September 9, 2004

Around Campus

U.S. News Ranks WPI No. 55

WPI was ranked No. 55 overall among 248 national universities in U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2005 issue, placing WPI among the top 23 percent of national universities. Further, WPI was ranked No. 43 in the "best values" category and No. 9 (tie) among universities with the "highest proportion of classes under 20."

Cheetah Expert to Speak on Sept. 10

Laurie Marker, a renowned expert on the cheetah and conservation, will present a talk titled "Saving the Big Cats" on Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. in the Campus Center Odeum. Her talk will be followed by an informal reception. Marker, whose work was described in the Aug. 23 issue of Time, lectures frequently at locations around the world. WPI students will complete an Interactive Project with Marker in Africa during the current academic year. Contact Art Gerstenfeld at x5471 or if you plan to attend.

Experts Debate Gay Marriage on Sept. 28

"State of the Union: A Debate on Gay Marriage" will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. in Perreault Hall. The con side will be represented by Robert Knight, director of the Culture & Family Institute. He drafted the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and served as the director of cultural studies for the Family Research Council. The pro side will be argued by Elizabeth Birch, who served for 10 years as executive director of the Human Rights Campaign. The two are touring the country together to raise awareness about this issue. The program is co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Women's Programs, Residential Service, BiLaGa (Bisexual, Lesbian and Gay Alliance) and WPI's new Gay Straight Alliance. The event is open to the WPI community only.

Absolutely Fabulous! Attracts Large Crowd

Nearly 40 faculty and staff members have been taking part in a new Healthy Alternatives exercise class called ABSolutely Fabulous!, which focuses on the abdominal muscles, the most important core muscle group of the body. A full-body warm-up prepares participants to perform a variety of challenging crunches, both alone and with a partner. Instructor Amy Dean, WPI's magazine editor, is also a certified aerobics instructor, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. "Strong abs work wonders in how you look and feel," she says. "They also help improve posture, increase stamina, fight osteoporosis, and strengthen lower back muscles."

Greg Snoddy, director of Healthy Alternatives, Recreation and Club Sports, says the class "is a great way to enhance employee wellness, engage faculty and staff in one of several new WPI initiatives and give employees a chance to get to know colleagues in a different setting." Other programs in the "Get Together, Get Involved, and Get Recreational" program include noontime yoga sessions and a B-Term bowling league.

The free 50-minute ABSolutely Fabulous! classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon in Alumni Gym during A Term. No sign-up is necessary. Please wear comfortable clothing and bring along a floor mat, towel and water.

Donate Blood; Win Patriots Tickets

Blood supplies have significantly decreased during the summer and are so low that standing orders to hospitals across New England have been cut. To help replenish the supply, the Red Cross will hold a Blood Drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14, and Wednesday, Sept. 15, in the basement of Founders Hall. Positive ID is required to donate blood. Donors will be eligible to win tickets to a Patriots game. For more information, call 508-791-7444, ext. 122. Walk-in donors are welcome.

Flower Arranging Focus of BWE Luncheon

The WPI Business Women's Exchange will host a luncheon at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 22, in the Higgins House Great Hall. Al DeLuca from Flor-Als Florists will assemble one or two arrangements, to be given as attendance prizes. The menu includes tossed garden salad with chef's choice dressing, rolls and butter, chicken piccata, lemon-caper butter, rice pilaf, fresh squash medley, apple crisp with whipped cream, coffee and tea. Payment ($8.50) should be sent to Judy Shute in Diversity and Women's Programs. Checks should be made payable to WPI.

Off-Off-Broadway Production a Success

Susan Vick, professor and director of theatre, recently sent thanks to members of the WPI community who helped make possible the journey of the play Dreams Abridged from WPI's annual New Voices new-play festival to the XXIX Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival in New York City on June 18. "Your attendance at the open dress rehearsal and preview benefit performances on campus gave us what every new play wants: a full house and a warm ovation (and much appreciated travel funds)," Vick said.

Dreams Abridged was written by Catherine Darensbourg '02, who adapted her The Dreamery, a play she wrote for New Voices in 1992. The New York production was directed by Vick; Dean O'Donnell, administrator and instructor of drama, served as associate director and Jon Abad '03 was executive producer. The production was mounted by an all-undergraduate and alumni cast and crew.

Vick said the New York performance was a great success. "While we did not bring home the top prize for Catherine, the response we received from the producers of the festival was all positive, complimenting our professionalism at integrating our show into the competition, the style of our production, and the talent evident in our performance. We also made many new friends and important theatre contacts."


WPI Community Mourns Loss of Student and Longtime Teacher and Administrator

Gregory E. Reeves '07: Reeves died Aug. 30 from injuries sustained when he was struck by a vehicle while jogging near campus. A mechanical engineering major with a minor in biotechnology, he was enrolled in the Army ROTC Program and had been a member of the men's crew team. Cadets from WPI's Army ROTC unit served as pallbearers at his Sept. 3 funeral services at the Townsend, Mass., Congregational Church; James Tyrrell '07, Greg's roommate and friend, spoke at the funeral.

Pauline J. Lamarche: The former principal of the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science, Lamarche died Thursday, Sept. 2, after a short illness. Lamarche joined the academy as a computer science teacher in 1993. The first professional hired for the academy, she was the senior member of the academy community. In 2000 she became the academy's full-time principal, a position she held until her retirement in 2002. She devoted her enormous energy in the early years of the academy to shaping the team- and project-based program that distinguishes the junior year of study.

"As a teacher and principal, she worked tirelessly to support the academy's academic and social programs," notes associate provost Lance Schachterle. "She was a friend and advisor to hundreds of academy students, and she supported with great energy and enthusiasm the mission of the academy and its teachers for over a decade."

Vaz Named AAC&U Senior Science Fellow

The Association of American Colleges and Universities recently announced the appointment of Richard F. Vaz, associate dean of interdisciplinary and global studies and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at WPI, as a senior science fellow. Vaz will work with staff members in AAC&U's Office of Education and Quality Education, of which WPI was a selected institutional member. For more information about AAC&U, visit

Ryan Angilly Wins AIAA Scholarship

Ryan Angilly '04, currently a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, won the $10,000 first-place prize in the 12th annual Frank J. Redd Student Scholarship competition at the annual American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' USU Conference on Small Satellites. Angilly's winning paper on TMR synchronization and voting system was based on his Major Project, which was advised by William Michalson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Publications and Presentations

Biology and Biotechnology

*University of Connecticut

Biomedical Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Recent Grants

Chemical Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Computer Science

Mechanical Engineering

Total July grants and contracts awarded: $1,117,679.

Community Notes

New Staff Members

Chelsea Adams, assistant director, Financial Aid; Paul Bennett, director of aquatics, Physical Education; Misty Dodge and Kenneth Gagne, visiting scholars, Mass. Academy; Katherine Gurbanov, evening/weekend supervisor, Gordon Library; Gilbert Lefort, athletic trainer, Physical Education; Stephanie Pasha, executive assistant, President's Office; Mary Louise Patriarca, dispatcher, Police Department; Raymond Schneider, guidance counselor, Mass. Academy.

Department Transfers

Doreen Sullivan from Management to administrative assistant V, Annual Giving; Karen Hassett from Annual Giving to administrative assistant VI, Humanities & Arts; Penny Rock from Humanities & Arts to administrative assistant VI, Secretary of the Faculty

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Last modified: February 25, 2008 14:46:16