PULLMAN, Wash. – Kim Kidwell, spring wheat breeder and an award-winning teacher and advisor in the Washington State University College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, has been appointed the new associate dean for academic programs in the college.
CAHNRS Dean Dan Bernardo announced her appointment today. She will assume her new responsibilities Aug. 1.
“Kim is an energetic, visionary professional who brings a wide range of skills to the college’s academic programs and student recruitment efforts at both the graduate and undergraduate levels,” Bernardo said. “She is an accomplished scientist, an exceptional teacher and a great communicator. I’m looking forward to having a person of her caliber as part of the CAHNRS administrative team.”
Kidwell said she is looking forward to the opportunity to put her skills to work in a new way. “This is a natural and exciting progression in my career. It brings to bear all of the skills I’ve developed to this point. There is important work to be done, and I look forward to being part of the team,” she said.
Bernardo noted that Kidwell is the only faculty member at WSU who has an active teaching program in both agriculture and human sciences – two principal program areas of the college. Besides her agriculture classes, Kidwell created and continues to teach Human Development 205, high enrollment experiential-based interpersonal communication course. HD 205, Communications in Human Relations, is aimed at improving students’ communication, teamwork and leadership skills. She also teaches a graduate course involving advanced classical and molecular approaches to plant breeding.
Kidwell is a professor in the Department of Crop and Soil where she leads the spring wheat breeding and genetic research program. She has developed and released eight new varieties of spring wheat during her tenure at WSU. She also led the team that, in the process of studying fungal pathogens in wheat, found that glyphosate suppressed Asian soy rust in preliminary greenhouse trials when glyphosate-resistant soybeans were treated.
She will transition into her new position over the next three years to maintain the momentum of her spring wheat variety release efforts, fulfill existing research commitments to granting agencies, collaborators, graduate students and post-docs; and complete research involving technology with pending patents and document continual research productivity.
Bernardo said he will be working closely with the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and the Washington wheat industry to find Kidwell’s successor. “We will take advantage of this opportunity to assess the current structure of our wheat breeding program and determine how we should best organize ourselves to meet the needs of the industry,” he said.
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