Joe R. Cowles of Blacksburg, professor of biological sciences, has been named associate dean for curriculum, instruction, and advising for the College of Science at Virginia Tech.

Cowles came to the university in 1990 as a professor of biology. He served as head of the Department of Biological Sciences for 12 years and most recently served as interim head of the Department of Economics. With a research interest in plant physiology, Cowles has had more than 60 articles and abstracts published and has presented at professional conferences internationally.

Cowles received his bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University, his master’s from the University of Kentucky, and earned his Ph.D. at Oregon State University. He conducted post-doctoral work at the University of Georgia and Purdue University and was on the faculty at the University of Houston before joining Virginia Tech.

“Joe has a great capacity for inspiring people,” said College of Science Dean Lay Nam Chang. “He has shown that he has the acumen and patience necessary for any administrative position.”

The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college is dedicated to fostering a research intensive environment and offers programs in many cutting edge areas, including those in nanotechnology, biological sciences, information theory and science, and supports the university’s research initiatives through the Institute for Critical Technologies and Applied Sciences, and the Institute for Biomedical and Public Health Sciences. The College of Science also houses programs in intellectual property law and pre-medicine.

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