As Virginia Tech looks ahead to the beginning of the fall semester, momentum is building in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area. The university’s new Innovation Campus building in Alexandria is progressing toward completion, and hundreds of new students are preparing to attend programs associated with that campus and the more than 40 programs offered in Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church. The Graduate School is working with the Innovation Campus team and with research and program leaders during this time of change.

The Graduate School also will have new leadership in the D.C. area. Associate Dean Kenneth Wong will depart to become the dean of the Graduate School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore on Aug. 14. Graduate School Dean Aimée Surprenant said a transition plan is in place and she will appoint an interim dean in the coming weeks.

Surprenant said the interim associate dean will focus on continuing the university’s forward momentum at this moment of expanding opportunity. Virginia Tech’s presence in the D.C. area is a gateway to the university’s world-class education, cutting edge research, and engagement. The university’s diverse range of degree programs fosters a culture of innovation across various disciplines, making Virginia Tech the preferred partner for government, industry, and local communities in the region.

"I have deeply valued Kenneth's exceptional leadership, visionary thinking, and remarkable spirit of collaboration throughout his tenure as associate dean of the Graduate School," said Surprenant. "His tireless efforts for the past 11 years at the Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church and the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington have positioned us favorably to forge ahead with the exciting advancements for Virginia Tech in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area. 

The interim associate dean also will closely collaborate with academic departments and administrative units to enhance the visibility of the university’s existing programs and to ensure that they provide the best experience for students. Moreover, the interim associate dean will be instrumental in nurturing and bolstering a culture of innovation and engagement that remains agile and responsive to the ever-evolving external landscape beyond higher education.

Graduate students and trainees in the D.C. area will continue to gain experiences uniquely connected with many government, industry, and urban community organizations. The interim associate dean will work in concert with the Hokie One Stop Student Services team to ensure an outstanding student experience and support learning and professional development for students in the D.C. area. 

The interim associate dean will continue work on the already-announced move of facilities and operations at the Northern Virginia Center from the Graduate School to the newly formed D.C. region building operations group under the university’s Innovation Campus.  Information technology support at the Northern Virginia Center similarly has been moved from the Graduate School to the university’s Division of Information Technology.  The changes and consolidations will enable Virginia Tech to advance its realignment of academic and research efforts around thematic areas of distinction to elevate the national and international visibility of the institution and its graduate degree and research programs.

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