Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has appointed Rick D. Rudd of Blacksburg, Va., interim associate dean and director of Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Rudd, professor and head of the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, follows Mark McCann in this position.

“I am excited about the rich background in program and volunteer leadership development Dr. Rudd brings to this position,” said interim Dean Loke Kok. “I am confident that Virginia Cooperative Extension will benefit from his leadership and vision and will continue to thrive as an organization that delivers the latest research-based knowledge to Virginians.”

Rudd said he was excited to further contribute to the college in his new role. “I am committed to leading Virginia Cooperative Extension and look forward to working with our excellent faculty and staff throughout the state to further Extension’s progressive programs,” he said. “Virginia Cooperative Extension is in a unique position to address the needs of producers, the agricultural industry, and citizens of the commonwealth, and my vision is to build stronger collaborative relationships with faculty at Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, and the research and education centers across the state for the purpose of developing and delivering contemporary and relevant programs.”

Prior to joining Virginia Tech in 2006 as department head, Rudd was a professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida. In addition to his research and teaching, Rudd directed the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Teaching Resource Center where he coordinated faculty development programs in teaching and learning for teaching and Extension faculty. Rudd also created a center for volunteer leadership development, providing workshops, on-line training, and materials for Extension faculty and professionals working with volunteers in community and non-profit organizations.

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

A native of Ohio, Rudd has co-authored three books, wrote numerous scholarly publications, and has presented 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 of programs and research projects and contracts worth more than $1.4 million.

Rudd graduated with a Ph.D. in vocational and technical education from Virginia Tech after earning both his master’s degree in agricultural education and bachelor’s degree in agriculture from The Ohio State University.

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