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 Montpelier Magazine




Flora of Virginia

Biology professors Michael Renfroe, Jennifer Clevinger and Conley McMullen are part of a team of three dozen botanists, biologists, environmentalists and conservationists working to publish Flora of Virginia. The encyclopedia-type book will catalog nearly 4,000 species and be the first book published about Virginia plants in more than 400 years. 'There is no complete coverage of the species of Virginia,'says Renfroe. The professors are members of the Flora Advisory Board, providing technical assistance to the book project. The trio will conduct field tests, review illustrations, and edit and write entries. 'Virginia researchers have wanted a state flora for decades,' says McMullen. 'You'll see lots of botanists in the state smiling.'

Wind power

Virginia's anemometer loan program, administered by JMU and established by the Department of Energy's Wind Powering Initiative, supports landowners' interest in wind energy through the loan of anemometers and education about wind-energy development. Wind energy is the world's fastest-growing renewable energy source, with an annual growth rate of 25 percent. The anemometer program loans wind-measuring devices, which are mounted atop a 66-foot tower. Collected data allows landowners to assess the economic feasibility of using wind energy. JMU receives program assistance from the National Renewable Energy Laboratories and Virginia's Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to select the best candidate sites, install towers and collect data. Learn more at

Ambassadors of biology

Daniel Wubah, associate dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, returned to his alma mater, the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, with three JMU students as science ambassadors to the African nation. Students worked with UCC instructors in biological science research and study. With National Science Foundation funding, JMU is creating a Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Cape Coast. An NSF grant also paid for travel expenses for Wubah and his students, Ju-Han Chang, Joseph Doherty and Katherine Provost. UCC is similar to JMU in its founding as a teacher-training school and its expansion into training in technological subjects.

Award-winning economics

Angela Ramey Baylor ('88), a third-grade teacher at Harrisonburg's Keister Elementary School, won the grand prize in the 2002 Economic Education Awards Competition sponsored by JMU's Center for Economic Education, the Harrisonburg Rotary Club and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce. Baylor's project used a wreath-making activity to teach the Standards of Learning in economics. The project also won the Virginia Council on Economic Education award and proceeds paid for trees at Blacks Run Greenway Partnership.

MathVIDS takes Virginia silver

MathVIDS, a CD-ROM and Web site developed by the Colleges of Education and Integrated Science and Technology, received a Silver Governor's Technology Award in the K-12 education category at the Commonwealth of Virginia Information Technology Symposium. The multimedia instructional tool for math teachers of students with learning problems was a collaborative project involving Virginia's Department of Education.

Newsweek fine arts writer visits JMU

Newsweek senior writer for fine arts and Guggenheim Fellowship winner Peter Plagens taught JMU students last fall through the Dorothy Liskey Wampler Professorship in Art. In 1998, Plagens was one of four senior fellows in the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University. The Wampler professorship was established through a gift from Charles W. Wampler Jr. and family.

Ozzie honors

Montpelier Art Director Ann Hess earned a silver award in Folio: magazine's Best Feature Design category for nonprofit magazines in the 2002 Ozzie competition. Her design entry, 'Erma Yost explores the very fabric of art,' appeared in the spring 2002 Montpelier. Hess has overseen the magazine's look since its debut in 1997.