Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Professional Development

A well-prepared professional workforce is key to the success of any Extension program, but personnel in urban areas require specialized support to deliver on the mission of the land-grant university while working at the interface of community and academia. Since its inception the WCMER has worked to advance the development of urban Extension professionals through a series of papers, workshops, webinars, and a systematic progression of fellowships exploring the ecosystem of urban Extension professional development at the local, institutional and system level.

This collective body of work can serve as a roadmap for addressing practices, policies, and trainings to support the urban Extension professional. We invite you to view the full list of WCMER publications here.

The Urban Landscape

The needs of urban Extension professionals are rooted in the unique challenges they face in complex, diverse and multi-jurisdictional metropolitan environments.

Urban Extension offices have a lower staffing ration relative to potential audiences compared to their rural colleagues. To have significant impact, this often requires a greater focus on policy, systems and environment change rather than direct service.

Transitioning away from long term programs to short term programs can provide greater flexibility to meet the emerging needs of urban stakeholders.

Professional Development Fellows

white woman with red hair and red lipstick smiling

Alyssa Bowers, MS

Alyssa Bowers began her WCMER fellowship while working for University of Florida IFAS Extension as the 4-H Youth Development Agent in Pinellas County. She is now an Assistant Professor of 4-H Youth Development with Washington State University and the King County Extension Director (which includes the City of Seattle).

Jeantyl Norze, Ph.D.

Past Fellow, July – December 2020 Jeantyl Norze, Ph.D. Research Fellow University of Nevada Reno (currently at University of Arkansas) Email: Dr. Jeantyl Norze is an Associate Professor for Organizational Accountability & Evaluation for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Research & Extension.

Ramona C. Madhosingh-Hector, MS

Ramona C. Madhosingh-Hector, M.S. Research Fellow University of Florida Phone: (727) 582-2656 Email: Ramona Madhosingh-Hector is a Regional Specialized Agent in Urban Sustainability for the University of Florida/IFAS Extension and serves the Southwest District.

Jody Norman, MS

Past Fellow Jody Norman, MS Research Fellow Colorado State University Phone: Email: Jody Norman is a sustainability writer and consultant with a passion toward the realization of cities as systemic regenerative frameworks that create, support,

Dayna Emmons headhsot

Dayna Emmons

Past Fellow Research Fellow Email: Dayna is an MPA candidate at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, focusing on policy analysis and program evaluation.  Previously, she had worked in the nonprofit sector.

Julie Fox Headshot

Julie M Fox, Ph.D.

Research Fellow, Professional Development Associate Professor; Associate Chair, Department of Extension; OSU Extension Urban Metro Program Leader and Central Regional Director Phone: (740) 289-2071 x 225 Email: As an Associate Professor with the Ohio State University.

Professional Development Projects, Events & Papers

Urban Professional Development Summit

Urban Professional Development Summit, the launch activity for applied research fellowship and Deep Dive, led by Dr. Julie Fox, tOSU ), was built upon the National Urban Extension framework and implementation plan.

Seattle skyline during sunset

The 2019 National Urban Extension Conference

Innovation in the City: A Land Grant University Experience May 20-23, 2019 Motif Hotel – Seattle, WA Washington State University Extension’s Metro Center was proud to coordinate and host the 2019 National Urban Extension Conference.

Archived Professional Development Workshops

Extension as Urban Policy Advisers

Seattle, WA – Feb 2015

  • Learn about working at the policy, systems, and environment change interface.
  • Understand how policy is made at the local, regional, and state levels.