Feb. 10, 2017 – The year 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the College of Natural Resources and Environment. I hope you will join us for our celebration on campus in the fall. We will commemorate not only the formation of the college but also our long history at Virginia Tech and the evolution of our program over time. Watch for details coming soon.
Last fall we recognized the 40th year of our Fall Forestry and Wildlife Field Tours. These tours bring together professionals, partners, citizens, landowners, and industry to examine and discuss practices on the landscape. I enjoyed a beautiful fall day in the field last October in Prince William County. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has been involved in these tours over the past four decades.
Our women’s conference was a huge success, bringing together close to 200 participants, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, agency personnel, and industry partners. We must do more to increase opportunities for women and underrepresented groups in our disciplines. One of the more frequent questions at the conference was “are you going to do this again?” We are looking to fall 2018 for a second conference on this important topic.
Last fall we convened the first meeting of our new Dean’s Advisory Council. Members met on campus over two days to learn about the college and our challenges and priorities, but also to learn about each other so we can develop a productive working relationship. The council will be my eyes and ears on the horizon as we chart the path forward and execute on our strategies across the college.
Over the winter, break faculty led study abroad programs to Costa Rica, Panama, and New Zealand; the Leadership Institute made its annual trek to Richmond, Washington, D.C., and beyond; and we convened our third cohort of the Sustainability Institute, comprised of 42 juniors and seniors from across the campus for a 10-day intensive training program.
Corrine Woods has joined our team as director of alumni relations. We are excited to have her with us, and we all look forward to being more engaged with our alumni, friends, and partners. Corrine is already busy planning for the 25th anniversary celebration.
As we launch into the new year, it is important to keep our focus and energy on our priorities — undergraduate enrollment growth, space quantity and quality, scholarship support, and retaining and recruiting world-class faculty. We are making progress across all priorities, but have much more to do.
And to my college colleagues — each year the pace seems to quicken, and each year you respond by doing more and doing better, all while making the college one of the best places to work at Virginia Tech. I am constantly reminded of the positive, productive, and collegial climate among us. Thank you for all you do — every day, every week, every month, and every year. Clearly, you make a difference in people’s lives and in the stewardship of our natural resources and the environment.
And to our alumni, friends, and supporters — thank you for your engagement with us and for your support. Our success is your success. We look forward to a productive and successful 2017!
Warm regards from our faculty, staff, and students,
Paul M. Winistorfer