Rich Mathieson has joined Virginia Tech as the communications coordinator for the Language and Culture Institute and Outreach and International Affairs.

In this new position, Mathieson will provide communications support for the Language and Culture Institute, including putting together a regular newsletter to share the stories of the institute’s students, faculty, and staff with the university community and the broader public. He will also work to handle the public information needs of Outreach and Community Affairs' many institutes and centers.

With courses offered in Blacksburg and Falls Church, Va. the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute serves international students and others with language training.

Before coming to the university, Mathieson was a night editor at The Roanoke Times, where his work was recognized by the Virginia Press Association. Among the projects he edited were a three-part series on the deadly effects of heroin on two Roanoke-area families and a series examining the treatment of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Previously, he was the national editor and assistant front-page editor at The Charlotte Observer in North Carolina. He helped lead the paper's coverage of major breaking news and ongoing projects, including the 2008 election, the "Miracle on the Hudson," the earthquake in Haiti, the Japanese tsunami, and the economic meltdown. He also helped oversee the paper's early social media initiatives. A series he edited that shed light on the Charlotte region's high rate of housing foreclosures and questionable sales practices by a major homebuilder won a Gerald Loeb Award and a George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in public service.

Mathieson has also worked as an editor and writer for the Washington-based newsletter publisher SmartBrief and as an editor for the Centre Daily Times of State College, Pa.

A Pittsburgh native, Mathieson received his bachelor's degree in English from Dickinson College, where he was editor of the student newspaper. He also studied literature and music at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and has a master's degree in English from Penn State University.

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