Interim Vice Provost Anita Azarenko makes her debut on the First Monday Update video in the company of retiring Vice Provost Scott Reed. Anita gives us a glimpse of how over the years she has experienced Extension and the learning/teaching, research/discovery and outreach/engagement land grant university missions. She also shares a quick overview of what her focus will be through the end of the year.

How did you come to do the work of outreach and engagement? Share your stories with Anita by replying below.

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24 thoughts on “Meet Anita Azarenko

  1. Welcome, Anita.

    I came to Extension after seeing the job posting for Tech & Media Support Coordinator fit my varied experience, skills and goals very nicely and it has been an awesome experience every since!

    Coming from a prior job in the non-profit world and having some K-12 teaching experience, my value’s of public service and education are aligned with OSU’s land grant mission and I am thrilled to be working on improving Oregonian’s lives.

    Thank you for helping us with this transition. I look forward to working with you. Please let me now how I may be of assistance. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Hi Anita – I might have told you this already, but I had relocated to Corvallis with my husband (who works at HP) and had managed to keep my job with Scripps Institution of Oceanography (at UCSD) for nearly a year: working from my home. But my boss at Scripps was getting restless, so she gave me a few months to find something more local before giving me the heave-ho. I was interviewed by a few departments at OSU, and was lucky enough to find the position at Outdoor School. When I read the job card, I thought “Oh my gosh! This was written for ME!” – and was lucky enough to land the position! There’s my story! And we’re glad to welcome you back to Extension! Rita

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  3. Hi Anita,
    After 30 years as a journalist, I, along with much of the newsroom, was let go. Like Victor and Rita, when I saw the job listing, I knew it was written for me. Apparently, others did, too. I’m so happy to be able to bring my skills to Extension and Experiment Station Communications.
    Kym

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  4. Welcome Anita!
    It’s wonderful to hear about your background and how you’ve come to your new role at the University.
    Although I haven’t been with extension very long, I have known about extension programs through my Undergrad at PennState; they too have a strong extension presence amongst the state!
    I ended up at Oregon State Extension-Clatsop County (SNAP-ED Nutrition Education) because I have become accidentally and pleasantly intertwined in Public Health over the past few years after moving to Oregon in 2014. I believe extension plays and will play an even bigger role in preventative Public Health initiatives throughout our communities as we continue to learn about the importance of community education in health outcomes.
    I’m excited to see where extension takes me, and I wish you luck as our new interim provost!
    Cheers!

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  5. Welcome Anita! The way I came to extension was through my doctoral work at UC Davis. My advising professor was a specialist in nutrition with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. I worked with her to evaluate garden-based nutrition education programs. I worked closely with campus-based and field Extension faculty in both nutrition and 4-H across the state of California. I formed a deep belief in the mission of land grand universities and their commitment to help communities apply science-based practices and to help university researchers learn from the practice in communities. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with OSU Extension in Tillamook and Lincoln Counties in Family & Community Health and have been with OSU for three years now.

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    • Hi Dusti,

      Thank you for sharing your story with me. I am glad that OSU Extension is part of your professional journey. All the best.

      Anita

      Reply
  6. I started studying science-communication in my undergraduate setting. It seemed to me, that society needed more and better science-communication. Of course I found Extension, because that’s exactly what we do, with a healthy dose of public service.

    Welcome to OSU Extension and thank you for your help in our transition!

    Reply
    • Thank you for your welcome! I wish you the best as you bring better science communication to the citizens of Oregon, US, and the world.

      Anita

      Reply
  7. Thank you for taking the wheel, Anita!

    I had the good fortune to work with Sea Grant Extension Agent, Jamie Doyle, while serving as an AmeriCorps RARE member in Coos and Curry counties. I really had no idea what OSU was doing out in Coos Bay, but quickly came to appreciate the community connections she was cultivating and how she was bringing science to fishermen in rural Oregon. She’s a gem, an inspiration, and I thought her job sounded pretty dang cool. Following my RARE year, a colleague at the Marion-Polk Food Share, an invaluable partner organization to Extension, strongly encouraged me to apply to Marion County Extension so that we could collaborate on programming and support our two counties symbiotically. I’ve been working with the Small Farms and Community Horticulture programs ever since!

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    • Dear Victoria,

      It appears you caught the Extension bug too! Wishing you only the best as you continue your career in OSU Extension.

      Anita

      Reply
  8. Hello Anita! I first hear of the Extension Service “concept” when I was working as a community educator in Mexico about 12 years ago. I always thought it was an amazing idea! Then life brought me to Oregon State University and I volunteered at the 4-H intercultural camp while pursuing my M.S. in Forestry. I fell in love with youth development, family engagement and the people!! It´s been always all about the people. Then I had the amazing blessing to work for Benton County 4-H and FCH, being and working with Latinx and immigrant populations, I was always engaged with topics of inclusion. After 6 years working in the counties I joined leadership. The most meaningful and purposeful job ever (keeps me in my toes!!!)…

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    • Dear Ana Lu,

      Thank you for sharing your story with me again! We are fortunate to have you on the team.

      Anita

      Reply
  9. Hi Anita! Welcome and thank you for sharing your vision and career journey with us! I stumbled into my first experience with Extension when I was a grad student at Cornell University. I led the most highly rated workshop for a 4-H youth summer camp for several years – the ‘Holey Cow’! I am an Animal Scientist and igniting young people’s spark for scientific learning has always been a passion. I moved to Oregon in early 2015 because my husband was started his career with Intel. I briefly worked with a pet food retailer before stumbling across my job position posting. Like others, I thought the position was written for me! I’m a life long learner and the last two years in this role, I am still excited to learn about the impact OSU Extension has on communities! I have welcomed the new challenges to expand my Animal Science background to youth development, equity and inclusion, and now e-learning!

    Reply
    • HI Kristin,

      Thank you for sharing your story with me. Sounds like you like to have fun! I look forward to hearing more about your e-learning activities.

      Anita

      Reply
  10. I started with Extension at another university as an Outreach Specialist helping to bring the Internet to libraries, schools, community organizations, low-income and underserved populations. I’ll date myself by saying this was dial-up, text-only internet! Oh, how far we’ve come! I’m so happy to work now with EESC’s multimedia team on making our Extension presence more visually appealing with photos, video, and more. Enjoy your stay with Extension.

    Reply
    • Thank you Karen for sharing your story. I look forward to the seeing the dynamic Extension programs unfold in front of our clients/stakeholders eyes as our technologies continue to morph.

      Take care,

      Anita

      Reply
  11. My first taste of extension-type work was in the Peace Corps. Then I went back to graduate school at OSU College of Forestry, and though I wasn’t specifically preparing for an Extension career, the more I learned about OSU’s Forestry Extension program, the more I realized that was the kind of job I wanted. Informal teaching, interacting with managers and solving problems together were what appealed to me. I was fortunate to get a job with WSU Extension in the Seattle area, was there for 5 years and then returned to OSU where I’ve been 10 years now.

    Reply
  12. I grew up in 4H in Florida so Extension is something that has been part of my life for a long time. I always wanted to educate people about the environment. My PhD got me into teaching but I had to wait for my second faculty position to get my dream position in Extension at Clemson. Five years ago, we moved to Oregon for an opportunity to work with an amazing FNR Extension team!

    Reply
  13. Thank you for sharing Amy. It seems once you catch the Oregon bug, it is hard to stay away. Glad you are here.

    Reply
  14. Wow, it’s so cool reading people’s stories! Thanks, Anita, for the prompt. I grew up involved in 4-H. My dad worked for county Extension and 4-H in Iowa, and I used to go to his office after school and do homework. I thought I’d study genetics in college, but my journey instead led to studying horticulture, communication, and ag/adult education. I didn’t intend to land in Extension, but after internships and work experience in a public garden, horticulture extension, and ag industry PR I found the perfect fit in land-grant university communications. I worked for Kansas State Research and Extension for three years before coming to OSU in 2010. I now have a 2.5 year old and a baby and am eagerly anticipating the day that I get to sign them up for 4-H!

    Reply

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