The Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education actively supports the global land-grant mission of Virginia Tech and works closely with CALS Global in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. As a department, we are deeply interested and actively engaged with the improvement of human, social, and institutional capabilities for international development, especially as applied to strengthening agricultural research, education, and extension or outreach systems in developing countries. ALCE’s international work cuts across the departments three core programs areas - teaching and learning in agriculture, leadership and social change, and community education and development - with various faculty members and students engaged in international activities.
For many years, the department has collaborated with the Virginia Tech Center for International Research, Education, and Development (CIRED) on international projects, including the Education and Research in Agriculture (ERA) project and the Youth in Agriculture project (YIA), both in Senegal; the global Innovation for Agricultural Training and Education (InnovATE) project; and the Catalyzing Afghan Agricultural Innovation project, all funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
ALCE hosts numerous international graduate students, many of whom conduct research in their home countries. For example:
- Dickson Otieno a PhD student and Program Associate with Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) and CALS Global, is focusing on issues related to youth entrepreneurship in agriculture in Kenya, as well as the intersection of evaluation capacity, policy, and utilization.
- Mohamed Mwiny is looking for innovations to improve youth reading skills in Rural Learning Centers in Tanzania.
- Fatima Kebe is developing and testing an innovative project-based STEM education framework integrated into PYD in Senegal
- Fatimata Kane is exploring the liberating potential of decolonizing and indigenous youth participatory research and evaluation of PYD initiatives in Senegal
- Asha Shayo assessed the need for school-based agricultural education, also in Tanzania.
- Martin Sebit examined the effects of cattle rustling on rural communities and sought mitigating strategies with local, regional and national leaders in South Sudan.
- Subrato Kumar Kuri explored critical-thinking teaching practices of instructors at the Bangladesh Agricultural University.
We welcome interest from international students who want to study in ALCE and work with these and other faculty, as well as from domestic students interested in study and careers focused on the roles of education, training, communication, and leadership in international development.