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Monday, April 2, 2018

Albert Essel Joins the Extension Directors and Administrator (EDA) Team

Albert Essel - Executive Administrator,
Association of Extension Administrators
Albert Essel, Ph.D., was recently named Executive Administrator of the Association of Extension Administrators for the 1890 land-grant universities. He has served as Dean of the College of Agriculture, Environmental, and Human Sciences at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, September 2015 to the present. Dr. Essel has served as Associate Dean for Extension in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences at Delaware State University 2007-2015. Earlier in his career, Dr. Essel held positions at Fort Valley State University in Georgia, the State University of New York, and Virginia State University. Dr. Essel is a graduate of the University of Science and Technology in Ghana, where he majored in agricultural economics and earned his doctoral degree in economics from Iowa State University. Please join ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd and the EDA Team welcoming Albert! His email is

A REMINDER - Nominations for the 2018 National Extension Diversity and Excellence in Extension Awards Are Being Accepted Now Through May 1, 2018 - Nominees can be individual Cooperative Extension professionals or, for the Diversity Award, a team fundamentally composed of professionals. New nominations and those nominated in previous years that did not receive national award recognition are welcome and encouraged. Go to for full details. Contact: ECOP Program Assistant Sandy Ruble

Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup Update - Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup activities are now underway. The list of members (13) includes representation from 1994, 1890 and 1862 land-grant universities. An opioid expert support team is also providing assistance. The workgroup is charged with helping the System develop a nationwide strategy for addressing the opioid crisis culminating in a report for ECOP. While a preliminary survey was administered in late 2017 identifying opioid-related Extension programming, a second much broader survey on behavior health and substance abuse in general is needed to respond to the current crisis and position Extension to assist with future behavioral health challenges. eXtension has agreed to develop a webpage wherein all the materials collected and developed will be accessible to those in the Land-grant system. Questions may be directed to Mark Skidmore, Director of the North Central Regional Rural Development Center, is the lead coordinator for this effort.

NIFA State Liaison Program Roles and Responsibilities Updated - The liaisons serve as the primary resource and information channel between NIFA and the Land Grant and other state and territory-based universities and colleges receiving NIFA funds. Liaisons will aim to develop an on-going, productive, and mutually beneficial relationship with Extension and Experiment Station directors, and the leadership and faculty in Land-grant and other state-and territory-based universities and colleges. The updated roles and responsibilities were developed based on numerous conversations with Extension and Research administrators and directors across the institutions mentioned. You can learn more about the updated roles and responsibilities and the roles of NIFA Director, Associate Directors, Division Directors, the Director of the Center for International Programs, and Program Institute Deputy Directors at