Ed Weisband. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.
Ed Weisband. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

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Virginia Tech names winter graduation speaker

Virginia Tech Professor Edward Weisband will deliver the keynote address at Virginia Tech’s fall 2022 University Commencement ceremony on Friday, Dec. 16. 

Weisband is the Edward S. Diggs Endowed Chair in the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

He has spent 55 years in public education. He came to the university in 1990.

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Lenora Billings-Harris. Courtesy of Averett University.

Averett names winter graduation speaker

Global speaker and President and CEO Lenora Billings-Harris will deliver the commencement address during Averett University’s Winter 2022 Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the University’s E. Stuart James Grant North Campus, 707 Mt. Cross Rd. in Danville.

Averett will confer the degrees of nearly 120 students between the Averett Online and the university’s traditional programs this commencement. The graduating class of 2022 includes 17 veterans and two international students from Bahamas. All of the graduates were born between 1963 and 2002.

These graduates will hear from Billings-Harris, who specializes in helping organizations create and implement strategies to make diversity, equity and inclusion into competitive advantages by disrupting bias in the workplace. With more than 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors, she is known for having developed a unique style of presenting sensitive topics in thought-provoking, non-judgmental, positive and upbeat ways.

Currently serving as president and CEO of UbuntuGlobal, a few of her clients include NASA, the Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Mercedes-Benz, West Point, Disney and Best Buy, as well as numerous professional associations and universities. She serves as an adjunct professor for the business schools of two universities, including Averett.

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New River Community College receives funds to support students in STEM 

New River Community College recently received a Micron Opportunity Fund gift through the efforts of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, according to a release from the school. The Micron Opportunity Fund helps to remove barriers to student success for all students. 

NRCC’s Educational Foundation will receive $4,600 to support the college’s work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-related programs. 

The funds received can be allotted to support tuition, fees, books, and required materials/supplies, as well as other cost-of-attendance expenses not covered by traditional financial aid, such as transportation, child care, and basic needs to assist students in remaining on a path to college completion. Awards of up to $500 will be made to students in need through NRCC’s student resource advisor and student resource specialist. 

STEM programs offered at NRCC include computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, electrical engineering technology, electronics, engineering design technology, information technology, instrumentation and control automation technology, machine technology, cybersecurity, automotive, and mechatronics. 

 For more information, contact the NRCC Educational Foundation at (540) 674-3618 or foundation@nr.edu.  

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Rolf Müller. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

Tech names mechanical engineering professor to post

Rolf Müller, professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been named the Raymond E. and Shirley B. Lynn Professor of Mechanical Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. 

The Raymond E. and Shirley B. Lynn Professorship of Mechanical Engineering was established through a gift from the Shirley B. Lynn estate. The professorship acknowledges teaching and research excellence in the Department of Mechanical Engineering among those who have shown exceptional merit in research, teaching, and/or service. Recipients hold the position for a five-year term.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2008, Müller’s research has generated new principles for sensing in complex natural environments by taking inspiration from bats. His research has resulted in new fundamental insights into biological sensing, demonstrating the ability of bats to carry out a complex nonlinear transformation of the incoming echoes through Doppler shifts created by fast motions of their own ears. There was no parallel to this phenomenon in sensory physiology, and his findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2019.