Interim associate dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences named

BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 25, 2005 – John Hess, of Christiansburg, Va., professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been named the college's interim associate dean and director for academic programs.

"We are pleased that Dr. Hess has agreed to accept this interim appointment. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the position," said Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, in making the announcement.

Hess served as the department head for biochemistry for the past six years and has been a member of the faculty for 38 years.

H. Dean Sutphin, who held the position for two years, continues with the college as a tenured professor in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education.

As the director of academic programs, Sutphin was instrumental in forming the Pathway to Excellence -- Guaranteed Admissions Initiative that secures admission into the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for Virginia community college students upon completion of an associate transfer degree.

A committee will be named in the near future to conduct a national search for a new associate dean and director for Academic Programs.

Consistently ranked among the top 10 institutions in agricultural research 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.