Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has appointed Susan Sumner of Blacksburg, Va., associate dean and director of academic programs for undergraduate studies. Sumner has held the position on an interim basis since last November.

“I am excited about Dr. Sumner’s extensive leadership experience and commitment to excellent programs for our undergraduate and graduate students,” stated interim Dean Loke Kok. “Her background as a teacher, researcher, and Extension project leader gives her a unique perspective for the position. I am confident that Dr. Sumner will translate our land-grant mission into a curriculum that responds to the changing world around us and readies our graduates for their careers.”

Sumner looks forward to continuing the work she started. “It has been tremendously exciting to work with our students, faculty, and staff at this level. My goal is to create partnerships within the college, the university, across the state, and internationally that will enable us to expand our first-rate programs and provide relevant classroom and hands-on learning experiences for our students.”

Sumner joined Virginia Tech as associate professor of food science and technology in 1996 and served as head of the Department of Food Science and Technology for eight years. Her long-standing record of service to the university and the food science profession includes chairing university and college department-head groups as well as the Council of Food Science Administrators. Additionally, she has served on the National Academy of Science’s Food Forum and several of its food safety task-force groups.

The author of numerous publications and an Extension specialist, Sumner has received recognition for her work, including the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Extension Excellence and the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Outstanding Educator Award. She was selected as an IAFP Fellow and a Food Systems Leadership Institute Fellow. Sumner has developed an internationally recognized food safety program that integrates all the missions of a land-grant university. Her program has been supported by more than $3.9 million in competitive funds.

Sumner received both of her graduate degrees in food science/food safety from the University of Wisconsin and her undergraduate degree in food science from North Carolina State University.


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