John Hillison, head of Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Service Award by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Organization. The award was announced at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Homecoming recently and will be presented at the College Scholarship Banquet, Friday, Oct. 22.
Hillison, originally from Amboy, Ill., has been at Virginia Tech since 1976 and was honored for his many years of service including facilitating the moving of agricultural education back to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and in the creation of the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education. The department provides instruction to prepare agricultural educators and Extension educators to serve the people of Virginia and the global community.
Hillison and other faculty members built on a long history of agricultural education at Virginia Tech. The university has offered agricultural education since 1918. The department offers programs leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees and cooperates with the Career-Technical Education Program in offering degrees. Students can enroll in both on-campus and distance-delivered courses. Graduates typically enter people-related fields such as public school teachers, Extension agents, or entering agricultural sales, and other agricultural businesses.
In addition to his role as department head, Hillison is past president of Gamma Sigma Delta International. He also has held offices in the Southern Region American Association for Agricultural Education and the American Vocational Research Association, and was editor of the Journal of the American Association of Teacher Educators in Agriculture. He is a fellow and distinguished lecturer in the American Association for Agricultural Education, and distinguished lecturer in the Agricultural Education Section of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists. He has been a member of the Academy of Faculty Service at Virginia Tech since 1987 and was president of the Virginia Tech Faculty Senate in 1991.
He also is active with the alumni of the department, coordinating Homecoming activities and maintaining contact with graduates across the nation.
Hillison has received many honors and awards from such organizations as Epsilon Sigma Phi and the Extension honorary. He received an honorary American Farmer Degree from National FFA and honorary state farmer degree from Virginia FFA.
He received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1972. All of his degrees are in agricultural education.
Consistently ranked by the National Science Foundation among the top 10 institutions in agricultural research, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers students the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading agricultural scientists. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives students a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. The college is a national leader in incorporating technology, biotechnology, computer applications, and other recent scientific advances into its teaching program.
Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.