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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2003 / 02 

Virginia Tech Professors Honored

February 12, 2003

Virginia Tech professors, Elizabeth Fine, Samuel R. Cook, and Bruce Wallace, have been recognized for their published works. Another Virginia Tech professor, Michael Olsen, has been appointed to the International Hotel Investment Council. In addition twelve Virginia Tech professors have been honored by Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

In her recently published book, Soulstepping: African American Step Shows, Virginia Tech professor Elizabeth Fine documents the history of stepping. Her book is the first to explore the history of stepping and its place as a ritual dance of identity and African heritage.

In Soulstepping, Fine explains the process of creating and negotiating identity through stepping, probes the intersections of verbal and nonverbal performances and addresses issues of cultural politics. Fine says she hopes Soulstepping will be significant to the fields of dance, folklore, black studies, performance studies, communication and to all those who are drawn to the beauty and power of African American stepping.

Samuel R. Cook, coordinator of the American Indian Studies Program at Virginia Tech, has recently received two distinctions from anthropological associations. Cook has not only been awarded fellow status in the Society for Applied Anthropology, but his book, Monacans and Miners: Native American and Coal Mining Communities in Appalachia, has received the Mooney award.

The Mooney award is given annually by the Southern Anthropological Society for the best book published in the past two years on a theme in Southern Anthropology or ethnohistory. Cook's Monacans and Miners compares the political, economic and social experiences of the indigenous Monacan people of Amherst County, Va. to the Scottish and Irish settlers of Wyoming County, W.Va. in the late 18th century.

Bruce Wallace, geneticist and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology at Virginia Tech, has had four of his published books translated into Portuguese in Brazil.

The Environment: As I See it, Science is Not Enough and The Environment 2: As I See it, the Mold Must Be Broken are books each compiled of about 100 essays. The essays in The Environment discuss science, government, academia, and current events. The Environment 2 consists of an overview of environmental concerns, and a variety of solutions to these environmental problems. These books have received excellent reviews from The Quarterly Review of Biology and The Roanoke Times.

The Study of Gene Action, which was published with Joseph Falkinham, and The Search for the Gene were also published and translated into Portuguese.

Michael Olsen, Virginia Tech professor of hospitality and tourism management, has been appointed a member of the International Hotel Investment Council.

The eighteen-member council provides a forum for the discussion of issues in investment in the hotel industry. It awards research grants to senior academics and seeks to promote industry-wide positions on relevant issues. Olsen, who specializes in strategic management in the hospitality industry, is one of the two academic members on the council.

Every two years, members of the academic community are recognized for educational excellence by being named to Who's Who Among America's Teachers. The following faculty members from Virginia Tech have been chosen by the community as the most influential educators:

Harold Eugene Burkhart, Department of Forestry

David E. Clark, Department of Materials Engineering

D. Michael Denbow, Department of Animal and Poultry Science

E. Scott Geller, Department of Psychology

Mark Gifford, Department of Philosophy

Edmund G. Henneke II, Department of Engineering

Abigail Waters Kohler, Department of Mathematics

David Martin McKee, Department of Music

Kent Nakamoto, Department of Marketing

George M. Simmons Jr, Department of Biology

Larry Thomas Taylor, Department of Chemistry

Brenda Sophia Jacqueline Winkel, Department of Biology

Written By Emily Cummings and Anna Kirsch, Interns in the Office of University Relations