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Donna Westfall-Rudd

Associate Professor
  • Teaching and Learning
175 West Campus Dr., MC 0343
214 Litton-Reaves Hall
Blacksburg, Virginia
24061

ALCE 2414 Identity and Inclusion in Agricultural and Life Sciences

ALCE 3004 Educational Courses in Agricultural and Life Sciences

ALCE 4034 Methods of Planning Educational Programs in Agriculture

ALCE 4244 Teaching and Training Methods in ALCE - Team teach with Drs. Scherer and Spindler

ALCE 5044 Program and Curriculum Design

ALCE 6415 - 6416 Introduction to Graduate Teaching Scholars

ALCE 6425 – 6426 University Teaching Development

ALCE 6435 – 6436 Engagement in University Teaching

Dr. Westfall-Rudd’s teaching, research, and outreach efforts are closely integrated in an effort to reflect the mission of a Land Grant University. This integrated work focuses on integrating her academic activities with new agricultural educators (secondary, postsecondary, and non-formal) and continuing education experiences within the agricultural education professional communities with research and scholarship through an evolving examination of the educational program planning, design, and implementation practices of pre-service and in-service teaching professionals. The over-arching questions Dr. Westfall-Rudd seeks to address are:

  • How must agricultural education programs be designed to be responsive to current and future trends in the agriculture industry with relevant curriculum content and alignment with national and state academic standards?
  • What are the critical educational components and experiences for rigorous, student centered university classrooms?
  • How do we prepare secondary teachers and university faculty members to integrate and balance new knowledge and skills in contemporary teaching practices, identified in the current teacher preparation literature, with the technical skills and knowledge expected within their professional practice?

Dr. Westfall-Rudd has served as principal investigator for 23 different grants or funded projects for $1,825,000 to support this work. She was also among the senior personnel for 16 different grants or funded projects for more than $5,030,751. The objectives for this work include examining:

  1. Equitable inclusion and engagement of diverse individuals in Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences careers;
  2. Increasing the experiential learning opportunities for ALCE undergraduate programs to better link their coursework to their first careers;
  3. Support the retention and engagement of Native students at Virginia Tech;
  4. Engaging secondary teachers in CALS research for greater agricultural literacy in non-agricultural education curriculum areas;
  5. Integrating cyberbiosecurity into middle school curriculum;
  6. Supporting the development of land-based learning through connections to Indigenous gardens;
  7. Assisting secondary and community college faculty in strengthening work-based durable skills;
  8. Current pre-service and continuing professional education programs available within Virginia’s agricultural extension and education professions to identify necessary changes critical for the growth and development of the professions;
  9. The impact of revisions of the pre-service educational programs and how those revisions align with the current and changing content and pedagogical needs of the agricultural education professionals, as well as their current and potential clientele, utilizing contemporary planning practices in local communities, and
  10. Using technologies as tools for teaching and learning in postsecondary and secondary agricultural learning environments.

Dr. Westfall-Rudd serves as the CALS Graduate Teaching Scholars Program Director & Sr Scholar. As a part of the Graduate Teaching Scholars program each scholar is expected to design and implement a small research project within their teaching practice. The concept of scholarship in teaching and learning are introduced early in the first year of the program.  Students embrace this opportunity to publish and together scholars have produced conference posters, conference presentations, and journal articles. As the program coordinator Dr. Westfall-Rudd works with each of the scholars to ensure they have the basic knowledge and training needed to conduct this social science research.

Recent Grant Projects (selected)   

Rudd, R., Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (Co-PI, 20%), Drape, T., Cook, S., Faircloth, M., (6/1/2023 – 5/30/2028). NEXTGEN – VT Sub Award. Funded for $933,888. [Prime award: Ricketts, J. C., et al. (2023-2028). NEXTGeneration Inclusion Consortium (NIC) for Building the Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences Pipeline (FANHP). USDA-NIFA-NEXTGEN. $18,110,000]

Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (PI, 25%), Faircloth, M., Cook, S., Galbraith, J. M., Taylor, J., Petrie, L., Lamoureux, K., Rudd, R., Rutherford, T., Bowers, M. (8/1/2021 – 7/31/2025). Native Student Retention Through Experiential Learning and Culturally Competent Mentoring Program. New Beginnings for Tribal Students, USDA NIFA. Funded for $486,486 [$243, 324 grant plus $243, 243 matching funds (cost share)].

Drape, T., Brown, A., Oakes, J., Simpson, J., Duncan, S., Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (Co-PI, 10%) (4/1/2021-8/31/2022). Curating Industry Partnerships Through Experiential Learning for Workforce Development in Cyberbiosecurity, Commonwealth Cybersecurity Initiative. Funded for $114,570.

Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (PI, 25%), Drape, T. A., Haak, D., Rudd, R., Scherer, H. H. (2021 - 2025). Engaging Secondary Teachers in CALS Research for Agricultural Literacy. Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), USDA NIFA. Funded for $500,000.

Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (PI, 100%) (1/1/2021 – 12/31/2022). A Collaborative Program for Undergraduate Research in Ag. & Extension Education, Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. Funded for $20,000.

Rudd, R., Bohannon, C. L., Boyer, R. R., Chase, M., Kane, O.*, Drape, T. D., Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (Co-PI, 10%) (4/1/202 – 3/31/2026). Illuminating Agricultural Extension and Education Career Opportunities for STEM and Liberal Arts Undergraduate Students. Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), USDA. Funded for $498,424.

Scherer, H., Bonnett, E. D., Duncan, S., Vines, K., Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (Co-PI, 15%), (9/1/2020 – 8/31/2023). Initiating the rural cyberbiosecurity workforce pipeline through empowering agricultural educators and supporting middle school girls. Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields, USDA NIFA. Funded for $99,577.

Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (PI, 100%) (1/1/2019 – ongoing). CALS Graduate Teaching Scholars. College of Agriculture and Life Science. Funded for $32,800.

Crowder, L. V., Christie, M. E., Archibald, T. G., Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (Co-PI, 50%), Rudd, R. (8/1/2014-2/28/2018). Sub-Award of Capacity Building for Agricultural Education and Research in Senegal (CBAER). US Agency International Development. Funded for $101,003. [Prime award: Crowder, L. V., Christie, M. E., Archibald, T. G. Funded for $24,177,727.

Rudd R., D. Westfall-Rudd, M. Spindler. January 2013 - December 2018. INNOVATE, ALCE SUB CONTRACT. USAID. Total Amount: $470,000.

Westfall-Rudd D., R. Rudd, M. Spindler, H. Scherer. January 2014 - December 2015. Increasing Community Viability and Workforce Development through Implementation of The Governor’s Taskforce for Agricultural Education Recommendations. VDACS and CALS Community Viability. Total Amount: $250,000.

Westfall-Rudd D., R. Rudd, L. Woodward. July 2014 - June 2015. Virginia FFA Support. Virginia Department of Education. Total Amount: $97,500.

Westfall-Rudd D. August 2014 - September 2016. ERA ALCE GRA, sub-contract with VT ORIED. US Agency for International Development. Total Amount: $50,312.

Westfall-Rudd, D. M., Rudd, R., Seibel, G. (October 2010 – July, 2013). Rural Innovation Project. VADACS & CALS Community Viability. Funded at $150,000.

 

 

 

Kane, O.*, & Westfall-Rudd, D. (2023). The adult-centered teaching strategies for the livestock System resilience with a variety of extension agent workloads’ demands: a case study of Thies and Diourbel Regions, Senegal. International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.4314/ijbcs.v17i1.11

Westfall-Rudd, D., Vengrin, C., and Elliott-Engel, J. (eds.) Teaching in the University: Learning from Graduate Students and Early-Career Faculty (2022). Blacksburg: Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. https://doi.org/10.21061/universityteaching. License: CC BY-NC. 9,626 downloads in over 100 countries, 151 printed copies sold (6/5/2023).

Ajao, H.*, Alegbeleye, D., & Westfall-Rudd, D. (2022). Curriculum Design in an Agricultural Education Program in Nigeria: Towards Advancing Career Readiness. Advancements in Agricultural Development, 3(2), 17-30.   DOI: https://doi.org/10.37433/aad.v3i2.159

Elliott-Engel, J.*, Westfall-Rudd, D., Seibel, M., Kaufman, E., & Radhakrishna, R. (2021). Extension Administrators’ Perspectives on Employee Competencies and Characteristics. Journal of Extension, 59(3), Article 3. https://doi.org/10.34068/joe.59.03.03

Elliott-Engel, J.*, Westfall-Rudd, D., & Corkins, C.* (2021). Engaging Stakeholders in Extension Strategic Planning. Journal of Extension, 59(4), Article 3. https://doi.org/10.34068/joe.59.04.03  

Elliott-Engel, J.*, Westfall-Rudd, D., Kaufman, E., Seibel, M., & Radhakrishna, R. (2021). A Case of Shifting Focus Friction: Extension Directors and State 4-H Program Leaders’ Perspectives on 4-H LGBTQ+ Inclusion. Journal of Extension, 59(4), Article 14. https://doi.org/10.34068/joe.59.04.14

Elliott-Engel, J.*, Westfall-Rudd, D. M., Seibel, M., & Kaufman, E. (2020). Extension’s Response to the Change in Public Value: Considerations for Ensuring Financial Security for the Cooperative Extension System. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 8(2), 5. https://doi.org/10.54718/BWRZ4634

Webb, R.*, Westfall-Rudd, D. M., & Scherer, H. (2020). Continuing Professional Education and Collaborations Between University Faculty and Agricultural Education Teachers. Journal of Agricultural Education. 60 (4) p. 199 – 211. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2019.04199

Elliott-Engel, J.*, Amaral, J. R., Westfall-Rudd, D. M., & Rudd, R. (2019). Perspectives on LGBTQ+ Inclusion in a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal, 64(1), 102-112. https://www.nactateachers.org/index.php/volume-64-2020/2987-perspectives-on-lgbtq-inclusion-and-identity-development-from-a-college-of-agriculture-and-life-sciences

Elliott-Engel, J.*, Robinson, K.*, & Westfall-Rudd, D. (2019). Intentional STEM Infusion (ISI) Approach for 4-H Non-STEM Project Volunteers: Finding STEM in Plain Sight. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 7(1), 14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.54718/WQKI3876

Drape, T. A., Westfall-Rudd, D. M., Morris, A. (2019). Graduate Student Perceptions Of Inclusion in Agriculture: A Mixed Methods Study. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal, 63, 100 – 108. https://www.nactateachers.org/index.php/vol-63-2-apr-oct-2019/2841-graduate-student-perceptions-of-diversity-and-inclusion-in-a-college-of-agriculture

Harl, A., Rhoads, M. L., Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (2019). Increased Utilization of tactile activities in reproductive physiology laboratory sections to improve cognitive learning. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal, 63, 341 – 343. https://www.nactateachers.org/index.php/vol-63-2-apr-oct-2019/2880-increased-utilization-of-tactile-activities-in-reproductive-physiology-laboratory-sections-in-order-to-improve-cognitive-learning

Drape, T., Lawrence, C.*, & Westfall-Rudd, D. (2019). Student Experiences of Diversity and Inclusion in a College of Agriculture: A Meta-Analysis. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal. 64 (Nov 2019 – Oct 2020). https://www.nactateachers.org/index.php/volume-64-november-2019-october-2020/3275-a-qualitative-meta-analysis-examining-equity-and-inclusion-in-undergraduate-and-graduate-populations-2

Vengrin, C.*, Westfall-Rudd, D. M., Archibald, T., Rudd, R., & Singh, K. (2018). Factors Affecting Evaluation Culture within a Non-Formal Educational Organization. Evaluation and Program Planning, 69, 75-81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2018.04.012.

Select Professional Publications

Drape, T. A., Thompson, C., Johnson, K., Brown, A. M., Simpson, J., Oakes, J.,  Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (2022). Integrating Cybersecurity and Agricultural Innovation. Virginia Tech.

Westfall-Rudd, D. M., Elliott-Engel, J.*, & Lawrence, C.* (2019). Learning Allyship: Ensuring Youth Peer-to-Peer Inclusion in Agricultural Education. Agricultural Education Magazine. September 2019.

Johnson, D.* & Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (2019). Experiential Learning in Agriculture Education, Agricultural Education Magazine. January 2019.

Elliott-Engel, J., & Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (2016). What is a culturally-responsive educator?. The Agricultural Education Magazine, 89(2), 13-14.

Robinson, K., & Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (2016). Math and agricultural teachers: Making math real and relevant. Virginia Mathematics Teacher, 42(2), 35-39.

Exhibitions

Westfall-Rudd, D. & Layne, L. (Spring, 2024). Express Yourself: Student Showcase Emphasizing Engagement of Underrepresented Minorities in the US Food System. Invited exhibit in the Fraction House, Virginia Tech. Host, Dr. Kerri Mosley-Hobbs.

Westfall-Rudd, D. (2019). ALCE 2414: Identity and Inclusion in Agriculture and Life Sciences: An exhibition of student works. Newman Library, Virginia Tech. Blacksburg, VA. August 30 – November 22, 2019.

Select Recent Conference Proceedings

Coartney, J., Kaufman, E., Nelson, D., Westfall-Rudd, D., Seibel, M., Friedel, C., Carmichael, C. (2022). Building Durable Skills and Networks: Leadership Educators' Contributions to Workforce Readiness. In Association of Leadership Educators Annual Conference (pp. 10). Kansas City MO: Association of Leadership Educators. Retrieved from https://www.leadershipeducators.org/

Coartney, J., Kaufman, E., Westfall-Rudd, D., Seibel, M., Friedel, C., White, A., & Carmichael, C. (2022). Enhancing Workforce Readiness Through a Convergence of Networks and Collaborative Leadership. In Engagement Scholarship Consortium Annual Meeting. Athens GA: Engagement Scholarship Consortium. Retrieved from https://engagementscholarship.org/meetings/esc-2022-meeting

Elliott-Engel, J.*, & Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (Oct, 2020). Toying with the 4-H model: Insights from a Qualitative Study of U.S. Extension Administrators. Research Roundtable presented at the national meeting of National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP), Boise, ID.

Elliott-Engel, J.*, Lachapelle, P., Parra, A., & Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (Oct, 2020).  Serving LGBTQ+ Youth and Families through 4-H. Innovative roundtable presented at the national meeting of National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP), Boise, ID.

Elliott-Engel, J.* & Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (Feb, 2020). Students for Cultivating Change: Perspectives on LGBTQ+ Inclusion from a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Southern Region AAAE Research Conference, Louisville, KY.

Elliott-Engel, J.* & Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (Feb, 2020). State Administrators' Perspectives On Environmental Factors Facing  Cooperative Extension. Southern Region AAAE Research Conference, Louisville, KY.

Corkins, C.*, & Westfall-Rudd, D. (Feb, 2020). STEM education in [State] 4-H: A Qualitative exploration of engineering understandings in 4-H STEM educators. Southern Region AAAE Conference, Louisville, KY.

Elliott-Engel, J.* & Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (Dec, 2018. Extension Directors & State 4-H Program Leader’s Perspectives on 4-H LGBTQ+ Inclusivity. Paper presented at the National Association of Extension Program and Staff  Development Professionals (NAEPSDP), Arlington, VA.

Elliott-Engel, J.*, Seibel, M., Kaufman, E., Radhakrishna, R., & Westfall-Rudd, D. (Dec, 2018). Shifts in Funding of Public Value for Higher-Education Engagement: Extension Administrator Perspectives. Paper presented at the National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals Conference. (NAEPSDP), Arlington, VA. Retrieved from https://naepsdp.org/2018ConferenceProceedings/

Elliott-Engel, J.* & Westfall-Rudd, D.M. (Dec., 2018). Extension Directors & State 4-H Program Leader’s Perspectives on 4-H LGBTQ+ Inclusivity. Paper presented at the National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP), Arlington, VA.

Elliott-Engel, J.*, Niewolny, K., & Westfall-Rudd, D. (2018). A Critical Exploration of The Transformative Discourse of 4-H Youth Development in International Contexts. Paper presented at the 34th Annual Conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE), Jacksonville, FL.

Elliott-Engel, J.*, & Westfall-Rudd, D. (June, 2018). Faculty Teaching Improvement: Opportunities Within a Graduate Student & Faculty Community of Practice. Paper presented at the 59th Annual Adult Education Research Conference (AERC), Victoria, BC, Canada. Retrieved from http://newprairiepress.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4063&context=aerc.

Elliott-Engel, J.*, Corkins, C.*, & Westfall-Rudd, D. (May, 2018). Lessons for Extension Strategic Planning: A Case Study of Virginia Cooperative Extension. Paper presented at the national meeting of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE), pp. 86-102, Charleston, SC. Available at http://aaaeonline.org/resources/Documents/National/2018_AAAE_Proceedings.pdf

Elliott-Engel, J.*, Diatta, A., & Westfall-Rudd, D. M. (May, 2018). The Global Potential for a Community of Practice Approach to Improving Faculty Pedagogy Skills. Professional development workshop presented at the Innovation in Agricultural Education Conference, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Corkins, C.*, Elliott-Engel, J.*, & Westfall-Rudd, D. (Feb, 2018). Facilitating Reflection to Enhance Understanding and Knowledge Retention in the Higher-Ed Large Classroom. Practice Session delivered at the Conference on Teaching Large Classes (CTLC), Blacksburg, VA.

Select Extension Publications

Vines K; Cletzer, D.A., Westfall-Rudd, D., Hunnings, J., Sumner, M., Vines, N.T., Johnson, L., Lambur, M, (Sept, 2021). Early Career Extension Professional Development Needs Assessment Report, ALCE-273NP.

Niewolny, K., Vallotton, A. & Kloetzli, C. (2021). Introduction to Whole Farm Planning.” Module I in Virginia Whole Farm Planning: An Educational Program for Farm Startup and Development, edited by D. M. Westfall-Rudd, K. Niewolny, and K. Trozzo. (VCE Publication ALCE-289P (AEE-50P)). Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Niewolny, K., Schmidt, K., Groover, G., Smith, M. & Perkins, J. (2021). Land Acquisition and Tenure. Module IV in Virginia Whole Farm Planning: An Educational Program for Farm Startup and Development, edited by D. M. Westfall-Rudd, K. Niewolny, and K. Trozzo. (VCE Publication ALCE-288P (AEE-51P)). Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Westfall-Rudd D., Grover, G., Callan, P., McKay, S., & Bovay, J. (2021). Whole Farm Business Management and Planning. Module III in Virginia Whole Farm Planning: An Educational Program for Farm Startup and Development, edited by D. M. Westfall-Rudd, K. Niewolny, and K. Trozzo. (VCE Publication ALCE-270P (AEE-53P)). Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Off campus Dr. Westfall-Rudd works with secondary agricultural education teachers from across the Commonwealth to support their development of new curriculum and program resources to teach their students new innovations relevant to the agriculture industry in their region (please insert link to the VA Ag Ed Centers of Innovation website). Most recently Dr. Westfall-Rudd has broadened her program planning work to include collaborations with agricultural community educators and university faculty in Senegal through the USAID funded ERA Senegal: Education and Research in Agriculture project directed by the Virginia Tech Office of International Research, Education, and Development.

An important component of her work was the opportunity to work with agricultural educators to develop new resources and continuing education programs to support their professional practices. She works with the VAAE leadership to conduct an annual conference for new agricultural educators where she provides leadership in the conference format and content.

 

Ph.D., Education, Cornell University

M.S., Agricultural Education, Cornell University

B.S., Agricultural Education, Cornell University  

A.A.S., Agricultural Business, State University of New York, College of Agriculture and Technology, Cobleskill, New York

Awards:

CALS Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award, 2024
(from the Graduate School at Virginia Tech)

Diversity Service Award 2023
CALS Diversity Council

Diversity Incentive Fund Award, 2022
CALS Diversity Council

Southern Region AAAE Outstanding Teacher Award, 2021,
American Association for Agricultural Education, Southern Region

Jo Ann Underwood Ally of the Year for 2018
LGBT Caucus at Virginia Tech

2018 Diversity and Inclusion Service Honorable Mention
CALS Diversity Council

Diversity Incentive Fund Award 2017
Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Fellow Award, June, 2013

Outstanding Research Award, Dept. of Agricultural and Ext. Education, May 2010

Mary Merrill Memorial Award for Outstanding Feature Article in The International Journal of Volunteer Administration (IJOVA), 2009

Alan A. Kahler Outstanding Dissertation Award, American Association for Agricultural Education, May 2009

Marvin & Ruth Glock Dissertation Research Award, Department of Education, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, May 2009

Outstanding Symposium Award, The Academy for Career and Technical Teacher Education & Association for Career and Technical Education Research, November, 2009