Welcome to @WPI

Vol. 3, No. 2 Sept. 13, 2001

Around Campus

Accreditation Visit Set for October
A team of administrators and faculty members from colleges and universities around the Northeast will spend three days at WPI in early October reviewing all aspects of the University's operations, from its academic programs, to its student services, to its administrative and financial practices, to its standards for ethics and integrity. The visit is a critical step in WPI's bid to renew its decennial accreditation by the New England Association for Schools and Colleges.

For private colleges and universities like WPI, regional accreditation takes the place of government review and possible interference. WPI has been accredited, as an institution, by NEASC since 1937. Accreditation is granted for a period of 10 years; WPI was most recently accredited in 1991.

Before making a decision on reaccreditation, the association reviews material submitted by the University and then spends time at WPI poring over documents and records, meeting with selected faculty members, administrators and students, and even questioning individuals they meet in their travels about campus.

The bulk of the material WPI submitted to NEASC this year are responses to questions that are organized into 11 accreditation standards. These are:

Standard One: Mission and Purposes
Standard Two: Planning and Evaluation
Standard Three: Organization and Governance
Standard Four: Programs and Instruction
Standard Five: Faculty
Standard Six: Student Services
Standard Seven: Library and Information Resources
Standard Eight: Physical Resources
Standard Nine: Financial Resources
Standard Ten: Public Disclosure
Standard Eleven: Integrity

A team of administrators, headed by Lance Schachterle, associate provost for academic affairs, spent more than a year gathering information and writing these responses and preparing a wealth of additional data the association asked to see. The draft report was opened for review by the WPI community. More than 10,000 hits were recorded on a special site within the myWPI portal created to facilitate community discussion on the document. The final draft was submitted to NEASC last month. The text of the 11 standards, as well as the report's overview and preface, may be read on myWPI. Just click on the NEASC Team link in your "My Organizations" box.

The overarching purpose of the report is to explain how well the University is fulfilling the educational goals embodied in its Mission and Goal statements. These statements will be the reference point for the NEASC team's onsite evaluation, as well. The statements can be found in the print and on-line editions of the undergraduate catalog.

To help reacquaint yourself with these important statements, we are distributing them with this newsletter in a format designed to make it easy to post them near your workspace.

Members of the WPI community wishing to participate in the NEASC visit should contact Schachterle at ext. 5514 or les@wpi.edu. WPI and NEASC will have an open meeting that will give all members of the community a chance to interact with the campus visitors on Monday, Oct. 1, from 4 to 5 p.m. in Kinnicutt Hall in Salisbury Laboratories Following NEASC practice, senior managers will not attend this meeting.

IQP Award Nominees Sought
There's still time to enter the President's IQP Awards competition. Applications are available from Pam O'Bryant in the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division, located in the Project Center. The deadline for applications is Friday, Sept. 28, at 4 p.m. Applications are available. Finalists will give their presentations in Alden Memorial on Dec. 5 at 1:45 p.m. Faculty members who have advised outstanding IQPs are encouraged to have their students enter the competition. The rules stipulate that an IQP may be submitted only after its completion. Completion means that a CDR for all students named on the forms has been recorded by the Registrar before the application deadline. For more information, call ext. 6089 or e-mail paobryan@wpi.edu.

The 2001 College Rankings
WPI Plays Well in Princeton Review: Theatre is not usually the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about technological universities like WPI. But anyone familiar with this university knows that the dramatic arts can not only coexist with science and engineering programs, but thrive. Under the direction of Susan Vick, professor of drama/theatre, WPI has built a theater program that would be the envy of any small university. In recent years, WPI has moved toward the leading edge of theatre production with the development of its Theater and Technology Program, which is bringing virtual reality and other new technologies to the stage.

WPI's impressive efforts in theater, and the accomplishments of its faculty and students, have received much recognition over the years. The latest honor may be one of the most significant. In its most recent college guidebook, The Best 331 Colleges, the Princeton Review ranked WPI 11th on its list of schools where "college theater is big." Emerson College, Ithaca College and Brown University topped the list; WPI came in just ahead of Vassar and Hampshire colleges.

WPI's multifaceted approach to theatre includes courses, Sufficiency Projects, IQPs and MQPs, several standing drama organizations, and New Voices, a yearly festival of new plays written, directed, produced and performed by students and other members of the WPI community. The University's theatre organizations include Masque, one of the oldest student organizations at WPI, which mounts two productions each year.

This year's fall production may make some news of its own. It is an adaptation of Mary Shelly's novel Frankenstein by Joseph F. Romagnano '01, who is now a graduate student in biology and biotechnology. According to the play's Web site, Romagano sought to capture as much of Shelley's original language as possible and has made the novelist a character in the play. The production, which looks at the ideas in the Shelly's work from a modern perspective, will feature cutting edge theatre technology. The play will be presented Nov. 15, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. in Alden Memorial.

U.S. News Ranks WPI at 58: U.S. News & World Report released the 2001 edition of its annual "America's Best Colleges" issue last week. WPI again appeared in the second tier in its category, National Universities-Doctoral. Information from U.S. News indicates that the University's exact rank is 58 out of the 249 institutions in the category. WPI placed 57th in last year's rankings. The top three institutions in the National Universities-Doctoral category, in order, are Princeton, Harvard and Yale. The magazine also placed WPI at No. 7 on a list of colleges and universities in its category with the highest proportion of classes of under 20 students. In a separate ranking of the top undergraduate engineering programs at institutions whose highest degree is a Ph.D., WPI, with an average reputation score of 3.2 out of 5, tied for 50th place with the Colorado School of Mines and the University of California-Irvine. MIT, Stanford and the University of California-Berkeley, in that order, earned the top three spots. For more details on this year's rankings, visit www.usnews.com.

SRI CEO to Deliver 2001 Hull Lecture
Curtis R. Carlson '67, president and CEO of SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif., will deliver the 2001 Hull Memorial Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 4, from 4 to 6 p.m., in the Campus Center Odeum. The Hull Lecture honors the memory of Laurence F. Hull '64, who died in a car accident in 1965. An outstanding student, Hull was president of Phi Kappa Theta fraternity, editor of the student newspaper and chairman of the Student Senate Committee on Assemblies. In this last capacity, he sought to make students aware of the role of science and technology in society by inviting prominent speakers to campus. For more information, call ext. 5547.

Haas Technical Center Appreciation Day
WPI will host an Appreciation Day on Friday for the organizations that made possible the new Haas Technical Center for Computer Controlled Machining. The day's events will include an open house for the entire WPI community from 2 to 5 p.m. in the center, which is located in the Washburn Shops.

The Haas Center has made WPI a showplace for the latest computer-numerically controlled machine tool technology and enhanced the University's ability to prepare students for high-tech manufacturing careers. The new center provides exciting new capabilities to the University's Manufacturing Engineering Program, according to its director, Professor Christopher A. Brown. It was made possible by the generosity of Fleet Asset Management, trustee of the Elizabeth A. Lufkin Trust, and by Haas Automation.

The Lufkin Trust awarded WPI $400,000 to purchase computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) machine tools and related equipment and to develop new educational programs primarily for undergraduate students majoring in mechanical and manufacturing engineering. Graduate research using the tools is also planned. More than 500 students per year use WPI's machine tools in course work, project work, and graduate and undergraduate research.

The Lufkin Trust grant was awarded in conjunction with the establishment of the new center by Haas Automation, the leading manufacturer of machine tools in North America. In establishing the center, the company will match WPI-purchased equipment with "endowed" equipment that will be replaced approximately every two years.

The event on Friday will include demonstrations and poster sessions in the center and a formal dedication ceremony. For more information, contact Corporate and Foundation Relations at x5611.

Special Tribute to "Daddy Wags"
The University will pay tribute to Robert E. Wagner, professor emeritus of chemical engineering, at a reception and dinner on Friday, Oct. 19, at 6 p.m. in the Campus Center Odeum. An instructor at WPI from 1949 to 1989, Wagner developed a warm relationship with his students, some of called him "Daddy Wags." To honor this revered professor, the Chemical Engineering Department has established an educational fund in his name that will be used to provide professional and educational opportunities that reach beyond the chemical engineering curriculum. For more information or to make reservations, contact Pam Discipio at ext. 5209 or discipio@wpi.edu. The deadline for reservations is Oct. 5.

Teaming Up to Fight Cancer
WPI employees, Cara Glinecki, Yvonne Harris, Denise Rouleau and Dale Snyder have teamed up to create Team WPI. They will be joining over 9,000 walkers participating in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk on Sunday, Sept. 30. They will walk to raise money for patient care and research into new cancer treatments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Participants in the walk have raised more than $18.2 million for the Jimmy Fund over the 12-year history of the event. Last year's walk raised more than $3.8 million, while the goal for this year's event is $4.5 million.

The WPI team, and friends, will join many other walkers who participate because they have friends, colleagues or loved one who been touched by cancer, or because they are cancer survivors themselves. Other than the Boston Marathon, the walk is the only event that the Boston Athletic Association allows to take place along this famed 26.2-mile race route. Participants may choose to walk all or part of the course. To support the Team WPI, send your contributions (making checks payable to BMJFW) to Denise Rouleau in the accounting office. For more information about the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, call 1-800-632-3562 of visit www.jimmyfund.org. You may register or make gifts online.

Home Sweet Home
Members of the WPI community and their families are invited to join alumni for hours of memories, music and merriment during Homecoming Weekend, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21 and 22. For more information, including a schedule, visit the Homecoming website.


Singing the Praises of New Choral Director
John Delorey joined WPI this fall as director of choral music. Before coming to WPI he was director of choral activities and the concert band at Clark University and a music teacher and program coordinator at Doherty Memorial High School. He was previously music program associate at All Saints Church in Worcester and acting music department head at St. Mark's School in Southborough. A graduate of Vassar College, he has owned Ethos Productions since 1993. Through his company, he offers composition, arrangement and choral conducting services and performs as a tenor and countertenor.

In his new post, he succeeds Louis Curran as director of the WPI Glee Club and assumes conducting responsibilities for Alden Voices and the Concert Chorus. Curran, who has directed the Men's Glee Club since 1966, will continue to teach at WPI; former Alden Voices director Margaret Konkol has moved on to new opportunities.

Delorey will make his WPI conducting debut at two upcoming programs. During Homecoming on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 4 p.m., he will conduct the Glee Club, Alden Voices and the Concert Chorus in Alden Memorial; he will repeat the concert on Saturday, Sept. 29, during Parents Weekend.

"We are excited about working with John Delorey," says Lee Fontanella, head of the Humanities and Arts Department. "His appointment signifies expanded prospects for all of the WPI singing groups that have always been so active and have shown such a range of talent on campus, regionally and internationally."

Mechanical Engineering Professors Honored
Professor Joseph J. Rencis, director of engineering mechanics, has been elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Fellow is the highest elected grade of membership within ASME, the attainment of which recognizes exceptional engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession. Rencis is also a Fellow of the Wessex Institute of Great Britain, which recognizes leaders in the field of computation engineering and boundary element research. He currently serves as an associate editor for the international series Advances in Boundary Elements and is a member of the editorial board for the international Journal Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements.

Associate Professor James C. Hemanson has received the Russell M. Searle Instructorship in Mechanical Engineering, which recognizes quality teaching. The appointment is for one year. Hermanson received a B.S. degree from the University of Washington and an M.S. and Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology. He currently holds the George I. Alden Professorship in Mechanical Engineering and last year was elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. His research and teaching interests are in fluid mechanics, gas dynamics, multiphase flow, microgravity science, combustion and heat transfer.

Associate Professor David J. Olinger has been named the Morgan Distinguished Instructor in Mechanical Engineering. The award recognizes quality advising. Olinger earned a bachelor of science degree from Lafayette College, an M.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and an M.S., M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He was a recipient of a Summer Faculty Research Fellowship from the U.S. Navy and the American Society of Engineering Education in 1994. His research and teaching interests are in fluid mechanics, aero- and hydrodynamics, fluid-structure interaction, nonlinear dynamics and fluid-flow control.

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, Sept. 13
Biweekly staff payroll authorizations and Flexcomp claim forms
(Staff payroll paid Wednesday, Sept. 19)

Friday, Sept. 14
Monthly payroll authorizations
(Monthly payroll paid Friday, Sept. 28)

Monday, Sept. 17
Monthly Flexcomp claim forms

Monday, Sept. 24
Biweekly student payroll authorizations
(Student payroll paid Thursday, Oct. 11)

Thursday, Sept. 27
Biweekly staff payroll authorizations and Flexcomp claim forms
(Staff payroll paid Wednesday, Oct. 3)

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, Sept. 19, 1-5 p.m. Ninth Annual Career Fair 2001, Harrington Auditorium and Alden Memorial.

Sunday, Sept. 16, 11:30 a.m., Mass., Alden Memorial
Sunday, Sept. 23, 11:30 a.m., Mass., Campus Center, Odeum A

Thursday, Sept. 13, 4 p.m. "Aggregation of Colloidal Particles and Breakup of Aggregates: Probing Interparticle Forces, Sotira Yiacoumi, Georgia Tech, Goddard Hall, Room 227, (refreshments at 3:45).

Friday, Sept. 21, New England - Africa Business Conference, Boston. For more information, call ext. 6024 or visit http://www.wpi.edu/News/Conf/NEABC/.

Thursday, Sept. 13, 3:15 p.m., Olin 107.

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 4-6 p.m., Global Opportunities Fair, Campus Center, Odeum.

Monday, Sept. 17, 8 a.m., Campus Center, "Manufacturing Our Future Summit," hosted by the Manufacturing Assistance Center and sponsored by the Mass MEP, Massachusetts Electric, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Worcester Providence Railroad and WPI. The summit creates opportunities that strengthen the extended manufacturing community and the region's economy. For more information, call Katherine Mahoney at 508-831-7020 or e-mail kmahoney@wpi.edu.

Thursday, Oct. 4, 7-9 p.m., Campus Center, Odeum B, "Early College Planning Seminar," representatives from the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) will help parents understand the state college savings programs in Massachusetts; and give an overview of future college costs, financial aid resources and specifics about enrolling in the U. Plan and U. Fund and other college savings programs. The seminar is free, with limited seating. For more information or to register, call Monica Blondin or Michael DiRuzza at ext. 5469

Publications & Presentations

Weininger, Stephen J., "Physical Organic Chemistry in Post-WW II Germany," presented at the American Chemical Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 29.
_____, was a Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science, Berlin during May and June, 2001. He will be a Senior Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT for the Fall Semester, 2001.

Kosinski, Karen, Abel Alverez-Calderon, Susan Vernon-Gerstenfeld and Arthur Gerstenfed, "Diseño y manejo del cultivo de peces: Una opción para países en desarrolo," in Panorama Acuícola, vol 6, no. 3 Marzo/abril del 2001
Churchill, W. Lucas, Jimmy Cook, Shauna Malone, Felix Rieper, Arthur Gerstenfeld and Susan Vernon-Gerstenfeld, "GIS for Fire Safety," in GIS User, April/May, 2001.
Vernon-Gerstenfeld, Susan, "When Engineering Students Apply Theory to Practice Internationally," in proceedings of the annual conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, Albuquerque, N.M., June 24-27
Vernon-Gerstenfeld, Susan, "English is the Language of Business--Except When It Isn't," in proceedings of the annual conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, Albuquerque, N.M., June 24-27.

Recent Grants

Worth Noting: WPI Wins Major Networking Award

WPI will receive an honorable mention from EDUCAUSE in its annual recognition program for excellence in campus networking. This prestigious, nine-year-old award program honors strategic, integrated and innovative use of networked technologies to serve all campus constituents. Representing more than 1,800 colleges, universities and education organizations, EDUCAUSE is one of the preeminent associations addressing the complex issues that attend the incorporation of information technology into higher education. The award will be presented at the organization's annual conference in Indianapolis on October 30.

WPI was selected for honorable mention because of its strategically coordinated and integrated network environment, the result of major organizational commitment and a 10-year plan. A crucial step toward WPI's success was the consolidation of all core information and technology functions-including the Gordon Library, Web services and distance learning-into the Information Technology Division, headed by Thomas Lynch, vice president for information technology. Infrastructure upgrades, wireless access, media-streaming capabilities, and digital conversion facilities are all part of the well-orchestrated technological advances over the past two years that have improved teaching, learning and research across the University.

"The WPI community continues to view our technology infrastructure as a strategic resource," Lynch says. "Our shared vision throughout has been to unite the power of knowledge with the flexibility of technology to connect faculty, staff, students and content-anytime, anyplace. We are honored by the recognition and affirmation of our strategy from EDUCAUSE."

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Last modified: June 23, 2010 14:49:39