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Faculty and Staff

Vann Accepts New N.C. PSI Platform Director Role

Dr. Rachel Vann

The North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative (N.C. PSI) is excited to announce that Rachel Vann will serve as the platform director for Extension Outreach and Engagement. This new and important role will strengthen communication with our internal and external stakeholders, creating open dialogue and feedback opportunities. A key outcome will be to ensure that N.C. PSI research remains relevant to and delivers a positive impact for North Carolina growers via strong connections with NC State Extension.   

Vann’s experience as an assistant professor and soybean Extension specialist in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) has provided her an opportunity to intimately understand North Carolina’s unique agricultural landscape and build relationships. She has a history of developing creative and diverse outreach strategies to engage stakeholders across the state throughout her career. 

“We are very excited to bring Rachel on board,” said Adrian Percy, executive director for N.C. PSI. “Rachel brings a proven track record of positive engagements across North Carolina. She is going to be able to connect N.C. PSI’s research capacity with our stakeholders needs to form a continuous loop of understanding and engagement throughout the state.”

“N.C. PSI is all about applying science to real-world issues that affect our state, so our ability to identify timely needs and transfer solutions back into the field is paramount,” said Rich Bonanno, director of NC State Extension and associate dean of CALS. “Dr. Vann will play a critical role as a conduit between Extension, research and our stakeholders, which will help us create meaningful impacts for North Carolina farmers, families and communities.”

Vann completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, then came to NC State University to pursue her master’s and Ph.D. She accepted her faculty position in 2018 and currently has a 90% Extension appointment. Vann will continue to serve as the soybean Extension specialist in addition to her responsibilities with N.C. PSI.

“Engagement beyond CALS will be critical to deliver unique solutions that address the dynamic needs of our clientele. I truly believe that the PSI can be a catalyst to foster stakeholder engagement both across and outside the university to deliver these solutions and ensure that Extension continues to have a strong impact in North Carolina for years to come,” said Vann.

Vann joins N.C. PSI on July 1, 2022. The Extension Outreach and Engagement platform will work in connection with the previously established Plant Improvement, Resilient Agriculture Systems, and Data-Driven Plant Sciences platforms and the future platform for Education and Workforce Development.