Top 10 Norwich University News Stories of 2016

Norwich CSIA majors, faculty and alumni stand in front of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on the eve of Super Bowl 50
Norwich University Office of Communications

December 14, 2016

It’s that time of year—a chance to highlight just some of the many accomplishments of Norwich University’s outstanding students, alumni, faculty, and staff during 2016. While they may make taking on difficult challenges and achieving distinction look effortless, it isn’t. A case in point: This list of stories below. In the end, we couldn’t winnow it to ten and were forced to sneak in four more.

1. Norwich Cyber Majors Help Safeguard Super Bowl 50

After a year of preparation, Norwich CSIA majors and faculty based in California and Northfield, Vt., worked with Santa Clara city, California state, and federal law enforcement officials to analyze and flag potential cybersecurity threats during the NFL championship matchup between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.

2. Norwich University Celebrates 100 Years of ROTC
The birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Norwich University celebrated ROTC’s centennial anniversary with a leadership symposium in April that drew scores of military VIPs. Among them, 39th U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark A. Milley, who gave the keynote address.

3. Norwich Class of 2020 Largest in University History
This fall, Norwich welcomed close to 900 first-year students to campus, the largest incoming class in the university’s nearly 200-year history.

4. Forbes Awards Norwich an “A” for Financial Strength
In August, Forbes magazine published their analysis of the financial footing of roughly 900 private colleges and universities, ranking Norwich University in the top 20 percent.

5. Writing Prof. Sean Prentiss Wins National Outdoor Book Award
Winning the history/biography category, Finding Abbey chronicled Prentiss’s two-year search for the hidden desert grave of environmental writer Edward Abbey.

6. Student-Built Tiny House Showcases Innovation, Hands-On Service Learning
Norwich architecture, construction management, and engineering majors and faculty designed and built C.A.S.A. (Creating Affordable Sustainable Architecture), a 334-square-foot tiny house with a small price tag to address Vermont’s affordable-housing crisis. See related article and video.

7. Norwich’s Standout Athletic Teams and Coaches Fight to a Four-Way Tie

8. Nisid Hajari Wins NU’s 2016 William E. Colby Book Award
A journalist who oversees Asia coverage for the editorial page of Bloomberg News, the first-time author won for Midnight’s Furies, an account of the 1947 partition of India and its surrounding violence following the end of British colonial rule. Founded at Norwich University, the annual book award and symposium celebrates outstanding writers, authors, and ideas from the fields of military affairs, military history, intelligence, and international affairs.

9. NUARI Cyber Attack Simulation Software Nominated for “Innovation of the Year”
Developed by the Norwich University Applied Research Institutes, the DECIDE-FS cyber-gaming platform has been used by major U.S. financial industry firms, regulators and law enforcement agencies to test institutional preparedness and resiliency in the face of cyberattacks.

10. Norwich Wins $700K+ NSA Grant to Train Next-Generation Cyber Soldiers
Working in collaboration with the United States Army Reserve, the National Security Agency announced in December that it had awarded Norwich over $700,000 to support scholarships for soldiers.

Bonus: Washington Post Columnist Says NU’s “I Will Try” Is Best College Motto
Writing in her Answer Sheet blog for the Washington Post, education reporter Valerie Strauss opines on “The Small Vermont University With Arguably the Best School Motto.”

Norwich Professor Gregory Wight Named Vermont Engineer of the Year

Photograph of Norwich Professor Gregory Wight
Norwich University Office of Communications

February 1, 2016

Norwich University professor of engineering Gregory Wight, P.E., has been named Vermont’s 2016 Engineer of the Year by the Vermont Society of Professional Engineers.

A mechanical engineer, Prof. Wight is a recognized expert in air quality engineering. He has published numerous papers on the field and is the author of the widely-used textbook Fundamentals of Air Sampling. Educated at MIT and the University of Florida, he currently serves as the Charles A. Dana Professor of Engineering at Norwich, the university’s highest faculty honor.

Wight has previously served as an associate dean at Norwich and as the director of the university’s David Crawford School of Engineering.

Wight served four years in the Air Force following graduate school, starting as an Engineering Air Force Officer in the USAF Contract Management Division at the GE Jet Engine Facility in Evendale, Ohio. He later joined the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection six months after the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1971. Serving as a principal air quality engineer, he supervised a staff of six to inventory air pollutant emissions, model air quality, and design strategies to achieve the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Teaching Excellence

Wight has served on the Norwich University faculty since 1978. During that time, he has developed and taught nearly 33 different courses to young engineering students, receiving numerous honors in recognition of his outstanding teaching.

He has also served as a visiting professor of civil/environmental engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

At Norwich, Wight has chaired three different engineering departments, served on numerous committees, and hired or helped hire the next generation of engineering faculty.

His many professional achievements include his participation in the Vermont Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project as researcher/writer, and heading the recent, successful year-long reaccreditation effort for NU’s David Crawford School of Engineering.

Public Service

In a press release announcing the award, the Vermont Society of Professional Engineers spotlighted Wight’s significant contributions to the engineering profession, noting the “outstanding education to hundreds of future engineers” Wight has provided, as well as his active involvement in MathCounts, FIRST Lego League, and Engineers without Borders.

Wight is a life member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a member of the Vermont Society of Engineers, the Tau Beta Pi national engineering honor society, and the American Society for Engineering Education.

He has also been active in many community organizations in Vermont, including town government, youth soccer, his local historical society, and the Central Vermont Runners Club.

Norwich University’s Award-Winning Solar House Earns Recognition in Regional EPA Earth Day Awards

Norwich University Office of Communications

Updated May 1, 2015

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – A team of Norwich University students was recognized by the New England Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at this year’s Earth Day ceremony in Boston with a 2015 Environmental Merit Award.

The four alumni and two professors present to receive the award helped design and build Norwich’s Delta T-90, the 2013 solar house that won the affordability category at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in Irvine, Calif.

The team’s latest accolade from the EPA was bestowed in “recognition of exceptional work and commitment to the environment” at a special ceremony held at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Mass., on Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

The annual Earth Day ceremony has recognized the environmental achievements of New Englanders for more than three decades.

“Our students tasked themselves with addressing a real and immediate problem in their community—providing a compelling housing solution that is both affordable and sustainable,” said Aron Temkin, an architect, professor and dean of the College of Professional Schools at Norwich University. “We are very pleased to see them recognized this way, because it reinforces the viability and impact of their work.”

Temkin adds that it also speaks to the impact of the “Norwich educational experience of a cross disciplinary collaboration of designer, engineer and constructor that they will be practicing throughout their careers.”

Today’s EPA merit award is the latest in a string of awards and honors the Delta T-90 solar house has garnered since its inception.

More than a year after successfully competing in the 2013 Solar Decathlon, Norwich University’s Delta T-90 House won the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAVT) 2014 People’s Choice Award.

The Delta T-90 House models how high performance solar-powered dwellings can be made affordably. At the 2013 US Solar Decathlon event in California, the home earned first-place awards for affordability and energy balance. The team also earned the Byron Stafford Award of Distinction for their character and sportsmanship.

Since the competition’s close, the Delta T-90 house has delivered on its mission to educate the public about residential-scale renewable energy and green-design by becoming part of the Westcott Center for Architecture and Design in Springfield, Ohio. The center boasts a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed prairie-style house and seeks to involve and promote architecture and design practices as a medium for educating K-12 students in social studies, math, science, and the arts.

Since moving to Springfield, the Delta T-90 house has graced the cover of Green Energy Ohio magazine and been the subject of many articles. The house has also helped the Westcott Center earn grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Institute of Museum and Library Services by evidencing strong public outreach capabilities.

Through features like its integrated, digital energy-monitoring dashboard, the Delta T-90 house shows students real-time, measurable evidence of the value of design thinking. It does this by comparing real-time energy use to real-time energy production by the Delta T-90’s 5.84KW solar panel system.

Norwich University Associate Professor Matt Lutz, the faculty leader of the Delta T-90 project, praised the Wescott partnership and the role the Norwich solar house plays today to serve the nonprofit’s central mission.

“The Norwich team couldn’t be more proud of the partnership that the Delta T-90 has helped form with the Westcott Center for Architecture and Design. There, the house is really doing what we intended it to do, to become a living laboratory that will educate the public for years.”

Students and faculty in Norwich University’s College of Professional Schools have now embarked on a plan to design sustainable, micro-houses for low-income Vermonters. Read about the project here.

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Service” here:    

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
(802) 485-2886; 595-3613

Murder Scholar Prof. Elizabeth Gurian Receives Board of Fellows Prize

January 5, 2015–The Faculty Development Committee recently announced the recipient of the 2015-16 Board of Fellows Faculty Development Prize, Dr. Elizabeth Gurian, for her project, “Female Homicide Offenders: An Exploration of Personal Narratives.”

Dr. Gurian, an assistant professor in the School of Justice Studies and Sociology, completed her doctoral work at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge (UK) and was a consultant to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime in Vienna.

She joined the faculty of Norwich University in 2011, and since her arrival has maintained an active research and publication agenda in her area of expertise, female and partnered homicide offenders and serial murderers.

She is the recipient of several other Faculty Development Program awards, including a Charles A. Dana Research Fellowship and a Charles A. Dana Category I Grant.

In 2013 Dr. Gurian won statewide recognition when Vermont Women in Higher Education selected her as the recipient of the Peggy R. Williams Emerging Professional Award.