Deringer, currently the director of Washington State 4-H, will serve as interim associate dean for a one-year term, starting May 1.
“I am very excited to see the work that Nancy will do as associate dean,” said Rich Koenig, interim dean for CAHNRS. “Her background in student success and working with students of diverse backgrounds will be a huge benefit to the college.”
Deringer has led Washington 4-H since 2018, having previously been an associate professor in the University of Idaho’s School of Family and Consumer Sciences. At UI, she doubled as a national coach for the USDA’s Children, Youth and Families At Risk grant program and worked closely with first generation students.
Deringer knows the barriers and problems current and future students face through her work with teens around Washington while leading 4-H.
“I want to show students the wide variety of opportunities available to them with a CAHNRS education,” Deringer said. “It’s important to show potential students the benefits of a college degree and also provide current students with career options once they graduate.”
One way she wants to help current students reach graduation is providing more options for how they receive their education.
“Some students really enjoy online learning, and others don’t,” Deringer said. “We need to a delivery model that works for a wide variety of students. And we need to have our programs available on all five WSU campus. We need to go to students if they can’t come to Pullman.”
A major focus of Deringer’s career has been on diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a first generation college graduate raised on a small farm, she wants to make sure a college education is available to all students, regardless of their ethnic, racial, or financial background.
“I’ve been focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion since I started my academic career,” she said. “I want to make sure opportunities are given to all people. I’ve been doing that with a 4-H program where we’re meeting with 8th grade students and talking about planning for their futures. And we always talk about a college education as important and possible.”
Deringer will remain involved in 4-H programming. An interim director for 4-H has been identified will be named shortly.
Washington 4-H is a WSU Extension program that consists of faculty and volunteers delivering 4-H programs to thousands of youth and hundreds of clubs across Washington’s 39 counties. It also includes several Tribal programs.
Deringer takes over as associate dean replacing Rich Zack, who had been associate dean since 2016.