Michael Bertelsen, former director of international research, education, and development at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of “director emeritus” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1995, Bertelsen helped build a more than $100 million research portfolio for the Office of International Research Education and Development. His support of collaborative international research and education projects engaged Virginia Tech faculty in research and teaching institutions across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

He also served as associate dean for international agriculture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and advised faculty and the dean on how to strengthen the international portfolio of the college and the university.

Bertelsen was principal or co-principal investigator on grants researching agricultural, economic, and community development throughout the developing world for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank. This work had tremendous impact on the lives of impoverished people in many countries.

He supported the scientific community as a leader on several collaborations involving dozens of domestic universities and international partners by editing books and writing chapters and was a strategist, writer, conference organizer, and reviewer in support of college faculty.

Bertelsen received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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