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Virginia Tech confers title of "professor emeritus" to six faculty members


BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 10, 2003 – Six faculty members at Virginia Tech were granted the title "professor emeritus" by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors at the board's last meeting.

The six faculty members are:

  • Richard "Terry" Graham, associate professor of teaching and learning in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;
  • Randolph Grayson, professor of plant pathology, physiology and weed science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences;
  • Harry L. Haney, Jr., Garland Gray Professor of Forestry in the College of Natural Resources;
  • James E. LaPorte, associate professor of teaching and learning in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;
  • Linda G. Leffel, professor and director of program development in University Outreach and International Programs' Division of Continuing Education; and
  • James W. Michaels, associate professor of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the Board of Visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the Board of Visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty for 31 years, Graham advised and counseled many undergraduate and graduate students. He served as faculty sponsor and board member of the Student Virginia Education Association and conducted research on language, literacy and learning, and communicative competencies for students in grades K-12.

A member of the faculty for 19 years, Grayson was director of the Electron Microscopy Center. In 1993, he founded the Minority Academic Opportunities Program, which first served African American students in agricultural science, and has since grown to be a successful university-wide program attracting and supporting underrepresented students of all groups.

Harvey served the university for 28 years as a dedicated teacher, research and extension specialist who made significant contributions in research on forest economics, financial analysis and forestry taxation. He authored four landowner guides on investment analysis, estate planning and conservation easements; conduced more than 500 programs on these topics; and wrote more than 135 technical publications on forestry during his career.

LaPorte served the university for 21 years, teaching a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses and was recognized with the William E. Wine Award and induced into Virginia Tech's Academy of Teaching Excellence. LaPorte made significant contributions to research in the field of technology education through his numerous scholarly publications and presentations, sponsored research and developmental projects, and leadership as editor of the Journal of Technology Education from 1998 to 2003.

A member of the Virginia Tech community for 26 years, Leffel was a dedicated teacher and program developer who delivered more than 2,500 professional and advanced education programs in her career. She administered 400 continuing education programs annually, and directed the team that developed the first multidisciplinary teleconference for Virginia Tech. Leffel was an active contributor to the University Continuing Education Association.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty for 28 years, Michaels made significant contributions in research in the areas of social psychology, small groups and sociality and social psychology of education. He conducted research on academic effort and college grades and applied theories of deviance to academic cheating.



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