Hear how CSU in the City (formerly Denver Extension) is transforming the landscape of Extension in Colorado and setting a national example. Learn about the deliberate shift from program-based Extension to project-based activities that will generate revenue to preserve core and traditional programming in Denver. Find out how the new Hot Shot model and assembling national Dream Teams to conduct applied research in Denver will take Extension to a new level! Rusty Collins has recently introduced a new branch of service at his Extension office in Denver that is Project-Based. He has assembled a team of Hot Shots from around the country at universities such as Colorado State, Washington State, Oregon State, Ohio State and the University of California. The Hot Shots are nationally recognized experts in their particular fields of research, and will be considered Affiliate or Adjunct Faculty with Colorado State University. CSU in the City will manage 3-6 projects per year. Each project will be no less than $15,000 and will likely average around $25K – $40k per project. Each project will have a Dream Team of Hot Shots assembled to conduct the research on a short-term basis, preferably 9-months or less. Research Faculty and Experts will be paid for their time and service to create timely work incentive. Stakeholders will be gathered in the beginning to ask them what questions they have and what do they want solved? Scopes of Service will be drafted and teams will be assembled. Work will be conducted and delivered in a prompt and concise manner. This model has already been launched and Rusty will highlight the first $25,000 project in Denver and why it works well for Extension.
Rusty Collins is the Denver County CSU Extension Director for Colorado State University. Rusty manages an urban office of 15 staff members who have catered their programming to the uniquely urban needs of the residents of Denver, CO. Rusty has created an office environment that is urban, diverse, inclusive, talented, engaged and is based on appreciation and recognition. Along with administration, Rusty’s area of expertise is Community Development where he enjoys public deliberation, managing Wicked Problems and facilitating meetings for stakeholders and local organizations.
Rusty is a co-founding Director for the Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research and is an active participant with the National Urban Extension Leaders network and NUEL’s Western Region Caucus. He has served as the most recent Western Region Vice President and National Marketing Committee Chair for Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP). He is co-responsible for launching ESP’s national Latino Affinity Group as a strategy to integrate ECOP’s Latino Advisory Committee uniquely into a national professional association.
Rusty has been chosen as a member of a team that will develop core professional development curriculum through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Initiative in partnership with Washington State University. He is a co-creator of the “Hot Shots Applied Research Model” that has been presented nationally over the last two years. He has conducted national presentations on Project-Based Extension, Wicked Problems, Public Deliberation, Ninja Communication and Facilitation 101 as well.
Rusty’s background includes obtaining a Bachelors and Master’s Degree(s) in Consumer Science at Colorado State University; Lecturing as CSU Faculty; Executive Director of a nonprofit organization; Executive Director of a $50 Million private family foundation; nonprofit consulting; real estate and business start-ups. He has been recognized as the Fort Collins, CO Citizen of the Year, awarded the El Pomar Foundation’s Outstanding Colorado Nonprofit, and received ESP’s Visionary Leadership Award.