Alternative Spring Break Program, organizing a Habitat for Humanity trip. She has served as a tutor in the Electrical Engineering Department.

Kevin Norcott, a mechanical engineering major, with a concentration in design, from Abington, Mass. Elected as sole undergraduate representative to the Executive Board of Zeta Psi fraternity, he serves as current president of WPI's Pi Tau chapter of Zeta Psi. Vice president of the Rugby Club, he has volunteered at the Mustard Seed Soup Kitchen and with the Worcester City Cleanup.

Kathy Pacheco, a chemical engineering major with an environmental concentration from New Bedford, Mass. She serves as president of the WPI Social Committee and secretary of WPI chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She works at environmental and animal care centers.

Michael Quigley, an electrical engineering major from Medford, Mass. He is a current president and past treasurer of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, where he has been member of Rush Committee and philanthropy chair. He also has been a member of the Rugby Football Club, an Orientation Leader for two years and secretary of the Interfraternity Council executive board.

Legrand Reynolds, a biotechnology/pre-med major from Exeter, R.I. He is a member of the varsity soccer team and the pre-med society, and serves as public relations representative for the Student Alumni Society. He has the honor of serving as the Goat Keeper (the goat is the WPI mascot) for his class.

Lakee Smith, a biotechnology major from Woodbury, N.J. She has been an orientation leader the past two years, president of the National Society of Black Engineers and co-chairperson of the Committee on Student Life Issues for the WPI Student Government Association.

Frederick Tan, a biotechnology and computer science double major from Trumbull, Conn. He has been a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity; Alpha Phi Omega, the national co-ed service fraternity; the Student Alumni Society; Newspeak, the student newspaper; and Crimson Key tour guides. He has served as an Orientation Leader and has been a member of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, and Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the computer science honor society.

WPI, founded in 1865, is renowned for its project-based curriculum. Under the WPI Plan, students integrate classroom studies with research projects conducted on campus and around the world.