Local News

Slain Prof Formerly Worked at UNC

Posted April 17, 2007 12:01 p.m. EDT
Updated April 17, 2007 6:52 p.m. EDT

— 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.