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Speaker Biographies

Below you will find the biographies for the speakers who will be leading 90 minute sessions. 

Fran Adelaja is the MSU Extension marketing specialist and operations manager for the MSU Extension Bookstore. She has over 25 years of experience in marketing including brand management, marketing research, strategic planning and tradeshow management.

Dorinda Carter Andrews is assistant dean of equity outreach initiatives for the College of Education and associate professor of race, culture and equity in the Department of Teacher Education. She is also a core faculty member in the African American and African Studies Program and co-director of the Graduate Urban Education Certificate Program. Her teaching and research focus on race and equity in education, urban teacher preparation and identity development, black student racial and achievement ideologies, and critical race praxis with in-service educators.

Jeff Andersen is a MSU Professor of meteorology/climatology with MSU‘s Department of Geography, Extension Specialist with MSU Extension, and the State Climatologist for Michigan.He holds a B.S. degree from Northern Illinois University in meteorology and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University in agricultural meteorology/climatology.  Dr. Andresen has professional experience with the National Weather Service and with the USDA‘s World Agricultural Outlook Board in Washington, D.C., where he was involved in international crop/weather impact assessment and production estimation. The primary focus of Andresen’s research has been the influence of weather and climate on agriculture, both in the USA and in international production areas.  

Bruno Basso is an ecosystem scientist with a special research interest in agriculture for MSU AgBioResearch. Additionally, Bruno is an associate professor in the MSU Department of Geology.

Julia Barton has worked for OEFFA Certification since 2012 in multiple roles including Certification Specialist, Program Manager, and Inspector.  Currently, Julia works with producers transitioning to organic production to break down the organic certification process and standards.  In addition to her work at OEFFA, Julia and her husband, Patrick Turner, run Octagon Acres, a small, certified organic vegetable operation, and are in the process of transitioning the rest of the farm to organic production.

Tami Baumann is the Senior Director of Development and she is responsible for leading the development and alumni relations operation within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.Tami started her development career at MSU in the Office of Planned Giving where she worked with alumni who were interested in including Michigan State in their estate plans.  After four years, she moved back to her home state of Iowa and worked at the University of Iowa Foundation for ten years.  Most of that time was focused on leading the fundraising efforts for the Tippie College of Business.  She returned to MSU in 2014 just in time to help launch the public phase of the Empower Extraordinary Campaign on behalf of CANR.  In addition to 16 years of development experience, Tami has a background in banking and trust administration.  

Carol Betcher-Noud is a 32 year RHS team member including 20 years as a residence hall/complex manager. Currently, Carol is a human resources administrator, managing training initiatives for the division. Carol loves Lake Michigan and in her free time enjoys traveling and exploring new destinations.

Roger Betz is a senior Extension educator, with a focus on Farm Management. Roger has more than 30 years of experience working with farms using a variety of educational methods to effectively disseminate knowledge. Roger is dedicated to assisting farmers to successfully manage their operations through sound financial practices. Roger has worked face-to-face with several hundred farm families to make sound business decisions. These decisions lead to growth of the farm businesses and contribute to economic growth at the local and state levels.

Lisa Bottomley is a Senior Specialist for MSU Extension who focuses on youth mentoring. She began working at MSU Extension in July 2000. As a specialist, Lisa provides training, resources and support to staff with mentoring and volunteer coordination responsibilities. In recent years, she has taught an online graduate course on Youth Mentoring for MSU, been a member of the National Mentoring Resouce Center’s Stakeholders Council and the Mentor Michigan Providers Council for 10 years, currently serving as vice-chair. Lisa received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Central Michigan University and her Masters of Arts in Youth Development from MSU.

Diane Brown-Rytlewski is a Horticulture Extension Educator in Ingham County and has been with MSU since 2000. Diane specializes in consumer horticulture and commercial fruit.

Jordan Burroughs is a wildlife outreach specialist in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. Through her position she seeks to improve quality and sustainability of human environments and natural resources in Michigan. Through outreach and education, and by expanding and enriching communication with stakeholders, specific objectives include: to promote stewardship and sound decision-making about management of wildlife, their habitats, and interactions among stakeholders in wildlife management; and to improve stakeholder knowledge of wildlife and wildlife management. She received her Masters of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University and her Bachelors of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dan Buskirk joined the faculty of Michigan State University in 1996, after receiving his B.S. and M.S. from Purdue Univ. and Ph.D. from the Univ. of Illinois.  As an Associate Professor/Beef Extension Specialist, he provides state-wide leadership in beef cattle production and management.  He is a member of the MSU Beef Group within the MSU Extension Institute for Agriculture and Agribusiness, and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Dr. Buskirk serves as the coordinator of MSU Beef Center, MCA/MSU Bull Evaluation Program, and Michigan Beef Quality Assurance program. His applied research interests include beef cow and calf nutrition and management, and beef identification and traceability.  He is the lead instructor for MSU’s undergraduate beef management courses and provides invited lectures for several other Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine classes.

Ann Chastain works in the Leadership & Community Engagement and the Government & Public Policy work teams under GMI.  Ann helps to deliver the Facilitative Leadership workshop and also provides programs related to Communicating through Conflict and Building Consensus. She often receives requests to facilitate difficult discussions in the local community. Ann has 27 years of experience as an Extension Educator, and served in local county MSU leadership positions for the majority of her career.

Sean Corp is the media relations and social media manager for MSU Extension Communications. Through traditional and digital channels, Sean connects MSU Extension experts and resources to the public and media to increase the visibility and reputation of MSU Extension. He also works with the development and management of the MSU Extension website.

Michelle Carlson has been a Spartan for 13 and a half year with IT Services and serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Teaching & Learning Technology. Michelle is currently working towards her BA here at MSU and believes a healthy life starts with a healthy spirit.

Julia Darnton is an MSU Extension educator serving Saginaw and Genesee counties in the areas of Community Food Systems and Leadership and Community Engagement in the Greening Michigan Institute. She has worked for MSU Extension since 2006. Julia received a Master’s Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Michigan State University in 2010. In complement to her work in Community Food Systems, Julia is the Chairperson of the Downtown Saginaw Farmers’ Market and serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Michigan Farmers Market Association. Julia is an affiliate of the Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University and works on projects around farmers markets, farm to institution purchasing, and food systems education. She also serves as a member of the Michigan Farm to Institution Network Outreach Subcommittee. Julia is proud to be part of the Leadership and Community Engagement team delivering programs on Facilitative Leadership. 

James DeDecker is an Agriculture Educator with MSU Extension, based in Presque Isle County and responsible for field crop outreach across eleven counties in Northeast Lower Michigan. Since joining MSU Extension in 2012, he has drawn on his background in crop production, integrated pest management and the human dimensions of natural systems to serve Michigan producers and agribusiness through partnership building, on-farm research and educational programming.

Julie Doll is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for MSU‘s Kellogg Biological Station Long-term Ecological Research program which focuses on the ecology of field crop agriculture in the Midwest.

Barbara Duvall is the Senior Extension Educator and is involved in 4-H career exploration and workforce preparation.

Deanna East is the Associate Leader for the Health and Nutrition Institute at MSU Extension. She has also served as the MSU Extension Flint Response Effort Coordinator. Prior to her current position she served in the role of District Coordinator, County Extension Director, SNAP-Ed Supervisor and Parenting Educator. She has been employed with MSU Extension since 2003. She has a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Guidance and Development from Central Michigan University and is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University. In her role as Flint Response Coordinator she has been instrumental in coordinating efforts between researchers, faculty, partners and educators.

Cheryl Eschbach is an Evaluation Specialist with MSU Extension. Her efforts are part of the Organizational Development team under the Director’s office and she works with faculty/staff across all programming areas (agriculture, community development, youth development, health and nutrition). She was formerly a County Extension Director and Educator. Before employment with MSU, Cheryl was on faculty at Oregon State University as an Extension Evaluation Specialist on grant-funded programs. Current scholarship project areas that Cheryl serves as program evaluator include: climate change and sustainable agriculture; new farmer leadership; youth place-based learning; and geriatric education with healthcare professionals.

Kristi Evans is a Supervising Educator in MSU Extensions Health and Nutrition Institute. Her current role is supervising her amazing staff as they implement EFNEP and SNAP-Ed nutrition and physical activity education programs to the residents of Detroit and surrounding cities. She is also the NPA Physical Activity Committee Lead focusing on enhancing the implementation of physical activity throughout the EFNEP and SNAP-Ed programs. To this role she brings 14 years of coaching youth soccer, including 5 years of coaching Collegiate Women’s Soccer. Along with the knowledge she gained from her Bachelors in Wellness, Health Promotion and Injury Prevention with a focus in Exercise Science from Oakland University and a Masters in Kinesiology and Sports Management from East Tennessee State University.

Ted Ferris is a professor in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University. Ted focuses on providing educational programs for producers and agribusiness professionals on dairy management; including use of herd management information, human resource management, and biosecurity. His current projects include developing materials to assist producers as they assess and enhance farm level biosecurity. Ted works with Extension educators and industry to connect the public with modern food production. His current projects include developing a database of biosecurity practices used by progressive Michigan dairy and beef producers, determining factors that impede development of farm gate biosecurity (visitor) protocols on Michigan dairy and beef farms, assessing issues and opportunities facing Michigan’s dairy industry, and evaluating the impact of “Breakfast on the Farm” events as a way to inform, education, and connect the public to food production and to better understand public impressions of dairy farms. Ted earned his Ph.D. and Masters of Science from Michigan State University and his Bachelors of Science from Pennsylvania State University.

LaVendee Fulton is a certified Michigan teacher consultant and licensed clinical social worker. While she’s worked for 20+ years with young adults in academic, volunteer and clinical settings; she is regularly, humbly, and gratefully “schooled” by young people who make her laugh and keep her informed.

Imelda Galdamez is an Educator with MSU Extension. In her role she plans, organizes, implements and evaluates nutrition related to educational programs.

Christine Geith is CEO to the eXtension Foundation, serving the U.S. Cooperative Extension System with digital strategies for a more visible and measurable public impact. The former assistant provost and executive director of MSU Global at Michigan State University, Dr. Geith brings 25 years of leadership experience creating entrepreneurial, technology-based ventures at both a technical regional university, Rochester Institute of Technology, and a top-ranked land-grant university, Michigan State University. She provides leadership for innovative digital strategies for programs, research, Extension, outreach and corporate engagement.

Robert Goodwin is a GIS and Remote Sensing Analyst in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences at MSU.

Rebecca Grumet is a Professor in the Department of Horticulture at MSU. In 1978, Rebecca graduated from Cornell University with her Bachelor of Science degree. Two years later, she graduated from MSU with her Master of Science degree and later her Ph. D in 1985. Following her time at MSU, Rebecca attended a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Duke University from 1985 to 1987. Rebecca has been a member of the department since 1987, with her main focuses as research and teaching. Her areas of expertise include reproductive development in Cucumis, regulation of sex-expression, disease resistance and biotechnology biosafety.

Bruce Haas is a Reporting Coordinator and Evaluation Specialist with MSU Extension. Areas of evaluation in the past have varied and have involved Extension and non-Extension partners that include: 4-H life skill development, evaluation competencies, health and nutrition, runaway and homeless youth, after school programming, juvenile justice programs, support groups for parents of young children, counseling programs, and pregnant and parenting teens. His efforts during the past seventeen years are part of the Organizational Development team under the Director’s office and he works with faculty/staff across all programming areas (agriculture, community development, youth development, health and nutrition). In addition, Bruce is responsible for developing and maintaining the organization’s information system that documents priorities, impacts and lessons learned. 

Jane Hart is a Food Safety Extension Educator with Extension for 15 and a half years. Previously, Jane worked in SNAP Management in the Central and Southwest Regions before moving to Muskegon to work in District 5. Currently, Jane provides Districts 5 and 7 with food safety expertise.

Sheilah Hebert is an Associate Program Leader with MSU Extension. She focuses on programs improving nutrition and physical activity for healthy youth.

Rebecca Hulbert leads the Agriculture and Natural Resources team of editors, graphic designers and multimedia producers. She has been managing and monitoring creative projects for MSU Extension for three years.

Adam Ingrao is a Post 9-11 Army veteran. He holds a BS in Agriculture and Environmental Plant Sciences from California Polytechnic State Univ. San Luis Obispo and is a 3rd year PhD student and National Science Foundation Fellow in the Department of Entomology at MSU. Adam is the co-founder of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan, co-founder and co-director of the Veterans in Ag Network, and serves as Vice President of Michigan Food and Farming System’s Board of Directors. He has been a pioneer in Michigan with his work connecting military veterans with resources, education, and programming around farming. Adam and his wife, Lacey, own and operate Bee Wise Farms in Lansing where they produce honey bee products and offer mentorship programs for military combat veterans interested in beekeeping.

Gail Innis has worked for MSU Extension for 25 years. Currently, she is providing programming for the Children and Youth and Health and Nutrition Institutes in the areas of Academic Success and Social and Emotional Health.

Dave Ivan provides oversight to a team of more than 65 MSU Extension members who specialize in natural resources management, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and more. Ivan has over 15 years of progressive leadership experiences withMSU Extension. In addition to serving as GMI interim director, he also served as a regional director and Clinton County Extension director. Ivan has provided innovative Extension programming in economic development and is frequently sought as a guest speaker on community revitalization. He holds a bachelor’s and a doctorate from MSU as well as an MBA from Penn State University. 

Adam Kantrovich is a MSU Extension Regional Farm Management Educator who has worked with farms that are in distress.

Brian Klatt is the co-coordinator of the MSU Extension Climate Outreach Team along with Brad Neumann and is the director the Michigan Natural Features Inventory of MSU Extension. He has co-authored a Michigan Department of Natural Resources report assessing the vulnerability of more than 400 species of Michigan animals to climate change.

Adam Koivisto is the MSU Extension Administrative Services Manager. The Administrative Services group consists of the MSU Extension Business office, the MSU Extension Human Resources office, and the Event Services office. Adam started his career at MSU in 2000 and started at MSU Extension in 2015. Adam received a bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University in 1994 and a master’s degree in Business Administration from MSU in 2005.  

Lisa Laughamn is a counselor in the MSU Employee Assistance Program and also serves the University as an emotional wellness consultant. Lisa’s passion is teaching people the basic skills needed to contribute their best work while taking good care of themselves and creating a successful work life balance. Lisa teaches a class for MSU Faculty and Staff called Sustainable High Performance which helps employees life at the intersection of healthy and high performing. Lisa recently became a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator and presents shame resilience classes based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown and Dr. Kristin Neff.

Erin Lizotte is an IPM Educator with MSU Extension.

Tom Matt is a 17 and a half year veteran with IPF-Telecom systems with a Masters in Telecommunications & Information Management. Tom is also the author of four books and a radio personality with the Boomers Rock Radio Show, whose goal is help people focus on a holistic approach to wellness in all areas of their life. 

Terry McLean is an Extension Educator in the Greening Michigan Institute focusing on community food systems and has been with MSU Extension for 22 years. As Board Secretary for the edible flint urban agriculture initiative; local support for MI Food and Farming Systems’ Women in Agriculture Network in the Genesee Area; and the State Supervisor for the FoodCorps National Service Program in Michigan (a farm to school program), she organizes trainings, delivers presentations, writes grants and works on strategy implementation. She collaborates with MSU’s Center for Regional Food Systems on statewide farm to institution initiatives and serves on MI’s Good Food Charter Steering Committee. Terry received her bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University in horticulture in 1978 and worked in the commercial horticulture industry for 17 years. Terry’s efforts during the Flint water crisis has helped residents better understand the effects that lead has on the food that they grow and eat.

Steve Miller is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics at MSU.

Maria Millett is a Limited Licensed Social Worker with a professional background in Social Emotional Development, and Early Childhood Development. She has been with MSU Extension for four years, and has a variety of skills in working with individuals, families and groups in multicultural settings. As a practicing therapist, she is passionate about helping others improve communication skills, changing negative thinking patterns, and enhancing relationships all around.

Vicki Morrone has been an organic field crop and vegetable outreach specialist at Michigan State University since 2002. As a member of the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, she is the “go to” person to provide farmers and educators with assistance with all aspects of organic production, certification - even those just beginning to farm.  She came to this position with a variety of technical and research experience in organic and sustainable agriculture with an emphasis on integrated pest management, cover crop use, soil building, and compost use. She has served farmers across the globe, from Niger and Malawi in Africa to Central California, Pennsylvania and Michigan in the US. Vicki earned a Master of Science degree in Plant Pathology and Extension.

Cathy Newkirk started her career with MSU Extension in 1982. She is currently an Extension Educator in the Health and Nutrition Institute in Genesee County. Cathy provides chronic disease prevention and management programming, primarily focused on diabetes. Half of her time is spent in this programming, and in work related to disease prevention and management. The other half of her time is focused on Extension health research, in conjunction with the MSU College of Human Medicine. In that role she is responsible for connecting the college’s researchers with communities, helping to recruit community members for research projects, and assisting in disseminating research outcomes back to the community from which it came and beyond. Prior to her current role, Cathy has held a number of positions, including 4-H program assistant, agent and program leader; county Extension director; and SNAP-Ed regional coordinator. Cathy’s efforts pivotal to organizing the Genesee County staff and working with many community partners during the Flint water crisis.

Jeannie Nichols is a Senior MSU Extension educator with the Health and Nutrition Institute. She is a member of the HNI Food Safety work team. After being promoted to Step III and acquiring her Senior Extension Educator status Jeannie has represented HNI on the Step III Review Committee. She has worked for MSU Extension for 19 years.

Andy Northrop is an Extension Educator who specializes in tourism and government and public policy. Andy also has ten years of international development and work experience in New Zealand, South Korea, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Thailand.

Kristy Oosterhouse is the 4-H Program Coordinator for Eaton County. She also helps provide infromation regarding TechXcite: Discover Engineering Curriculum, LEGO Mindstorms NXT and EV3 Robotics and Science and Engineering Programming.

Jinnifer Ortquist is an MSU Extension Educator for Financial and Homeownership Education within GMI, and is based in Kent County. She is an active member of the FHE team and provides Michigan residents with unbiased, research based financial education. She has completed NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling certifications in Financial Capability, Pre Purchase, Post Purchase, HO Counseling and Foreclosure and Default Counseling and is a certified Homeownership Counseling from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). In addition, she has completed the University of Minnesota Extension Financial Educator Certificate program, has been a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) through the National Council on Family Relations since 2005, and is currently seeking the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Educators (AFCPE) Financial Coaching certification to become a financial coach. Jinnifer has a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Michigan University and a Master’s Degree from Oklahoma State University.

Alan Pilkenton is an Educational Media Coordinator with MSU Extension’s CYI (Children and Youth Institute). He is charged with enhancing the CYI program reach through the efficient use of technology. Alan collaborates with CYI educators and program coordinators to create online delivery of instruction, and distribute content through video and web media. He has over 20 years of experience as a K-12 educator and 5 years of experience in instructional design, faculty training, computer support and program development. Alan has received an Associate’s degree in Child Development from Lansing Community College, Bachelor’s degrees from Wayne State University in Child Psychology and MSU in Elementary Education. He also has been awarded a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Media and Technology from MSU.

Suzanne Pish is a MSU Extension HNI Educator who was raised on a dairy farm and has a backgroud in working in areas of metnal illness and stress.

Dionardo Pizaña is a diversity and personnel specialist for MSU Extension. Dionardo has direct experience meeting the needs and programming to underserved audiences.

Erin Powell is an Extension Educator in the Health and Nutrition institute focused on community nutrition education for limited resource audiences and has been with MSU Extension for 3 years. She supervises the SNAP-Ed and EFNEP programs in Genesee County and has statewide responsibilities related to social media, distance education, marketing, and policy, system, and environmental change initiatives. Erin is a registered dietitian and has two degrees in nutrition. Her bachelor’s degree is from Ohio State University and graduate degree is from Kent State University, where she also completed her dietetic internship. Erin’s efforts related to the Flint water emergency has included developing materials about nutrition and lead and working with community partners to organize events where residents can access this information.

Emily Proctor earned her degrees from the MSU in the School of Social Work. She is a citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and serves as a Tribal Extension Educator. Additionally Emily serves on the Greening Michigan Institute for Michigan Tribal Communities. As the Tribal Extension Educator her projects include the development and delivery of educational programs in the areas of Tribal Governance, Gerontology, Leadership, and Community Engagement in tribal communities.  She currently is a board member of the Michigan Indian Education Council. Emily has also worked as a Child Protective Services Worker and as an associate child welfare commissioner for her Tribal Nation.

Paul Putnam is the District 1 Coordinator, covering the central and western counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Putnam started his career with MSU Extension in 2014. Prior to that, he spent six years as community, natural resources and economic development educator with University of Wisconsin Extension. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University, and a Master’s degree from University of South Carolina

Luke Reese is an Associate Professor in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. He has supported MSU Extension technology in many roles for 30 years with most recent efforts supporting Adobe Connect and Zoom implementation for distance learning. He also supports the MSU Extension summer internship program which had 16 interns for 2016.  Additional departmental responsibilities include career counseling, liaison for the BAE Industry Advisory Board, co-instructor for Senior Design capstone courses, coordinator for the Technology Systems Management minor, webmaster, and coordinator for BAE study abroad programs.

Marian Reiter has provided graphic design services to MSU for more than 40 years. She expertly develops, plans, creates and produces institutional advancement, identity and educational materials for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, MSU Extension, and AgBioResearch.

Laurie Rivetto is an Educator with MSU Extension. She specializes in 4-H Career Exploration and Work Force Preparation Courses.

Dan Rossman was raised on a cash crop family farm in Montcalm County. He graduated from MichiganStateUniversity with a Bachelors of Science degree in Crops and Soil Science and a Masters degree in Education.Dan completed a 34 year career with Michigan State University Extension as field crops agricultural extension educator and retired in 2014. As an extension educator he was a member of the MSU Extension Field Crops team and is a counselor for the MSU Product Center.  Since 1995 he had been actively assisting organic farmers by conducting on farm research, organizing field days, facilitating workshops, and counseling individuals. He is now an organic farm inspector and an instructor for agricultural classes at Montcalm Community College. He also farms his family’s farm that has been certified organic since 2002. 

Marie Ruemenapp is an Extension Educator with a focus on Organizational Development. In 2015 Ruemenapp left the District 11 Coordinator role for a position on the MSU Extension organizational development team and to pursue her PhD. In her new role, she assists with staff professional development, Step II portfolio preparation training, new staff onboarding and the new staff mentoring program. Ruemenapp provides leadership for the district coordinator internship program and is chairing the committee working on the statewide programmatic issue identification needs assessment for MSU Extension and AgBioResearch.

Jeannine Schweihofer is the Meat Quality Extension Educator and is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University.  She works with livestock producers and meat processors throughout the state to enhance meat quality and safety.  Schweihofer has developed resources related to direct marketing meat and poultry; coordinates HACCP two-day certification seminars; and conducts other programming and research related to the production of beef, pork, lamb, and poultry. 

Eric Scorsone is the director of the MSU Extension Center for Local Government, Finance and Policy. Dr. Scorsone is anMSU Extension specialist, and a professor of economics in the Department of Agricultural, Food, And Resource Economics. He worked as senior economist at the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency in 2010 and returned to Michigan State University in 2011. He also worked at MSU from 2005 to 2010. Prior to working at MSU in 2005, Dr. Scorsone developed award-winning Extension programs as an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky in the areas of rural health economics and economic development. He also served as an Economist for the Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budget and as a Senior Economist for the City of Aurora, Colorado. 

Matt Shane has provided leadership as the District Coordinator in District 12 since 2010. Prior to that he served as the Lenawee County Extension Director and Southeast Michigan livestock Extension Educator.  He has worked for MSU Extension for 19 years.

Gwyn Shelle is an Instructional Technology Specialist and her role is to provide leadership in developing effective technology enhanced learning experiences for MSU Extension programs. She has more than 15 years of experience in higher education focusing on instructional design, creative online technologies, program evaluation, organizational development, faculty training, and project management. Gwyn received her Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Communications and her Master’s Degree in Agriculture and Extension Education from MSU.

George Silva is a Senior Educator for MSU Extension. He focuses on environmental quality, agriculture and farm management. 

Christine Skelly has been the adult equine extension faculty member of MSU’s Department of Animal Science since 1995. In 2007, she cofounded My Horse University, an award winning online horse management educational program.  In addition, Christine is the Animal Science liaison for the Applied Horse Science program in the Institute of Agricultural Technology that partners with Michigan community colleges to offer off-campus MSU courses.

Ann Smith is an Extension Specialist for MSU Extension helping manage the contracts and grants process.

Renee Stacer has been with MSU Extension since 2010 working as a Family Nutrition Program Instructor and Statewide Cooking Matters Coordinator.

Beth Stuever leads the communication and marketing team for MSU Extension. Her 25-year career in communications includes stints with public relations agencies, a contributing editor to the state’s leading farm publication and running a successful freelance business. She joined MSU in 2005 as a contractor on a special project and has been with MSU Extension since 2007.

Sienna Suszek is a Children and Youth Institute Extension Educator in Alpena County for MSU Extension. 

Mindy Tape is a communication manager for MSU Extension Communications. She works predominantly with GMI and AABI educators, helping them promote and market their programs via the MSU Extension website, social media and traditional media.

Suzanne Teghtmeyer is the agriculture, plant sciences, and agricultural economics librarian for the MSU Libraries. She earned her B.S. in forestry and minor in agronomy in 1993 and her M.S. in librarianship in 1997, and has been with MSU since 2007. She’s a member of AgNIC, USAIN, CBHL and EBHL, organizations that specialize in agricultural, botanical and forestry research and information services. Suzi is also an active member of the MSU reference team and she teaches the citation management system Mendeley.

Holly Tiret has worked for MSU Extension for 15 years. Currently, Holly is providing programming for the Health and Nutrition Institute in the areas of Health Extension Research and Social and Emotional Health.

Dylan Thomas is a Post 9-11 veteran who served 8 years of active duty Army with multiple deployments. He and his wife, Abbi, own and operate Two Pines Farm with the help of their three daughters. They raise pure bred, pastured Berkshire hogs, and pastured chickens. Dylan is the co-founder of Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan, the co-founder and co-director of the Veterans in Ag Network, and serves on the Board of Michigan Food and Farming Systems. Dylan advocates for opportunities for veterans in agriculture throughout the US and mentors veterans in pastured livestock production.

Collin Thompson is a Program Instructor with MSU Extension. In addition to his role as an instructor, Collin is also a Farm Manager for the Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center and North Farm. He has been involved in small-scale diversified agriculture as a farmer, builder, educator, researcher, volunteer and consultant. He has worked on farms around the world, most recently serving as part of the management team of a four-season organic vegetable farm in northeast Iowa. In addition to his growing experience, Collin has worked with a high-tunnel manufacturing company that offers season extension technologies and systems, as well as services that support four-season growing. His experiences have provided him with a global perspective and a local approach when it comes to sustainable food production. 

Erica Tobe is an Extension Specialist (70% FTE - MSU Extension) and fixed term Assistant Professor (30% FTE - Human Development Family Studies) for MSU. Her primary programming responsiblities include research and curriculum development support for the Greening Michigan Institute and the Financial and Home Ownership Education team. Current research and curriculum development interests focus on family financial health and wellbeing across the lifespan, including research focused on family finance and housing/foreclosure prevention programming. Prior to this position, Erica served as an Educator and Program Leader for financial education with MSU Extension for 12 years. She is the past national youth financial education liaison to the credit union movement on behalf of USDA Cooperative Extension. She is a current member of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Educators (AFCPE). In addition, she is an active member of the eXtension Community of Practice for Financial Security for All. Erica’s current teaching responsibilities within the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at MSU include: HDFS 238 - Personal Finance. She has been involved in teaching this course since the Fall of 2011.

Lisa Treiber has been with MSU Extension since October 1998. Her first role was in Midland County as a Home Economist, responsible for county-wide presentations on nutrition, budgeting, food safety and food preservation. In 2004, Lisa assumed her role as Supervising Extension Education/Food Safety in Midland, Bay and Genesee Counties overseeing nutrition staff and the delivery of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP- Ed) and EFNEP both USDA funded programs.In her current role, Lisa is a Food Safety Extension Educator housed in Midland, Bay, Saginaw, Genesee, Shiawassee Clare and Gladwin Counties. Her primary focus is Food Safety and Food Preservation programs. Lisa has a Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition from Central Michigan University.

Sherry Van Kampen is a Human Resource Professional with 32 years of service at MSU specializing in the area of Retirement.

Eric Walcott is a State Specialist with MSU Extension’s Government and Public Policy programs. He works with faculty on campus and Educators throughout the State to develop and implement educational programs related to state and local government. Eric’s work focuses primarily on good governance, civic engagement, and fiscal sustainability, seeking to build capacity of state and local government officials as well as educate Michigan residents on issues related to state and local government and encourage their informed participation. Eric previously worked in the Michigan House of Representatives, and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Michigan State University.

Jennifer Weichel serves as the Volunteer Specialist for MSU Extension and provides leadership for the Volunteer Selection Process.  She also serves as a one of the facilitators for the Achieving the Extension Mission Through Volunteers on line class offered by the North Central Region Volunteer Specialists.

Bonnie Wichtner-Zoia is an Extension Educator who creates and delivers educationl programming regarding sustainable and niche tourism. She designs workshops, partners with community leaders, provides facilitation services for strategic planning and conflict resolution and coordinates with a variety of teams and community development projects. Previously, Bonnie was a County Extension Director, Director of the Ogemaw County Economic Development Board, Field Co-Chair of Sustaining Community Prosperity Work Team, Leader of the Leadership and Community Engagement work team, Chair of the Community Development Area of Expertise Team and Coordinating Member of Lead-Net. In the past Bonnie has presented and continues to present at a variety of state and national conferences about building community capacity. Bonnie received her Masters in Science in Agriculture and Extension from MSU and her Bachelors of Science in Public Administration and Environmental Science from Western Michigan University.

Jamie Wilson is a communications manager with MSU Extension Communications where she facilitates and manages the communication and marketing needs for 4-H Youth Development and MSU Extension early childhood education staff. She has a Bachelors of Science degree from MSU in Family Community Services and more than seven years of experience in the communications field, previously working with an agricultural commodity organization and the State of Michigan’s lead agency on service and volunteerism.