The Dean's Desk
As interim dean, Barb Christ is responsible for leading the college’s nine academic departments and an extension program that reaches into every Pennsylvania county to deliver University programs. With 1,077 employees, 3,000 undergraduate students and 460 graduate students, the College of Agricultural Sciences also invests nearly $97 million in research and graduate study yearly.
Christ was named senior associate dean in 2009 after serving four years as head of the Department of Plant Pathology. She has been a member of the college faculty for 28 years and has broad experience as a researcher with a focus on potato breeding and disease management. She joined the plant pathology faculty as an assistant professor in 1984, became associate professor in 1990 and attained the rank of full professor in 2000. She previously worked as a research assistant in the plant pathology department of the University of Minnesota and has served as president of the American Phytopathological Society.
Christ holds a bachelor of science degree in plant science from Penn State, a master’s degree in plant pathology from the University of Minnesota and a doctoral degree in botany from the University of British Columbia. She also has worked extensively with agricultural Extension leaders and agricultural industries in Pennsylvania and nationally.