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Vol. 3, No. 10 Jan. 24, 2002

Around Campus

WPI Celebrates Black History Month
Black History Month, a national event, celebrated annually, features an examination of the African-American experience. Originally conceived as Negro History Week by African-American scholar Carter G. Woodson in 1926, the event was expanded to a monthlong celebration in 1980.

WPI will observe Black History Month with the following events (all are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted).

Friday, Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m., Campus Center Odeum: Opening Dinner, guest speaker Lula Petty-Edwards, associate dean, African American Institute, Northeastern University (invitation only). Sponsored by the Black Student Union.

Monday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m., Olin Hall 107: Kevin Powell, cast member of MTV's The Real World, will speak on student activism for social change. Sponsored by the Minority Affairs Office.

Monday, Feb. 11, 8 p.m., Campus Center Food Court: "Poetry Slam and Open Mic," featuring Flowmentalz. Sponsored by Minority Affairs.

Library Announces New Exhibits
"In Cahoots," an exhibition by ARTXIII, will be on display in Gordon Library's third floor gallery through March 10. ARTXII is a group of women artists who are experimenting with the collaborative creation of new works. The exhibit includes prints, artists' books, "sprit boxes" and mixed-media portraits.

"Tango Argentino," photographs by David I-Teh Liu, and "Night Spots," photographs by Jonathan Pesch, will be on display in the second floor gallery from Jan. 31 through March 1. A reception for the artists will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 31 in the third floor gallery. To view more of Liu's photos, visit http://www.daylightpix.com/.

"Paul Williams: Architect to the Stars," photo reproductions of Williams' architecture, will be on display in the library entrance from Feb. 8 through Feb. 28. One of America's most prolific African-American architects, Williams designed many homes for Hollywood notables.

Get Ready To Give
WPI's Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the American Red Cross will sponsor a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb.4, and Tuesday, Feb. 5, in the Campus Center Odeum. Walk-ins are welcome.

Night Of The Dragon
The Chinese Student Association will host a Night of the Dragon today at 6 p.m. in Alden Memorial. Tickets ($6) may be purchased at the door. A Chinese dinner will be followed by performances of Chinese dances, instruments, Kong Fu, Yo-Yo and a fashion show. The event is sponsored by the Chinese Student Association. For more information, call 5850 or e-mail dragon@wpi.edu.

M.W. Rep Presents Sexual Perversity
On Thursday, Jan. 31, Friday, Feb. 1, and Saturday, Feb. 2, M.W. Repertory Theatre Co. will present Sexual Perversity in Chicago at 8 p.m. in Riley Commons. Producer is Shauna Malone '02; graduate student Jim Nichols is the director. Admission is $5 for the general public, $3 for students. For more information, call ext. 5946.

HR Calendars on the Web
WPI Payroll Deadline Calendars for 2002 are now available on the Human Resources Web site. You can access the calendar options page by going to http://www.wpi.edu/Admin/HR/deadlines.html.

These calendars are posted to inform the WPI community of all relevant upcoming Human Resources and Payroll Office deadlines. They include due dates for payroll authorizations, change-in-status forms and Flexcomp claim forms, as well as pay dates for each month. All forms may be downloaded in the Forms for Employees section of the site. To request a hard copy of any form, e-mail human-resources@wpi.edu


Mary Steiner, Familiar WPI Voice, Dies
"The voice of WPI for many years has been silenced," said Terry Pellerin, associate director of plant services, in a recent message to the community. Pellerin was noting the Jan. 13 death of Mary Steiner, who was WPI's head telephone switchboard operator for 27 years before she retired in 1995 at the age of 87.

"Before voicemail, direct dialing and other impersonal phone answering systems, it was Mary who everyone spoke to when they called WPI," Pellerin noted. "To this day, I can still hear her voice saying, 'Good Morning, WPI.' She made it sound like a melody."

A Worcester native, Steiner graduated from Commerce High School. She was the widow of Franz Steiner Jr., who died in 1995. She leaves a son, three daughters, nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity.

No Parking Problem
Eleanor Loiacono, assistant professor of management, is the lucky winner of the United Way parking space. Members of the WPI community who contributed to the United Way Campaign were eligible for the drawing. Melanie Desiata drew the name out.

Wearing Two Hats
Senior Development Officer Elizabeth Howland has relocated from 20 Trowbridge Rd. to Higgins House to take on the additional role of acting director of alumni affairs. She replaces Martina Gorski-Strong, who has moved on to pursue other opportunities.

Howland, who manages the 40th and 50th anniversary gift campaigns, joined Development and University Relations in 1998. She earned an associate's degree in medical technology and a bachelor's degree in health education at the University of Vermont and received a master's degree in professional higher education administration from the University of Connecticut. Before coming to WPI, she was director of development for UConn's School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy.

"My role as acting alumni director is an extension of my current work," she says. "I look forward to continuing to build and expand WPI's connections to its graduates through programs, events and personal interaction with these special people."

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.


Beginning with this issue, @WPI will present regular portraits of members of our campus community. We'll tell you about people who have interesting or unusual hobbies, interests or talents, or who enrich the WPI family in some other noteworthy way. We begin the series with a story about Professor William Michalson's unusual avocation. We are actively looking for subjects for future editions of this feature. If you or someone you know here at WPI has an interesting story you think readers of @WPI would enjoy reading, please send a message to atwpi@wpi.edu or drop a line to the Communications Group, Boynton Hall, care of @WPI.

Springers Redefine Professor's Field Work
No one could blame Bill Michalson for wanting to get away from campus once in a while. An associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, he earned his master's and doctorate at WPI and joined the faculty in 1992. The director of the Satellite Navigation Lab, he's built an international reputation for his GPS (global positioning systems) work and his research into performance optimization of highly parallel computer systems.

Michalson teaches in his off hours, too – but his students at those times are his AKC English springer spaniels, Pride and Joy's Moon of Ringer and Arula's Ruskin. A medium-size sporting dog, springer spaniels are bred for their strength and their desire to hunt.

From September through November and again from April through June, Michalson spends much of his free time in Athol or at Rutland State Park helping 8-year-old Moon and 4-year-old Ruskin fine-tune their ability to find, flush and retrieve birds. The dogs also compete in hunt tests and field trials in New England and other areas of the country, where Bill often serves as a judge for these events. The hard work has paid off. Moon has earned the designation Master Hunter, while Ruskin, a Senior Hunter, is only four ribbons away from reaching the top level.

A breeder and field trainer for the past 10 years, Michalson owns Arula Kennels in Charlton, Mass., and is a member of the Patriot Sporting Club in Massachusetts, the New York-based Cocker Spaniel Club of America, and the Central Connecticut Field Trial Association. But he rarely hunts with his dogs. "They're so good," he says, "it takes the challenge out of the hunt. There's no chance they won't find a bird.

"Springer spaniels make great pets because of their biddability (ease of being led, taught or controlled)," he says. "To be good field dogs, they have to have a tremendous amount of intelligence and be easy to work with, but they're not appropriate for families with young children. While they're never aggressive, they are active and strong. They love to run and roughhouse and can easily overwhelm a baby or toddler."

For more information about Arula Kennels, e-mail wrm@wpi.edu. To learn more about the breed, Michalson suggests visiting these Web sites: www.akc.org or www.essfta.org.

WPI in the News

The December issue of Attaché, U.S. Air's inflight magazine, included a profile of WPI's distance learning program.

In its Dec. 27 issue, USA Today called WPI's computerized Christmas Tree "a multimedia hoot from the techies at WPI."

Arlene Lowenstein, dean of continuing and professional education, was quoted in a front-page article on continuing ed. In the Worcester Business Journal's Jan. 2-13 edition. WBJ also ran a brief on from IPG Photonics' recent $360,000 gift to WPI.

On Jan. 7, the front page of the Telegram & Gazette featured a color photo of freshman Ann Skulkas running around the WPI track.

Cabinet Meeting Summary

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


Sunday Mass, Jan. 27, 11:30 a.m., Alden Memorial.

Wednesday, Feb. 6, 6:30 p.m., IT Career information session, Waltham Campus, 60 Hickory Drive (in Bear Hill Road/Second Avenue business complex, Rte. 128, exit 26). For more information, call 800-974-9717 or reserve your space online at www.ce.wpi.edu.
Thursday, Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m., IT Career information session, MetroWest Campus, 225 Turnpike Road (Rte. 9 West), Southborough. For more information, call 800-974-9717 or reserve your space online at www.ce.wpi.edu.

Thursday, Jan. 24, 3:15 p.m., Olin 107.

Saturday, Jan. 26, Argentine Tango Lesson, Dance and Showcase, featuring Caleb Cain Marcus and Ting Chin. Lessons 8 -9 p.m., dancing until 1 a.m., Alden Memorial, $12 general public, $9 consortium, $6 WPI.

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 10:30 a.m., "A Discussion of Architecture," M. David Samson, WPI humanities and arts associate professor, Riley Commons (coffee at 9:45 a.m.).

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 6:30-9 p.m. (registration at 6), "Getting Started on Uncle Sam's SBIR Money," Natalie S. Rudolph, principal, Rudolph Biomedical Consulting. Case presenter: SuturTek Inc., Jerry Brecher, president and CEO. Campus Center Odeum, $10 members, $20 nonmembers, faculty/staff/students free with WPI ID, 831-5075.

Publications & Presentations

Cox, Christopher. "Becoming Part of the Course: Using Blackboard to Extend One-Shot Library Instruction." In College and Research Libraries News. 63, no. 1, Jan. 2002, 11-13, 39.

Menides, Laura J. "Tears and Laughter: Elizabeth Bishop's Memories of Worcester." In Divisions of the Heart: Elizabeth Bishop and the Art of Memory and Place, edited by Sandra Barry, Gwen Davies and Peter Sanger, 69-76, Nova Scotia: Gaspereau Press, 2001.
_____. "Abstraction," and "A Study in Sound and Rhythm." In Sahara: A Journal of New England Poetry (Fall-Winter 2001): 70.
______. "Of Daughters and Grasshoppers." Poem in The Issue, no. 5 (Autumn 2001): 38.
_____. "Mysteries." Short story in The Issue, no. 4 (Summer 2001): 27-30.

Recent Grants

Following is a list of research grants received by WPI in November and December. Principal investigators are listed first. Information is provided by the Office of Research Administration.

Miller, Judith, for "The Dissemination and Development of Academic Programs in College Teaching," from the Colleges of Worcester Consortium, $9,450.

Mallick, Rajib, for "Evaluation of Permeability of Superpave Mixes," from UMass Dartmouth, $5,587.
Mallick, Rajib, for "An Evaluation of Performance and Life Cycle Cost of Hot Mix Asphalt Pavements of Different Thickness," from the Maine Department of Transportation, $52,634.
Ray, Malcolm, and C. Plaxico, for "Simulation and Analysis of Guardrail Systems Impacted by a 3/4 Ton Pickup Truck," from Battelle Memorial Institute, $5,000.

Fisler, Kathryn, for "CAREER: A Computational Infrastructure for Timing Diagrams in Computer-Aided Verification," from the National Science Foundation, $151,616.

Johnson, Sharon, Amy Zeng and Joe Zhu, for "Using Discovery-Based Learning to Explore the Lean Design of Global Supply Chains," from the National Science Foundation, $49,969.

Demetriou, Michael, for "A Multidisciplinary Control Laboratory," from the National Science Foundation, $63,000.

Total December research grants: $337,256.

Worth Noting

A Second Century of Ham Radio at WPI
An introductory course to help individuals earn their first amateur radio license is currently being offered at WPI. The course, in twice-weekly sessions that began on Jan. 14 and ends on March 4, reminds us of WPI's Wireless Association's long history on campus.

Established in October 1909 and known by the call letters WPI, the nation's first operational college radio station consisted of a transmitter that ran from a flat-top antenna atop the EE building and a receiver with a design centered around a detector. The operators used Morse and Continental Codes.

The association began offering license classes in 1916, after it received its license (1YK) from the federal government. Now located on top of Salisbury Labs, W1YK is active on VHF and UHF channels and boasts tall towers that provide some of the best coverage in New England. In 1978, David Mangini '79 completed an IQP that told the history of the association from 1909 to 1932.

Amateur radio operators ("hams") must be licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to operate their radios. Today these men and women assist with communications in times of disaster or at parades, fund-raising walks and marathons, and provide reports to the National Weather Service. "People with a ham radio license can talk with astronauts on the International Space Station or with other radio operators around the world who share similar interests," says John Ruggiero, head of the association. "Operators learn to bounce radio signals off the upper layers of the atmosphere or off satellites, and to exchange pictures with other radio operators using television."

To learn more about the Wireless Association, visit the Web site at www.wpi.edu/~wpiwa/.

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Last modified: June 23, 2010 15:32:41