Thomas Banko of Virginia Beach, Va., associate professor in the Department of Horticulture and the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, was conferred the "associate professor emeritus" title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board's quarterly meeting Nov. 12.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and 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, Banko has served as director of the Tidewater Arboretum, the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center, and oversaw its development as a regional education resource. He has made significant contributions in research on production improvement practices of various horticultural crops, writing 75 research publications, 35 trade articles, and four book chapters. In addition he has given more than 100 talks to the nursery and landscape industries and to the public throughout Virginia.

Banko received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Idaho.

Nationally ranked among the top research institutions of its kind, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences focuses on the science and business of living systems through learning, discovery, and engagement. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives more than 2,400 students in a dozen academic departments a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. Students learn from the world’s leading agricultural scientists, who bring the latest science and technology into the classroom.

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