Virginia Tech's Commonwealth Campus Centers in the greater Washington, D.C., area; Richmond; Hampton Roads; Southwest Virginia; and Roanoke will be playing a greater role in the university's outreach efforts. The changes involve the addition of more outreach programs tailored to regional needs that will be developed by a new associate director for outreach at three locations in high population areas of the state.

"Graduate education will remain a centerpiece of the program offerings at each center, but new programs, both credit and non-credit, as well as new research endeavors, will be added," said John E. Dooley, vice provost for Outreach and International Affairs. "Our intent is to better utilize the Commonwealth Campus Centers as local gateways to the full scope of university resources and to facilitate timely response to and leadership for regional needs and opportunities."

Dooley announced the appointment of associate directors for outreach at three of the locations: Charlotte L. Anders, Hampton Roads;
John M. Aughenbaugh, Richmond;
and Barbara L. Bennett, National Capitol Region.

They will be working to fulfill Virginia Tech's tripartite mission of teaching, research, and outreach locally throughout the commonwealth and will better connect the university and its outlying constituencies.

Anders has held the position of interim director of Virginia Tech's Roanoke Center since July. She also is outreach program specialist for tourism, serving as a liaison between the university and state-, regional-, and community-based business development and tourism programs seeking community development information and expertise. She is a board member and vice president of the Virginia Festivals and Events Association; a member of the education committee of the Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus; and is a former board member of the Virginia Downtown Development Association and continues as the chair of its annual conference planning committee. She also serves on the conference planning committee for the Virginia Governor's Conference on Travel and Tourism and in 2004 provided leadership for program management for the conference held at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.

In 1995, Anders was the lead researcher/reviewer for the technology committee for the President's White House Conference on Travel and Tourism and provided assistance in the identification of new and emerging technologies impacting the travel and tourism industry. She was the primary author of the resulting report. She provided managerial leadership for the development of the Virginia Tourism Corporation's (VTC) first Internet Web system that debuted as the only state, searchable website of its kind at the White House conference. This system has been widely emulated around the world.

Anders will continue as the university's tourism industry outreach specialist. She earned her bachelor's degree in hotel, restaurant, and institutional management and a master's degree in business management at Virginia Tech. She has served more than 20 years at the university.

Aughenbaugh has been with Virginia Tech's Office of Economic Development since May 2000, most recently as economic development specialist responsible for collaborating with federal and state agencies and Virginia Tech academic departments on numerous community development projects. He provided day-to-day operating budget management and procured and managed sponsored research and technical assistance projects serving various Virginia localities and planning district commissions. He also assisted with the analysis and completion of technical assistance projects, including target market studies, market and business plan creation, business incubator feasibility projects, and strategic plans.

Aughenbaugh has been a visiting professor with the Center for Public Administration and Policy since 2001 and was an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Political Science from 1995 to 2000. The Virginia Tech chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha named him the department's Faculty Member of the Year for 1996-97. In 1999, his colleagues in the Department of Political Science chose him for the Outstanding Teaching Recognition Award.

He holds a bachelor's degree in political science and history from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's in political science from Virginia Tech. He is a doctoral candidate in public administration at Virginia Tech.

Bennett comes to Virginia Tech from the Region 2000 Regional Commission in Lynchburg where she served as special services/grant administrator since 2001. In collaboration with Central Virginia Community College and Ericsson Inc., she wrote a successful U.S. Department of Labor Skill Shortage II Demonstration Grant application for $2.5 million in funding more than two years for the Region 2000 Workforce Investment Board. As administrator of the grant, she built a coalition including 13 companies to design, deliver, and assess technical skill training for more than 1,400 adults in the region. She also negotiated a one-year extension of the grant and adapted the grant program to respond to significant plant closings and layoffs.

From 1999-2001, Bennett served as executive director of Regional Renaissance, the first regional citizen engagement project to determine residents' quality of life priorities. She was program director for the University of Virginia's Center for Executive Development from 1994-1999. In this position she collaborated with faculty and corporate leaders to design continuing education programs that met strategic goals for training or that were customized for company requirements for professional staff development.

Bennett holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from St. Olaf College in Minnesota and a master's in education and human development from George Washington University.

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 180 academic degree programs.