- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Ross Abdallah Alameddine

Mr. Alameddine, 20, of Saugus, Mass., was a sophomore who had just declared English as his major.

Friends created a memorial page on facebook.com that described Mr. Alameddine as “an intelligent, funny, easygoing guy.”

“You’re such an amazing kid, Ross,” wrote Zach Allen, who along with Mr. Alameddine attended Austin Preparatory School in Reading, Mass. “You always made me smile, and you always knew the right thing to do or say to cheer anyone up.”

Mr. Alameddine was killed Monday in the classroom building at Virginia Tech, according to Robert Palumbo, a family friend who answered the phone at the Alameddine residence yesterday.

Mr. Alameddine’s mother, Lynnette Alameddine, said she was outraged by how victims’ relatives were notified of the shooting.

“It happened in the morning, and I did not hear [about her son’s death] until a quarter to 11 at night,” she said. “That was outrageous. Two kids died, and then they shoot a whole bunch of them, including my son.”

Christopher James Bishop

Mr. Bishop, 35, taught German at Virginia Tech and helped oversee an exchange program with a German university.

Mr. Bishop decided which German-language students at Virginia Tech could attend the Darmstadt University of Technology to improve their German.

“He would teach them German in Blacksburg, and he would decide which students were able to study” abroad, Darmstadt spokesman Lars Rosumek said.

The German school set up a book of condolences for students, staff and faculty to sign, along with information about the Virginia shootings.

“Of course, many persons knew him personally and are deeply, deeply shocked about his death,” Mr. Rosumek said.

Mr. Bishop earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in German and was a Fulbright scholar at Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany.

According to his Web site, Mr. Bishop spent four years living in Germany, where he “spent most of his time learning the language, teaching English, drinking large quantities of wheat beer, and wooing a certain fraulein.”

The “fraulein” became Mr. Bishop’s wife, Stephanie Hofer, who also teaches in Virginia Tech’s German program.

Mr. Bishop’s personal Web site: https://www.memory39.com

Ryan Clark

Mr. Clark, 22, was called “Stack” by his friends, many of whom he met as a resident assistant at Ambler Johnson Hall, where the first shootings took place.

Mr. Clark was from the Augusta suburb of Martinez, Ga. He was a fifth-year student working toward degrees in biology and English, and a member of the Marching Virginians band.

“He was just one of the greatest people you could possibly know,” friend Gregory Walton, 25, said after learning from an ambulance driver that Mr. Clark was among the dead.

“He was always smiling, always laughing. I don’t think I ever saw him mad in the five years I knew him.”

Jocelyne Couture-Nowak

Mrs. Couture-Nowak, a French instructor at Virginia Tech, was instrumental in the push to create the first French school in Truro, Nova Scotia.

She lived there in the 1990s with her husband, Jerzy Nowak, who is the head of the horticulture department at Virginia Tech.

“We’re mourning,” said Mr. Nowak, who declined to talk more.

Richard Landry, a spokesman with the francophone school board in Nova Scotia, said Mrs. Couture-Nowak had two girls.

Mrs. Couture-Nowak obtained her degree at the teacher’s college in Truro in 1989, Mr. Landry said. She taught at a community college and also was a substitute teacher, he said.

A student who identified herself as DeAnne Leigh Pelchat wrote of her gratitude to Mrs. Couture-Nowak on one Web site.

“I will forever remember you and what you have done for me and the others that benefit from what you did in the little town of Truro,” Miss Pelchat wrote.

“You’ll always have a place in my heart,” Miss Pelchat wrote in French.

Daniel Perez Cueva

Mr. Perez Cueva, 21, from Peru, was killed while in a French class, said his mother, Betty Cueva, who was reached by telephone at the youth’s listed telephone number.

Mr. Perez Cueva was a student of international relations, according to the Virginia Tech Web site.

His father, Flavio Perez, spoke of the death earlier to RPP radio in Peru. He lives in Peru and said he was trying to obtain a humanitarian visa from the U.S. Consulate. He is separated from Mrs. Cueva, who said she had lived in the United States for six years.

A spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Lima said the student’s father “will receive all the attention possible when he applies” for the visa.

Kevin Granata

Mr. Granata, a professor of engineering science and mechanics, served in the military and later conducted orthopedic research in hospitals before coming to Virginia Tech, where he and his students researched muscle and reflex response and robotics.

The head of the school’s engineering science and mechanics department called Mr. Granata one of the top five biomechanics researchers in the country working on movement dynamics in cerebral palsy.

Engineering professor Demetri P. Telionis said Mr. Granata was successful and kind.

“With so many research projects and graduate students, he still found time to spend with his family, and he coached his children in many sports and extracurricular activities,” Mr. Telionis said.

Mr. Granata was a gifted scientist, known worldwide for his research into how the body’s various muscles accomplish complicated movements, said Stefan Duma, a mechanical engineering professor.

“He liked to ask the big questions,” Mr. Duma said. “When we had students defending their Ph.D., and he kept asking, ‘Did we have the total solution?’ He was really interested in whether we answered the big questions. That’s really a sign of a great scientist.”

Caitlin Hammaren

Miss Hammaren, 19, of Westtown, N.Y., was a sophomore majoring in international studies and French, according to officials at her former school district.

“She was just one of the most outstanding young individuals that I’ve had the privilege of working with in my 31 years as an educator,” said John P. Latini, principal of Minisink Valley High School, where she graduated in 2005. “Caitlin was a leader among our students.”

Minisink Valley students and teachers shared their grief yesterday at a counseling center set up in the school, Mr. Latini said.

Emily Jane Hilscher

Miss Hilscher, 19, a freshman majoring in animal and poultry sciences, was known around her hometown as an animal lover.

“She worked at a veterinarian’s office and cared about them her whole life,” said Rappahannock County Administrator John W. McCarthy, a family friend.

Miss Hilscher, of Woodville, lived on the same dormitory floor as victim Ryan Clark, Mr. McCarthy said.

A friend, Will Nachless, also 19, said Miss Hilscher “was always very friendly.”

“Before I even knew her, I thought she was very outgoing, friendly and helpful, and she was great in chemistry,” he said.

Rachael Hill

Miss Hill was a graduate of Grove Avenue Christian School in Henrico County and was a freshman at Virginia Tech. Her father, Guy Hill of Glen Allen, said his daughter was studying biology at the university.

Mr. Hill said the family was too distraught to talk further yesterday about the killing, but said they were planning to have memorial events later in the week.

Jarrett Lee Lane

A memorial including pictures, instruments and jerseys belonging to Mr. Lane was installed at his high school in tiny Narrows, Va., just 30 miles from Virginia Tech.

Mr. Lane, 22, was a senior civil engineering student who had been valedictorian of his high school class.

Mr. Lane played the trombone, ran track and participated in football and basketball at Narrows High School, recalled Principal Robert Stump.

“We’re just kind of binding together as a family,” Mr. Stump said.

Mr. Lane’s brother-in-law, Daniel Farrell, called Mr. Lane fun-loving and “full of spirit.”

“He had a caring heart and was a friend to everyone he met,” Mr. Farrell said. “We are leaning on God’s grace in these trying hours.”

Matthew J. La Porte

Mr. La Porte, 20, credited the Carson Long Military Institute, in New Bloomfield, Pa., with turning his life around.

“I know that Carson Long was my second chance,” he said during a graduation speech, printed in the school yearbook.

Mr. La Porte was a 2005 graduate of Carson Long, which posted a memorial photograph of him in his school uniform on its Web site yesterday.

“Matthew was an exemplary student at Carson Long whose love of music and fellow cadets were an inspiration to all on campus,” the school said.

Mr. La Porte, a freshman from Dumont, N.J., was attending Virginia Tech on an Air Force ROTC scholarship, according to Dumont Police Chief Brian Venezio, who said Mr. La Porte’s parents were still in shock when he spoke with them.

Mr. La Porte was a member of Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets and was considering majoring in political science, said 1st Lt. Garry Hallman, a friend and instructor at Carson Long, who said he kept in touch with his former student.

According to his profile on a music Web site, Mr. La Porte’s favorite artists were Meshuggah, Metallica, Soundgarden, Creed and Live.

Liviu Librescu

Mr. Librescu, 76, an Israeli engineering and math lecturer, was known for his research, but his son said he will be remembered as a hero for protecting students as the gunman tried to enter his classroom.

Mr. Librescu taught at Virginia Tech for 20 years and had an international reputation for his work in aeronautical engineering.

“His research has enabled better aircraft, superior composite materials and more robust aerospace structures,” said Ishwar K. Puri, head of the engineering science and mechanics department.

Mr. Librescu’s son, Joe, said his father’s students sent e-mails detailing how the professor saved their lives by blocking the doorway of his classroom from the approaching gunman before he was fatally shot.

“My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee,” Joe Librescu said in a telephone interview from his home outside Tel Aviv. “Students started opening windows and jumping out.”

G.V. Loganathan

Mr. Loganathan, 51, was born in the southern Indian city of Chennai and had been a civil and environmental engineering professor at Virginia Tech since 1982.

Mr. Loganathan won several awards for excellence in teaching, had served on the Faculty Senate and was an adviser to about 75 undergraduate students.

“We all feel like we have had an electric shock. We do not know what to do,” his brother, G.V. Palanivel, told the NDTV news channel from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. “He has been a driving force for all of us, the guiding force.”

Daniel O’Neil

Mr. O’Neil, 22, played guitar and wrote his own songs, which he posted on a Web site, www.residenthippy.com.

His close friend, Steve Craveiro, described him as smart, responsible and a hard worker, and someone who never got into trouble.

“He would come home from school over the summer and talk about projects, about building bridges and stuff like that,” Mr. Craveiro said. “He loved his family. He was pretty much destined to be extremely successful. He just didn’t deserve to have happen what happened.”

A graduate student in engineering from Rhode Island, Mr. O’Neil graduated in 2002 from Lincoln High School and graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., before heading to Virginia, where he was also a teaching assistant, Mr. Craveiro said.

Erin Peterson

Miss Peterson, 18, graduated in 2006 from Westfield High School in Chantilly, where she was a three-year member of the varsity basketball team, a member of the French honor society and worked for the student newspaper.

She was a freshman at Virginia Tech. Friends described her on a facebook.com Web site set up to honor and remember her as “the toughest girl” anyone’s ever had the privilege of knowing.

Mary Karen Read

Miss Read, 19, was born in South Korea into an Air Force family and lived in Texas and California before settling in Annandale.

Miss Read considered a handful of colleges, including nearby George Mason University, before choosing Virginia Tech. It was a popular destination among her Annandale High School classmates, according to her aunt, Karen Kuppinger.

She had yet to declare a major.

“I think she wanted to try to spread her wings,” said Mrs. Kuppinger, of Rochester, N.Y.

Mrs. Kuppinger said her niece had struggled adjusting to Tech’s sprawling 2,600-acre campus. But she had recently begun making friends and looking into a sorority.

She said the family started calling Miss Read as news reports surfaced.

“After three or four hours passed, and she hadn’t picked up her cell phone or answered her e-mail … we did get concerned,” Mrs. Kuppinger said. “We honestly thought she would pop up.”

Reema Samaha

Miss Samaha, 18, was a freshman. From Centreville, she graduated in 2006 from Westfield High School, where she was active in theater and dance activities.

At Virginia Tech, the theater major was a member of the Contemporary Dance Ensemble, a student dance organization. A family friend who answered the telephone at her parents’ home called her “a good person.”

Photos show a dark-haired, vibrant young woman. The creator of a facebook.com Web site honoring her wrote: “Why did you have to be in that classroom, Reema?”

Maxine Turner

Miss Turner, of Vienna, Va., was just weeks away from graduating with a degree in chemical engineering. She was on the dean’s list, and was an officer in Virginia Tech’s chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon, an engineering sorority.


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