Jeri L. Childers recently joined Virginia Tech as director of Outreach Program Development. Childers comes to the university from Pennsylvania State University, where she was director of Workforce Education and Development Programs
In her new role, Childers, of Christiansburg, will provide leadership for Virginia Tech's continuing education and engagement agenda for Continuing and Professional Education, Outreach Program Services, English as a Second Language at Virginia Tech's English Language Institute, the Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement, the Service-Learning Center, and Upward Bound/Educational Talent Search. She also will serve as Virginia Tech's administrative contact with the management team of the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center and will oversee the transition to the new Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center under construction and scheduled to open in summer 2005. In addition, Outreach Program Development is also responsible for delivering outreach programming at the nationally known Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, in downtown Roanoke.
"Virginia Tech is an engaged institution." Childers said. "Outreach Program Development is well positioned to support the mission, students, and faculty at the university, as well as the diverse communities throughout Virginia. I am delighted to join the dynamic leadership team at Tech."
Childers, who relocated from State College, Pa., will work in collaboration with Virginia Tech administration and leaders of the university's eight colleges to develop and deliver a comprehensive portfolio of educational programs and services designed to fulfill the institution's land grant outreach mission.
"I am looking forward to launching new, innovative initiatives that will link faculty research at Virginia Tech with the needs of communities in Virginia and beyond," Childers noted. "My passion and focus has long been on supporting campus-community partnerships. Matching faculty research and community needs is important and fulfilling work."
In her new post, Childers reports to John. E. Dooley, vice provost for Outreach and International Affairs.
"Jeri Childers is a quality professional in the field of university outreach with a solid record of achievement," Dooley said. "While at Penn State, she was highly effective in working with faculty to develop strategic portfolios and to obtain funding for new outreach initiatives. We are pleased to have a person of her talents and experience as part of the Outreach and International Affairs team here at Virginia Tech."
Childers joined Penn State Continuing Education in 1993 as senior program developer for the Smeal College of Business, a role that later expanded to assistant director for Program Development and acting associate dean for Continuing and Distance Education at the college. In 2001, she assumed the role of interim director for Program Development. In 2002, she became the director of Outreach Program Services, where her efforts focused on strengthening Penn State Outreach's new program development capability. In 2004, she assumed the role of director of Workforce Education & Development Programs.
While with Penn State Outreach, Childers led the launch of the Outreach Scholarship Conference series in partnership with The Ohio State University, the University of Wisconsin-Extension, and the University of Georgia. She has served as guest editor of the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, and has authored a number of articles on outreach scholarship and engagement, international program development, and organizational and professional competencies of professionals in the fields of engagement and continuing education. She is a member of the University Continuing Education Association, Association of Continuing and Higher Education, and the American Association of Higher Education.
Childers earned her bachelor's degree in retailing at the University of Hawaii, her master's in retailing at the University of Missouri, and her Ph.D. in continuing higher education administration at the University of Missouri. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Exemplary Program Award and the Bronze Marketing Award presented by the University Continuing Education Association and the Outstanding International Continuing Higher Education Program Award, presented by the Association of Continuing Higher Education, among others