Loke T. Kok of Blacksburg, professor and head of the Department of Entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been named the college's interim dean effective March 1.

He replaces Dean Sharron Quisenberry who recently accepted the position of vice president for research and economic development at Iowa State. A national search for a permanent dean of the college will begin immediately.

"Loke is the ideal person to serve as the interim dean while we conduct a national search,” said University Provost and Academic Vice President Mark McNamee. “As a senior faculty member who has a great reputation as an effective department head, he is well qualified to serve during this period of transition.”

"I am greatly honored and humbled to be appointed interim dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,” said Kok. “Though I am deeply sad to leave the Department of Entomology for this duration, at the same time I look forward to the opportunities and challenges of leading the college in the primary missions of research, teaching, and extension in accordance with Virginia Tech's strategic plan.”

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1972, Kok has served as head of the Department of Entomology since 2004. His research and teaching focuses on biological control, with specific emphasis on the biological control of weeds and arthropod pests. He has written more than 180 peer reviewed articles, ten book chapters, and 12 Extension publications.

He has been a Fellow in the Entomological Society of America since 2005, and received the L.O. Howard Distinguished Achievement Award from the Entomological Society of America Eastern Branch in 2004. In 1997, he received the Gamma Sigma delta Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award.

Kok currently serves as president-elect of the Entomological Society of American Eastern Branch. From 1996 to 2003, he served on the editorial board of the Biological Control Journal. He also is a member of the Organization of Biological Control of Noxious Animals and Plants.

Kok holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Malaysia, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.