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Kathy Wirtanen
Administrative, Facility
& Conference Assistant

P:  (540) 464-7361
F: (540) 464-7396

Center for Leadership & Ethics
VMI, Marshall Hall
500 Anderson Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

Center for Leadership & Ethics News

2014

From Caterpillar to Butterfly – and Back Again 
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 8, 2014 – Biomedical engineer Nicole Hastings began her presentation to the nearly 300 educators gathered at Virginia Military Institute for the 2014 STEM education conference earlier today by showing a metaphor for her professional life - a diagram of a caterpillar on its way to become a butterfly. 

To Teach Science, ‘Candy Coat’ It with Excitement
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 7, 2014 – Television personality and robotics guru Grant Imahara kicked off the 2014 STEM education conference at Virginia Military Institute earlier today with a high-energy presentation designed to show elementary and middle-school teachers how to make science and engineering more appealing to students.

Registration Open for VMI Reagan Conference 
LEXINGTON, Va., June 17, 2014 – Registration opens today for “The Enduring Legacy: Leadership and National Security Affairs during the Ronald Reagan Era.” To be held Nov. 2-4, the conference is sponsored by VMI’s John A. Adams ’71 Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis and Center for Leadership and Ethics. It will bring together students, scholars and national security professionals to discuss strategy, policy, and leadership during the Reagan administration.

Registration Open for Third VMI STEM Education Conference
LEXINGTON, Va., May 30, 2014 – Registration is open for Virginia Military Institute’s third annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education Conference to be held Oct. 7 and 8 at the Center for Leadership and Ethics. The conference, themed “Engineering Ingenuity: Math and Science Concepts in Action,” will feature VMI faculty as well as educators from across the region discussing ongoing engineering research, careers for the current and next generations, and engineering programs that engage students beyond the classroom. 

Dominion President Among Closing Speakers At Environment Virginia
LEXINGTON, Va., April 10, 2014 – The 600 attendees of this year’s Environment Virginia Symposium gathered for the last time this morning to hear discussion on the creation of a coherent policy that balances Virginians’ need for energy with the need for wise use of the commonwealth’s natural resources.

'A Lot of Work to Do': In Environment Virginia Opener, Governor Discusses Climate Change, Jobs in Alternative Energy
LEXINGTON, Va., April 8, 2014 – Addressing environmental concerns will allow Virginia to embrace economic growth from emerging technologies and prepare for the effects of climate change, Gov. Terry McAuliffe told 500 environmental leaders today.

Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources Receives Erchul Environmental Leadership Award
LEXINGTON, Va., April 8, 2014 – Russ Baxter, Virginia Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources for the Chesapeake Bay, has been awarded the 2014 Erchul Environmental Leadership Award at the annual Environment Virginia Symposium.

Governor Among 600 to Attend Environment Symposium at VMI
LEXINGTON, Va., April 4, 2014 – Environmental leaders will gather at VMI April 8-10 for the Environment Virginia Symposium.

High School Scientists Compete in Science Fair at VMI
LEXINGTON, Va., April 1, 2014 – More than 250 high school scientists from 78 schools across the commonwealth competed at the 2014 Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair at VMI’s Cameron Hall last Saturday.

Cadets Visit Europe to Study Politics of Allied Leadership
LEXINGTON, Va., March 31, 2014 – Five cadets representing all four of VMI’s ROTC units spent nine days during last month’s spring furlough in Europe studying allied military leadership. 

Cadets Attend Naval Leadership Conference
LEXINGTON, Va., March 4, 2014 – When more than 100 Naval ROTC midshipmen from across the country converged in South Bend, Ind., the weekend of Feb. 21, two VMI cadets were among those taking part in the 19th annual Notre Dame Naval Leadership Weekend. Built around the theme “Military Leadership and Contemporary Issues,” the weekend provided Cadet Benjamin Field ’15 and Cadet Kelly Mackenzie ’15 the opportunity to interact with peers from around the country as well as to hear from an array of naval leaders.  

Preparation, Clear Vision Helped Donohue Face Day of Danger
LEXINGTON, Va., February 25, 2014 – Dic Donohue closed today's Leadership Conference with a talk on leadership in times of danger.

Behavioral Economist's Talk on Dishonesty Inspires Lively Discussion
LEXINGTON, Va., February 24, 2014 – Dishonesty was behavioral economist Dr. Dan Ariely’s keynote topic at today's Honor Summit.

Leader In Residence Roanoke Entrepreneur Attends Conferences
LEXINGTON, Va., February 24, 2014 – Entrepreneur and lawyer Ed Walker, leader in residence, is attending this week's honor and leadership events.

'Never Lose Faith in the United States'
LEXINGTON, Va., February 21, 2014 – Author Alvin Townley spoke last night on the“Alcatraz Eleven” POWs in North Vietnam with Rear Admiral Robert Shumaker.

New Director Named for Center for Leadership and Ethics
LEXINGTON, Va., Jan. 31, 2014 – Retired Army Col. David R. Gray has been named director of VMI’s Center of Leadership and Ethics and will report for duty in August.


2013

'I'm Pretty Excited'
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 9, 2013 – Teacher, author, toy designer, and television personality Steve Spangler delivered the STEM Education Conference’s keynote address in Cameron Hall earlier today. Highlighting the importance of engagement in America’s classrooms, Spangler entertained and delighted the audience with demonstrations and anecdotes.

The 'Three Pound Universe'
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 8, 2013 – More than 250 high school students, faculty, and administrators from across Virginia joined VMI faculty members to hear about cutting-edge research in neuroscience this morning as the 2013 VMI STEM Education Conference kicked off.

'Everyone Has a Front Line'
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 3, 2013 – More than 100 cadets and local community members attended a talk and book signing last month by Eric Greitens, CEO of The Mission Continues and author of The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL.

Leadership Center Director Leaves VMI for Washington
LEXINGTON, Va., Sept. 13, 2013 – Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Susan Rabern was sworn in Monday as assistant secretary of the Navy for financial management and comptroller. Rabern was the first director of VMI’s Center for Leadership and Ethics, appointed in 2011 and serving until she took up her new duties this week.

'Never Let Fear Determine Who You Are'
LEXINGTON, Va., March 5, 2013 – Dewey Bozella told participants in VMI’s 2013 Honor Conference this morning about the struggles he’s faced in his life and the quality of character that was necessary to overcome them.

'Frontline' Producer Opens VMI Honor Conference
LEXINGTON, Va., March 4, 2013 – Frontline producer Martin Smith opened the 2013 Honor Conference at VMI with a discussion of how truth-seeking journalism can encourage more honorable behavior by public officials.
 

2012

Washington Post VP Addresses IT Conference
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 9, 2012 – Stacey Halota, vice president of information security and privacy at the Washington Post Co., spoke to information security professionals during the Virginia Alliance for Secure Computing and Networking conference at VMI. 

Curiosity the Endowment of Humanity
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 4, 2012 – Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson remained on post after his Wednesday morning plenary talk to have conversations with faculty, cadets, and W&L students. Following a well-attended book signing, Tyson spoke informally with a crowd of STEM students and professors assembled in Gillis Theater, addressing a range of issues based on cadet questions.

To Lead the World Once More, STEM Literacy a Prerequisite
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 3, 2012 – VMI’s STEM education conference ended with a bang, as Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History brought conference attendees and cadets to their feet in a passionate round of applause.

Teaching Math and Science to the World
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 2, 2012 – Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, spoke to an audience of educators at the 2012 VMI STEM education conference Monday night about how the academy came to be and its possibilities for enhancing education in both the developed and developing worlds.

Inquiry-Based Learning at VMI
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 2, 2012 – Dancing cadets on the Gillis Theater stage took the standing-room-only audience by surprise at the beginning of Maj. Randy Cone's plenary talk, Inquiry-Based Learning, earlier today.

Raise the Floor and Raise the Ceiling
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 2, 2012 – A large audience was ready for participation as Cathy Seeley, author of "Faster Isn’t Smarter: Messages About Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century," espoused “you-we-I”-oriented teaching yesterday in the first plenary session of VMI's STEM education conference.

State Secretary of Education Opens VMI STEM Education Conference
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 1, 2012 – The goal of VMI’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or STEM, Education Conference is to solve “America’s toughest math problem.” The opening session defined that problem as the lack of students concentrating their studies in STEM disciplines.

 Symposium Opens with Tribute to Founder
LEXINGTON, Va., April 10, 2012 – Gen J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, VMI superintendant, introduced the 23rd annual Environment Virginia Symposium by honoring the contributions of the late Capt. Ronald Erchul.

Medal of Honor Recipient: Do the Hard Right
LEXINGTON, Va., March 7, 2012 – VMI’s Leadership Conference closed late yesterday afternoon with perhaps the most entertaining talk of all, given by Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who received the Medal of Honor in November 2010.

Conference Concept Originates with VMI Cadets
LEXINGTON, March 6, 2012 – Cadet Quinn Adams ’12, president of the VMI Honor Court, addressed conference participants in Gillis Theater yesterday afternoon, explaining the Honor Court’s involvement in seeking a forum for a nationwide discussion of cheating, lying, and honor.

For Honor to Work, You've Got to Have Buy-In
LEXINGTON, Va., March 6, 2012 – Dr. Eric Anderman, professor of education psychology at the Ohio State University, compared cheating to placing a vote: it’s a deliberate choice that individuals make that cannot be revoked.

Raise a Ruckus, Start a Movement
LEXINGTON, Va., March 6, 2012 – “The front line is here, at schools,” Dr. David Callahan told VMI’s Leadership Conference during one of today’s afternoon sessions. “Turn up the heat.”  Callahan took the stage in Cameron Hall to talk about how to create a movement, one starting with this conference.

Endemic Lying and Cheating Lead to 'Jungle' Law
LEXINGTON, Va., March 6, 2012 – Investigative journalist James B. Stewart and Nassau County, N.Y., District Attorney Kathleen Rice opened the second day of VMI’s Leadership Conference with discussion of lying and cheating on a grand scale.

Identifying Deception Society's Responsibility
LEXINGTON, Va., March 6, 2012--Pamela Meyer, author of "Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception," concluded the first day of VMI’s Leadership Conference by describing how falsehoods can be detected through attention to verbal cues, body language, and attitudes indicative of dishonesty.

Doing the Right Thing When No One Is Looking
LEXINGTON, Va., March 5, 2012 – The entire VMI Corps of Cadets, and about 500 participants from colleges and high schools around the nation, gathered in Cameron Hall to hear Louis J. Freeh speak on the nature of cheating and dishonesty in America.

Educators, Students Share Cheating Stories
LEXINGTON, Va., March 5, 2012 –Registrants at VMI’s Leadership Conference had the opportunity to share stories during this afternoon’s first session.

VMI Conference on Cheating the Birth of a Movement
LEXINGTON, Va., March 5, 2012 – Dr. Eric M. Anderman and Dr. David Callahan opened VMI’s Leadership Conference, “Cheating, Lying and Honor in America’s High Schools, Colleges and Universities,” with a discussion of who cheats and why. 

Cheating, Lying and Honor
LEXINGTON, Va., Jan. 9, 2012 – The VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics, host of the 2012 VMI Leadership Conference, “Cheating, Lying, and Honor in America’s High Schools, Colleges and Universities,” seeks to open a dialogue among educators and students.

2011

Discerning China's Intentions a Challenge for U.S., AFRICOM
LEXINGTON, Va., Nov. 4, 2011 – One of the challenges facing U.S. policymakers regarding Africa is that “we don’t really know what Chinese intentions are, what their goals are, and what they hope to achieve,” said Maj. Gen. Donald Christopher Leins, deputy director for politico-military affairs (Africa) at the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

U.S., China, Africa an 'Expanding Circle'
LEXINGTON, Va., Nov. 4, 2011 – Ambassador Johnnie Carson said he doesn’t believe media portrayals of China as some kind of Cold War rival to the United States in Africa. 

United States and China Cooperating, Competing
LEXINGTON, Va., Nov. 4, 2011 – A discussion on the ways that the United States and China are cooperating and competing in Africa took place on Nov. 4, during the sixth panel discussion of “The Eagle and The Dragon in Africa” conference.

Complexity Daunting to Understand and Mitigate Conflict in Africa
LEXINGTON, Va., Nov. 4, 2011 – The subject of the fourth panel in the conference “The Eagle and the Dragon in Africa” touched on two U.S. government strategic goals in Africa, said retired U.S. ambassador to Chad Louis J. Nigro Jr., the panel chair: mitigation of the effects of conflict and prevention of conflict.

People Key to Sustainable Development in Africa
LEXINGTON, Va., Nov. 4, 2011 – The third panel session in VMI’s “The Eagle and the Dragon in Africa” conference presented an in-depth presentation on efforts of the United States Agency for International Development and a more discursive discussion of the need to engage with the African peoples, both focused on U.S. approaches to sustainable development in Africa. All four panelists touched on the theme that involvement of the African people is essential.

U.S., Chinese Roles in Africa Offer Danger, Potential
LEXINGTON, Va., Nov. 3, 2011 – The U.S. and China are like two elephants in the grass when it comes to development in Africa. That was the colorful metaphor employed throughout the first panel discussion of VMI’s “The Eagle and the Dragon in Africa” conference on Nov. 3. The session put questions on the table for the conference participants to consider.

U.S. China, Have Complementary Roles in China
LEXINGTON, Va., Nov. 3, 2011 – The view that emerged from opening presentations in the “Eagle and the Dragon in Africa,” an academic conference at Virginia Military Institute’s Center for Leadership and Ethics, was that China is neither a competitor in the arena of security nor a deathly threat in that of economics.

Taps - Capt. Ronald A. Erchul
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 10, 2011 – A longtime VMI professor, retired in 2008 and founder of a statewide environmental conference, died Saturday, Oct. 8.

U.S., China: Competitors or Allies in Africa?
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 7, 2011 – A two-day conference, sponsored by Virginia Military Institute’s Center for Leadership and Ethics in partnership with the VMI Department of International Studies and Political Science, seeks to provide a balanced look at U.S. and Chinese interests in Africa. 

Conference to Focus on Serving Student Veterans
LEXINGTON, VA, August 1, 2011 – “The student veterans are coming: Are you ready?” This question will be addressed in a one-day conference, “We Are Virginia Veterans on Campus,” for college administrators and the increasing number of student veterans they serve. The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 9 at Virginia Military Institute’s Center for Leadership and Ethics, located in Marshall Hall on the VMI post. Registration will begin at 8.