James McKenna, professor of crop and soil environmental sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the “professor emeritus” title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1979, McKenna had significant research contributions to the areas of sustainable agriculture, forage management, and agroforestry. He contributed to international research and outreach programs in Brazil, China, Haiti, and Mali and organized and led cooperative exchange international undergraduate education programs in Brazil, China, Kenya, and South Africa.

In addition, he served as interim department head for the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences.

He received numerous teaching awards, including the university’s William E. Wine Award and Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholar Award, as well as the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Association’s Distinguished Education Award.

McKenna received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island, a master’s degree from the University of Maine, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.