The Virginia Tech College of Science has promoted Patricia Hammer to the position of associate dean for faculty affairs and graduate studies.

In her new role, Hammer will lead all aspects of faculty affairs for the college, including recruitment, retention, and development.

“By consolidating responsibility of faculty affairs under one person, it will assure that we are doing everything we can to recruit the best people, develop faculty to be their best, and support faculty as they move throughout their careers,” said Sally C. Morton, dean of the College of Science.

“Dr. Hammer has a breadth of experience across a variety of functions,” Morton added, “including, undergraduate education, faculty education, and teaching. She will be able to see the big picture.”

Hammer joined Virginia Tech as assistant dean for administration and analytics in the College of Science in September 2019. She will now coordinate the college’s promotion and tenure processes, changes to appointments, recognition programs, and research leaves. Hammer will also be responsible for graduate student issues and advising, graduate student awards and program reviews, and graduate assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships.

Hammer’s new role recognizes the importance of graduate students to the College of Science, Morton said, and helps support them and their work. “Graduate students are the wind in the sails of our successful research program,” she said.

Associate Dean of Research Randy Heflin will now focus on that research program, which he has led to remarkable growth in the past several years. In the past year, the College of Science has increased its external research awards by 26 percent to $43.6 million ($51.8 million with Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC faculty with a tenure home in the college included). This a 71 percent increase in the past four years.

Hammer previously was at Hollins University in Roanoke for nearly 30 years. Most recently, she served as vice president for academic affairs. At Hollins, she also served as dean of academic services from 2009 to 2013 and was a professor of mathematics. She also twice served as chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, from 1997 to 2000 and 2004 to 2008, respectively.

Hammer is a three-time Hokie alumna, earning her bachelor’s degree in 1983, a master’s degree in 1984, and a Ph.D. in 1990, all from the Department of Mathematics, part of the College of Science.

“Dr. Hammer is a wonderful, incredibly talented colleague who has contributed to the College of Science in so many ways,” said Ron Fricker, senior associate dean in the college. “I very much look forward to continuing to work with and learn from Trish in her new role.”

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