As students head back to school this autumn, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agents and specialists will be heading back to class as well.
Seventeen agents and specialists have been selected for the 2019-2020 UGA Extension Academy for Professional Excellence, an internal leadership development program.
The program is designed to teach leadership skills to early- and mid-career UGA county Extension agents, state specialists, and personnel from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and College of Family and Consumer Sciences. 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 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, the newest cohort of Extension Academy participants will gather in Athens, Georgia, 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.
Clark MacAllister, an Extension Academy graduate who serves as county Extension coordinator and agriculture and natural resources agent in Dawson and Lumpkin counties, said his time in Extension Academy made him a more productive and confident leader.
“Extension Academy helped expand my leadership capability by allowing me to examine my behaviors and how I react to different scenarios,” MacAllister said. “By better understanding my own leadership style, I have strengthened my relationships with coworkers and members of my community.”
This year’s Extension Academy participants are:
- Audra Armour, 4-H agent, Wilkes County
- Joel Burnsed, county Extension coordinator and agriculture and natural resources agent, Walton County
- Chelsey Davis, county Extension coordinator and 4-H agent, Lumpkin County
- Angie Daughtry, county Extension coordinator and 4-H agent, Candler County
- Lauren Dye, 4-H agent, Elbert County
- Becky Griffin, community and school garden coordinator, Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture
- Brennan Jackson, county Extension coordinator and 4-H agent, Jones County
- Carole Knight, agriculture and natural resources agent, Bulloch County
- Brittani Lee, 4-H agent, Cobb County
- Lisa Pollock, 4-H agent, Grady County
- Wes Porter, state specialist for irrigation, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, UGA Tifton Campus
- Brittany Teets, county Extension coordinator and 4-H agent, Rockdale County
- Keishon Thomas, family and consumer sciences agent, Bibb County
- Kim Toal, agriculture and natural resources agent, Fayette County
- Ty Torrance, agriculture and natural resources agent, Grady County
- Ashley Witcher, county Extension coordinator and 4-H agent, Cherokee County
For more information on UGA Extension’s impact in Georgia, visit extension.uga.edu.