Current KTU Program

Our 2019 program features five Virginia Tech professors presenting interactive sessions on subjects including brain health, engineering, the science of physical activity, and sea level rise and its effects on people and animals. Morning sessions center around these interactive presentations, followed by a break for lunch at one of Virginia Tech’s acclaimed dining facilities (lunch is included in the program). Afternoon sessions feature hands-on STEM activities to reinforce the experiential learning process.

2019 Program of Events

January 26, 2019
An interactive session led by Dr. Jennifer Munson

Dr. Jenny Munson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics. She received her Bachelor’s in Neuroscience and Chemical Engineering from Tulane University and her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Georgia Tech. She was a Fulbright Scholar and Whitaker Scholar in Switzerland, where she completed her postdoctoral fellowship at L’Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. Dr. Munson was the 2016 Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award winner from the Biomedical Engineering Society and a 2017 Young Innovator in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. Her work focuses on the role of fluid flow and drainage in brain and breast cancers, drug delivery, and tissue engineering and is funded by the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society. She works with a team of great graduate students and postdoctoral researchers applying techniques in cell culture, computational modeling, and patient data analysis to study these complex problems.

February 09, 2019
An interactive session led by Dr. Eric Paterson. 

Virginia Tech Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department Head and Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor of Marine Propulsion

Dr. Paterson is Department Head of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor of Marine Propulsion in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. Dr. Paterson has a B.S., M.S., and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Iowa. He has over 30 years experience as a practicing engineer, researcher, and educator. His research expertise is in the broad areas of computational mechanics; a field which is at the intersection of engineering mechanics, applied mathematics, and supercomputing. He has had the good fortune to work on numerous diverse problems over his career, including; spacecraft with large deployable structures, naval ships and submarines, ocean remote sensing from aircraft and satellites, floating offshore wind turbines, pediatric artificial heart pumps, and robotic dog noses for detection of explosives. Today, his primary research interest is in maritime sensing for weather and climate prediction, and national security.  

March 02, 2019
An interactive session led by Dr. Charlotte Baker

Dr. Charlotte Baker is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Population Health Sciences in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. Dr. Baker has a BS in Health Promotion from Appalachian State University, a Master of Public Health (MPH; epidemiology) from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH; epidemiology concentration) from the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. Additionally, she holds the certification in public health (CPH) from the National Board of Public Health Examiners. Dr. Baker’s work focuses on data analytics questions in public health. Specifically, she focuses on improving the control and prevention of sports and recreation injuries among youth, increasing physical activity across the lifespan, and solving issues in hematology such as outcomes for athletes with sickle cell trait. Dr. Baker regularly works to increase the capacity of local and state health departments to perform data analytics and community/stakeholder outreach.

March 30, 2019
An interactive session led by Drs. Anamaria Bukvic and Sarah Karpanty

Anamaria Bukvic, Ph.D. is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Virginia Tech and serves as a co-lead of the Coastal@VT initiative, also at VT. Her multidisciplinary educational training drives her dedication to study complex emerging issues with focus on interdisciplinary integration and holistic problem-solving. Dr. Bukvic received two M.S. degrees in biology and community planning from the University of Cincinnati, and finished her Ph.D. in Planning, Governance, and Globalization at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on coastal adaptation, resilience, and vulnerability, as well as on hazard-induced displacement and relocation. Sarah Karpanty, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech and is affiliated with Coastal@VT. She earned her B.S. at Miami University in Zoology and her Ph.D. at Stony Brook University in Ecology and Evolution. Dr. Karpanty studies how changing climate impacts wildlife and the recovery of imperiled species, ranging from lemurs in the rainforests of Madagascar to shorebirds on the U.S. Atlantic Coast. She is interested in how human communities can make choices in the face of climate change that both help people and wildlife.