September 8, 2005

Around Campus

WPI Moves to No. 53 in U.S. News

WPI jumped up two spots, to No. 53 out of 248 national, doctoral universities, in the U.S. News & World Report "America’s Best Colleges 2006" issue. Among the national universities, WPI was tied for No. 4 for highest proportion of classes under 20 students and tied for No. 19 for highest graduation rate. WPI tied for No. 17 among all colleges and universities in the nation for "most students studying abroad." On a separate list of the best undergraduate engineering programs in the nation, WPI tied for No. 51 among the 116 schools ranked.

Next Town Meeting Set for Sept. 16

President Dennis Berkey has invited the WPI faculty and the administrative and support staffs, including union employees, to a Town Meeting at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, in the Campus Center Odeum. The session will be followed by a barbecue on the Higgins House lawn. Supervisors are urged to make time available so all employees can attend.

Sample the Best of Salisbury Street

The annual Salisbury Street Sampler is set for Saturday, Sept. 17, from noon to 4 p.m. This year’s event will be coordinating with the Worcester African Cultural Festival on Canterbury Street. In addition to tours, performances, and other special activities, 100 artists will display their work through ANT (Arts ‘n’ Things). A shuttle bus will be available to bring people to the African Cultural Festival. The Sampler is free. For more information, contact Linda Looft at x5570.

Discrete Mathematics Day Planned

The Mathematical Sciences Department will sponsor Discrete Mathematics Day on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Olin Hall 107. The day will feature talks by distinguished mathematicians from WPI, MIT, the University of Rhode Island, the University of Waterloo, Dartmouth College, and Haverford College. There is no registration fee; pre-registration is strongly encouraged. For more information or to pre-register, e-mail Bill Martin at

BWE to Host Welcome-Back BBQ

The Business Women’s Exchange will host a Bring Your Boss and Co-worker Barbecue on Tuesday, Sept. 27, from noon to 1 p.m., on the Higgins House grounds. The menu will feature chilled gazpacho, tossed garden salad with chef’s choice dressing, cornbread and butter, grilled marinated chicken breasts with bourbon barbecue sauce, potato salad, coffee and tea, and baked cinnamon and walnut apples with whipped cream. Payment ($10) should be sent to Judy Shute in the Office of Diversity Programs. Checks should be made payable to WPI.

Hispanic Heritage Month Events

September is Hispanic Heritage Month. WPI’s observance includes the following events and activities:

Parents and Alumni Coming to Campus

Parents Weekend, Sept. 23-25, is an opportunity for parents and families of current students to learn more about campus life and enjoy activities on and around campus, including Parent College, arts and entertainment events, and athletic contests. See Parents' Weekend schedule.

Members of the WPI community and their families are invited to join alumni for Homecoming Weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 1. The weekend includes athletic events, music, and merriment. Highlights include the alumni field hockey game and crew races and a football game against Hobart College. See Homecoming schedule.

Music Groups Plan Tour of Puerto Rico

The Choral Music Association, directed by John Delorey, and WPI’s instrumental ensembles, directed by Douglas Weeks and Richard Falco, will once again be touring during spring break (March 4-11, 2006). This year's tour will take the musicians to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Faculty and staff interested in traveling with the groups or desiring more information should visit Prof. Delorey's site and click on "Puerto Rico" in the menu.

ATC Launches New Collaboratory

The Teaching with Technology Collaboratory is a new self-serve resource developed by the Academic Technology Center for faculty who are already using technology for teaching and those who are just starting to think about doing so. The site includes ideas on how technology can be used to address teaching challenges and issues; how-to’s on the use of specific technologies, including updated and expanded information on using myWPI; information on effectively teaching distance learning courses; news and information on professional development programs for faculty; tips for using technology in teaching; and links to best practices that highlight WPI faculty members who have successfully used technology in their teaching.

In addition to the Collaboratory, ATC staff members offer one-on-one or group consultations with faculty. The Collaboratory will be updated throughout the year with new ideas and information for teaching with technology. You may contact the ATC staff at 508-831-5220 or, or visit the ATC offices in Fuller Labs 117 and B24.


WPI Names New Director of Public Safety

Cheryl Martunas, a strong advocate of community policing with 23 years of law enforcement experience, including 19 years in a campus setting and 14 years in a supervisory capacity, has been appointed director of public safety and chief of police. She joins WPI after serving the past eight and half years as director of public safety and chief of police at Quinsigamond Community College (QCC), where she oversaw a nearly three-fold expansion of the department, developed and wrote a comprehensive campus emergency plan for the college, promoted the upgrading of a campus-wide fire alarm system, and co-developed a collaboration and partnership with the Worcester State College campus police.

She began her career with the WPI Campus Police Department in 1982 and rose to the position of sergeant in 1990. After briefly serving as director of public safety at Dean College and an officer at Framingham State College, she joined QCC in 1995.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Anna Maria College and is a member of the Statewide Anti-Terrorism Task Force, the Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, the Greater Boston Police Council, Massachusetts Police Association, and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Professors Garner More CAREER Awards

Three WPI assistant professors have received the most prestigious award presented to young faculty by the National Science Foundation: the Faculty Early Career Development, or CAREER, Award. Each received grants of approximately $400,000 in recognition of their potential as promising researchers and educators.

Receiving awards were Donald Brown, electrical and computer engineering, who is developing new, more reliable cellular phone and sensor networks using cooperative communication systems; Neil Heffernan, computer science, who has created a Web-based intelligent tutoring system to help 8th grade students and teachers prepare for the math portion of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment Survey (MCAS); and Jennifer Wilcox, chemical engineering, who is researching ways to prevent the release of selenium and arsenic into the atmosphere in the flue gases from coal combustion. Since 1995, 19 WPI professors have won CAREER Awards.

Mott Joins Alcott Society Advisory Board

Wesley T. Mott, professor of English, has been named to the inaugural advisory board of the new Louisa May Alcott Society. Mott served for 14 years on the board of directors of the Thoreau Society and founded the international Ralph Waldo Emerson Society at WPI in 1989.

Community Notes

New Staff Members

Margaret Anderson, archives assistant, Library Services; Bonniejean Boettcher, K-12 outreach program manager, Academic Affairs; Amanda Colgan, manager, donor relations, University Advancement; Adam Epstein, assistant director, Alumni Relations; Barbara Leblanc, Human Resources assistant, Human Resources; Emily Perlow, assistant director, Student Activities; Fredic (Ted) Russo, associate director, pre-award services, Research Administration; Rebecca Schultz, administrative assistant, Annual Fund; Christopher Senseman, Help Desk analyst, Computing and Communications Center; Robert Southall, assistant coach, men’s basketball, Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics; Elizabeth Walker, associate director of foundation relations, Corporate and Foundation Relations; Kate Wrigley, instructional tech specialist, Academic Technology Center.

Promotions and Reclassifications

Academic Affairs: Mary Ballard, administrative assistant VI, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Brian Degon, senior program manager and recruiter, Extended Education; Mike DiRuzza, associate director, Financial Aid; Adria Dower, administrative assistant VI, Financial Aid; Leolyn Osborn, senior associate director, Financial Aid; Pam O’Bryant, operations and exchange program administrator, Interdisciplinary and Global Studies; Lisa Montgomery, assistant director, graduate management programs, Management; Lorelle Tross, administrative assistant V, Management; Tina DeVries, associate director, post-award and compliance, Research Administration; Julie Chapman, senior assistant director, Undergraduate Admissions; Ed Connor, director, Undergraduate Admissions; Sara Ringer, administrative assistant V, Undergraduate Admissions; Susan Shaw, administrative assistant V, Undergraduate Admissions. Business Affairs: Deb Amend, mail services coordinator, Administrative Services; Chad Farrell, printing services supervisor, Administrative Services; Anthony Fernandes, mail services courier, Administrative Services; An Dang, accounting clerk VI, Business Affairs/Accounting; Lori Costello, manager, Business Affairs/Payroll. Information Technology: Robert Sheehan, information systems specialist/analyst programmer, Computing and Communications Center; Debbie Bockus, access services manager, Gordon Library; Pat Flanagan, director of user services/assistant director, library services, Gordon Library; Elizabeth Goodrich, interlibrary loan associate, Gordon Library. Mass. Academy: Audrey Reardon, administrative assistant VI. Student Affairs: Naomi Carton, director, Residential Services; Louise Campbell, administrative assistant VI, Student Activities; Charlie Morse, director, Student Development and Counseling. University Advancement: Laurie Bowater, associate director, Planned Giving; Pam DiScipio, associate director, Alumni Relations; Joan Kirejczyk, administrative assistant VI, Alumni Relations; Lisa Maizite, executive director, Major Gifts.

Publications and Presentations

Biomedical Engineering

Mendelson Y., V. Floroff, W. Johnston, and P. Branche, "A Mobile PDA-based Wireless Pulse Oximeter," in proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Telehealth, Banff, Canada, July 19-21, 2005.

Computer Science

Srkzy, Gbor N., and Stanley Selkow, "On a Turn-type Hypergraph Problem of Brown, Erdos, and T. Ss," in Discrete Mathematics, vol. 297, Issues 1-3, pp. 190-195.

Chemical Engineering

Abu-Lail, L. I., and T. A. Camesano, "Interactions Between Natural Organic Matter-Coated Surfaces and Pseudomonas aeruginosa," presented at the 203rd ACS National Meeting, Washington, D.C., Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2005.

Camesano, T. A., "Bacterial Surface Polymers and Their Role in Bacterial Adhesion. Bugs & Biomaterials: Bacteria and the Biointerface," presented at the UWEB 9th Summer Symposium, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash. (invited), Aug. 24-26, 2005.

Camesano, T. A., R. J. Emerson, E. Soto, E. Milkani, Y. Liu, J. Strauss, and W. G. McGimpsey, "Chemical Methods of Surface Modification to Hinder Biofilm Formation," presented at the 203rd ACS National Meeting, Washington, D.C., Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2005.

Pinzon, P. A., K. McElearney, R. Correia, A. Durand, M. Léonard, and T.A. Camesano. "Emulsions Stabilized with Dextran-based Amphiphiles for Drug Delivery Applications," 203rd ACS National Meeting, Washington, D.C., Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2005.

Humanities and Arts

Brattin, Joel J., "The Failure of Plot in Little Dorrit," in The Dickensian, no. 466: vol. 101, Part 2, pp. 111-15, Summer 2005.

Svetlana, Nikitina, "Pathways of Interdisciplinary Cognition," in Cognition and Instruction, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 389-425, 2005.


Norbury, John W., "Protection of Astronauts from Cosmic Radiation," keynote talk at the NASA Graduate Student Research Program Conference, NASA Langley Research Center, July 2005.

Social Science and Policy Studies

Pavlov, O., N. Melville, and R. Plice, "Unsolicited Commercial Email: An Attention Resource Perspective," presented at the 23rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Boston, Mass., July 2005.

Pavlov, O., Chaired Sessions on Economics and Methodology Research, and the Economic Dynamics Roundtable, at the 23rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Boston, Mass., July 2005.

Pavlov, O., M. Radzicki, and K. Saeed, "Stability in a Superpower-Dominated Global Economic System," at the 23rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Boston, Mass., July 2005.

Ramos, B., "An Analysis of Wireless and Value-Added Services on the Regional Dispersion of Telecom Services in Developing Countries," at the 23rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Boston, Mass., July 2005.

Saeed, K., "Limits to Growth in Classical Economics," presented at the 23rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Boston, Mass., July 2005.

Weaver, E., "Flynn’s Case for a Different Approach to Homeland Security," presented at the Research Session on Security, 23rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Boston, Mass., July 2005.

Weaver, E., et al., "Simulating Insider Cyber-Threat Risks: A Model-Based Case and a Case-Based Model," 23rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Boston, Mass., July 2005.

Recent Grants

Biology and Biotechnology

Rulfs, J., and J. Orr*, for "K-6 Gets a Piece of the PIEE: Partnerships Implementing Engineering Education," from the National Science Foundation, $385,300.

Biomedical Engineering

Billiar, K., for "Mechanical Regulation of Valvular Interstitial Cell Activation," from the American Heart Association, $65,000.

Chemical Engineering

Datta, R., for "Logistic Fuel Reforming: A Building-Block Approach to Mechanistic Structure and Microkinetics," from the Department of Defense and Navy, $64,000.

Computer Science

Claypool, M., R. Kinicki*, and C. Willis*, for "Research Resources for Network Application Studies," from the National Science Foundation, $10,846.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

MacDonald, J., for "Design of Porous and Complex Crystalline Materials," from the Army Research Office, $103,643.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ludwig, R., for "Noninvasive Neuroimaging Systems," from Insight Neuroimaging Systems (NIH), $150,000.

Ludwig, R., for "MR Microwave Absorption and Tomography Imaging," from Dartmouth College (NIH), $38,874.

Mathematical Sciences

Heinricher, A., for "REU Site: Research Experience for Undergraduates in Industrial Mathematics and Statistics," from the National Science Foundation, $100,566.

Larsen, C. J., for "Variational Methods for Material Damage: Fracture, Fatigue, Debonding," from the National Science Foundation, $158,700.

Tang, D., for "CRCNS: Modeling for Carotid Plaque Rupture and Stroke," from the National Institutes of Health, $261,277.

Mechanical Engineering

Blandino, J., and N. Gatsonis*, for "NER: Production of Nanodroplets with Controlled Size Distribution for Delivery of Materials in Nanomanufacturing," from the National Science Foundation, $100,000.

Hou, Z., for "Development of Wavelet-Based Stochastic Models for Random Loading," from North Carolina State University (NASA), $21,049.

Brown, C., for "Collaborative Research: Three Dimensional Analysis of Dental Microwear in Primates," from the National Science Foundation, $6,716.

Pryputniewicz, R., for "Purchase of Certified Test Samples," from BWXT Pantex (DOE), $16,800.

Pryputniewicz, R., for "Development of OEH Methodology for Shape Measurements," from BWXT Pantex (DOE), $362,850.

Rong, Y, and R. Sisson*, for "An Energy Savings Model for the Heat Treatment of Castings," from the Department of Energy, $12,500.

Johari, H., for "An Experimental Investigation of Lorentz Force Actuators for Control of Separated Flows and Associated Noise Around Marine Vehicles," from MIT (Dept. of Commerce), $75,000.


Norbury, J., for "Graduate Student Researchers Program" Ryan Norman, - from NASA, $24,000.

Norbury, J., for "Graduate Student Researchers Program" Anne Adamczyk, - from NASA, $24,000.

*Co-principal Investigator

Total June grants and contracts: $1,160,637
Total July grants and contracts: $976,362.

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Last modified: February 13, 2008 16:02:26