I am an Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Crop and Soil Science. In my work, I create professional development opportunities for Extension faculty and staff in the College of Agricultural Sciences that provide evidence-based approaches to instructional design, active teaching strategies, and program evaluation.

My goal is to empower Extension professionals to develop their own learner-centered educational design practice that will achieve the desired impacts with their communities. To leverage our collective teaching experience across the nation I lead the Extension Teaching Network.

I also conduct applied research on Extension educational development frameworks to determine effective ways to enhance faculty knowledge and skills in creating and teaching empowering adult education. Currently, I serve as co-chair of the Professional Development Committee for the National Association Extension Program Staff Development Professionals.

Areas of focus

  • Professional Development: I provide active learning experiences that support Extension faculty in expanding their knowledge of the science of learning and skills in instructional design and active forms of teaching. I also provide individual or team consultations on teaching and learning specifically for the Extension context.
  • Extension Teaching Network: I lead monthly Zoom gatherings with two colleagues, Cassie Bouska and Gordon Jones, to provide a venue for sharing teaching and learning insights and to demonstrate new tools to enhance engagement.
  • Collaborative Extension Projects: I engage in educational projects with Extension faculty around the state and internationally to enhance the adoption of sustainable practices through working with farmers and other community partners. My interests also include the development of novel approaches to train-the-trainer programs to effectively expand the reach of educational initiatives.

Publications and Resources

Mary’s ResearchGate Profile

Extension Educational Program Design and Implementation:

IPM Program Evaluation Online Toolkit:

Personal pesticide exposure data related to a train-the-trainer pesticide risk reduction program in Senegal:

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