Mike Kelly, dean of Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources, has appointed Bob Smith of Christiansburg, Va., as the new associate dean for engagement for the college.

“Bob’s industrial and consumer research efforts and outstanding contributions to the college gave him the edge over our external candidates,” said Kelly.

In his new position, Smith will build on the previous positions he held in the college to expand the college’s Extension program.

“Engagement includes listening and developing collaborative efforts among parties to work on local natural resource issues,” said Smith. “By engaging with the community to understand the natural resource needs, our program will better serve the citizens of the Commonwealth and nation. It is my hope and vision that the engagement process will become increasingly important to all who work in the College of Natural Resources.”

Smith earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in forest products marketing, and has remained a valuable faculty member of the college for over 13 years. Since 1994, Smith has served as a professor and Extension specialist in forest products marketing and management in the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products. He became the Center Director for Forest Products Marketing and Management in 2001. Smith held the interim position before being named associate dean.

The College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of studies include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development.

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