07:53 AM

Bruce McPheron selected as summer commencement speaker

The Ohio State University today announced that Bruce A. McPheron, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, will address graduates as the speaker for the summer 2015 commencement. Approximately 1,700 degrees will be awarded during the ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9, in the Schottenstein Center.

McPheron joined Ohio State in November 2012 after serving for 3 1/2 years as dean of Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences. McPheron, also an alumnus, received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois.

McPheron has focused on positioning the college to help Ohio plan for the future. Recognizing the importance of water quality, he launched the Field to Faucet initiative in 2014, a statewide collaborative effort led by Ohio State faculty and staff, with a goal of ensuring clean drinking water for all Ohioans.

He also convened the Vice President’s Conversation on the Future of Extension, the college’s outreach arm serving all 88 counties in the state, to provide a roadmap to successfully address critical issues facing Ohioans by 2035. On the national front, he served as the 2013-14 chair of the Policy Board of Directors of Agriculture for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

“On behalf of Ohio State, it is my pleasure to welcome an Ohio State alumnus, dean and national agricultural leader as our summer commencement speaker,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake. “Recognized internationally for his insect genetics expertise, Dean McPheron will underscore the importance of the university’s land-grant mission of elevating communities through scholarship and engagement.”

McPheron’s research focuses on the use of genetic tools to examine population structure in pest insects. His molecular diagnostic methods for source identification of the Mediterranean fruit fly developed in his laboratory have been adopted by federal, state and international agencies. An active Twitter user under the handle @medflygenes, he has taught a wide range of classes in entomology and has traveled internationally sharing his expertise.

As dean and vice president, McPheron has leadership responsibility for over 2,100 faculty, staff and student employees across the state and more than 3,700 graduate and undergraduate students on the Columbus and Wooster campuses. In addition to Extension, his administrative leadership portfolio also includes the research arm of the college, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

“I am honored to serve as the commencement speaker, joining family and friends in welcoming the 2015 summer graduating class to the next chapter of their lives” said McPheron.

Also during the ceremony, the university will award the Distinguished Service Award to Stephanie Hightower, president and CEO of the Columbus Urban League and one of the university’s greatest student-athletes.