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Purdue Agriculture dean appoints new agricultural sciences education and communication department head

Karen Plaut, Purdue University’s Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture, has appointed Rama Radhakrishna as head of the Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communications.

After completing his doctorate in agricultural and extension education from Penn State University, Radhakrishna worked on a three-year long research study at the university focusing on the effects of smoking among children. Following the study, Radhakrishna held a faculty position at Clemson University, and, most recently, in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education at Penn State. He also served as assistant dean for Graduate Education in the College of Agricultural Sciences, where he oversaw the graduate education enterprise of the college.

With Radhakrishna’s area of expertise being extension program development and program evaluation, he said he looks forward to identifying areas of collaboration and integration across the College of Agriculture to tackle issues across the state and at the same time identifying opportunities for cutting-edge research within Purdue’s College of Agriculture.

“Integration has been a theme throughout my career, and we have tremendous opportunity to do that here at Purdue,” Radhakrishna said. “I am very driven by results and outcomes. One thing I believe is that when we think about discovery and innovation, it happens at the intersection of disciplines. For us to address critical issues facing society and to produce positive outcomes, we must make that happen.”

During the fall semester, Radhakrishna said he plans to do some extensive listening to better learn about the college. He emphasized the need for understanding departmental strengths and opportunities for improvement, which are key to accomplishing the goals to be set for ASEC’s success.

“Rama brings impressive strengths to Purdue Agriculture and ASEC,” said Dean Plaut. “His commitment to building and expanding upon strengths will be a critical addition to our leadership team.”

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