BLACKSBURG, VA – Audrey Zink-Sharp of Blacksburg, Va., a wood science and forest products professor in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, has been elected a Fellow of the Society for Wood Science and Technology, an international organization dedicated to advancing the profession of wood science.

One of only 33 Fellows among the organization’s over 450 members, Zink-Sharp is the first female to receive this honor. She also served as the society’s first female president. Fellows are selected based on significant professional accomplishments that advance wood science and technology at the regional, national, or international level, as well as significant contributions to the society, including serving in a leadership role.

“Receiving Fellow standing in the Society of Wood Science and Technology is quite an honor for me,” said Zink-Sharp. “I joined this society as an undergraduate student and have concentrated my professional service within [the Society of Wood Science and Technology's] missions and goals. To be elected [a Society of Wood Science and Technology] Fellow is recognition that I hold in the highest regard.”

“Dr. Zink-Sharp has served the Society of Wood Science and Technology well throughout her career and is most deserving of this recognition,” said Paul Winistorfer, dean of the College of Natural Resources and Environment.

Zink-Sharp has served as interim head of the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products at Virginia Tech since July 2009. The university’s wood science program is among only 11 worldwide that are accredited by the Society of Wood Science and Technology.

Zink-Sharp teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on microscopic and quantitative characterization of wood anatomy and properties. Her research focus is developing improved wood fiber composite materials and incorporating the influences of forest management into wood quality and variability.

She serves as director of the Sustainable Engineered Materials Institute and has coordinated the Wood Magic Show at Virginia Tech, a natural resource education program that has reached over 10,000 children, teachers, guests, and volunteers since its inception in 1998.

Zink-Sharp received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Colorado State University and her doctorate from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

The College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top three programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and the environment, and instill in students a sense of stewardship, land-use ethics, and large-scale systems problem solving. Areas of study include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

SOURCE: Virginia Tech

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