CAHNRS has new dean from University of Arizona

University of Arizona school director has a microorganism named after him

FORREST HOLT, Evergreen news editor

The College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Science (CAHNRS) has a new dean.

André-Denis Girard Wright, director of the University of Arizona’s School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, will replace interim dean Ron Mittelhammer on June 1.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a fantastic team,” Wright said, calling CAHNRS the envy of colleges nationwide.

Wright and the three other candidates for the position visited WSU facilities in Pullman, Wenatchee and Mount Vernon over a three-day interview process in late November and early December 2017.

Provost Dan Bernardo officially announced Wright’s hiring Tuesday.

Wright’s experiences from researcher to school director at other land-grant universities made him right for the job, Bernardo said in a news release.

Wright has contributed to 104 total peer-reviewed publications over the past 22 years. Much of his work, he said, has focused on minimizing livestock’s effect on the environment by improving the efficiency of their digestion.

He has also investigated colorectal cancer development in humans by monitoring certain groups of bacteria in their gastrointestinal tracts.

In 2008, a group of researchers in China named a microorganism after him. Wright said the naming of Apokeronopsis wrighti, found in the coastal waters around Hong Kong, was a “very high honor.”

As CAHNRS dean, he said he hoped to focus on team-building and collaboration. One of his main goals was to emphasize experiential learning to attract students to the college.