France Belanger, R.B. Pamplin Professor of Accounting and Information Systems and Tom and Daisy Byrd Senior Faculty Fellow in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2015 Alumni Award for Excellence in Research.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Research is presented annually to as many as two Virginia Tech faculty members who have made outstanding research contributions. Alumni, students, faculty, and staff may nominate candidates. Each recipient is awarded $2,000.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1997, Belanger’s research focuses on digital interactions between individuals, businesses, and government and on related security and privacy issues.

Belanger's research on communication technologies from 1999 to 2008 led her to explore the rise of the Internet as a medium to exchange information and goods and services. She was among the first researchers to study electronic interactions and privacy, security, and trust issues that exist when the Internet is used as a medium of exchange.

As a result of her work, Belanger developed an interest in finding ways to help people better protect their digital privacy. Most recently, she co-developed a smartphone app called Privacy Helper for privacy education and training.

She won the 2008 Hoeber Excellence in Research Award from the Academy of Legal Studies in Business for her Parental Online Consent for Kids’ Electronic Transactions, work that stemmed from a National Science Foundation-sponsored team project to develop a concept for technology to safeguard children's online privacy. 

She has received several other prestigious awards for her scholarly work, including the 2008 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Education Society Research Excellence Award for an article in IEEE Transactions on Education and the 2013 INFORMS Information Systems Society Design Science Award for Outstanding Design Science Research Stream for her privacy research projects.

Belanger has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, three books, six book chapters, and 77 articles and abstracts in conference proceedings, six of which won best conference paper awards. She has given more than 36 invited presentations and has received more than $1.1 million in external funding. 

She is regularly listed as one of the most-cited authors — her 2005 article in Information Systems Journal and her 2008 article in the Journal of Strategic Information Systems are among the top 20 most-cited e-government articles across all fields — and one of the top 100 producers of research in the top information systems journals. 

Belanger received a bachelor's degree from McGill University (Canada) and a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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