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Kay Dunkley named director of Virginia Tech Roanoke Center


Kay Dunkley Kay Dunkley

BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 25, 2011 – After leading Virginia Tech’s Reynolds Homestead Continuing Education Center in Critz, Va., for almost three years, Kay Dunkley has been named  director of the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center.

The Roanoke Center is one of Virginia Tech’s five Commonwealth Campus Centers. The others are in Abingdon, Critz, Richmond, and Virginia Beach.

Dunkley, a native of Wytheville, increased programs and course offerings during her tenure at the Reynolds Homestead Continuing Education Center. She was also instrumental in completing projects such as renovations to the historic home, reconstruction of the tobacco barn, and development of a public hiking trail.

Announcing Dunkley’s appointment, John Dooley, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs, said, “Based upon the good leadership we have all seen since she started at the Reynolds Homestead, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us that she emerged as the top candidate in a competitive pool of applicants for the Roanoke position. We welcome her to the new opportunities in Roanoke.”

She will begin her new responsibilities on April 10.

Situated on the seventh floor of the Roanoke Higher Education Center, the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center offers conference rooms and classrooms including a 22-station computer classroom with on-site technical support. The center’s offerings range from workshops and graduate courses to public lectures and lifelong learning classes for individuals ages 50 and older.

Dunkley’s responsibilities will include overseeing the Catawba Sustainability Center, an evolving project on 377 acres involving several colleges at Virginia Tech. The center is focused on local food production, renewable energy sources, student on-site learning, and community economic development. The Roanoke Center is also home to VT Earthworks, a regional center nurturing businesses that are springing up in the agriculture or natural resource fields.

Dunkley replaces Susan E. Short, who was named this past September to lead Outreach Program Development, also a key area of Outreach and International Affairs.

A search committee has been formed to replace Dunkley at the Reynolds Homestead, Dooley said. The center is the site of the original home of tobacco manufacturer R.J. Reynolds. The building, constructed in 1843, is open for public touring. The director not only partners with Virginia Tech faculty and staff but also manages and oversees the historic home in collaboration with members of the Reynolds Homestead Advisory Committee. The director also works closely with regional economic development agencies, local businesses, foundations, and trusts.

Dunkley will remain in a leadership role at the Reynolds Homestead until the new director is named.

Dunkley earned her doctorate degree in special education administration, with a minor in sociology, from Virginia Tech in 1991. She earned her master's degree and bachelor's degree from Radford University.