I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving break. The holiday is always a good opportunity to reflect on the many things we are thankful for in our lives. It’s also a reminder that the end of the calendar year is right around the corner!
I’m sure many of you have seen the messages from President Sands and Provost McNamee describing the new InclusiveVT Program. The new distributed model allows our college to identify diversity and inclusion initiatives that are of high priority to the CALS community. The CALS Diversity Council and college leadership team have been working on identifying some preliminary initiatives that will be presented to the InclusiveVT Executive Council, which is chaired by President Sands. We anticipate opportunities for broad engagement from the college as the process moves forward.
In a previous issue of Insights, I mentioned that the search for a new entomology department head was progressing. The search committee, chaired by Beth Grabau, successfully recruited three candidates for on-campus interviews. Discussions are currently underway with the candidates and we expect to announce a new head after the first of the new year.
Two other department heads, Beth Grabau (plant pathology, physiology, and weed science) and Pete Kennelly (biochemistry), have announced plans to step down so they can spend more time on their research and teaching. The departments and the college have benefited greatly from their leadership. I know many will join me in thanking both Beth and Pete for their effective leadership for many years. We are initiating national searches for both positions and are pleased to announce the following search committees: PPWS – Mary Leigh Wolfe (chair), Kristen Clermont, Cris Thompson, Mizuho Nita, David Schmale, John McDowell, Jacob Barney, Sakiko Okumoto, and Mike Goatley. Biochemistry – Brenda Winkel (chair), Belen Cassera, Pablo Sobrado, Glenda Gillaspy, Janet Donahue, Anne Brown, David Bevan, and Igor Sharakhov. Many thanks to Mary Leigh, Brenda, and their committee members for assisting with the searches.