France Bélanger, professor of accounting and information systems in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, has been reappointed to the Tom and Daisy Byrd Senior Faculty Fellowship for Excellence in Accounting and Information Systems by Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands and Senior Vice President Provost Mark G. McNamee.

The fellowship was established by Tom and Daisy Byrd in 2008. Tom Byrd, who received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Pamplin in 1980, is the retired president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Virginia. He is a member of the Accounting and Information Systems Advisory Board and the Pamplin Advisory Council and is on the Pamplin Campaign Steering Committee.

Tom and Daisy Byrd Senior Faculty Fellows retain the appointment for a three-year period. Bélanger has held the Tom and Daisy Byrd Senior Faculty Fellowship since 2009.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1997, Bélanger focuses her research on digital interactions among individuals, businesses, and governments, and on related security and privacy issues.

Her early research on communication technologies led her to explore the rise of the Internet as a medium to exchange information and goods and services. She was among the first researchers to study electronic interactions and privacy, security, and trust issues that exist when the Internet is used as a medium of exchange.

As a result of her work, Bélanger developed an interest in finding ways to help people better protect their digital privacy. Most recently, she co-developed a smartphone app called Privacy Helper for privacy education and training.

Her team won the 2008 Hoeber Excellence in Research Award from the Academy of Legal Studies in Business for her project, “Parental Online Consent for Kids’ Electronic Transactions,” work that stemmed from a National Science Foundation-sponsored team project to develop a concept for technology to safeguard children's online privacy. She has won several other awards, including the 2013 Informs Information System Society Design Science Award for her work on multiple tools designed to protect individual privacy.

Bélanger received a bachelor's degree from McGill University (Canada) and a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida.

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.