From the dean — June 2013

Dear Colleagues,

Alan Grant

Alan Grant, dean

The last couple weeks of the spring semester are always filled with an abundance of activities celebrating the successes of our students. On May 17 and 18, more than 700 students from CALS received their degrees during the University Commencement and CALS Commencement Exercises. CALS was also well represented during the Graduate School’s Commencement on May 17. Congratulations to our graduates and to the advisors, mentors, and instructors of our graduates. I also want to thank the many faculty, staff, and students who played roles in planning and organizing the commencement programs, and thank everyone who participated. The families and friends of the graduating students are always very appreciative and complimentary of the work you do to ensure the events are so well organized.

On May 17, CALS held its annual Outstanding Senior Ceremony and Reception, when the Outstanding Senior from each academic department is recognized.  Shasta Sowers, agricultural science major, was recognized as CALS’ Outstanding Senior. The reception that followed was an opportunity for the families and friends to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of our outstanding students.

This past week, Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, spent time on campus with faculty, students, and university administration. The CALS Faculty Association, VAES, and VCE hosted him. Many thanks to Jody Jellison for putting together a schedule that allowed for a great exchange of information and ideas.

I recently also had the pleasure of presenting this year’s Diversity Enhancement Awards, given out by the college’s Diversity Council to recognize people for their commitment to diversity and their efforts to promote it. This year’s recipients were Randy Grayson, Stephanie “Nikki” Lewis, and Susan Rosebrough.

Now that the busy weeks of the spring semester are past, I hope things slow down a bit and everyone can enjoy the summer months. There seems to always be an endless list of things to do, but I encourage everyone to try to carve out some time from your busy schedules to relax before the start of the fall semester.

Alan Grant, dean

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