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Donaldson Receives Distinguished Extension Educator for AAAE

The American Association of Agricultural Education (AAAE) recently held its national conference on May 15-18, in Raleigh. The purpose of AAAE is to be the premier national society for social science scholarship in food, agriculture and natural resources for individuals engaged in agricultural education at U.S. colleges and universities. During the conference, Joseph Donaldson was recognized with the Distinguished Extension Educator Award for AAAE nationally. Donaldson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences (AHS). This award is to recognize an individual AAAE member for outstanding accomplishments in the extension field. Donaldson had previously earned this award for the Southern Region of AAAE at their regional conference in February.

Donaldson leads the NC State Extension Summer Internship Program, a statewide Extension program. In addition to the Extension internship program, Donaldson has contributed to a highly-qualified workforce for agriculture, food, and environmental systems while increasing equity, access, and opportunity in all land-grant university programs. He has collaborated with interdisciplinary faculty teams to create and launch five different student career development programs through extramural funding. This includes the Career Pathways in Agriculture for Community College Students (Career PACCS). Career PACCS is an integrating Extension, research, and academic program that is connecting under-served community college students with NC State faculty mentoring. The program is successfully exposing students to career opportunities in food and agricultural sciences. He also serves as coordinator for the Extension Education major, Extension Education minor, and the undergraduate programs director of AHS while advising an average of 42 undergraduate students and seven graduate students each academic year.

Donaldson states “I feel honored to be part of Extension, truly a community-focused profession. In North Carolina, I am fortunate to serve with the very best Extension professionals. Also, the entire NC State community stimulates innovation and excellence.” The nomination for the Distinguished Extension Educator Award was jointly submitted by Ben Chapman, AHS department head, and Jay Jayaratne, a fellow professor. In their nomination letter, they expressed their admiration for Donaldson’s leadership and his unwavering dedication to Extension professionals and the individuals who benefit from their services. They emphasized that his work yields exceptional outcomes of local, state, national, and international significance, showcasing superior scope and quality. The entire campus community greatly benefits from Donaldson’s integrity, camaraderie, and scholarly contributions. Our entire campus community benefits from his virtuousness, friendship, and scholarship.” Congratulations to Donaldson for his well-deserved recognition and your continued success!