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Vol. 3, No. 16 April 18, 2002

Around Campus

Kamen to Speak at Commencement
Dean Kamen, president and owner of DEKA Research & Development Corp., a technological visionary, a former WPI student and inventor of the Segway Human Transporter, will be the speaker at WPI's 134th Commencement on Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m. His inventions have improved the quality of life for tens of thousands around the world and he's the founder of FIRST Robotics that has gotten more young people excited about science, technology and engineering. For more, see the news release.

Outstanding Service Provider Honored
In recognition of the many WPI staff members who provide outstanding service, the Department of Management developed its new Outstanding Service Provider Award, which will be presented annually to a staff member who consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide outstanding service to the department.

The first recipients are Nikki Andrews, registrar, and Chuck Kornik, administrator of academic programs; both work in the Projects and Registrar's Office. They will be honored at the Department of Management's annual Undergraduate Student Honors luncheon on April 24th.

New Voices Festival Turns 20
WPI's annual festival of new plays, written, produced, directed and acted by members of the WPI community, turns 20 this year. To join in the celebration, attend a performance of New Voices 20 between Thursday, April 18, and Saturday, April 20. The show begins each night at 8 p.m. in Alden Memorial. Each program includes a 15-minute intermission. The festival is free and open to the public.

Jazz Concert
"The Cat's Got Scat," the first concert of WPI's Jazz Vocal Workshop, rescheduled from March 17, will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 21, in Riley Commons. The concert with the WPI Jazz Band will mark the debut of Vox Nova, the WPI jazz chorus. It is free and open to the public.

Have Breakfast With Raytheon CEO
Raytheon Chairman and CEO Daniel P. Burnham will be the keynote speaker at the Venture Forum annual "Breakfast With..." seminar on Tuesday, May 7 from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Marlboro. You must register by April 29 by downloading a registration form from the Venture Forum Web site, www.wpiventureforum.org,or by calling 508-831-5075. The fee, $30 for member and $45 for nonmembers, includes breakfast.

Scholarship Auction
More than 40 items for everyone from golfers to wine connoisseurs will be up for bid at the Society of Professional Communicators' Silent Auction on Tuesday, May 7. Liza Benedict, former anchorwoman for NewsWatch 3, will be the emcee for the auction, which will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Garden Court of the Holiday Inn, Lincoln Street, Worcester.

Proceeds will fund scholarships for students majoring in a communications field at a member institution of the Colleges of Worcester Consortium. The scholarships honor Elaine Cencak for her contributions in the early days of the SPC, a Worcester-based independent association for communication professionals.

Tickets ($40 for SPC members; $45 for guests) include a grand buffet from 6 to 7 p.m. To pre-register, call 508-248-5161 or e-mail polishpen@aol.com.

Watching Your Weight
The spring session of Weight Watchers will begin on Thursday, April 25. Meetings are held from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in Riley Commons. The cost of the program, which must be prepaid before the first meeting, is $131 for the 12 weeks. The program is open to the public.

Fallon Health Plan covers 100 percent of the fee for 12 weeks (once per calendar year). If you are a member of the plan, call Fallon's Customer Service Department at 1-800-868-5200 and request a Weight Watchers coupon book. Bring the book to the meeting. For more information, contact Lynda Schuler in the Admissions Office at ext. 5286 or las@wpi.edu.


Retirement Reception for Whit Griffith
The Physical Education and Athletics Department will hold a reception in honor of Wm. Whit Griffith, who is retiring on June 30 as men's and women's swimming and diving coach, director of aquatics, assistant to the athletic director for club sports, and instructor of Physical Education. The reception is scheduled for Wednesday, April 24, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Forkey Conference Room in Harrington Auditorium. The campus community is invited.

Physics Major Wins Goldwater Scholarship
Jack N. Waddell '03, a physics major, has been named a 2002 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. Goldwater scholarships are awarded to sophomores or juniors who have records of outstanding academic performance, and who have demonstrated potential for and commitment to a career in research in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.

Waddell is one of 309 scholars selected this year on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,155 mathematics, science and engineering students nationwide. The $7,500 scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board. This is the third time in the 13-year history of the program that a WPI student has been named a Goldwater Scholar. The others winners are Erik Alldredge '95 and Yakov Kronrod '02. A list of this year's winners may be found at www.act.org/goldwater/sch-2002.html.

WPI Honors Outstanding Undergraduates
The Two Towers Prize, given each year to a student who, through academic competence, campus leadership, course work, research and projects, best exemplifies the heart of the WPI educational experience, has been awarded to Nina Katherine Simon, a junior majoring in electrical and computer engineering.

Thirteen members of the Class of 2002 have received the Salisbury Prize, given each year to WPI's most meritorious seniors. Those honored were: Jason Michael Field, biology and biotechnology; Kevin Michael Hawkins, biomedical engineering; Jason G. Brown, electrical and computer engineering; Matthew James Douglas, electrical and computer engineering; Rachael E. Zimet, chemical engineering; Rocco William Moretti, chemistry and biochemistry; Meredith Leigh Campbell, civil and environmental engineering; Yakov Kronrod, computer science; Lauren Elizabeth Wojtkun, humanities and arts; Elizabeth Ann Donovan, mathematical science; William Lucas Churchill, mechanical engineering; Evan Andrew Gilman, mechanical engineering; and Lewis Thomas Kotredes, physics.

The Class of 1879 Prize, the university's humanities and arts award, given each spring for the most outstanding Sufficiences, went this year to Brendan Morris, for "Rastro: The Essence of Madrid;" Jennifer Persico, for "The Jump from Resentment to Revolution;" and Lauren Wojtkun, for '"Like the World of Dreams Itself: An Analysis of William Shakespeare's Use of the Green World in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'As You Like It.'" Honorable mention certificates were awarded to Courtney Broughton for "The Dystopian Novel;" Hilary Hayes for "Charles Dickens: Humanitairanism and the Workhouse;" William Jolley for "Surroundings: Poetry and Our Natural World;" Joan Norton for "An Argument to Legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide;" Daniel O'Brien for "A Scientist, a Mathematician, and a Gorilla;" Eduardo Paredes for "Thematic Connections in Hamlin Garland's 'Main-Travelled Roads' and 'A Son of the Middle Border;"' Frances Saccoccio for "The Character and Politics of Alexander Hamilton;" and Tom Sulewski for "The Significance of the Battle at Khalkin-Go."

Benjamin John Lauser, a sophomore double major in math and physics, has won the Richard V. Olson Award. Named for Richard "Ollie" Olson, who taught mathematics from 1962 until his death in 1983 and was highly regarded by students, the award recognizes excellence in freshman and sophomore mathematics courses, outstanding overall academic achievement and contributions to the WPI community.

The Kranich Prize, which honors students majoring in engineering or science who best exemplify excellence in the humanities and arts, and the integration of technical and nontechnical disciplines, has been awarded to Frances Maria Saccoccio,

The following students received civil and environmental engineering awards: Jason W. Kilty '02 received the Carl F. Meyer Award, presented to the CEE senior who has demonstrated the most improvement in academic and professional attitude since entering the Department. Jody L. Kenniston '02 received the Andrew Holt Award, presented to a CEE senior who has consistently earned academic honors and shows excellent promise for success. Michael G. Veilleux '03 received the Frank DeFalco Award, given to a junior interested in going into professional practice in the area of Constructed Facilities.

Employment Opportunities
A complete list of currently available positions is posted on the Human Resources Web site.

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.

WPI in the News

For summaries of where WPI has been in the news, please visit the official WPI In the news section of the WPI Web site.

Cabinet Meeting Summary

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


Thursday, April 25, noon, "Understanding the Biology and Mechanism of the RNA Interference Pathway," Phillip D. Zamore, UMass Medical School, Goddard Hall 227

Wednesday, May 15, 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, May 16, 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.

Tuesday, May 7, 6:30 p.m., Graduate Information Session, MetroWest Campus, 225 Turnpike Road (Rte. 9 West), Southborough. For more information, call Kathleen Thompson at 781-895-1188 ext. 205, or register online at info-session@wpi.edu.

Wednesday, May 8, 6:30 p.m., Graduate Information Session, Campus Center Hagglund Room. For more information, call Kathleen Thompson at 781-895-1188 ext. 205, or register online at info-session@wpi.edu.

Thursday, May 9, 6:00 p.m., Graduate Information Session, Waltham Campus, 60 Hickory Drive (in Bear Hill Road/Second Avenue business complex, Rte. 128, exit 26). For more information, call Kathleen Thompson at 781-895-1188 ext. 205, or register online at info-session@wpi.edu.

Wednesday, April 24, 4:30 p.m., "The Anomalies of Subsistence Research in Academic Freedom and Democracy," Chris B. Squire, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Stoddard Labs 229.

Monday, April 22, 4 p.m., "Vortices, Clustering, and Coarsening Dynamics in Anisotropic Granular Materials," Olin Hall 107 (refreshments at 3:40 p.m. in Olin Hall 118).

Wednesday, May, 10:30 a.m., Alden Memorial (coffee at 9:45 a.m.).

Publications & Presentations

Pavlik, James W., Changton, Chuchawin, and Tantayanon, Supawan, " Synthesis and Spectroscopic Properties of N-15 Labeled 1,2,4-Thiadiazoles ", Journal of Heterocyclic Chemistry, 39, 237 (2002).

Brattin, Joel J., and Robert L. Patten. "Illustrating Dickens: Selected Works from the Robert D. Fellman Collection." Whistler House Museum of Art, Lowell, Mass., April 4, 2002.

Brattin, Joel J. "'A Mockery so Gross and Monstrous': Slavery in the Manuscript of Dickens's American Notes for General Circulation." Dickens and America Conference and Festival, Lowell, Mass. April 5, 2002.

Brattin, Joel J., Rodney G. Obien, and Robert L. Patten. "Illustrating Dickens: Selected Works from the Robert D. Fellman Collection." Whistler House Museum of Art, Lowell, Mass. April 6, 2002.

Dollenmayer, David and James Hermanson, "Fachuebergreifende Lehre in den USA: Bericht ueber eine experimentelle Lehrveranstaltung auf Deutsch," (Interdisciplinary Teaching in USA: Report on an Experimental Course in German). In Heike Krebs et al., editors, "Perspektiven Interdisziplinaerer Technikforschung: Konzepte, Analysen, Erfahrungen," Muenster, Germany: agenda Verlag, 2002, pp. 255-261.

Recent Grants

MacDonald, John, "Design of Porous Crystalline Solids Using Coordination Chemistry and Ionic Hydrogen Bonds," from ACS-PRF, $4,163.

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

Ludwig, Reinhold, "Feasability Study to Develop RF coils for High-Field MRI," from University of Massachusetts Medical School, $9,456.

Vernon-Gerstenfeld, Susan, "Survey and Analysis of Rural Tree Planting Done Under the Proyecto de Reforstacion Puertorriqueno," from United States Department of Agriculture, $5,000.

Walker, Homer, "Numerical Algorithms and Software for C-SAFE," from the University of Utah, $145,000.

Yakovlev, Vadim, "Models of Electromagnetic Processes in Combined System of Microwave Thermal Processing," from the Enersyst Development Center Inc., $15,000.

Walker, Homer, " Nonlinear Equations Research," from Sandia National Laboratories, $52,777.

Hermanson, James, Peder Pedersen, William Durgin, "Stability and Heat Transfer Characteristics of Condensing Film in Reduced Gravity," from NASA, $79,935

Pryputniewicz, Ryszard and Cosme Furlong, "Development of OEH Methodology for Shape Measurements," from BWXT Pantex, $549,974.

Hoffman, Allen, "Stretch Sensitivity of Mouse Cutaneous Afferent Neurons," from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, $34,894.

Hermanson, James and Hamid Johari, "Combustion Characteristics of Fully-Modulated, Turbulent Diffusion Flames in Reduced Gravity," from NASA $119,677.

Ram-Mohan, L.R., "Spintronics and Spin-photonics in Ferromagnetic InAs/GaSb-Based Heterostructures," from the University of Buffalo, $76,393.

Total for March research grants: $1,112,269.

Worth Noting

Celebrating the Administrative Professional
April 21-27 is Administrative Professionals Week, and April 24 is Administrative Professionals Week. As this annual event approaches, it seems appropriate to reflect on how the administrative profession has evolved through the years.

The history of the administrative professional can be traced back thousands of years. There are academic references to "scribes" in Ancient Egypt who recorded business transactions, wrote letters and kept records. During the Middle Ages, personal and private secretaries (typically men) handled confidential correspondence and matters of the state for wealthy and powerful people, who often could not read or write themselves.

By the late 19th century, the office environment changed with the invention of the telephone, typewriter, adding machine, dictating and stenographic machines, and the cash register. All business offices now needed assistance. The demand for secretaries outpaced the supply. Women entered the field during this time, and by the 1930s they dominated the office workforce. Between the 1930s and 1970s, further enhancements to the office included calculators and electric typewriters. The administrative role typically included task such as answering phones, setting up schedules, updating records, and typing from handwritten notes or tape recorders.

During the 1980s, the profession changes dramatically with the dawn of the Computer Age. As technologies continue to advance, a sort of role reversal has emerged. Using the latest technology, CEOs and executive managers are now able to easily organize and manage their own schedules, send and receive correspondence via e-mail, and compose their own letters. On the other hand, administrative workers have begun taking the role of managing, organizing, planning and coordinating tasks and projects.

With software and technologies constantly evolving, higher levels of technical skills and knowledge are required. As these technologies continue to evolve, so will the role of the administrative professional. Administrative roles will demand increasingly higher levels of advanced computer proficiencies, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and managerial skills. No one knows for certain how things will evolve, or what new titles and responsibilities will demand. However, one thing does appear certain-the administrative professional was, is, and will likely continue to be, an integral part of the workplace.

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Last modified: July 19, 2010 10:00:12