Calvin named director of Penn State Cooperative Extension

University Park, Pa. -- Dennis Calvin, who has served as interim director of Penn State Cooperative Extension since July 2009, has assumed the role on a permanent basis. Craig Weidemann, vice president for Penn State Outreach, and Bruce McPheron, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, made the announcement during this month's Cooperative Extension annual conference in Altoona, Pa.

Calvin, who also will fill the roles of university associate vice president for Outreach and associate dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences, was associate director of Extension from January 2006 until being named interim director last year.

With offices in each of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, Cooperative Extension transfers research-based information to individuals, families, businesses and communities through nonformal educational programs designed to meet locally identified needs.

As director, Calvin will oversee the continuing implementation of an organizational restructuring aimed at enhancing the value and relevance of extension programs for Pennsylvania's citizens and other stakeholders. He also will administer program planning; budget, facilities and human resource management; and government, industry and constituent relations.

"As an integral part of the College of Agricultural Sciences, Cooperative Extension has a long tradition of translating scientific knowledge into practical advice and educational programs that benefit the residents of Pennsylvania and beyond," said McPheron. "Dennis Calvin has demonstrated the leadership that will help Extension continue to address the urgent food, environmental, economic and energy-related issues facing the state in the coming years."

Weidemann praised Calvin as a well-regarded leader who will continue to enhance the unit's work across the commonwealth as well as foster Penn State's national leadership role in Extension. "During the last year, he has played a critical part in expanding Extension's outstanding programs, including providing important educational programs for more than 60,000 residents about the opportunities and complexities associated with Marcellus Shale gas exploration," he said. "Under Dennis' direction, Extension will continue to make strides in applying Penn State's deep academic strengths to address pressing issues across Pennsylvania."

Calvin joined Penn State as an assistant professor of entomology in 1985. He was promoted to associate professor in 1991 and to full professor in 2001. From 1985 to 1996, he also served as Penn State's integrated pest management (IPM) coordinator, which entailed the development and coordination of IPM programs and acting as a liaison with national, regional and state IPM groups.

His research has focused on modeling insect population dynamics and the effect that climatic uncertainty across the landscape plays in their management. He has developed expert systems and other computer-based decision-support systems for insect pest management in corn and alfalfa and trained county-based extension educators, private consultants, farmers and agribusiness personnel in pest management for field and forage crops and stored products.

He received a bachelor's degree in agronomy and pest management from Iowa State University, and he earned his master's and doctoral degrees in entomology from Kansas State University.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010