Katharine Knowlton, professor of dairy science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, was reappointed as the Colonel Horace E. Alphin Professor in Dairy Science by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke.

The Colonel Horace E. Alphin Professorship in Dairy Science was established in 2013 through a gift from Alphin, a member of the Virginia Tech Class of 1934, to support outstanding teaching and research faculty in the Department of Dairy Science. The recipient holds the professorship for a five-year term. Knowlton has held the Alphin Professorship since 2014.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2000, Knowlton has become a leader within her department in the development of online courses and faculty-led study abroad opportunities. In addition, Knowlton has generated more than $12.4 million as a primary investigator or co-primary investigator in research grants — $3.4 million since her initial appointment as the Alphin Professor.

She has published 86 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters (21 since initial appointment as the Alphin Professor). She has received numerous award for her scholarship and teaching, including the International Visiting Research Scholar from the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia, a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Certificate of Teaching Excellence, Ag Woman of the Year, the American Dairy Science Association Cargill Young Scientist, and the American Dairy Science Association Foundation Scholar Lecture Award.

Knowlton has partnered with private, state, and federal agencies to foster cooperation in the area of reducing the environmental impact of the dairy industry. She established the Waste Solutions Forum to provide a way for diverse groups to work together, resulting in a variety of external funding opportunities and several large grants from both the dairy and poultry industries.

As a teacher, Knowlton displays a deep commitment to undergraduate student teaching, advising, and development. In addition to teaching five courses, she is the academic coordinating counselor for the dairy science undergraduate program and coach of the dairy judging team.

She has advised seven Ph.D. students and 12 master’s degree students and three post-doctoral researchers.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a master’s degree from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. 

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