Virginia Tech marked its continued commitment to its global land-grant mission with the March 8 launch of the new Center for International Research, Education, and Development, replacing the Office of International Research, Education, and Development.

Part of Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, the new university-wide center supports Virginia Tech’s global mission by developing donor-funded international projects that draw on the university’s knowledge and applying it to improve livelihoods and raise standards of living in developing countries.

This provides opportunities for faculty and students to become engaged in research, teaching, and development of solutions beyond the boundaries of the university, Virginia, and the nation.

“The new name reflects and strengthens the expertise of Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students,” says Van Crowder, the center's executive director. “As a result, we can bring innovative approaches, knowledge, and learning opportunities to the world’s development challenges and opportunities.”

Crowder identifies food security, agriculture, natural-resource conservation, health, and education systems as areas where Virginia Tech has a proven track record of collaborating with partners across the world to solve problems. 

The Center for International Research, Education, and Development and its predecessors have brought in $182 million in total project funding and $15 million in returned overhead since 1993. Its current project portfolio is approximately $60 million. The center currently manages 37 projects with partners and supports 77 graduate students globally. The center's 39 academic partners are situated in 17 countries.      

“We help our partners, whether they are policymakers, development professionals, and researchers, or farmers living in rural communities, to have the tools and knowledge they need to improve their lives and the lives of those they work with and serve,” Crowder said. “Our collaborative approach extends the spirit of Virginia Tech’s motto – Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) - to a global scale.”

Written by Dana Cruikshank

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