K-State's Gary Pierzynski has been named dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension, both on an interim basis. The appointment is effective Monday, March 1.
"Gary Pierzynski has demonstrated a passionate commitment to the agricultural sciences and is a proven leader," said April Mason, K-State provost and senior vice president. "He was the natural choice to lead K-State's College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension in this time of transition."
Pierzynski replaces Fred Cholick, who became president of the Kansas State University Foundation in February.
Pierzynski has been head of K-State's department of agronomy since 2007, serving as interim department head for a year prior to his appointment. He also is a professor of soil and environmental chemistry and has been a member of the K-State faculty since 1989.
"I am excited to have the opportunity to lead my colleagues throughout the college," Pierzynski said. "The fields of agriculture and extension are ever changing and we will work together to diligently meet the challenges ahead."
Pierzynski is an active researcher who has worked with the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and more. He has published three books and more than 60 articles in refereed publications, in addition to contributing to numerous book chapters and other publications.
He has received numerous teaching and research awards, including K-State's Commerce Bank Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2007, was named a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy in 2001, and was named a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of American in 2002. Pierzynski is a member Sigma Xi scientific research society, International Union of Soil Sciences, Worldwatch Institute, International Society Trace Element Biogeochemistry, Gamma Sigma Delta agricultural science honorary and Phi Kappa Phi national collegiate honor society. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Michigan State University, and a doctorate in soil chemistry from Ohio State University.