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Jay Jayaratne, PhD

Professor; State Leader for Extension Evaluation

200 Ricks Hall

Bio

Dr. Jayaratne grew up in a small rural town called Kitulgala in Sri Lanka. He later moved to the United States. He was an Extension District Director in Sri Lanka. After earning his Ph.D. from Iowa State University, he joined the University of Georgia Faculty in 2001 and served as the Evaluation Specialist for five years. Then, he joined the NCSU faculty as an Assistant Professor/State Leader for Program Evaluation in 2006. Currently, he is serving as a professor. He has extension, teaching, and research responsibilities. He is responsible for providing evaluation leadership to North Carolina Cooperative Extension faculty. He has extensive experience in extension education for 31 years. Of which, 21 years in the U.S. and 10 years in Sri Lanka. His expertise and research interests are in Extension program planning, evaluation, and international agriculture. Dr. Jayaratne is a member of American Evaluation Association, American Association for Agricultural Education, Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education, and North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. He is married and lives with his wife, Premila in Morrisville, NC. Dr. Jayaratne has two sons, Supun and Ilinda. Both graduated from the NCSU Engineering College and currently working in the industry. Dr. Jayaratne likes gardening, reading, traveling, and photography.

Programs and Initiatives

  • Evaluation of Extension Programs for Outcomes and Improvement
  • Needs Assessment and Extension Program Development

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • AEHS 521: Program Planning in Agricultural and Extension Education
  • AEHS 577: Evaluation in Agricultural and Extension Education
  • AEHS 578-Scientific Inquiry in Agricultural and Extension Education
  • AEHS 705: International Agricultural Development

Professional Honors/Offices/Recognitions

  • 2020 – American Association for Agricultural Education Fellow
  • 2020 – Distinguished Researcher Award, American Association for Agricultural Education
  • 2018 – Distinguished Extension Educator Award, American Association for Agricultural Education
  • 2018 – Honorary State FFA Degree, North Carolina FFA Association
  • 2018 – First Runner-up Poster Presentation at the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education
  • 2017 – Outstanding Graduate Instructor award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, NC State University
  • 2016 – Outstanding Leadership and Service to the Extension Evaluation Profession Award, Extension Education Evaluation Topical Interest group of the American Evaluation Association
  • 2016 – Distinguished Extension Educator Award, American Association for Agricultural Education, Southern Region
  • 2014 – Distinguished Researcher Award, American Association for Agricultural Education, Southern Region
  • 2013 – Excellence in Extension Program Evaluation Award, Extension Education Evaluation Topical Interest group of the American Evaluation Association
  • 2013 – Fellow, International Association for Agricultural and Extension Education
  • 2013 – North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Teaching Fellow
  • 2012 – Outstanding Poster Presentation Award Received for the poster presented at the 28th Annual Conference of the International Association for Agricultural and Extension Education
  • 2011 – Outstanding Achievement Award, International Association for Agricultural and Extension Education
  • 2011 – 1st Runner-up Outstanding Journal Article of the Year Award 2010 from the Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education
  • 2011 – 2nd Place Outstanding Research Poster Presentation at the Southern Regional Conference of the American Association for Agricultural Education
  • 2010 – 2nd Place Outstanding Poster Presentation at the 26th Annual Conference of the International Association for Agricultural and Extension Education
  • 2009 – 3rd Place Outstanding Poster Presentation at the 25th Annual Conference of the International Association for Agricultural and Extension Education
  • 2008 – Early Achievement Award, International Association for Agricultural and Extension Education
  • 2006 – Sustained Excellence in Extension Evaluation Award, Extension Education Evaluation Topical Interest group of the American Evaluation Association
  • 2005 – The Epsilon Sigma Phi Extension State Team Award, Epsilon Sigma Phi Extension Professional Organization Alpha Beta Chapter

Selected Publications

  • Diaz, J., Silvert, C., Gusto, C., Jayaratne, K. S. U., Narine, L. (2021). Towards intercultural competence: Using consensus to identify essential personality traits for an inclusive extension education workforce. Advancements in Agricultural Development, 2(3). doi: https://doi.org/10.37433/aad.v2i3.135
  • Glen, C. D., Jayaratne, K. S. U., Moore, G. E., Bradley, L. K., & Edwards, H. (2021). What does it take to lead Extension Master Gardener Volunteers? Journal of Extension, 59(3). doi: https://doi.org/10.34068/joe.59.03.12
  • Jayaratne, K. S. U., Collins, D. P., & McCollum. (2021). Early career challenges of youth development extension educators and effective strategies. Sustainability, 13(16). doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169017
  • Codallo, M., Bruce, J., McKee, K., & Jayaratne, K. S. U. (2020). Factors that influence university student retention in colleges of agriculture. NACTA Journal 64. 2020
  • Blevins, M, Jayaratne, K. S. U., Bruce, J., Bradley, L., & Stumpf-Downing, M, (2020). County commissioner perceptions of Cooperative Extension: Implications for strengthening the partnership with county government. Journal of Extension [On-line], 58(2). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/2020august/a3.php
  • Jayaratne, K. S. U. & Collins, D. (2020). 4-H International visitor exchange programming barriers, challenges, and alternatives. Journal of Extension [On-line], 58(2). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/2020april/a7.php
  • Diaz, J., Kumar Chaudhary, A., Jayaratne, K. S. U., & Assan, E. (2020). Expanding Evaluation Competency Research: Exploring Competencies for Program Evaluation Using the Context of Non-formal Education. Evaluation and Program Planning, 79. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2020.101790
  • Chaudhary, A. K., Diaz, J., Jayaratne, K. S. U., Assan, E. (2020). Evaluation capacity building in the nonformal education context: Challenges and strategies. Evaluation and Program Planning, 79. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2019.101768
  • Jayaratne, K. S. U., Park, T., & Davis, J. (2019). Recruiting minority students into secondary school agriculture education programs: Barriers, challenges, and alternatives. Journal of Southern Agricultural Education Research, 69. Retrieved from http://jsaer.org/pdf/Vol69/2019_009%20formatted%20to%20print.pdf
  • Diaz, J., Jayaratne, K. S. U., & Chaudhary, A. K. (2019). Evaluation competencies and challenges faced by early career extension professionals: developing a competency model through consensus building. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 25(5). doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/1389224x.2019.1671204

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Education

BS Agriculture University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

MS Extension Education Urbana-Champaign

PhD Agricultural Education and Studies Iowa State University

Area(s) of Expertise

  • Extension Program Planning and Evaluation

Grants

Date: 04/01/20 - 3/31/24
Amount: $359,524.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

Global climate change, food security challenges, environmental concerns, and global food crises are complex food system challenges that require innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to agricultural research and education. Increasing diversity creates a more productive and creative workforce with complex problem solving skills. Lack of focused recruitment and training programs in STEM has led to many groups being under-represented. Engaging diverse and multicultural undergraduates in hands-on, cutting-edge agriculture and food systems research while providing structured professional development training will increase student interest and ability to build careers in agriculture and food systems. Our overall project goal is to develop a summer-based agroecology research and experiential training program that addresses the challenges of sustainable agriculture production and incorporates professional career development and structured mentorship. We will recruit 30 students, 10 students per year for 3 years with at least 50% women and at least 40% from traditionally underrepresented groups, including underrepresented ethnicities, first generation college students, and economically disadvantaged groups, to participate in the 10-week paid summer training program. Specific program elements of the summer training program include: Hands-on research experience and training in four core themes that align with AFRI priority areas including: Sustainable crop production and technology; Soil health; Natural resources and the environment; and Food system and socio-economic impacts Integrated extension training through participation in relevant field days and workshops, as well as the development of resource materials for Cooperative Extension Individualized professional skills development, including writing, understanding agriculture career pathways, leadership training, diversity, equity and inclusion competencies and development of an e-portfolio Structured mentorship and network opportunities with faculty, graduate students and agricultural professionals The intellectual merit of this REEU, Diverse Agroecology and Sustainability Scholars Training Program, lies in developing a new and critically needed pipeline for the next generation of diverse sustainable agriculture professionals and researchers equipped to address our complex food and agriculture challenges. With the long-standing collaborative working team of multidisciplinary researchers and educators in agroecology and robust stakeholder partnerships within the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), Cooperative Extension and various organizations associated with North Carolina State University (NC State), our project team has the experience and resources to ensure a quick start and successful implementation of the program. Assessment of participant knowledge, skills, and abilities will take place before, during, and after the research appointments to evaluate the level of achievement of program objectives and student learning outcomes.

Date: 06/15/20 - 6/14/23
Amount: $7,880.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

This proposal is the result of a collaboration between NCSU (lead), University of Florida, University of Arkansas, Iowa State University, and Bayer Crop Science. The project would target 16 high-potential rural agricultural educators (four from each partner state) that would participate in a three-year modern agriculture institute. Goals of the program are to: 1) increase rural agricultural educators’ competence in modern agriculture, 2) create a suite of immersive professional development suites to be used by rural educators nationally, and 3) increase student awareness of opportunities in agriculture. Each of these leads to community vitality in rural American where students are able to identify viable careers, train appropriately, and secure employment. During year 1, teachers would meet at Bayer Crop Science where they would: (a) identify a career and/or practice in modern agriculture of interest, (b) identify an internship of interest, (c) receive immersive technology training (virtual reality, augmented reality, podcasting, etc.), and (d) network with other rural educator leaders. During year 2, the 16 teachers would immerse themselves in their internship experiences in modern agriculture and collect all necessary materials for their immersive professional development experiences. During year three, teachers will work with instructional designers to create modern agricultural "suites" of professional development materials and student activities to support rural agricultural educators in motivating students to explore careers in modern agriculture. These sixteen teachers will all share these resources and their experiences with a national cohort of teachers at the National Association of Agricultural Educators through an "Immersive Experience in Modern Agriculture." The professional development suites will be hosted on a website where agricultural educators from across rural America can engage with the training material and support their students in exploring viable careers in agriculture. It is expected that $298,000 will be requested with a potential match of $50,000 from Bayer Crop Science (based on a conversation with Bayer during the grant proposal retreat held in March).

Date: 06/15/20 - 10/31/22
Amount: $59,864.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS)

NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is applying to host the Borlaug Mentor Focus Group Event. This will be in coordination with the CALS International Programs office and expertise in the Department of Agricultural and Human Service, both of which are part of CALS. We will capture the experiences of Borlaug mentors through a 4-day planned focus group event. More specifically we plan to achieve this objective by documenting to understand the dynamics of the program, benefits derived by the mentees and mentors, and lessons learned in organizing and implementing the mentoring program. The review of these objectives highlights that we need to organize this focus group for conducting a formative and summative evaluation.

Date: 10/01/20 - 9/30/21
Amount: $2,817,300.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

The purpose of the SNAP-Education grant is to deliver nutrition and physical activity education to limited resource audience at the individual level and provide multi-level strategies/interventions to promote policy, systems, and environmental change across North Carolina, with 100 counties potentially receiving high levels of intervention.

Date: 10/01/19 - 9/30/20
Amount: $2,817,302.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

The purpose of this grant is to deliver nutrition and physical activity education to limited resource audience at the individual level and provide multi-level strategies/interventions to promote policy, systems, and environmental change across North Carolina, with 74 counties receiving high levels of intervention.

Date: 10/01/18 - 9/30/19
Amount: $2,209,735.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

North Carolina State University will conduct comprehensive nutrition education serving individuals and families enrolled in or eligible for SNAP and their communities through the SNAP Education program, Steps to Health. Steps to Health will deliver direct and indirect education on the individual level and provide multi-level strategies/interventions to promote environmental and policy change across North Carolina, with 74 counties receiving high levels of intervention. For FY19, SNAP-Ed will deliver programming to SNAP-eligible pre-K and school-aged children, adults, older adults, and families) will be reached through eight multi-session, direct education programs delivered by NC State Cooperative Extension Staff and Nutrition Educators. Sessions are interactive and multi-sensory, incorporating taste tests, cooking demonstrations, games, discussion, physical activity, songs, and goal setting to facilitate learning and promote positive behavior change. Building on direct education, Steps to Heath will engage in health promotion activities by providing indirect education to people at the interpersonal and community level. Additionally, Steps to Health will enhance direct and indirect education by providing site-specific resources and engaging site leadership/management to address policy, systems and environmental approaches to behavior change. Social marketing will be integrated as a community and public health approach to nutrition education that complements direct and indirect nutrition programming and will reach approximately with children ten years and younger.

Date: 06/01/18 - 2/28/19
Amount: $30,000.00
Funding Agencies: United States Poultry & Egg Association

The acceptable methods for mass depopulation during an emergency disease outbreak—CO2 gas carts, CO2 whole house gas infusion, and water-based foam—can be difficult for commercial egg producers to implement due to the house and cage configurations used to maintain laying hens. Recent research conducted at North Carolina State University demonstrated that a novel alternative method of mass depopulation, ventilation shutdown plus supplemental heat (VSD+), produces 100% lethality in cage systems. Unfamiliarity with VSD+ employment could affect implementation and thus its effectiveness to cause 100% lethality within the required 24-hour time frame. Egg producers need proper training on VSD+ utilization. The impact of the training needs to be assessed to demonstrate that VSD+ can be used as an acceptable method of alternative mass depopulation. The objectives of this project are to 1) evaluate the effectiveness of a one-day training program using a retrospective pretest-posttest design and 2) develop a national on-line extension education program for VSD+ implementation. A one-day training program on VSD+ will be held at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury, NC. The program will include an educational session in the morning and a hands-on farm demonstration in the afternoon. At the end of the program, participants will be given a short survey to assess the changes in knowledge, attitudes, and skill level for VSD+ implementation. An online training program for VSD+ will be developed using the evaluation data gathered from the one-day training. By teaching commercial egg producers to properly employ VSD+, we can improve their ability to quickly respond to an emergency disease outbreak, reducing economic loss and significantly lowering the risk of disease transmission.

Date: 09/01/14 - 8/31/18
Amount: $570,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

Through North Carolina Cooperative Extension programs and a diverse team of collaborative efforts, we work to sustain and enhance environmental stewardship, reduce economic risks for growers and consumers, and protect human health by applying integrated pest management (IPM). The need for IPM implementation in NC cannot be overstated. Agriculture is the number one industry in NC, with 2012 farm receipts of over $11 billion, the 10th highest value nationally. By working to synergize IPM efforts and leverage resources, we are able to increase coordination and improve efficiency of IPM research and extension efforts, promote further development and adoption of and to document the impacts and value of IPM strategies and programs, demonstrating that IPM works. This Extension Implementation Program will address critical IPM needs of stakeholders in NC and will focus on IPM implementation for Agronomic crops, Specialty crops, and IPM support for Pest Diagnostic Facilities. Because the tools and tactics utilized in extension transcend agricultural systems, we will take a holistic and integrative (intra-inter- and transdisciplinary)approach in building systems that can be applied by extension practitioners working in each primary and secondary emphasis area. We will focus on 3 main objectives: 1) Develop Evaluation and Needs Assessment tools; 2) Improve Pest Monitoring and Pest Forecasting protocols; 3) Deliver IPM Technology and Information. Through outputs and impacts from this program, NC Extension agents and stakeholders will become more knowledgeable about IPM and develop skill sets to implement IPM practices in agronomic crops and specialty crops. This

Date: 09/30/12 - 9/29/17
Amount: $2,685,999.00
Funding Agencies: US Army - Corps of Engineers

The purpose of this initiative is to provide for the programmatic institutionalization and enhancement of compatible natural resource use in support of military readiness and at the same time enhance the maintenance and improvement of natural resources, including agriculture and forestry lands (i.e., working lands), through the operation of a voluntary, market-driven initiative called the Partnership for Sentinel Landscapes. The Partnership for Sentinel Landscapes is a coalition of groups representing conservation, natural resource, and economic interests to address preservation on a landscape scale in association with the military. The coalition will work in the public interest to advance national defense, conservation and working lands in North Carolina simultaneously to ensure that development or use of land, water, and/or air resources remains compatible with military missions. The current implementation strategy includes assistance for individual landowners active in specific aspects of the program. Private landowners will be recognized for the unique value of their land and land management practices, essentially "green readiness." These lands will stand as true "Sentinel" landscapes - protecting military readiness due to their location - and thereby supporting national defense.

Date: 11/30/-1 - 7/31/17
Amount: $1,256,955.00
Funding Agencies: US Agency for International Development (USAID)

Partners in this proposal aim to establish Centers of Excellence at two different Liberian universities located in different parts of the country. North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) faculty will contribute to the establishment of an Agricultural Center of Excellence located at Cuttington University. In this five year project lead by Research Triangle Institute (RTI), CALS faculty will be engaged in three main areas: post graduate education, curriculum development, assistance with development of remedial training activities, and short-term training with the possibility for one or two longer-term academic assignments. Graduate programs will be focused primarily on non-thesis Masters Degrees with advanced training for a doctoral degree program available. Curriculum development will involve 2-5 basic courses such as general agriculture, pest management, animal science/livestock management, agricultural extension education, and agricultural business management. NCSU?s phase of the project will be lead by a core interdisciplinary team of 7 CALS faculty.


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