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Statewide Cohort completes Academy to Advance Leadership within Extension

Congratulations to Jayne McBurney for completing the Academy to Advance Leadership within Extension (AALE), which hosted their first cohort of extension professionals. The purpose of the Academy to Advance Leadership within Extension is to provide an in-depth and rigorous program to cultivate and promote the development of those within North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at North Carolina State University who are affiliated with Extension.

During the 15-month program, five in-person sessions were held in each of the Extension Districts. Between sessions, cohort members had targeted discussions related to the leadership modules presented in the class with accountability partners.  The group was also divided into project teams to explore how to expand and enhance the effectiveness of Extension and CALS.  Each team presented a written research paper and an oral presentation to graduate from the program. 

McBurney stated “The AALE Program was an incredible opportunity to really see the depth of the work that is happening across North Carolina because of Extension.  We saw the microscopic seeds of oysters to beautiful grass-fed cattle. We walked through research labs, feed mills, and livestock barns.  In our travels, we discussed our individual work with our classmates, we problem solved and came up with many ‘what ifs'”. 

Throughout the program, cohort members got to know others from across the state who work in a different area of Extension and the College and built relationships with each other that will have a positive, lasting impact on our work and the goals of our county office, department, research station, program, or unit. McBurney remarks “Because of this experience, I have expanded my professional network across the state. I was able to share Steps to Health with these colleagues and explore how the work we do intersects.” To learn more about the academy, please visit their information page.