Kulcsar tapped to lead Department of Ag Economics, Sociology, and Education

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Laszlo Kulcsar, professor of sociology and head of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at Kansas State University, will join Penn State as head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, effective Aug. 1.

According to Rick Roush, dean of the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, Kulcsar also will hold a faculty appointment as a professor of rural sociology and demography.

"Professor Kulcsar has demonstrated excellence in managing a combined multidisciplinary social science department with about 30 faculty, and colleagues have cited his terrific ability to mentor and support faculty and staff," Roush said. "He is widely recognized for his work in demography and development sociology, with significant interdisciplinary research experience in environmental social science."

After earning two master's degrees in Hungary, Kulcsar received his doctorate from Cornell University. His research examines how environmental change — water shortages, for example — affects and is affected by uneven national development and spatial inequality, and he has extensive experience conducting collaborative research with natural scientists.

Kulcsar has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on large multidisciplinary grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. He has published two books and more than 30 papers since 2003.

The incoming editor of the journal Rural Sociology, Kulcsar has taught seven graduate and five undergraduate courses, and he plans to continue teaching two courses per academic year at Penn State. He is a member of the Population Association of America, the European Association of Population Studies, the American Sociological Association, and the Rural Sociological Society.

Kulcsar will replace Dan Azzara, Alan R. Warehime Professor of Agribusiness, who has led the department on an interim basis since Ann Tickamyer, professor of rural sociology, stepped down in 2016 after six years as department head.

The Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education aims to create and extend knowledge through nationally and internationally recognized research, teaching and outreach activities in three key social science disciplines: agricultural economics, rural sociology, and agricultural and extension education.

With nearly 100 faculty and staff, the department offers undergraduate majors in agribusiness management; agricultural and extension education; agricultural science; and community, environment and development. In addition, the department offers graduate programs in agricultural, environmental and regional economics; rural sociology; agricultural and extension education; applied youth, family, and community education; and community and economic development.

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Last Updated June 14, 2017