Director of the Denver County CSU Extension
Rusty Collins is the Denver County 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 (NUEL) 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.