New director appointed for the Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center | VTX

Entomologist Arash Rashed has been named the new director of Virginia Tech’s Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center, effective July 1.

Rashed comes to college from the University of Idaho, where he most recently served as an associate professor and Idaho State Integrated Pest Management Coordinator in the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Nematology.

“We are very pleased to announce that Dr Arash Rashed is the new Director of the Southern Piedmont Center for Agriculture and Research,” said Saied Mostaghimi, Associate Dean for Research at the College of Agriculture and Science at life and director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station. . “Dr. Rashed has over two decades of teaching, extension and research experience, and we look forward to the leadership and wealth of knowledge he will bring to the center.

The Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center is located in Blackstone, Virginia. The center is dedicated to research and extension programs for the sustainable production of tobacco, forage crops, beef cattle, berries and cereals.

Rashed’s research focuses on vector-borne plant diseases and insect-plant interactions. His findings have been published in 60 scientific journal articles and several book chapters and procedure books. He is currently editor of the Journal of Economic Entomology and associate editor of Frontiers of Insect Science. Since 2013, he has been involved in grants and contracts totaling over $7.3 million, with over $2 million in spending authority.

Rashed received his BSc in Plant Pathology from Ferdowsi University in Mashhad and his MSc in Entomology from Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran. He received his Ph.D. in biology from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He continued his research as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cincinnati, University of California-Berkely, and Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

Rashed said he was excited to join the faculty at Virginia Tech and the Southern Piedmont Agricultural Center, which currently has five resident faculty, 14 full-time staff and additional hourly workers at various times throughout the year.

He draws his inspiration and motivation for his new appointment at Virginia Tech from a quote from Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all that we know and understand, while imagination embraces the whole world, and all there will ever be to know and understand.

Lana T. Arthur