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Virginia Tech names new provost

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Thanassis Rikakis will become Virginia Tech's executive vice president and provost on Aug. 16.

He is currently vice provost for design, arts and technology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Rikakis  will succeed Mark McNamee, senior vice president and provost,  who announced plans in February to step down this year. With the conclusion of the provost search, he has decided to retire on Oct. 1.

In addition to serving as provost, Rikakis also will become a tenured professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics in the College of Engineering and hold a joint appointment as a music professor in the School of Performing Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Since joining the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 2012, he has coordinated the development of the Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network (IDeATe), which involves more than 70 faculty from 15 different university departments and units.

IDeATe also launched the Emerging Media master's program, a collaborative degree offered through the School of Computer Science, the College of Fine Arts, and the College of Engineering that features semester- or year-long residency opportunities in New York and Silicon Valley.

In addition to being vice provost, Rikakis is currently a full professor in the School of Design and the School of Music and holds a courtesy appointment in the Biomedical Engineering Department.

His research and creative work focus on interactive neurorehabilitation, experiential media, interdisciplinary education, and computer music.

A member of the Arizona State University faculty from 2001 to 2012, Rikakis was named the founding director of the university's School of Arts, Media, and Engineering in 2003.

He also held a faculty appointment at Columbia University, from 1995 to 2001, where he served as associate director of the Computer Music Center.

Rikakis received a doctorate in music composition and a master’s degree in music composition from Columbia University. He holds a bachelor degree in music composition from Ithaca College.

He is married to Aisling Kelliher, who will also join the Virginia Tech faculty as a tenured associate professor of computer science in the College of Engineering with a joint appointment in the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology.

The couple has one child.

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