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In Memoriam of Susan Duncan, Associate Director of VAES, Founding Director of CAIA

Susan Duncan

Please email Becca Emery  to post condolences and memories of Sue Duncan.

“Sue had an enormous impact on the college and the university over the last three decades, not just in terms of her leadership and research, but through her positive outlook and warm demeanor,” – Dean Alan Grant

“Sue had a passion for supporting our researchers from around the university.  She was instrumental in developing collaboration opportunities for faculty across campus and with many other institutions. She also was a leader and significant contributor to the development and implementation of the Roadmap for Research Agenda at the national level, setting the research priority agenda for the Agricultural Experiment Stations across the nation. She will be greatly missed.” - Saied Mostaghimi, the associate dean for research and director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station. 

AREC directors and superintendents

"Our CAIA Community has benefited tremendously from Dr. Duncan’s hard work and devotion since CAIA’s establishment in 2021. In spite of the many challenges we faced during the Pandemic of past two years, her insightful vision, strong leadership, and infectious passion brought together diverse groups of people within and outside CALS and VT to work on numerous projects, big or small, with the goal of establishing Virginia Tech as a comprehensive and innovative global research leader in smart and secure agriculture technologies and data analytics for informed decisions. Her great contributions to our community will be remembered and her visionary plans for CAIA will be honored in the years to come." - Kang Xia, Professor and Associate Director, CAIA

Kang Xia and Sue Duncan at Fall Kickoff Event

“Dr. Duncan was a wonderful colleague, a great person to work for, and a huge supporter of our research station and research programs.  She was a great supporter of the Eastern Virginia AREC and all our research programs and was instrumental in many of the technological and equipment upgrades that we have received at the station in the past couple years. Sue had a passion for the success of the AREC’s and CAIA and brought a tremendous enthusiasm and professionalism to her interactions with colleagues. She was extremely caring and always made a point to ask me about my wife and family every time I saw her.” – Joseph Oakes

VA Grain and Soybean Conference
Sue Duncan at Virginia Grain & soybean conference

“I was the PhD student and postdoc of Dr. Duncan. Dr. Duncan is my best superviser and true friend. I will never forget her lovely smile, passion for life, bravery and optimism, and her love for all of us. Her positive attitude to work and life had an extraordinary influence on my life. She provided me with numerous help to build my career. I am so proud to be her student. I will remember the time we spent together forever. Love her and miss her forever. ” – Aili Wang, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, Chengdu University

“Dr. Duncan was such a wonderful person. She was my boss and at times like a mom to me. I loved working with her every day. She always brought a smile to my face, even if I wasn't having the best day. She was so excited about CAIA and loved bringing everyone together. She wanted the affiliate faculty to think outside of the box and come together to do something great. She was an encourager and was always there to support you. She is missed tremndously. My workday will never be the same.” – Becca Emery

Sue Duncan and Becca Emery

“I first met Sue several years ago and immediately appreciated her genuine and approachable demeanor as she advocated for securing our nation’s food systems. Since that time, I was fortunate enough to have collaborated with Sue on several research activities with her always exhibiting an incredible passion for her work. As a friend of VT-ARC, she will be dearly missed professionally and personally.” – Matt Wolfe, VT-ARC

“Sue was a great supporter of me, my research program, and the Peanut Variety and Quality Evaluation (PVQE) multi-state project. She was a great leader within the PVQE, resourceful adviser on its direction, and a candid mentor and friend for me. In the past 6 years, she didn’t miss one single PVQE Advisory Committee meeting, usually once a year in March in Suffolk, VA, and attended numerous PVQE Field Tours meetings in a grower’ s field near Williamston, NC. She was well known and respected by the PVQE group. I will miss her tremendously.” - Maria Balota, TAREC

“Dr. Sue was a special person to all who met her. She is such a great leader and supportive mentor. She and her bright smile will be greatly missed, and her passion to promote the CAIA community will be carried on by all of us.” Yuan Zeng, SPAREC

Susan Duncan
Dr. Duncan

“Beyond Sue Duncan’s vibrant personality and positive demeanor, she was a generous collaborator and convener.  I am grateful for her encouragement to engage in various projects and dialogues, and I noted that she was encouraging of everyone involved.  There are countless teams of faculty, students, and stakeholders that are working together because Dr. Duncan connected them.  Her generous spirit can live on through the partnerships she fostered.” – Eric Kaufman, CAIA Affiliate Faculty Member

"I knew Sue primarily through her role as director of VT's Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture (CAIA), which I joint as faculty affiliate about two years ago. I always admired the level of energy and effort she brought to this organization, and her creativity in devising platforms, frameworks, and social events to facilitate collaborations amongst faculty and students. It was obvious that she was truly passionate about CAIA and its mission, and strived to do anything she could to help its members find success in research and grant applications. She leaves behind both a legacy of excellent groundwork and a large void to fill for the Center." - Klaus Moeltner, AAEC

“A pioneer in food science and a leader in cyberbiosecurity; Susan was well-respected, enthusiastic, and loved by all who worked with her. I collaboated with Susan for 3+ years, she always brought positivity and energy to our research work, more importantly, she was a driving force at the university - her scientific accomplishments will be influential for a long time. Her last manuscript was a book chapter on cyberbiosecurity that we collaborated on. Susan, may you rest in eternal peace. You will be dearly missed.” - Feras Batarseh, BSE