Ross AbdallahAlameddine • Ross Abdallah Alameddine Hometown: Saugus, Massachusetts Sophomore, University Studies Student since fall 2005 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, English Virginia Tech University Studies sophomore Ross Alameddine had recently declared a major in English and minors in French and business, fields that reflected his creativity and his computer knowledge. He was the son of Lynnette Alameddine and Dr. Abdallah Alameddine and brother of Yvonne Alameddine. Ross, of Saugus, Mass., formerly of Melrose, Mass., attended St. Mary’s Grammar School in Melrose and was a 2005 graduate of Austin Preparatory School in Reading, Mass.
Christopher JamesBishop • Christopher James Bishop Residence in Blacksburg Instructor, Foreign Languages Joined Virginia Tech on August 10, 2005 Jamie Bishop, beloved husband, devoted son, gentle colleague, and generous friend, died at the age of 35 while teaching introductory German. Although his courses were legendarily rigorous, ―Herr Bishop‖ was popular with students as he was always available to give whatever individual attention they needed to succeed. Jamie was a fun-loving but no-nonsense man; easy- going but passionate about the environment, nature, art, and teaching. Tall and thin, with a striking long ponytail, Jamie regularly cut his hair to donate it to Locks of Love. Jamie hailed from the small town of Pine Mountain, Ga., and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Georgia. He interned at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and then spent many years abroad. As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany, and also worked as a freelance translator, German tutor, and teacher of English in Heidelberg.
Brian Roy Bluhm • Brian Roy Bluhm Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa Masters student, Civil Engineering Student since spring 2005 Posthumous degree(s): Masters of Science, Civil Engineering Brian Roy Bluhm was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on July 19, 1981. His family moved to Detroit, Mich., in 1984 and then to Louisville, Ky., in 1990. He graduated secondary school at duPont Manual in Louisville and then earned his bachelor of science in civil engineering from Virginia Tech in December 2004. While Brian was serving as a teacher’s assistant and earning his masters degree at Tech, he focused on water resources, and his main area of research was sustainability of water quantity using safe yield of a reservoir during a critical drought period. He was also interested in hydrology, hydraulic structures, and water resources planning/law.
Ryan Christopher Clark • Ryan Christopher Clark Hometown: Martinez, Georgia Senior, Psychology Student since fall 2002 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences Bachelor of Arts, English Bachelor of Science, Psychology Ryan Christopher Clark, known to his friends as ―Stack,‖ leaves memories that will be forever cherished by his immediate and extended family, band mates, residents in his dormitory, colleagues, and friends. Ryan was born in Landstuhl, West Germany, on May 29, 1984, to Letitie and Stanley Clark. He grew up in Martinez, Ga., and graduated from Lakeside High School in May 2002. There, he was a member of the Lakeside Marching Band and the Boy Scouts of America. He was active in many service organizations, including Communities in Schools of Augusta/Richmond County Teen Health Corps and Golden Harvest Food Bank. He was also the musical director at Camp Big Heart.
Austin Michelle Cloyd • Austin Michelle Cloyd Hometown: Blacksburg, Virginia Sophomore, Honors Program, International Studies Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, Foreign Languages/French Bachelor of Arts, International Studies Austin Michelle Cloyd lived life boldly. She sought out new experiences and embraced those she felt passionate about. She was not afraid of failing because she knew that, even in failure, she would learn from the experience. And she lived her life with purpose—she knew what she wanted to accomplish and she knew how to get there. Austin was born in Charlotte, N.C., the daughter of Bryan Cloyd, professor of accounting and information systems at Virginia Tech, and Renee Cloyd. Austin, an integral part of her family’s academic adventure, grew up in three university towns (Bloomington, Ind.; Austin, Texas; and Champaign, Ill.) before moving to Blacksburg just before her senior year in high school. She graduated with honors from Blacksburg High School in June 2006.
Jocelyne Couture-Nowak • Jocelyne Couture-Nowak Residence in Blacksburg Adjunct Professor, Foreign Languages Joined Virginia Tech on August 10, 2001 Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, French Canadian, beloved mother, wife, and a member of the Blacksburg community, in which she and her family have lived since 2001, passed away on April 16, 2007, while engaged in her passion, teaching Intermediate French at Virginia Tech. Jocelyne was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1958 and lived both in Quebec and Nova Scotia before moving to Blacksburg. Her family, friends, students, and colleagues will remember her community spirit, her love of nature, and her dedication to the preservation of her francophone heritage. She would approach anyone she heard speaking French to welcome them to the local francophone community. Before she moved to Virginia, Ms. Couture-Nowak was instrumental in the development of the École Acadienne de Truro, Nova Scotia, to ensure access of francophone families to a safe school environment and French language education. The school opened in 1997. Her youngest daughter, Sylvie, was one of its first students.
Kevin P. Granata • Kevin P. Granata Residence in Blacksburg Professor, Engineering Science and Mechanics Joined Virginia Tech on January 10, 2003 Dr. Kevin Granata, a professor in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM), was known by friends and colleagues as a man who was passionate — first and foremost about his wife, Linda, and their children, Eric, Alex, and Ellen, and also about his work as an educator and researcher. ―Professor Granata distinguished himself by making many outstanding scholarly contributions,‖ said ESM Department Head Dr. Ishwar Puri. ―He has been hailed by experts in the field of biomechanics as one of the top five researchers in the nation for his studies of movement dynamics in cerebral palsy.‖ Born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1961, Kevin completed undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering and physics at Ohio State University (OSU) and a master’s degree in physics at Purdue University, where he met Linda. He worked in the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, later returning to OSU to earn his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering.
Matthew Gregory Gwaltney • Matthew Gregory Gwaltney Hometown: Chesterfield, Virginia Masters student, Environmental Engineering Student since fall 2001 Posthumous degree(s): Master of Science, Environmental Engineering Matthew Gwaltney was a second-year master’s student in the Charles E. Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. In 2005, he received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Virginia Tech in civil engineering, with a concentration in environmental and water resources engineering. As a graduate student, he taught civil engineering labs and was conducting research on storm water management. Matthew’s professional goal was to improve awareness and education about environmental issues, encouraging people to be proactive in protecting the environment and improving our quality of life. Matthew was born Dec. 11, 1982, to Karen P. and G. Gregory Gwaltney Jr. He was a 2001 graduate of Thomas Dale High School in Chester, Va. Among the awards and recognition Matthew received were acceptance in the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society at Thomas Dale and into Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering undergraduate honor society; Tau Beta Pi, engineering honor society; National Society of Collegiate Scholars; Phi Eta Sigma; Golden Key International Honor Society; and Phi Kappa Phi at Virginia Tech.
Caitlin Millar Hammaren • Caitlin Millar Hammaren Hometown: Westtown, New York Sophomore, International Studies Student since fall 2005 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, International Studies Caitlin Millar Hammaren, who was born on May 4, 1987, and was from Westtown, N.Y., had a way of making everyone feel as if they were her best friend. Her smile was contagious under any circumstances. A sophomore double majoring in international studies and French with a minor in leadership and social change, she was events chair for her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Jeremy Michael Herbstritt • Jeremy Michael Herbstritt Hometown: Blacksburg, Virginia Masters student, Civil Engineering Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Master of Science, Civil Engineering Jeremy Michael Herbstritt, a master’s student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, loved to hike, kayak, bike, ski, and work on the family farm. Born in St. Mary’s, Pa., in November 1979, his family later moved to Bellefonte, Pa., where he grew up on the Herbstritt farm. Jeremy attended elementary school at St. John the Evangelist Catholic School in Bellefonte and then the Bellefonte Area Middle and High Schools before graduating in 1998. He went on to Pennsylvania State University, where he received a bachelor of science in biochemistry and molecular biology with a minor in chemistry in 2003. He later returned to Penn State to pursue a second B.S. in civil engineering (2006). He graduated with honors.
Rachael Elizabeth Hill • Rachael Elizabeth Hill Hometown: Glen Allen, Virginia Freshman, University Studies Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences Rachael Elizabeth Hill of Glen Allen, Va., loved to read— especially novels and the Bible. An accomplished classical pianist, she had studied piano since she was six years old. The daughter of Allen and Tammy Hill, she was a 2006 graduate of Grove Avenue Christian School in Richmond. The entire class of 2006 was exceptionally close. Their consensus, and that of all those who knew Rachael well, is that it is difficult to capture the beauty, intelligence, poise, leadership, and other wonderful traits that Rachael possessed. Rachael had definite educational goals. Although she had just started college last fall, she knew she wanted to earn a Ph.D. in biochemistry, specializing in nanotechnology.
Emily Jane Hilscher • Emily Jane Hilscher Hometown: Woodville, Virginia Freshman, Animal and Poultry Sciences Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Science, Animal and Poultry Sciences Emily Jane Hilscher, a freshman animal and poultry sciences major, was the beloved daughter of Eric and Elizabeth Hilscher, best friend and sister of Erica, and granddaughter of Gilman and Mary Carlson and Carl and Merle Hilscher. Her hometown was Woodville, Va., and she was a graduate of Rappahannock County High School, Class of 2006. She was a skilled horsewoman, animal lover, enthusiastic cook, and imaginative artisan. Emily was always wise beyond her years and insisted on fairness in everything. She was eternally trying to save someone or something. She wanted people to be happy.
Matthew Joseph La Porte • Matthew Joseph La Porte Hometown: Dumont, New Jersey Sophomore, University Studies Student since fall 2005 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, Political Science Matthew J. La Porte loved playing music and relished the various challenges he faced as a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. Matt attended Carson Long Military Institute in New Bloomfield, Pa., from seventh grade through 12th. As a student there he excelled in academics and leadership and served as drum major of the cadet band. He decided to attend Virginia Tech based on the recommendation of a trusted teacher and mentor on the faculty there. Born on Nov. 20, 1986, Matt was the son of Joseph and Barbara La Porte of Dumont, N.J. He had one sister, Priscilla, who graduated from high school in spring 2007. Matt was a sophomore studying for a degree in political science.
Jarrett Lee Lane • Jarrett Lee Lane Hometown: Narrows, Virginia Senior, Civil Engineering Student since fall 2003 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering Jarrett Lee Lane was a fun-loving man, full of spirit. He had a caring heart and was a friend to everyone he met, both in his hometown and at Virginia Tech, where he was a senior in civil engineering. Jarrett was born in Giles County, Va., on March 28, 1985, and was raised in Narrows, Va., by his mother, Tracey Lane. Throughout his life, he excelled both in sports and academics. He attended Narrows High School and maintained a 4.0 grade point average while participating in varsity football, basketball, tennis, and track. He also played in the band and participated in clubs and community organizations. By the end of his senior year, he was the top player on the tennis team and had earned all-district honors in football, basketball, and track. In June 2003, Jarrett was valedictorian of his graduating class at Narrows High School and also a graduate of the Southwest Virginia Governor’s School in Dublin, Va.
Henry J. Lee • Henry J. Lee Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia Sophomore, Computer Engineering Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Science, Computer Engineering Henry J. Lee (Henh Ly) was always the one to repair his family’s computers, which turned out to be good preparation for becoming a computer engineering major at Virginia Tech. Henry was the ninth of 10 children of Song Ly and Mui Lenh, who moved from Vietnam to Roanoke, Va., in 1994. An academic achiever, Henry graduated from William Fleming High School’s International Baccalaureate Program as class salutatorian with a 4.47 grade point average. He was also a member of the French and Beta clubs. At Virginia Tech, he was a dean’s list student even as a freshman. Henry’s brother, Manh, also attends Virginia Tech, and his sister, Chi, has completed her studies in accounting and is receiving her degree during the 2007 Commencement ceremonies.
Liviu Librescu • Liviu Librescu Residence in Blacksburg Professor, Engineering Science and Mechanics Joined Virginia Tech on September 1, 1985 The revelation that Dr. Liviu Librescu blocked the door of his classroom in Norris Hall on the morning of April 16 so that his students could escape through the windows came as no surprise to his family, friends, and colleagues. The renowned aeronautical engineering educator and researcher had demonstrated profound courage throughout the 76 years of his life. As a child in Romania during World War II, Liviu was confined to a Jewish ghetto, while his father was sent to a forced labor camp. After surviving the Holocaust, Liviu moved forward with stalwart determination to become an engineer. During the rise of the Communist Party in Romania in the 1960s, Liviu earned his undergraduate aeronautical engineering degree from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest and completed his Ph.D. at the Institute of Fluid Mechanics, Academy of Science of Romania. He achieved academic prominence, but in order to have his papers on aerodynamics published anywhere except at the academy during Communist rule, he had to work in secrecy and—at great risk—smuggle papers to publishers in other countries. Dr. Librescu is survived by his wife, Marlena, and his sons, Joseph and Arieh, who reside in Israel. During his funeral in Israel, Marlena was presented with the Grand Cross of Romania, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in honor of her husband’s ―scientific achievements and heroism.‖
G.V. Loganathan • G.V. Loganathan Residence in Blacksburg Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Joined Virginia Tech on December 16, 1981 Dr. G.V. Loganathan, Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering The high regard and fondness that students in the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering feel for Dr. G.V. Loganathan is a reflection of the fact that they were his top priority. Phrases such as ―the best professor I ever had,‖ ―the kindest person I’ve ever met,‖ and ―incredibly wise and gentle‖ are common among the tributes paid to Dr. Loganathan by undergraduate and graduate students. Born in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, in 1954, G.V. attended Madras University and the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur before journeying to the U.S., where he earned a Ph.D. in civil engineering at Purdue University.
Partahi Mamora HalomoanLumbantoruan • Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan Hometown: Blacksburg, Virginia (originally from Indonesia) Ph.D. student, Civil Engineering Student since fall 2003 Posthumous degree(s): Doctor of Philosophy, Civil Engineering Partahi M. Lumbantoruan, a Ph. D. student in civil engineering at Virginia Tech, was calm, caring, and talented. He was known and loved in his neighborhood as someone who was always ready to help others. A native of Indonesia, he was born on April 26, 1972, and earned his B.S. in 1997 and his master’s degree in 2000, both in civil engineering, at Parahyangan Catholic University. ―Mora,‖ as he was known to friends and family, came to America in January 2004 to earn his doctorate. He became a member of the geotechnical family at Virginia Tech and of the Indonesian community, which is like a big family. He enjoyed going out for lunch, attending football games, grilling saté for the international street fair, taking road trips, and engaging in spiritual and intellectual discussions. Although he was quiet and shy, he was quick to join in lively political discussions, especially those relating to Indonesian political affairs.
Lauren Ashley McCain • Lauren Ashley McCain Hometown: Hampton, Virginia Freshman, International Studies Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, International Studies Lauren Ashley McCain, a tribal member of the Choctaw Nation, was a freshman from Hampton, Va., majoring in international studies. She loved the Virginia Tech campus, her professors, and fellow students and said that Virginia Tech was ―almost heaven.‖ At Tech, she loved those she met with the same love that her God and her hero, Jesus Christ, had shown her and told them about Him. Lauren took her studies very seriously and strived for excellence. She spoke often with her professors and their teaching assistants and was never satisfied with less than her best. As much as she cared about learning, she cared about people more. She had a quirky sense of humor and love of life that she shared with everyone. Her smile was always bright and ready to cheer those around her. She had the divine ability to make you feel like you were her best friend.
Daniel Patrick O’Neil • Daniel Patrick O’Neil Hometown: Lincoln, Rhode Island Masters student, Environmental Engineering Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Master of Science, Environmental Engineering Daniel Patrick O’Neil of Lincoln, R.I., a master’s degree student in environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, was a scientist and an artist. He loved math and earned a B.S. in civil engineering from Lafayette College, discovering his interest in the environment as an EXCEL Scholar, a Lafayette program that involves undergraduates in research. In 2005, Daniel studied storm-water runoff in a Pennsylvania creek and the effects of urban development on flooding and decided on hydrology as a career. He worked as a junior engineer at Pare Engineering in Lincoln during the summer 2006 and over Christmas break 2006-07. At Virginia Tech, he worked as a teaching assistant in civil and environmental engineering.
Juan Ramon Ortiz-Ortiz • Juan Ramon Ortiz-Ortiz Hometown: Blacksburg, Virginia Masters student, Civil Engineering Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Master of Science, Civil Engineering Juan Ramón Ortiz-Ortiz was born on Feb. 4, 1981, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was the youngest of the three sons of Juan Ramón and Brunilda Ortiz. He also has two sisters, Rosa Nilda and Rosa Angélica. In 1999, Juan started his undergraduate studies in civil engineering at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Two years later, he met his future wife, Liselle Vega, while they were taking classes together. His college years were characterized by his excellent academic performance and his love for the environment. He also belonged to the American Water Works Association, Water Environmental Federation, Colegio de Ingenieros y Agrimensores de Puerto Rico, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and American Society of Civil Engineers, for which he served as chapter president for two years. During his presidency, Juan planned field trips and student activities to help increase the involvement of students in civil engineering. The student chapter increased its membership significantly and took part, for the first time, in the college newspaper generated by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He was also part of the University Honor Board and a member of the Middle States Association for Colleges and Schools Curriculum Committee for the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. During his last year in college, he worked as a physics and engineering tutor, helping students with their course work and encouraging them to give their best.
Minal Hiralal Panchal • Minal Hiralal Panchal Hometown: Mumbai, India Masters student, Architecture Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Master of Science, Architecture Throughout her short life, Minal Hiralal Panchal strengthened her family with her childlike enthusiasm and infectious laughter, which always served to brighten their days. Her loved ones will remember her kindness, her lifelong passion for architecture and the built environment, and her ability to focus on her goals and dedicate herself to challenges. Minal was born in Borivali in Mumbai, India, on July 17, 1980. ―Minu,‖ as her family called her, developed a talent for watercolor painting, which became an avenue for self-expression and emotional release, as well as a tool for bringing her thoughts into perspective. She swam, wrote poetry, read modern fiction, and enjoyed soft rock and Indian Western fusion music.
Daniel Alejandro Perez • Daniel Alejandro Perez Hometown: Woodbridge, Virginia Sophomore, International Studies Student since summer 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, International Studies Daniel Perez was a junior majoring in international studies. He was 21 years old and the son of Betty Cueva of Woodbridge, Va., and Flavio Perez of Peru. Daniel left his homeland of Peru with his mother and sister in 2000 and attended two high schools and two community colleges before enrolling in Virginia Tech in fall 2006. In high school, Daniel was an accomplished swimmer, played tennis, and ran cross-country. He was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated from C.D. Hylton High School with honors in 2004.
Erin Nicole Peterson • Erin Nicole Peterson Hometown: Centreville, Virginia Freshman, International Studies Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, International Studies Erin Nicole Peterson was born Aug. 17, 1988, in Fairfax, Va., to Celeste and Grafton Peterson. An only child, Erin was a dedicated ―daddy’s girl‖ whose parents considered her their ―angel – their dewdrop from heaven.‖ Erin’s early learning took place at Virginia’s Appletree Private School and Merritt Academy. She graduated in 2006 from Chantilly, Va.’s Westfield High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society. In addition to excelling in the classroom, Erin also exhibited great skill on the basketball court. Wearing number 45, she served on the school’s squad for four years, three as a varsity player and, during her senior year, one as the team’s captain. Erin entered Virginia Tech in fall 2006, majoring in international studies. She had recently been elected co-president of EMPOWER, an organization dedicated to building self-esteem and confidence in young minority girls.
Michael Steven Pohle, Jr. • Michael Steven Pohle, Jr. Hometown: Flemington, New Jersey Senior, Biological Sciences Student since fall 2002 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences Michael Pohle Jr., born in Newark, N.J., on Oct. 15, 1983, was always curious about everything around him and was constantly venturing out to learn new things. As Mike grew, he became involved in various activities. These ranged from learning to play music to earning his black belt in karate and participating in team sports. Mike played soccer, lacrosse, and football starting in grammar school and continued with football and lacrosse at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, N.J. He played midfield on the Virginia Tech men’s club team for two years. In his honor, the team wore Michael’s initials on their helmets when they played in the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference tournament. Mike loved being part of a team, and there was nothing he would not do for his teammates or his friends. He also never lost his love for learning, either in the classroom or in life. He was set to graduate with a B.S. in biology this May.
Julia Kathleen Pryde • Julia Kathleen Pryde Hometown: Blacksburg, Virginia Masters student, Biological Systems Engineering Student since fall 2001 Posthumous degree(s): Master of Science, Biological Systems Engineering As a dedicated environmentalist, it was a natural for Julia Kathleen Pryde of Middletown, N.J., to choose biological systems engineering for both her 2006 B.S. and for her master’s degree. It was also natural for her to care deeply for others, as she showed when she traveled to Ecuador and Peru last summer to conduct research on water purity to help create a more sustainable form of agriculture that would help the poor residents of the Andes. Julia, who was born Sept. 7, 1983, participated in swimming for her high school, the local swim club, and the YMCA. She enjoyed soccer and softball. She had a great interest in music and was a volunteer at the Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg.
Mary Karen Read • Mary Karen Read Hometown: Annandale, Virginia Freshman, Interdisciplinary Studies Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies Mary Karen Read, a freshman majoring in interdisciplinary studies, was born on Jan. 30, 1988, at the U.S. Army hospital in Seoul, South Korea. She lived in Texas, California, Seoul, Tennessee, and Virginia Beach before settling into her new hometown of Annandale, Va., for middle and high school. Mary was contemplating a career in elementary education. On campus, she was a member of Campus Crusade for Christ and had applied to be a Bible study leader. She was to have been notified of her acceptance on Monday, April 16. Her deep faith was evident in every aspect of her life.
Reema Joseph Samaha • Reema Joseph Samaha Hometown: Centreville, Virginia Freshman, University Studies Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, International Studies Bachelor of Arts, Public and Urban Affairs Reema Joseph Samaha was the youngest of three children born to Joseph and Mona Samaha of Centreville, Va. She lived in Centreville for her entire life, but she truly was a citizen of the world. She embraced her Lebanese heritage, was an active member of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, traveled to the Middle East, and studied the languages and cultures of that part of the world. At Virginia Tech, she intended to minor in French and international studies. Family came first for Reema. She had an exceptionally warm and close relationship with her parents and adored her older brother, Omar, who preceded her to Virginia Tech. Sister Randa, a junior at the University of Virginia, was her counterpart. They shared friends, traveled together, and visited one another at their respective schools. Reema also loved spending time with her beloved grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Waleed MohamedShaalan • Waleed Mohamed Shaalan Hometown: Blacksburg, Virginia (originally from Egypt) Ph.D. student, Civil Engineering Student since fall 2006 Posthumous degree(s): Doctor of Philosophy, Civil Engineering Though he had a hectic schedule juggling classes, research, and teaching-assistantship responsibilities, Waleed Shaalan, age 32, always made time for the people around him. He was known for his broad smile and the friendly wave with which he greeted everyone. Waleed came to Virginia Tech in August 2006. An international doctoral student in engineering originally from Zagazig, Egypt, he had no family members in the United States, but he quickly became an essential member of the Blacksburg Muslim community. Waleed Shaalan left behind Amira, his wife of three years, and his 1-year-old son, Khaled.
Leslie Geraldine Sherman • Leslie Geraldine Sherman Hometown: Springfield, Virginia Junior, Honors Program, History Student since fall 2005 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, History Bachelor of Arts, International Studies Leslie Geraldine Sherman, a junior in the Virginia Tech Honors Program majoring in history and international relations, was an inspiration, a young woman who could literally ―do it all‖ and excel. For Leslie, her hometown of Springfield, Va., was a base from which to explore the world. She loved photography, visiting historical sites and museums—particularly those relating to early American history—reading, running, and traveling throughout the United States (Seattle was a favorite location) and around the world. She had made two trips to Argentina and one to Ecuador that she paid for herself with money she had earned and saved. Within the past year, she made trips with her mother to Jamaica and to London. Her next area of study was to be Russia; she planned to learn the language and culture. She was scheduled to spend the first summer semester in a six-week program in Moscow, Russia, with a side trip to St. Petersburg.
Maxine Shelly Turner • Maxine Shelly Turner Hometown: Vienna, Virginia Senior, Honors Program, Chemical Engineering Student since fall 2003 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering Maxine Shelly Turner, or ―Max‖ to her friends and family, was an honors student from Vienna, Va., set to graduate with a degree in chemical engineering in spring 2007. She was brilliant, beautiful, and extraordinarily talented—although she would have denied all of the above. She excelled at everything she committed herself to, including swing dancing, Tae Kwon Do, schoolwork, violin, or just her favorite video game: Zelda. She made it all look easy. During her time here at Virginia Tech, she helped found a chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon. One of 12 founding members, Max believed in the importance of having a professional sorority for female engineers at a school known for its excellent engineering programs. She was very active within the sorority, holding such offices as community outreach chair and professional life chair.
Nicole Regina White • Nicole Regina White Hometown: Smithfield, Virginia Sophomore, International Studies Student since fall 2004 Posthumous degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, International Studies Nicole Regina White, the daughter of Mike and Tricia White, was born Aug. 23, 1986. A graduate of Smithfield High School, she had one brother, Evan. A junior at Virginia Tech, Nicole was majoring in international studies with a minor in political science. Nicole was a giving person who, even in high school, completed emergency medical training and served as a volunteer with the Smithfield, Va., Volunteer Rescue Squad. She was active in the YMCA and worked as a lifeguard as well as a swimming instructor. While at Virginia Tech, she was an active volunteer at both the local animal shelter and the battered women’s shelter.
IACLEA Special Task ForceRaymond H. Thrower, Past President, IACLEA, GAUSteven J. Healy, Past President, IACLEA, PrincetonUniversity (co-lead)Dr. Gary J. Margolis, Past General Chair, IACP University &College Police Section, University of Vermont (co-lead)Michael Lynch, George Mason UniversityDolores Stafford, Past President, IACLEA, The GeorgeWashington UniversityWilliam Taylor, Chair, IACLEA Government RelationsCommittee, Rice University S
Task Force GoalsAnalyze governmental and non-governmental reportsSynthesize recommendationsAdd context to those with greatest implications forcampus safety S
Context of Campus ViolenceVirginia Tech most lethal, but not the first 14 campus rampage shootings since 1966 Significantly more in K-12 schoolsHomicidal violence on campus is not new, nor is itexclusive to studentsSuicide remain an important concern Approximately 1,100 students each yearHigh-risk drinking deaths S
Context of Campus ViolenceType of Violence 2004 2005 2006Murder 16 13 8Forcible Sex Offenses 2,689 2,722 2,703Robbery 2,077 2,055 2,055Aggravated Assault 2,995 2,906 3,022Arson 1,072 1,024 975Injurious Hate Crimes 30 31 39Illegal Weapons Possessions 1,377 1,450 1,412SOURCE: US DEPT OF EDUCATION, OFFICE OF POST SECONDARY SEDUCATION
The LandscapeHigh risk drinking Terrorist threatIllegal & prescription drug useand abuse Fire and Life SafetyViolence Mental illness and suicide VAW Health Crises Criminal Food poisoning, food-borne intrusions, including illness, Pandemic rampage shootersNatural disasters S
Foundational AreasI. Emergency Planning & Critical Incident ResponseII. Empowering Campus Public SafetyIII. Prevention & Education Programming S
Emergency Planning & CriticalIncident Response1. Physical and procedural Threat and Risk Assessment*2. MNS and Interoperable Communications (Timely, Accurate, and Useful)*3. National Incident Management System (NIMS); emergency response plans*4. Emergency Response Plans5. Mutual aid plans and agreements, including for victim services6. First Responder EMS/EMT training G
Physical and procedural threat andrisk assessment “How far to go in safeguarding campuses, and from which threats, needs to be considered by each institution. Security requirements vary across universities, and each must do its own threat assessment to determine what security measures are appropriate.” Virginia Governor’s Virginia Tech Review Panel Predictable Surprises! G
Why do institutions have dutiesto prevent harm? You own/control premises You operate programs, on and off campus Sometimes, you have “special relationships” with students J
What Risks Should YouAnticipate? Premises-related risks Risks due to employee/other negligence Risks from those who intend to cause harm Sometimes, risk of students’ harm to themselves J
How to Fulfill Duties? Plan alternatives • One approach: script, “cookbook” approach (not recommended) • Better approach: flexible, all-hazards “concept of operations” plan (recommended) J
Participant QuestionWhich features does your campus have or plan to putin place to secure your classrooms/laboratories?Telephones in each classroom/laboratoryClassroom door hardware to allowclassrooms/labs to be locked from the insideIntercom systems to announce emergencymessages inside buildings G
Security Risk AssessmentUniversities should conduct a riskassessment and choose a level of securityappropriate for their campus Environments change (and so do risks) Legal landscape changesHigher Education Act G
Mass Notification Systems“The Virginia Tech shooting highlighted the importance ofeffective and timely communications when responding to aviolent critical incident. Every campus should be able toexpeditiously communicate both internally to the entirecampus community, and externally with its local public safetymutual aid and emergency services providers. Every campusshould have some type of mass notification systems in place.Mass notification systems should be both layered andredundant – no single means of communications should besolely relied upon to reach the entire campus community.” The Report of the University of California Campus Security Task S
Participant QuestionWhich of the following emergency notification systems doesyour campus have or plan to put in place?Mass text/email/voice mail systemComputer network emergency "splash screen"Intercom systemPrivate warning sirensEmergency notification on campus cable TV systemCentralized emergency message on campus digital signagesystem S
Mass Notification SystemsMulti-layered, multi-modal communicationsis an ABSOLUTE!• No one single system is sufficient • Traditional MNS system • Outdoor public warning systems • Indoor warning systems S
Multi-modal communications• Several devices simultaneously • Text/SMS • Mobile phones (voice) • Landline phones • Email S
Challenges withImplementationChoosing the vendorHosted versus Non-hosted systemsCapacity and promisesMaintaining the databaseOpt-in/Opt-outTesting the systemAuthority Access QuestionsDeveloping model templates S/G
Mass Notification Systems• The TAU of Mass Notification • Timely, Accurate, and Useful S
Interoperable Communications“Every day, emergency response personnelrespond to incidents of varying scope andmagnitude. Their ability to communicate inreal time is critical to establishing commandand control at the scene of an emergency, tomaintaining event situational awareness, andto operating overall within a broad range ofincidents.” National Emergency Communications Plan, July2008 S
Interoperability, Defined“The ability of public safety service andsupport providers—law enforcement,firefighters, EMS, emergency management,the public utilities, transportation, andothers—to communicate (voice and data)with staff from other responding agencies ondemand and in real-time.” National Institute of Justice “Guide to Radio CommunicationsInteroperability Strategies and Products”
National Incident ManagementSystem (NIMS) & Response Plans“Colleges and universities should ensure that all agenciesthat are or may be involved in the response to anemergency on their campuses are trained in NationalIncident Management System (NIMS), which should formthe common operating structure for any response. All keydecision makers at a college or university should befamiliar with NIMS.” Illinois Campus Safety Task Force, April 2008 G
National Incident ManagementSystem (NIMS) & Response Plans“Develop a campus emergency response plan templatefor each postsecondary sector – career technologycenters, community colleges and universities. Astandardized template would assure that every campusappropriately covers all potential security and safetyissues in their emergency response plans. In addition, astandard documentation structure would be extremelyhelpful to external agencies that may be called in toassist with large-scale incidents. All emergency responseplans should be developed in cooperation with local lawenforcement.” State of Oklahoma Campus Life and Safety and Security Task Force, January 2008 G
National Incident ManagementSystem (NIMS) & Response Plans “Each campus should designate an individual to coordinate emergency and homeland security operations. This individual should serve as the campus point of contact with the Missouri Office of Homeland Security and the local first-responder community and should have access to alert through the statewide notification network. This individual should report to the institutions chief executive officer and have access to the executive staff.” Missouri Campus Security Task Force, 2008 G
Where to find GuidanceBeyond NRP, there are few statutes, courtdecisions mandating what institutions must do Higher Education ActGood news: published, best practicesummaries (e.g., Blueprint for SaferCampuses) and post-incident reports may beused to establish standard of care New guidelines from Dept of Education G
Where to find GuidanceBad News: If institution does not considerrecommendations and findings of summariesand reports, argument will be that thiscourse of action falls below standard of care G
HSPD-5Created a National Response Plan (NRP)Under the NRP, a National IncidentManagement System (NIMS) developedEnsures consistent nationwide framework forlocal, state, and federal agenciesUse of the Incident Command System (ICS) G
Participant QuestionHow many of you have made significantmodifications to your emergency planswithin the past 2 years?• Where these changes proactive or as a result of critical incidents at your or other institutions? G
Critical Incident DefinedAn extraordinary event which places lives andproperty in danger and requires thecommitment and coordination of numerousresources to bring about a successfulresolution G
Goals for the InstitutionContain and resolve critical incidenteffectivelyRestore normal operations and core businessand educational functions G
Why Develop a Plan?Most importantly, mitigate risk and minimizeharmFulfill legal duty to exercise reasonable careto prevent foreseeable harm G
Most Common ChallengesCommunicationsWho’s in Charge?Resources and Resource CoordinationIntelligence gathering and problem assessmentCrowd and traffic controlEnvironmentPlanning and trainingMediaPolitics G
Concept of Operations,DefinedProvides an “All Hazards” campus wideoperational planProvides effective and efficient incidentmanagement, from pre-planning initialresponse through recoveryProvides effective communications internal& externalSystem for incident management whileproviding critical campus operations G
Campus Concept ofOperationsExecutive Policy GroupEmergency Operations Center (EOC) (staffedby the Emergency Planning Group)Command Post OperationsInitial Response G
Campus Concept ofOperationsInitial response• Scene isolation & stabilizationCommand post operations• Scene management & resolution G
Campus Concept ofOperationsEmergency Operations Center (EOC)• Focus on impact of the incident on the operation of the institution• Provide coordination and networking with scene(s)• Major logistics, maintenance of routine operations S
Campus Concept of Operations• Executive Policy Group (provides overall guidance) • Focus on impact to the institution • Organize and direct policy decisions • Insulate • Inform and update VIPs • Politics • Message to the campus & public S
Checklist for EmergencyResponse & Recovery Plan• Administrative Framework • Levels of emergency response • Phases of emergency • Definitions (executive authority; policy group; emergency planning group; roles for each) • Key roles • EOC G
Checklist for EmergencyResponse & Recovery Plan• Response Framework • Declaration & coordination of emergency condition • Emergency communications G
Checklist for EmergencyResponse & Recovery Plan• Plans & Agreements • All hazards list • Sample communications messages • Mutual aid agreements • Other IHE’s • Area first responders G
Next Steps• STEP 1: Get organized• STEP 2: Identify hazards and conduct a risk assessment• STEP 3: Develop or update emergency management plan• STEP 4: Adopt and implement the plan G
Empowering Campus Public Safety7. Public safety executive report to senior operations officer*8. Regularly review physical security infrastructure*9. Nature of emergency directs what and how campus authorities communicate with campus and under what timeframe*10. Interoperable communications11. Enabling legislation G
Public Safety Executive Report toSenior Operations Officer “Campus police must report directly to the senior operations officer responsible for emergency decision making. They should be part of the policy team deciding on emergency planning.” Virginia Governor’s Virginia Tech Review Panel EMU’s and Laura Dickinson murder: “Among the chief reasons cited was that the interests and objectives of DPS conflict with some of the other interests and objectives served by student affairs.” Butzel Long Report S
Regularly Review Physical SecurityInfrastructure …each campus incorporate traditional Crime Prevention throughEnvironmental Design (CPTED) processes in the reconstruction andrefurbishment of any campus buildings, as well as in design of all newbuildings. …where feasible, each campus ensure appropriate physical securitydevices, including surveillance cameras and card-controlled access tofacilities, are in place. Pennsylvania College Campus Security Assessment Report, 2008(Ensure evidence-based approaches) S
Empowering Campus PublicSafety12. Accreditation (CALEA, IACLEA, state)13. Campus police should be armed14. Involuntary hospitalization procedures15. Right people, right training G
Right People, Right Training“Campus police are often the first responders to campus violence,and may have the initial interactions with students or others whosebehavior may indicate a potential for violence. Despite this, andperhaps because campuses are widely seen as safe environments,some campus law enforcement participants indicated that they are,in some cases, understaffed or lack resources for training, whichmay leave them less than ideally prepared for crisis incidents oncampus.” Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy“Sworn campus police officers should be armed and trained in theuse of personal or specialized firearms.” Campus Violence Prevention and Response – Best Practices for Massachusetts Higher Education, June 2008 G
Participant Question• How many of you currently employ sworn officers? Non-sworn officers?• How many have changed within the past two years?• How many are anticipating a change in the near future? S/G
Right People, Right Training Appropriate level of safety and security Response Capability Enabling legislation Control Decision v. Default S
Appropriate Level of Safety andSecurity Security risk assessment & mitigation Demographic & location Campus culture Crime data G
Response CapabilityArea first respondersMemoranda of UnderstandingArmed v. UnarmedLevel of trainingInstitutional self-relianceResponse options G
Enabling LegislationLevel of authorityType of authorityTo whom is the authority delegated S
ControlInfluence over law enforcement activities oncampusPolicing function alignment with institutionalculture S/G
Decision v. DefaultWhy does the institution have what it has?What processes were engaged to arrive atthe current state? S
Behavioral Threat AssessmentPositive interaction between a student “who poses a risk”and faculty, staff, and other students can be the bestmethod for early identification and intervention.“Faculty, staff, and students will frequently observebehavior that is beyond the norm. Too often, however,faculty, staff, and students will not know early warningsigns, are unaware of procedures for referral of students incrisis, or do not want to become involved. Additionally,they may be unsure of their evaluation of the student andhesitate to become involved.” Florida Gubernatorial Task Force for University Campus Safety S
Facts About Serious Campus Violence Perpetrators of serious school/campus violence don’t just snap Most (over 75%) consider, plan and prepare before engaging in violent behavior Most (over 75%) discuss their plans with others before they attackSAFE SCHOOLS INITIATIVE AND DRS. GENE DEISINGER AND MARISARANDAZZO
Facts About Serious Campus Violence There is no useful profile of a campus, school or workplace shooter, but… Most (90%) concern several others with troubling behavior Most are suicidal or at a point of desperation In other words, we can’t tell by appearance, but behavior says a lotSAFE SCHOOLS INITIATIVE AND DRS. GENE DEISINGER AND MARISARANDAZZO
Behavioral Threat Assessment“The Workgroup examined criticisms of the federalFamily Educational Rights and Privacy Act that havebeen widely reported in the media which alleges thatthe provisions are an impediment to the appropriatesharing of student mental health related informationamong University officials, concerned familymembers, and designated others. These allegationsdo not appear to be supported by a close reading ofthe law itself.” The Report of the University of California Campus Security TaskForce S
Concealed CarryIACLEA does not support the carry andconcealment of weapons on a collegecampus, with the exception of swornpolice officers in the conduct of theirprofessional duties. G
Security TechnologyCampuses should continue to implementproven security technology to enhance safetyon campus… however, campuses mustevaluate research to ensure ample evidenceof effectiveness S
ConclusionWhat we should be doing: Collaborating Within our institutions Cooperating With our local first responders Creating Innovation approaches to enhancing campus safetyWhat is the next “Big Thing?”
"Safety and security dont just happen,they are the result of collective consensusand public investment. We owe ourchildren, the most vulnerable citizens inour society, a life free of violence andfear." Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa