As part of its ongoing realignment, the University of Missouri Extension now includes seven geographic regions, including a new urban region that encompasses both St. Louis and Kansas City.
According to MU Director of Cooperative Extension Michael Ouart, the realignment process recognizes changes in the economic development needs of Missouri, population demographics, societal changes and funding constraints. Regions have been reorganized taking into consideration the number of faculty and staff to be supervised, geographic distances for travel, and factors specific to each region, he adds.
Five new regional directors join two existing regional directors appointed in September 2012.
"I have great confidence in our regional leadership as we focus on high-priority local programs and becoming nimble to meet increasing demands for educational programs and service," Ouart says. "Our regional directors understand we must adjust to uncertain public funding and meet the challenge of generating additional revenue."
The new directors include:
Southwest Regional Director, Jay Chism
Chism joined MU Extension in 2004 as an agronomy specialist for Polk and Barton counties. For the past three years, he was the interim director for the Southwest Region.
Additional leadership experience with MU Extension includes serving as a county program director, County Program Director Revitalization Committee, Fees Committee, Council Leadership Development, National Extension Leadership Development, and Agriculture Leadership of Tomorrow. Prior to joining MU Extension, Chism owned a farm/greenhouse business.
Chism received a bachelor's degree in horticulture from Missouri State University and a master's degree in horticulture from the University of Missouri.
Northeast Regional Director, Shelley Bush-Rowe
Bush-Rowe served MU Extension as a regional community development specialist for 20 years. She worked with citizens to coordinate effective responses to local issues that impact lives.
Additional MU Extension leadership experiences include serving as a county program director, Self-Directed Teams co-leader, Missouri Extension Leadership Development, Kellogg Leadership Development and the Chancellor's Emerging Leaders Program.
Bush-Rowe received a bachelor's degree in political science from Drury University, a master's degree in regional and community planning from Kansas State University, and a master's degree in adult education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
East Central Regional Director, Mark Stewart
Stewart served MU Extension as a livestock specialist for more than 30 years. His program efforts focused on production and management, improved forage utilization, business planning for alternative enterprises, water quality and food safety. For the past three years, he also served as interim director of the Central Missouri Region.
He also worked as MU Extension county program director, New Regional Faculty Cohort coordinator, Annual Program Review co-coordinator, Water Quality Focus Team, Program Integration Development Team, Missouri Extension Leadership Development, National Extension Leadership Development, and National Association of County Ag Agents Board of Directors.
Stewart received bachelor's and master's degrees in animal science and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Missouri.
West Central Regional Director, Wayne Prewitt
Prewitt joined MU Extension in 1985 and served as a regional agriculture specialist in the areas of farm management and agricultural business. Since 2010, he served as interim director for the West Central Region.
Additional leadership experiences include serving as a county program director, Metropolitan Foods Team co-leader, County Program Director Revitalization Committee, Nevada Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees, Missouri Association of Extension Professionals president, Missouri Extension Leadership Development, and National Extension Leadership Development.
Prewitt received a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from Central Missouri State University and a master's degree in agricultural economics from the University of Arkansas.
Urban Regional Director, Cynthia Zluticky
Zluticky joined MU Extension in 2002 as county program director in Jackson County. Prior to joining MU Extension, she served as an extension educator at the University of Nebraska. She has more than 24 years' experience working on urban extension issues in three states.
Additional extension leadership experience includes serving as a multi-agency family services collaborative coordinator, Urban Self-Directed Work Team co-leader, project director for grants, University of Missouri Extension Association treasurer and executive board member, Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association president, and Nebraska 4-H Foundation Board of Directors.
Zluticky received a bachelor's degree in home economics and a master's degree in adult and continuing education from the University of Nebraska.
Source: MU Extension