Urban Extension Conference Connects People and Programs

AMES, Iowa — The 2011 National Urban Extension Conference will explore how extension professionals in urban and suburban communities can connect people with programs. Iowa State University will be hosting the bi-annual conference May 2-5 at the Marriott of Des Moines, in Des Moines, Iowa.

“The New Extension Commons: Connecting People and Programs,” the theme of the conference, will focus on the unique needs of urban and suburban communities across the nation and how extension professionals can meet these needs. The conference will help extension staff from across the nation discover and explore cutting-edge programming and urban policies and trends that impact the communities where extension offices are located.

“The 2011 conference is shaping up to be an exciting opportunity for extension professionals to learn more about serving urban markets and truly making an impact there,” said Frank Owens, ISU Extension community development specialist and conference committee member. “The schedule offers an excellent combination of speakers, breakout sessions and chances to discuss the unique problems faced by extension in these markets.”

Highlights of the four-day conference schedule include nationally recognized keynote speakers, urban success stories and sessions featuring leading extension professionals, urban cultural immersions and networking. There will also be opportunities to explore activities and events in Des Moines.

Featured speakers include:

  • Donna M. Beegle, Ed.D. —highly experienced national public speaker, discussion leader, trainer and the author of “See Poverty, Be The Difference.”
  • Juana Bordas — president of Mestiza Leadership International, a company that focuses on leadership, diversity and organizational change.
  • Dorothy McCargo Freeman — state 4-H program leader and assistant director for the Center for 4-H Youth Development, University of Minnesota.
  • Luis F. Rico-Gutierrez — dean of the Iowa State University College of Design.
  • Maureen H. McDonough — professor and extension specialist in the Department of Forestry at Michigan State University, with adjunct appointments in the Department of Sociology and the Michigan State Museum.
  • James D. Oliver — associate chancellor and assistant dean / regional director for the University of Illinois.
  • Chad Ripberger — county 4-H agent and county extension department head for Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Mercer County in Trenton, N.J.

“We have a great lineup of knowledgeable, respected professionals that will give attendees valuable insight into the landscape of urban extension,” Owens said. “This year’s conference is definitely not to be missed.”

Registration is now open and interested participants can register and check out a full schedule at the conference website: www.urbanextensionconference.org.

About the conference
The bi-annual National Urban Extension Conference is focused on extension staff from across the nation discovering and exploring cutting-edge programming and urban policies and trends that impact the communities where extension offices are located. The conference attracts extension professionals from all aspects of extension and the university system. For more information, visit www.urbanextensionconference.org.