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Mezzo-soprano Janna Baty and dancer Thomas Vacanti have joined the Department of Music and Dance this fall as visiting assistant professors.

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Astronomy professor William Irvine was elected vice-president of Commission 51, Bioastronomy, of the International Astronomical Union at its triennial meeting held Aug. 14-25 in Prague, Czech Republic.

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Psychology professor Robert S. Feldman has been named associate dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

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Nicholas Wegman has been named to the newly created post of executive director of the Chase Career Center at the Isenberg School of Management.

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Audrey Altstadt, professor and chair of the History Department, was among the experts who briefed Anne Derse, the new U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan, on Aug. 17 in Washington, D.C.

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John A. Misiaszek, 79, of Whately, a retired maintainer II with Auxiliary Services, died Sept. 4 at the Northampton Rehabilitation and Nursing Center after a long illness.

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Jeff Cox, who began his tenure as chair of the Music and Dance Department last month comes to Amherst from the University of New Orleans, where he served as professor and chair of the department of music since 1989.

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Joseph ''Bud'' N. LaClaire Sr., 84, of Leverett, a retired electrician I with Housing Services, died Sept. 3 at the Cozy Corner Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Sunderland.

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Poet Dara Wier will read from her work on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. in Memorial Hall to open this semester''s Visiting Writers Series.

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WFCR-FM has named Brad Spear, host of the Boston Symphony Orchestra''s "Live from Tanglewood" broadcasts, as a classical music announcer.

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