2019-2020 Cohort


Brian Charlton:

Director, Klamath Basin Potato Faculty Scholar

Mentor: Jack Breen, Chief Operating Office, College of Agricultural Sciences

LDPE Project Summary:

Developing a Strategic Plan for KBREC - AES. This plan will basically guide operations for the next five to seven years. The most valuable piece of LDPE for me was the interpersonal assessments, including Myers-Briggs, EQ-i, Clifton Strengths, etc. Thanks to LDPE, I think I've gained a better understanding of my strengths, but also I'm better at identifying others strengths. I believe I can use these to improve relations with current employees.


Frank Chaplen

Associate Professor, Department of Biological & Ecological Engineering

Mentor: Assistant Dean of Online Learning, College of Engineering

LDPE Project Summary:

My project was an examination of parameters for placing the Ecological Engineering B.S. Program on-line through E-campus. The most valuable part of LDPE were the deep dives with Jeff King.


Rich Collins

Marketing Writer and Content Strategist

Mentor: Wiley Thompson, Regional Director - Coastal Region, Extension and Engagement

LDPE Project Summary:

I began my research project with a question: how do we tell the story of Extension at Oregon State University? Throughout the course of the program, I worked with my mentor to develop a strategy and approach for this question. My plan was to interview a number of stakeholders across the state and work as part of a team to produce a website with blog posts, videos, podcasts and more to help tell these stories. I used my conversations and direction from my mentor to inform the approach I would take and the tone I would strike in a few key pieces in this larger initiative.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my project did not come together as planned. The larger overall project is continuing but has been somewhat delayed. In the meantime, my other work has been informed by my leadership project as I have become more engaged with colleagues in Extension on a number of initiatives that help tell the story of the work we do, including helping to develop resources to help Extension employees tell their own stories and collaborating on a gardening newsletter with over 80,000 subscribers.

During LDPE, I appreciated the mentor experience most. I really got a lot of value out of all the components, but I have felt the need for a professional mentor before joining this program, and I am hoping to continue this relationship moving forward. My mentor was a great match and I feel like I've learned a lot from just a few conversations. I will be able to approach leadership in the future with more confidence. As someone still relatively early in my career, I often struggle to speak up or take initiative. Since participating in this program I have found myself more willing to volunteer for leadership opportunities and that is something I hope to continue doing in the future.


Ann Colonna

Sensory Program Director, Food Innovation Center, OSU

Mentor: Heidi Happonen, Director of Communications, College of Agricultural Sciences

LDPE Project Summary:

Development of a Communications plan regarding the benefits of frozen seafood - Frozen seafood often has a bad reputation, but recent research with consumers has shown that during blind sensory taste testing, consumers found previously frozen seafood to be as good as, if not significantly preferred to, fresh (never frozen) seafood. This work was conducted at the Oregon State University Food Innovation Center in Portland, Oregon with several different species including Black Cod, Coho salmon, Albacore tuna, Sockeye salmon as well as Alaskan and Atlantic scallops. The results of this research can convey the value of frozen seafood on many fronts. These include economic, environmental and quality benefits/advantages. We were seeking to disseminate this important information to local, regional, national and international stakeholders through a communications plan involving community lectures, national media taste tests, regional and international presentations and chef seminars.

Due to LDPE, I come to my leadership and team building with a new understand of personality types and strengths.


Pankaj Jaiswal:

Professor, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology

Mentor: Kendra Sharp, Sr. Advisor to the Provost for International Affairs


Jason Jones:

Multimedia Project Manager, Ecampus

Mentor: Martha Smith, DAS Director


Zach Kronser

Ecampus Course Scheduler and Compliance Coordinator

Mentor: Rebecca Mathern, Assoc. Provost and University Registrar

LDPE Project Summary:

The focus of my project was to identify Ecampus bottleneck courses, which are courses that consistently attain maximum enrollment, are only offered once or twice per term, act as prerequisites, and can sometimes be part of the Baccalaureate Core curriculum. Once identified, Ecampus will work with units and departments across the university to develop tactics to expand offerings of these bottleneck courses so that Ecampus students can more efficiently work toward achieving their academic goals.

During LDPE, the book clubs were the most valuable component of the experience and I have a great amount of valuable takeaways from both the "Biased" and "Leading at the Edge" books. I feel like I have more self-confidence in myself and my leadership style as a result of the LDPE program. The self-assessments were valuable in terms of reinforcing my strengths (by virtue of the Strengths Finder) and by flagging some blind spots I have about myself (because of the EQ-i leadership report).


Andrea Leao:

Outreach Coordinator 4-H Educator Linn County, Extension and Engagement

Mentor: Kris Elliott, Program Leader, Outdoor School

LDPE Project Summary:

My leadership project for LDPE was to develop a workshop on Conflict Management/Resolution that could be presented across different programs at the university level. The goal of the workshop is to provide people with a tools to help them manage different conflicts that they may face especially in the work place. The focus is to include how personality affects the way that people approach and deal with conflict. I partnered with two colleagues that have different strengths as myself to study the different reactions and feelings when approaching a conflict. We also used the Personality colors activity to give a visual of a quick personality type. Unfortunately we were unable to present the workshop because everything went virtual and we haven’t converted the content to a virtual presentation yet.

The most valuable component of LDPE for me was the sessions with Jeff King looking at our personalities, strengths and emotional intelligence scores. Previously, I have not had the opportunity to go through all of the different personality assessments and have time to relate it back to life, work and how they shape the type of leader I am. I will now approach leadership and supervision with a new lens. This experience provided me the opportunity to see how effective leaders can be by knowing and using your personal strengths.


Paula Matano

Senior Program Strategist, OREI

Mentor: Debbie Colbert, Secretary to the Board of Trustees

LDPE Project Summary:

I created a meeting assessment toolkit for individuals, teams, and managers to improve productivity and team dynamics.

Throughout LDPE, I valued her mentor experience, and the program has broadened my toolkit of approaches and my network. I will be able to be more thoughtful and considerate in my future approaches.


Becky Munn:

OSU Open Campus Education Coordinator

Mentor: Sam Angima, Program Leader, Extension and Engagement, College of Agricultural Sciences

LDPE Project Summary:

My project focused on bringing a community leadership Program to Crook County. I worked with the Crook County Foundation Executive Director to put together a committee to look at the needs of the community around leadership and community engagement. The plan was to bring a diverse group of community members together to gain insight on personal leadership development and community service opportunities. Due to COVID-19 the chance to have an in person program was not possible. I turned my focus to support DEI work in Crook County and was able help add a DEI Committee to the Crook County Foundation and to gain financial support for our local middle school to bring an author of color to students at the school and provide books. Books from authors of color will also be purchased for all schools in the district. We will continue to work towards bringing a leadership program to Crook County when we are able and are making leadership discussion group options available online through the Crook County Foundation.

During LDPE, I appreciated the personal assessments and book club discussion and connections most. I learned that even if we don't have supervising assignments, we are still leaders. I will be thinking about the assessments and experiences I've had through LDPE as I interact in my work and home communities.


Kathleen O Malley

Associate Professor/State Fisheries Geneticist

Mentor: Dr. Brett Tyler, Director of the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing

LDPE Project Summary:

My 2020 LDPE project was the development of a strategic plan for my fisheries genomics research program. While I have been a professor at OSU since 2009, I transitioned into a new position as the State Fisheries Geneticist in 2017. This position is a collaborative partnership with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. I believe that the development of a strategic plan will enable me to have the greatest impact in my position.

Unfortunately, due to the many challenges of 2020, I decided to postpone my project till winter 2021. But I truly valued the opportunity to explore self and interpersonal understanding as well as exchange ideas and experiences with the cohort. It was a tremendous opportunity and I greatly appreciate all of the time and effort that the LDPE facilitators invested into this program to make it such a great success!


Kym Pokorny

Communications Specialist, Extension Communications

Mentor: Stella Coakley, Emeritus Associate Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences


Eddie Rodriguez

Ecampus Student Success Coach

Mentor: Janet Nishihara, EOP Director

LDPE Project Summary:

My leadership project was around student success. Specifically, it is a 10 episode miniseries podcast. Each episode would include a guest from OSU, ranging from faculty to students. The intent behind this project is to capture the experiences of both faculty, student, and staff members from OSU. These experiences will hopefully inform others of what to expect when joining the OSU Ecampus community. During LDPE, I most valued the mentorship experience!


Nicole Sanchez:

Professor of Practice, Horticulture

Mentor: Lucas Turpin, Director of IT, Extension and Engagement

LDPE Project Summary:

When I recognized a need in my community for fabric face coverings, I used Covid-19 leave to produce over 2500 masks that were primarily distributed through a distance distribution in my driveway. Simultaneously, I participated in Extension's Covid- 19 face cover team to assist with Extension's response to the need for masks. I provided pictures and content for mask making instructions on Extension website, communicated the kinds of needs expressed in the community garnered from social media posts, and provided face coverings for Extension staff in the Southern Region and for 4H youth and adults at Klamath County's livestock fair. Participation on the face cover response team gave me an opportunity to work with new Extension team mates and learn about emergency communication and logistics, emergency management operations, and Extension's strengths and weaknesses in responding to crisis.

During LDPE, the reflection on the results of the various personality tests enabled me to identify and act upon ways that I could grow as a person, both relative to work leadership and life in general. This will allow me to approach leadership in the future with more empathy and understanding.


Joyce Senior:

Nutrition Education Program Coordinator, Extension and Engagement

Mentor: Marina Muñoz de Martiñez, Director of Development for the College of Health at the OSU Foundation

LDPE Project Summary:

My initial idea was to develop a fundraising strategy for My Hair My Health PDX!, which is a culturally-tailored health promotion program for Black women in the Portland metro area. My current goal is to make the program more community-led and sustainable by turning it into a non-profit by 2021.

Everything about LDPE was super awesome and beneficial, but especially all the self assessments. I was really excited to learn more about myself and my leadership style. In the future, I will be more strategic about what and where I invest my energy and leadership efforts. And also, speak truth to power whenever needed.


Victor Villegas

Technology & Media Support Coordinator, Extension Computing Technology Unit

Mentor: SueAnn Bottoms, Director, Precollege Programs

LDPE Project Summary:

The COVID Corridos Workshop was created to teach LatinX youth science communication skills through the arts, with the goal of helping them cope with the mental health effects the Corona Virus that is disproportionally affecting their communities. In the workshop, students learn how to write lyrics about how COVID-19 is affecting their families and their lives. They also learn the science behind digital audio recording, how to record their music and create collaborative songs about COVID-19. They then are taught how to use social media to promote these songs to their communities, thereby giving them a voice and platform that many have not had before. The ultimate goal is to reach LatinX audiences and promote scientifically based physical and mental health safety messages through culturally appropriate and relevant songs.

Thanks to LDPE, I will be able to approach leadership with renewed gusto!