Jay Rasmussen, Sea Grant Extension program leader since 1996, is the recipient of the 2009 Alberta Johnson Award for Excellence in Extension Leadership, presented earlier this month by Scott Reed, OSU Extension Service Director and Vice Provost for University Outreach and Engagement.
Reed called Rasmussen “an incubator of ideas” and “an outstanding leader whose philosophy of encouragement, mentoring, and support inspires individuals and groups to bring out the best in themselves and others.”
The Vice Provost’s words echoed those of Sea Grant Extension faculty who nominated their program leader for the honor, which is intended to recognize and reward people who’ve made outstanding contributions to the Extension Service through creative and effective administration and leadership.
“Jay is open to listening as we share ideas and dream about creative possibilities,” the nominating team wrote. “His passion for the program and his interest in our professional growth stirs us to excitement and continual learning.”
As program leader, Rasmussen has helped shape and guide a team of 17 marine Extension faculty, both on campus and in communities the length of the Oregon coast. Oregon Sea Grant Extension has been praised by federal reviewers as a “best practices” model for the other 29 Sea Grant College Programs across the country.
An historian by education, with a Master’s from the University of Utah, Rasmussen served for 17 years as executive director of the Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association before joining Sea Grant. He is a past chair of the National Sea Grant executive committee and the Assembly of Extension Sea Grant Program Leaders, and serves on the Oregon Water Resources Commission.
Rasmussen formally retired early this year, but is continuing in a a part-time interim role while the university seeks his successor.