Extension Educator, Michigan State University Extension

Tell us a little about your role and key activities:
I work statewide (nationally and internationally) providing services to rural and urban communities. My primary focus is assist local governments, organizations, communities, and leaders in asset development for building communities where people want to live, work, play, learn, and return. This is done through a series of programs focused on community assessments through the eyes of first time visitors, agritourism, cultural tourism, and nature-based tourism, as well as planning, civic engagement, and leadership.

What do you like best about your employer or job?  
I like working for MSU Extension simply because I am able to meet the needs of communities interested in revitalization strategies through creativity, flexibility, and commitment. In addition, MSU Extension provides significant opportunities for personal and professional growth, and opportunities to strengthen networks across multiple disciplines.

Have you ever left the region for work/career or thought about leaving?  If yes, what brought you back to St. Clair County or keeps you in the region?  I relocated to the region 5.5 years ago for the position with MSUE and therefore I am new to this area. I have not left the area other than for work-related trips to other parts of Michigan, states, and/or countries. What keeps me in the area is certainly my work, but also the access to water and close proximity to Metro-Detroit as well as easy international visits to Canada. I feel this area has incredible potential to be better than it already is.

If you could give advice to a high school or college student about career or education choices.... or "I wish I had" moments, what would it be? Take high school seriously, don’t commit yourself to too much in the first couple of years and get out and explore the world, bring ideas back to your community and make things better, make people feel welcome, and stay out of trouble.

What is your favorite thing about living and/or working in St. Clair County?   
Living: Access to Lake Huron Coastline and close proximity to metro-detroit and Canada.
Working: Be able to share examples from this region to other MI communities, states, and, in some cases, countries.

What recent changes or improvements in St. Clair County are you most happy about? 
Collaborative efforts across the county as well as further up the coastline and new downtown redevelopments. 

Why should a job seeker consider making St. Clair County home for work and life?
Well, it is is close to Detroit, Canada is only a stones throw away to many cool festivals and cities. SCC also has a lot happening during the warmer months in addition to nice beaches, etc.