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Lamar County Native Named A&M Vice Chancellor For Agriculture And Life Sciences



By Blair Fannin tamu.edu

Dr. Susan Ballabina has been appointed deputy vice chancellor for agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station. She’s a graduate of Prairiland High School and is the daughter of educators, Jerry and Dorothy Richey.

The announcement was made by Dr. Patrick Stover, vice chancellor of agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M in College Station.

We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Ballabina lead our executive leadership team for Texas A&M AgriLife,” Stover said. “Dr. Ballabina has a deep understanding of our statewide mission paired with an innovative vision to bring together agriculture, health, and food systems.”

Ballabina will serve as the chief operating officer for the vice chancellor’s office and will provide oversight for shared services divisions of Texas A&M AgriLife that include outreach and strategic initiatives, business and strategic management, communications and information technology.

Texas A&M AgriLife includes the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.

“I am looking forward to helping lead one of the premier agriculture and life science systems in the nation as we collectively continue to find solutions to global health and food issues that help meet the needs of an expanding world population,” Ballabina said.

Stover said Ballabina will also continue to lead critical initiatives and partnerships for AgriLife and the Texas A&M University System including Healthy Texas and AgriLife’s work for the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas.

Healthy Texas was part of the initial Healthy South Texas, a 27-county pilot program of the Texas A&M System’s Healthy Texas initiative now being implemented statewide.

Ballabina has also led to AgriLife Extension’s involvement in the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas, an ongoing statewide program established as a result of Hurricane Harvey.  As part of the commission, AgriLife Extension agents in 42 counties have stepped in as liaisons between local jurisdictions, state and federal agencies with the goal of expediting the resolution of local issues.

Ballabina previously was the executive associate director for AgriLife Extension. She began her career with AgriLife Extension in 1994, serving as an agent in Cherokee, Williamson, Upshur, and Dallas counties and later as a regional program director. In 2013, she became AgriLife Extension’s associate director for program development.  Ballabina was promoted to her most recent role as executive associate director for the agency in 2016.

She has been awarded AgriLife Extension’s Superior Service Award four times, the Texas A&M University System Regents Fellow Honor, and was recognized by Tarleton State University as a distinguished alumnus. She is also a graduate of the AgriLife Advanced Leaders Program.

Ballabina received her bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences from Tarleton State University, her master’s degree in communications from Stephen F. Austin State University, and her doctorate in public affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas.