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It seems like just yesterday that I was introducing myself and this blog. And today I am packing up and excited for the next new opportunity. One thing is for sure, there’s never a shortage of opportunities and challenges to make a four-year administrative appointment seemingly go by fast.
Like the changing seasons, I enjoy continual professional changes too. For me, it makes me feel a part of something dynamic and alive. I can reflect on and appreciate what has ended or passed and plan for and look forward to what might be next. Becoming ever more reflective in the closing months, I’d like to think that this blog and my ongoing efforts in general helped advance the overarching goal to help improve our understanding of what it means to be an Extension professional. We talked a lot about the A&P and faculty promotion processes, timelines, deadlines, roles, and responsibilities. We engaged in a lot of group and one-on-one coaching, live and recorded webinars, and kept the web-based materials as up to date as possible (thank you, Terri Fisher!!)
The uniqueness of Extension teaching, and scholarship have been discussed often, as have been the various forms of impactful service and how all of this works together to comprise what we might refer to as your Extension Program. We covered the variety of other elements of being an Extension professional including our extramural funding (e.g. training grants and contracts, program fees, research funding, etc), stewardship and administrative leadership roles, and program team involvement, for example.
Beginning November 1, I will be focused on trying to better support the Extension profession via a partial appointment in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL). This role will involve visioning and direction for the online M.S. program, some advising of Extension professionals enrolled in the graduate program as well as some classroom teaching. As part of the Gist Endowed Program, I hope to engage Extension professionals in leadership training and one-on-one coaching, especially for our new and interim leaders. Thanks to the generosity of the late George and Genevieve Gist, much if not all of the programming you might engage in will cost you little more than your time. In the coming weeks, expect to learn of some exciting opportunities you might pursue in 2024 (maybe we can talk more at one of the Fall Regional Conversations). All these endeavors are interconnected with a focus on community leadership curricula, applied research, teaching and Extension program team involvement. If you have an interest in leadership development in any way whatsoever (e.g. student, teacher, researcher, etc), I hope we can connect in the coming weeks (davis.1081).
In closing out this appointment, I leave you with our Recap and Recommendations from the 2023 Department of Extension P&T cycle. If you are interested in a faculty appointment at some point in your career or in any way currently involved in faculty advancement, I encourage you to take a quick look at the three-page document. It outlines the three most important things for us to recognize about faculty work and highlights the most practical takeaways noted this year for dossier authors, reviewers, supervisors, and anyone involved in informal coaching. Thanks to Jim Jasinski, Jason Hedrick, and Eric Romich for leading the faculty colleagues who served on the P&T committees this year – and a special thanks to them too. It was through their dedicated efforts these key takeaways were identified.
Working with all of you in these various administrative roles I have been continually reminded that the Extension calling is a noble one. A profession guided by dedicated custodians who are held in the highest regard. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve and look forward to working with you in whatever ways might present themselves in the future.