Virginia Tech Board of Visitors names graduate student representative

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 20, 2005 – The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors named Navin J. Manjooran as its graduate student representative for the 2005-2006 academic year. Manjooran will serve as a liaison between Virginia Tech’s graduate student population and the board of visitors.

The two student representatives to the board, Manjooran and an undergraduate representative, are appointed to one-year terms. They each sit on a committee on the governing board and serve as ex-officio members on the Commission of Student Affairs. Student representatives are non-voting members and are required to maintain contact with university administrators, including the President's Office and the Provost, as well as Tech students.

Manjooran, a native of Kerala, India, will articulate graduate student issues and perspectives to the board of visitors, report back to graduate students, and serve on task forces and search committees. I am pleased to be a part of the board of visitors,” Manjooran said. “Virginia Tech is a complex institution, as any other top ranked university, with many issues which require extensive time and energy to address and I look forward to actively participating in ongoing efforts to improve Virginia Tech. “The unifying theme, in my mind,” he said, “is the goal of being a top 10 research institution in the world. Graduate students are a significant portion of the research and this past year, the administration sent a strong message that they will do what it takes to ensure that graduate students are successful.”

Manjooran, a Ph.D. student in the materials science and engineering program, received his bachelor’s in Metallurgical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology in Warangal, India, where he graduated with Highest Honors. He received his master’s in materials science and engineering from the University of Florida.

Manjooran has a graduate research assistantship with the Materials Science and Engineering Department and studies the areas of fiber optics, nanotechnology, ceramics, and biology. He has been instrumental in helping file two patent disclosures, several journal and peer reviewed publications, as well as giving numerous presentations at international conferences.

Manjooran also is a national level tennis player, a sailor, and a water skier. He has been ranked in the top 100 in men’s tennis in India.

The board of visitors, the governing authority of Virginia Tech, typically meets four times throughout the year and makes decisions regarding policies pertinent to the university as a whole. The board is composed of 14 members, not including the two student representatives, 13 of which the governor appoints. The 14th member is the President of the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services, who serves ex-officio. The term of office is four years. In addition to statutes in the Code of Virginia, the board is governed by its own by-laws.

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.