Title: Executive Director, University of Maine Cooperative
Research focus: Outreach. In Somerset County, I conducted
programs in 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences and
Years at UMaine: 23
Milestones: A successful Extension educator for 10 years who
earned three national awards. An administrator for 13 years, serving
as a program administrator from 1994–2002. Assumed the role of
program and financial administrator in 2002 and executive director
in February 2007. Has served as associate director of the Maine
Agricultural Center since its inception in 1999.
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Question: Why is this a particularly exciting
time for University of Maine Cooperative Extension?
Answer: Maine is ever changing. The
challenges of today and the promises of tomorrow can only be addressed
through education. The people of Maine need educational information that
is relevant to their daily lives and for their future. UMaine Extension
has a wealth of resources that can help in agriculture, natural
resources, small business, aging, nutrition, community development,
parenting, youth development and more. Our work is research-based and
valued as credible and reliable.
Question: What is Extension's role as part of the state's
Answer: As the largest outreach component of
the University of Maine System, we exist in Maine communities for Maine
people. We like to say we are the University FOR Maine. For everyone,
everywhere — we have something that can help people live the life they
Question: What does Cooperative Extension mean to you?
Answer: Opportunity. Extension can help
people develop goals and build a process whereby they achieve their
dreams and live their values. We have helped people develop business
plans, create value-added products, learn public speaking skills through
4-H and a myriad of other things that shape who they are and who they
want to be.
Question: What's your most memorable Extension moment?
Answer: Years ago when I was working as an
Extension educator an individual came to me seeking support to develop a
plan for creating a food pantry that would be supported by local
community tax dollars. She needed assistance in developing her
presentation to the town selectmen of two communities. What she really
needed was someone to believe in her and help her refine her request.
She got funding and the food pantry is still in operation today. She
made it happen, yet to this day she credits me for helping her.
Sometimes the difference Extension makes is hard to measure, but very
Question: What can we look forward to from UMaine Cooperative
Extension in the coming years?
Answer: Our future will be "high-tech" and
"high-touch" as we build on our strengths and incorporate innovations
that are cost-effective and efficient. We have excelled at personal
interaction for more than 90 years. Today, we are reinventing our
presence on the Internet so that our Web site will become a virtual
Extension office. Our clients expect immediate access to information and
resources, and we are making that possible. People also want to be able
to call, meet and consult professionals who can help them achieve their
goals, and we continue that work, too. We are adding to our publications
catalog continuously and many items are free to download. We strive to
be relevant, accessible and affordable for all Maine people.