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
216-429-8200 x225 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Marie A. Ruemenapp, Michigan State University, NUEL Chair
Marie A. Ruemenapp is an academic 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Anthony Tuggle began work for the Rutherford County Extension Service in 1995 working as a 4-H/Agricultural agent with 50/50% responsibility. 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 TSU Extension for 22 years. He has served as County Extension Director for 10 years becoming the first TSU pay rolled 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. Anthony grew up in Coffeeville, MS (Yalobusha County) where he was involved in FFA and Sports.
Jason Henderson, Purdue University, ECOP Representative
Associate Dean and Director, Purdue Extension
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.