In my first venture in full-time employment, I learned I didn’t care to earn a living in the retail world. The lesson was learned while working for a North Carolina-based mass merchandise company. During my eight years there, I held several positions, ranging from point-of-sale trainer to order distribution manager. After that, I went back to school and, in 1992, received an EdD in Human Resource Development from Vanderbilt University. Later that year, I moved to Auburn and joined the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) as an extension specialist and coordinator of the visual resources unit. In 1999 I was named co-leader of Extension Communications, while continuing my earlier assignment. In 2007, I changed roles to become Extension’s lead person for disaster education, assume greater responsibility for Alabama’s role in eXtension, and collaborate on program and staff development. I have worked in program design and development, instructional methods and materials, adult development and team building, leadership development (communication skills, presentation skills, and conflict management), technology (distance education, videography, and still photography), and disaster education.
I became the Alabama representative to EDEN (Extension Disaster Education Network) in 2003. In 2006, I was elected to serve as secretary to the EDEN Executive Committee, and in 2007, assumed managerial/administrative responsibilities for the Disaster Issues Community of Practice—the EDEN-supported eXtension CoP. In 2010, I became EDEN Chair for a two-year term.
Throughout my tenure with Extension, I have conducted workshops on presentation skills, interpersonal communication skills, instructional design, learning styles, ethics in the workplace, and disaster preparedness. In addition, I wrote “Public Speaking,” a chapter in the Communicator’s Handbook, third and fourth editions. Extension publications include “Green Industry: Planning to Continue Business Following a Disaster,” “Ready Tip” and “Notes from Ground Level.” I am also responsible for the ACES EDEN site (www.aces.edu/eden).