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 Montpelier Magazine

Faculty honors

TESSELLATING THE PLANE? A restaurateur and educational expert? This dean and professor know their stuff and now have been honored for distinguished writing and excellence in education.



Business dean honored


Dean of the College of Business Robert D. Reid received the Howard B. Meek Award from the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education. The Meek award, given annually in recognition of lifetime contributions to hospitality education, is the highest individual recognition an International CHRIE member can receive.

While serving as department head of JMU's marketing and hospitality management program, Reid was selected as the first J. Willard Marriott Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management. He has conducted many professional workshops for both public and private organizations, is the author or co-author of three editions of Hospitality Marketing Management and is a contributing writer for The Practice of Hospitality Management and Introduction to Hotel and Restaurant Management. Reid has also written or co-written more than 40 journal and professional articles and is actively involved in leadership positions with a number of professional and civic groups.

"I am deeply honored and humbled by my selection as the Meek Award recipient," says Reid. "I've been extremely fortunate to work with talented faculty during my entire career. Through the dedication of these individuals, the discipline of hospitality and tourism management has made great strides. My selection for this award reflects the combined contributions of my colleagues with whom it has been a delight to work."

The Meek Award is a memorial to the late Howard B. Meek, a pioneer in American hospitality education and the first dean of the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. He also served as executive vice president of the Richmond-based International CHRIE.

  Tessellating the plane with honors


The Mathematics Association of America honored mathematics professor Laura Taalman with the 2003 Trevor Evans Award for distinguished writing accessible to undergraduates and published in Math Horizons. Taalman's article, "Simplicity is not Simple," cowritten with Eugenie Hunsicker of Lawrence University, was published in the September 2002 issue of the journal.


As noted on their citation, "If you have recently moved into new office space, with look-alike offices and stations, you will appreciate Taalman and Hunsicker's delightful article that relates the mathematics of tessellating the plane and space-filling solids to modular architecture. From Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes to modern space-efficient buildings, the authors show the simple mathematics behind modular architecture and speculate about how such architecture may help house the world."

Taalman served on the Duke University mathematics faculty before coming to JMU in 2000. She earned her master's and doctorate in mathematics at Duke. In 2001, she was awarded a JMU Summer Teaching Grant to develop a new course sequence that integrates calculus, precalculus, and algebra. She wrote the textbook for the same course. Her numerous professional articles have appeared in Integrated Calculus and Tessellations and Modular Architecture.

The Mathematics Association of America is the world's largest organization devoted to collegiate mathematics education. The nearly 27,000 members participate in a variety of activities that foster mathematics education, professional development, student involvement and public policy. MAA's national focus is complemented by its 29 regional sections - together functioning as an extensive network for the mathematics community.


- Michelle Hite ('88)