September 26, 2008

VCU Picks Ghosh As Sustainability Director

Jacek Ghosh has been named director of sustainability for Virginia Commonwealth University. In the new position, he will help VCU in its effort toward climate neutrality pledged in the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. That initiative, signed by VCU President Eugene P. Trani this year, seeks to reduce the global emission of greenhouse gases by 80 percent by midcentury.

Ghosh, 58, will inventory sources of all VCU greenhouse gas emissions by May 15. An institutional climate action plan is to be completed by the following year.

Ghosh previously was a visiting community scholar in VCU's L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.

VSU professor's grants will aid in engineering

Dr. Gymama Slaughter, assistant professor of computer engineering at Virginia State University, was recently awarded $334,483 in grants from the National Science Foundation for her work and research in biosystems and engineering.

The two grants --- a $249,483 Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant and an $85,000 Broadening Participation Research Initiation Grants in Engineering (BRIGE) grant --- will enhance VSU's undergraduate engineering program through the development of new course content and curriculum while promoting faculty and undergraduate research.

Program at W&M gets $2 million in grants

A program at the College of William and Mary has won nearly $2 million in grants toward its effort to offer Web-based information on the flow of international aid.

Project-Level Aid, also known as PLAID, has received just over $1.4 million from the Gates Foundation and $500,000 from the Hewlett Foundation. The funding will allow PLAID to extend the global scope of its work.

PLAID, formed in 2003, tracks foreign aid between sovereign nations, known as bilateral aid, as well as multilateral aid, which refers to financial assistance from multinational organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations.

The PLAID team is led by three members of the W&M faculty: Robert Hicks, J. Timmons Roberts and Michael Tierney. A parallel team is at Brigham Young University. The final member of the team is Brad Parks, a research fellow at W&M's Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations and an associate director at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an aid-monitoring and dispensing entity of the federal government.

W&L teacher gets grant to study Andes

Mark Carey, an environmental historian at Washington and Lee University, has received a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study natural disasters and climate change.

His research project is titled "Glacier Science and Technology in the Central Andes: The Quest to Control Natural Disasters and Climate Change."

Between 1941 and 1970, retreating glaciers in the Peruvian Andes caused three floods and two avalanches that resulted in the deaths of about 30,000 people.

Carey will study interaction between local populations and scientists in the context of global climate change and environmental hazards.

Engineering programs at VSU are accredited

The national Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology has granted accreditation to several programs in Virginia State University's School of Engineering, Science and Technology. The accreditation is retroactive to October 2006.

Receiving accreditation were VSU's programs in computer science, computer engineering and manufacturing engineering. The manufacturing-engineering program is the only one of its kind in Virginia.

The school's dean, Dr. Pamela Leigh-Mack, said the university's new $20 million, 77,000-square-foot Engineering and Technology Building played a critical role in the accreditation.

- Karin Kapsidelis reports on higher education. Contact her at (804) 639-6119 or [email protected]



Originally published by KAPSIDELIS; Times-Dispatch Staff Writer.

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