Three faculty members and one graduate student from the Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences received prestigious awards at the annual meetings of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association held in Atlanta, Georgia, this summer.

The most prestigious recognition went to agricultural and applied economics professor and Willis Blackwood Real Estate Director Kevin Boyle, who was recognized as a fellow of the national association.

“It is humbling to receive this recognition from one’s peers,” said Boyle. “It reenergized my commitment to help students be the best they can be and to assist society in addressing complex decisions through research and outreach.”

Boyle was among five AAEA members to be named fellow this year and joins two other Virginia Tech faculty with the title.

Having spent his 30-plus-year career working in applied economics, Boyle was recognized for his continuous contributions to the advancement of research in this area and his contributions in teaching and advising the next generation of scholars in applied economics, as well as his generous service and leadership in both public and private institutions.

Boyle’s foundational work on nonmarket valuation methods has enabled economists to put monetary values on natural resources and programs to enhance public health. As an expert in this area, Boyle has advised the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding various environmental policies and catastrophe litigation.

“Kevin’s work on methods for valuing nonmarket goods – for example, clean air and clean water – has helped broaden and strengthen an entire subfield of economics that is useful not only for economists but also for natural resource managers, legal professionals, and policymakers,” said Matt Holt, Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics department head. “This kind of broad reach that stretches across disciplines is a hallmark of our applied field, and we couldn’t be prouder to see Kevin recognized with this honor for his many wide-ranging contributions.”

In addition, the association also awarded Virginia Tech Agricultural and Applied Economics Professor Mary Marchant with the association’s Quality of Communication award for a research article on the U.S.-China trade dispute, and Associate Professor Kimberly Morgan with the association’s Outstanding Teaching award for instructors who have taught less than 10 years. Santa Felicita Rosario de Jesus, a recent graduate of the department’s master’s program, was also one of three recipients of the association’s Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award for her thesis Social-Economic Benefits of Payment for Environmental Services in Yaque del Norte Watershed, Dominican Republic. Her thesis advisors were professors Bradford Mills and George Norton.

Boyle is a member of the Virginia Tech Academy of Faculty Leadership and a fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Marchant and Morgan received their doctorates from the University of California at Davis and the University of Florida, respectively.   

— Written by Jillian Broadwell


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