Virginia Tech student honored with full scholarship

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 23, 2004 – Ransom Hughes of North Garden, Va., a freshman forest resource management major in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, is one of this year's three recipients of the Stuermann Memorial Scholarship.

The endowed Stuermann Memorial Scholarship is named after Mr. and Mrs. William Stuermann, and students receive $5,000 per year for three years. Recipients are chosen by the head of the forestry department on academic achievement or potential for superior academic achievement, leadership qualities, and desire to pursue a career within the forestry profession. Consideration is also given to financial need.

Hughes hopes to pursue a career in sustainable forestry and land management. He also has an interest in new forestry initiatives that attempt to mimic natural disturbances and create an uneven aged forest that resembles old growth. He said: "With great care and skill a forest can be managed to develop old growth characteristics and to provide a sustained flow of forest products at the same time."

Hughes is a member of the Honors Program at Virginia Tech and also is a member of the New River Valley Symphony.

Longtime members of the Virginia Forestry Association, the Stuermann's had no children themselves and wanted to find a way to help young people who had an interest in forestry and resource conservation. Upon her death, Mabel Stuermann bequeathed her entire estate to the Virginia Forestry Educational Foundation for scholarships resulting in the $1 million endowment.

The College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of studies include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.