Susan Sumner began her role of associate dean and director of academic programs for undergraduate studies on an interim basis in November of 2008 but then received the appointment in June 2009. She also serves as the Director of the Agricultural Technology Program.
Sumner joined Virginia Tech as a associate professor of food science and technology in 1996 and served as head of the Department of Food Science and Technology for eight years. Her long-standing record of service to the university and the food science profession includes chairing university and college department-head groups as well as the Council of Food Science Administrators. Additionally, she has served on the National Academy of Science’s Food Forum and several of its food safety task-force groups.
The author of numerous publications and an Extension specialist, Sumner has received recognition for her work, including the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Extension Excellence and the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Outstanding Educator Award. She was selected as an IAFP Fellow and a Food Systems Leadership Institute Fellow. Sumner has developed an internationally recognized food safety program that integrates all the missions of a land-grant university. Her program has been supported by more than $3.9 million in competitive funds.
Sumner received both of her graduate degrees in food science/food safety from the University of Wisconsin and her undergraduate degree in food science from North Carolina State University.