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College of Agriculture and Life Sciences names associate dean


BLACKSBURG, Va., March 24, 2006 – Virginia Tech has named Mary Marchant associate dean and director of academic programs of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

In her new role, Marchant will be responsible for administering all aspects of academic programs and provide leadership for undergraduate, extended campus, and continuing education for the college. Marchant will also assist with curriculum development.

Marchant has received numerous honors including the American Agricultural Economics Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Agricultural Economics in Italy. Marchant has published extensively and built a research program, funded by more than $750,000 in grants, which focuses on international trade, agricultural marketing, and agrobiotechnology in China.

“Dr. Marchant brings to us invaluable leadership experience and strong background that will further strengthen our academic programs,” said Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “We are very fortunate to have someone with Mary’s abilities and expertise to provide leadership for this position.”

After she earned her doctorate from the University of California, Davis, Marchant accepted a faculty position in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky. In her role as the department’s director of undergraduate studies, she provided leadership for recruitment, retention, advising, departmental scholarship awarding efforts, and the department’s experiential learning course.

“My overall goal is to create, enhance and develop a learning environment that promotes academic excellence for students, faculty and staff,” remarked Marchant. “My vision is to guide change, promote growth, and position the college’s academic programs in response to a rapidly changing environment; including the changing structure of agriculture, by enhancing cutting-edge curricula and ensuring that the curricula provide necessary skills that employers want graduates to possess.”

Ranked 11th in agricultural research expenditures by the National Science Foundation, 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.