Naidu Rayapati has been named director of WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser. In addition, Rayapati has also been named assistant dean for the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at WSU Tri-Cities.
Rayapati studies virus diseases in a variety of crops, with emphasis on wine grapes. He’s worked in vineyards and farmers’ fields to help fight off, or prevent, pathogens that could have massive impacts on crops in Washington and around the world.
“I’m very excited about taking on these dual roles, including the new assistant dean position for the Tri-Cities campus,” Rayapati said. “We need to harness scientific and technological innovations, optimize strategic advantages, and maximize opportunities at the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) and WSU Tri-Cities campuses.”
WSU officials say the new assistant dean position will strengthen cross-campus collaborations and university-stakeholder partnerships, enhancing the visibility and impacts of extension and academic programs from CAHNRS across Washington state and globally.
Rayapati also aims to build partnerships with other institutions for advancing the overall land-grant mission of WSU and to actively contribute to WSU’s ‘Drive to 25’ initiative.
Both the IAREC and the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center at Tri-Cities are large components of the WSU Viticulture & Enology Program. While serving in his new roles, Rayapati will continue to conduct research in his grape virology program, with support from CAHNRS and his team of research associates, graduate students, and technical staff taking on a larger role in successfully running his program.
Rayapati started his new position effective May 15.
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