Hannah Scherer has been named assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education and specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

She is one of eight new faculty members recently hired in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. New positions in the college are being identified to bring new talent to its focus areas, including food and health, infectious disease, biodesign and processing, and agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.

Scherer received her Ph.D. in geological and environmental sciences from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in geology with a physics core concentration from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Her research interests are centered on improving the teaching and learning of science in the context of agriculture through the development of high-quality, inquiry-based STEM curricula as well as educator professional development programs to support these curricula. She has experience teaching science at K-12 and post-secondary levels in both formal and non-formal settings.

Scherer seeks to quantify the success of these efforts by looking at changes in such measures as student understanding of the nature of science.

Her Extension efforts are focused on improving the capacity of 4-H youth development agents and secondary agricultural educators to implement STEM education in agriculture. She also seeks to improve and expand opportunities for youth to engage in authentic research in the agricultural sciences through her involvement with the FFA Agriscience Fair at the state and national levels and the 4-H and FFA Agriscience Research Poster Contest at the State Fair of Virginia. She serves on the National FFA Agriscience Committee representing the Eastern Region.



Written by Amy Loeffler

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