Montana State University
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Montana State University
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Bozeman, MT 59717-2220

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Location: 437 Culbertson Hall

Excel, nationally and internationally recognized scholars

Nationally and Internationally Recognized Scholars

Montana State University was reaccredited in 2010 by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and commended for an "extremely high level of productivity and effectiveness."   Related Information
MSU Bobcat Patrick Casey became Montana's first collegiate athlete to run a sub four-minute mile on Montana soil in January 2010. His altitude-adjusted time of 3:59.17 won the event, broke the MSU school record and was good for eighth on the Big Sky Conference All-Time list in the event.   Related Information
Industrial and mechanical engineering student Katy Hansen has been awarded a 2011 Rhodes scholarship, and plans to impact water policy internationally.   Related Information
MSU economist Myles Watts was tapped by President Obama to serve on the Farmer Mac board of directors to help improve the availability of long-term credit for farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, businesses and communities.   Related Information
Museum of the Rockies paleontologist Pat Leiggi has received the Gregory Award, an international award for outstanding service to the field of paleontology, for his work to protect fossils on federal land.   Related Information
The Journal of Criminal Justice Education recognized sociology professor David Eitle as one of the most prolific criminology and criminal justice scholars.   Related Information
Jordan Kennedy, a mechanical engineering sophomore and first generation Blackfeet descendent, won first in the oral and poster presentation at the 2010 National American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) conference   Related Information
MSU nursing professor Clarann Weinert was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, recognizing long-term, broad national/international achievement, and impact on the profession and the people it serves.   Related Information
Chemistry and biochemistry professor Tim Minton is the first Montanan to become an American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow, an honor for outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and important contributions to the ACS.   Related Information
2006 English graduate Brian Johnsrud was selected as one of only 32 2007 Rhodes scholarship recipients out of 900 applicants from 340 colleges and universities.   Related Information
MSU's College of Business once again earned accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - the most rigorous and difficult accreditation to earn and retain. Less than 15 percent of business schools worldwide have attained AACSB accreditation. The AACSB standard of excellence helps to recruit world class faculty and students.
MSU engineering undergraduate and alternative energy researcher Chandra Macauley has been named one of the nation's "future leaders" by the Society of Women Engineers. Macauley was chosen from among 100 applicants to become one of only 20 such leaders from across the country. As a "future leader" Macauley is highly involved in outreach activities that encourage high school students across Montana to explore the field of engineering.   Related Information
Tim McDermott, professor in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, was a lead author on a paper describing a simple one-celled algae, Cyanidioschyzon, found in Yellowstone National Park that thrives in extremely toxic conditions and chemically modifies arsenic. The discovery could someday help reclaim arsenic-laden mine waste and aid in everything from space exploration to creating safer foods and herbicides, the scientists said.   Related Information
Charles Kankelborg, a solar physicist at Montana State University, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest award the United States government gives to outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their careers. Kankelborg, was honored for developing novel solar instruments and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, Kankelborg is involved in a new space mission to figure out how energy is transferred through the sun's atmosphere which recently received $3 million from NASA to design an optical system for a telescope.   Related Information
Montana State University computer engineering professor Brock LaMeres has received a $148,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to determine whether students learn from Web-based laboratory courses as effectively as they do from hands-on courses. MSU's engineering classes have a major laboratory component to reinforce the classroom concepts, and through LeMeres project, students will have the ability to control real laboratory equipment from the convenience and comfort of their home computers. His research will have significant implications for distance learning and remote access.   Related Information
MSU nursing professor Kathleen Schachman is developing a Web-based intervention designed to reduce the incidence of postpartum depression among military mothers. Postpartum may be higher (50 to 60 percent compared to 15 percent of all new moms) because many military moms are young, may live far from family and friends, and sometimes their husbands have been deployed. Schachman's interactive intervention offers flexibility and can be used any time from any place.   Related Information
Engineering and German student, with a 4.0 GPA, and Bobcat conference champion Elisabeth Driscoll was named to an academic all-America first team that college sports information directors select for ESPN the Magazine. Driscoll was a three-time Big Sky Conference all-conference selection in cross country, a two-time all-conference selection in track and field and is the conference champion in the 10-kilomerter run.   Related Information
Nursing professor Yoshiko Colclough received a $106,782 grant from the Lance Armstrong Foundation to work with the Blackfeet Tribe on alleviating pain and suffering resulting from serious illness, especially cancer.   Related Information
Montana State University's Department of Education and the Montana Rural Education Association have partnered to offer a new graduate program in educational leadership for prospective principals and superintendents. The program, designed specifically for rural educators, focuses on issues and challenges unique to leaders in rural schools.   Related Information
Hsiao-Lan Wang, MSU professor of music technology and composition, was voted president of International Alliance for Women in Music. The IAWM is a global network of women and men working to increase and enhance musical activities, opportunities and promote all aspects of the music of women.   Related Information
Several films by Cindy Stillwell, professor in MSU's School of Film and Photography, have been recognized including: "High Plains Winter," selected for the 2009 Museum of Modern Art's annual showcase of nonfiction film and video; micro short "HayDaze" screened at the Chicago Underground film festival in October; and her latest film, "111 Degrees Longitude," selected for the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival held in Missoula.   Related Information
Joseph Shaw, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Optical Technology Center (OpTec), has been selected as a fellow of SPIE. SPIE is an international society advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light. Shaw has been recognized for his specific achievements in optical remote sensing technology and as an expert in the optical remote sensing community.
Bryant Robbins, junior in civil engineering, received a prestigious U.S. Department of Defense Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation, or SMART, scholarship. The SMART Scholarship for Service is a competitive program designed to increase the number of civilian engineers and scientists working at Defense Department laboratories. Out of the 2,000 students who applied this year, only about 300 received the award.   Related Information
Montana State University's Durward Sobek has been awarded a 2009 Shingo Research and Professional Publication prize for his book "Understanding A3 Thinking," which deals with problem-solving within organizations, such as manufacturing companies. The prizes were established in 1988 to promote awareness of lean manufacturing, a system for organizing product development, operations, suppliers and customer relations and to recognize manufacturing excellence around the world.   Related Information
Postdoctoral research associate Eric Boyd, whose research has the potential to answer questions about the possibility of life on Mars as well as global climate change, has won a prestigious fellowship from NASA. The NASA Astrobiology Institute Fellowship will allow him to explore the possibility that living organisms exist in subglacial ecosystems at very cold temperatures. Boyd was one of only four researchers awarded fellowships this year.   Related Information
Robert Boik, a recently retired statistician from Montana State University, was selected as a 2009 Fellow of the American Statistical Association. One of 57 new Fellows, Boik was honored for outstanding and important research in multivariate analysis and linear models, for promotion of sound statistical thinking in the social and behavioral sciences, for exceptional academic leadership and for service to statistical science.   Related Information
Montana State University exercise physiology professor John Seifert received a research fellowship at the American Association for Respiratory Care's 55th International Respiratory Congress in 2009.  Related Information
MSU Chemistry graduate Ben Naab won a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue his doctorate in chemistry at Stanford University. Naab was among the 2,000 students, only 100 of when were chemistry majors, selected for the fellowships out of twelve thousand applicants.   Related Information
Two female engineering students won prestigious Boren awards to study abroad. Katy Hansen, who is the first MSU student to receive a Boren award for graduate students, will study water management in the Middle East. Lara Wabrek will study Chilean culture with her undergraduate Boren award.   Related Information
MSU Chemical Engineering graduate Trevor Zuroff has received two $90,000 awards that will support him at Penn State where he will pursue his doctorate. Zuroff received an NSF fellowship to look at efficient ways to break down plant materials in order to turn it into useful products, and a McWhirter fellowship granting him $90,000 for two more years after the NSF grant expires.   Related Information
MSU set an enrollment record in fall 2009 with 12,764 students attending classes, up 395 from the previous record. There was also a 0.7 point increase in the average ACT score, making the average ACT score for the fall 2009, full-time, entering freshman 25.14, also a record.   Related Information
Frankee White Dress was selected as one of just 18 Bush Leadership fellows in 2009. With the prestigious $100,000 fellowship, White Dress, who is Lakota, plans to obtain a doctorate in educational leadership from MSU and establish a tutoring center on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where she grew up.   Related Information
Peg Wherry, director of online and distance learning at MSU, received the 2010 Elizabeth Powell Award for a book chapter she co-authored, "When Distance Technologies Meet the Student Code." The award recognizes articles, book chapters or papers published in 2009 that make significant contributions to research in the field of distance education.   Related Information
Montana State University graduate physics student Joey Key has been named a NASA Student Ambassador during the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. As an ambassador, she will give presentations around Montana on NASA programs.  Related Information
Professor of land resources and environmental sciences Jim Bauder was appointed to a national coalbed methane water committee. Bauder will work with eight other nationally recognized scientists to produce a report on the management and effects of coalbed methane development for the National Academy of Science and Congress.   Related Information
Bruce Wrightsman, professor in MSU's School of Architecture, is a member of a team that won a national award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture for retrofitting a mobile home in Boulder, Colo. The team retrofitted a mobile home in the Mapleton Mobile Home Park of Boulder to create attractive, energy-efficient affordable housing.   Related Information
At the National Undergraduate Collegiate Film Festival hosted by Columbia University in New York City in April 2007, College of Arts and Architecture student Kyle Eaton was named "Best Director," and the film "CASE AND CROWBAR" won the "Best Acting" Award for an ensemble. There were nearly 500 entries submitted.
MSU Scholars regularly earn Fulbright grants and scholarships to carry out a broad range of academic endeavors.
  • Dawson Dunning, a graduate student in MSU's Science and Natural History Filmmaking program, won a Fulbright Fellowship to New Zealand to make a film about two endagered species, lizards and seabirds. Related information
  • Two recent graduates from MSU's Science and Natural History Filmmaking program received Fulbrights to fund unique projects. Maria Tucker Frostic, who now works as an earth science producer for NASA, made a film about puffins in Iceland, and Kelly Matheson went to the Republic of Congo to study films' effect on policy, practice and law. Related information
  • John Borkowski, a statistics professor, received a Fulbright Lecture Award to teach in Thailand in summer 2008. Related information
  • A Fulbright Senior Specialists project was awarded to Elaine Peterson, an associate professor and information systems specialist at Renne Library. Peterson traveled to Bahrain to help develop a national library located in Riffa, just south of Bahrain's capital city. Related information
  • Brent Leavell, a master's degree student in geography,received a Fulbright grant to conduct research in Indonesia and will send November through August 2009 learning how Indonesian culture supports its economy, especially in traditional villag markets. Related information
  • Education and modern languages graduate Cathy Heidner received a Fulbright grant to teach English in Germany for 10 months in 2009. Related information
  • Mechanical engineering professor and Bangladesh native Ruhul Amin will teach, provide curriculum guidance and collaborate with professors to develop research activities at the Islamic University of Technology in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Related information
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An MSU computer scientist Jian Tang has won a five-year, $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for his work in wireless technology that could enhance emergency communications and improve Internet service in rural areas. Tang's work focuses on a technology called WiMAX, which allows engineers to build flexible and dynamic networks that transmit data at high speeds over long distances.   Related Information
John Nelsen, senior in mechanical engineering (ME), and Isaiah Helm, a sophomore in ME, placed second in the Fundamental Aeronautics Program of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate held in the summer of 2006. The pair tied with two teams: one with three doctorate students and a senior undergraduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology and one with 10 undergraduates from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. With just their initiative and a signature from Mike Edens, adjunct professor, Nelsen and Helm submitted their "speed brake" system to reduce commercial aircraft noise.   Related Information
Janice Lucon, a Montana State University graduate student in inorganic chemistry, won a $90,000 fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Lucon's work has the potential to make a difference in how light is harvested for alternative energy.   Related Information
Ferd Johns, School of Architecture faculty, has been named one of the top architecture professors in the country by the Association for the Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Johns was one of five professors selected from 250 universities to receive the Distinguished Professor award for his sustained creative achievement in the advancement of architectural education through teaching, design, scholarship, research or service. He was also awarded the National American Institute of Architects award in summer 2006, as well as the President's Award for Service Learning in spring 2006.   Related Information
Ty McDonald from the College of Ag and member of the MSU Bobcat football team earned an International Stockmen's Education Foundation Travel Fellowship to the 2007 International Livestock Congress. In spring 2006 he traveled to Taiwan to study international grain use, and he was also inducted into the agricultural Phi Kappa Phi honor society.   Related Information
The Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and a federal repository for fossils, is home to the largest collection of dinosaur fossils from the United States and the largest dinosaur research program in the world. Included in the collection is the world's largest Tyrannosaurus rex skull, which was unearthed nearly 40 years ago in eastern Montana and fully reconstructed after almost 20 years of work.
Two graphic design students from The School of Art have received top honors in the Student Design Competition sponsored by The Society of Publication Designers in New York. Graduating senior Alison McLean won first prize for her dynamic four-page "Rugby" layout created for a sports magazine, and senior Beau Foor took third place for his colorful four-page design depicting "DJ master Armin Van Buren" for a popular music magazine. In addition to cash prizes and free CS software from Adobe, each of the students will participate in a summer internship at a major magazine, Marie Claire and Men's Fitness, in New York.   Related Information
A popular Montana State University-based Web site featuring science and nature documentary was the Webby Award Winner in the student category in May 2007. Life on TERRA ®,, a project of the MSU Science and Natural History Filmmaking program, received the Webby, which is hailed as the "Oscars of the Internet" by the New York Times. The Webby Awards are the first major awards which honor original film and video that premier on the Internet.   Related Information
A three-year National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship was awarded to electrical and computer engineering doctoral candidate Andrew Dahlberg. This highly-competitive fellowship is awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense and can be used at the recipient's choice of universities. Dahlberg is conducting research under the direction of Joseph Shaw, associate professor in electrical engineering.
Senior graphic design student Paul Johnson took first place in the Society of Publication Designers Student Design Competition, earning him an internship in New York City at National Geographic Adventure magazine and a $2,500 cash prize.   Related Information
Susan Kollin, a Montana State University English professor who specializes in the literature of the American West, will have a Middle Eastern perspective as she spends a year as a Fulbright Faculty Scholar in Cairo. Kollin received the Fulbright Fellowship to teach at American University in Cairo.   Related Information
School of Art student Drew Pigott and Professor Harold Schlotzhauer were among the top 30 finalists for Ride Snowboards' Design Competition. Ride is an established snowboard industry leader located in Washington.
Clarann Weinert of the School of Nursing has been appointed to the advisory board for National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR).
Montana State University paleontologist Jack Horner was featured in a Discovery Channel documentary on the possibility of re-creating dinosaurs. "Dinosaurs: Return to Life?" aired in February 2008. Horner is the Ameya Preserve curator of paleontology at MSU's Museum of the Rockies and Regents Professor of Paleontology in Montana.   Related Information
The American Association for the Advancement of Science named John Priscu, a polar ecologist at MSU, a fellow for his contributions to understanding of life in extreme environments, particularly in ice and ice-covered polar lakes in Antarctica.   Related Information
Ellie Rudy earned her second consecutive NCAA National Championship title in the pole vault at the 2008 Indoor Track and Field Championships Rudy's winning height of 14 ft., 1.25 inches was the same as her 2007 win.   Related Information
MSU's international polar expert and ecologist John Priscu was asked to participate in a National Science Foundation project commemorating Charles Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's book, "On the Origin of Species." Priscu wrote a 500-word essay on how Darwin's explanation of the origins of life and the diversity of species affected polar science.   Related Information
One of only 12 Morris Udall Native American congressional internships was awarded to Katie Hoyt, a College of Engineering senior majoring in chemical and biological engineering. Each summer the Morris K. Udall Foundation chooses Native Americans or Alaska Native students or recent graduates for a 10-week internship in Washington, D.C., based on their college status and demonstrated interest in fields related to tribal public policy. Hoyt has been funded by an Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) undergraduate scholarship to conduct research in the Center for Biofilm Engineering.
The U.S. Department of Transportation named Steve Albert, director of the Western Transportation Institute in the College of Engineering, to its Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Advisory Committee. The 19-member panel of national experts will review and make recommendations regarding the U.S. Department of Transportation's strategic plan.   Related Information
Duncan Patten, a Montana State University scientist who specializes in wetlands and riparian areas, has been appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board, a national board that advises the administrator of the EPA. Patten is one of about 40 people that advise on scientific, technical and policy aspects of environmental issues.   Related Information
The Manufacturing Extension Partnership Practitioner of the Year Award was received by Kreg Worrest, a field engineer with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center. The award recognized Worrest's impact in the quality arena and innovative approaches to mapping the quality stream and workforce training using skit-style learning.   Related Information
One of 30 National Science Foundation International Fellowships was awarded to Jennifer Brown, a recent doctoral graduate in engineering. Brown's doctoral work focused on colloidal suspensions, tiny particles suspended in fluids, with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) microscopy. During her international fellowship in New Zealand, she will study how complex fluids behave, which has valuable implications for medical treatment, food and material processing, and oil recovery.
MSU began its celebration of 100 Years of Bands at MSU with a concert by the MSU Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Patrick Carney, entitled Marches in March. The performance paid homage to an important and original component of the wind band tradition - the march. The MSU Wind Ensemble was joined by guest artist Captain Johnson Lee, who conducted two of his own marches: Pride, Discipline, and Honour, and For the People, For the Nation, two works which received their American premieres under his baton at the Montana State University performance.   Related Information
Jerci Powell, an MSU student from Browning, has won an all-expense paid semester in Washington D.C. as one of just 20 recipients of a Native American Political Leadership Scholarship at George Washington University.   Related Information
Brad Hall, a senior majoring in education and history, is one of 25 students nationwide selected for a Rockefeller Brothers Fund's (RBF) 2007 Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color. Each fellow receives up to $22,100 over a five-year period that begins this summer and ends after completion of three years of public school teaching. Hall, a Blackfeet from Browning, is a former president of the MSU American Indian Council.   Related Information
Doug Cairns, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at Montana State University, was named the inaugural Lysle A. Wood Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at MSU. Wood graduated from MSU and became vice president and general manager of the aerospace division of the Boeing Company. The professorship was established with a $1 million dollar gift from Wood's estate. The Wood endowment will support aerospace technology research, provide faculty who teach aerospace-related classes with funds for professional development, and pay for students to explore career options in aerospace.   Related Information
Jeffrey Sharkey, a 2008 graduate from MSU's computer science master's program, won $275,000 in a software design competition sponsored by Google. Sharkey's entry was one of the top 10 out of 1,800 in Google's Android Developer Challenge, a contest designed to get software developers working on programs for Google's cell phone operating system.   Related Information
MSU's TV station, KUSM, was nominated for three regional Emmy awards for the program "11th & Grant With Eric Funk" in the categories of Arts/Entertainment-Program/Special, Director and Audio. -Arts/Entertainment-Program/Special KUSM-TV, "11th & Grant With Eric Funk"; Michael Ballard, Producer/Director; Scott Sterling, Producer/Director -Director KUSM-TV, "11th & Grant With Eric Funk"; Michael Ballard, Director -Audio KUSM-TV, "11th & Grant With Eric Funk"; Gil Stober, Engineer/Producer
Through NASA's Graduate Student Researchers Program two electrical engineering graduate students will receive $30,000 scholarships and have the chance to work with some of NASA's top scientists in laser technology at Langley Research Center. David Hoffman and Amin Nehrir were two of only 171 students around the country to receive the fellowships.   Related Information
A new enrollment record of 12,369 students was set in fall 2008. Additionally, there was an increase in high achieving students: 58 scored in the 99th percentile of the ACT compared to 36 last year, and 105 of 204 Montana University System Honor Scholarship recipients chose MSU - more than any other institution. The previous enrollment record of 12,338 was set in 2006  Related Information
A National Geographic Wild Chronicles episode, which aired nationally in February 2007, featured four MSU faculty members specializing in Yellowstone science/research. Timothy McDermott, William Inskeep, Mark Young and John Varley appeared in the episode, which was viewed by 1.5 million people.
The Bobcat Women's Basketball team was recognized by the WBCA (Women's Basketball Coaches of America) for having the 5th highest GPA in Division I schools in the 2005-2006 season.
ESPN The Magazine named Bobcat skier Claire Rennie to the District 7 Academic At-Large First-Team. Rennie is a three-time NCAA Championship qualifier. To be eligible for ESPN The Magazine academic accolades the student-athlete must have a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average and be a major contributor to their team.
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History exhibit titled "Dig it! The secrets of the Soil," opened in July 2008 and featured MSU Extension soil scientist Clain Jones. The "Dig It!" exhibit explores how fertile soil is becoming a rarer and valuable commodity and how little is known about soil.   Related Information
The National Science Foundation announced that Sarah Lukes and Christopher Colson, electrical and computer engineering doctoral candidates, are among new recipients of NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. Each of the prestigious NSF awards provides a $30,000 annual stipend for three years, plus additional funding to cover full tuition and fees.
Sculptor and director of the MSU School of Art Richard Helzer recently completed a major sculpture, which was commissioned by an Italian art benefactor, for a public school in Catania, Sicily. The sculpture was a two-year project that was dedicated in May of 2007.   Related Information
Clarann Weinert, professor at Montana State University's College of Nursing, has been selected to receive the 2008 Recognition Award from Zeta Upsilon Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International. The award is in recognition of superior achievement and scholarship, outstanding leadership qualities and high professional standards. Weinert is a Sister of Charity and fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, as well as holding a doctoral degree and being a registered nurse.   Related Information
The American Institute of Architects Montana Chapter presented its Honor Award for 2007 to faculty member Christopher Livingston for overseeing the Gallatin Valley Food Bank Addition.
A $15,000 grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation was awarded to Caleb Taylor, a recent Master of Fine Arts in painting graduate. Taylor is one of 15 national recipients of the prestigious award that supports up-and-coming artists.   Related Information
Jeff Mosley of Montana State University was elected to lead the International Society for Range Management. He will serve as second vice-president from 2008-2009, first vice-president from 2009-2010 and president from 2010-2011.   Related Information
The Crop Science Society of America recognized Michael Giroux of Montana State University as its Young Crop Scientist of 2007. The award is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions to crop science through education, national and international service and research.   Related Information
Henrietta Mann, Montana State University professor emeritus in Native American Studies, received the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Indian Education Association. Mann has been at MSU since 2000 when she was named the first endowed chair for the MSU Native American Studies department. Mann was instrumental in establishing MSU's Council of Elders, composed of leaders of all of Montana's tribes.   Related Information
"Certain Green," a short film by Theo Lipfert, professor of media and theater arts, with a musical score by Ilse-Mari Lee, professor of music, won both a gold medal and a Director's Choice award at the Park City Film Music Festival, an international festival that runs concurrent with the Sundance Film Festival and celebrates the role of music in film.   Related Information
Architecture professor Thomas Wood was installed on the board of directors of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Wood has written and lectured extensively on daylighting, climate-responsive design and integrated design.   Related Information