OSU College of Ag Sciences names two new dept. heads

June 15, 2005

CORVALLIS – Two departments have selected new leadership in Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences. John Bolte is the new head of the Department of Bioengineering and Anita Azarenko heads the Department of Horticulture.

An agricultural engineer and environmental scientist, Bolte has been on the faculty at OSU since 1988 and has served as interim head of the department since July 2002. His appointment is effective immediately. He succeeds OSU professor Jim Moore, who retired in 2002.

Bolte’s research at OSU focuses on mathematical modeling and simulation of agriculture, aquaculture and the environment. He has a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from Auburn University.

“Bolte has an outstanding record as a scientist and an academic leader,” said Erik Fritzell, associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at OSU. “His appointment acknowledges the importance of bioengineering in key growth areas for the college, such as water resources and the development of new bioproducts from Oregon’s natural resources.”

In recent years, Bolte has served as principal investigator of a multidisciplinary U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Project to develop tools and methods for decision-making in ecological restoration.

Azarenko was appointed the new head of the Department of Horticulture in May. She joined OSU in 1986 after earning a doctorate in horticultural physiology at the University of Maryland. She had been interim head of the department since October 2003, when Charles Boyer was promoted to associate dean.

Azarenko’s specialty is research, teaching and extension in tree fruit and hazelnut production. She recently has focused on alternative orchard floor management systems for sweet cherry production.

As department head, she will oversee expansion in the horticulture department at OSU, including more integrated and ecological approaches to crop and nursery research, production and extension, with more emphasis in landscaping.

“Azarenko played an important role during the department’s strategic planning process,” said Boyer. “She will provide the leadership needed to move the department forward in the first part of the 21st century.”

Author: Carol Savonen
Source: Erik Fritzell, Charles Boyer