Two of Virginia Tech's most distinguished teacher/scholars--E. Scott Geller, Alumni Distinguished Professor and director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems in the Department of Psychology in the College of Science, and Michael F. Hochella, Jr., University Distinguished Professor of Geosciences in the College of Science--will deliver the keynote addresses at Virginia Tech's Fall 2007 University and Graduate School Commencement ceremonies to be held Friday, Dec. 14.

Geller will address undergraduate students at the University Ceremony at 11 a.m. and Hochella will speak at the Graduate School Ceremony at 3 p.m., both at Cassell Coliseum.

University Commencement Speaker: E. Scott Geller

E. Scott Geller, Alumni Distinguished Professor and director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems, has taught and conducted research as a faculty member at Virginia Tech since 1969. In this capacity, he has authored 31 books, 43 book chapters, 38 training manuals, 203 magazine articles, and over 350 research articles addressing the development and evaluation of behavior-change interventions to improve quality of life.

Geller’s caring, dedication, talent, and energy helped him earn a teaching award in 1982 from the American Psychological Association, as well as every university teaching award offered at Virginia Tech. In 2001, Virginia Tech awarded him the University Alumni Award for Excellence in Research. In 2002, the university honored him with the Alumni Outreach Award for his exemplary real-world applications of behavioral science; and in 2003, he was awarded the University Alumni Award for Graduate Student Advising.

In 2005, Geller was awarded the statewide Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award by the State Council of Higher Education. And last May 2007, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Organizational Behavior Management Network.

His extramural grant funding, totaling more than $6 million, has involved the application of behavioral science for the benefit of corporations, institutions, government agencies, or communities in general.

Geller is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the World Academy of Productivity and Quality Sciences. He is past Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (1989-1992), current Associate Editor of Environment and Behavior (since 1982), and current Consulting Editor for Behavior and Social Issues, the Behavior Analyst Digest, the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and the Journal of Safety Research.

Geller received his bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster, a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University.

Graduate Commencement Speaker: Michael F. Hochella, Jr.

Michael F. Hochella, Jr. is a professor of geochemistry and mineralogy and was recently named a University Distinguished Professor, a rank that is bestowed by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors to honor no more than 1 percent of the faculty for widely renowned scholarly achievements.

This fall, he was named a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Hochella was one of 471 individuals worldwide, in all fields of science, given this honor in 2007 among the organization’s membership of more than 10 million.

Hochella is a pioneer in the emerging field of nano-bio-geochemistry, a field of study believed to be a critical part of studies of the global environment. His expertise has been recognized nationally and internationally and he has been an invited lecturer in nearly every state in the U.S., and in Japan, China, Norway, and Italy, among many other countries. He has also presented lectures to the committees on the environment of the United States Senate and the General Accountability Office (GAO) in Washington, D.C.

He has raised over $12 million in research and instrument funding, and has also served on several high level advisory committees at national labs, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition to being a prolific author and editor, he has advised more than 20 graduate students and post-docs, many of whom have become preeminent scientists in their own right.

Among his many other awards, he has received the prestigious Dana Medal from the Mineralogical Society of America and the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award to work in Germany on acid-mine drainage, the DOE Geoscience Research of the Year award, and the Geochemical Society’s Distinguished Service Medal. He was also a Senior Fulbright Fellow and was named a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. In 2005 he received the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Research Excellence and his innovative work led to his being named Virginia's Outstanding Scientist that same year by then-Gov. Mark R. Warner.

Hochella received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech, and his Ph.D. from Stanford University. He joined the faculty at Stanford and remained there until 1992, when he joined the faculty at Virginia Tech.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.