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  • AAEA Distinguished Teaching Award - Graduate teaching over 10 years: Klaus Moeltner
  • CALS employee of the month for October 2023: Stephanie Hedrick
  • CALS employee of the month 2022-2023: Normand Adams
  • John Bovay's 2021 Extension webinar program, funded by the Southern Risk Management Education Center, was selected as a 2022 “Project of Excellence” by the center. As part of the award recognition, John participated in a session at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association conference on Feb. 5-8, 2023, in Oklahoma City, OK.
  • David Orden has been named a Co-Editor of EuroChoices for a three-year term, 2023-26. EuroChoices ( is the public outreach publication of the European Agricultural Economics Association and the UK Agricultural Economics Society. It publishes three issues annually, most recently a Special Issue on Insights into Transitions to Agroecological Farming 21(3): December 2022. Orden will focus on articles on North American food and agricultural policies, the trans-Atlantic policy interface, and global concerns of common interest to Europe and the United States. 
  • Wei Zhang, Assistant Professor, presented along with Pengfei Liu from the University of Rhode Island, at the AAEA - Agricultural & Applied Economics Association's annual meeting Friday, Jan. 6th. The annual meeting theme is 'Assessing the Role of Policy and Income in Improving Water Quality and Property Value.' Zhang and Liu’s presentation is titled 'Local Economic Benefits of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program: Evidence from Rural Housing Markets'



  • CALS: Research Excellence Awards: Jeffery Alwang
  • Promotion to professor: Olga Massa, agricultural and applied economics


  • Olga Isengildina-Massa was recognized with the Excellence in Career Advising Award from the Virginia Tech Career and Professional Development Office
  • Jonathan van Senten received the Distinguished Early Career Award from the U.S. Aquaculture society
  • Mike Ellerbrock was inducted into Virginia Tech's Academy of Faculty Service
  • AAEC had new undergraduate majors approved, including a new track in Food and Health Systems Economics


  • Kevin Boyle honored as AAEA Fellow, recipient of CALS' Faculty Alumni Engagement Award, Published in Science Magazine (third time in 12-month period)
  • Dick Crowder selected as Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Distinguished Alumni, inductee to the Virginia Academy of Faculty Leadership, Reappointed C.G. Thornhill Professor of Agricultural Trade
  • Kim Morgan received Outstanding Teaching of a Course Award from the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, Reappointed Kohl Junior Faculty Fellow
  • Mike Ellerbrock received the Diversity & Inclusion Service Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences



  • Everett Peterson retired after 30+ years of service
  • Dick Crowder retired after 11 years of service
  • Lex Bruce retired after 12 years of service
  • Gordon Groover retired this fall after 35 years of service
  • James Pease retired this summer after 30 years of service
  • Leon Geyer retired this spring after 37 years of service



  • 2022-2023: Outstanding senior award: Henry Adkins and Mia Bostic


  • Colburn Hassman was recognized as the department's outstanding senior for his academic achievements and widespread involvement during his college tenure


  • Zach Jacobs traveled to Kansas City on scholarship to advocate for agriculture as an American Royal Scholar, participated in the Agriculture Future of America’s Food Institute
  • Margaret Benson participated in the Agriculture Future of America’s Food Institute
  • Ben Garber selected as AAEC Outstanding Senior, top Three Finalist for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 2019 Outstanding Senior, invited to speak at CALS Donor Appreciation Banquet




  • Alexis Villacis-Aveiga received the Randolph L. Grayson Outstanding CALS Diversity Scholar Award from the college's Diversity Council
  • Nasim Ebadi received a graduate teaching award from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) association


  • Namhoon Kim received the Robert O. Herrmann Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Council on Consumer Interests
  • Yanliang Yang and Chaoping Xie defended their dissertations


  • Alexis Villacis-Aveiga received fellowship to attend 2018 Future Leaders Forum by the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development and a travel scholarship to attend OpenCon
  • Mina Hejazi defended her dissertation and accepted a position at Chico State university
  • Namhoon Kim and Ling Yu defended their dissertations
  • Yuri Woo, Jaifeng Zhu, Muntasir Hasan, Sydni Jackson, Wesley Johnson, and Tyler Neff defended their theses


  • 2023: Graduate Alumni Achievement Award: Owen Wagner
  • 2022-2023 - CALS Alumni Career Achievement Award: Greg Estep
  • 2022-2023 - CALS Honorary Alumni Award: Dhamu Thamodaran
  • 2022-2023 - CALS Hall of Fame Award: Catherine Woteki


John Whitley Receives 2022 Larry D. Welch Award for Best External Publication


  • Dixie Dalton was honored with AAEC’s Distinguished Alumni in Academia
  • Megan Dickhans was honored with AAEC’s Outstanding Recent Alumni in Academia Award
  • Brad Copenhaver was honored with AAEC’s Recent Alumni in Industry/Government Award
  • Lindsay Reames was honored with AAEC’s Distinguished Alumni in Industry/Government


  • MG Thompson selected as Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Distinguished Alumni
  • Katie Frazier to be honored with AAEC’s Distinguished Alumni in Industry/Government Award at this year’s CALS’ Alumni Celebration
  • Dixie Dalton to be honored with AAEC’s Distinguished Alumni in Academia Award at this year’s CALS’ Alumni Celebration
  • Megan Dickhans to be honored with AAEC’s Recent Alumni in Academia Award at this year’s CALS’ Alumni Celebration for her dedication to teaching in the college
  • Greg Glenn to be honored with AAEC’s Recent Alumni in Industry/Government Award at this year’s CALS’ Alumni Celebration for his commitment to teaching current CALS and AAEC students


Other Alumni Achievements


  • Katie Frazier promoted to Chief Marketing & External Affairs Officer at Farm Credit of the Virginias after 9 months at Farm Credit
  • John Whitley, 1996 graduate of the department confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next assistant secretary of the Army (financial management and comptroller)
  • Sarah McKay, a graduate of AAEC’s master’s program and COINS’ first graduate fellow, was promoted to director of Market Development at the National Corn Growers Association
  • Keely Bushby, 2018 AAEC graduate became an Associate Brand Manager for Utz Snacks
  • Matt Lohr, a Virginia Tech alumnus with a minor in Agricultural Economics was appointed Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service



Melissa Vidmar, Communications and Marketing Manager