A dynamic national leader in engagement, collaboration and outreach with significant experience in the land-grant system has been selected as the next leader of the statewide West Virginia University Extension Service.
The appointment of Jorge Atiles as dean of Extension and engagement and director of the WVU Extension Service was announced today (March 23) and is effective June 29. Atiles will also hold a faculty appointment in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.
“Extension is the heart and soul of West Virginia University in all 55 counties,” WVU President Gordon Gee said. “In Jorge Atiles, we have a proven leader and innovator who will bring energy, purpose and creativity to our University and our state. This is a perfect time to bring him on board to help our nationally recognized Extension programs, faculty and staff soar.”
Maryanne Reed, WVU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, agreed.
“We are eager to welcome Dr. Atiles to our Mountaineer family,” Reed said. “I’m confident that we will benefit from his experience in the land-grant system and in building stronger communities through innovative partnerships and research.”
Gee expressed gratitude for the interim leadership of Interim Dean Sue Day-Perroots.
“We have been blessed to have Sue Day-Perroots at the helm during this time of transition,” he said. “Her unique leadership style, advocacy for Extension faculty and staff and commitment to the people of the Mountain State has provided a sense of purpose and enthusiasm felt far and wide. Her service has been extraordinary and an inspiration to all of us. We will miss her but acknowledge her desire to return to her retirement life.”
Atiles is currently associate dean, Extension, engagement and continuing education for the Colleges of Education, Health, Aviation and Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University. During his 10-year career there, he served as coordinator of the University Network on Community Engagement and assistant director of Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service-Family and Consumer Sciences State Program Leader.
He also is a professor in the Design, Housing and Merchandising department for the College of Human Sciences.
Prior to Oklahoma State, Atiles served in various roles at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, including associate dean for outreach and Extension in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, professor in the Housing and Consumer Economics Department, and assistant professor and Extension specialist for the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.
Atiles completed his doctorate in Housing, Interior Design and Resource Management at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His dissertation topic was “Manufactured Housing: An Assessment of Community Attitudes.” He completed his master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. He received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena, Dominican Republic.
“It is such an honor to serve in this role at West Virginia University,” Atiles said. “I am excited to work with the dedicated and creative Extension faculty and staff, as well as engage with my colleagues across campus and communities in the state. This is a time of great potential for West Virginia University Extension Service and its land-grant mission. I am very excited to be part of it.”
WVU Associate Provost Mark Gavin led the search committee that reviewed candidates from a pool of applicants. The University retained the national firm Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. to assist in this search.
West Virginia University Extension Service agents are local experts, located in every county in West Virginia, who provide trusted research, tips and education to West Virginia citizens to improve their lives and communities. Many West Virginians are familiar with WVU Extension’s wide portfolio of programs in 4-H youth development, agriculture, community development, and families and health. WVU Extension also operates WVU Jackson’s Mill, the nation’s first state 4-H camp and WVU’s youth campus.
To learn more about WVU Extension programs, visit extension.wvu.edu, or contact your local WVU Extension Service office. Keep up with the latest in WVU Extension Service news on Facebook and Twitter by following @WVUExtension.
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