February 9, 2023

Levon Esters named dean of Graduate University, vice provost for graduate education and learning

College PARK, Pa. — Levon Esters — associate dean for range, fairness and inclusion and college affairs for Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute and professor of agricultural sciences education and learning — has been named dean of the Graduate University and vice provost for graduate training at Penn Condition. Esters will begin his appointment on Could 1, 2023.

As vice provost for graduate education and learning and dean of the Graduate School, Esters will deliver mission-significant management and oversight across all of Penn State’s far more than 200 graduate fields of study, such as 109 study master’s degree packages, 99 experienced master’s diploma courses and 95 investigation doctoral applications. He will oversee the admission, matriculation and graduation of all graduate learners throughout the College, with the exception of specialist pupils in the Higher education of Medication, Dickinson Legislation and Penn State Legislation.

A core target of Esters’ career has been building programs to aid underrepresented graduate pupils, with emphasis on STEM-dependent agricultural and existence sciences disciplines. His investigate explores issues of instructional equity and obtain of marginalized and minoritized students, with a focus on the mentoring desires of Black graduate learners profession enhancement for students in STEM who attend historically Black land-grant universities and instructional and professional mobility and advancement of Black graduate students and faculty.

“Dr. Esters is a revered mentor, educator, and scholar who provides a wealth of experience and management that will be critical to Penn State’s continued development and achievements as a chief in graduate instruction around the globe,” claimed Justin Schwartz, Penn State’s interim govt vice president and provost. “We all will gain from Dr. Esters’ depth of awareness and experience as a researcher, trainer and chief. Dr. Esters has an outstanding track report of acquiring programming developed to serve the wants of students from underrepresented backgrounds, and his management will be a must have to selling the ongoing excellence and growth of graduate training at Penn Point out.”

In his role at Purdue, Esters has crafted collaborative partnerships between land-grant establishments, field, and constituents at the college. Considering that 2012, he also has served as director of the [email protected] software, which boosts the encounters of graduate students, school and staff by fostering productive mentoring relationships in just Purdue’s College or university of Agriculture. He is also director of Cornell University’s Thomas Wyatt Turner Fellowship System, a function via which he builds connections amongst land-grant establishments and minority-serving establishments emphasizing graduate pupil success. Prior to signing up for Purdue, Esters was the coordinator of the Agriculture Teacher Education Application in Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture.

Esters retains a doctoral diploma in agricultural and extension schooling from Penn Point out.

“I am the two honored and thrilled to return to my alma mater in this essential management purpose,” Esters said. “Penn Condition is accomplishing huge do the job to put together a numerous group of foreseeable future leaders by graduate schooling, and I am wanting forward to performing with the University’s management workforce and my colleagues in the Graduate College to develop on these successes and amplify Penn State’s impact across Pennsylvania and all over the entire world.”

A renowned scholar and mentor, Esters has been given many awards and accolades during his profession, which include an presented Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to be finished at a long run date the Jefferson Award from Purdue’s Business office of Engagement, granted every single 12 months to people today who mirror the spirit of Purdue as a land-grant university through giving back again to their communities in a meaningful way and the Institute on Training and Mentoring’s School Mentor of the 12 months award. His exploration has been funded by the United States Company for International Enhancement, the Countrywide Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the Countrywide Science Foundation. He has revealed additional than 70 scientific content articles in peer-reviewed journals, has formally mentored extra than 50 graduate college students, and has been invited to current his do the job at a lot more than 100 panels and workshops. In addition to his doctoral degree from Penn Point out, Esters retains a learn of science degree in agricultural education and learning from North Carolina A&T Point out University, and a bachelor of science degree in agricultural small business from Florida A&M College.

Esters will realize success Kathryn Drager, affiliate dean for graduate education and learning and study for Penn State’s Higher education of Well being and Human Growth, who has served as interim dean and vice provost considering the fact that Jan. 1, 2022, following the retirement of Regina Vasilatos-Younken.

“We have been fortuitous as an institution to be in a position to count on Dr. Drager’s depth of know-how and encounter in graduate application achievements as she has crammed this essential management role above the previous calendar year,” Schwartz said. “We’re grateful for her management, and search ahead to continuing to perform with her as she resumes her duties in the College or university of Overall health and Human Advancement.”

Drager’s interim appointment will finish on Might 8, 2023.