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THE EXCHANGE: Summer 2022

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Welcome to the relaunch of the department's newsletter.  It has been an exciting time in AAEC, with lots of news to share! 

To begin, 36 of our seniors (listed below) participated in May's graduation ceremony. These graduates are starting their careers with, e.g., Smithfield FoodsFarm Credit of VirginiasUniversal Forest ProductsThe United States Marine CorpsEpic Systems, and Helena Agri Enterprises, among others. Several also plan to go to graduate school. Congratulations to them and their families! 

  • Kane Adams
  • Hezekiah Alexander
  • Aleya Becker
  • Emil Bissoondharry
  • Hannah Browne
  • Amanda Bryan
  • Kyle Budd
  • Kati Burton
  • Edward Cozart
  • Lauren Fifer
  • Zachary Gaddy
  • Edward Gaines
  • Claire Galihugh
  • Shared Gentry
  • McKinley Giles
  • Grace Hare
  • Michael Herrity
  • Ryan Jacobs
  • Anirudh Jandhyala
  • Alexandra Kinsey
  • Matthias Kollmansperger
  • Kaitlyn McBride
  • Anna Morillo
  • Zachary Moritz
  • Logan Morris
  • MacLayne Morrow
  • Cary Parrish
  • Kolby Partin
  • Matthew Sanders
  • John Showalter
  • Cameron Sims
  • Macie Snelson
  • Marley Spencer
  • Timothy Sutton
  • Layton Thomas
  • Jackson Wilson

And speaking of graduate school, the department is moving into its third year of offering its Online M.S. program that merges applied economics and data analytics. The first cohort consists of employees with Farm Credit Administration, our founding partner in our Online M.S. program. This program was recently ranked no. 4 among all online Master's degree programs in economics by Online Masters Degrees. And a recent study of the return on Investment of 14,000 Master's degrees by the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity revealed that our M.S. program was the second-highest among those evaluated on campus. 

There is also much change among our faculty and staff. This spring, Pailin Chaiprasertsiti joined us as a new support staff member. Previously, she held positions with PricewaterhouseCoopers and The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand. Melissa Vidmar recently joined as our new Marketing and Communications Manager, having served in similar roles with the university, Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, and Radford University. 

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not give a shoutout to J and Renae Pearson and John and Kristie Rowsell. Last fall, John and Kristie established the John B. and Kristie L. Rowsell Professorship, which will provide continued support for faculty working with our Commodity Investing by Students (COINS) program. And this past spring, J and Renae Pearson were inducted as Foremost Benefactors at Virginia Tech. And a big part of the reason they received this recognition is their ongoing support of our department. I congratulate both J and Renae and John and Kristie.

We are a department on the move! Please stay tuned. And … Go Hokies!

Matthew T. Holt
Professor and Department Head

Education is one of the best investments one can make for their future self. But are all master’s degrees created equal? Matt Holt talks with AccessU about our nationally ranked program and high ROI.

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COINS Students

COINS students graduating 2022
Layton Thomas '22, with the Commodity Investing by Students (COINS) organization, and fellow classmate are all smiles after the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences graduation ceremony. Photo by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences graduation ceremony {View photo album}