Contributor Bios

Photo: Nate Arnett.Nate Arnett is the Director/Extension Educator for Adventure Central, a youth education program and center in Dayton, Ohio serving urban youth and their families. For over 10 years he has given leadership to this unique and nationally recognized model program and partnership. Nate is actively involved with statewide efforts in the area of 4-H teen workforce preparation and has been a co-leader of this initiative for over two years. His specialization is in the area of work-based learning. Nate recently served as part of a national 4-H think tank charged with helping develop programs and strategies to reconnect youth and nature. Nate also spent two years as a Regional 4-H Youth Specialist with the University of Missouri Extension prior to coming to Adventure Central. Nate has a B.S. from Phillips University in Environmental Science and a M.S. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

Photo: Marianne Bird.Marianne Bird oversees the 4-H Youth Development Program in Sacramento, California, and works in partnership with volunteers and community organizations to diversify and enhance educational opportunities for youth. Collaborations with Sacramento START and other afterschool program providers paved the way for new science programs: the 4-H Youth Experiences in Science Project, 4-H Water Wizards Project, and 4-H On the Wild Side environmental education program, all delivered to urban audiences. Marianne utilizes the talents and energy of teenagers as teachers in these endeavors. Her passion for working with young people grew from early experiences at summer camp, and she now chairs the California 4-H Camping Advisory Committee. Her research focuses on measuring program impact – including the California 4-H Camp Study – and examining community-wide youth initiatives. Marianne is a 4-H Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension. She has a B.S. in Human Development and M.S. in Community Development, both from UC Davis.

Photo: Jackie Davis-Manigaulte.Jackie Davis-Manigaulte, Ed.D., is a Senior Extension Associate and Family & Youth Development Program Leader with Cornell University Cooperative Extension in New York City. Jackie has extensive experience in the leadership, development and implementation of informal educational programs for youth and adult audiences. She has worked closely with colleagues and community leaders throughout New York City and State, and served on a number of national committees focused on the development of programs for youth and adults on topics related to positive youth development, nutrition, environmental issues, parenting education, child development, hydroponics, gardening, and youth entrepreneurship. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University/ College of Human Ecology, a Master's Degree in Home Economics from New York University/ School of Education; and a Doctorate in Adult Education from Columbia University/ Teacher's College.

Photo: Beth Rasa Edwards.Beth Rasa Edwards, University of Missouri Extension, is a 4-H Specialist in Jackson County whose primary responsibility is in 4-H Afterschool program efforts. Over the last six years she has co-facilitated a $348,000 annual grant/contract for 4-H Afterschool programs, providing funding for seven full-time staff with over 600 4-H Afterschool club members. 4-H science programs include Robotics, Sports Fishing, GIS/GPS, Gardening, and Food and Nutrition. Beth created and co-coordinated the Power UP! Your Afterschool Professional Development Institute. She works with local afterschool program partners to implement 4-H Afterschool research-based curricula. Beth has a double B.S. in Child and Family Studies/Psychology from Northwest Missouri State University and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Kansas.

Photo: Richard Enfield.Richard P. Enfield has been the 4-H Youth Development Advisor with UC Cooperative Extension, San Luis Obispo (SLO) County since 1980, as well as County Director since 2005. He has concentrated on the development and delivery of hands-on science programs for non-formal educational settings since the mid-1980s. He is the initiator and co-developer of an experiential and inquiry-based youth-adult science program called 4-H SLO Scientists. Since 1997, he has also focused his research and educational efforts on the complimentary concepts of resiliency and the developmental asset framework. He has presented workshops, seminars and "Training of Trainers" on these topics to adults and youth throughout California and the United States, including numerous workshops to help 4-H leaders and others understand and put into practice the principles of inquiry and experiential education. In addition, he has authored articles and monographs on these topics, thereby reaching a wider and diverse audience with useful information.

Photo: Dave Francis.Dave Francis has worked for Utah State University Extension 4-H since 2001. He is currently an Extension Associate Professor with responsibilities for 4-H Science in the Utah State 4-H Office. Responsibilities include working with Extension partner Thanksgiving Point, a museum complex that includes a working farm, dinosaur museum, and botanical gardens. He works with a variety of 4-H programs to promote STEM through robotics, afterschool programs, science camps, 4-H TRY (Teens Reaching Youth), and 4-H Aggie Adventures for kids. He has a B.S. in Environmental Studies, (environmental education emphasis) and a M.S. in Agriculture Systems, Technology and Education (Extension Education emphasis).

Photo: Janet Martin.Janet Martin, Urban 4-H Specialist in Iowa City has 30 years of experience in the Iowa 4-H program. She leads the science, technology, and engineering afterschool and summer 4-H programs in east central Iowa. Curriculum resources from the Iowa 4-H SET Initiative and cooperation with education and business partners in the "out of school" committee of the Corridor STEM Initiative provide the resources and expertise for 4-H youth programming. Janet's 4-H science programs include Summer 4-H on Wheels, summer robotics through GEAR-TECH-21, Engineering is Elementary© summer and afterschool programs, and afterschool science in cooperation with the 21st Century Community Learning Centers in the Iowa City Community School District. Cooperation with partners in the technology corridor in eastern Iowa has been vital to the expansion of 4-H urban science programs in Linn and Johnson Counties. Janet has a degree in Elementary Education from Iowa State University and a master's degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Iowa.

Photo: Leon Moon.Leon Moon is the 4-H Youth Development Specialist for Urban Afterschool programs in Jackson County, Missouri. He has served as the director of afterschool programs for the past 11 years, and was instrumental in acquiring over $6 million in funding for county 4-H programs. The afterschool programs have concentrated on career development and academic achievement for underrepresented populations in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Programs featuring cross-age education, dropout prevention and high school graduation have received national recognition. 4-H Science programs have covered most of the SET project areas with a special focus on Robotics, GPS/GIS and Sport Fishing. Leon began his 4-H career in 1965 in Morgan County, Ohio, and has served as Executive Director for Missouri and Oklahoma 4-H Foundations.

Photo: Ashley Mullens.Ashley Mullens is an Extension Associate with the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center (LSU AgCenter) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For the past two years she has served as the Program Manager for the LSU AgCenter's 4-H Youth Wetlands Education and Outreach Program. The Youth Wetlands Program is a statewide program designed to heighten students' awareness of Louisiana's wetland loss through education and service-learning opportunities for youth in grades 4-12. Since its inception in 2007, the YW program has reached over 150,000 students and 3,000 educators across Louisiana. Ashley also provides supervision to the America's Wetland Conservation Corps (AWCC), which is an AmeriCorps State Program affiliated with the Youth Wetlands Program. AWCC has had 80 members participate in this collaborative effort of organizing and engaging others in wetland restoration projects, resulting in 7,059 volunteers over a three-year term. Ashley has a B.S. in Wildlife Management and Forestry and an M.S. in Agronomy with a specialization in Wetlands Ecology from Louisiana State University.

Photo: Jim Nichnadowicz.James Nichnadowicz is a Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Agent in Union County, New Jersey. In addition to managing a traditional 4-H club program, Jim has implemented a summer science program for the past 20 years. Each summer 4-H hires science teachers who travel to day camps located in the most urban parts of Union County to facilitate a wide variety of hands-on science activities. The program reaches 600 underserved youth each summer and features visits from science professionals. The largest portion of support for the program comes from a local corporation. In addition to the summer science program, Jim also trains 4-H club leaders and afterschool staff in the use of science curricula and materials. Lastly, he trains volunteers in the area of science to deliver presentations in elementary schools. In 2010 his "Master Tree Stewards" taught over 2,500 youth about the importance of trees in the urban/suburban environment.

Photo: Sheryl Nolan.Sheryl Nolen is a County Extension Agent with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, the Texas A&M University System, in charge of coordinating the 4-H Urban Youth SET Afterschool Programs in Houston. Over the past three years she has partnered with Precinct 2 Youth Services and Precinct2gether Inc. to expand 4-H science programming to afterschool and summer camps at eight school-based sites and community centers in east Harris County. The 4-H science program includes digital storytelling, scientific method, engineering and design challenges, 4-H Aerospace, photography and the Junior Master Gardener® program. Sheryl coordinates 4-H SET Teen Leaders to teach and mentor youth digital media and movie making at afterschool and summer programs. She also coordinates the Junior Master Gardener® programs at 25 school sites reaching over 3,000 inner city youth in the Houston Independent School District. Sheryl serves on the State 4-H Discover Scientific Method (DSM) team and works at the District and County level to coordinate the 4-H DSM Research Poster Contest. Sheryl has a B.S. in Home Economics and a M.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences from New Mexico State University.

Photo: Lucinda Randolph-Benjamin.Lucinda Randolph-Benjamin provides leadership to Cornell University Cooperative Extension's New York City 4-H Youth Development programs. Her work has centered on building youth and adult partnerships, engaging youth in programs that develop leadership and life skills, and equipping youth professionals and volunteers with competencies needed to tackle the emerging challenges of working with youth. Lucinda's Urban 4-H Science programs (K-12) have included Afterschool Universe (Astronomy), Citizen Science, GIS/GPS, In Touch Science, Junior Master Gardener®, Project Pigeon Watch, 4-H Master Angler program, and so forth. She has partnered with Agilent Technologies to introduce youth (with a focus on young women) to engineering and technical sciences. Lucinda is currently coordinating the Toyota H2O effort that supports the implementation of the 4-H National Science Experiment and the Million Trees Environmental Stewardship Project. Lucinda has a B.S. in Gerontological Studies from City University of New York (CUNY), York College and a MSEd /CSPEd in Correctional Special Education & Behavioral Studies from CUNY, Hunter College.

Photo: Chad Ripberger.Chad Ripberger is the County 4-H Agent and County Extension Department Head for Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Mercer County in Trenton, New Jersey. For the past nine years he has developed several 4-H youth development programs through partnerships with large afterschool and summer program providers – including the Boys and Girls Club, City of Trenton, Education Works, New Jersey Youth Corps of Trenton, Trenton Teen Leadership Corps, and the YMCA. 4-H Science programming has included science-themed digital storytelling, robotics, Design It! and Explore It!, and the Junior Master Gardener® program. Chad leads New Jersey's involvement in the National Partnerships for After School Science project (through EDC, Inc.), a three-year effort that has developed a statewide OST science trainer network supporting 95 afterschool sites. He also organizes a weeklong campus-based summer science program for high school youth from targeted cities throughout NJ. Chad has a B.S. in Agricultural Education and a M.S. in Educational Administration from Purdue University.

Photo: Danielle D. Rudolph.Danielle D. Rudolph is an Urban Regional Extension Agent for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. She provides leadership to the Youth Development and Family and Child Development programs within the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Montgomery, Autauga, and Elmore Counties. Throughout the past two years she has implemented a number of youth programs focusing on leadership development, peer mentoring, and career exploration. Danielle has worked closely with the state youth development specialist and other urban agents to host a series of 4-H SET workshops through the annual Teens and Tweens Empowerment Conference held on the campus of Alabama A&M University. Danielle, along with county level colleagues, conducts workshops with urban youth under the state initiative, "Ready? SET to Explore Forensics." Danielle has earned a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Alabama A&M University and a M.S. in Human Development and Leadership from Murray State University.

Photo: Jessica Pierson Russo.Jessica Pierson Russo is an Assistant Extension Professor in the Minnesota Urban Youth Development Office (Minnesota Urban 4-H), which is part of the Center for Youth Development and the University of Minnesota Extension. She is a certified language arts teacher and a naturalist, and since 1997 has worked with youth across the US in public, private, and alternative schools in formal and informal settings. Since 2004, she has worked with Minnesota Urban 4-H to develop and pilot models of urban youth programming, including a 4-H leader support program, a community partner pairing system, and a family empowerment strategy. She has also developed curricula related to experiential learning, international education, and global youth leadership and citizenship. Jessica holds a master of education in youth development leadership from the University of Minnesota with an emphasis on racial reconciliation and experiential education.

Photo: Steve Wagoner.Steve Wagoner is a metro youth development educator with University of Illinois Extension. Based in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, he partners with neighborhood associations, schools, community centers, youth serving organizations, and science-affiliated entities to develop subject-driven programs and organized youth groups. He specializes in leadership development for youth and adolescents. Steve's 28-year career in 4-H youth development engages youth and adult volunteer leaders in programs tailored for the diverse audiences he serves. He annually facilitates a high school leadership convention at an environmental center for multiple states and co-leads a youth-led community garden initiative. Steve holds a master's degree in Extension Education from the University of Illinois and a bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. He is a member of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, the Association for School and Curriculum Development, the Association of Volunteer Administrators, and the Illinois Extension Professionals for Youth Education.

Photo: Philson A. A. Warner.Philson A. A. Warner is the Founding Director of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension (CUCE), NYC Hydroponics, Aquaculture, Aquaponics Teaching and Demonstration Learning Labs, and is the Coordinator of Science, Technology and Sustainable Agriculture at CUCE, NYC. Over the past 30 years he has invented and developed the following technologies: The NDFT Hydroponics Technology, BHS Aquaculture Technology, NDFT/BHS Aquaponics Technology and several others. He has authored several publications, including: Grow With The Flow, Hydroponics Learning Model, Aquaponics Techniques, Hydroponic Gardening In The Home, Basic Plant Propagation Techniques, and co-author of New York Aquaculture (Status, Constraints and Opportunities). He has also developed science and technology programs for school, afterschool, and summer programs through partnerships with the New York City Department of Education School Systems, New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, the Police Athletic League (PAL), NYC Green Thumb, and NYC Housing Authority Garden Program, to name a few. He is the recipient of a B.S. in Agriculture, a B.A. in Medical Microbiology and Medical Parasitology, and an MPA with an emphasis in Community Health.