Several IALR employees received promotions over the past few months. Dana Silicki and Jessie Vernon were each promoted to Advanced Learning Program Manager, effective Oct. 1, 2021. Silicki joined IALR in 2010 and oversees STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educational programming for youth and educators. She has over 18 years of experience in education and extension as a previous teacher, 4-H agent, and program coordinator. Vernon joined IALR in 2012 and in her role, she serves as program manager for the ExperienceWorks framework, which includes oversight for the Career ChoICE Expo, AspHIRE and Next generation Of Work (NOW) programs. Additionally, she serves as the Southside Tobacco Commission Region Coordinator and the Danville Hub Manager for CodeVA. Vernon has over 11 years of experience in formal and informal education, having taught at the middle and high school levels, prior to joining IALR.
Dana Wilson was promoted to Advanced Learning Program Coordinator II, effective Oct. 1, 2021. Wilson has served as the Work-based Learning Program Coordinator with IALR since July 2020. In this position, her efforts connect students with local employers who offer work-based learning opportunities, such as internships.
Jessica Beebe was promoted to Advanced Learning Program Coordinator II, effective Oct. 1, 2021. Beebe joined IALR in 2015 and currently works with the Wonder Community of Lifelong Learning program as well as several others including Dan River Year AmeriCorps.
Dr. Sajeewa Amaradasa was promoted to Applied Research Scientist II, effective Nov. 1, 2021. Dr. Amaradasa joined IALR in 2018 as a plant pathologist. His research is focused on investigating beneficial plant bacterial endophytes to control economically important diseases of crops. His work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals.