The Bill Murphy Distinguished Speaker

The Bill Murphy Distinguished Speaker honors William F. Murphy Jr., a member of the Virgina Tech faculty for almost 25 years, who died in 2001. Murphy’s work included many firsts for Extension. He designed the first national auction and sale of feeder cattle via satellite and audio technologies, and developed and produced the first graduate class for Extension field personnel to be distributed on a national network.

Murphy was also heavily involved in the first National Extension Technology Conference, held at Virginia Tech in 1986, and served on the planning committee for the next several conferences. This conference is now the major educational event for technology enthusiasts in Cooperative Extension nationwide.

Murphy won many national awards, including the Award of Excellence in Teleconferencing from the Agricultural Communicators in Education and the Most Distinguished Program award from the National University Teleconference Network for his program, “AIDS – A Burning Issue: Community Education and Action.” He was a member of the program/operations council of Ag*Sat and was a major contributor to the early successes of this consortium, now called ADEC.

Each year NETC remembers Bill Murphy by recognizing a distinguished speaker in his honor.

Past Speakers

  • 2023 –
  • 2022 – Dr. Nitin Agarwal, Maulden-Entergy Chair and Distinguished Professor of Information Science at University of Arkansas Little Rock
  • 2021 – Dr. Steven C. Loerch, Senior Associate Dean of the College of Ag Sciences, Penn State University and Eric Yarberry, Director of Education and Training at World Services for the Blind (WSB)
  • 2020 – Jennifer Sparrow, Associate Vice President for Teaching and Learning with Technology at Penn State and Lois Brooks, CIO, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • 2019 – Emily Calandrelli, Executive Producer and Emmy-Nominated host of Fox’s Emmy-Nominated Xploration Outer Space and Correspondent on Netflix’s Bill Nye Saves the World
  • 2018 – Dave Mitchell, Founder, and President, The Leadership Difference, Inc.
  • 2017 – Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, the first black female pilot for the United States Marine Corps, and the nation’s first black female combat pilot, author, Zero to Breakthrough
  • 2016 – Dr. Fedro Zazueta, Associate CIO, University of Florida Office of Information Technology
  • 2011 – Anya Kamenetz, Pulitzer prize nomination, reporting on the economic challenges facing Generation Next
  • 2010 – Byron Reeves, Professor, Stanford University
  • 2009 – Julie K. Little, Senior Director, EDUCAUSE
  • 2008 – Mark Federman, author, McLuhan for Managers – New Tools for New Thinking
  • 2007 – Lowell Catlett, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, New Mexico State University
  • 2005 – Dan Cotton, Carla Craycraft, Kevin Gamble and Craig Wood, eXtension
  • 2003 – Norman Coombs, CEO, Equal Access to Software and Information
  • 2002 – John Harwood, Senior Director, Penn State Center for Education Technology Services