Kevin Boyle named head of Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 11, 2005 – Kevin J. Boyle, of Newport, Va., has been named head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.

Boyle most recently served as Distinguished Maine Professor and Chair of the Department of Resource Economics and Policy at the University of Maine. He was the director of the Center for Tourism Research and Outreach, a cooperating professor of wildlife ecology, and professor of ecology and environmental sciences.

“The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics plays an important role in assisting Virginia’s communities and the agriculture industry in sustaining and developing a viable economy,” said Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Dr. Boyle brings to Virginia Tech invaluable leadership experience and knowledge that will help his department become an even more valuable asset. We are fortunate to have someone with Kevin’s abilities to lead this department.”

In commenting on his plans, Boyle said, “My goal is to return the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics to standing as one of the top 10 agricultural economics programs in the country. The department has an excellent cohort of faculty to build on and an exciting opportunity to add new faculty members over the next year to help strengthen the department’s programs.”

Boyle has received numerous honors and was named Maine U.S. professor of the year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in 2004 and named Distinguished Maine Professor by the University of Maine in 2003.

His recent research has included “Assessing the Regional Economic Impact of Protected Lands Adjacent to the 100 Mile Wilderness Section of the Appalachian Trail” for the Maine Department of Conservation, “GK 12 Sensors” for the National Science Foundation, and “Economic Valuation of Avoiding Arsenic Exposure in Drinking Water” sponsored by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Boyle received is bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine, a master’s degree from Oregon State University, and his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from University of Wisconsin, Madison.

The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics provides an integrated program of teaching, research, and Extension that considers state, national, and international dimensions of competitiveness of Virginia agriculture; economics of environmental and natural resource systems management; and rural and community economic development. The department also is home for the Rural Economic Analysis Program (REAP) that provides research on state-level problems.

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.