Diana Farkas, Professor, Materials Science & Engineering

Diana Farkas, professor of materials science and engineering, is a recipient of the Alumni Award for Excellence in Research. An internationally recognized leader in the computational materials science area, Farkas has authored more than 140 publications in national and international journals. Farkas is actively involved in improving the methods by which research and curriculum are merged.

Carola Haas, Associate Professor, Wildlife Ecology

Carola Haas studies wildlife on land that has primary uses other than conservation. She worked for two years on an NSF/JSPS postdoc in Japan studying ecology of declining birds of farmland habitats. She then joined the faculty at Virginia Tech in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences in 1993. Her research focuses on maintaining native populations of wildlife in managed forest and agricultural lands, working closely with land managers to develop economically and environmentally sound solutions. She is interested in environmental education and community service, and has co-taught courses in the area of food and sustainability.

Laura Jensen, Associate Professor, Public Administration & Policy

Laura Jensen joined CPAP in fall 2006. Her research on U.S. social policy has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Political Science Association. Dr. Jensen was a lead researcher on “Faith-Based Social Service Provision Under Charitable Choice: A Study of Implementation in Three States,” 2000-2003, funded by the Ford Foundation. In 2005, she received a Congressional Research Award from the Dirksen Foundation, and with co-author Sheila Kennedy, won the award for the best paper on ethics and accountability in the public sector from the University of Pittsburgh’s Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership. While pursuing her M.P.A. and Ph.D., Dr. Jensen spent ten years in elected municipal office in Connec ticut. She currently serves on the editorial board of Polity and the editorial executive committee of Social Science History.

Elisa Sotelino, Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Elisa Sotelino joined Virginia Tech’s CEE department in January 2005. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Sotelino served as a faculty member in the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University for fourteen and a half years. Sotelino's research brings advanced computing technologies to civil engineering, particularly structural engineering and computational mechanics. Her research interests range from mechanics-based projects to more applied research topics. She has published around 80 publications in refereed journal papers and conference proceedings. Sotelino is very active in service within Virginia Tech. She currently serves as the coordinator of the Structural Engineering and Materials (SEM) program area in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). Since her arrival at Virginia Tech two and a half years ago she has served in five search committees. In addition to other departmental committee service, she also serves as one of the CEE department representatives in the university’s faculty senate, a member of the College of Engineering Diversity Committee, the faculty senate representative in the Commission for Equal Opportunity and Diversity, and as a member of the Task Force on Race and the Institution Implementation Team. She is also a member of the Graduate Student and Post-Doctoral Seminars Committee for the AdvanceVT program. 

Angela Scarpa-Friedman, Associate Professor, Psychology

Angela Scarpa-Friedman received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern California in 1993. She is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at Virginia Tech and Director of the Virginia Tech Autism Clinic. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialized training in individual and group behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapy for children, families, and adults. Before coming to Virginia Tech, she held faculty positions at the University of Georgia and Eastern Washington University and obtained postdoctoral training at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Her general interest is in child and adolescent mental health, including emotional, behavioral, and pervasive developmental disorders. She has over 15 years of experience in the study of aggression/violence, both in terms of perpetration and victimization. Her research interests center on the interaction of biological bases and social experiences in the development of child psychopathology or maladjustment, particularly conduct problems, and the developmental consequences of child physical abuse or other traumatic life stressors.