2020-2021 Cohort


Marilee Anderson

4-H Program Coordinator, SNAP-Ed Coordinator

Mentor: Anita Azarenko, Interim Vice Provost, Extension and Engagement


Anna Browne

Open Campus Coordinator, 4-H Outreach Coordinator

Mentor: Wiley Thompson, Regional Director, Coastal


Dr. Angee Doerr

Assistant Professor of Practice, Sea Grant

Mentor: Kris Elliott, Program Leader, Outdoor School


Andrea Flores

Open Campus and Juntos Coordinator

Mentor: Angela Sandino, Regional Director, North Willamette


José Garcia

OSU Open Campus and Juntos Program Coordinator, Yamhill County

Mentor: Rebecca Badger, Director of Marketing and Enrollment Services, Ecampus

Leadership Experience:

My project involved developing and piloting an online workshops series called Somos Latinx in collaboration with two of my Open Campus colleagues which made use of existing online content meant to help anyone explore Latinx identity in the United States. In January, 2021, over 25 adult professionals from Extension Service and Juntos community partners participated in the pilot of these workshops. We received a lot of positive feedback, but thanks to the pilot we learned that there is an opportunity to branch this curriculum into two versions, one meant for students and their families, and another meant for adults working with Latinx audiences. We learned that this content could serve as a form of cultural competency training and professional development. Now the curriculum is being refined so that it may be offered in both of those formats.


Christina Hagerty

Assistant Professor of Cereal Pathology

Mentor: Sam Angima, Associate Dean


Mary Halbleib

Associate Professor of Practice

Mentor: Lindsey Shirley, Former Associate Provost, and Jeff Sherman, Program Leader, Open Campus

Leadership Experience:

My experience in LDPE was one of expanding my empathy for myself and others. The assessments, reading Caste, and the conversations made me more aware of the impact I can have on others when I am kind to myself and know myself more fully. My LDPE project, if funded and supported by OSU Extension, will result in a certification for Extension professionals on Effective Education Program Design and Engaged Teaching. I will be very proud if this makes it into the world as these educators in the US and beyond need support to enhance their ability to support change in ways that increase impact with their communities. After this experience, I know more people at OSU and know them in ways that create a deeper sense of connectedness for me in the workplace.


Dr. Jovana Kovacevic

Assistant Professor, Food Safety Extension Specialist

Mentor: Jack Breen III, Business Center Manager

Leadership Experience:

My LDPE project included the development of a strategic plan to help guide the creation of “Listeria HELPR” - Listeria Hub to Enhance Learning, Prevention and Research. Interactions with my mentor, Jack Been, helped me develop a stepwise approach to build different components of this project. Some of the activities included SWOT analysis, setting short and long-term goals for the hub, exploring opportunities for funding, and prioritizing important steps in the process of building this project from ground up. I really appreciated the variability that LDPE offered – different assessments, mentorship, teamwork, opportunity to learn more about and engage in diversity, equity and inclusion discussions. I learned a lot about myself through personal assessments, and I truly enjoyed learning about different combinations of skills, strengths and leadership styles from my cohort. I gained valuable insights into different aspects of leadership, and I look forward to applying the tools and new skills that I learned through LDPE as I continue to develop my leadership style. I am also grateful for the comradery and new connections that I developed through this program. I look forward to seeing where our leadership journeys take us!


Teresa Middleton

Former 4-H Program Coordinator

Mentor: Dr. Kelly Chandler, Assistant Professor


James Osborne

Wine Microbiologist

Mentor: Dave Hansen, Program Leader, Sea Grant


Julie Pett-Ridge

Associate Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Science

Mentor: Staci Simonich, Executive Associate Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences

Leadership Experience:

For my project, I analyzed data from the National Center for Education Statistics and from OSU's Office of Institutional Research on Agricultural Sciences graduate student admissions, enrollment, and graduation, focusing on race and ethnicity data relative to race and ethnicity in the general US population.


Maud Powell

OSU Extension Small Farms Faculty

Mentor: Charlene Alexander, Former Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Office of Institutional Diversity

Leadership Experience:

I entered the LDPE training with the following goals • Focus on DEI in Extension work- I was really excited that the focus this year was on DEI • Focus on Climate Change in Extension work • Hone my leadership skills I had taken a number of those personality before, but found the EQI test the most helpful and enlightening.. One of the striking things to me about the EQi leadership testing was how low I scored in Independence, and also Stress Tolerance and Problem Solving. In consulting with Jeff King, he suggested having a few people as sounding boards who I could run project ideas by. This seemed counter intuitive at first. Then realized the people I chose would not have to be people I work with on a daily basis but members of my statewide team. I had wanted to do DEI work but also did not want to concerned about viewed as trying to be a white savior and wanted to tread lightly. But this also made me feel hesitant to take a role. In meeting with my mentor Charlene Alexander, I was reassured that the BIPOC community appreciates white allies. Too much work to do alone. In late fall, I was approached by a beginning, woman BIPOC farmer who wanted help with a grant to expand her mushroom business and have been working on a project with her since. I have also been able to lead the charge on an Ag Climate professional development training.


Dr. Josh Stewart

Assistant Professor and Director of Agriculture Teacher Education

Mentor: Shannon Riggs, Executive Director, Academic programs and learning innovation, Ecampus

Leadership Experience:

I worked with Shannon and Ecampus to determine feasibility of transitioning the MS in Agricultural Education to an Ecampus program.


Erika Szonntag

Master Gardener Program Coordinator, Jackson County

Mentor: Nicole Strong, Regional Director, Central Oregon

Leadership Experience:

Being part of the LDPE corhort 7 was an amazing opportunity to get to know some brilliant colleagues while learning about personal factors that can influence leadership style and strategies to improve leadership in any situation. The program empowered me to try some of these new tools and strategies in my program, which I have found to be very helpful, especially in reframing challenging situations. I also greatly appreciated the emphasis on DEI. I was interested in joining the program to gain a better understanding of how to manage diverse groups of people, and came away with that and so much more.


Caryn Wheeler

Assistant Professor (Practice)

Mentor: Emily Bowling, Director, Community Engagement and Leadership

Leadership Experience:

A lot of my trajectory in the LDPE involved growing more confident with the leadership role that was being ascribed to me by community partners. Getting a better handle on how I can strengthen some areas and really leverage existing strengths was so illuminating. I look forward to continuing to apply and strengthen these tools over time.