Lisa House’s ties to the University of Florida’s food and resource economics department run deep.
House, who first joined the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty as an associate professor in 2001, was recently named the department’s newest chair, coming full circle in a career that began with her days as an undergraduate student in the same program.
The UF alumna graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food and resource economics in 1991 before going on to receive her master’s degree and doctoral degree in agricultural economics from Kansas State University. She then joined the Mississippi State University faculty and taught for six years before being called back to her first alma mater.
“Your undergraduate school always holds a special place in your heart,” House said. “To me, it’s really special that I now get the chance to lead this department.”
Throughout her time as a UF faculty member, House’s appointment shifted from primarily teaching to primarily research, while she also took on other duties such as undergraduate coordinator, graduate coordinator, director of the Florida Agricultural Market Research Center, and for the past year, interim department chair.
“Dr. House is uniquely qualified to lead the food and resource economics department,” said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, who selected House following a national search. “She has proven herself as a professor, as interim chair and as a colleague, earning much support from faculty, staff and administrators. I am confident Dr. House will bring the same high level of dedication as department chair.”
House, who is also the department’s first female chair, said she’s excited about overseeing the department through its recent transitions – namely, the retirements of five faculty members over the past two years with a combined 180 years of service at UF/IFAS.
“Though we were sad to lose those experienced faculty members, we have hired five new faculty members who are excited to come to Florida and establish high-quality programs,” House said, adding that two recent hires are also undergraduate alumni of the department. “I believe this influx of new faculty, combined with an already talented set of existing faculty, will lead the department to a higher level of achievement in teaching, research and extension.”