A select group of University of Georgia Cooperative Extension employees has been chosen for the 2018-19 UGA Extension Academy for Professional Excellence, an internal program aimed at developing the next generation of leadership.
The program is designed to teach leadership skills to early- and mid-career UGA county Extension agents, state specialists and UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and College of Family and Consumer Sciences personnel. Ultimately, the training is an effort toward fulfilling UGA Extension’s mission of helping Georgians become healthier, more productive, financially independent and environmentally responsible individuals.
“Programs such as Extension Academy allow us to prepare for the next generation of leadership within our organization,” said Lauren Griffeth, UGA Extension leadership specialist and organizer of the academy. “We hope that participants graduate from this experience feeling engaged, empowered and equipped to better serve UGA Extension.”
In September, Extension Academy participants gathered in Athens for the first of three leadership institutes. Each three-day institute will offer intensive personal and professional development training facilitated by the CAES Office of Learning and Organizational Development. Kevin Livingston, the UGA Extension agricultural and natural resources agent in Douglasville wasn’t sure what to expect when he attended the academy. Now a graduate of the program, he highly recommends it.
“I heard from other Extension staff that it was a great experience, and it proved to be exactly that. The program was well done and offered opportunities for networking with others outside of my normal work area,” he said. “The program stimulated many thoughts and generated a new awareness of both self and others.”
This year’s Extension Academy participants are:
- Leigh Anne Aaron, family and consumer sciences agent, Oconee and Morgan counties;
- Kelle Ashley, 4-H agent, Oconee County;
- Stephanie Benton, 4-H agent, Early County;
- Pam Bloch, 4-H agent, Gwinnett County;
- Kasey Bozeman, county Extension coordinator and 4-H agent, Liberty and Long counties;
- Paul Coote, director, Burton 4-H Center;
- Tim Davis, county Extension coordinator and agriculture and natural resources agent, Chatham County;
- Clark MacAllister, county Extension coordinator and agriculture and natural resources agent, Dawson and Lumpkin counties;
- Merritt Melancon, public relations coordinator, UGA Extension, Office of Communications and Creative Services;
- Susan Moore, family and consumer sciences agent, Laurens County;
- Justin Shealey, county Extension coordinator and agriculture and natural resources agent, Echols County;
- Heather Shultz, 4-H livestock programs coordinator, UGA Extension;
- Joe Slusher, county Extension coordinator and agriculture and natural resources agent, Ware County;
- Cindee Sweda, family and consumer sciences agent, Spalding County;
- Trish West, county Extension coordinator and 4-H agent, Bryan County; and
- Tripp Williams, county Extension coordinator and agriculture and natural resources agent, Columbia County.