On the Move, May 2013

Penn State University recently announced that Dr. Nicholas P. Jones, MD A ’80, has been named as executive vice president and provost. He will begin his new position on July 1. Currently, Dr. Jones is Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. A position he has held since 2004. Read the news story for more biographical information and quotes from Dr. Jones.


This week a systems engineer with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory visited with 500 elementary school children in Joplin, Missouri. Erisa Hines, FL B 2002, is a member of the team that landed the Curiosity rover on Mars in August 2012. In addition to encouraging students to keep learning, she showed a video entitled “Where were you when Curiosity landed on Mars?”

Hines said her current job is testing software on a duplicate rover at JPL, before it is uploaded for future Curiosity procedures. “I help them get commands ready,” she said. “We basically send it an email every day saying, ‘Here’s what we want you to do today.'” Curiosity emails back several hours later what it accomplished and what it didn’t accomplish. Click here to read the article from The Joplin Globe and to watch the video


Dr. Timothy N. Burcham, P.E. (MS A ’83), was recently introduced as the dean of the College for Agriculture and Technology at Arkansas State University. His appointment will begin on July 1. Currently, Dr. Burcham is a professor and interim chair of the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Read the article

“I am humbled to be entrusted with leadership for the College of Agriculture and Technology at Arkansas State University. When one looks at the dynamics of a growing world population (projected world population of 10 billion by 2050), it is clear that advancements in agriculture and technology are essential for humanity to thrive,” said Dr. Burcham.



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