Joseph G. Tront, who holds the W.S. “Pete” White Professor of Innovation in Engineering at Virginia Tech, is the newly appointed director of education of the university’s Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology. The Hume Center heads Virginia Tech’s educational and research programs in national security, and has taken a leading role in the university's growth in cyber security.
In this new position, Tront, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, will be responsible for overseeing the Intelligence Community Scholars program, supported by the Ted and Karyn Hume endowment and the Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence program. Tront will also provide opportunities both inside and outside the classroom for students interested in careers in national security. Additionally he will lead new efforts to strategically grow the center’s portfolio of scholarship and educational programs.
Tront joined Virginia Tech in 1978 as an assistant professor, received tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor in 1984, and became a full professor in 1996. He has a distinguished record of practicing and providing leadership for innovative teaching using technology. He was a contributor to the creation of the bachelor of science degree program in computer engineering. This program is the nation’s largest undergraduate computer engineering program in degrees awarded, according to the most recent data from the American Society of Engineering Education.
When Tront served as the College of Engineering’s assistant dean for engineering computing, he evolved the college’s personal computer initiative from a hardware focus to an emphasis on software application that impacted teaching and learning. He held a leadership role in the Southeastern University and College Coalition for Engineering Education (SUCCEED). He was the leader in SUCCEED for technology-based education, served on its guidance team, and led the technology-based curriculum delivery thrust area.
Tront’s contributions in engineering education and education innovation have been recognized internally and externally. He received the university-level XCaliber Award for Excellence in Teaching with Technology, and a college certificate of teaching excellence from the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence. Nationally, he received a Laureate Award in the Computerworld Honors Program for his contributions to the “Tablet PC-based Learning Environment” and a National Science Foundation award as a Successful Innovator in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education.
Tront received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Dayton and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Through the support of the College of Engineering and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, the Hume Center is the hub for national security research and education at Virginia Tech. With the generous gift from the Humes, scholarships and fellowships are provided to students interested in careers in national security. Ted Hume is a 1975 electrical engineering alumnus of Virginia Tech.
Students have access to a wide range of national security-related activities on campus, ranging from guest speakers to internship opportunities, and even a summer study abroad program. Center research programs offer students the opportunity to work first-hand on national security challenges during the course of their university education. Through these diverse resources, the Hume Center is positioned to be a national resource for educating future government leaders.
Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech’s nine colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, Southside, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs