Fourteen Virginia Tech faculty and staff members were recently honored as the university's newest Multicultural Fellows.

Multicultural Fellows are a select group of Virginia Tech faculty and staff members who promote the university's diversity efforts by encouraging multiculturalism on campus. The Multicultural Fellows Program recognizes members of the university community for their contributions to diversity, and provides a means for individuals to conceptualize, participate in, and influence programs that promote diversity and multiculturalism; to offer input and feedback to the university on diversity and multicultural issues; and to share ideas on diversity and multicultural issues.

Virginia Tech's new Multicultural Fellows are:

· Darleen Baker of Blacksburg, Va., graduate program coordinator in the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;

· Reza Barkhi of Blacksburg, Va., associate professor of accounting and information systems, Pamplin College of Business;

· Ellen Cianelli of Blacksburg, Va., employee relations analyst, Personnel Services;

· Jean Elliott of Blacksburg, Va., communications manager, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;

· Susan Groenke of Blacksburg, Va., assistant professor of teaching and learning, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;

· Cathy Kershaw of Blacksburg, Va., director of family and work/life issues, Personnel Services;

· Terry Kershaw of Blacksburg, Va., chair of Africana Studies and associate professor of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;

· Robert Leonard of Blacksburg, Va., associate professor of theatre arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;

· Manuel Perez-Quinones of Christiansburg, Va., assistant professor of computer science in the College of Engineering;

· Peggy Quesenberry of Blacksburg, Va., laboratory specialist, Department of Apparel, Housing and Resource Management in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;

· Susanna Rinehart of Blacksburg, Va., assistant professor of theatre arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;

· Edd Sewell, Jr., of Blacksburg, Va., associate professor of communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;

· Judith Snoke of Blacksburg, Va., director of the English Language Institute; and

· Bevlee Watford of Blacksburg, Va., associate dean and director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity in the College of Engineering.

"Diversity and the promotion of multiple perspectives and ideas are at the core of the university's ongoing search for excellence," said Benjamin Dixon, vice president for multicultural affairs. "We know achieving excellence in what we do will escape us if we fail to pay attention to both equity and effectiveness for all who are impacted by what we do."

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.