A new face is coming to the Southwestern Colorado Research Center this year.
Abdel Berrada, who has served as the manager and senior research scientist at the center for more than 20 years, plans to move to a part-time position at the end of the year. Colorado State University leadership has appointed Kathleen Russell, a doctoral student at the University of Kentucky, to replace him. She is scheduled to start at the beginning of September.
“We’re excited to have her,” CSU extension agent Tom Hooten said. “She’s highly qualified. We’re really hoping to take the experiment center in a new direction under her leadership.”
Hooten, who was part of the search team for the position, said he got 12 to 15 applications for the manager position from across the country. But he and the rest of the team eventually decided Russell’s experience made her the best suited for the job, particularly because of her background in reaching out to young farmers. He said that’s an area where he wants to see the research center grow.
Russell currently works as an agriculture research specialist in the department of plant and soil science at UK. She will move to Montezuma County with her family over the summer, and Hooten said he and the rest of the CSU department of agriculture staff will do their best to make her feel at home.
He said Russell will likely visit the center a few times over the summer and participate in some public meetings. Berrada will continue his full-time work through the end of the year and will finish some projects he’s currently leading at the experiment station.