Finalists for West Virginia University’s associate provost for engagement and outreach will visit the main campus beginning Monday (July 1).

“We had an excellent response to this search,” said Elizabeth Dooley, associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs and chair of the search committee. “The four individuals we are bringing to campus are leaders in their field and have much to offer as we strive to meet the goals of our Strategic Plan 2020. We look forward to speaking to them all about a possible future at WVU.”

Candidates will spend two days in Morgantown. They will meet with administration, faculty and staff on the main campus and will have a webcast interaction with WVU Extension faculty and staff from around the state.

The four candidates, and the dates of their visit, are:

Van Crowder (July 1)
Crowder is senior director, education, health and community development, at the Millennium Challenge Corp., part of the U.S. State Department. He helped established the EHCD unit in 2008 and currently oversees an $800 million portfolio of education, health and community development projects in 10 countries.

Most recently, he led the preparation of a $140 million investment in education in the Republic of Georgia focused on improving the quality of secondary math and science teaching; market-led workforce development in science and technology; and development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics bachelor’s degrees delivered by Georgian universities with US partner universities.

From 1993-2007, Crowder worked for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in various positions. Prior to working with FAO, he was a tenured faculty member at the University of Florida in the department of agricultural education and communication with teaching, extension and research responsibilities.

He has consulted for various agencies in the areas of formal and non-formal education; communication for development/social change; community development; knowledge/technology development, management & dissemination; and extension/rural advisory systems. He has also worked in Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Central, South and East Asia.

Crowder has a bachelor’s of science, a master’s of professional studies in communication and a doctorate in adult and continuing education, all from Cornell University. His PhD fieldwork, focused on public and private roles in agricultural technology development and transfer, was carried out in Ecuador with a USAID Research Fellowship.

Roger Rennekamp (July 8)
Rennekamp currently serves as professor and associate dean for outreach and engagement in the college of public health and human sciences at Oregon State University. In that role, he provides administrative leadership to a diverse portfolio of community-based outreach and engagement programs focused on improving the health and well-being of Oregonians. While at Oregon State he also served as head of the department of youth development in the college of education.

Prior to moving to Oregon in 2005, Rennekamp led program planning and evaluation activities of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service while serving as professor in the department of community and leadership development in the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture.

Rennekamp earned his doctorate in extension education from the Ohio State University in 1987 and began his career in field of community outreach and engagement in 1979 as a county extension agent in Mason County, Kentucky.

Gypsy M. Denzine (July 11)
Denzine serves as the assistant vice provost of the professional education unit at Northern Arizona University. She also currently serves as the interim director of the NAU Center for Science Teaching and Learning in the college of engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences. She previously served for two years as the dean of the NAU College of Education. She served the college of education as the associate dean for eight years.

For the past eleven years, much of her administrative experience has focused on providing access to higher education to citizens in rural communities throughout Arizona. She is a professor of educational psychology and conducts research in the area of college student development, learning, and motivation. Her recent grant-funded activities and publications have been in the area of engineering education.

Denzine has administrative experience in student affairs and has worked at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley.

Denzine earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and sociology from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. She earned a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her doctorate is in educational psychology, with an emphasis in human development and learning & cognition, from the University of Northern Colorado.

Robert Jay Dilger (July 25)
Dilger joined the Congressional Research Service, U.S. Library of Congress in May 2004 as an assistant director, heading the government and finance division. In November 2009, he became senior specialist in American national government, a senior level appointment, serving as the CRS lead analyst on the small business administration, job creation, state fiscal stress, unfunded mandates, and other issues related to state-federal relations.

He is one of CRS’s most prolific authors, and continues to serve in many management capacities, including serving as a mentor to new analysts and providing final division review of written products for Congress.

Prior to his arrival at CRS, Dilger served 14 years as the founding director of the Institute for Public Affairs and as a professor of political science at West Virginia University. He has also served as a research fellow at the National League of Cities, the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and the Brookings Institution. He is the author or co-author of eight books, including Welfare Reform in West Virginia (2004), which was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award in Political Science.

Dilger received a bachelor’s in political science from The Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate in politics from Brandeis University.

For the full position description, see

This position is a redefinition of the position of associate provost for extension and public service held by David Miller until his retirement in 2007. Since then, WVU Extension Service has been led by interim director Steve Bonanno, who is expected to remain in his role and work closely with the new associate provost. It is anticipated that the new associate provost for engagement and outreach will begin in August 2013.



CONTACT: Russell Dean, WVU senior associate provost

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