UConn Extension

Job: Associate Dean for Extension and Diversity

aerial view of UConn's Horsebarn Hill and campus

The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) at the University of Connecticut (UConn) invites applications for the position of Associate Dean for Extension and Diversity with appointment as Full Professor with tenure in a CAHNR Department related to the candidate’s academic discipline. We are seeking an inspirational, dynamic, and visionary individual to provide exemplary College-level leadership in two important areas: Extension and Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI), in alignment with the College and University strategic vision. This is a full-time, 12-month appointment, with approximately 70% effort related to Extension leadership and 30% effort related to JEDI leadership. This person will have an outstanding record of professional accomplishments commensurate with appointment at the rank of Professor, with the opportunity for tenure at hire.

The CAHNR Associate Dean for Extension and Diversity will provide innovative leadership in planning, facilitating, supporting, and evaluating statewide Extension programs and JEDI initiatives across the College. CAHNR has 9 Departments, including a Department of Extension. The departments incorporate a wide range of disciplines within traditional agriculture, as well as health, the environment, and natural resources. The College includes 189 tenured, tenure-track, and teaching faculty, 97 staff, 473 graduate students and 2,036 undergraduate students. The Associate Dean for Extension and Diversity plays a key role in the daily functions of the College as a member of the CAHNR leadership team. The Associate Dean reports directly to the Dean.

The Cooperative Extension System (CES) in CAHNR has provided research-based education to families, communities, and businesses across the state and the region for more than a century. CAHNR Extension is a cornerstone of UConn’s land grant mission, to create and disseminate knowledge that improves the lives of people locally, nationally, and internationally. The successful candidate will improve programmatic excellence by expanding and supporting JEDI in our programs and among our faculty, staff, students, and Extension volunteers. Approximately 100 CAHNR Extension faculty and staff are located across nine offices throughout the state including the Storrs and Avery Point campuses.

CAHNR is actively working to expand JEDI throughout the College through intentional efforts to eliminate structural racism. A standing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee provides training, workshops, and other resources to expand diversity within the College.  A CAHNR Working Group on Structural Racism was recently formed to explore how the college can break down barriers in teaching, research, and Extension. This work is integral to the CAHNR Strategic Vision. The Associate Dean for Extension and Diversity provides leadership for these College-wide initiatives.

CAHNR has developed and implemented a Strategic Vision to guide the development and focus of our teaching, research, and Extension programs in the years 2020-2025. The Associate Dean for Extension and Diversity will provide leadership in advancing the implementation of CAHNR’s five strategic priorities (https://cahnr.uconn.edu/visionandvalues).

  • Ensuring a vibrant agricultural industry and sustainable food supply
  • Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
  • Dismantling structural racism and fostering environments that advance racial equity, inclusion and belonging by advocating for antiracist policies, practices, and norms.
  • Fostering sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
  • Advancing resilience and adaptation in a changing climate

The University and CAHNR prioritize scholarship in areas that impact quality of life, including human, animal, plant and environmental health and sustainability. We encourage and provide support for cross-disciplinary, collaborative scholarship across the College, University, nation, and globe. UConn is committed to Life Transforming Education for students and Extension audiences. UConn is recognized as one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly campuses by the Sierra Club. Through research, teaching, service, and Extension, UConn embraces diversity and inclusion, and cultivates leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship in its students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Founded in 1881, UConn is a Land Grant and Sea Grant institution and member of the Space Grant Consortium. It is the state’s flagship institution of higher education and includes a main campus in Storrs, CT, four regional campuses throughout the state, and 13 Schools and Colleges, including a Law School in Hartford, and Medical and Dental Schools at the UConn Health campus in Farmington. The University has approximately 10,000 faculty and staff and 32,000 students, including nearly 24,000 undergraduates and over 8,000 graduate and professional students. UConn is a Carnegie Foundation R1 (highest research activity) institution, among the top 25 public universities in the nation. Through research, teaching, service, and outreach, UConn embraces diversity and cultivates leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship in its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. UConn promotes the health and well-being of citizens by enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and natural environments of the state and beyond. The University serves as a beacon of academic and research excellence as well as a center for innovation and social service to communities. UConn is a leader in many scholarly, research, and innovation areas. Today, the path forward includes exciting opportunities and notable challenges. Record numbers of undergraduate applications and support for student success have enabled the University to become extraordinarily selective.

Read full job description/apply.

Support for Extension

photos of people at Extension programs
Thank you! Your support helped us co-create solutions to the critical issues facing Connecticut in 2021. We are committed to providing transformational learning experiences to all our audiences. Extension continues to adapt and collaborate to find solutions for the human, environmental, and agricultural issues that our state faces. You can support Extension at: s.uconn.edu/givetoextension

Faces of Extension: Jen Cushman

Jen CushmanJen Cushman quote

Meet Jen Cushman, our UConn 4-H Hartford County educator and co-state program leader. “The best part of being a 4-H Educator is providing opportunities for 4-H youth to grow personally and in their project(s). I am fortunate to work with dedicated 4-H volunteers who mentor youth and prepare them to be thriving adults,” Jen says.

Job Opening: Public Service Specialist

Public Service Specialist
UConn Extension, Hartford County

The UConn Department of Extension welcomes applications for an experienced part-time professional to coordinate and assist with implementing professional development and creating educational resources on genetic engineering. This is a temporary position that reports to the Associate Extension Educator.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Plan and implement professional development experiences for educators
  • Coordinate recruitment of participants and process applications
  • Organize and attend meetings with other members of team
  • Assist with the development of curriculum on genetic engineering for formal and informal settings
  • Maintain website
  • Compiles and prepares reports, as requested
  • Performs related duties, as assigned

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Associate’s degree or relevant experience
  • Availability to accommodate flexible work schedule
  • Excellent interpersonal skills necessary for effective work relationships
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate information effectively to groups with different and diverse backgrounds and experience (e.g., educators, colleagues, and volunteers)
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and manage multiple priorities and follow multi-step directions
  • Experience coordinating educational programs
  • Demonstrated ability to resolve administrative problems efficiently, effectively, and independently
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Experience with data management software (i.e., ability to upload documents to database)
  • Demonstrated ability to use social media
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise discretion and maintain confidentiality

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Experience with curriculum development
  • STEM/Science background
  • Prior experience with teacher professional development in a formal or informal setting
  • Experience with Kuali financial system, and website management in Aurora
  • Familiarity with UConn Extension

APPOINTMENT TERMS

This is a temporary appointment expected to work approximately 3 hours per week for an initial six-month period with the possibility of continuation based on research progress and funding availability. This position is located primarily in the Hartford County Extension Office in Farmington; other tasks may be performed on the Storrs campus or remotely.

TO APPLY

For full consideration, please submit at a cover letter, a resume, and the names and contact information for three professional references to Jen Cushman (Jennifer.cushman@uconn.edu).

Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.

All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp.

The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.

(HR22-15)

3 Helpful Tips for Encountering a Horse on a Trail

It’s that time of the year again! With the weather warming up it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy hiking trails both locally and globally.

Just like drivers share the roads with runners and bikers, trails are enjoyed by pedestrians, dogs, and people on horseback. Keeping this in mind, here are a few helpful tips for encountering a horse on a trail!

picture of people riding horses with text

picture of people riding horses with text

This message is brought to you by the UConn Extension PATHS team – People Active on Trails for Health and Sustainability. We are an interdisciplinary team of University of Connecticut extension educators, faculty, and staff committed to understanding and promoting the benefits of trails and natural resources for health, community & economic development and implementing a social ecological approach to health education.

Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Lynn Keller

UConn CAHNR Extension typically holds Bug Week in July; however, this year Extension has designated July as Bug Month. The UConn Extension Master Gardeners and Master Gardener interns participate. Bug Month is an educational outreach activity that promotes insects in the environment (bugs.uconn.edu/). Volunteers like Dr. Lynn Keller make this educational event fun and successful. In order to become a Master Gardener people need to attend and complete the Master Gardener program that includes coursework, office hours, and community service. The training allows them to become knowledgeable about various gardening topics.

Lynn Keller in her gardenLynn heard about the UConn Extension Master Gardener program many years ago and completed the program in 2019. She learned about a volunteer opportunity to assist with Bug Week from Gail Reynolds, the Middlesex County Master Gardener program coordinator. Lynn enjoyed her entomology (study of insects) classes in college while studying to be a veterinarian. She also enjoyed the entomology class offered by the Master Gardener program and felt like it would be a good fit for her interests.

As a volunteer, Lynn works with various program leaders to coordinate dates and events during Bug Month in July. These activities include bug kits for youth, photo contests, and educational activities. Part of her role includes finding new leaders for these programs and ensuring they have the proper resources as well as creating content for the Bug Month website (bugs.uconn.edu/). New programs are suggested every year, and Lynn works with the team to implement them in addition to fundraising and finding sponsors. She also promotes Bug Month by writing articles and participating in local radio shows.

Bug Month is designed for family participation, and Lynn enjoys educating families on the importance of insects in our lives. She says, “If we didn’t have insects, we wouldn’t have pollination, which would result in missing out on many of our favorite foods.” Her volunteer work is making an impact because adults and children are learning more about the “integral role that insects play in the food web and in our environment.” She also notes that this program provides suggestions for simple steps families can take to improve beneficial insect habitats in their yards and communities.

One of Lynn’s favorite memories from her time as an Extension volunteer is at Bug Week events in 2019. Many children attended the event at the Tolland Agricultural Center and were excited to participate in the fun activities. Lynn enjoyed seeing the children’s enthusiasm while they were looking at bugs under a microscope and learning about them. She also enjoys continuing her education on native plants and insects which allows her to share this information with family and friends. Her advice to new volunteers is to find an opportunity that you are passionate about and use that passion to make a positive difference in our communities.

The UConn Extension Master Gardener Program started in 1978 and consists of horticulture training and an outreach component that focuses on the community at large. Master Gardeners devote thousands of hours to organized community outreach projects each year. The Master Gardener program also offers Garden Master Classes for our volunteers and interested members of the general public. More information on the program and classes are available at mastergardener.uconn.edu.

UConn CAHNR Extension has more than 100 years’ experience strengthening communities in Connecticut and beyond. Extension programs address the full range of issues set forth in CAHNR’s strategic initiatives:

  • Ensuring a vibrant and sustainable agricultural industry and food supply
  • Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
  • Designing sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
  • Advancing adaptation and resilience in a changing climate.

Programs delivered by Extension reach individuals, communities, and businesses in each of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities. Learn more about our volunteer programs at s.uconn.edu/volunteers.

Article by Emily Syme

New Unpeeled Game Helps Consumers Navigate the Grocery Store Aisle

Maya McCluen and the text Unpeeled behind her
We developed a new game to help shoppers like you learn about genetically modified food with our partners at New Mexico State University. UConn Extension is dedicated to providing educational resources to consumers and we would like your input! We would appreciate it if you could play the game (https://unpeeled.nmsu.edu/) and tell us what you think.
This link will take you to the game, after which there is a short survey. Our goal is to learn what you think about the game, including what you did and didn’t like. The game and survey should only take 20 minutes and your input will be used to improve the game. Play the game and take the survey at https://unpeeled.nmsu.edu/. Thank you for your help!

Highlights of Extension Report

Committed to a Sustainable Future

Highlights of Extension report cover with blue bars and photos of agriculture, health, and sustainabilityConnecticut has faced challenges related to sustainable landscapes, food and agriculture, health, and the climate for generations. As problems are solved, new issues arise. Our educators faced the unprecedented challenges of 2020 and pivoted programs to offer life transfor­mative education despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Programming moved to virtual environ­ments through online certificate programs, virtual field days, WebEx meetings, and YouTube videos. Our educators created and released 318 new videos on YouTube. These videos reached 305,200 people and had 39,501 viewers that watched 1,200 hours of Extension instruction.

One of every nine Connecticut residents struggled with food insecurity before COVID-19. For many individuals and families, challenges surrounding food inse­curity increased when the pandemic arrived and continued throughout 2020. The stress associated with food insecurity challenges one of the most basic human needs and deepens income and health disparities.

UConn Extension programs addressed the food insecurity challenges that our community members are facing due to COVID-19. Educators coordinated dairy foods donations to help address food inse­curity challenges—facilitating the donation of over 160,000 pounds of dairy products statewide.

Extension works collaboratively with our partners and stakeholders to find solutions that improve our communities. We serve thousands of people every year. Our work is in every town and city of the state and the broader impacts make Connecticut a better place to live for all of us.

The human, environmental, and agricul­tural issues that we face change. The needs of our residents’ change. Our commitment to providing life transformative education remains steadfast.

Read the report at s.uconn.edu/extensionhighlights.

‘Completely Connecticut Agriculture’ Explores the Creativity and Resilience of Connecticut Farmers

Alyson Schnedier, Jon Russo and Zach Duda with words Completely Connecticut Agriculture over the photoIt’s easy to take our food supply for granted while strolling through the abundant aisles of a grocery store. We do not often consider how our food gets to the store or where it comes from. A group of students in UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) is bridging the communication gap between agriculture and consumers in a new documentary film, “Completely Connecticut Agriculture.”

Zachary Duda, Jonathan Russo, and Alyson Schneider are agricultural advocates and vocalize the importance of the industry while inspiring others to do the same. All three are CAHNR Agriculture and Natural Resources majors, graduating in May. The students met as high school agriscience students, and later served together as state officers in the Connecticut FFA Association. The idea for the documentary about Connecticut agriculture formed while they were state officers.

Read more or watch the documentary online.