August 2009 Monthly Memo

Personnel Changes: Associate Deans

On August 10th, 2009, Dr. Rosemary Blieszner and Dr. Janet Rankin joined the Graduate School as Associate Deans.   Dr. Blieszner is Alumni Distinguished  Professor in the Department of Human Development.  Dr. Rankin is Professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise. Dr. McNabb will retire at the end of September and will transition her responsibilities to the new Associate Deans.  Please join me in welcoming them to the Graduate School and thanking Dr. McNabb for her dedicated service to the Graduate School. 

Search for Associate Dean/Director of the Northern Virginia Center

A search to fill the position of Associate Dean for graduate education and Director of the Northern Virginia Center is currently underway.   We are seeking qualified candidates who have both the academic credentials of a faculty appointment (Associate or above) and relevant administrative experiences.  Anticipated start date is January 2010.  Nominations and applications are encouraged. 

Defending Student Status Clarification

To qualify for DSS, a student must have a thesis/dissertation ready for defense at the beginning of the semester and must be considered on active status.  If a student has not been enrolled for more than one year, readmission is needed and that process must be completed prior to requesting final exam scheduling and DSS status.  To be ready to defend, the student’s Advisory Committee members must agree that the work is in a form ready for defense; that is, the thesis/dissertation must be finished.  The DSS registration period is the first three weeks of an academic semester and qualifying students must have their examination scheduled by the end of that time.  Although the examination can be held beyond the first three weeks, to qualify for DSS the thesis/dissertation must be finished and examination scheduled during the first three weeks. To facilitate this process, please submit the scheduling forms as early as possible, preferably by the end of the second week of classes.  The Graduate School had been allowing such delayed examinations by exception when circumstances required delay in the Spring 2009 CGS&P formalized policy wording to support this practice. International students should consult with one of the immigration advisors in the Graduate School concerning visa implications and enrollment requirements for examinations held beyond the first three weeks of the semester.

Resources for Graduate Coordinators & Graduate Program Faculty

The Graduate School has created a wiki for use by Graduate Program Faculty and Graduate Coordinators and is intended to assist them as they work to complete tasks associated with their graduate students and interactions with the Graduate School.  Please select the link above and bookmark it for future reference.

ETD Resources and Discussion Forum

The Graduate School has created an ETD wiki open to all Virginia Tech graduate students and is intended to assist students as they work to complete their thesis or dissertation.  Please select the link above and bookmark it for future reference.

We will also be offering the ETD Speaker Series this Fall.
Each session will be held in the GLC, Room F  and videoconferenced to the Northern Virginia Center, Room 401 from 7pm-8:30pm.

September 15th: Standard and Manuscript Formats
Dr. Karen DePauw will discuss standard and manuscript ETD formats

October 7th: Copyright
Gail McMillan will discuss copyright, permissions and representing other author’s works in your ETD

November 10th: Graduate School Review of your ETD
Graduate School staff will discuss items they check while reviewing your submitted ETD and the timeline of the submission process

New Process related to Preliminary & Final Examination cards

Effective August 17th, the Graduate School will no longer be sending out paper versions of the examination card to committee chairpersons.  We will be sending an electronic version of the examination card in PDF format to the student, all committee members,  and the departmental graduate coordinator when the exam has been formally scheduled.  This will allow for quicker receipt and more widespread availability.  Samples of the examination cards can be found under the Exams section of the Graduate Coordinators wiki.

Outstanding Fall 2009 application decisions

There are still a number of Fall 2009 applicants who have not had a formal recommendation made on their application by the department.  Please make your final recommendation by Friday, August 28th.  Any application not finalized by that date will be rejected by the Graduate School as "not having space within the department".

William Preston Society – Conference of Southern Graduate Schools
Three awards will be selected in September for the William Preston Society and the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools.
For the 2009-10 year, one category will be for an outstanding Master’s thesis in Life Sciences and the second category will be for an outstanding Master’s thesis in Social Sciences, Business and Education. The third category will be restricted to the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools category and is titled  “Innovative Application of Technology to Scholarship in a Master’s Thesis”.
The awards will be selected by a review committee convened by the Graduate School Associate Dean. Winners also are recognized at the Fall semester William Preston Society awards banquet and automatically become the VT nominees for the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools annual Master’s Thesis Award competition.
Eligibility Requirements:
·          Secured theses are not eligible for consideration of the award;
·          Nominees must have completed their thesis in the last academic year (2008-09), including summer of 2009;
Nomination Requirements (to be submitted by the student’s department)
·          Presentation quality PDF copy of a letter of endorsement from the major professor which must address contribution to the field or discipline, scholarship, research methodology and clarity of style and presentation;
·          Presentation quality PDF copy of the 1-2 page maximum, double spaced abstract;
·          ETD web link access information for the thesis;
·          Presentation quality PDF copy of the nominee’s 1-2-page abbreviated CV.
Call for Nominations: Deadline for 2009-10: Send presentation quality nomination materials by PDF file by Friday, Sept.11, 2009 at 5 PM to Pat Goodrich at All PDF files will be sent “as is” to the Review Committee for their review.
Successful candidates will be notified and will be invited to provide a brief overview of his/her thesis at the William Preston Society’s annual meeting on Friday, Nov.20, 2009. William Preston Society Gold Watch Awards will be presented at this meeting.
For more information contact Janet Rankin, Associate Dean, Graduate School, at