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Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine • March/April 2011

Peter Rhee: Face of Sanity During Tucson Madness

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Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine Volume 87, Number 4 Publisher: Joseph P. Irwin, IM 80 Editor: Kimberly Link-Wills Assistant Editor: Van Jensen Assistant Editor: Leslie Overman Design: Ryan Giusti Student Editorial Assistant: Torian Parker Student Photographer: Eric Mansfield Executive Committee Alfredo Trujillo, AE 81, Chair Joseph W. Evans, IM 71, Past Chair C. Dean Alford, EE 76, Chair-elect/Finance Walt Ehmer, IE 89, Vice Chair/Roll Call Laurie Bagley, IM 84, Member At Large Benton J. Mathis Jr., IM 81, Member At Large James E. Trimble Jr., Mgt 91, Member At Large Joseph P. Irwin, IM 80, President Board of Trustees Thomas G. Arlotto, ME 82 Jennifer M. Ball, Arch 94, M CP 01 Coe A. Bloomberg, ME 66 Marc A. Corsini, IM 80 Tracey M. Countryman, IM 98 Steven R. Cover, Arch 78, M Arch 81, M CP 81 C. Richard Crutchfield, IM 69 Marian H. Epps, IM 83 J. Gregory Foster, ME 95 Angela D. Fox, EE 91 Paul S. Goggin, Phys 91 Richard A. Guthman Jr., IE 56 S. Wesley Haun, Mgt 72 Jeffrey S. Hurley, MS Chem 90, PhD Chem 92 Joseph C. Irastorza, EE 60, MS EE 68, PhD ISyE 73 Troy N. Ivey, CmpE 90 Cayman James, CE 99, MS EnvE 01

Ashley Gigandet Joseph, IntA 94 Kelli H. Keb, IM 78 Jesus Leon, Cls 74 John A. Lewis Jr., IM 79 Robert A. Madayag III, ChE 02 Errika Mallett, ISyE 96 John McKenney, IE 90 Wanda B. Murray, HS 82 Eric L. Pinckney Sr., ME 86, M CP 93 Troy W. Rice, IE 01 Heather S. Rocker, ISyE 98 Victoria L. Selfridge, IE 96 Rush S. Smith Jr., Phys 72 Robert N. Stargel Jr., EE 83 Jeb M. Stewart, Cls 91 Karen C. Thurman, IM 82 Philip L. Williams, Text 70 Janet C. Wilson, ICS 81 Ronald L. Yancey, EE 65

Advertising Holly Green (404) 894-0765; Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine (ISSN: 1061-9747) is published bimonthly by the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313. Periodical postage paid in Atlanta and additional mailing offices. © 2011 Georgia Tech Alumni Association Postmaster: Send address changes to Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313. Telephone: Georgia Tech Alumni Association (404) 894-2391 Change address or unsubscribe at

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46 33 For Their Country

38 Calm Amid Chaos

46 Jacket Jesters

On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps. Alumni who have volunteered over the years say the experience is life changing.

Peter Rhee, chief of trauma surgery at University Medical Center in Arizona, was a calming force after a gunman opened fire outside a grocery store. Cover photo by Dean Knuth/Arizona Daily Star

April Fools’ Day pranksters, MARTA riders dropping their pants while the trains are moving and improvisational comedy players are just part of the Georgia Tech community of jokesters.

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13 Letters 19 Alumni House 20 Jackets Required



22 Tech Topics 24 Tech Notes 26 Office Space 28 Within Walking Distance 29 What’s in a Name? 30 Ten Questions 31 Student Life 55 Burdell & Friends 57 Ramblin’ Roll 63 In Memoriam 70 Yellow Jackets 76 Sports Briefs





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81 In Retrospect

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Letters We Need More CO2

Jon Parker’s response [January/February] to the Judith Curry climate article was without foundation. He centers on C02 as the culprit and begs that the “scientific” questions be answered. The real question is how did CO2 become the villain? CO2 is only 385 parts per million of the atmosphere. Man-made CO2 from the use of fossil fuels is only 3 percent of the total, or 12 ppm. CO2 is benign but is an intended result of energy production (burning fuel). Without CO2 mankind would be gone. It is one of the most important substances that makes life possible here on Earth. Why on earth would you want to remove CO2 from the atmosphere? We need more, not less. Yes, CO2 is the source of the green Earth. Perhaps Mr. Parker would profit by reading the Global Warming Petition ( signed by 31,478 American scientists and engineers that encapsulates my comments. You’ll find me on page 56. It is the sun that controls our climate, and since we can’t control the sun, we can’t control our climate. Again, we need more CO2, not less. Why the CO2 scam/fraud? Because it fosters the sinking of the U.S. economy. Environmentalism has served to regulate our lives and economy in lieu of the idea of conservation. I recommend reading Leo Johnson’s Understanding the Global Warming Hoax. James E. Bell, ME 53 Atlanta

Curry Seems Unconcerned

I anticipated some definite comments from Judith Curry [November/December 2010] as to what is happening with the climate and what is foreseen for the future. Warming does appear to be occurring. There are events that contribute to that. A recent report said that in the Altiplano of South America, all glaciers but one were receding — a 100-to-1 situation. An article in the December Atlantic magazine provides some statistics that are alarming. An estimated 37 billion tons of CO2 are put into the atmosphere each year. Current concentration is at or above 390 parts per million. It had fluctuated between 180 ppm and 280 ppm for the past 800,000 years and has been increasing since the beginning of the Industrial Age. U.S. emissions are about 25 tons per year per person. Europe’s are about 11 tons. The big kicker is China, which is about one-third of the U.S. average. The strong development in China is going to raise the total significantly. The fuel for China is basically going to be coal, of which there is plenty. Other fuels around the world — sun, wind and atomic — will continue to be a small percentage of the total. There seems to be no real concern by Dr. Curry. What can we do? Is there a real problem? What is the Tech approach to keeping students up-to-date? Sequestration of the gas, other than by trees,

would be a miracle solution to the problem. Is there scientific research going on at Tech to make that possible? In summary, I have a longtime interest in environmental matters, and it appears to me that the Tech approach is not as strong or as well defined as some of us would hope. For a lighter comment on the January/February magazine, I was on my toes about the members of the 1990 team reliving the football championship of that year. I got up immediately from my reading and went to my small reminder of it. Yes, I have a bottle of Coca-Cola above the desk. It has a listing of all the games and the scores thereof. I took it down, wiped the dust off of it and put it back in its place of honor. Billy Wallace, EE 46 Stillwater, Okla.

Global Warming Article One-sided

Please spare us any future one-sided reporting like that contained in the recent article about Dr. Judith Curry, Handling the Heat. There were so many distortions of fact in this article that correcting them would be too long-winded in a standard letter to the editor. But here are a few: 1. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies can only claim that the 2000s are the hottest decade on record because the database they use, which originates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has already selectively eliminated a multitude of temperature-measuring stations in high latitudes, high altitudes and rural areas that would have cooled their results. 2. Former climate modeler William Connolley is quoted despite the fact that he is a Green Party activist. He also has been banned from his administrative duties at Wikipedia due to the fact that he abused his powers by altering more than 5,000 global-warming articles on that Web site in order to reflect his “warmist” viewpoint. 3. There is no mention of the McIntyre/McKittrick paper that thoroughly debunked Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph due to Mann’s usage of bristlecone pines (which respond more to CO2 than to temperature) as a temperature proxy and assigning an exceedingly high weight factor to hockey stick-shaped proxies that caused hockey stick-shaped graphs to be produced even when using red noise as input data instead of actual temperature data. 4. The federal grant funding process for climate change research ($32 billion since 1989) dwarfs the amount supplied by oil and gas companies. 5. Freedom of Information requests were ignored for years, resulting in the Climategate e-mails being made public. There is no evidence that the e-mails were stolen or hacked. It is entirely plausible that they were leaked by an insider at the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in order to expose the consistent pattern of “cooking the data.” 6. The Climategate “investigations” were largely whitewashes because they were performed by groups that stood to lose future climate funding, had they arrived at a different conclusion.

Letters are the views of the letter writers, not the Alumni Association. Send letters to Editor, Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313, or Send address changes to Biographical Records at the Alumni Association or e-mail

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7. Climategate e-mails by themselves may not single-handedly invalidate global warming research, but they unequivocally reveal a systematic attempt to silence skeptical scientists and prevent their articles from being published. This shows that the peer review process used is thoroughly corrupted and allowed those who supported the anthropogenic global warming position to repeatedly make the claim that “the science is settled.” 8. Anthony Watts is only referred to as a “blogger and skeptic.” This demeans his expertise in the field, having been an on-air meteorologist with over 25 years of experience. One of his contributions to the field is his leadership in the evaluation of the many problems with more than 1,000 of the 1,221 U.S. temperature-measuring stations. (See His report concluded that around 90 percent of the stations surveyed did not meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements, resulting in probable warm biases of more than 2.0 degrees Celsius in their readings. Considering that the 20th century generally showed a rise in temperature of only .7 degrees Celsius, this demonstrates that the anthropogenic contribution to global warming is solely due to the urban heat island effect, not CO2 emissions. The real story in the climate science field is that CO2 has a relatively minor effect as a greenhouse gas — water vapor is the major player. One should therefore concentrate on the effects of clouds to effectively model our climate. Pay attention to the research of Danish solar physicist Henrik Svensmark, which can be summarized in his recently published book The Chilling Stars. For anyone with an inquiring scientific mind, this book shows how the scientific method is supposed to proceed — use measured data to either prove, disprove or refine one’s theories. The majority of the mainstream climate scientists have been shown to change the data to fit their preconceived theories. That is not science — it is advocacy. Phil Blusiewicz, EE 78 Alpharetta, Ga.

The Other Frank

I was the other Frank Stovall at Tech in the ’40s. I first became aware of J. Frank [TE 41, who died Nov. 12] when one of his chemistry charges was posted to my account. I looked him up, and we became good friends. At dances, I would introduce myself to a good-looking girl, and she would say, “You don’t look like I thought you did.” Frank was a wonderful person. I really enjoyed the article about Tom Roberts [Bottom of the Class, January/February]. Actually, I was more like Tom at Tech than I was like J. Frank Stovall. Although my high school grades were very good, I really had to work very hard to keep up my senior year. I was smart enough to know my IQ was lower than most so I really put in the hours. I enjoy reading the Ramblin’ Roll and guess others do likewise, so I’ve enclosed a brief about me for the 1940s. [See page 57.] And to the tennis coach: I would dearly love to play an exhibition match against Dan McGill of Georgia. In earlier years, he beat me. We are the same age, 90. Frank Stovall, ChE 43, MS EE 49 Atlanta 14

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Underachievers Restricted

Thanks for printing Bottom of the Class in the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine [January/February]. Academic underachievers who have unique intelligence and determination are not rare. Their opportunities, however, are drastically restricted due in part to standardized testing. After serving four years in the Air Force, I traveled to Atlanta to enroll at Georgia Tech. When I told the lady behind the counter at the administration building my intention was to attend Georgia Tech, she asked me if I was a citizen of the state of Georgia. My answer was yes. Her answer was, “Then I can’t stop you,” and she handed me the forms. That was the enrollment procedure at Georgia Tech in 1954. I graduated from Georgia Tech in three years after spending one quarter in night school. I failed the standard state geometry test, disturbing the professor but still receiving a B in the class. Battling dyslexia, taking 20 credit hours of course work and studying eight hours a day, I graduated with a 2.75 GPA — a low score today but considered to be in the upper one-third at that time. My reason for responding to this article is that I could never be admitted to Georgia Tech today. I have never passed a standardized test, some quirk in brain chemistry. I have had an interesting career, and I owe it all to the marvelous professors who shared their knowledge and to the proposition that someone who is motivated deserves a chance. Not practical today, but there is always hope or luck, as Mr. Roberts has described in Bottom of the Class. Leslie R. Hodges, CerE 57 Weeki Wachee, Fla.

Anybody Seen a Divorce Certificate?

The story of Heisman’s divorce being the reason he moved [November/December] is one of my favorites in Tech history. It was mentioned in the little-known Heisman: The Musical, which I watched at Queen’s College in Charlotte, N.C. The play told the story of how Tech watched in horror as Heisman’s Clemson team ran roughshod over the Engineers and how the Hill hired him away. One of the antiques that I wished I could buy when I saw it was Heisman’s divorce certificate. If that’s not an authentic autograph, I’m not sure what is, since it had to be notarized. The item had such an important back story that I’m shocked it didn’t sell when it was put up for auction starting at $2,500 at a Georgia Tech football kickoff celebration at the Fox Theatre (where Mrs. Heisman was an actress) in about 2000. Does anyone know its current whereabouts? John Rafferty, EE 02 Niceville, Fla.

Leach Was Soft-spoken Genius

I was deeply saddened to read about Dr. Leach passing away [January/February]. We had kept up with each other ever since my graduation in December 1983. I sent him a Christmas card every year, and not knowing of his passing, wrote in the 2010 card about

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how my Leach amp, pre-amp and speakers that I built under his guidance have worked flawlessly for 27 years. I wrote in the card “made in the USA.”  Marshall was a soft-spoken genius, a very humble man of terrific character. I would visit his audio engineering lab between classes and converse with him on just about anything. He always took time out of his busy schedule to speak with me. I took four special credit classes under Dr. Leach and also his undergraduate audio engineering class. These were my most memorable courses at Tech.  I encourage all students to take special credit classes at Georgia Tech. These classes are where the real “practical” learning takes place. In his memoriam, Dr. Leach should be credited with co-pioneering the analytical aspects of modern near-field measurement metrology. He, his classmate, retired professor E.B. Joy, and other well-known names in the Tech electrical engineering community collaborated to develop this field, which is used every day to test defensive antennas and arrays as well as most all wireless and cellular phone antennas.  I encourage everyone to read and remember Dr. Leach by revisiting the following papers:

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W.M. Leach Jr., Probe Compensated Near-field Measurements on a Cylinder, PhD dissertation, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, page 121, August 1972. W.M. Leach Jr. and D.T. Paris, Probe Compensated Near-field Measurements on a Cylinder, IEEE Transactions on Antennas Propagation, Vol. AP-21, No. 4, pages 435 to 445, July 1973. D.T. Paris, W.M. Leach Jr. and E.B. Joy, Basic Theory of Probe Compensated Near-field Measurements, IEEE Transactions on Antennas Propagation, Vol. AP-26, No. 3, pages 373 to 379, May 1978. E.B. Joy, W.M. Leach, D.T. Paris and G.P. Rodrigue, Applications of Probe Compensated Near-field Measurement, IEEE Transactions on Antennas Propagation, Vol. AP-26, No. 3, pages 379 to 389, May 1978. W.M. Leach Jr. and L.N. An, Cylindrical Wave Study, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, NASA contract NAS5-23886, April 1978.  E.B. Joy, A Brief History of the Development of the Near-field Measurement Technique at the Georgia Institute of Technology, IEEE Transactions on Antennas Propagation, Vol. 36, No. 6, pages 740 to 745, June 1988. Michael H. Sewell, EE 83 Byron, Ga.

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Alumni House

Roll Call Founders Had the Right Idea: Support Georgia Tech uate scholarships, graduate fellowships, real estate management and acquisition, operating funds, academic program seed grants and more. Why is that important? Because most of the revenues that come to Georgia Tech are restricted for specific uses. Unrestricted monies thus are hugely valuable because they give Tech the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities, to invest in progress, to set the stage for future growth and innovation. All of us know that if you have no financial flexibility as a business or even personally, it is difficult to do anything except to maintain the status quo. And doing the same old things gets you the same old results. Georgia Tech needs your help through Roll Call to ensure that the alma mater continues to be a place where leaders of the future are educated. A gift to Roll Call is an investment in Georgia Tech, its future and its leadership. If you’ve already made your gift this year, THANK YOU! If you haven’t, make a gift to Roll Call today. George McCarty had it right a long time ago, and look at the results. Go Jackets!

Most people don’t really understand Roll Call so I’ve decided to devote this column to the subject and to provide some greater insight about the subject of Georgia Tech’s alumni annual fund. The Alumni Association started Roll Call 64 years ago. George McCarty, ME 08, (yes, that’s 1908) proposed the idea that we scrap our dues-paying model and run an annual fund instead. The idea was simple — to help Georgia Tech financially. The Institute was struggling, and as alumni, Mr. McCarty and many other esteemed graduates of the day felt that we as alumni should help in any way we can. George was one of Tech’s great alumni — a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity and ODK and a founder of ANAK. That first year, 1,356 alumni gave $22,550. The participation rate was 7.6 percent of the known alumni at the time. Roll Call has transformed Georgia Tech. Last year more than 29,000 alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students gave more than $8 million. But what is it really about? Back to the simple idea — it helps Georgia Tech in a multitude of ways. Roll Call dollars go directly to the Georgia Tech Foundation, where they’re invested in the asset pool and then given back to Georgia Tech as unrestricted cash flow. That unrestricted money goes to Dr. Peterson and his leaders to meet the best and highest needs of Georgia Tech. It’s used for undergrad-

President Georgia Tech Alumni Association

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Jackets Required: Sightings of Tech Grads and Friends

1. Georgia Tech

2. Georgia Aquarium

4. Iraq 1. The 2011 Young Alumni Council gathered at the Student Success Center during its winter training and planning retreat. 2. Bryn Byers, Arch 94, a volunteer diver at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, greets his son, Reece. 3. Nearly 250 Jackets fans, including Ben Register, IM 51, on right, turned out at the Alumni Association’s party at the Independence Bowl. 4. Bill Brockman, GMgt 73, says the only Georgia Tech gear he had with him in Iraq was a towel handed out at a Yellow Jackets baseball game. Brockman was deployed to Balad Airbase with the 169th Fighter Wing of the South Carolina Air National Guard. 5. David Trivino, Mgt 95, MS Mgt 97, asked Dolly Parton if she would pose with him for a photo outside the Fox Theatre in Atlanta after a matinee performance of Bring It On. She said, “Sure, honey.” 6. All smiles before the Independence Bowl were, left to right, Tech regional Development director Matthew Ryan; Tem McElroy, Phys 65; Marshall “Skip” Beebe, IM 67; Maggie McElroy; President G. P. “Bud” Peterson; Val Peterson; Vernon Chance, ChE 60; and Lynn Chance.

3. Independence Bowl

6. Louisiana

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Tech Topics

Here to Dance Choreographer’s yearlong residency at Tech culminates with U.S. premiere of latest work Story by Leslie Overman Photo by James K. Holder II


ressed in a dark bodysuit with sensors affixed at his joints, Jonah Bokaer rehearsed choreography as cameras in the ceiling of the room captured his every move. As data collected by the cameras was compressed, a 3-D avatar on a screen across from the dancer replicated his movements almost instantaneously. Bokaer, an award-winning choreographer and media artist, was beginning work on FILTER, a production that will have its U.S. premiere at the Ferst Center for the Arts on April 2. He is the first performer to hold the Ferst Center’s ARTech residency. The program will bring an artist to campus each year to work with faculty and students in the development of “a new piece that employs science or technology as an integral part of the creative development process,” according to the center’s Web site. Bokaer is making five weeklong visits to campus during the 2010-11 academic year. He spent much of the first two weeks recording choreographic movements in a motion-capture lab in the Georgia Tech Research Building as Atlanta dance students, professors and artistic directors watched. By late January, Bokaer was in rehearsals on the Ferst Center stage with dancer Adam Weinert, another member of the FILTER cast. Seated on a couch in the theater’s green room, Bokaer said he was still unsure how or if the 3-D images created in the motioncapture lab would appear in FILTER. He seemed surprisingly at ease considering the world premiere of the work in Avignon, France, in late February was then just four weeks away. Bokaer, who studied dance at Cornell and graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts, became at 18 the youngest dancer selected to join the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. In addition to having worked with a number of renowned choreographers and regularly staging his own productions, Bokaer also has helped found two performing arts organizations in Brooklyn, N.Y. In January 2010, he was named among America’s “up-andcoming talent” in an article titled “The Nifty 50” in The New York Times Style Magazine. Ferst Center director George Thompson, once a professional dancer, approached Bokaer about filling the inaugural ARTech residency. “Jonah stood out to me in three ways,” Thompson said. “One, he is of that age that is forward-thinking and can talk the talk and walk the walk of a college setting; two, he is a great artist in his own right and is poised to be a major force in the contemporary dance arena; and three, his process employs the use of modern


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technology, and sharing that process with the Georgia Tech and greater-Atlanta communities was most exciting for me.” Bokaer said that although he often incorporates new media into his work, technology’s presence in his performances is not always obvious. “My perspective at the moment with a lot of the dance and theater I see is that I’m very attracted to work that integrates media, sort of like an integrated media production rather than work that is about the technology,” he said. The Ferst Center performance of FILTER will be accompanied by a staging of Bokaer’s 2009 production Replica, a work commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences that explores memory loss and pattern recognition. “Replica is a duet, but it plays with the self, the image and copying, sort of copying phrases and movement,” Bokaer said. “In FILTER, we have more people on stage … and the concept, as well as the creative process, deals with the way that material is staged, filtered, et cetera. “There’s a lot of questions coming up these days about the title and how that came about. Filtering material happens in motion capture, it happens in animation, it happens in drawing, it happens in creating digital imagery and playing with light intensity, color.” During his residency, Bokaer has been working with School of Music assistant professor Jason Freeman and College of Computing graduate student Stephen Garrett to create Mass Mobile, a smart phone application that may allow theatergoers to influence the lighting or video design of FILTER. Despite his limited time on campus, Bokaer has ventured beyond the Tech labs and the Ferst Center stage during his trips to the Institute. He said education and community engagement have been a focus of each week of the residency, which has included stops at Grady High School, Emory University and Centennial Place Elementary to lead dance workshops for students. “I think that ARTech and George Thompson are raising the bar for what a residency can be. A lot of choreographers in New York are faced with the question of can they work in the same space every day,” Bokaer said. “But I think what’s interesting about ARTech is that there have been five phases of working, and I think that partnering with a university in this way has been very enriching for the dance that we’re trying to make, the continuity, but also the kinds of resources that are available. It’s been great.” To see a video of Bokaer’s work in the motion-capture lab or purchase tickets for the 8 p.m. April 2 performance of FILTER at Georgia Tech, visit

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Tech Notes Putting Young Athletes Back in the Game

New 3-D MRI technology developed by a team led by Allen Tannenbaum, the Julian Hightower professor of bioengineering at Georgia Tech, has made it possible for surgeons to reconstruct anterior cruciate ligament tears in young athletes without disturbing the growth plate. Tannenbaum and students in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tech and Emory created the 3-D MRI technology that allows the surgeon to see from one point of the knee to another during ligament replacement. “The development of this interactive computer software allows much safer repair of the ACL in young athletes with a much smaller chance of complications,” Tannenbaum said.

Connecting People and Technology

Executive Vice President for Research Steve Cross announced the launch of the Institute for People and Technology to support the strategic plan’s focus on faculty-led, interdisciplinary and transformative research. “IPaT will create an innovation crossroads where Georgia Tech faculty, students, industry partners, government partners and other stakeholders meet to co-innovate, collaborate and pave the road for Georgia Tech research that addresses complex societal challenges,” Cross said. “IPaT will focus on engaging the Tech community and


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our external partners in far-reaching leadership goals through its investment in unique research platforms, through our living laboratories and data sets, through partnership with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute and through alignment with the many ongoing research activities on campus.” The institute will be led by executive director Beth Mynatt, MS ICS 89, PhD CS 95, College of Computing professor, former director of the GVU Center and a renowned researcher in human-computer interaction, health informatics and ubiquitous computing.

A Better Way to Diagnose Pneumonia

Georgia Tech researchers have created PneumoniaCheck, a sampling device that could prevent thousands of people worldwide from dying each year. Developed by mechanical engineering students, graduate business students and Tech faculty, PneumoniaCheck has been commercially launched to health care professionals through the startup company MD Innovate Inc. “Georgia Tech created a simple and new device to detect the lung pathogens causing pneumonia,” said David Ku, Regents’ professor of mechanical engineering, L.P. Huang chair professor for engineering entrepreneurship in the College of Management and a professor of surgery at Emory University. “It has the potential to save more lives than any other medical device.” The device contains a plastic tube with a mouthpiece. A patient

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Turning Back Clock on Ovarian Cancer

coughs into the device to fill up a balloon-like upper airway reservoir before the lung aerosols go into a filter. Using fluid mechanics, PneumoniaCheck separates the upper airway particles of the mouth from the lower airway particles coming from the lungs.

Architecture School Chair Seated

Professor George B. Johnston, a registered architect and noted cultural historian, in January was appointed chair of the Georgia Tech School of Architecture. A 26-year member of the Architecture faculty, he is the first to hold this newly created position after the College of Architecture reorganized into five schools. “The division of knowledge and expertise between the fields of architecture and engineering that served so well in the Industrial Age is giving way to a new model of integrated knowledge in the digital age. Who better than Georgia Tech is so well positioned to bridge this divide?” he asked. “The digital-age practice of architecture will rise on creative contact between design and research across fields and disciplinary boundaries. And it will require flexibility and an enterprising spirit that comes from engaging the world through community action and international exchange.” Johnston received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Mississippi State University in 1979, a master’s in architecture from Rice University in 1984 and a PhD in American cultural history from Emory University in 2006.

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Cancer researchers have discovered that a type of regulatory RNA may be effective in fighting ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer typically isn’t discovered until it’s in the advanced stages, when it is already spreading to other organs and is very difficult to fight with chemotherapy. This discovery may allow physicians to turn back the clock of a tumor’s life cycle to a phase where traditional chemotherapy can better do its job. Scientists at the Ovarian Cancer Institute Laboratory at Georgia Tech have found in initial tests that a regulatory RNA called miR429 may be successful in inducing metastatic or spreading cancer cells to convert back to a less metastatic, noninvasive form. “Primary tumors are rarely fatal,” said John F. McDonald, chief research scientist at the Ovarian Cancer Institute. “Most cancer patients succumb because the cancer metastasizes, and current chemotherapies are not designed to kill metastasizing cancer cells.” In the new trial, McDonald’s lab used two ovarian cancer cell lines, one with epithelial characteristics, like primary tumor cells, and the other with mesenchymal traits, like metastasizing cancer cells. They used miR-429, one of a family of microRNAs previously implicated in epithelial to mesencymal changes in other cancers, to see if it could turn the mesenchymal cancer cells back into epithelial cancer cells. They found that miR-429 was highly successful in helping cells turn back the clock.

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Office Space

Lisa Yaszek: Sci-fi Sage

Story and photos by Van Jensen


eorgia Tech and science fiction are a natural fit, with the campus being a center for cutting-edge research in science and technology. No surprise then that Tech is a perfect setting for Lisa Yaszek, an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture. Yaszek has devoted her career to speculative fiction — literature that examines the frontier of science and society. She has authored three books on the subject, served as president of the Science Fiction Research Association and is an editor of the science fiction studies journal Extrapolation. She shares some of her favorite sci-fi works and her vision of building a science fiction center at the Institute. To boldly go: I’ve always been interested in science fiction. My first memory ever is of watching Star Trek with my parents. I grew up in Detroit, which is a science fiction-type city. RoboCop had it right.


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Early influence: William Gibson’s Neuromancer was the book that defined cyberpunk as a genre. It captured the feeling of growing up in a place like Detroit. My husband and I have a little boy, and we named him after the protagonist of the book. Only our nerdy friends get the connection. Studying sci-fi: My background is in very traditional literary criticism. Even when I was doing that I was interested in how literature helps us think through our relationship with science and technology. It’s the premier voice of modernity. Only science fiction can help us think through the future. Nonsensical covers: The book covers are great. There’s a tradition of sci-fi cover artists not actually reading the books before painting the covers. There was one famous incident of an artist painting a cover with a white protagonist, but the protagonist was actually black.

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Sci-fi on TV: The original Star Trek and subsequent series really presented a vision of a better world, that rational people can get along and work together. Maybe that sounds utopian, but it’s a good goal. There’s lots of good sci-fi on TV right now. But [my husband and I are] mostly stuck with Thomas the Tank Engine. That’s kind of sci-fi in a way, though, with a talking train. Weaknesses of sci-fi: It’s easy to have these amazing, fantastic innovations that have no impact on society. One or two technologies can radically change the world. I like to see writers think through the social implications.

Origins of sci-fi: Science fiction in America began in pulp magazines. Everyone got subjected to mail code laws, and they were classified with pornography. So retailers had to put them under glass. Joining Georgia Tech: A postdoc position opened up at Tech, and it seemed like a good fit. Right after that, two longtime faculty members [including the late professor emeritus Bud Foote] who specialized in science fiction retired. That worked out well for me. It’s great teaching it at Georgia Tech. You can always have great conversations. Favorites: For American authors, I like Paolo Bacigalupi. He’s an environmental writer, mostly post-peak oil sci-fi. For global writers, a lot of my current work is on Afrofuturism. Nalo Hopkinson and Minister Faust — obviously, that’s not his real name — are both good. Global writers, when they look at technology we share, they approach it and use it in different ways. Tech festival: Monstrous Bodies was an arts and literature festival to capture all of the things we had going on. We brought in a collection of local authors including the editors of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Students submitted fiction as well, and that was compiled in a book that’s also available online.

Bud Foote Collection: We’ve just renamed it the Science Fiction Collection. It started in 1999 when Bud retired and donated us 8,000 items from his personal library. Now we’re up to 12 or 14,000 items. The Atlanta Science Fiction Society has been very generous. And authors David Brin, Paul di Filippo, Kathleen Ann Goonan and Kim Stanley Robinson have donated us copies of their books. Movie posters: Most came from a sci-fi movie fest in Rome, Georgia. For $100 they framed all the posters and sent them to me. People tend to think the South is an anti-technological place. But that’s not true. The posters help remind us of that. New developments: We’re opening a new science fiction reading room at the library and building an online sci-fi encyclopedia and research portal. We’re in the top 20 collections in the world and certainly the biggest in the Southeast. Our goal has always been to build on our resources and create a center for sci-fi. Bounty of books: I am a print scholar. My husband is a sci-fi scholar too. About half our collection [is in the office]. Someday I’ll contribute it all to the library. I can’t wait to switch over to e-books. But there’s something cool about looking through old magazines and books. It gives us a real window into history.

New science: I do think nanotech stories are really cutting edge. We think about the revolutionary function as opposed to more subtle impacts. We had a grant to look at nanotechnology and public perception. We thought it would be a simple line of influence, from science to public policy to science fiction. What we found was much more complex. A lot of the first generation of nanoscience and public policy was specifically drawing on and rejecting sci-fi that had come before. Public influence: It really depends on the medium. A big budget film is going to do something different than something published in a journal or a blog. Sci-fi cinema: Southland Tales is a brilliant mess. Some of the best science fiction films tend to be independent. Avatar, the story is what it is, but I like the idea of people literally plugging into their environment.

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March/April 2011

Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine


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Within Walking Distance: Points and People of Interest Near Campus

If These Walls Could Talk T he Biltmore, once heralded as “The South’s Supreme Hotel,” today hosts banquets and wedding receptions in its ballrooms and houses retail and office space at 407 West Peachtree St., within shouting distance of Technology Square. And many a Tech event, from the Ivan Allen Founder’s Day celebrations to President G. P. “Bud” Peterson’s investiture luncheon, have been staged in the Georgian Ballroom, listed on The National Register of Historic Places. Opening in 1924, The Atlanta Biltmore was an early and regular advertiser in the Georgia


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Tech Alumnus, which began publishing just a year earlier. Over the years, photographs of dances in the ballrooms and on the roof of The Biltmore appeared in the Alumnus and Blueprint, as well as in the society pages of Atlanta newspapers. By 1982, The Biltmore was no longer the place for honeymoons or leisurely lunches, and the hotel was shuttered. The grand building stood neglected for 16 years before it was rescued and renovated and ready to again serve as the social center of the South.

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What’s in a Name?

Hinman Research Building T he Hinman Research Building, a more than 70-year-old fixture of the Georgia Tech campus, reopened in January following a $9.5 million renovation. The 35,000-square-foot facility houses studio, classroom, office, research, gallery and event space for the College of Architecture. Lord, Aeck & Sargent’s Historic Preservation Studio and Office dA were the architects on the restoration, and The Beck Group served as construction manager. Among the striking new features in the space is a spiral staircase enveloped in a “sock” of cable mesh (pictured here) that leads to faculty offices on the building’s upper level. Built by the Works Progress Administration in 1939, the Hinman building was the first home of the Engineering Experiment Station, precursor to the Georgia Tech Research Institute. It was designed by the architecture firm Bush-Brown, Gailey and Heffernan, at which P.M. Heffernan was a principal. Heffernan later would serve as director of the School of Architecture from 1956 to 1976. According to an article in a 1964 issue of the Georgia Tech Alumnus, the building was named the Hinman Memorial Building in 1951, following the completion of a new wing that nearly doubled the size of the facility. The majority of funding for the expansion came from the estate of the late Thomas P. Hinman, an Atlanta dentist. In 1964, a new sign was added to the building facade reflecting yet another name change, the Hinman Research Building. Hinman, who was born in Ontario, Canada, in 1870, grew up in Atlanta but did not attend Tech. He was a graduate of Atlanta’s Southern Dental College, at which he later taught oral surgery. In 1911, he held the first Atlanta Midwinter Clinic, which would later become the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting. The 99th convention will take place in Atlanta in March. Hinman’s son, Thomas P. Hinman Jr., who attended Georgia Tech as a member of the class of 1926, followed him into the dentistry field. Both father and son were deceased by the time the Hinman building was dedicated in 1951. The grand opening ceremony of the revamped Hinman building was postponed because of a January snow and ice storm in Georgia. It has been rescheduled for March 30. More information may be found on the College of Architecture Web site,

Jim Lockhart

A cable mesh enclosure surrounds a spiral staircase leading to offices in the Hinman Building.

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March/April 2011

Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine


2/15/11 1:23 PM

Ten Questions

Susan Bowman: Survivor S usan Bowman, the program manager in the School of Materials Science & Engineering, is a breast cancer survivor and a founder of a support group of more than 30 others on campus who have beaten the disease or who are undergoing treatment. She and Sarah Banks, the student committee survivorship and awareness chair, are gearing up for Relay for Life at Tech on April 15.

1. Why did you establish a cancer support group at Georgia Tech? It was a way to celebrate survival, encourage others and honor the two co-workers who are also survivors and who reached out to me during my recovery. 2. What is the first piece of advice you give to cancer patients? I urge them to remain hopeful and become educated with the terminology, treatment and technology available. Knowledge is one of the first steps toward recovery. 3. What is the support group’s most important function? Encouraging others by sharing our personal journeys. 4. What do you talk about during your monthly meetings? Our conversations are often on a purely social level, sharing our recent family, travel and entertainment experiences. When the need presents itself, we discuss the disease and our personal experiences with treatment and surgical choices. Often it is simply showing understanding from like experiences. 5. What role does the support group play in Relay for Life? We attend the survivors dinner and walk the first lap — the survivors walk. GT Relay is a campus event coordinated by students. The 2011 chair of awareness and survivorship is Sarah Banks. She is determined to have more survivors than ever before for the survivor event. Her efforts are in honor of her father, who sadly lost his battle with cancer. 6. How emotional is the cancer survivors walk? It is definitely emotional when you gaze around the track and witness such a huge support system. There are hugs, applause and tears all inspired by the very personal impact cancer makes on our individual lives. 7. Have any members been lost to the disease? In all these years, we have lost very few. The members who no longer attend regularly have embraced retirement and are enjoying every moment. 30

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Eric Mansfield

Student Sarah Banks, left, and Tech staff member Susan Bowman proudly wear purple in support of the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life fundraiser. 8. How long have you been cancer free? Thirteen years. I was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 and had a recurrence the following year. 9. How long have you been the program manager in the School of Materials Science & Engineering? I have held this job since 1991. My focus is on graduate student recruitment and retention, which is very rewarding. I have built lifelong friendships with the faculty, staff and students. It is very gratifying when our alums stop in for a visit or send updates on their significant life events. 10. And how long have you been at Georgia Tech? That’s a long story, but I have been on campus most all my life. My first visit to campus was on a date to a Jackets football game in 1971 with my high school sweetheart. Later, we married and moved into student housing. Now we commute to campus together. My husband, David (Arch 77), works on campus in Design and Construction. We have three wonderful children and three darling grandchildren. I am alive to say, “There is a wonderfully fulfilling life after cancer, and I’m definitely looking forward to retirement!” — Kimberly Link-Wills

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Student Life

Management Major Launches Health Insurance Cooperative By Brad Dixon


hough he hasn’t even earned his bachelor’s degree yet, 21-year-old management major Cooper Littlejohn already is breaking new ground in health insurance. He has created the South Carolina Health Cooperative, the first approved co-op in that state. It pools the collective buying power of small businesses with two to 50 employees to negotiate better rates with insurance companies than one could get on its own. Littlejohn got the idea for the co-op after helping out a family friend, an insurance salesman, with some accounting issues during the summer of 2009. He learned some small businesses were facing rate increases of 20 percent to 30 percent, even though their employees hadn’t had significant medical problems that year. “I was touched by the fact that the increase meant layoffs for some of them,” Littlejohn said. “During lunch with my friend, I learned that a 2008 law had allowed for the creation of health cooperatives. So I asked him why no one had created one, and he said, ‘If you’re so smart, figure out a way to do it.’” That’s exactly what Littlejohn did for the next year and a half as he juggled his studies at Tech with frequent trips to South Carolina to cut through regulatory red tape and meet with legislators. Littlejohn, who serves as CEO of the SCHC, is thankful for all involved for taking the leap of faith that a college student could help solve health insurance problems for small businesses. “I would have an initial meeting to get past the age issue, talk a little bit and then come back later to talk actual business,” Littlejohn said. “Business owners have been very receptive to the idea that we can lower their insurance rates. I was worried about the legislators, but I was amazed at how imaginative and open they were. “My age was not important to them,” he said. “They loved the fact that the co-op is private, not requiring a dime of tax dollars, and that it will lower insurance premiums, creating jobs in South Carolina.” According to the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, only 40 percent of companies with 50 or fewer employees provide health insurance. While 50 employees currently is the cap for participation in the SCHC, Littlejohn hopes to win the Department of Insurance’s approval to increase the limit to 100 employees. The SCHC, which was approved just before Thanksgiving, currently is processing applications and expects to have hundreds of businesses covered by the spring. “The more people we get to sign up, the better rates we can negotiate with the insurance companies,” Littlejohn said. For the foreseeable future, Littlejohn will remain unpaid in his role as CEO. “What’s rewarding for me is getting to meet small business owners every day,” he said. “Many of these people have taken over family businesses and are steeped in tradition. They always find a way to keep their businesses going.” Littlejohn said his Georgia Tech management education has

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Cooper Littlejohn says he is applying business principles he learned as a Georgia Tech student every day in his job as CEO of the South Carolina Health Cooperative. proven invaluable in launching the SCHC. “Tech has been the best resource I ever could have imagined,” he said. “I’m taking business principles I’ve learned and applying them every day.” Littlejohn, of Seneca, S.C., knew he wanted to major in management at Georgia Tech after visiting campus during his freshman year of high school. “In high school, I had it all planned out. I’d come to Tech, go to law school and get a corner office working on contracts and litigation,” he said. “But when this opportunity landed in my lap, I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ Life threw a curveball, and I’m rolling with the punches right now.” To help cover the costs of getting the SCHC up and running, Littlejohn works as a freelance producer for sporting events covered by such networks as ESPN, CBS and Fox. On many weekends, he travels to events throughout the Southeast helping coordinate instant replays and game highlights. He has been involved in television since age 4, when he began assisting his father, who works in the industry. “It taught me a lot about work ethic,” Littlejohn said. “Most kids play video games, but high-pressure TV is my video game.” March/April 2011

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What They Did for Their Country

Peace Corps volunteers agree their service was life changing By Kimberly Link-Wills


n the waning weeks of the 1960 presidential campaign, Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy addressed University of Michigan students at 2 a.m. on Oct. 14. “How many of you who are going to be doctors are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives traveling around the world?” Kennedy asked. Then, on Jan. 20, 1961, President Kennedy delivered his inaugural address, one of the most famous speeches in modern history, in which he said, “To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is

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required, not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.” As his 14-minute address was reaching its end, Kennedy spoke 20 words iconic of his presidency: “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” On March 1, 1961, Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps on a pilot basis. Training began in June of that year, and according to the Georgia Tech Alumnus, included longtime Tech swimming coach Freddy Lanoue’s famed drownproofing technique. March/April 2011

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Tony Giarrusso, M CP 00, also pictured on the previous page, and Janeane Gilbreath, M CP 00, returned to Africa after earning their Tech degrees to marry in Zambia.

The first group of 51 Peace Corps volunteers was sent to Ghana in August 1961 to serve as teachers. By the end of that year, more than 500 volunteers were working in Ghana as well as Chile, Colombia, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, St. Lucia, Tanzania and Pakistan. To date, more than 200,000 volunteers have worked in 139 countries. According to the Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C., 240 of them have reported that they were students at Georgia Tech, and the Institute ranks 24th among midsize U.S. universities in the number of volunteers produced. March is Peace Corps Month, commemorating 50 years of service around the globe. Activities include an awards ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on March 5, a panel discussion hosted by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington on March 17 and a conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison March 24-26. Later in the year, senior volunteers will be saluted at the Lillian Carter Awards program at The Carter Center in Atlanta on May 18; a “Call to Service” discussion will take place at Harvard on Oct. 12; and a U.S. Institute of Peace panel discussion in Washington is scheduled for Sept. 23. “As trite as it sounds, I found my Peace Corps service life changing,” said Peter Gess, CmpE 91, MS EnvE 94. “Although I was able to use many of the engineering skills I learned at Tech, I 34

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found the human side of environmental policy challenges the most interesting.” Gess began his two years of Peace Corps service as soon as he earned his master’s degree and worked as an environmental awareness adviser in Wigry National Park, located in northeast Poland. Gess said the park, in an area of the country known as the Polish Siberia, is famous for its many lakes of varying geologic age. “It became a national park only a few years before I arrived, and my work was primarily to craft public outreach and education programs to allow nearby residents to buy into the need for the park,” Gess said. “I especially enjoyed working with children and authored an environmental activities book used by local schools.” After returning to the United States in 1996, Gess earned a doctorate in public administration at the University of Georgia, where he helped launch the International Center for Democratic Governance. “The Peace Corps instilled a love of international exchanges, and now I work in the field of international education. I also teach, focusing on environmental policy and management. I find my engineering background and my public administration and policy knowledge a powerful combination,” said Gess, the director of international programs and an assistant professor of politics at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark.

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“The simpler, slower life of an African village taught me much about patience, persistence and hard work along with the true difference between want and need.” Mark Morgan, Psy 94, also served in the Peace Corps from 1994 to 1996. He volunteered as a high school math and science teacher in Lesotho in southern Africa. “It was the best thing I’ve done in my life,” Morgan said. “It was amazing to see how fulfilling life can be with so little and how people manage to get by without all the things we think are necessities.” There was no running water. There were no telephones or twoway radios. Morgan traveled by horseback or on foot. “I had to hike in anything that I couldn’t get at my village store, so that really helped prioritizing luxury items. But it was a beautiful hike through the mountains that took me all day, then I’d hitchhike for another five hours or so to get to the capital,” he said. “It was really a great experience that shaped who I am and a lot of my choices afterward,” said Morgan, who went to medical school at Mercer University after his Peace Corps stint and later deployed to Iraq as a doctor with a Marine Corps unit. Today, Morgan is a family physician at an Indian Health Service clinic in Yuma, Ariz. He also runs a nonprofit medical Web site, “I’m so glad I joined the Peace Corps. I’ve worked for a lot of

government organizations since then, but I can definitely say it is one of the most effective programs we have. I think it often has more of an impact on the volunteer than it does on the host country — definitely in my case,” Morgan said. “The Peace Corps gave me time and a place to think and grow as a person,” Morgan said. Michael L. Baird, MS ICS 71, PhD ICS 73, signed on with the Peace Corps during a time of war to avoid a place he did not want to be. “I was morally opposed to the Vietnam War and chose to serve in this alternative assignment,” said Baird, who went to Lima, Peru, in 1970, to teach “what was to become computer science at a Stanford University spin-off MBA school.” “I returned early upon establishment of the draft lottery and the drawing of a high number in order to pursue a master’s and PhD in information and computer science at Georgia Tech, which was my absolute passion and first priority in life,” said Baird, who now lives in Morro Bay, Calif. “The Peace Corps experience reinforced my views of egalitarianism. This led to travel and study in Latin America and the support of some indigenous social causes. I worked in high-tech for 27

Mark Morgan, Psy 94, served as a high school math and science teacher in Lesotho in southern Africa. Today, Morgan is a physician at an Indian Health Service clinic.

Jing Li, IE 10, a record-setting swimmer at Georgia Tech, now is teaching English in Ukraine, where she posed for a photo with a fellow teacher and eighth-grade students.

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Michael L. Baird, MS ICS 71, PhD ICS 73, volunteered as a teacher in Peru in 1970. Now retired, he devotes much of his time to photography.

Adam Liberatore, MS ME 03, and his wife, Andrea, volunteered in South Africa in a tiny Manyeding village, where they lived with a local family to learn customs and immerse themselves in the culture.

years and then retired early to enjoy nature and photography on the central California coast,” he said. Adam Liberatore, MS ME 03, also served in the education sector. He and his wife volunteered in South Africa from 2005 to 2007 in a tiny Manyeding village on the edge of the Kalahari desert in the Northern Cape province. “Our main goal was to help the teachers in four primary schools develop better curriculum and teaching techniques. We lived with a family and learned tradition and customs while we were there,” Liberatore said. “Our amenities included electricity, but we had to fetch water from a local tap,” he said. “The simpler, slower life of an African village taught me much about patience, persistence and hard work along with the true difference between want and need.” Liberatore, who studied at Georgia Tech Lorraine in Metz, France, worked for two years at an ultrasound startup in Pennsylvania before he and his wife signed up for the Peace Corps because of their desire to experience life in Africa. “It seemed like a good time in life to do it,” said Liberatore, now a resident of Logan, Utah, working as a product design engineer for a medical device incubator. Amanda Meng, GEML 08, also wanted to immerse herself in a different culture in a different country. Meng, of Atlanta, is a cur36

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rent Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic with plans to pursue a career in development policy. “I wanted to experience life in a developing country, know the people behind the statistics and understand the successes and struggles more intimately,” Meng said. “Also, part of being a Peace Corps volunteer is teaching host country nationals what American culture and values are, so instead of politics and pop culture, my Dominican community members are exposed to a more personal and realistic expression of those values. That’s really important to me.” Meng’s assignment, which ends in May, is at a high school in Imbert, a small town on the north coast of the island. “I work with teachers to integrate IT into their lesson planning, with youth on various computer-based service learning projects and with local artisans on their Web sites and publications,” said Meng, one of 22 Tech alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps. “The Peace Corps has taught me an infinite amount of things — how to properly eat a mango, clone a hard drive, dance the bachata and the reality of how institutions affect development. I plan to take my lessons and observations to graduate school this fall.” Jing Li, IE 10, also is a current volunteer. She is teaching English to students in the third to 11th grades in Shevchenkove, located in the Kharkivs’ka Oblast in east Ukraine, through December 2012.

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Peter Gess, CmpE 91, MS EnvE 94, volunteered as an environmental awareness adviser in Wigry National Park, which is located in northeast Poland, from 1994 to 1996.

Amanda Meng, GEML 08, is a Peace Corps volunteer on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, where her work includes computer-based service projects.

“After school, I work with students in English clubs to teach topics such as business English, healthy lifestyles, environmental awareness and creative writing. As a secondary project, I am providing my community with HIV/AIDS awareness education and working with my town’s cultural house to teach some children’s music and dance classes,” Li said. While a Tech student, Li was a swimming star, setting six school records and earning an ACC Top 6 for Service award. She also spent a summer studying in Singapore and China. Li, of Pleasanton, Calif., said she hopes to utilize the Russian language skills she is acquiring later in her life. “After the Peace Corps, I would like to pursue a career in humanitarian logistics, which will give me the opportunity to combine my industrial engineering degree from Georgia Tech with my passion for working to change people’s lives around the world,” she said. Tony Giarrusso, M CP 00, found fulfillment — and love — in the Peace Corps. He was assigned to Burundi, Africa, as a fisheries extension agent in 1993. “I spent five months in Burundi, until we were evacuated due to civil war. We had the option to transfer to another country or return stateside and wait until the following year. My girlfriend, Janeane, a volunteer I met in training, and I decided to return home

and start over. We were both assigned to Gabon, Africa, as fisheries extension agents and spent two full years there,” Giarrusso said. “After two years in Gabon, we decided to extend our service for another year and subsequently were invited to Zambia, Africa, to start a fisheries program. We worked in Zambia for approximately 14 months,” said Giarrusso, whose total Peace Corps service extended five years. “I really loved the Peace Corps. It is easily the most memorable thing I’ve done in my lifetime. And I was fortunate enough to experience three different African countries,” Giarrusso said. “Being a volunteer taught me many things about myself, and I am forever grateful for the experience. While I may have imparted some knowledge to people in Africa, it is I who really learned from them.” After leaving Africa, Giarrusso and his girlfriend, Janeane Gilbreath, M CP 00, moved to his native Atlanta and enrolled at Tech. “After graduation, we returned to Africa to visit old friends and to get married,” said Giarrusso, now the associate director of the Center for Geographic Information Systems at Georgia Tech. “It was the trip of a lifetime.” Share your Peace Corps service stories at For more information on the Peace Corps, visit President Kennedy’s inaugural address is available at

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a m i d

the face s a w e he R r te e P f ie ch Trauma of sanity in a scene of madness Story and photos by Kimberly Link-Wills or two weeks in January, Peter Rhee was everywhere — on TV, in newspapers and on the Web as the Tucson trauma chief issuing status reports on the congresswoman shot in the forehead while meeting with constituents outside a grocery store; receiving a standing ovation from a grateful community at a memorial service in a packed Arizona auditorium; and sitting behind the first lady as her guest for the State of the Union address in Washington, D.C. Rhee’s job, saving lives every day as the medical director of trauma and critical care at University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., suddenly thrust him into the national spotlight — his 15 minutes of fame, he says — when a gunman opened fire outside a Safeway store on the morning of Jan. 8 and killed  six  people.  Eleven  victims,  including  Rep.  Gabrielle  Giffords,  were transported to University Medical Center, where Rhee is credited with keeping the wounded alive. Rhee, HS 83, whose name now generates 2.9 million hits in a Google search, maintains that his life has not been forever changed by the tragedy in Tucson and the ensuing attention. “It’s just a blip,” he says of his spot on the media radar.

Medical Rock Star “Peter,” he says in introduction, smiling and extending his right hand before leading the way to a standard-issue hospital office and offering a bottle of water. A first impression of the chief trauma surgeon is that he is a gentle man

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quick to smile, not an irrepressible and boisterous rock star, words used to describe him by the Associated Press. The New York Times said some of his comments during press conferences in the days following the mass shooting came off as abrasive. Elsewhere, he’s been called pompous and arrogant. “Arrogant?  I  guess maybe to a degree, I don’t know. I would not say  that  I’m  boisterous.  The one story that I did read about being irrepressible hit me a little bit, I guess. I actually looked it up in Wikipedia to see what the heck that meant,” Rhee says, chuckling. Someone printed the definition of irrepressible — impossible to restrain or control — and taped it to his office door. Rhee also is aware of an Associated Press headline: “Giffords’ Doctors Balancing Role as Rock Stars.” “I  think  it  is  funny  because  they  were  focusing  on  different things about my life. On day three, they were focusing on my military background, and that got to be a part of it. Then they added on the rock star thing, irrepressible surgeon and so on and so on,” Rhee says. “I think they were more interested in my TV personality than anything else. I thought that was kind of curious.” Rhee has received letters, postcards, monetary donations to the hospital and thousands of e-mails and Facebook messages. “I’ve  heard  from  everybody.  ‘I’m  so-and-so  from  Caldwell dorm,’” he says of several Tech classmates who have sent him messages. “I was contacted by my junior high girlfriend, high school stuff like crazy, college stuff, probably not as much medical school people, then residency days, internship days, fellowship days. Everybody’s been coming out of the woodwork about this. It’s been 999-to-1 positive, all great things.” Rhee says he has responded to many of the messages and laughs as he admits he replied to the junior high girlfriend and told her what a crush he had on her back in the day. 40

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Saturday, January 8 Rhee planned to spend his day off “hanging around the house doing fix-up things.” “I was out for a run,” he says. “We get all the alerts through our smart phones. I was listening to music, then this thing comes in.” Rhee learned there were multiple gunshot victims but did not know that a congresswoman was one of the people shot or that anyone had died at the scene. If there could be such a thing as a good time for a traumatic event to occur in Tucson, it would be Saturday morning, Rhee says. “At a normal Level 1 trauma center, you can expect at a minimum that there’s at least a trauma surgeon at the hospital to accept any patient that comes in 24-seven, 365,” Rhee says, noting that the next closest such facility is in Phoenix, more than two hours away. “I already had two teams in the hospital at that particular time period. I called in to make sure they were set and ready. I asked who was on call, who was coming off call and who else was in the hospital at that time. “The team from the night before was still working, and the team coming in for the next day was here as well. There’s an overlap period when they turn over patients, check on each other’s work and that sort of thing. As trauma surgeons, we also do surgical critical care. We’re the intensivists for surgical patients, so I had another surgeon in the hospital seeing the ICU patients,” he says. Rhee continued making calls while running back home. “My  wife  had  my  car  ready  with  my  scrubs  so  I  could  jump straight into the car,” says Rhee, who activated a command center and  ensured  trauma  bays  and  operating  rooms  were  readied  by phone. He remembers his first reaction when he rushed into the hospi-

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tal. “‘Wow, there are a lot of people here.’ Normally I do these type of mass casualties at nighttime, so I’m usually by myself handling 10, 20 patients. But here we had such an abundance of doctors in the trauma center. I coordinated them and got information so I knew what needed to be done next. It only took a few minutes, but that was the initial thing I had to do. “As the trauma captain, what I have to try to do is make sure the people have the right resources and I don’t get bogged down with one patient. When you do that, you lose the experienced person doing something that others could do. My job is getting that patient who needs surgery with the right surgeon,” he says.

‘Make Sure Everybody Survives’ Giffords was in surgery less than 40 minutes after her arrival at the hospital. “Thirty-eight minutes from the patient coming in is a long time in some ways,” Rhee says. “We have the capability of taking a patient to the operating room within three minutes, but in this kind of situation with Gabrielle Giffords, with a penetrating injury to the brain, 38 minutes is about as good as it’s going to get. We were able to get her to the operating room very quickly and get things moving on her.” During a televised press conference following the mass shooting, Rhee said he was 101 percent sure that he could keep Giffords alive. He stands by that statement but does not include a percentage. “Based on her injuries, somebody who’s shot in the head who comes to me alive I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to keep them alive,” he says. Rhee  moved  from  trauma  bay  to  trauma  bay  assessing  the wounded. “I have to make sure everybody survives. I’m constantly

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triaging,” he says. “I made sure that Gabrielle got into the operating room and they were going to start on her. I’m in the room every five, 10 minutes making sure things are going forward and they’re doing what I want them to do,” he says. “I’m popping in and out of the rooms. I have experienced trauma surgeons in there, so what I’ll do is get a brief on what’s going on with their patients, what the main injuries are and what their needs are. If it comes to a real problematic situation, then I’ll scrub in and help them.” Rhee quickly ascertained during triage that the youngest victim, 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, was dead on arrival. “We  take  kids  who  are  already  deceased  to  the  intensive  care unit because they have people who are accustomed to taking care of family members. They have the right social workers and chaplains and so forth, and the pediatrician can be a liaison for me to help talk to the family members while I’m trying to take care of the live patients,” says Rhee, acknowledging that “organ donation is a huge issue. Normally, we don’t have them in mass casualty scenarios.” Christina’s organs have helped at least three children. Her parents have said Christina’s corneas saved the eyesight of two children. Another little girl’s life was saved by the donation of organs.

‘I Do This Every Day’ “What I was really focusing on in the second hour was informing the family members who were there. You have family members pouring in at that time period. We were able to identify who they were. The incident command was set up so that they knew where to take the family members. They took them to the cafeteria, then I pulled them into an isolated room and then let them know individually what information I had,” Rhee says. March/April 2011

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“Once I had pulled them all out and counseled them all, there was one family that was remaining. I went in there, and they said, ‘Do you know anything about such-and-such?’ I said, ‘Well, it’s not on the list, which probably means good to go, has not been injured. Right now, that’s not one of the patients that I’m caring for.’ It turned out to be one of the people who died at the scene. The family was here waiting and hoping I would have some information for them. “I do this every day. We deal with telling people that their family member has died on a daily basis. It’s always tough. There’s never an easy one,” he says. “I’ve had mass casualties in the military where 200 people are coming in in an hour. Of course, in a military environment you don’t have to worry about family. Here, I had a whole cafeteria full of family. “I kid around and say that I don’t have an amygdala, which is the emotional portion of your brain, but I would say it’s probably due to the fact that we do it all the time, from the very first day in medical school when you’re starting to dissect a human body until now.  You’re  gradually  indoctrinated  into  this  process.  Eventually, over time, you learn how to do it better.” Of course he gets attached to patients, Rhee says. “I don’t cry or break down too often. I do remember one case. It was six in the morning, this 6-year-old girl got shot in the chest. We did some things and kept her alive quite a while, but she eventually died on the operating table. That was a very stressful time period because I had just moved to this hospital. I moved here myself and had to leave my family behind. I had a 6-year-old girl. That hit home.”

Finding His Place at Georgia Tech Born in Seoul, South Korea, Rhee lived with his family in Uganda from the ages of 5 to 9 while his father worked there as a Peace Corps surgeon. “The memories I have of living in Uganda are the best of my life. Things were simple. It was a happy time period for everybody. We had nothing. We had nothing to worry about in many senses. It was really basic in a way. Then the Asians were kicked out of Uganda,” Rhee says. The family moved to the United States when Rhee was in fourth grade. “When we came here, my father took the shortest path to practice, which is anesthesiology. I remember when he was a surgeon, but I remember also him being an intern again and a resident again and all of those things,” he says. Rhee  did  not  want  to  follow  in  his  father’s  footsteps,  but  the years of training had nothing to do with it. “I didn’t want to be a doctor because the Asian culture pushes their kids to be doctors and lawyers. It was just pure rebelling,” he says. “When I left high school, the only thing I knew I wanted to do was something in science, and the other thing I knew was that I did not want to be a physician. And Georgia Tech had a $6 application fee,” Rhee says. “I applied mostly in Pennsylvania. That’s where I was from. I chose Tech at the last minute against Carnegie Mellon. “I was just walking over here and thinking of all the people that were contacting me from Georgia Tech, and there is one person who has not. His name is Stephen Dawkins, and he’s a doctor. He was the influence that turned me to go into medicine,” Rhee says. “He was my RA. His father was a doctor, and he was going to be a doctor. I didn’t know you could be a doctor after going through Georgia Tech, but he showed me the way.” Dawkins, HS 82, remembers Rhee well. 42

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Getty Images

“There was a small cadre of us who were interested in medicine,” says Dawkins, now the medical director of Caduceus Occupational  Medicine  in  Atlanta.  “As  such,  we  were  in  many  classes together or were on a similar track in classes. Because we were unusual for Tech, and such a small group, we were able to identify each other and bond quickly. “All of us were in Caldwell dorm. I was the floor RA my sophomore year and the building RA my junior and senior years. I selected Peter as one of my floor RAs. Just as now, he served capably, with an appropriate mix of humor, wisdom and guidance,” Dawkins says. “I found that Peter, then and now, demonstrated integrity, which he already had and was nurtured by our collective experience, maturity — being wise without being arrogant — and a compassion for fellow students, which is fundamental for a lifetime commitment to service.” Rhee changed his major after his sophomore year. His health systems degree from Tech is on his office wall with his master’s in public health from the University of Washington and his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University.

‘I’m Not Unhappy About My Choices’ Rhee says his decision to accept the military’s scholarship offer for medical school was strictly financial. “I ended up with a 13-year obligation for their education and their schooling. It was paid for, but I think I paid them more than they paid me. I did 24 years for them. The first four years was medical school, 13 years was obligated and seven years was training.

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That’s how they get you. When you’re young, you don’t know what you’re signing,” he says, smiling broadly. “Comparing my life to my friends who did not go through the military, who were able to come out and practice and get a job earlier on, I think it’s difficult to say who has a better life, who made the better decision. In hindsight, I’m not unhappy about my choices. I think I did a tremendous amount of sacrificial work dragging my family around, and the choices of where I lived were not necessarily mine. But I wonder if everybody else has their choices all the time either,” Rhee says. “I don’t regret any of my military career. I think the experiences that I have gotten through it are not duplicative anywhere else in life. I think on a personal, selfish level, I was very benefited by the military. But can I speak for my family and say whether that was good for them when I was never home?” Rhee’s  military  service  helped  prepare  him  for  the  life-anddeath situations he deals with daily. Rhee was one of the first trauma surgeons at Camp Rhino in Afghanistan in 2001. He was deployed again in 2005, this time to Iraq, where he started a surgical unit in Ramadi. “Every minute that I was in Iraq I loved being there. I loved being there more than anyplace else in the world. I had spent decades training to be a combat surgeon,” Rhee says. “In contrast to a tank commander, who needs to be in a war to understand and utilize his skills, when I utilize my skills in wartime, I’m benefiting everybody. “I’m not out there hurting anyone, so what better position could I be in where I can help any human body that comes through my threshold — enemy, soldier, friendly fire? It didn’t matter — civilMarch/April 2011

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White House photo by Chuck Kennedy

Standing behind Michelle Obama during the State of the Union address in Washington, D.C., Peter Rhee applauds as the first lady hugs Christina Taylor Green’s mother, Roxanna. ians, combatants. I got a chance to help all aspects of humanity during  the  most  ridiculous  scenario  you  can  imagine,  where  people were purposely killing each other. I never felt so honored or privileged or useful as when I was in wartime,” he says. Rhee maintains strong ties with the military. He is a consultant to the Office of Naval Research and the Marine Corps Commandants War Fighting Laboratory. He also is a Uniformed Services University professor and lectures there several times a year.

Life in Tucson Rhee directed the Navy Trauma Training Center at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California before accepting the University Medical Center post in 2007. “I wanted a job just like what this one offered — a universitybased program, a city of a million people, the only Level 1 trauma center. And this program was completely disrupted at that time, so there was an opportunity to build the program from the ground floor,” he says. An article in the Los Angeles Times quoted Rhee as saying Tucson was an embarrassing place for a trauma surgeon because of the lack of violence. “I think that’s a little bit of an overstatement,” he says. “I worked in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., big cities where urban gang warfare is very plentiful and a common thing. My last job in L.A. County was to train Navy people on gang warfare so they would have an idea what gunshot wounds looked like before they were sent out to the war. 44

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“Tucson has 67 murders a year, which is one of the lowest for a city of its size. If you go up to where this madman shot up a bunch of people, there’s not a single person outside after five o’clock in the afternoon. There’s not a single streetwalker, there’s not a single homeless person. It’s about as nice and affluent as you can have,” Rhee says. “We do get our fair share of gunshots and stabbings. Anytime you have a million people, people get hurt. Wherever there are guns, people get shot,” he says. “There are many, many people who are shot who are not carrying weapons. Bystanders are getting shot all the time. People sleeping in their homes are getting shot all the time because they’re impoverished and can’t afford a home in a nicer neighborhood. So while you’re trying to decide if this is a good guy or not, I have the luxury of not being able to ask that question. I just take care of the human being in front of me.”

A Hero’s Welcome Rhee stood with President Barack Obama on Jan. 12. Obama visited Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, at the hospital before speaking at a community memorial service at the University of Arizona. Rhee was in the room. “Out  of  the  privacy  of  Mark  Kelly  and  the  congresswoman,  I don’t want to get into too much of the details, but I’m honored to have been there and witnessed it,” Rhee says. “When I rode with the motorcade over to the memorial service, one of the things I was trying to do was figure out where my family was. I was trying to get them their tickets to get in, so I had to break

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Peter Rhee answers his cell phone, which plays Stayin’ Alive when it rings, in his office, where he displays some of the commendations and medals he earned in the Navy. of rank and go try to find them. Wherever I went, people just started cheering and clapping. I was wondering who was behind me because I didn’t realize they were clapping at me,” he says. “I thought it was silly. Why would they be cheering for me? “Once I identified where my family was, the police came out and escorted  us  all  to  the  front.  When  I  walked  into  the  arena,  people started cheering and gave me a standing ovation. Again, I thought, this is just silly, you know, because I do this all the time — we coded somebody 30 minutes ago. But this was the first time that the community got the chance to thank people after the madness that had occurred a few days before,” Rhee says. Rhee’s encounter with Obama wasn’t his first with a U.S. president. As a Navy physician, he traveled to China with Bill Clinton in 1998 as the president’s trauma surgeon. “When this thing came up with the State of the Union address, obviously I was honored. It was obviously because of the fact that there was a VIP involved, the press issue and all of those things. The University of Arizona people started to chime in on it and making sure that I’d go,” Rhee says. When asked if he sees himself as a hero, he answers quickly. “No, of course not.” The positive outpouring for him is from the community looking for someone to thank, Rhee says, and he simply is the face of the University Medical Center. “They’re  trying  to  thank  the  medical  community,  and  they’re doing it through me,” Rhee says. “I was the face for the medicine, right?  The  community  of  Tucson  was  coming  together,  and  they were using me to thank, but I didn’t do all the work here. “It’s  not  like  I’m  in  an  office  with  you  by  myself  asking  you where you’re hurt. Trauma is a team event that has multiple levels of complexity, and everyone, from the CT scanners, radiologists, the techs, the nurses, the orderlies, the janitors turning the rooms over and mopping up the blood so we can get the next patient in the room — everybody that is involved has a significant role. “I saw it work. I saw it work well,” Rhee says. “With my military background and connections and because of the fortuitous position that Gabrielle Giffords’ husband is a Navy captain, we got everybody involved from Admiral Mullen to the surgeon general.

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“I had all the resources of the country. I was able to give Captain Kelly the reassurance that we were doing the best thing, that there was no stone unturned. And when I was ready to finish [Giffords’] acute care process, I was able to pick up the phone and call a very good buddy of mine, John Holcomb, who is a retired colonel running the Houston program. It was a direct handoff,” he says.

The Business at Hand Rhee is happy in Tucson. “They say that if you like what you do, you’re not really working for a living. I am at a point where I am doing exactly what I want to do. I can’t imagine another job that I would rather have,” he says. But  Rhee  says  he  won’t  push  either  his  16-year-old  son  or 10-year-old daughter into a life in medicine. “That’s a decision they have to make for themselves,” he says. “I think medicine is changing dramatically now, and I probably would not advise them to go into medicine. It’s business, issues with lawsuits. Finances have taken the pure joy out of treating a human being. The complicated barrage of paperwork and billing and those things really have made our profession so different than it was 20 years ago. Right now we’re on a pathway that it will continue for the worse.” Of his blip on the media radar screen, Rhee says, “There’s a 5 or 10 percent chance I’ll have a good result out of this, meaning that I’ll be able to pull into local resources to provide funding the way it should be.  I  need  [$]15  million  a year. I feel that my part-time job is as a beggar. I have to constantly beg for funds for our trauma center to exist.” Rhee’s cell phone rings. The musical notes of the Stayin’ Alive refrain are the phone’s ring tone. “Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.” He listens, calmly asks questions. “I’ll be right there,” he says. Rhee moves from behind his desk and heads for the door. “This guy’s dying. I have to go,” he says. And he’s gone. It’s just another day on the job for trauma chief Peter Rhee. March/April 2011

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Jacket Jesters April Fools’ Day pranksters, sans pants MARTA riders and improv comedians are only part of Georgia Tech’s community of jokesters Story by Van Jensen Photos by Caroline Joe


t was a little past 3 p.m. in early January on a crowded northbound MARTA train. The train had screeched to a stop at the Civic Center station when a confused murmur started up among passengers. Two of the riders, with seemingly no provocation, pulled off their pants. Then another did. And another. Soon, about 10 riders on the car wore sly grins on their faces and nothing on their legs beyond underwear. The same scene was playing out on most of the train’s cars with about 60 pants-free riders spread throughout them. The riders were split evenly between men and women, and while most were in their 20s, a few trousersfree passengers had gray hair. And several of them had Georgia Tech connections. One of the riders was Kurt Luther, a PhD candidate in interactive computing at Georgia Tech. He wore a dark suit coat, a navy, white and gold tie and no suit pants. A fellow passenger asked what Luther was doing taking his pants off. “I was too hot,” he explained. At that moment, it was 32 degrees outside. Every time the train doors opened, a frigid blast of air blew through the car and raised

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goose bumps on the bare legs. Luther and the rest of his cohorts, in fact, were taking part in the annual No Pants Day celebration. Started as a flash mob event by New York’s Improv Everywhere comedy group, the day has grown into a worldwide event during which people gather on public transportation and shed their clothes. The local Improv Everywhere affiliate, the Gobi Lumberjacks, was started by Matthew Flaschen, CS 10, a freshman at the time. Flaschen once appeared on the cover of Creative Loafing wearing a shirt, tie and nothing on his legs except Tech boxer shorts. “The Gobi Lumberjacks was really the first time I got serious about comedy,” Flaschen said. “I wasn’t really involved in pranking in high school or before that.” Flaschen and Luther are just the latest in a tradition of Georgia Tech pranksters. Students of the Institute have long engaged in mischief making: Stealing the T or the whistle, building the legacy of George P. Burdell, installing a Mickey Mouse clock on the Skiles Classroom Building and streaking are just a few examples. Even Georgia Tech traditions such as the Ramblin’ Wreck Parade and the Mini 500 race are undeniably silly. March/April 2011

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While the Gobi Lumberjacks isn’t officially a Georgia Tech group, it has always had a strong contingent of Yellow Jackets. It also carries on the Tech tradition of absurd, mostly harmless humor. The group has held several performances around Atlanta beyond the No Pants ride. They dressed as spelunkers and launched an exploration, code-named Mission Cueva, of Underground Atlanta. They started dancing, without music, at Lenox Square mall. They froze in place at Atlantic Station. And they talked on bananas as if they were cell phones at Perimeter Mall. “I think the absurdity is part of what jolts people out of ordinary life,” Flaschen said. “It gives them a powerful way to escape their routine without consciously doing anything special like going to a theater.” Flaschen has since moved to Philadelphia and participated in that city’s 2011 No Pants event. But the Georgia Tech presence in the Gobi Lumberjacks remains strong. Luther heard of the group through Flaschen, who worked for Luther on a research project. “I promised I’d be at the next meeting,” Luther said. “I’d seen some videos of the New York Improv Everywhere events and loved them. I was also getting into regular improv around that time.” One of Luther’s first events was Mission Ruido, aka the Subway Symphony, launched in 2008. A group of Lumberjacks boarded a southbound MARTA train carrying various homemade musical instruments such as soda bottles with sunflower seeds inside, rubber bands wrapped around cardboard tubes and bubble wrap. The group began to play, keeping a basic rhythm. They spread across the cars, still playing the same rhythm. “It actually sounded pretty good, considering most of the instruments could be found at a convenience store,” Luther said. Joining Luther on the 2011 No Pants ride was a handful of fellow Yellow Jackets including Eugene Medynskiy and Lana Yarosh, both PhD candidates in human-centered computing, and Michael Downing, a fourth-year computational media major. Yarosh said once she heard about the event from Luther, she had no hesitations about taking part. “It sounded like something that would be right up my alley, so I tagged along,” she said. “I knew that it wasn’t actually illegal to ride without pants, 48

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Kurt Luther, in suit coat, tie and no pants, led a contingent of Tech participants in Atlanta’s celebration of No Pants Day 2011. Fellow Tech PhD candidates Lana Yarosh, in white shirt, and Eugene Medynskiy, in blue T-shirt, also dropped their trousers.

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and I think most people are amused by these kinds of antics.” It was Luther’s first time on a No Pants ride as well, and he admitted to being somewhat reluctant. He said the choice of a suit was both to keep him warm and accentuate his lack of pants. “I definitely had reservations,” he said. “I knew it would be freezing cold that day, yet I’d be standing around without pants. … I guess my other fear was somehow getting stranded and being the only person on the train without pants. “There is strength in numbers, and a bigger group relaxes both the performers and the audience. Ten people without pants are funny; one person without pants is just weird.” An elderly couple sitting a few feet away from the group didn’t find it funny at all. The wife cast a disapproving glance at the pants-free riders and said, “It must be a fraternity thing.” Her husband nodded and, without looking up from his newspaper, said, “Must be, dear.” Another man, asked what he thought of the exposed legs, said the pranksters needed to find Jesus. Yet another man, sprawled across a bench seat, only slept. His chest rose and fell with each snore. Fellow passengers gaped or took photos or giggled. At the next stop, one man pushed through the crowd to exit. “I got on the wrong train,” he said, shaking his head. 50

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“There is strength in numbers and a bigger group relaxes both the performers and the audience. Ten people without pants are funny; one person without pants is just weird.” As the train moved farther north, the cars gradually emptied out. At most stops, the pants-free riders switched to other trains or cars. Eventually Luther, Yarosh and the other Georgia Tech riders became separated from the larger group. By the time the train reached the Doraville station, the end of the line, almost every passenger wasn’t wearing pants. One rider, a man wearing a black peacoat and Superman boxer shorts, pulled

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Comedy Without a Script By Van Jensen Among Georgia Tech’s comedic community, there’s a particular style of humor that’s become most popular. Improvisational comedy forces humorists to create skits without a script. It’s a freeform style that relies on quick thinking, good communication and a knack for the absurd. On campus, that manifested in the Let’s Try This! improv troupe. Founded in 1989, the troupe is made up of students who hold practices and frequent shows at DramaTech’s Black Box stage. Tech also hosts the Black Box Comedy Festival, one of the largest such events in the country and staged annually Members of the Let’s Try This! improv troupe engage in hijinks. Improv is a balance of structure and anarchy. since 2004. One night in January, Let’s Try This! held a show for a crowd of about 40, most of them stuchurch on Sunday afternoons. Its membership is made up of dents. The five players wore jeans and T-shirts with LTT! logos. middle school students, and almost all of them are girls. The audience was told to silence cell phones, as well as “any Lefton is tall with graying hair and a constant grin. He gessmall organics that can make noise.” tured constantly as he instructed the class. He announced they They began the show with a long-form skit called a Harold. were invited to perform at a nearby retirement home. Their humor was absurdist, predicated on funny voices and “We don’t want to make them laugh so hard they soil their bizarre one-liners. The scenario was a policeman trying to solve Depends,” Lefton said. “Oh, wait, that’s why they wear them. the mystery of a museum robbery, even though it was painfully We can make them laugh as hard as we want.” clear his friend, the curator, was the culprit. The class opened with warm-up games that emphasize eye It escalated into a parrot-led animal uprising. The biggest contact, focus and rhythm. They then launched into improv laugh came when the curator finally explained his failed robskits. Lefton gave basic guidelines to keep their creativity going. bery: “The dirigible crashing wasn’t in my plans.” “‘Yes, and’ are the two key words of improv,” he said. “It’s Tech’s improv isn’t limited to students. Lew Lefton, informa- like building a house. We each bring bricks. We aren’t setting tion technology director for the School of Mathematics, performs our own house on top of another house.” stand-up and improv comedy. He’s developing a project studyLefton watched closely and occasionally stopped the players ing improvising with Pete Ludovice, an associate professor in to give them pointers. He encouraged them to develop plot and the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and felcharacter, even in the rapid-fire setting. low comedian. “Your character needs to change for it to be interesting,” he Lefton is renowned on campus for his April Fools’ jokes. In called out. 2006, he sent out a prank e-mail that his dog had a brain tumor An improv structure begins with a platform — the who, and needed other dogs to donate blood. People weren’t amused what and where, Lefton explained. Then the players introduce a when they learned it wasn’t true, he said. tilt, an absurd element that turns everything on its head. “Lesson: Don’t joke about your dog’s health,” he said. But improv is a balance of structure and anarchy, Lefton Lefton also teaches the DUCK — the acronym is tortuously said, as his students listened intently. derived from Decatur yoUth Comedy Krewe — improv group. “It’s best to have no idea what’s going to happen,” he said. DUCK meets in the classroom building of a Decatur, Ga., “In improv you want to embrace failure. Failure is funny.”

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The pranksters included Maria Henriquez, who wore a blue Tech hoodie that belongs to her boyfriend, Rishiraj Bheda, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering.

out thermoses filled with coffee and hot chocolate and poured drinks for his fellow pranksters. Slowly, the train started to rumble south, picking up more passengers at each stop. They would chuckle or give confused looks. Luther took it as a sign of a successful mission. “Most people looked equal parts confused and amused,” he said. “That told me we were doing our jobs well. If they’re not confused, you made it too easy on them. If they’re not amused, what’s the point?” Beyond the Gobi Lumberjacks, Luther is active in the improv scene. He volunteers and takes classes at Dad’s Garage, an improv theater in Atlanta. He and Downing also worked on a research project to study how improvisers think. Luther reflected on the history of comedy and pranks at Georgia Tech, and he said part of it is that most new students want to build on the comedic legacy. “You want to carry on the tradition, or at least show those old pranksters you’re just as clever as they were,” Luther said. But he said the tradition of pranks might also owe to the academic pressure students face at the Institute. “Tech is a competitive place, and that means two things,” Luther said. “One, we’re stressed out, so we need to find ways to amuse ourselves and let off steam. Two, we’re always trying to outdo each other. 52

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“At most colleges, that would simply result in a lot of video game tournaments, but Tech is full of engineers. We’re trained to be clever, to do things that no one’s ever done, and we know how to build, break or hack pretty much anything. When you add all that up, you get the ideal environment for pranks to flourish.” Yarosh seconded the sentiment. “A good prank requires exactly the same sort of thinking and temperament as a successful invention,” she said. “It needs to be original, well thought out and fearlessly implemented.” Fearlessly implemented is a good descriptor for the No Pants ride. As the train cars once again filled up, the pranksters smiled and feigned innocence. At one stop, a MARTA employee came on the train. He warned the riders that other employees had called the police. He thought they were funny and didn’t want to see them get in trouble, he said. Most of the new passengers just laughed, and a jovial atmosphere filled the car. Finally, nearing the Five Points station, the riders started to pull on their pants. Fully clothed once again, Luther, Yarosh, Medynskiy and Downing ventured back toward campus. Back on the train, the sleeping man continued snoring deeply. He hadn’t woken once. If he’d seen anyone without pants, it was only in his dreams.

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Burdell & Friends

Robot Rescuers

Gary Meek

Robin Murphy responds to disasters with controlled assistance By Van Jensen


here is an inherent awfulness to Robin Murphy’s job. Whenever disaster strikes, she is called to duty. Murphy, ME 80, MS ICS 89, PhD CS 92, is the Raytheon professor of computer science and engineering at Texas A&M and director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue. She has responded to 11 terrorist attacks, hurricanes, mine collapses and other disasters over the past decade. And while those make for harsh workplaces, Murphy goes without hesitation. She is one of the leaders in the effort to use robots as emergency responders. A fellow in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and member of the Defense Science Board, Murphy had her re

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search cited by the late Michael Crichton in his book Prey. In December, Murphy delivered the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering’s annual Harold W. Gegenheimer Lecture on Innovation. A full crowd listened to her presentation at the Ferst Center. “So why robots?” she began her talk. “Robots don’t replace people or dogs. They extend their abilities.” Instead of autonomous robots venturing into rubble, Murphy said the goal is to create robots that allow human responders to squeeze inside collapsed buildings or to hover above damaged areas. “We’re not building Lieutenant Commander Data,” she said, referencing the cyborg from Star Trek. March/April 2011

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“Even though we’re delegating more to the robot, which is great, humans are still responsible.” Artificial intelligence will not resemble human thinking in the short term, Murphy said. “What’s easy for a person is hard for a computer or robot,” she said. “But what’s hard for a person is easy for a robot, such as math.” One thing related to most disasters that is impossible for humans is to fit through small openings to search for survivors. Murphy was among the responders to the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. There were no holes to explore after the towers collapsed, she said. Murphy showed a video recorded by a small robot that eventually worked its way into the rubble. It crawled in a narrow shaft filled with dust and what appeared to be debris. “There are three sets of remains in this video,” Murphy said. “It looks like a rock, but then you see the hair.” There were extreme challenges in responding to a 2007 collapse at the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah. After an initial rescue effort led to the deaths of three responders, Murphy’s team used a robot to explore the mine. The robot had to travel 2,000 feet down a small bore hole that was filled with water and debris. In such environments, wireless and GPS don’t work, so the robot has to remain connected to its operators by a cable tether. The robot successfully made it into the mine, but no one survived the disaster. “We’re looking at very, very small” spaces, Murphy said. “It’s very twisty. The sensors are incredibly important. There’s a lot of vertical mobility needed.” In the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Murphy and other responders used remote-controlled aerial and water vehicles to survey damage in unsafe areas. Such efforts required multiple people at the controls, which is typical for rescue robots. Murphy said it takes three human operators to control one robot. 56

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Gary Meek

“Even though we’re delegating more to the robot, which is great, humans are still responsible,” she said. “We need to think of it as a joint-cognitive system.” One of Murphy’s main areas of focus at the moment is on studying how people react to robots. In a situation with someone trapped in debris, a robot can be terrifying if it approaches in the wrong way, she said. She studied how people interact with robots and found that rescue operators tended to drive aggressively and erratically, which heightened the distress of their test subjects. “We can see that people get annoyed,” Murphy said. “We need to be cautious, submissive. When we drove like that, one person actually reached out and patted the robot.” She is now part of a group designing a new rescue robot called Survivor Buddy. It has a squat body with an interactive screen that rises up on a neck. The robot

is designed to mimic human movements, and its mannerisms make it reminiscent of Wall-E. The robot would allow survivors to communicate with the outside world and even to watch TV. Murphy said entertainment is important when people are stuck in the dark for hours or days. Despite advances in the area, Murphy stressed that emergency robots still have a long way to go. She said they need to improve in efficiency, mobility and affordability. She called on the Georgia Tech students in attendance to lead that innovation. Currently, only one rescue team in the United States owns a rescue robot, she said. And when the devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, the country’s leaders didn’t allow responders to use robots. “We’re forgetting the morality of not using technology when we could,” Murphy said. “Passivity is as good as saying you don’t want to help people.”

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Ramblin’ Roll 1940s

Charles W. “Wick” Moorman, CE 75, of Virginia Beach, Va., has been named the 2011 Railroader of the Year by Railway Age magazine. Moorman is chairman, president and CEO of Norfolk Southern. A native of Hattiesburg, Miss., Moorman joined Southern Railway in 1970 while working his way through Georgia Tech as a co-op student. He spent the first 12 years of his railroad career working in maintenance-ofway positions. Moorman became president of Norfolk Southern in 2004, CEO in 2005 and chairman in 2006. Moorman also is a graduate of Harvard Business School.

Frank A. Stovall, ChE 43, MS EE 49, in February celebrated 67 years of marriage to Marjorie Hailey of Atlanta. The couple have four children, seven grandchildren and one greatgrandchild. Stovall, who was on the track and tennis teams at Tech, continues to play singles tennis twice a week. He was ranked No. 1 in his age group in Georgia in 1997 and 2008. After receiving his Navy ROTC commission, he served aboard DE-156/APD-52 in World War II and later in the Korean War. Stovall retired from Lockheed Aircraft in 1984 as the reliability engineering manager. In his 32 years with the company, he received two patents for hot forming titanium, methods still used in the aircraft industry. In 2009 he published Investing for Fun — and Profit, which detailed more than 50 years of his stock investments.


Randy Cabell, EE 53, MS EE 54, and his wife, Mary Kay, who was the first female professor at Georgia Tech, have digitized and published more than 1 gigabyte of family history dating back to 1723. The couple live in Boyce, Va., overlooking the Shenandoah River. Randy Cabell was the pianist for the Fowler Street Five Plus One band, which played Dixieland music at Tech dances and on WAGA’s Stars of Tomorrow program with Freddie Miller in the 1950s. Cabell, now retired, wrote two marches in 2010. To hear renditions of the marches performed by the Band of the Piltdown Fusiliers or to download the scores, e-mail Cabell at Noel Malone, ChE 57, has been married to the former Ada Lee Turner for 52 years. Their son, Michael, lives in Burbank, Calif., and works in the motion picture industry. A member of Sigma Chi fraternity while at Tech, Malone retired from a 39-year career in marketing with Eastman Chemical Products in Kingsport, Tenn., in 1996. He moved to Springdale, Ark., in 2005. The Malones live in Scottsdale, Ariz., during the winter. Jerry L. Terrell, IM 56, retired last year from his position as professor of aeronautics at Jacksonville University in Florida and was awarded professor emeritus status. Terrell was the university’s Professor of the Year in 2010.


Gerald R. “Jerry” Harris, EE 67, achieved the status of life fellow in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Harris is the ultrasonics laboratory leader at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health in Silver Spring, Md. Carl H. McNair Jr., AE 63, MS AE 63, a retired Army major general, received the Gen. Creighton W. Abrams Medal for outstanding service to the Army at the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting and exposition in October. A member of the Army Aviation Hall of Fame, McNair was commanding general of the Army Aviation Center from 1980 to ’83 and the first chief of the Army Aviation Branch upon its establishment in 1983. Francisco T. See, TE 64, opened the Laurel Park Professional Building in Brunswick, Ohio, in October. It is the first of three buildings planned for a three-acre site, which See purchased to provide more office space for his wife Lily, who has a pediatric practice, and other area professionals. See, who is a retired project engineer with Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., worked with an architect in the planning of the building, which was built into a hillside so that the earth could serve as a natural insulator. The Sees live in Medina, Ohio. E.W. Smith Jr., EE 60, has written Athletes Once: 100 Famous People Who Were Once Notable

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Athletes, published by Fireship Press in December. A Navy veteran when he arrived at Tech, Smith went on to work on B-52 radar systems, the Army Pershing missile, NASA’s Surveyor moon probe and federal water pollution research. He joined the Indian Health Service in 1975 and served as director of management information systems. Smith later was the marketing director for Ford Aerospace. Athletes Once includes Randolph Scott, a Tech football player before he took up acting. A resident of Germantown, Md., Smith also is the author of Dieter’s Checklist, published by Doubleday in 1975.


Jeff Barab, EE 77, of Houston, retired from Shell Pipeline Co. LP after more than 33 years of service. During his career with Shell, Barab held multiple assignments in engineering and operations supporting the company’s crude oil, products and chemical pipeline businesses. For the past 15 years, he has been a commercial manager developing major pipeline projects along the Gulf Coast and in California. William H. Booth Sr., IE 73, became the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for Force Management Integration in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs in Washington, D.C., in September. Booth was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1973 through Tech’s ROTC program and served in a variety

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of positions of increasing responsibility over the next 28 years. He retired from active duty with the rank of colonel in 2002 and became a senior-level executive, serving as the senior adviser for manpower and organization at the Air Force headquarters. Al Bornmann, MS EE 72, received the 2010 Chairman’s Award for Honesty and Service from SRA International Inc., a provider of technology and strategic consulting services and solutions to government organizations and commercial clients. The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated honesty, service to customers, care for employees and contributions to his community. David Hallman, GMgt 73, has written a novel, The Growing Season, in which Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Hank Monroe “gets more than he bargained for in his first season on the job” following the disappearance of a young woman in a small Southern town. The book, published by Five Points Press, is available through Hallman, a retired special agent with the FBI, has 35 years of criminal investigative experience. He was a special agent with the GBI before joining the FBI. Hallman now lives in Leesburg, Ga., and teaches courses in criminal justice as an assistant professor at Andrew College. Hallman is the son of George Garner Hallman, Text 50, and father of Russell Andrew Hallman, Cls 05, who is married to Madhura Adiga, Chem 05. Charles H. “Chuck” Huling, CE 74, a resident of Smyrna, Ga., was appointed to the metropolitan north Georgia water planning district governing board in December by thenGov. Sonny Perdue. Huling is the retired vice president of environmental affairs for Georgia Power. Huling serves on the advisory panel for Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and is a member of the College of Engineering’s Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni. W. Allen Morris, BMgt 75, received the 2010 McCallie Alumni Achievement Award. Morris is chair and CEO of The Allen Morris Company, one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the Southeast. Morris graduated from McCallie School, a college preparatory school for boys in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1970. 58

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Kisha Ford, Mgt 98, who after playing basketball for the Yellow Jackets spent five years in the WNBA, now is an officer in the Georgia Army Guard. Ford graduated from Officers Candidate School at the Clay National Guard Center in January as a second lieutenant. She began basic combat training at Fort Jackson, S.C., in June. Ford left the WNBA in 2001 and has worked as a police officer in Atlanta and DeKalb County. She was inducted in the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. C. Hugh Richardson, ME 76,was named director of College Park Power by the mayor and council of College Park, Ga. A registered professional engineer, Richardson joined College Park following a 33-year career with Middle Georgia EMC, from which he retired in 2009 after 26 years as general manager. Mark V. Smith, IM 79, a resident of Savannah, Ga., was appointed as a coastal representative to the Board of Natural Resources in December by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue. The appointment was effective Jan. 1. Smith, a hotel management executive at Prince-Bush-Smith Hotels and the CEO of South Atlantic Utilities, serves as chairman of the Georgia International Maritime Trade and Convention Center. He is a member of the Historic Savannah Foundation Board, a curator of the Georgia Historical Society and a past chairman of the Savannah Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. William Kirk Smith, EES 74, received a PhD in technology management from Indiana

State University in December and has accepted a tenure-track faculty position as an assistant professor at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C. Stefan V. “Steve” Stein, EE 77, was named the 2011 Tampa Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers. Stein is a shareholder in the Tampa office of GrayRobinson PA. He also serves on the board for Family Service Centers and is an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida. Jeff Tuomi, IM 77, is a founding investor in DrawSuccess, which offers interactive programs in leadership training, organizational transformation and team performance. Ralph M. White, EE 75, wrote two books, both of which are available through Amazon. com. In DEB Load Calculations, the author lays out a process to help in the design of low voltage electrical power systems. In How to Measure the Performance of Management, he describes a

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management process he developed “using basic engineering logic without all the normal management double talk” to help managers or management groups decide what to focus on and how to track their progress.


Raymond I. Bruttomesso Jr., AE 83, MS AE 84, was elected a shareholder of Devine Millimet. Bruttomesso is a member of the law firm’s intellectual property practice group and works out of its Manchester, N.H., and Andover, Mass., offices. He also is an engineering duty officer in the Navy Reserve, holding the rank of commander. In 2004 Bruttomesso was mobilized to U.S. Joint Forces Command in support of Operation Noble Eagle. Michael Gazarik, MS EE 89, PhD EE 97, has been chosen as NASA’s new deputy chief technologist. He will work in the office responsible for coordination, integration and tracking of all technology investments across the organization. Gazarik, who has worked on both the Mars and shuttle projects, also will manage NASA’s Space Technology programs. He previously was deputy director of the engineering directorate at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. During his career with NASA, Gazarik has received the organization’s Silver Snoopy Award and its Outstanding Leadership Medal. Holly Hart Hearn, Mgt 89, joined Nike Inc. as assistant general counsel of employmentNorth America at the company’s world headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., in January. She and husband Eric Lenard, son Ryan and daughter Avery are relocating to the Portland area from Seattle, where she previously was a law partner with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, specializing in labor and employment law. Ramona M. Hill, IE 83, was named vice president for enrollment management for Spring Hill College. Hill will be responsible for admissions, financial aid and student success initiatives and will continue her management responsibilities for graduate and continuing studies. An adjunct faculty member at Spring Hill since 2002, she has taught courses in workplace diversity and motivation. She joined the college’s administration in August 2008 as associate provost for graduate and continuing studies. She also owns Workshops Etc. Inc.

Patrick Caputo, EE 10, Phys 10, and James Molini, BME 10, pictured above, cofounded Waste to Watts LLC with Duke University graduate Chris Hamman. The company has received several awards for its invention Enzi, an inexpensive back-up power supply on which such devices as EKGs and computers can run for hours. The Waste to Watts team has marketed the device, which is made from repurposed electronic waste, to health care facilities in developing nations prone to frequent power outages. In January, Waste to Watts received $6,000 for its second-place win in the 2011 Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition, Canada’s largest international business plan competition. It also picked up the competition’s Grant Bartlett Sustainability Award, receiving $1,000. Last year, Waste to Watts won first place and $5,000 in the Engineering World Health Design Competition as well as a $10,000 cash prize from the Dell Social Innovation Competition. Caputo is pursuing a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering at Tech. Molini, who lives in Boston, is a technical support specialist for St. Jude Medical’s cardiac surgery division and president of Waste to Watts LLC. The team is performing field tests on the device in hospitals in Rwanda and Cambodia. Bill Johnson, MS ICS 84, was elected to Congress for Ohio’s 6th Congressional District in November, the first time a Republican has won that seat since 1994.

federal health care reform act. Mathis, who is managing partner of Freeman Mathis & Gary LLP, serves on the executive committee of the Alumni Association’s board of trustees.

Thomas Q. Langstaff, IM 82, was appointed in April 2010 to the federal bench. Langstaff now is serving as a U.S. magistrate judge for the Middle District of Georgia. His new office is located in the U.S. District Court at 201 W. Broad Ave. in Albany, Ga.

Tom O’Brien, IE 81, the co-founder of Axion BioSystems, has equipped the undergraduate teaching laboratories of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University with five new microelectrode arrays. The MEAs will allow students to study and probe the complex signaling of electrically active tissue.

Ben Mathis, IM 81, has been appointed a special assistant attorney general by Georgia attorney general Sam Olens to assist in representing the state in the legal challenge to the

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Marcus Sachs, CE 81, is the vice president for national security policy at Verizon, with

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responsibility for directing the company’s policy development and advocacy on issues ranging from critical asset protection to cyber security and emergency preparedness. Sachs will work with Congress, administration officials and the security industry on national security policies and issues. A retired Army officer, Sachs was a presidential appointee to the White House in 2002-03. Sachs and his wife, Diane, Psy 83, have two daughters, Elise, a graduate of Florida Tech working at msnbc. com, and Kelly, Econ 10, a graduate student at Georgia Tech. Greg Schmidt, CE 82, of Anchorage, Alaska, has joined the national board of American Heritage Girls, a character development organization for young women embracing Christian values and encouraging family involvement. Schmidt helped develop the organization’s engineering merit badge last year. He is the deputy chief of the engineering division for the Alaska district of the Army Corps of Engineers. Schmidt is married to Rebecca and has one son in the Boy Scouts and two daughters in AHG.


Dan Barnicle, CmpE 97, has been named chairman of One Hen Inc., a nonprofit micro lender dedicated to educating children and empowering them to become social entrepreneurs. A co-founder of the organization, Barnicle also is vice president and content management and collaboration practice lead for SapientNitro, a Boston-based global marketing and technology services firm. Doug Bowman, MS CS 97, PhD CS 99, was named a 2010 Distinguished Member by the Association for Computing Machinery. Bowman is an associate professor of computer science and member of the Center for HumanComputer Interaction at Virginia Tech and a 2003 National Science Foundation CAREER award recipient. He directs the 3-D interaction group at Virginia Tech, which focuses on 3-D user interface design and the benefits of working in virtual environments. Scott Cadora, Mgt 92, IntA 93, received an executive MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Cadora is the cofounder and COO of PinnacleHR, an Atlanta 60

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Matthew Stellmaker, BC 10, has returned to the states following a nearly seven-month sojourn in Chile, where he helped introduce straw-bale homes to Patagonia as project manager of a green housing project. Stellmaker said strawbale construction is ideal for single-family homes and freestanding structures in rural areas. “Straw is readily available in most agricultural regions and serves no purpose other than bedding for livestock,” he said, adding that straw-bale construction can achieve insulation factors up to three times higher than fiberglass insulation. “Not only does strawbale construction cut down on energy usage for the construction and materials of the house, it also reduces life cycle energy costs, reducing drastically the energy consumption for heating and cooling,” he said. Stellmaker said that as word spread of his project, people from surrounding communities came to check it out. Before leaving Chile in January, Stellmaker worked with a municipality so that it could replicate his building model in its rural projects. consulting firm specializing in human capital outsourcing.

technical experience as an analyst and computer engineer at the CIA.

Cameron Craddock, CmpE 99, MS ECE 03, PhD ECE 09, has received a Young Investigator grant from the NARSAD Brain and Behavior Research Fund for his research in bipolar disorder. Craddock is a postdoctoral researcher with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute in Roanoke. He previously was a research fellow at Baylor College of Medicine. Craddock’s research involves the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging to understand and treat psychiatric disorders.

Herbert S. Hasell, ME 90, and wife Ruth announce the birth of a son, Christopher Gadsden Hasell, on Dec. 30. Hasell retired from the Navy and now is an AirTran Airways pilot.

Tara D. Elliott, CmpE 98, has been named a principal in Fish & Richardson’s IP litigation group in Wilmington, Del. She will continue to focus her practice on intellectual property litigation and counseling across a range of technologies, including electrical and computer engineering, and will work in government investigations and provide compliance and risk management counseling. Elliott has previous

Fatimot Ladipo, MS PubPol 99, has joined the Georgia Tech Office of Government and Community Relations as assistant director of federal relations. She will be based in the Institute’s Washington, D.C., office. Ladipo previously was a legislative and media liaison with the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Andrew E. Lovejoy, CE 96, MS EnvE 03, was promoted to president of Civil Engineering Consultants, a civil and environmental engineering firm specializing in water and wastewater infrastructure projects. Vivek Maddala, EE 95, composed score music for the film Kaboom, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January. He also

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Recent Arrivals — Joseph Douglas Lubke, left to right, was born May 21 to Katie Lubke, MS MSE 99, and her husband, Dave. He joined his siblings, Noah and Jessica, at the family’s home in Milan, Mich. Lubke works for Ford Motor Company. Madison Grace Hall was born on Nov. 19 to J.P. Hall, CE 99, and his wife, Pollyanna. Hall is a project manager with Jollay Masonry in Avondale Estates, Ga. The Hall family lives in Newnan, Ga. Jack Abram Meyers was born on June 23 to Sara Meyers, IE 98, and Jeff Meyers, Mgt 98. Jack joins his sister, Lily, 3, at the family’s home in Marietta, Ga. Grace May participated in a panel discussion at the film festival titled Music & Film: The Creative Process. In 2010 the composer finished his musical score for The Burn Unit, part of the second season of HBO’s Funny or Die Presents comedy series. He also has been playing drums on the scores for the television shows Fairly Legal and Perfect Couples, both of which premiered in January. Maddala was inducted into the Georgia Tech College of Engineering’s 2010 Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni. Tonya Neukam Austeri, TE 98, MBA 03, and her husband, Tom, of La Grange, Ill., announce the birth of a daughter, Vivian Marie Austeri, on Oct. 18. Neukam Austeri works as a plant director at USSTMC in Chicago. Mardis W. “Chip” Parker Jr., Phys 90, has retired after a 20-year Air Force career and has accepted a position teaching Air Force junior ROTC at Lebanon High School in Ohio. Susannah Rogers Pedigo, IntA 99, was named a partner in the law firm of Inglesby Falligant in Savannah, Ga. She focuses her practice in the area of family law and also serves as a guardian ad litem for the Superior Court of Chatham County when requested by the court to assist in that capacity. Tom Rickard, CE 90, currently is deployed to Wardak province, Afghanistan, as commander of a combined task force including a U.S.

infantry battalion, two Afghan army battalions, a Czech Republic airborne battalion adviser element and other supporting forces and agencies. His wife, Lisa, retired from the Army last year after 20 years of service and now is a full-time mother to the couple’s daughter, Sarah, 5.

juris doctor degree from the American University Washington College of Law.

Gazelle Soares, EE 97, and her husband, David Gallagher, announce the birth of their daughter, Kara Reese, on Jan. 8. Soares works as a project engineer for Wiley Wilson. The family lives in northern Virginia.

Jarrett Pender Dunn, ME 03, married Hillary Stacia Lowe on Dec. 4 in Spartanburg, S.C.

Jason Speck, ChE 98, and Kristin Speck, ChE 01, announce the birth of a son, Logan William Speck, on Nov. 14. Jason is an associate director at Pearl Therapeutics, and Kristin is a group manager at the Clorox Co. Benjamin J. Tarbutton III, Mgt 94, a resident of Sandersville, Ga., was elected as vice chairman of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. Tarbutton, the assistant vice president of the Sandersville Railroad Co., began his term as the 12th Congressional District representative to the Board of Regents in 2006.


Leila R. Abdi, CS 01, is an associate in the electronics practice group of Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, a Washington, D.C.-based intellectual property law firm. Abdi received a

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O’Hara was born on Oct. 6 to Jennifer Troeschel O’Hara, ChE 02, and her husband, Donald. O’Hara is a global account manager for the personal care division of ISP in Wayne, N.J. The family lives in Philadelphia. Grant Everett Luzier was born on Oct. 13 to Allison Beard Luzier, IE 96, and her husband, Tom. Grant is the grandson of Richard A. Beard III, IM 67, and the great-grandson of the late Richard A. Beard Jr., GS 37. Beard Luzier is senior vice president and product delivery manager for the Florida commercial real estate group at Bank of America. She and her family live in Tampa.

Donna Nahser Blalock, CE 01, and Jeremy Blalock, Cls 01, announce the birth of a daughter, Kellen Elizabeth Blalock, on July 6. Jeremy is an engineer with Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah.

David Gewertz, EE 02, and his wife, Marisa, announce the birth of son Jordan Paul Gewertz on Oct. 4. Jordan joins brother Joseph, 2, at the family’s home in Sandy Springs, Ga. Gewertz is an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton. William Grady, ID 03, won two iF product design awards for IBM Storwize V7000 and IBM Power 710/730. The products were recognized in a field of 2,756 entries. The hardware will be displayed at the 2011 CeBIT Expo in Hannover, Germany, and will be published in the 2011 iF product design award yearbook. Grady accepted a new position as industrial designer of brand experience and strategic design at IBM corporate headquarters. William W.P. Hagler, ME 06, has passed the Georgia professional engineering exam and now is licensed as a mechanical engineer. Hagler was promoted to project manager at Paulson-Cheek Mechanical. He and his wife, Greer, Mgt 06, live in Atlanta.

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Catherine Prince Hoover, CE 05, an engineer with Raudenbush Engineering Inc., was named the 2011 Young Engineer of the Year by the Central Pennsylvania Engineers Week Council. Her husband, Anthony Hoover, Mgt 05, joined the law firm of McNees Wallace & Nurick as an associate in the litigation and family practice groups. The couple were married on Aug. 4, 2007, and live in Harrisburg, Pa.

Twins Lauren and Luke Bain, the youngest children of the Alumni Association’s director of IT Services Matthew Bain, Mgt 01, MBA 10, will make their film debut in The Change-Up. The comedy, which stars Ryan Reynolds, Olivia Wilde, Jason Bateman and Alan Arkin, is scheduled to hit theaters later this year. During some downtime on set, the budding actors had their photograph taken with the film’s director, David Dobkin, left to right, brother J.J., mother Missy, Bateman and their father.

What have you been up to?

To have your news included in the Ramblin’ Roll, send us the details at Ramblin’ Roll, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313, or e-mail us at Photos may be submitted for inclusion in the online Ramblin’ Roll.

Who: ___________________________________________________________ What: __________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ When: ____________________ Occupation: __________________________

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Spencer Irvine, AE 04, MS AE 06, is the CEO of AirVentions Inc. The company, which has two approved patents, specializes in collision avoidance systems for ground-support vehicles at airports. Irvine came up with the idea for the system while training for a ramp agent position at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and began working on it as a graduate student at Tech. He is a 2010 graduate of MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Matt Moulthrop, MBA 04, a third-generation wood turner with Moulthrop Studios in Marietta, Ga., has been selected for a “40 Under 40” exhibition to be held at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2012. The exhibit will highlight the work of 40 artists born since 1972, the year the Renwick opened. Works by featured artists will be added to the museum’s permanent collection. Daniel Noto, ME 02, and his wife, Rachel, announce the birth of a daughter, Olivia Josephine, on Dec. 5. Noto is the managing director of the San Diego office of United Mechanical Consultants. The family lives in San Diego. Kristin Speck, ChE 01, and her husband, Jason Speck, ChE 98, announce the birth of a son, Logan William Speck, on Nov. 14. Kristin is a group manager at the Clorox Co., and Jason is an associate director at Pearl Therapeutics. Whitney Taylor, Cls 06, and Scott L. Taylor, Mgt 03, announce the birth of a son, Bennett Conrad, on Nov. 8. Scott is the manager of compensation and social responsibility at Carter’s Inc. in Atlanta. Mary Katherine “Katie” Watt, BC 08, married Charles “Chip” Tinsley IV, IE 05, on Aug. 14. Katie will be an attorney with Carlton Fields after graduating from the University of Florida’s College of Law this spring. Chip is a project manager with AT&T. The couple live in Orlando, Fla.

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In Memoriam 1920s

Arthur Earl Lee Neelley, Cls 28, of Manhattan, Mont., on Jan. 16 at the age of 104. He retired from a 22-year career with the California Federal Savings & Loan Association as senior vice president in charge of the loan division. A 1930 graduate of the University of Southern California’s College of Commerce, he entered military service in 1942 and was assigned to the staff of the commanding general of the Army Air Corps. He achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel and received the Legion of Merit.


upon graduation. During World War II, he served as a line officer in the Navy aboard PC-1133 in the Pacific. Thomas W. Moore, EE 30, of Atlanta, on Jan. 11 at the age of 102. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army after graduation and pursued a career in finance following World War II. He served on the board of stewards at his church. Hal Hazelton Strickland Jr., ChE 36, of Greensboro, N.C., and Meadows of Dan, Va., on Dec. 11. A chemical engineer, Mr. Strickland retired from a long career with Burlington Industries in which he ultimately was in charge of purchasing all man-made fibers for the company’s manufacturing operations. He worked his way through Georgia Tech as a co-op student and during World War II worked with DuPont developing a wake-less torpedo for the Navy. An avid birdwatcher, Mr. Strickland was a member of the Piedmont Bird Club and had sighted more than 1,000 species during his travels, which included a trip to Antarctica to observe penguins. He also was a skilled woodworker, painter, gardener and tinkerer.

Chris C.F. Hammond Jr., ME 34, of Savannah, Ga., on Jan. 3. Mr. Hammond was the retired president and chairman of the board of Great Dane Trailers Inc., formerly Steel Products Co., in Savannah. He joined the company as a trailer salesman in 1937 and by the 1970s was chairman of the board and CEO. He retired in 1984 but was a consultant to the company until his death. Upon graduation from Tech, Mr. Hammond was commissioned as a Navy ensign, and he spent a year as commander of Civilian Conservation Corps camps in North Carolina and Tennessee. During World War II, he served on truck and tank production boards. He was a former president of the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association and the National Truck Tank and Trailer Tank Institute. From 1967 to 1984 he served as a director of Transway International Corp. in New York. He served on the board of directors of Savannah’s Citizens & Southern National Bank for 21 years. Mr. Hammond was inducted into the Georgia Tech College of Engineering Hall of Fame in 1994. Survivors include his niece Emily Kennedy, Biol 74, and her husband, James Kennedy, Phys 74, MS GeoS 76, and their daughter, Gwynn Kennedy Semmelink, Arch 03.


Hubert Shumate Laney, Com 34, a resident of Fort Worth, Texas, on May 11, 2009. Mr. Laney was active in insurance and investing until 2007. Throughout his college days, he got around in a “ramblin’ wreck” he purchased for $5. He left the automobile with his Delta Tau Delta fraternity brothers

Charles B. “Charlie” Cliett Sr., AE 45, of West Point, Miss., on Nov. 30. He was a

John Rowland “Jack” Wyant, ME 38, of Atlanta, on Nov. 23. An Army captain in World War II, he served under Gen. George Patton in command of the 501st Ordnance Heavy Maintenance Company at the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he and his father founded Wyant and Sons Paper Co. Mr. Wyant retired from his career in the paper business after working with Sloan Paper Co. He was a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, American Legion Post 134 and the Society of Colonial Wars. Survivors include grandsons John Wallace Wyant, CmpE 07, and David Wyant, a student in the College of Engineering.

Thomas Clifford Bazemore Jr., EE 44, of Santa Barbara, Calif., on Dec. 1. He was the retired president of General Research Corp. Mr. Bazemore was a co-op student while at Tech.

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professor and the head of the aerospace engineering department at Mississippi State University from 1960 to 1991. Mr. Cliett began working at Mississippi State in 1947 and received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2003. He served as a lieutenant junior grade in the Navy during World War II. Edward A. D’Amico, ME 42, a resident of Wheat Ridge, Colo., on Dec. 30. Memorials in his name may be made to the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech. Robert F. Donegan, IM 47, of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., on Jan. 16. Before attending Georgia Tech, he served as a B-24 pilot in the Army Air Corps’ 8th Air Force. He began working for the Container Corp. of America in Philadelphia and in 1954 was transferred to Caracas, Venezuela, where he was in charge of CCA operations for 16 years. He later joined his brother in a wholesale operation in Atlanta. Benjamin Ellis Dunaway Jr., ChE 43, of Seaford, Del., on Nov. 28. Mr. Dunaway served in the Army’s 11th Airborne Division during World War II and then in the Army Reserve. He retired following a 33-year career with E.I. du Pont de Nemours. He was active in the Boy Scouts and was an avid bridge player. He also raised and raced homing pigeons. Claiborne Powell East, CE 48, of Sun City West, Ariz., on Dec. 10. Mr. East retired as general manager of engineering of the American bridge division of U.S. Steel. William Dewey Fiser, ChE 48, of Columbia, Mo., on Nov. 26. A longtime resident of Huntsville, Ala., he had a 30-year career as a chemical engineer with Morton Thiokol. He was an Air Force captain with the 315th Bomb Wing during World War II. Walter Jasper Grace III, ME 42, of Tucson, Ariz., on Dec. 28. He earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT and was a petroleum engineering professor at the University of Corpus Christi before moving to Tucson in 1961. After receiving a law degree from the University of Arizona, he worked for the firm of Merchant, Lohse & Bloom before going into private practice. He earned a pilot’s license while a

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In Memoriam

student at Georgia Tech and was commissioned in the Navy, serving as a meteorologist and attaining the rank of commander during World War II. He was a member of the Tucson Sunshine Kiwanis Club. In retirement he restored Citroen automobiles and most recently was working on a car with a Maserati engine. Philip Gadsden Hasell Jr., AE 46, MS EE 50, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., on Dec. 15. He was part of the Navy V-12 program at Tech and was commissioned as an ensign following graduation. After failing the eye exam for aviators, he was sent to Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif., to test missiles. In 1950 he was hired by North American Aerospace and worked at Edwards Air Force Base in California. He learned to fly and bought a PT-26 from Chuck Yeager. In 1955 Mr. Hasell joined the University of Michigan Research Labs in Ann Arbor to develop airborne infrared mapping. Three years later, he went to work for a newly formed Bendix systems division that was developing an airborne weather mapping system and a large aperture-optical system to measure the radiation from a ballistic missile re-entering the atmosphere. He later returned to the University of Michigan, where he worked on infrared mapping of the countryside in a research lab that eventually would become the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan. While there, he received a NASA award for the development of an active multispectral scanner utilizing a laser. He retired in 1991 and returned to his native South Carolina, where he was a volunteer for the East Cooper Meals on Wheels and Adult Literacy programs. While a student at Tech, he owned a Model A Ford with a rumble seat. Survivors include his son Herbert S. Hasell, ME 90. Gordon Crowl Hicks, ChE 42, of Sheffield, Ala., on Dec. 20. He worked at Radford Ordnance Works in Virginia and the Oak Ridge Atomic Plant in Tennessee before moving to Alabama in December 1945. Mr. Hicks retired from the TVA after 33 years as a chemical engineer. He spent his retirement building a pioneer village in Colbert County. Lee Fuson Howard Sr., EE 45, of Atlanta, on Jan. 11. Mr. Howard was an electrical engineer in the commercial construction industry in Atlanta, retiring from Allison Smith 64

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Electrical Contractors in 1990. After graduating from Tech, he attended Navy midshipman school in New York City and served as a Navy lieutenant during World War II. Henry Reese Ivey Sr., GE 42, of Marietta, Ga., on Dec. 28. He worked for the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics during World War II and was a civilian employee of the Air Force at Langley AFB in Hampton, Va., where he was awarded the Air Force’s top commendation for civilian service. In 1959 he moved his family to central Florida, where he worked as an engineer for several Department of Defense contractors. He started Wood-Ivey Systems Corp., which once was honored as the Small Business Contractor of the Year by the Department of Defense. In retirement, he traveled the world and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. Alexander Lucas Lofton, GE 47, a resident of Mount Pleasant, S.C., on Jan. 26. Joining the Navy at 17, Mr. Lofton served on the USS Oklahoma before enrolling at Tech and on the USS Niblack after returning to the Navy in 1943. Following graduation, he went into the manufacturing business, spending most of his career as general manager and vice president of Charleston Manufacturing Co. He was a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, St. James Santee Historical Society and the Charleston Manufacturing Club, for which he had served as president. He served as docent for tours at the Wedge Plantation, where his mother was raised. In retirement, he cataloged and wrote a history of his great-great-grandfather, Jonathan Lucas, and his descendants and their influence on the rice industry through mill designs. He was co-authoring a book about the Lucas family at the time of his death. Fitzhugh Lee Penn Jr., IM 48, of Ocoee, Fla., on Dec. 4. Following retirement from SKF Industries Inc., he hiked the entire Appalachian Trail and did volunteer work on it. He also volunteered at his grandsons’ elementary school. A member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity while at Tech, he served in the Navy in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters in World War II aboard the USS LST 1001 as a communications officer, executive officer and ultimately as commanding officer. Survivors include son Timothy K. Penn, ICS 85;

daughter Sharon Penn Adelhelm, IE 83; and son-in-law Mark S. Adelhelm, IE 83. John Frederick Richenaker, ChE 43, of Frederick, Md., on Jan. 11. Mr. Richenaker, who earned an MBA from what now is Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, retired from Unilever as a chemical salesman in 1985. He was a Navy officer during World War II and a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity at Tech. William Nathan Scott, Arch 43, of Bellevue, Wash., on Jan. 20. Mr. Scott joined John H. Sellen Construction Co. of Seattle in 1951, soon rising to senior management. Under his leadership, the firm contributed greatly to the Seattle and Bellevue skylines. He retired as chairman of the board in 1994. Mr. Scott was a national life director of the Associated General Contractors of America and a past president of his local AGC chapter. A World War II veteran, he served as a Navy officer aboard the USS Watts in the Aleutian Islands and in the Okinawa campaign. William C. “Bill” Underwood, EE 49, of Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 10. Mr. Underwood moved to Orlando in 1957 to work for Martin Marietta. During his 31 years with the company, he was named its Engineer of the Year twice, worked on Bullpup and Hellfire missiles and received a laser guidance system patent for Hellfire. He was an elder emeritus at his church. James E. Van Orden Jr., Cls 44, of St. Petersburg, Fla., on June 20. Mr. Van Orden, who left Georgia Tech in 1942 to enroll in the Army, was the retired president of Acra Tire Shop Inc. John A. Williams, EE 43, of Marietta, Ga., on Oct. 9. He was a retired senior flight test engineer with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. He was a co-op student while at Tech.


John Allen Baker, ChE 59, of Newport News, Va., on Dec. 4. Mr. Baker served three years in the Air Force before beginning a career with Westinghouse Electric Corp. in Pittsburgh in 1962. He was transferred to the company’s field office at Newport News Shipbuilding in 1970 to work on the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and retired in 1998. While a student at Georgia Tech, he was a

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charter member of Delta Upsilon fraternity and participated in the Air Force ROTC.

1989. Mr. Green served in the Army Signal Corps during World War II.

Wayne L. Beech, EE 53, a resident of Leesburg, Va., on Aug. 18. In 1983 Capt. Beech retired from a 32-year career in the Navy in which he supported the Office of Military Application, Office of Arms Control, Office of Intelligence and Department of Energy in the areas of intelligence, nuclear weapon design, threat assessment and environmental activities. He also served with NATO at Special Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium. An expert in the field of nuclear weapons, he was selected to participate in the Strategic Defense Initiatives program, nuclear treaty negotiation support and arms control and nonproliferation activities. His combat experience in the Navy included service as deputy commander of a river patrol force in the Vietnam War.

L. William “Bill” Harper, IM 59, of Ottawa, Canada, on Nov. 23. He worked as a personnel manager for Canadian Oil, Shell Oil and Atomic Energy of Canada (MDS Nordion). He was a former board member of the Carleton Place Hospital and Perth and Smiths Falls Hospital and a member of the Carleton Place Legion. His hobbies included curling, woodworking and painting.

John H. Cunningham, Arch 50, a resident of Atlanta, on Dec. 12. For more than 50 years Mr. Cunningham owned his own architectural firm, which specialized in banks and commercial buildings. A World War II veteran, he flew 50 combat missions as a member of the Air Corps. He wrote three books and was an avid sailor and a farmer. Robert Davis “Bobby” Engelhart Jr., Cls 57, of Sandy Springs and East Cobb, Ga., on Jan. 18. He retired from a 43-year career with Lockheed Martin in 1997 as a director in international sales. He also was a retired major with the Air National Guard. A member of Chi Phi fraternity while at Georgia Tech, he graduated from Georgia State University. Benjamin Kennon Gillis, IM 53, of Soperton, Ga., on Jan. 18. Mr. Gillis retired in 2005 after working at the Bank of Soperton for more than five decades, including 24 years as president. A World War II veteran, he joined the 82nd Airborne Division in 1945 and was a member of the division’s ceremonial drill team. He also was a paratrooper, receiving the World War II Victory Medal. Eugene W. “Wes” Green, EE 50, IE 54, MS IE 55, of Atlanta, on Dec. 26. He began a career at Sears Roebuck in the catalog ordering department and retired as the assistant Southern territory operating manager in 1980. He then joined United Family Insurance, retiring as assistant vice president in

Al Thomas Hays Jr., IM 59, a resident of Dunwoody, Ga., on Dec. 19. Following graduation, Mr. Hays began a long corporate sales career in which he specialized in mineral and lime products. He also owned and operated Al T. Hays Sales Co. until his retirement. Mr. Hays enjoyed traveling the world and had climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Thomas C. Herndon, CE 50, of Brandon, Fla., on Dec. 2. Mr. Herndon was a registered professional engineer and a member of the American Railway Engineer’s Society and the Roadmasters and Maintenance of Way Association. Lorentz Ryan “Friday” Hodges Jr., BS 57, Arch 58, of Warm Springs, Va., on Jan. 17. He worked in Atlanta, Alexandria, Va., and Greensboro, N.C., in his career as an architect. His studies at Georgia Tech were interrupted by two years of service in the Navy as a medical corpsman at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. Mr. Hodges enjoyed classical music and opera. Marion Williams Hodges Jr., Text 54, of Atlanta, on Dec. 30. Mr. Hodges worked for West Point Manufacturing and Sandoz Textile & Chemicals before beginning a career as a commercial real estate agent in the late 1960s. He formed Marion Hodges & Company in the 1970s, working as a broker. A member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity while at Tech, he served in the Marine Corps as a first lieutenant and was a life member of the Capital City Club. Herbert A. Johnson, IE 52, of Union City, Calif., on Dec. 9. Mr. Johnson had worked for Lockheed, Bechtel and Sygnetics. He was an Army veteran, a past master of Peninsula Lodge 168 F&AM and a member of Asiya Shrine.

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John C. Kievit, ChE 53, of Elkton, Md., on Jan. 3. He retired following a 30-year career with DuPont. He was a Stephen minister at his church, an artist and an avid reader. James Andrew “Jim” Machmer, ME 54, of Lexington, Ky., on Jan 24. In a 27-year career with IBM, he worked in the company’s office products division, acquiring four patents and helping in the design and development of IBM’s Selectric Element and Copier 3 heat fuser. In 1970 he was recognized as a top 10 inventor. He also worked for Delta Air Lines and Lexmark. Mr. Machmer worked his way through Georgia Tech by playing clarinet and alto saxophone in the six-piece Fowler Street Five Plus One band. He also was a member of the Georgia Tech Glee Club, which performed on Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town television program. He was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, from 1955 to ’57 while serving as a lieutenant in the Air Force. An aviation enthusiast, he enjoyed flying his 1945 Piper Cub, building and repairing model and radio-controlled planes and hang gliding in Colorado. He also sang in community choruses and a barbershop quartet. Gordon Richard McHan, ME 51, of Marietta, Ga., on June 7. Mr. McHan retired from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. Charles Gordon Naylor Jr., EE 52, of Dublin, Ga., on Dec. 28. Mr. Naylor retired from Hughes Aircraft Co. and volunteered at Easter Seals Middle Georgia. He was a Navy veteran of World War II. John Hezekiah “Jack” Oldham Sr., ME 58, of Wesley Chapel, N.C., on Jan. 16. Mr. Oldham served in the Army before owning his own business in Charlotte, N.C. He was a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels and for many years was active in the Weddington Optimist Club. He was a founder of the Union County Patriots and was named 2009 Union County Republican Man of the Year. Survivors include his son, John Hezekiah Oldham Jr., ME 92. Frank Levan O’Steen, IM 54, of York, S.C., on Aug. 30. Mr. O’Steen served in the Marines during the Korean War and was the former owner and operator of the Shrimp Boat Restaurant in Rock Hill, S.C. He was a member of the Elks Club, Savannah Masonic

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In Memoriam

Lodge No. 1, Veterans of Foreign Wars and York County Shrine Club. James Lee Perry, IM 57, of Cumming, Ga., on Jan. 8. A 1961 graduate of the Emory School of Law, Mr. Perry retired in 1995 as law assistant to the Supreme Court of Georgia. He was a law assistant to several justices in his 34-year career. He spent several years researching biblical languages and translations of ancient texts while writing a book, The Holy Grail Cosmos of the Bible. His hobbies included researching the history of Great Britain, gardening and target shooting. Charles Wayne Robertson, ME 55, of Lutz, Fla., on Jan. 19. Mr. Robertson was an engineer at Busch Gardens for more than 25 years. He was an animal lover, a fishing enthusiast and a miniature train collector. Ray H. Rohletter, Text 53, of Demorest, Ga., on Nov. 25. A Navy veteran of World War II, Mr. Rohletter had a 40-year career with Chicopee Manufacturing in Cornelia and Gainesville. He was a member of the Habersham County Board of Education and Demorest City Council, an avid beekeeper and a cattle rancher. Survivors include son Joel B. Rohletter, IM 77; daughter Jennifer, IM 82, and her husband, Robert Chambers, CE 79, MS CE 80; and grandchildren Grant Rohletter, Mgt 03, and his wife, Meaghan, Mgt 03; Emily Chambers, IntAML 10; and Benton Chambers, a student in the College of Engineering. Charles W. “Chuck” Scott, Phys 59, MS Phys 62, of Westminster, Calif., on Nov. 15. Mr. Scott retired in 1995 after a 25-year career as a physics teacher at Los Alamitos High School in California. He moved to California in 1965 to work in the autonetics division of North American Rockwell, during which time he also taught physics courses at area universities at night. Mr. Scott spent summers and later his retirement on a chestnut orchard and tree farm in Ettersburg, Calif. Joseph E. Summerour, IM 51, of Sumter, S.C., on Dec. 12, 2008. His career with the Air Force included a lengthy tour in the Vietnam War. He retired from Shaw Air Force Base as a lieutenant colonel. He served on the school board in Sumter and led several antique car clubs in South Carolina. While at 66

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Tech, he was a member of Sigma Nu and the Bulldog Club and served as assistant business manager of the Yellow Jacket magazine.

Jim Hicks, Text 68, of Belton, S.C., on Dec. 15. Mr. Hicks was a former technical manager and plant engineer with the Hexcel Corp.

Guillermo “Willie” Valls Munoz, IM 57, of Miami, on Nov. 27.

William W. Mee III, IE 68, a resident of Newark, Del., on Dec. 22, of cancer of the appendix. A co-op student at Georgia Tech, Mr. Mee retired from DuPont in 2002 as a senior consultant for the international transfer policy. His 34-year career with the company was interrupted in 1969 by a stint in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Mr. Mee was chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council’s International Compensation Committee in 1991. In retirement, he volunteered with the Blood Bank of Delmarva, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Habitat for Humanity and PFLAG and mentored several elementary school students.

C. Neil Welsch, CE 53, of Atlanta, on Dec. 23. Mr. Welsch helped shape the skyline of the Atlanta area as a general contractor, president of H.W. Ivey Construction Co. and employee with B.L.I. Construction Co. A member of Sigma Chi fraternity while at Tech, he served in the Army in Austria from 1947 to ’48 and in Korea from 1953 to ’55 as a commander of a combat engineering company. A Sunday school teacher for more than 40 years, he also served as chair of the deacons at his church and was a deacon emeritus. Leonard Atlee Wills, ME 52, of Roanoke, Va., on Nov. 23. Mr. Wills served in the Army in the Philippines during World War II and later worked for the Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C. His hobbies included singing, songwriting and playing his guitar. Thomas D. Woodman, ME 59, of Pleasant Grove, Ala., on Feb. 8, 2010. Dr. Woodman was a retired orthopedic surgeon.


John McDonald “Mac” Carter, CE 63, of Raleigh, N.C., on Nov. 29. An Army veteran, he served in Korea and retired from Carolina Power and Light Co. Earnest C. Eason Jr., CerE 61, of North Augusta, S.C., on Dec. 31. Mr. Eason retired from Augusta Newsprint, at which he was a boiler operator. Dennis C.B. Freeman, IM 66, a resident of The Woodlands, Texas, on Sept. 14. In his career, Mr. Freeman worked as a communications consultant at TIC Lucent Tech, a quality assurance and technology setup analyst at Hewitt Associates and an account manager at Panasonic. Edward Worley Graham Jr., IE 60, of Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 19. He served in the Army and retired from Robins Air Force Base after 44 years of service as an industrial engineer.

Lewis Edward Moore, ChE 69, of Springfield, La., on Dec. 26. In his more than 30year career, he was a project manager for such companies as Ciba-Geigy and Borden Chemicals. He received an MBA from Louisiana State University. He was a golfer and a car and model train enthusiast. E. John Patten Jr., CE 62, a resident of Athens, Ga., on Jan. 11. While a student at Tech, he worked for the Georgia Railroad and helped design and lay out the rail around Stone Mountain. Upon graduation, he began a career with the USDA’s Soil Conservation Service, now the Natural Resources Conservation Service, from which he retired as state design engineer after 30 years. He then was a consultant on dams with Schnabel Engineering Associates. He served on the National Dams Safety Committee and was instrumental in the development of the SITES computer program used by engineers involved in the design of dams. He was a member of the Beech Haven Christian Sportsmen Ministry, American Saddlebred Horse Association and American Saddlebred Museum; a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers; and an endowment member of the National Rifle Association. James Patrick Phillips, EE 69, a resident of Lake in the Hills, Ill., on Nov. 25. During a 31-year career with Motorola, Mr. Phillips headed an engineering research department

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and received several awards. After retiring from Motorola in 2007, he started a consulting business, Wireless Wyzards. His career included design work for the Saturn V rocket computer and antennas for the Alaskan oil pipeline, space shuttle amateur radio and the first cellular telephone. Mr. Phillips, who earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, was chairman of the Chicago section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a senior member of the IEEE. He was awarded 40 patents. Samuel Tucker Thompson, IE 69, a resident of Jasper, Ga., on Dec. 9, after a two-year battle with cancer. He held executive positions in various companies before purchasing his own company, Blue Ridge Mountain Woodcrafts, in Ellijay, Ga., in 2000. He served in the Army before attending Tech. Survivors include his children Lisa Wearing, IE 88, and Samuel Thompson, ME 94. Harold Robert “Bob” Todd, IE 65, of Rock Hill, S.C., on Dec. 11. He served in the Army and retired from IBM Corp. Mr. Todd enjoyed photography and water sports with his grandsons. He was a Sunday school leader at his church and a volunteer at the Billy Graham TV Telephone Ministry. Preston C. Upshaw Jr., IM 61, of Marietta, Ga., on Jan. 19. Mr. Upshaw retired following a 30-year career with Lockheed Martin Corp. He also was an accomplished bluegrass musician and songwriter. He served as a medic in the Army and was a member of American Legion Post 216.


Kent S. Harris, IE 73, MS IE 75, of Walnut Creek, Calif., on Sept. 29. He worked for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., most recently as senior program engineer. Mr. Harris was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi while at Tech. Robert Lowell Preston, MS CE 71, PhD CE 76, of Ventura, Calif., on Dec. 15, of cancer. Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1959, he was appointed commander and served two missions in Vietnam, receiving the Bronze Star with a Combat V. After 21 years of active duty in the

Navy, he was appointed executive officer at the Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory. He retired in 2005 after 14 years as manager of the water resources department of the county of Ventura. He was an accomplished race car driver and a NASCAR fan.


Bruce Fabrick, M Arch 85, a resident of Decatur, Ga., on Dec. 22, in an automobile accident. Mr. Fabrick, who also was a graduate of the Atlanta College of Art, was a residential architect. He was a cook, political activist and community volunteer who devoted much of his time to helping build and care for the Decatur High School Community Gardens as a PTA volunteer. Karen Elizabeth Knapp, BC 83, a resident of Brunswick, Ga., formerly of Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 2, after a three-year battle with liver disease. She was a volunteer at the American Red Cross and the YMCA, at which she was a mentor, coach and referee. Peter Paul Ostapchenko, ME 81, of Salem, S.C., on Jan. 10, following a two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He worked at General Motors while a co-op student at Tech and began his career developing software at General Dynamics. He later worked for Computer Science Corp. and Omnigon Technologies and was a consultant for the Hein Group Inc. and Talon Eight. At Invitrogen he managed IT projects and implemented postproduction support using Six Sigma methodologies. Mr. Ostapchenko, who received an MBA from the University of Phoenix in San Diego, was a member of Ideas Unlimited, a professional think tank of scientists and inventors in San Diego. James J. Partlow, Cls 81, a resident of Lawrenceville, Ga., on Jan. 19. A co-op student while at Tech, he was a former systems developer with Building Systems Design. William Andrew Priest, ME 82, of Tallahassee, Fla., on Jan. 17, of pancreatic cancer. Following graduation from Tech, he attended and taught at Florida State University. He spent the past 18 years helping provide Floridians with safe drinking water as a Department of Environmental Protection engineer.

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He enjoyed driving his motorcycle, skiing, windsurfing, sailing and swimming. Melony Lynn Jones Seaton, IE 82, of Bristol, Tenn., on Jan. 24. She spent her career working in quality assurance for NASA and the military. She was an animal lover and a Bingo player. She enjoyed fishing.


John (Chong Hun) Chon, MS ChE 97, PhD ChE 99, of Marlborough, Mass., on Nov. 22. Dr. Chon worked in the biotech industry, starting out at Genzyme Corp. and most recently working for Percivia LLC. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and music from MIT in 1994. Passionate about classical music and jazz, he played in several musical groups, including the Boston Civic Symphony, Wellesley Symphony Orchestra and Hillside Wind Quintet. While at Georgia Tech, he was a member of a jazz chamber ensemble and the symphonic band. Mark Amos Ruff, EE 91, of Cumming, Ga., on Jan. 15. Mr. Ruff was a den leader with the Cub Scouts. He enjoyed golf and coaching his sons in soccer.


Kristin Michael, ME 00, MS ME 03, PhD BioE 06, of Marietta, Ga., on Jan. 10, of leukemia. She was a senior postdoctoral researcher and then a group leader in the biomaterials group at Forschungszentrum Julich in Germany. Her many awards included a graduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

Friends Roy Hartsfield, 85, of Ellijay, Ga., on Jan. 15. A former player, coach and manager in minor and major league baseball, Mr. Hartsfield played for the Atlanta Crackers, Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers and had worked for such teams as the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays. He also spent decades in the offseason working in the Georgia Tech Print shop. In retirement, he was a member of the Ellijay Lions

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In Memoriam

Club and a golfer, who participated in charity tournaments for major league baseball. Phyllis Dorman Kelly, of Ocala, Fla., on Jan. 15, of pancreatic cancer. She attended Georgia State University and after raising four children worked at Georgia Tech as the graduate program cooperative education coordinator. After moving to Dudley, N.C., she was the office manager and human resources director of the Georgia-Pacific chip and saw plant, retiring in 1997. She was a Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders counselor and a past president of the Goldsboro Rotary and Belleview Busy Bee Quilters. Ellie Kohler, 69, of Atlanta, on Dec. 14, of lung cancer. She is survived by her husband, Edwin Philip Kohler II, associate vice president for Student Affairs emeritus and an honorary alumnus of Georgia Tech. A graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in elementary education, Mrs. Kohler worked as a teacher and secretary for Atlanta

City Schools, Davis International and Southern Progress magazine. She volunteered with many organizations, including the Georgia Tech Women’s Club. John Paul “Jack” Line, 81, a resident of Stone Mountain, Ga., on Jan. 5. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he was a math professor at Georgia Tech for 39 years, during which time he was a member of the bowling team. He was a deacon and an elder at his church. He and his wife, Fran, were square dancers and served on the board of the Georgia State Square Dance Association for 30 years. Survivors include son Carl Line, ICS 82. Kathleen Marie Lohmann, 59, a resident of Marietta, Ga., on Jan. 13. She is survived by her husband of 25 years, Jack R. Lohmann, vice provost for Faculty and Academic Development and a professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. Mrs. Lohmann earned a

bachelor’s degree in nursing from Michigan State University and was a registered nurse and head nurse for the University of Michigan Hospitals in Ann Arbor early in her career. She later was a certified diabetes educator for Northside Hospital in Atlanta. Memorials in Mrs. Lohmann’s name may be made to the Georgia Tech Foundation for the Georgia Tech Women’s Faculty Club Scholarship Endowment Fund. Anne Louise O’Connell Martin, 79, a resident of Atlanta, on Nov. 24. She retired from the Georgia Tech Police Department as a police dispatcher in 1995. She was a 1949 graduate of Atlanta’s Grady High School, at which she was voted most friendly. She served on many boards and committees at her church and was involved in the Colonial Oaks Civic Association and Williamsburg Senior Community. Memorials in her name may be made to the Lutheran Campus Ministry of Georgia Tech.

Call for Board of Trustees Nominations Nominations are being solicited for candidates to serve on the Georgia Tech Alumni Association Board of Trustees for terms beginning July 1. Nominees must be Tech alumni and have a significant record of supporting the Institute. A nominating committee of the current chair, past three chairs and the Executive Committee will

convene in March to review all candidates and propose a final list of nominees. To submit nominations, fill out the form below or at Self-nominations will be accepted. Include a resume or brief biographical profile. Final deadline for nominations is March 14. For more details, e-mail

Name of Nominee__________________________________________ Class/Degree___________­______________ Telephone Number: Home____________________ Work _____________________ Cell ______________________ Home Address_________________________________________________________________________________ E-mail Address_________________________________________________________________________________ Company and Title______________________________________________________________________________ Nominated by____________________________________________ Class/Degree__________________________ Telephone Number: Home___________________ Work______________________ Cell __­____________________ Home Address_________________________________________________________________________________ E-mail Address_________________________________________________________________________________ Mail to: Trustee Nominations, Attn: Jolie Rosenberg, Georgia Tech Alumni Association,190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313


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Yellow Jackets

The Day Tech Sports Changed Forever By L. Mitchell Ginn


n Jan. 24, 1964, the direction of Georgia Tech athletics and the fortunes of one of the South’s premier collegiate institutions were forever changed. Head football coach and athletic director Bobby Dodd and President Edwin Harrison were at the annual SEC coaches meetings at the Americana Motor Hotel in downtown Atlanta. It was on this day they would pull Georgia Tech out of the Southeastern Conference. Over the years, many have debated the reason for Tech’s departure from the SEC. Some will argue that Tech athletics had begun to slip and were no longer able to compete with the other conference teams. Others will point to a running feud with the University of Alabama as the cause. Still others will suggest that Tech wanted to be an independent all along, hoping to become the Notre Dame of the South. Tech was losing a lot of revenue generated from TV and bowl rights because of conference sharing rules. As an independent, Tech would be able to keep all the money it earned. The true reason was over something called the 140 Rule — and Bobby Dodd’s determination to have it changed. The SEC 140 Rule placed yearly caps on football and basketball scholarships at 45 and limited the total number of scholarships each school could offer to 140. Even with the normal attrition expected from academic dropouts and other issues, simple math shows that if a school recruited its full allotment of players each year it would be over the 140 maximum. Instead of recruiting a smaller number of athletes each year to manage the 140 maximum, many SEC schools would simply cut the scholarships of players who had not performed to expectations. Atlanta’s afternoon newspaper, The Atlanta Journal, reported “Dodd’s chief complaint with the 140 has been the alleged practice of some schools ‘running off’ recruiting mistakes to make room for new signees.” Dodd believed if he and his staff recruited an athlete out of high school based on his talents, the scholarship should be in place for the duration of the player’s time at Tech. It should not be pulled later due to a lack of perceived performance. In his autobiography, Dodd’s Luck, the coach stated his position. “We’d live with 10 boys a year, 20, 30, 40, 50, we don’t give a damn how many boys you let us take. But don’t tell us we gotta run ’em off.” As a result, Dodd was recruiting only 35 or so scholarship players a year while other schools were bringing in 45.


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The State of Tech Athletics in 1964

Tech was an upper-tier member of the SEC in 1964 and had been since the conference’s beginning. It was a charter member in 1933 as well as a founding member in 1922 of the old Southern Conference that preceded it. Jesse Outlar wrote in his Jan. 22, 1964, Atlanta Constitution sports column, “Tech is an elite member of the league, a famous name nationally known for high standards in the classroom and in athletic events. The SEC does not want to lose Tech.” Of course football was the premier sport. Since 1951, Tech football was 6-3-1 versus Tennessee, 7-2-2 against Florida, 6-6-1 against Auburn, 7-6 against Alabama and 9-4 against state rival Georgia. Tech football had been ranked in the top 20 each of these years and had won the national championship in 1952. Tech also had Dodd, a superior coach and recruiter. Dodd was renowned for exemplifying class and style on and off the field. Georgia Tech fans and alumni loved and trusted him as coach and athletic director. Dodd believed the 140 Rule was putting Georgia Tech at a major recruiting disadvantage. He must have wanted the rule changed so badly he was willing to gamble the Institute’s athletics future over it. He had discussed this situation fully with his athletic board and with Tech’s president, Edwin Harrison. They reportedly agreed that if the 140 Rule was not abolished at the 1964 meetings, Tech would leave the conference. Dodd had formally called for the abolishment of the 140 Rule two years earlier. The change had some support but eventually failed. He came closer in 1963. This time SEC commissioner Bernie Moore sponsored a motion to change the rule, but the issue was narrowly defeated in a 6-6 vote. The Atlanta Constitution made reference to this earlier vote in its Jan. 24, 1964, paper. “Last winter, Alabama’s Paul Bryant had voted with Tech and five other league athletic directors to lift the 140 Rule. But the following day, Alabama president Dr. Frank Rose switched ’Bama’s support in the other direction to give the 140 measure another year of life.” The league did drop the yearly total of signees from 55 to 45. After another year of politicking, Dodd is said to have been confident going into the 1964 SEC meetings that the 140 Rule finally would be altered. However, months earlier a damaging headline from the July

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Bobby Dodd, left, was all smiles at the 1966 Gator Bowl. But Georgia Tech struggled for many of its seasons after leaving the Southeastern Conference in 1964. 21, 1963, Atlanta Constitution read: “Georgia Tech to Quit SEC Next January.” Articles like this and Dodd’s constant drumbeat to terminate the 140 Rule were beginning to ruffle feathers and generate independent theories. The Atlanta Journal also fueled the fire: “The 140 Rule has not been the only reason Tech has made eyes at independent status. Dodd has long been intrigued by the possibilities of a largely intersectional schedule.”

Wednesday, January 22

The SEC meetings were a three-day affair. Wednesday would be a day for settling into the hotel and the typical meet-and-greet sessions. Thursday would be full of meetings pertaining to rule changes. Topics would be discussed behind closed doors by coaches, athletic directors and school representatives. These meetings would result in nonbinding recommendations to each member institution’s president. On Friday, the presidents would formally vote on all issues on the agenda. The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution both reported that the SEC executive committee planned to introduce legislation to lift the 140 Rule. It was expected to pass by a narrow margin at the meeting of school presidents on Friday. Dodd apparently was growing confident with each bit of good news. SEC commissioner Bernie Moore told The Atlanta Journal, “I don’t think the league is so sold on the rule that it would be willing to see Tech go just to keep it.”

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Thursday, January 23

On the morning of the rule-change debate, Dodd was quoted in The Atlanta Journal. “If the Southeastern does not throw out the 140 Rule, then I will recommend to our president and to our athletic board that we get out of the conference. This is not an ultimatum or anything resembling an ultimatum. The fact is that this is a bad rule, and we cannot live with it any longer.” Sports columnist Outlar quoted an SEC delegate as saying, “I know some athletic directors consider Tech’s position as a challenge. If we had voted a few weeks ago, there’s no doubt that the rule would have been rescinded. Now I’m truly convinced that the league won’t change the rule. I know some schools have changed their votes in the last few weeks.” Some wondered if Tech was just looking for an excuse to leave the conference. Benny Marshall’s column in The Birmingham News reported that one observer said, “What it sounds like to me is that somebody is saying, ‘If you don’t play like I want to play, I’ll pick up my marbles and go home.’” Marshall quoted another, “Coach Dodd wants out. Dodd might figure that the hostility he can arouse with this approach gives him ammunition for doing what he badly wants to do, go independent.” Marshall concluded, “Thus is the water made muddy, and the feeling grew last night that removal of the limit — which might have passed — might now be doomed to failure because a great deal of anger has moved in behind the general good humor.” March/April 2011

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Still, Tech had its supporters in the conference. Auburn and and we’re going to meet again tonight. I think we’re going to have a compromise that will keep Georgia Tech with us. We’re trying to Georgia wanted badly to keep Tech in the SEC. One could assume work it out. I don’t think anyone wants Tech to leave the Souththat former Georgia Tech assistant Ray Graves, now the coach at eastern Conference.” the University of Florida, still had a friendly ear to Dodd as well. Others weren’t as diplomatic. Outlar quoted a delegate as sayBut Dodd did have his enemies. The western schools in the ing, “If Tech wants to get out of the league, I think Tech should conference resented Dodd for refusing to play them. Alabama had get out.” Another source told Outlar that if “Tech intends to leave no love for Dodd or Georgia Tech. The Alabama series had recently unless the 140 Rule is changed, the rule won’t be changed.” Outbeen canceled because of the Holt-Graning incident. Most sources lar concluded, “The SEC in general apparently prefers to see Tech agree that Tech’s Chick Graning had been a victim of a deliberate walk out the door unless the Engineers cheap shot in the ’61 game, resulting exhibit more togetherness.” in a broken jaw, the end of his playing At the end of Thursday’s athletic days and a lot of bad blood between directors and coaches meeting, the 140 Tech and ’Bama. Rule had in fact prevailed. Tech now Of the other 11 SEC schools, Tech knew its options. Give in or leave. Furwas currently only scheduling home man Bisher’s column summed it up: and away games with five of them. This “This is almost like your parents getwas by Dodd’s design. Many competiting a divorce. Nobody really wants tors viewed Georgia Tech and Dodd it, but a form of obstinacy sets in for as elitists. The Birmingham News’ Alf which there is no compromise.” Van Hoose wrote, “Since Georgia Tech Dodd left Thursday’s closed coachhasn’t been the chummiest sort recently es meeting before the session officially in the fraternity, spiteful human nature ended. When an Atlanta Constitution reared its ugly head.” writer asked how the meetings were An earlier Atlanta Constitution colprogressing, he reportedly smiled and umn by Outlar reinforced this opinion. mused, “I guess that would depend on “It’s no secret that some of the brethren which side you’re on.” resent Georgia Tech’s ultimatum. And A frustrated Tech official discussed Bobby Dodd and the Engineers haven’t the 11th-hour standoff with Outlar. The conducted their campaign in a diploquote appeared in his Friday column. matic manner,” he wrote. “We do not have a desire to pull out of The Atlanta Constitution concurred, the conference just for the sake of pull“It’s common talk that some of the ing out. We haven’t intended to sound league’s western members hold no like we’re issuing ultimatums. Unfortufondness for Georgia Tech. There are renately, a news story got out in advance ports of ‘alignment’ voting rather than that may have sounded that way to at all times votes on the basis of issue.” President Edwin Harrison and Bobby Dodd are said to have agreed the rest of the conference, but we were to withdraw from the conference if the 140 Rule was not thrown out. simply explaining our position, not deCompromise or Divorce manding any kind of action or else.” The Thursday headline in The AtlanEven though the coaches and athta Journal read, “Opposition Builds Up Against Tech Stand, Emoletic directors had decided on Thursday to keep the 140 Rule in tions Run Hot.” The accompanying story rumored of “some sort place, the presidents still would have the last word on the subject of a compromise to keep the league intact.” The article went on to on Friday. They could refuse the recommendation. The presidents quote an observer, “There is admittedly a lot of bitterness and a lot had worked into the night in their own secluded meeting hoping of emotion. But the SEC needs Georgia Tech, and frankly, I think for compromise. President Harrison listened to all proposals but Georgia Tech needs the league. Regardless of what the athletic didid not commit to any compromise. He, like Dodd, had been clear rectors and coaches do, the issue must still go before the presidents from the beginning that the 140 Rule must be overturned. on Friday.” Rose of Alabama had gotten an agreement from the member Rumors of compromise proposals swirled. The Birmingham presidents to drop the number of freshman recruits from 45 to 40, News relayed Alabama president Frank Rose’s statement from but after much debate, the 140 Rule was not going to be erased. Thursday afternoon, “The presidents have been meeting all day, That was final. 72

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Most sources, including the Georgia Tech Alumnus, agreed the Yellow Jackets’ Chick Graning had been the victim of a deliberate cheap shot in a 1961 game against Alabama. Although there was bad blood between Georgia Tech and Alabama afterward, coach Bobby Dodd cited the 140 scholarship rule as his reason for wanting to leave the conference. “Tech Probably Will Enter the Exit” was Outlar’s take on Friday, the final day of the SEC meeting.

Friday, January 24

The presidents’ meeting was called to order. But before discussion and voting on the rule could take place, President Harrison stood up and approached the podium. “Georgia Tech’s interest is best served by withdrawal from the conference,” he said, announcing that the Institute would leave the SEC effective June 30. “We chose to withdraw before these deliberations to assure that our decision would not be considered as reflecting disapproval on any specific action taken by the conference,” Harrison told The Atlanta Constitution after the meeting. “Circumstances related to Tech’s technologically oriented educational programs and the admissions requirements associated with these programs were primarily responsible for my action. “Tech’s entrance requirements have had the effect of requiring that more of the scholar-athletes are capable of doing the level of work necessary to remain at Tech through graduation. These circumstances make a limit on the total number of athletic grants-inaid impractical. Our action neither indicates nor implies criticism of other institutions or of the conference, but rather acknowledges a uniqueness of our situation,” Harrison said. The Birmingham News quoted Harrison as saying, “I was convinced that there are some institutions convinced Tech was saying ‘play the game our way or we’ll pick up our marbles and go home.’ That is why our announcement was made before any vote

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was taken. There were other problems also. Institutions are different. Their problems are different. There is not another school in America like Georgia Tech trying to play football.” After Harrison announced Tech’s resignation, the conference presidents voted 11-0 to keep the 140 Rule. The Atlanta Journal reported, “Among the veteran newspapermen covering the SEC meeting, there was an air of stunned disbelief and deep regret.” “Tech Withdraws from SEC, Doesn’t Wait for Vote on 140” was the headline in The Atlanta Constitution. Anyone reading this could make the assumption that Tech quit before having its case heard before the presidents. Only insiders to the private Thursday meetings would have known that Friday’s vote was simply a formality. Marshall, of The Birmingham News, threw this dagger: “Tech’s president confirmed a suspicion that the 140 Rule, which had been held up as ranking villain, might not have been. ‘There are other problems,’ he said before proceeding to an old and somewhat arrogant conclusion, which is that Tech recruits athletes with superior minds, they don’t flunk out and therefore Tech cannot live within a limit. Eleven other Southeastern Conference schools might, but not Georgia Tech. The image must be maintained, and now these people have told the world once more, ‘We’re out because, really, we’re better.’”

‘In Dodd We Trust’

On Saturday, Outlar had this to say in The Atlanta Constitution: “Only time will tell whether Georgia Tech made a sound decision. It says here that both sides lost the game. The conference will miss March/April 2011

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Georgia Tech, and Georgia Tech will miss the conference.” Commissioner Moore told The Atlanta Constitution that Georgia Tech and the SEC would both “live to regret” their history-making parting. Moore revealed to the paper that he had tried twice to have the 140 Rule lifted. Joe Pittard, the oldest member of Tech’s athletic department, said, “It’s difficult to believe. But a lot of things are.” SEC coaches weighed in as well. Former UGA coach Wally Butts stated, “Both Tech and the SEC have suffered a loss. Something will be gone from the Georgia-Georgia Tech series now, I don’t care what anyone says. And though I suppose the series will always go on, I can sure say that Georgia needs Georgia Tech.” Auburn’s Shug Jordan told The Atlanta Journal, “From an Auburn standpoint, we deeply regret it. I personally think it was entirely unnecessary. I feel the conference should have made the rule flexible enough for everyone to live with.” Kentucky’s coach, Charlie Bradshaw, had a different take. “I am sorry to see them withdraw, but it is bad to be put in a position where we must compromise to keep people in.” Most Tech people were supportive of Dodd’s departure from the SEC. The old phrase “in Dodd we trust” held true. Lum Snyder, a Tech football standout from the ’50s, told The Atlanta Constitution, “I support Coach Dodd and the school 100 percent. I probably don’t know about all their reasoning, I came over a while back to get Coach Dodd’s views on the matter. When he explained the feeling on this 140 business, I went home thoroughly in agreement.” Dodd said in the Jan. 27 issue of The Atlanta Constitution, “Only a few letters and wires have been received so far, but all have expressed support on the move. Most have been from prominent alumni. Just about all of them have expressed the theme that ‘we have enough confidence in Georgia Tech to believe the decision was right.’” A Technique editorial on Jan. 31 also was supportive. “President Harrison’s decision to withdraw Tech from the Southeastern Conference is nothing short of great, so far as the school is concerned. Tech’s athletic program, at present, is operating far above the conference average, and our continued alliance with the conference serves only to restrict our program and pull down its quality,” the student newspaper said. “The important thing is that we will be free to run our programs the way we want, and not the way Georgia or the University of Alabama want us to run things. The fairness and reputable treatment of athletes at Georgia Tech is known around the nation as well 74

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as the conference. Once free of conference hindrances, our athletic programs can only improve,” the Technique said. In the same issue, Dodd said, “I’d like to clear up the financial aspect once and for all. While we have lost a lot of money through sharing of TV rights over the last eight to 10 years by remaining in the SEC, it wasn’t a factor in our withdrawal. Our primary reason was the 140 Rule. Actually, we will continue to take fewer boys than the average SEC school, but we’ll try to graduate all of them instead of taking 50 to 60 each year, then dropping half.”

The Aftermath

The Atlanta Touchdown Club held its Silver Anniversary Jamboree on Jan. 25. Air Force Academy coach Ben Martin was the guest speaker. He predicted Tech would soon become an independent king. Dodd, who also was in attendance, said, “I won’t ever try to predict our future. I reiterate that we leave the conference with mixed emotions.” If Dodd could have predicted the future, one could argue that he never would have pulled Georgia Tech out of the SEC. The years that followed as an independent were mostly lean ones for Georgia Tech. From 1964 to 1982, Georgia Tech’s football record was 104-100-5. Compare that to Tech’s SEC football record of 206-110-12 from 1933 to 1963. As an independent, Georgia Tech saw its facilities become worn and outdated, surpassed in size and quality by most of its Southern competitors. Georgia Tech would officially begin competing in the ACC in 1983. As a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Tech’s athletic fortunes rose again. With victories and championships in a variety of sports have come financial contributions and greatly improved facilities. Arguably, the level of national prestige that Tech football enjoyed as a member in the SEC has never returned. Even with all its current success, here’s a startling comparison. In 1963, the enrollment at Georgia Tech was about 6,300 students, and there were roughly 50,000 living alumni. In 2011, the enrollment at Georgia Tech is more than 20,000, and there are more than 120,000 living alumni. Atlanta’s metro population has more than tripled. Yet Georgia Tech’s average football attendance for 2010 was less than it was in 1963. Georgia Tech athletics forever changed on Jan. 24, 1964. Mitch Ginn, Arch 82, M Arch 85, is the owner of the residential design firm L. Mitchell Ginn & Associates in Newnan, Ga.

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Tall on the Mound By Van Jensen Shaina Ervin spent her four years as a star pitcher at North Carolina State as a looming threat to the Georgia Tech softball team. Ervin, who is 6 feet 3 inches tall, led the Wolfpack to a successful run against the Yellow Jackets from 2003 to 2007 and helped her team win the 2006 ACC championship. After spending two seasons as pitching coach at Tennessee-Chattanooga, Ervin was hired over the summer by Tech softball coach Sharon Perkins. When did you join Tech? My hire date was July 26, which is also my birthday. It was a nice birthday present. Are you sick of hearing about your height? I’m mistaken for being a volleyball player. But I don’t mind. I love being tall. It certainly helped me on the mound. You can’t teach height, so what’s your approach to coaching? There are a bunch of ways to approach it, but the fundamentals are the same. One of the biggest things is to let the pitchers feed off of me because they know I’ve been there and done it before. Is it strange suiting up in the colors of your old rival? My entire coaching career I’ve been in navy and gold. It’s not weird. I understand the strengths of the ACC. But it’ll be different when we play N.C. State. But I don’t talk of Tech as a rival. This is my family now. You’re working on a master’s degree in psychology, right? I started working on a degree in industrial and organizational psychology [at Tennessee-Chattanooga] because it was the closest thing offered to sports psychology. That’s really important to me. I’m going to complete the degree, I just don’t know where. I might transfer to Georgia State. Do you want to pursue psychology as a career? I could see myself venturing into that realm. It’s something that’s not touched on enough. It’s make or break for being a great program. You’re eventually going to play a team that has just as much talent as you do. If you can win the mental game, the results are usually going to be in your favor. You inherited a talented staff. How can they improve? We’ve got Hope [Rush] and Kristen [Adkins] coming back, and they were successful. You’ve got to shoot big. If you get complacent, you stop learning. With pitching, every day you need to grow. They’re going to be smarter pitchers this year. Have you set goals for the pitchers? We have a goal of having a team ERA of 1.50 or lower, a 4-to

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Eric Mansfield

1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and allowing 15 home runs or less. Those goals are from the pitchers, but I think they’re realistic. You described yourself as stoic pitcher. How does that help? The biggest thing with being stoic is being consistent. Let’s be consistent from practice to games. Consistency is the biggest word for pitchers. You used to go up against Aileen Morales [Mgt 08] and now you’re coaching together. Do you two still compete at all? We joke about playing against each other. It’s great working together now, so we focus on that. I may have been out of the game for a couple of years, but I’m not scared to get out there and pitch against her. Outside of coaching and studying, what keeps you busy? My twin sister coaches at a Division II school, so we communicate a lot. I spend time with my puppy, a Yorkie-poo named Peanut. And I love to run. I was in the last Atlanta half marathon, and I got a medal. Running is a stress release. That used to be softball for me, but now that’s my job. So I run. March/April 2011

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Sports Briefs

Jackets Sign 22-member Class

Football coach Paul Johnson announced the Yellow Jackets would be adding 22 freshman scholarship players to the roster. “I think we addressed our needs and signed a very balanced, talented group,” Johnson said. “We are excited about this class and feel like we have a number of players who are not only quality players, but quality young men as well.” One of the signees, Trey Braun of Tallahassee, Fla., enrolled at Georgia Tech in January. The remaining will arrive in August. The signed players from Georgia are: Bryan Chamberlain, an offensive lineman from Albany; Chaz Cheeks, a linebacker from Gainesville; Jeff Greene, a wide receiver from Peachtree City; Jabari Hunt-Days, a linebacker from Marietta; Zach Laskey, a running back from Peachtree City; Chris Milton, a running back from Folkston; Demontevious Smith, a quarterback from Monroe; Broderick Snoddy, a running back from Carrollton; Kyle Travis, a linebacker from Cumming; and Darren Waller, a wide receiver from Acworth. Out-of-staters signed are: Braun; Corey Dennis, a wide receiver from Troy, Ala.; Jamal Golden, a defensive back from Wetumpka, Ala.; Anthony Harrell, a linebacker from Tampa, Fla.; Errin Joe,


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an offensive lineman from Lakeland, Fla.; Vad Lee, a quarterback from Durham, N.C.; Tyler Marcordes, a linebacker from Normal, Ill.; Shaquille Mason, an offensive lineman from Columbia, Tenn.; Tremayne McNair, a linebacker from Jacksonville, N.C.; Nick Menocal, a linebacker from Miami; Domonique Noble, a defensive back from Mount Ulla, N.C.; and Sean Tobin, a linebacker from Holmdel, N.J.

Rush on Player of the Year Watch List

Sophomore pitcher Hope Rush has been named to USA Softball’s Player of the Year watch list. Rush, a Stockbridge, Ga., native, was a semifinalist for the award last season. Rush is coming off a freshman season in which she was the ACC Freshman of the Year and the ACC tournament MVP. As a pitcher, Rush went 28-8 with a 1.98 ERA and eight shutouts. At the plate, Rush batted .302 with 20 home runs and 60 RBI. Twenty-five finalists will be announced April 13, and the winner of the award will be announced at the start of the 2011 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. The Georgia Tech softball team hosts its home opener at 5 p.m. March 2 at Mewborn Field.

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In Retrospect

Rollover Minutes? Thirteen Tech students with a combined weight of 2,200 pounds won the phone booth stuffing competition staged in March 1977 as part of a campus celebration of George P. Burdell’s birthday. The birthday party, which was sponsored by the Co-op Club, also featured paper airplane flying, cigar smoking and root beer chugging contests. Readers who recognize their rear ends or socked feet are invited to tell us their phone booth stuffing strategy by e-mailing

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Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine Vol. 87, No. 04 2011  

A publication of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association