Penny Jones McCallum of Abingdon, Va., has been named director of the Virginia Tech Southwest Center at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon.

McCallum, who previously served as site director for Old Dominion University in Abingdon, will assume the responsibility of extending Virginia Tech’s research, outreach, and graduate education programs in Southwest Virginia. In addition, she will work to provide working professionals with complete graduate degree programs and classes from nationally ranked programs based at Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus. Programs include business administration, career and technical education, educational leadership and policy studies, engineering, health promotion, information technology, instructional technology, and political science.

“We are pleased to have Penny McCallum on board. Her in-depth experience and understanding in administrating satellite campuses will be a real asset to us,” said John E. Dooley, vice provost for outreach and international affairs. “We are looking forward to her leadership in bringing Virginia Tech’s outreach, teaching, and research to the people of Southwest Virginia.”

“As a Virginia Tech alumna, I’m especially excited about my new position and look forward to expanding the university’s offerings to meet the needs of the residents of Southwest Virginia,” McCallum said.

McCallum has been an administrator in elementary education and business since 1965. For 26 years, she served as administrative assistant and director of federal programs for Buchanan County Public Schools, while also serving as a part-time instructor for Southwest Virginia Community College (SVCC), teaching professional development and business communication classes. In 1994, she became counselor and advisor for the SVCC’s Upward Bound and Talent Search Program, and in 1997, worked as a coordinator with the AmeriCorps Program.

As site director for Old Dominion University in Abingdon the past seven years, McCallum was responsible for ensuring the successful operation of the satellite campus. She led the marketing program, recruited students, supervised operations, provided student support, and served as a link between students and various departments. She also served as liaison between the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Virginia Highlands Community College, and Old Dominion University in Norfolk.

Virginia Tech maintains other regional Commonwealth Campus Centers in Richmond, Hampton Roads, and Roanoke. The Reynolds Homestead in Patrick County and Southside Outreach Programs headquartered at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville complete the roster of Virginia Tech’s off-campus centers in the commonwealth.

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.