John R. Ficenec of Blacksburg, Va., professor of physics in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, was conferred with the title "professor emeritus" by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board's summer meeting June 7.

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 36 years, Ficenec has served as associate head, acting head, associate chair, and interim chair of the Physics Department. He made important contributions in the research of experimental elementary particles physics, specifically, the investigations of multiplicity distributions in high-energy collisions, the production of exotic baryons and mesons, and the search for the elusive magnetic monopoles, collaborating with a global array of physicists at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and Thomas-Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. He authored 81 publications, co-edited a book, and gave numerous presentations at both national and international conferences. Ficenec received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college is dedicated to fostering a research intensive environment and offers programs in nano-scale and biological sciences, information theory and science, and supports research centers—in areas such as biomedical and public health sciences, and critical technology and applied science—that encompass other colleges at the university. The College of Science also houses programs in pre-medicine and scientific law.

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, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.