Fresno State Announces New Dean of Jordan College
FRESNO STATE — Dr Rolston St Hilaire — known for his experience in urban water conservation, research, community and industry support — was named the new Dean of Jordan College of Agricultural Science and Technology at Fresno Statestarting September 15.
Dr. St. Hilaire has spent 24 years in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State Universitywhere he served as chairman since June 2016 while overseeing the extension department since 2021.
“I am happy and excited to welcome Dean St. Hilaire. I am confident that it will cement the position of the Jordan College of Agricultural Science and Technology as the undisputed agricultural leader,” the Fresno State President said. Saul Jimenez-Sandoval. “His vision for agriculture is deeply rooted in community and industry relations, as well as strategic planning, and focuses on strengthening research, innovation and Fresno State grants. Dr. St. Hilaire has demonstrated a special rapport with community and industry members that will be essential in helping our university shape the next generation of agricultural leaders, nurture and clothe our growing region and world. , and to ensure our successful and productive future.
Dr. St. Hilaire was named a Regents Professor, New Mexico State’s highest faculty honor, in 2020 for his outstanding contributions and service. Under his leadership, the department increased its student recruitment, enrollment, mentorship, and retention efforts, as well as faculty support, research, and fundraising efforts.
He also received the New Mexico State Campus Research and Discovery Award for his nationally recognized efforts in water conservation in the urban environment. As a faculty member, he has taught courses related to environmental plant biology, ornamental plants and landscaping, irrigation and maintenance. His research has been related to advanced detection techniques in cropping systems, plant molecular ecophysiology and land cover mapping.
“I am thrilled to join the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, which has deep and extensive ties to the country’s leading agricultural community,” said Dr. St. Hilaire. “Fresno State has transformed the lives of its constituents. I envision that Jordan College will continue on a transformative journey that will benefit today’s agricultural leaders.
His vision and management experience have been tapped into leadership roles on the New Mexico State Strategic Planning Committee and as chair of its Institutional Review Board. Since 2003, he has served as director of the New Mexico State Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program which pairs minority high school students for summer internships with science, technology, engineering and of mathematics.
Dr. St. Hilaire promoted the development of Southwest Harvest for Health Program which has partnered with Extension’s master gardener programs and a local cancer center.
He is also a American Society of Horticultural Sciences Fellow, National Board Member and Member of the State Board of Landscape Architects.
Dr. St. Hilaire succeeds Dr. Dennis Nef, who is retiring after assuming the role of dean in July 2019. Dr. Nef guided Fresno State in prior administrative roles from 2003 to 2019, including serving as vice provost, acting provost, and associate dean undergraduate studies. He began his 39-year career at Fresno State as a professor of agricultural business, then served as department chair, associate dean and acting dean before his recent return as dean.
The transition coincides with another milestone in 2002 – the 100th anniversary of the first campus agriculture classes. Today, Jordan College’s 2,000 students receive hands-on training across six departments, three research centers and 1,000 acres of land. University agricultural laboratory that meet the technical and professional needs of the industry.
Prior to Dr. St. Hilaire’s arrival at the Hispanic Institution of Las Cruces, Mexico, he earned his doctorate from Iowa State University in 1998 and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. Each degree was in the field of horticulture and he received his department’s undergraduate award as an undergraduate student.
He also received general training in agriculture at University of Trinidad and Tobago to her Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture and Forestry. His experience learning about livestock, agricultural products, and farm management will be used to help coordinate the 19 Fresno State Farm units used for teaching, research, and outreach efforts in the state. industry and community.
“I am honored to be the next Dean of Jordan College and, at the same time, extremely excited to join the great team at Fresno State,” said Dr. St. Hilaire.
By Geoff Thurner.