The NUEL steering committee is composed of 17 people including three representatives from each of ECOP’s five regions, one from ECOP and one from NIFA. The steering committee provides overall direction and assumes an active role in decision-making. The idea is to maintain a balanced representation from each region and to retain institutional knowledge. Steering committee members serve a two year term. The steering committee meets on a monthly basis via conference calls.
North Central Region
Nicole Debose, The Ohio State University, Regional Caucus Leader
County Extension Director, Cuyahoga County Extension
12200 Fairhill Road, Cleveland, OH 44120
Ph: 216-429-8200 x225
As County Director in Cleveland, Ohio, Nicole shares her experience in strategic planning, program development, project management, fundraising, and cultural competency while promoting the strengthening of families and communities, the enhancement of urban agriculture systems and the expansion of local business opportunities. She provides support to 26 staff, including Educators, Program Staff and Interns. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning, Design and Development, a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management, and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration with a concentration in Informatics.
Dr. Durriyyah Kemp, Acting County Director and Extension Educator, SEL
University of Illinois Extension
2205 Enterprise Drive, Suite 501, Westchester, IL 60154
Dr. Durriyyah Kemp serves as the acting director for Cook County with the University of Illinois Extension. Additionally, she provides vision and leadership for social and emotional learning, investing in school staff, parents, students, community leaders, and organizations. In this role, she works closely with the School of Social Work faculty to focus on integrating social and emotional learning and equitable practices in K-12 and post-secondary classrooms. Kemp also provides training in emotional intelligence, staff development, cultural competency, and leadership, creating the foundation for systems change in multiple areas. She earned two social science degrees from Michigan State University and a doctorate in higher education & organizational change from Benedictine University. Kemp joined the University of Illinois staff in 2006.
Marie A. Ruemenapp, Ph.D, Michigan State University, NUEL Chair
Extension Outreach Specialist & Co-Director Urban Collaborators
Michigan State University Extension & School of Planning, Design and Construction
Human Ecology Building, 552 W. Circle Dr., Room 112, East Lansing, MI 48824
Ph: 517-355-3378(office) 989-284-6443(cell)
Marie A. Ruemenapp is an Extension outreach specialist and the co-director of the Urban Collaborators in the School of Planning, Design and Construction at Michigan State University. She is one of the founding members of NUEL and is recognized nationally as an expert in Extension’s urban work. Ruemenapp has over 30 years of community-based Extension experience with Michigan State University in program planning and evaluation; employee recruitment, hiring, training and supervision; fiscal and grant management; partnership building; and organizational leadership. She has led numerous local, regional, statewide and national Extension initiatives. Ruemenapp has provided effective leadership and supervision to multiple, large teams of diverse staff across broad geographic areas. She has a broad set of experiences working and networking with a broad variety of people and organizations effectively, including community and political leaders, as well as campus-based administrators, faculty and staff. Ruemenapp holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural and Natural Resources Communications, a Master’s degree in Family and Child Ecology Community Services with a minor in community development, and a Doctorate in Planning, Design and Construction with an emphasis in Urban and Regional Planning, all from Michigan State University.
Nathan Shoaf, Assistant Program Leader and Urban Agriculture Coordinator
Purdue University Cooperative Extension Services
615 W. State Street, #228, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2053
Ph: (765) 496-3225
Nathan Shoaf is the Urban Agriculture Coordinator for Purdue Extension. His work focuses on enhancing the professional growth of Extension staff working in urban areas through involvement in coordinating resources between urban Extension personnel and community partners throughout Indiana. He facilitates statewide meetings and training events related to urban agriculture with an emphasis on professional development and enhancing networking opportunities between all participants. He also routinely coordinates and engage with farmers, Extension personnel, community partners and environmental professionals working in urban areas nationally throughout the United States. As a Steering Committee member for NUEL’s North Central Region, Nathan plans to coordinate professional development and networking opportunities at a regional level with other NUEL members. He holds a M.S. in Ecological Sciences and Engineering from Purdue University with a focus on horticulture and soil microbial ecology. He has 20 years of experience working with stakeholders in community gardens, specialty farm production and remediation projects throughout the United States.
Manami Brown, University of Maryland, Regional Caucus Leader
City Extension Director, Baltimore City Extension
6615 Reisterstown Road, Suite 201, Baltimore, MD 21215
Manami Brown began her University of Maryland, Baltimore City Extension career as a 4-H Youth Development educator in 1998. Ms. Brown was appointed as the City Extension Director in 2007 where she manages a diverse group of faculty, staff and volunteers. Under her leadership the Extension’s multifaceted community focused programming meets the interests and needs of residents in the Baltimore Region and the state of Maryland. The program’s goal is to increase all of its participant’s social, human, and financial management skills in order to support future personal, educational and career success. As a tenured 4-H educator, Ms. Brown has received multiple awards. She also serves as a contributing author of the “Be the E: Entrepreneurship” curriculum from the National 4-H curriculum library. She has been a leader in integrating the practices of youth development with those of community development through research-based programs in the City of Baltimore and Dakar, Senegal, West Africa in the areas of entrepreneurship, workforce readiness, environmental science, and service-learning. Ms. Brown holds a BSW from Morgan State University and a M.Ed. from Johns Hopkins University.
Richard Alomar, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Executive Committee Secretary
Richard Alomar is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Rutgers Department of Landscape Architecture, Director of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Office of Urban Extension and Engagement, Core Faculty member of the Rutgers Global Health Institute and a registered landscape architect. He has an undergraduate degree in Agronomy from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and an MLA from Louisiana State University. Before joining the Rutgers he was an Associate at Stantec Planning and Landscape Architecture and Senior Associate at di Domenico + Partners.
His professional and academic work focus on public projects that address food security, individual and community health, resource stewardship, urban agriculture and food chains, environmental planning and design and other concerns facing urban communities.
Carol Parker, Cornell University, National Urban Extension Conference Action Team Chair
Program Leader, Cornell Cooperative Extension – NYC
40 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016
As a Program Leader for Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC, Carol provides leadership to the Nutrition and Health Program Area in NYC. The position involves long term strategic planning, program management, fund development, program development, evaluation, coordination of several nutrition and health programs for limited resource families (EFNEP and Farmers Market Nutrition Education program) and coordination of special projects in collaboration with community-based organizations. Carol works closely with the program and administrative leadership and Cornell University faculty to develop and implement many large scale community based nutrition programs, develop nutrition education training programs, conduct training for both paraprofessional and professional nutrition and health educators, both within and outside the organization. She conducts presentations of community nutrition education best practices and research findings at professional conferences locally and nationally. Additionally, she acts as liaison to the NYS EFNEP as well as other programs that address the needs of low- income residents in NYS. She is the current chair for the National Urban Extension Conference Action Team 2018-20.
Michael Di Pasquale, AIA + AICP, Northeast Region Network Chair
Extension Associate Professor,
University of Massachusetts Amherst
A registered architect and certified urban planner Michael, along with local residents, has created several dynamic outreach initiatives in Springfield, Massachusetts. These include a local art and creative hub, “Make-It Springfield” and the “UMass Design Center in Springfield”, a university-community learning space. He has extensive experience in sustainable community development, with a focus on midsized “Legacy Cities”, the country’s once great manufacturing centers.
At UMass, Michael currently teaches “Research Issues in Sustainable Community Development” in the fall, and in the spring he teaches “Dynamics of Human Habitation”. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative (CPTC), an outreach program of UMass Extension that provides learning programs for members of Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeal statewide. He serves as co-chair of the UMass Extension Diversity Committee.
Jeffery Young, University of Kentucky, Southern Region Network Chair
Dr. Jeff Young serves as the Director for Urban Extension at the University of Kentucky, Cooperative Extension Service. He has over 30 years’ experience in Extension work in Kentucky, starting as a 4-H Youth Development Agent, District Director in Kentucky’s most populous and fastest-growing region.
As District Extension Director, he served as a liaison with local governments in fifteen Kentucky counties and administrator of over 80 county agents, included evaluating their scholarly & programmatic work and assisting them in meeting career ladder criteria for the promotion. Dr. Young also served as Director for County Operations, providing leadership in all areas to district directors, human resources, and program and staff development.
He currently serves as Director for Urban Extension, where he supports agents and others serving urban communities through professional development and coaching of the Urban Extension Institute Leadership Fellows Program, ESP LEADS Leadership program and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership program. He is also an Assistant Professor with the Online Science Technology and Outreach online Master’s degree program at the University of Kentucky.Jeff holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky and a Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Louisville. He is a 2019 graduate of the Food Systems Leadership Institute and North Central Region Administrative Boot Camp.
Brenda Rogers, University of Florida, Professional Development Action Team Chair
Southwest District Extension Director, University of Florida IFAS Extension – Plant City Campus
1200 North Park Road Plant City, Florida 33563-1540
Brenda G. Rogers, M.S. serves as the District Extension Director for the Southwest District of Florida Cooperative Extension Service. The district including the Tampa Bay Area, counties along the coast from New Port Richey to Naples and interior counties along Florida’s ridge. Professional experiences include serving as Family & Consumer Sciences Agent and later County Extension Director in Manatee County. Brenda left Extension for a few years to serve as the Community Services Director in Manatee County Government. During that time, Extension was one of the Divisions of her department. Others included Probation, Human Services, Veteran Services, Children’s Services, and for a short period Transit. In 2016, she returned to Florida Extension as a District Extension Director. Her Dean appointed as the UF Urban Extension Liaison with NUEL. She is currently, one of three Southern Region representatives on the NUEL Steering Committee and has served as the NUEL Professional Development Action Team Chair since 2017. Brenda holds a Bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina and a Master’s Degree from The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Katherine R. Williams, North Carolina State University, Executive Committee Vice Chair
Wake County Extension Director, North Carolina State University Extension
4001-E Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610
Katherine R. Williams has spent 25 years working with NC Cooperative Extension and with Wake County Government. Ms. Williams is a native North Carolinian. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Masters in Extension Education both from North Carolina State University. Katherine spent 17 years as Program Manager of a diverse 4-H program that integrates prevention and educational efforts within school, community, and neighborhood settings and leveraged more than $ 1.2 million dollars annually to support positive youth development throughout the County. Professionally, she has pioneered strategic urban partnerships, community youth development and organizational change. In her role as Extension Agent, Katherine served for five years as the Manager for Wake’s Human Capital Development campaign mobilizing public and community-based resources in support of human development opportunities for low wealth families and collective impact models that track consumer results. In 2013, she was named Wake County Extension Director. Katherine served for 6 years as the Chair of the Youth Thrive K-12 Collective Impact Initiative in Wake County; and is currently helping to lead Regional Food System development efforts in the Triangle and Social & Economic Vitality Initiatives in vulnerable areas. Katherine has served on the Steering Committee for the National Urban Extension Leaders since 2015. She is married and has two beautiful daughters.
Edward C. Martin, University of Arizona, Regional Caucus Chair
Maricopa County Extension Director
Professor/Extension Specialist, Dept. of Biosystems Engineering
4341 E. Broadway Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85044
Dr. Ed Martin is the County Extension Director for University of Arizona, Maricopa County Cooperative Extension. He is the chief administrator for the office of almost 80 employees who bring science-based research to help solve real life problems to improve people’s lives, communities and the economy in Maricopa County and beyond. Dr. Martin is also an Extension Irrigation Specialist and Professor in the Biosystems Engineering Department at Arizona. Originally from Michigan, he received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. From 2007 – 2012, he served as the Associate Director for Extension for the Agriculture and Natural Resource programs at the University of Arizona. In 2012, he was asked to serve as interim director for Maricopa County Cooperative Extension and in 2013, named County Extension Director.
Sabrina Drill, University of California Cooperative Extension, Partnership Action Team Chair
Natural Resources Advisor
University of California Cooperative Extension – Los Angeles and Ventura Counties
700 W. Main Street Alhambra, CA 91801
Sabrina Drill is the Natural Resources Advisor for UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties in Southern California. She helps agencies, organizations, and communities get the scientific information they need to restore urban streams and habitats, manage invasive species, prepare for and recover from wildfires, and use urban nature to increase resilience to extreme weather and climate change. She works to connect communities to nature, especially underserved BIPOC communities, through training for community members to become environmental stewards and leaders in managing the nature around them, as well as promoting equality and justice in outdoor access. She supports citizen and community science to help better document urban nature. In addition to NUEL, she is on the first steering committee for the National Extension Climate Initiative. She has a Ph.D. in Geography and a M.S. in Biology, both from UCLA, a B.S. in Biology from Virginia Tech, and an A.A. in Natural Science from Simon’s Rock of Bard College.
Eric Killian, University of Nevada, Executive Committee – Action Team Liaison
Southern Area Director
University of Nevada Extension
8050 Paradise Rd. Ste 110 Las Vegas, Nevada 89123-1904
Eric is the University of Nevada, Reno Extension Southern Area Director. He oversees the daily activities for Clark, Lincoln, and Southern Nye Counties. In this role, he provides leadership to over 110 faculty and staff in three counties, 8 offices and a multi-million dollar budget.
Over his 24 year multi-faceted extension career, Killian has demonstrated outstanding leadership in a wide variety of extension topics and programming. Nationally, he is well known and widely respected among extension professionals for his varied and numerous national taskforce and committee involvement. Killian has held leadership positions and key roles with most of the national Children, Youth, and Family Extension initiatives of the past 20 years, including Youth-at-Risk programming, CYFAR, 4-H Afterschool, Extension Cares and Military Partnerships. His contributions to extension programming and his involvement in several national initiatives have helped shape the direction, focus, and sustainability of these programs nationwide.
Courtney Owens, Kentucky State, Network Chair
Cooperative Extension Building Suite 228
105 University Drive
Frankfort, KY 40601
Dr. Courtney Owens serves as the Interim Associate Extension Administrator at Kentucky State University, a minority-serving land-grant university that strengthens underserved communities, families, farmers, individuals, and youth. Dr. Owens is responsible for the day-to-day leadership and management of the University’s Cooperative Extension Program and all Educational Outreach in the College of Agriculture, Communities, and the Sciences.
Dr. Owens has worked with organizations to mold programs that serve minority populations to better address their future needs. Dr. Owens has significant experience in working with underrepresented populations and his research has developed practical approaches that eliminate barriers to reaching diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Dr. Owens has served on the Board of Directors for Extension Foundation since 2017 for the 1890 Region, and currently serves as the vice-chair and secretary of Extension Foundation helping Cooperative Extension professionals create a broader impact at their local levels. Dr. Owens was nominated to serve as the secretary of the Association of Extension Administrators, which provides leadership for the 1890 Cooperative Extension System, which focuses on diverse and underrepresented audiences.
Dr. Owens is a native of North Carolina, and attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and received his Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Science and professional service in agricultural education. Dr. Owens received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in agricultural education and communication with a specialization in Extension education. He also received a certificate in leadership in agriculture and natural resources from the University of Florida and completed the 14th class of LEAD21, a leadership development program for the Land-grant system.
Boyd Owens, South Carolina State, National Urban Extension Conference Action Team
Boyd W. Owens III is the Senior Director for 1890 Extension Program and also a Program Team Leader for South Carolina State University. Mr. Owens is performance driven, consistent, enthusiastic, and a highly talented professional accomplished in the advancement and development of professional organizations by contributing expertise, and executing leadership to increase productivity. In December 2000, he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, South Carolina. He continued his education and obtained a Master of Arts Degree in Management from Webster University, Columbia, South Carolina in May 2005.
Anthony Tuggle, Tennessee State University
Rutherford County Extension Director, Tennessee State University and University of Tennessee
315 John R Rice Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Anthony Tuggle began work for the Rutherford County Extension Service in 1995 working as a 4-H/Agricultural Agent. Anthony came to Tennessee Extension after graduating from Alcorn State University with a BS in Agriculture Economics and a MS in Animal Science. He has worked for UT/TSU Extension for 27 years. He has served as County Extension Director for 13 years becoming the first TSU paid employee hired to oversee both UT and TSU programs as county director. As County Director, he is responsible for the day to day operations of the office.
Jason Henderson, Purdue University, ECOP Representative
Associate Dean and Director, Purdue Extension
615 W. State Street West Lafayette, IN 47907-2053
A nationally recognized expert in agricultural and rural issues, Jason R. Henderson is the Senior Associate Dean in the Purdue University College of Agriculture and Director of Purdue Extension. In this role, he leads statewide public engagement and research-based education in 4-H Youth Development, Agricultural and Natural Resources, Community Development, and Health and Human Sciences. As Purdue’s Assistant Vice President for Engagement, he provides leadership in university-wide initiatives that connect Purdue expertise and resources to statewide needs and helps form effective partnerships to grow Indiana’s economy and improve quality of life for its residents.
Jason previously served as Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. While serving as the Bank’s regional economist and Nebraska representative, he also led Federal Reserve efforts to track agricultural and rural economies, including the Tenth District Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions and the Federal Reserve System’s Agricultural Finance Databook. He also managed the Main Street Economist, a bimonthly publication covering economic issues affecting rural areas, and has published more than 60 agricultural economics research articles in academic and Federal Reserve publications on such topics as land values, entrepreneurship, electronic commerce in agriculture, demographics, and many more. He holds masters and doctorate degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Central College in Pella, Iowa.
Brent D. Hales, Extension Committee on Organization and Policy Representative
Ph.D. Associate Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Director of Penn State Extension
323 Agricultural Sciences Building
University Park, PA 16802
Brent Hales serves as an Associate Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Director of Penn State Extension. He received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree in sociology from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Ph.D. in rural sociology from Iowa State University. Dr. Hales previously served as the Senior Associate Dean and Chief Financial Officer of the University of Minnesota Extension. His primary area of research is holistic community and economic development and entrepreneurship. He is the founder the Southern Entrepreneurship Program, which teaches entrepreneurship skills to high school and community college students, and to displaced workers throughout the U.S. and across the globe. He is also a past president of the Community Development Society. He is the father of 6 children and has been married to his best friend Candy for almost 30 years.