January 13, 2005

Around Campus

Carol Simpson WPI's New Provost

Carol Simpson has been appointed WPI provost and senior vice president. For more than 20 years, Simpson has been a leading academic administrator, faculty member and researcher in the field of geology, most recently at Boston University. The first woman to hold this position at WPI, she will join the university on Jan. 31, 2005. Simpson was among more than 200 prospective candidates for the provost position. The search process began in the summer of 2004; John F. Carney III announced in March that he would retire at the end of December after eight years at WPI. "Carol Simpson emerged from a strong pool of candidates due to her broad international background, her experience in building interdisciplinary academic programs, and her deep understanding of faculty research and funding opportunities," said President Berkey. "In addition, she is a strong advocate for diversity and women's issues in K-12 and higher education. She is superbly qualified for this position."

Men's Basketball Off to Fastest Start Ever

The men's basketball team had a successful pre-conference season in November and December. Coached by Chris Bartley, the team won the Worcester County Classic for the second straight year, with victories over Nichols and Worcester State. Wins over Lasell, Endicott, Old Westbury, and other teams followed. All told, the team won its first nine games: the third-longest winning streak—and the fastest start—in WPI basketball history.

ESL Classes Begin

The following English as a Second Language (ESL) classes will begin during the week of Jan. 17:
ESL for Spouses will meet Tuesday and Thursday each week from 9 a.m. to noon.
ESL Seminar classes will meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 to 11 a.m.
All classes meet at International House (28 Trowbridge Road). For more information, call 508-831-6033 or e-mail esl@wpi.edu.


In Memoriam

Robert (Bobby) Taylor, lead technician in WPI's Mechanical Engineering Department. died Dec. 23, 2004. Taylor worked at WPI for 37 years and was well known for his involvement with the university's SAE Race Team, Autocross Club, and Wireless Association. "These are only of few of the things he did, usually beyond the call of duty, to enrich the experience of our students," notes Department Head Gretar Tryggvason. "We will all miss him."

Taylor joined WPI after graduating from Worcester Boys Trade High School. An amateur radio operator and enthusiast for many years (his call sign was "W1CE," formerly "NA1Q"), he was a former FCC License Examiner. In addition to being a longtime member of and advisor to the WPI Wireless Association, he was a member of the Boston Athletic Association, Blue Knights of Worcester, and Skull, WPI's senior honorary society.

He leaves his wife of 33 years, Susan B. (Brown) Taylor, two daughters, his father, a sister, a nephew, and several nieces. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hubbardston Fire Department, Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 490, Hubbardston, MA 01452.

Krishnaswamiengar Keshavan, former professor of civil and environmental engineering at WPI, died Dec. 25, 2004, after a long illness. Keshavan joined the WPI faculty in 1967 and taught here for 31 years, retiring in 1998 at the age of 69. During that time, he served two five-year terms (between 1976 and 1986) as head of the Civil Engineering Department.

He received his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the National Institute of Engineering in Mysore, India. He went on to earn a master's degree in civil engineering from the State University of Iowa in 1960 and a doctorate in civil engineering from Cornell University in 1963.

Before coming to WPI, Keshavan taught for four years as a professor of civil engineering at the University of Maine in Orono. He also worked as a consultant with UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) during the 1970s and spent a year as director of environmental engineering at the University of Philippines from 1975 to 1976. As part of his work with UNESCO, he traveled the world extensively.

He is survived by his wife, three children (all graduates of WPI), and six grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Stevens Johnson Syndrome Foundation, P.O. Box 350333, Westminster, CO 80035-0333. Donations may be made online at www.sjsupport.org.

Roger N. Perry Jr. '45 former director of public relations at WPI, died Jan. 9 after a short illness. Perry served as an engineer in the Merchant Marine during World War II, returning to WPI to earn his mechanical engineering degree in 1947.

After graduation, he joined Norton Company, where he made a career change from engineering to public relations. In 1964, he became WPI's first full-time PR director, a post he held until his retirement in 1988. Milestones of those years included his work on WPI's centennial year in 1965 (it was he who suggested to President Harry Storke that Mildred Tymeson be hired to write the centennial history, Two Towers); his promotion of WPI's participation in the 1971 Clean Air Car Race (which won him a Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America), and his media relations work on the Plan.

He was the first editor of Quest, which reported on major gifts to WPI, and served part-time as its senior writer for many years. His own gift to "support the preservation and dissemination of WPI's history and heritage" was covered in Quest in 1993.

Perry founded the Worcester County Public Relations Association, which named its highest honor for him. He was active in St. Francis Episcopal Church in Holden and had recently written the church history. He was a longtime alumnus advisor to Theta Chi fraternity at WPI, a member of Skull, and a member and officer of Tech Old Timers. Perry leave his wife, Pauline, four children (including Tina Buckley '78 and Dick Perry '79 ), and seven grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on:
Friday, Jan. 14, at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 70 Highland Street, in Holden. Burial will be in Worcester County Memorial Park, Paxton. Calling hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today (Thursday) at Caswell-King Funeral Home, 1147 Main Street, Holden.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the WPI Memorial Fund, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609, or St. Francis Episcopal Church, 70 Highland Street, Holden, MA 01520

Manager of Faculty Support Services
Amy Ricci has been named manager of faculty support services in the Academic Technology Center. She comes to WPI from IDX Systems Corporation, where she spent four years as the lead instructional designer and distance education leader. Before that, she was director of distance learning in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University and a distance learning coordinator in the distance learning program at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Durgin Elected ASME Committee Chair
William W. Durgin, associate provost and vice president for research, has been elected chair of the Committee on Honors of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) International. The appointment begins July 1. The committee consists of nine members or fellows of ASME who select award recipients annually. Recognition of outstanding achievement in the art and science of engineering is a major objective of ASME.

Publications and Presentations

Biomedical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Humanities and Arts

Fire Protection Engineering

Mathematical Sciences

Recent Grants

Computer Science

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Academic Affairs

*Co-principal investigator

Total December grants and contracts awarded: $1,594,393.

Computer Tips

Password Precautions

The new year is a time for making resolutions. This year, how about resolving to safeguard your passwords? WPI faculty and staff members are licensed to use accounts and access software and information. Here are some tips to help you take the best measures to protect your accounts and access. The person who "owns" a login is responsible for all actions performed by that login (whether a personal or a group account), so it is important to keep your password secure.

For assistance with passwords, contact the Helpdesk at x5888 or e-mail helpdesk@wpi.edu. You will find more information about password security online at www.wpi.edu/ helpdesk/Accounts/passwords.html

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Last modified: July 13, 2010 08:30:53