Edgar Named Director of International Programs for Bumpers College
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Leslie Edgar, associate professor in the agricultural education, communications and technology department, has been named director of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences office of international programs at the University of Arkansas, Dean Mike Vayda has announced.
Edgar will serve as the primary contact for Bumpers College students interested in international experiences, will create awareness of international opportunities associated with their majors, and inform students of funding opportunities on campus to help offset expenses. Edgar will work with the U of A office of study abroad and international exchange. She will also assist Vayda in setting policy and direction for international experiences to enhance marketability and professional career objectives for students.
In addition, Edgar will work with department heads to develop and coordinate initiatives, and work with the Global Studies committee and the Division of Agriculture.
“Leslie will be fantastic in this role,” said Vayda. “We were looking for someone to lead the program who will develop career opportunities for our students, and I am confident she will connect students with opportunities that will best serve them and our corporate partners.”
“I am looking forward to collaborating with faculty and staff to identify a mission, vision, goals and operating procedures for the Bumpers College office of international programs,” said Edgar. “I plan to work one-on-one with faculty and students to identify premier programs and target countries for growth. I am looking forward to working with both experienced and interested faculty to identify areas for program improvement, diversification, and, if possible, growth. I will also continue to support and enhance the visibility of the Bumpers College office of international programs at the U of A and with other institutions.”
Edgar replaces food science professor Andy Proctor, who served in the role since 2011.
“We appreciate Andy’s efforts very much,” said Vayda. “He did an excellent job of developing a cohort of faculty-led programs, transforming the Bumpers College office of international programs from individual student placement to true engagement with partner institutions providing cohesive collaborative experiences for students. Andy developed excellent relationships for the Bumpers College with the study abroad office and across the university. I am grateful to Andy for his seminal efforts and am happy to support his interest in concentrating on his research. He did a great job in his service to the college during the past two years.”
In 2012, Edgar initiated an international student exchange and internship program with the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research and the University of Ghent. The program has been featured as an exemplary example of a study abroad experience in the college.
“I am excited to serve in this position,” said Edgar. “The Bumpers College has allowed me the opportunity to create an internship and study abroad program in Belgium. The support I received from the dean’s office, Andy Proctor, fellow colleagues and students was instrumental in the success of the program. I want to serve as a mechanism to help our faculty and students explore, assess and expand our international presence. I am looking forward to working with our faculty and students in this capacity.”
Edgar received her bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2000 and her master’s degree in agriculture systems, technology and education in 2002, both from Utah State University. She earned her doctorate in agricultural leadership, education and communications from Texas A&M University in 2007.
She has earned 23 awards for teaching and scholarly activities, and her research has had an impact regionally, nationally and internationally. She has authored or co-authored 26 research articles with 19 focused on teaching or teaching innovations.
Edgar received the John W. White Outstanding Teaching Award in 2013, one of the highest teaching recognitions at the university. She also received the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Award of Merit in 2013.
Leslie Edgar, associate professor
Agricultural and Extension Education Department
Robby Edwards, director of communication
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