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Vol. 2, No. 17 May 17, 2001

Around Campus

Say Farwell to the Class of 2001...

Baccalaureate for members of the Class of 2001 and their families will be held tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. in Alden Memorial. WPI's 133rd Commencement will take place the following day, beginning at 11 a.m. on the Quadrangle. (If rain is forecast, the ceremony will be held in Harrington Auditorium and admission will be by ticket only). Henry B. Schacht, the first chairman and CEO of Lucent Technologies Inc. will be the speaker. Schacht will receive an honorary doctorate, along with Valentin Gapontsev founder and chief executive officer of IPG Photonics Corp., Wilfred Houde '57, president of W.J. Houde & Associates in Saratoga, Calif., and Jeffrey Wigand, former vice president for research and development at Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co. and founder of Smoke-Free Kids Inc.

And Say Hello to WPI Alumni

WPI alumni celebrating milestone reunions will be on campus for Reunion 2001 from June 8 to 10. Here are some highlights of the weekend:

Friday: Alumni golf tournament; Campus Center tour; bus trips Tower Hill Botanic Garden and Higgins Armory; 50th Reunion reception; 50-Year Associates reception and dinner.

Saturday: WPI Trivial Pursuit breakfast; President's annual address; Reunion parade; luncheon and awards ceremony; young alumni barbecue; Campus Center tour; class banquets.

Sunday: Jazz brunch

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.wpi.edu/+Alumni/Reunion/.

Come See the Battling Bots

Teams from 30 high schools from around New England, from New York and New Jersey, and from Michigan will be on campus on Saturday, June 23, to take part in Battlecry@WPI, the university's second annual robotics competition. The teams, all fresh from the national championships of the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competition, will compete for trophies and honors in Harrington Auditorium. The line-up includes a member of the coalition that won the nationals, as well as several winners of regional FIRST contests. Included in the latter is the WPI/Mass Academy team, which won the Long Island regional event.

Ken Stafford, manager of academic initiatives at WPI and coach for the WPI/Mass Academy team, says the Battlecry@WPI competition will be modeled after this year's FIRST contests, but with some modifications that should make the event more competitive and more engaging for spectators. Co-sponsored by Simplex Time Recorder Co., the competition promises to be a fast-paced, high-energy event that pits sophisticated, high-tech machines and the human operators against each other and the clock in a contest modeled after team sports events.

Stafford notes that this is the largest high school robotics competition in Massachusetts and is widely considered one of the best run and most exciting contests anywhere. "There is a lot of interest in this event," he says. "We have to limit the contest to 30 teams, which is what we can accommodate in Harrington. Within 24 hours of putting the registration form up on the Web, we had signed up all 30 teams. They include teams affiliated with Cornell University and Michigan Technological University.

The competition is free and open to the public.

Summer Hours Start Soon

The summer work schedule for full-time staff will be in effect from Tuesday, May 29, through Friday, August 17. During this period, the normal 37.5-hour workweek is shortened to 35 hours with no reduction in pay. For most offices and departments this means the workday will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Division and department heads may arrange flexible work schedules, particularly in offices that need to be open before 8 a.m. or after 4 p.m. In such cases, offices should inform Human Resources in writing so this can be communicated to Campus Police, Payroll, Plant Services and the main switchboard. Time cards for all full-time hourly paid, nonunion personnel working 37.5 hours should reflect 35 hours during this period. Time cards for personnel working 40 hours should reflect 37.5. In each case, biweekly employees will be paid for the full workweek.


Distinguished Instructors

Two mechanical engineering professors were recently honored for the quality of their teaching. David J. Olinger was named the Morton Distinguished Instructor in Mechanical Engineering. James C. Hermanson was named the Russell M. Searle Instructor in Mechanical Engineering.

Dean O'Donnell's Script Honored

Mercy, a play by Dean O'Donnell, administrator and instructor in the Humanities and Arts Department, was one of three second finalists in the annual Clauder Competition for New England playwrights. In its 16th year, and in partnership with Portland Stage Company, the competition is New England's most prestigious playwriting contest supporting the development of new work. This year more than 250 unproduced, full-length plays written were submitted by New England authors.

WPI Honors its Top Student Athletes...

WPI's varsity athletes were honored April 26 at the Physical Education and Athletics Department's annual Athletic Awards Banquet.

Nick Fluet and Beth Gilbert received the Varsity Clup Award, given to the outstanding male and female senior athletes for outstanding achievement during their four years at WPI. Ian Bonzani and Valerie Ambroise received the Charles R. McNulty Award and Coaches Award, presented to outstanding male and female freshman athletes. Christopher Gallagher received the Leo S. Jansson Award and Kerri Coleman received the Carolyn McCabe Award; these honors go to two outstanding sophomore athletes.

The Poly Club Award, given to outstanding junior athletes for outstanding athletic achievement and excellence in academics and campus activities, went to Justin Lutz and Rachel Zimet. The Patricia A. Graham Award and the Percy Carpenter Award, for senior athletes who have made the most of their athletic ability while also displaying sportsmanship, were presented to Harmonie Hawley and Jeff Martin, respectively.

Janice Narowski received the John P. Coughlin Award as the outstanding varsity team manager.

And its Long-Serving Employees

WPI congratulates employees who celebrated a service anniversary during the 2000-2001 academic year and thanks them for their dedicated service and continued support. The following faculty and staff were honored at the annual long-service awards dinner on May 10:

50 years: Dorothy Burdulis;
40 years: Donald Peterson;
35 years: Ladislav Berka, Jan Bialonozka and Stephen Weininger;
30 years: Kevin Clements, Paul Davis, Stephen Jasperson, Allan Johannesen, John O'Connor, Muriel Perra, Lance Schachterle and Michael Sokal;
25 years: Lora Brueck, Carol Garofoli, Donna Johnson, Helen Shuster, Robert Thompson, John Wilkes and Barbara Ziff;
20 years: Thomas Bullens, Frank Conti, David DiBiasio, Anthony Dixon, Mark Fergusen, James Hanlan, James Kenary, Fred Looft, Jean Lynn, Arlene Lowenstein, June McMahon, Leolyn Osborn, Janet Richardson, H. Jurgen Ring, Stanley Selkow, Pamela Weathers, Douglas Weeks and Douglas White;
15 years: Thomas Barter, Arthur Bealand, Barry Carmel, Robert Dietrich, Roger Donahue, Michael Dorsey, Kathleen Durand, William Grudzinski, Gail Hayes, Arline Koontz, Robert Kozlowski, Nancy Lavalle, David Lindberg, Deborah McDonald, Thomas Moreau, Kaveh Pahlavan, Robert Pepin, George Phillies, Clarence Plant, Joseph Rencis, Mark Richman and Susan Wade.

Mass. Academy Graduation

Thirty-seven seniors graduated from the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science at a May 11 ceremony in Alden Memorial. Robert V. Antonucci, former Massachusetts Commissioner of Education was the guest speaker.

Here are the graduates and the colleges they will attend:
Daniel Mark Beauregard of Auburn (College of the Holy Cross); Thomas Francis Boucher of Leominster (University of North Carolina); Sarah Coleen Buckley of North Uxbridge (Fairfield University); John Paul Casiello of Worcester (Northeastern University); Jennifer Lynne Cofske, Auburn (Lake Forest College); Daniel Patrick Corson of Worcester (MIT); Alex Justin Crumlin of Worcester (MIT); Ethan Jon Crumlin of Worcester (MIT).

Also, Sahar Golestani of Shrewsbury (WPI); Stephen Paul Goranson of Oxford (WPI); Brian Dennis Gorman of Paxton (Babson College); Grant Edward Gothing of Hubbardston (Virginia Tech); Cody Charles Holemo of Fitchburg (WPI); Caroline Coburn Hookway of West Boylston (Case Western Reserve University); Jason Michael Howard of Oxford (Clark University).

Also, Mary Elizabeth Jenkins of Petersham (University of New Hampshire); Eun Joeng Kim of Milford (WPI); Gordon Lam of Worcester (Northeastern University); Laura Claudette LaPlume of Leicester (University of Massachusetts, Amherst); Jessica Jane Leuenberger of Millbury (WPI); John Jozef Lyle-Dugas of Sutton (Northeastern University); Thomas Joseph Lynch IV of Westminster (WPI); Kelly Ann McDonald of Barre (Simmons College); Robert Samuel Merritt of Worcester (Bates College); Christopher Raymond Mullen of Sturbridge (University of Massachusetts, Amherst).

Also, Nicholas Gilbert Pratt of East Brookfield (Boston University); Justin Louis Richards of Hopedale (Assumption College); Matthew Thomas Rodgers of Hudson (University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth); B. Winston Sandage III of Acton (WPI); Marie Juliette Savignac of Paxton (Babson College); Matthew Robert Schreckinger of Worcester (John Hopkins University); Warren Joseph Schudy of Lincoln (WPI).

Also, Kevin Wesley Shepardson of West Brookfield (WPI); Brian Joseph Sinnott of Fiskdale (Queen's University, Canada); Matthew James Webber of Westborough (Carnegie Mellon Univesity); and Yeepay Audrey Yang of Hopkinton (Cornell University)

Welcome the Newcomers

The following individuals have joined WPI:
Justin Brooks, systems administrator, Instructional Media Center; Brian Lavallee, campus police officer, Camilla Parente, administrative assistant, Chemical Engineering; Deana Pulsifer, assistant director and campus center night manager, Student Activities; and Mark Taylor, UNIX system administrator, Computing and Communications Center.

Employment Information

Human Resources Deadlines

Staff time sheets are due by noon on the Friday before the pay date. Noted below are the scheduled Human Resources and Payroll Office deadlines:

Thursday, May 17
Monthly payroll authorizations
Monthly payroll paid Thursday, May 31

Thursday, May 17
Biweekly student payroll authorizations
(Student payroll paid Thursday, May 24)

Tuesday, May 22
Staff payroll authorizations and Flexcomp claim forms
(Staff payroll paid Wednesday, May 30)

Thursday, May 31
Biweekly student payroll authorizations
(Student payroll paid Thursday, June 7)

All forms submitted to Human Resources and Payroll must be complete and have all of the appropriate approvals to be processed. Forms submitted after these dates will be processed in the following payroll.

Employment Opportunities

A complete list of currently available positions is posted on the Human Resources website.

WPI's Human Resources Office encourages current employees to refer qualified individuals to apply for jobs at WPI. For each person you refer who is hired and who successfully completes six months of active service, you will receive a $500 bonus. The Employee Referral Bonus Program applies to all permanent nonfaculty, exempt and nonexempt positions.

Cabinet Meeting Summary

Summaries of Cabinet Meetings are available online to members of the WPI Community on the Cabinet website.



Wednesday, June 6, 6 p.m., "Jumpstart Your IT Career in 9 Weeks," Waltham Campus, 60 Hickory Drive (in Bear Hill Road/Second Avenue business complex). For more information, call 800-974-9717.
Thursday, June 7, 6 p.m., "Jumpstart Your IT Career in 9 Weeks," MetroWest Campus, 225 Turnpike Road (Rte. 9 West), Southborough. For more information, call 800-974-9717

Publications & Presentations


Brattin, Joel J., "Surprising Treasures: Scholarly Research at Dickens House," in Our House, vol. 2, no. 2 (July 2000), pp. 3-4.
_____, "The Victorian Comic Spirit: New Perspectives, ed. Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor," Nineteenth-Century Prose, vol. 28, no. 1 (Spring 2001), pp. 161-64.

Recent Grants

The following is a list of research grants received by WPI in April. Principal investigators are listed first. The Office of Research Administration provides this information.


Arguello, J. from American Chemical Society, "Selectivity Determinants in Heavy Metal Transport ATPases," $60,000.
Arguello, J. from the National Science Foundation, "Crystallization of a P1-Type Heavy Metal Transport ATPase," $5,375.


Datta, R., from W.L. Gore and Associates, Inc., "Composite Higher Temperature Proton-Exchange Membranes," $135, 141.
Ribeiro, F., from Hyperion Catalysis Int'l, Inc., "New Nanoscale Catalysts Based on Molybdenum and Tungsten Carbides and Oxycarbides," $24,183.


Heineman, G., from the National Science Foundation, "CAREER: A Model for Designing Adaptable Software Components," $50,000.


Looft, F., from NASA, "Student Projects at the Goddard Space Flight Center," $20,000.


Chen, M., from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, "Bayesian Approaches to Model Selection for Survival Data," $33,507.


Gatsonis, N., from NASA, "Experimental Investigation and Modeling of Pulsed Plasma Thruster Plumes," $ 55,598.
Hoffman, A., from UMASS Worcester, "Stretch Sensitivity of Mouse Cutaneous Afferent Neurons," $33,877.
Tryggvason, G., from NASA, "Computations of Boiling in Microgravity," $72,500.


Gerstenfeld, A, from the Department of Education, "A Focus on the Southern Cone," $84,182.
Total April research grants: $574,363.00

Worth Noting

With more than 700 graduates who must cross the stage on the Quadrangle to receive their diplomas (including doctoral candidates who also receive their hoods), and the other pomp and ceremony that accompanies a WPI Commencement, the annual graduation exercises clock in at over two hours. When WPI first started awarding degrees, graduation was a considerably longer affair. To begin with, a full half day was set aside for the recitation of senior theses, which were judged by an examining committee and an audience of invited guests. The ceremony itself was marked by a long series of addresses, most of which would be considered quite lengthy by today's standards. At the first Commencement in 1871, Principal Charles O. Thompson addressed the graduates, as did William P. Trowbridge, a professor at Harvard, Stephen Salisbury II, president of the Board of Trustees (he spoke twice), and Elmer P. Howe, class valedictorian, who gave "a well-considered and graceful address" titled, "Agencies in Technical Education." All this transpired in the Chapel in Boynton Hall on a hot July day. The awarding of degrees itself must have been brief compared to modern WPI graduations, for there were only 16 young men in that very first class.

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Last modified: February 19, 2008 09:49:26