Draper named interim associate dean for College of Agriculture
Plant Pathology department head to lead research, graduate programs
Oct. 16, 2018
MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State University has appointed Martin Draper as the interim associate dean, research and graduate programs in the College of Agriculture, and interim director, research, K-State Research and Extension.
Ernie Minton, interim dean of the college and director of K-State Research and Extension, said Draper will continue as Plant Pathology department head until an interim leader can be named for that post.
“We are very fortunate to have someone with Marty’s background and experience serve in this interim role,” Minton said. “Marty will bring fresh ideas and new perspectives as associate dean and director for research. We are looking forward to working with him in the administrative team.”
Prior to joining K-State in 2016, Draper worked as the national program leader for plant pathology and integrated pest management at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During his 10 years at NIFA, Draper worked with several competitive programs and gained deep knowledge of research funding and administration while working with research and extension leaders nationwide as well as legislators and officials from the Bush and Obama administrations.
Before his USDA post, Draper served in extension plant pathologist roles in North Dakota and South Dakota for nearly 20 years. His work there focused on 14 different crops, with specific attention paid to wheat and soybeans. His primary research focus was Fusarium head blight and foliar wheat diseases, Phytophthora root and stem rot and white mold, two soil-borne diseases of soybeans.
“Research is about answering mankind’s most pressing issues. Sometimes those solutions can seem threatening if the science is not well understood,” Draper said. “My background in extension has really prepared me for science communication and as I have been more involved in the research enterprise over the years, that experience has reinforced for me the importance of communicating our science advances to the general public.”
In his time at K-State, Draper has served on the advisory committee for the Global Food Systems initiative and helped assemble a complex conceptual project for the USDA-NIFA AFRI-Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant program. He is also currently working on a collaborative proposal with National Agricultural Biosecurity Center at K-State for the USDA-NIFA AFRI Network Coordination program. That project has more than 20 invited and committed collaborators. He also serves on the University Library Committee and the Integrity in Research and Scholarly Activity Committee for the Vice President of Research.
“My experience with both extension and research can provide an important connection between the two enterprises today,” Draper said. “We are challenged by rejection of science and a loss of community. A tighter link between research and extension and an effort to carry the messages of our research into the communities of the state can help bridge the gaps.”