Dean’s update

Greetings from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Alan Grant

Alan Grant, dean

I hope you enjoy this issue of Innovations that explores the exciting programs and activities from the 2013-14 academic year. It highlights just a few of our many outstanding students, faculty and staff members, and alumni; a number of exciting academic, research, and Extension programs; and our capital building projects, and it provides some updates on the college’s alumni programs.

Our college continues to grow in many ways. Student enrollment is maintaining its upward trend, and many new faculty members have joined the college as part of the research clusters that support the priorities of our strategic plan. Faculty members are developing effective learning environments that allow students to become immersed in experiential learning so they are better prepared to pursue successful careers and engage in lifelong learning. Our faculty and staff members are having tremendous success in obtaining a record level of extramural funding that is paying great dividends by giving students challenging research experiences and providing our industry and stakeholders with basic and applied research that is critical for the future.

Faculty members are developing effective learning environments that allow students to become immersed in experiential learning so they are better prepared to pursue successful careers and engage in lifelong learning.

As a result of new Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and new programs that serve communities in the commonwealth and beyond, our Extension programs are growing, too. In this issue, you can read about events celebrating the centennial of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act, which created the nationwide Cooperative Extension Service. Teaching, research, and Extension programs are integrated throughout the college, and everyone’s creativity and hard work allows the college to help lead the land-grant mission of the university.

This year will be one of transition for the university as Timothy Sands begins his tenure as the 16th president of Virginia Tech. Former President Charles W. Steger concluded a long and impactful presidency during which he outlined and implemented a bold vision. He leaves for future generations a land-grant university widely regarded for its academic excellence — both nationally and abroad. I am fortunate to have worked with President Steger for nearly five years. I now look forward to serving under President Sands and ensuring that our college continues to be a leader at this great university.

I hope many of you are able to visit the college during the upcoming year — you are welcome at any time!

Sincerely,

Alan Grant

Dean

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