Local News

Slain Prof Formerly Worked at UNC

Posted April 17, 2007

— One victim of Monday's carnage at Virginia Tech formerly worked at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jamie Bishop, who taught German as an adjunct professor, was one of the first victims when gunman Cho Seung-Hui, a Virginia Tech senior, opened fire in Norris Hall Monday morning.

From 2000 to 2005, Bishop was an academic technology liaison at UNC, providing technical support for faculty, staff and graduate students in several foreign language and international studies departments.

Bishop worked for the school's Office of Arts & Sciences Information Services, or OASIS, and during his tenure, he provided computer hardware and software support for the College of Arts & Sciences, acted as OASIS' technical representative in the UNC Department of Mathematics, served as the academic technology and classroom computing consultant in the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence and worked as an academic technologist and Web designer for various UNC departments.

"He was the kind of person who came in with a positive attitude. He was happy to be doing what he was doing," said Clayton Koelb, chairman of the Department of Germanic Languages at UNC. "He always fixed a (computer) problem you had but usually found one you didn't know you had and fixed that one too."

Bishop had recently been accepted to a program that would allow him to pursue a degree in photography, Koelb said. He already had a bachelor's and master's degree in German studies and linguistics from the University of Georgia and had studied in Germany as a Fulbright scholar.

In addition to teaching German at Virginia Tech, he also was an instructor at the university's Faculty Development Institute, where he taught classes on different computer programs and the use of blogs and other online tools in higher education.

Former colleagues of Bishop gathered at UNC Tuesday to share their grief and provide support for each other.

Bishop's wife, Stefi Hofer, worked on her doctoral degree while her husband was at UNC and is now an assistant professor of German at Virginia Tech, Koelb said. Friends and former colleagues said they want to do what they can for her and the Virginia Tech community, he said.

"No one who knew Jamie or even knew him for three minutes would've ever pointed a gun at him," Koelb said.

Another shooting victim was an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University. Kevin Granata was part of a joint program in biomedical engineering between Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. The 65 students -- 22 from Wake Forest and 43 from Virginia Tech -- share courses and professors and travel back and forth between the campuses.


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  • GroupOfPricklyPears Apr 18, 2007

    How do we protect our students/faculty from cowardly, mean-spirited, passive-aggressive, violent, perverted people in a free society at public, open universities?! Would mandatory psychological testing prior to admission help? This horrible tragedy makes no sense to me.

    I cannot imagine getting a telephone call that my spouse, daughter, or son was shot to death on campus! Heartfelt condolences to Ms. Hofer and the families of all the deceased, best wishes for a comfortable, healthy recovery for the wounded - mentally, spiritually and physically.

  • tarheelblue919 Apr 18, 2007

    this story is about a man, who was murdered. yes he taught in this area. FINE. but if there is anyone that can say anything about any of these victims that tells how special they were or the good things that they have done...i'm all for it! they deserve that at the least. and like all other victims, this tragedy is far beyond just VA==these kids were from all over the country....they all are special and deserve a story on the web, wherever that may be...

  • puddinghead Apr 17, 2007

    If you don't have anything better to say on this board other than bashing WRAL for reporting that a professor from a university in OUR area was murdered, then you should not post anything at all.

    Cheekygreek and dholder97.

  • Iseeu Apr 17, 2007

    You know what, I was thinking the same thing when those kids were shot at that law school in 2002. Until one of my relatives called and said that I had a cousin that was shot, she had to have surgery but she was going to be ok. Just goes to show that you never know.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Apr 17, 2007

    These kinds of stories don't annoy me because there may be many people here who knew this man. It's when they interview someone who lives next door to someone who's cousin went to VT 35 years ago that I get annoyed.

  • spiritwarriorwoman Apr 17, 2007

    dholder97 - "...these stories always annoy me. it's like the news is saying "hooray now we can be 'closely' related to the massacre because john smith's great uncle's half brother's stepson worked 5 years at the same burger joint as the Professor Bishop... IN NORTH CAROLINA!!" woopie. stick to the story at hand"

    The story at hand is how small the world becomes when tragedy strikes. This man may still have loved ones here, and they may be reading this very article and seeing your statement. sigh

    Praying for all.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Top Dog Apr 17, 2007

    why dose ral try to tie evrey thing that happens back to nc in one way or another, its like there mad it didnt happen here ,

  • Scare Crow Apr 17, 2007

    awokasch -at- gmail -dot- com, you're right. A lot of kids from this area are attending VT. My son goes to ECU and a high school friend of his attends VT. Two of her friends and one of her teachers were killed. He also has a lot of friends that go there as well. Not so long ago he was attending an event there too. So yes if affects everyone (or should anyways).

  • bleh Apr 17, 2007

    You know what dholder, whether you believe it or not EVERYONE has been affected by this incident in one way or another. The reason it is such a big deal is b/c this could have happened anywhere even here in NC.

  • ENC-43 Apr 17, 2007

    First of all, many thoughts and prayers to the family. Annoyed or not, I would imagine that there are many people who knew this man through their UNC ties and would want to know that he is a victim. It amazes me how ugly and hateful this comment board has gotten in the few months it has been up. It's sad to see.