Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has named Rick D. Rudd of Gainesville, Fla., head of the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education. Rudd fills the vacancy left by Professor Emeritus John H. Hillison, who retired after serving the Virginia Tech community since 1976.

“Dr. Rudd’s strong background in agricultural education complements his experience developing academic and leadership programs,” said Dean Sharron Quisenberry. “I am confident that the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education will prosper under his leadership and become a national leader in agricultural education and leadership.”

Rudd said he was excited to start his new position at Virginia Tech. “The dean is committed to making the department the best that it can be, and I, along with the faculty, am looking forward to creating excellent programs in agricultural and extension education,” he said.

Previously, Rudd was a professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida, where he served as the director of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Teaching Resource Center. In addition to coordinating student teaching and graduate programs, Rudd developed and managed a center for volunteer leadership development.

Before working at the University of Florida, Rudd conducted research on college recruitment and the associate degree program as a graduate research assistant at Virginia Tech. He also worked as a high school agriculture teacher in Ohio for six years.

A native of Ohio, Rudd has co-authored three books, authored and co-authored 30 refereed articles and more than 50 refereed proceedings. He has spoken at more than 120 professional and academic workshops, Extension training sessions, and international, national, and regional presentations. Additionally, he served as a principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or co-director in programs and research projects worth more than $850,000.

In 1994, Rudd earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech after receiving both his master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University.

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. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.