Lawrence Grossman, professor and former head of the Department of Geography in the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the "professor emeritus" title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members 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.

Grossman received research and teaching grants from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies, Association of American Geographers, Virginia Geographic Alliance, and the United State Agency for International Development. He developed geospatial workshops to train foreign agricultural researchers and his workshop tutorials were adopted throughout the world.

Authoring or co-authoring over 50 publications, one of Grossman’s books received the CHOICE Award for Outstanding Academic Book. He was also awarded the Robert McC. Netting Award for distinguished research and professional activities that bridge geography and anthropology from the Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers.

While serving as the head of the Department of Geography, the number of geography majors more than doubled. As a professor, Grossman taught a wide variety of geography courses, always using innovative technology in the classroom. He was awarded the Virginia Tech XCaliber Award for Excellence in Integrating Technology in Teaching and Learning. Grossman developed and chaired the geospatial and environmental analysis interdisciplinary doctoral program and served as director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Geography. He was also instrumental in developing initial programs to train faculty in geographic information systems for the Faculty Development Institute.

Grossman received his bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University, his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. from the Australian National University.

Written by Krystyne Hayes. Hayes, of Front Royal, Va., holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.