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CSU in the City

Evolving from Program-Based Extension to Project-Based in Denver, Colorado – Hot Shots, Dream Teams and Setting a National Model by Reinventing Extension in Urban Areas
Thursday June 25, 2015 12-1pm PDT.


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.



Slides from the presentation (.PDF)

Presenter Bio

Rusty CollinsRusty Collins is the Director of the Denver County CSU Extension office and has worked for Extension for 6 years.  His office of 16 staff offer programming throughout Denver for Nutrition Education, 4-H Youth Development, Horticulture, Community Development and Urban Agriculture.  In his role as County Extension Director, Rusty is the liaison between Denver County and Colorado State University Extension. Rusty’s expertise is in Community Development, and his work includes facilitating meetings, convening community conversations about Wicked Problems, and working with groups to increase their capacity and multiply their impact.  Rusty has facilitated events and meetings for groups as diverse as the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council, the Colorado Bark Beetle Cooperative, My Denver Recreation, the Urban Waters Partnership, Denver Forestry and Natural Areas, the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council, the Local Food Think Tank and the South Platte Enhancement Board.  Rusty serves as an Ex-Officio member of the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council, a member of the Colorado Food Guild, and a member of the Steering Committee for the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council. Rusty earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Family and Consumer Sciences at Colorado State University.  He has over 25 years of experience having served as an Executive Director of both Neighbor to Neighbor, a private, nonprofit affordable housing organization, and the Bohemian Foundation, a $50 Million private, family-foundation.  Rusty also operated his own Real Estate Brokerage business in Fort Collins and served as an area Nonprofit Consultant for 5 years before moving to Denver 6 years ago. Rusty was the Fort Collins Citizen of the Year in 2002; he was appointed to serve on the Governor’s Council for Housing and the Homeless; he earned the Fort Collins “Pushing the Envelope Award” in 2004; he is an Honored KeyHolder for Neighbor to Neighbor; his nonprofit organization won the El Pomar Outstanding Colorado Nonprofit in 2004; he has raised over $25 Million for Colorado Charities; and Rusty recently was awarded the Visionary Leadership Award for Colorado Extension.