Extension Emerging Leadership Initiative (EELI)
The Extension Emerging Leadership Initiative (EELI) is a professional development opportunity for Extension professionals who are dedicated to fulfilling Extension’s mission. Extension professionals who have the highest ethical standards and have demonstrated potential as future leaders will be selected to participate. The program will select up to 20 professionals that are either at the county or state level with a minimum of three years of experience with Extension.
Research from the Journal of Extension indicates that during the past decade, most public and private organizations, including the Cooperative Extension Service, are facing an era of leadership scarcity that could impact the ability to execute the mission and purpose. Thousands of baby boomers retire each day, and in an effort to prevent loss of skilled leadership, this program is being implemented to equip future leaders as the veteran agents, specialists, and administrators prepare for retirement.
To provide leadership and professional development training and experiences that will foster success in future leaders.
To develop a core group of successful leaders for Clemson Extension that will inspire, have vision and impact, and assist in moving the organization forward to meet the Extension mission.
- Provide opportunities for personal growth and career development
- Enhance leaders’ roles at a higher level of excellence
- Promote cohesion and team building among leaders
- Promote and practice interpersonal skills in relevant situations
- Provide tools and skills to enhance leadership
Must be a professional full-time employee (37.5 hours per week) with a minimum Bachelor’s degree and at least three full years of Extension work experience.
County Extension Agent or Extension Associate with at least a 50% Extension appointment are eligible. CAFLS professional staff and faculty with three years of service are also eligible to apply. Retired Extension professionals are not eligible.
Must have received at least a SUCCESSFUL on the EPMS for the last three rating periods and received no written or progressive disciplinary actions through Human Resources within the last two years.
Applicants can nominate themselves, be nominated by a District Extension Director, Program Team Leader, Department Chair or direct supervisor. Supervisor must sign to acknowledge awareness of the nomination.
There is no monetary incentive for participating in this program. It is for professional development and leadership opportunities.
If selected, applicants must agree to continue to fulfill regular job duties during the period of involvement in the Extension Emerging Leadership Initiative.
Must complete and fulfill the program requirements as outlined each month.
Final selection of the 20 class participants will be based on quality and competitiveness of each application. The selection committee’s decision is final, and a rubric will be used to provide a fair score for each application. Participation and graduation from this initiative does not guarantee a leadership role or position within the organization.
Selected participants will be notified two weeks after the application deadline.
Class attendance is mandatory (unless approved for extenuating circumstances). If sessions are missed, class participants will not be allowed to graduate from the program and will not be eligible to advance to EELI 2.0. Due to the pandemic, classes will be virtual.
- Personality Assessments
- Effective Communication Styles
- Conflict Management/Resolution
- Team Building
- Servant Leadership
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Principles of Leadership
- Leadership Integrity and Ethics
- Time Management
- Public Policy/Advocacy
- Organizational Culture
- February 16, 2021
- March 18, 2021
- April 15, 2021
- May 20, 2021
- June 17, 2021
- July, 2021 – Independent Study (shadow a leader) and book discussion via conf call – TBA
- August, 2021 – Independent Study (shadow a leader) and book discussion via conf call – TBA
EELI 2.0 will focus on applying the knowledge and skills gained in Level I. EELI 2.0 is open only to those that have completed Level I.
Activities in EELI 2.0
Independent study – shadow or intern with a leader for at least 20 hours. Participants will be asked to share a summary of their experience at the opening class session. Your selected leader may work within Extension or outside of the organization.
*Monthly Accountability Conference Call/Coaching Sessions
*EELI 2.0 Class Sessions - 4 two-day sessions
Attendance is required.
These two-day sessions will begin at 9:00 am on the first day, and 8:00 am on the second day, ending by 3:00 pm (in various parts of the state). Overnight travel should be expected for most sessions.
Sessions will include interactive activities, case studies, scenarios, demonstrations, tours, etc.
Sessions are planned in various parts of the state. Location will depend on activities for the month.
September 8 and 9, 2021 – Clemson?
November 3 and 4, 2021 – location TBA
January 12 and 13, 2022 – location TBA
March 9 – March 10, 2022 - Graduation Day – location TBA
Class of '21-'22
Clemson Extension and CAFLS
Lance Beecher, Asst Extension Specialist, CAFLS
Jeremy Greene, Professor of Entomology, CAFLS
Yashia Marshall, Grants Coordinator, CAFLS
Alana West, 4-H Agent, Newberry
Chad Carter, Food Safety/Systems Associate – Charleston
Ben Boyles, Agri-business Agent – York
Guinn Wallover, Water Resources – Berkeley
Faith Truesdale, 4-H Agent – Florence
Katie Altman, Water Resources Agent – Sumter
Kevin Burkett, Agri-business Extension Associate – Sandhill
Dawn Stuckey, 4-H Agent – Colleton
Amber Starnes, Livestock Agent – Chesterfield
Jenny Mountford, 4-H Agent – Abbeville
Lauren Hood, 4-H Agent – York
Rhonda Matthews, Rural Health Extension Associate – Greenwood
William Hardee, Agronomy Agent – Horry
Sherry Davis-Livingston, 4-H Agent – Georgetown
Jason Gore, FFA/4-H Program Coordinator
Katie Shaw, 4-H Extension Associate – Sandhill
1890 Extension – South Carolina State University
Renee Hall, 4-H Agent – Upstate region, SCSU
Cornelius Hamilton, 4-H Agent – Low Country region, SCSU
Sydney Keith, Extension Agent – SCSU
2018-19 Inaugural Class
Will Culler, Area Extension Agent – Agribusiness, Lexington
Amy Dabbs, Area Extension Agent – Horticulture, Charleston
Jeff Fellers, Area Extension Agent – Natural Resources, Union
Stanley Green, Extension Associate – Agribusiness, Sandhill REC
Chris Heintze, Director – T. Ed Garrison Arena, Clemson
Faith Isreal, Area Extension Agent – Food Systems and Safety, Richland
Dr. Tarana Khan, State Program Coordinator – EFNEP, Sandhill REC
Terasa Lott, State Coordinator – SC Master Gardener Program, Florence
Kim Morganello, County Extension Agent – Water Resources, Charleston
Christine Patrick, County Extension Agent – Food Systems and Safety/EFNEP, Bamberg
Brittany Flowers, County Extension Agent – Livestock and Forages, Aiken
Derrick Phinney, Natural Resources Program Team Leader, Dorchester
Jaime Pohlman, County Extension Agent – 4-H, McCormick
Jessica Simpson, County Extension Agent – 4-H, Anderson
Zack Snipes, Area Horticulture Agent – Horticulture, Charleston
Terri Sumpter, County Extension Agent – 4-H, Sumter
Richard Lee Van Vlake, Area Extension Agent – Livestock and Forages, Florence
Marlyne Walker, County Extension Agent – EFNEP Specialist, Fairfield
Patricia Whitener, County Extension Agent – 4-H, Greenville
Dr. Della Baker-Sprowl, Coordinator of Special Projects for the Director of Extension
Ms. Donna Bowen, Communications, CAFLS/Public Service and Agriculture
Mrs. Brittany Flowers, Livestock and Forages Agent, Aiken County, 2020 EELI graduate
Dr. Barry Garst, Associate Professor, Youth Development Leadership
Dr. Susan Guynn, Director of Assessment and Scholarship, Cooperative Extension Service
Mrs. Deon S. Legette, EELI Program Coordinator and Midlands District Extension Director
Ms. Kyra Lobbins, Associate Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of President’s Leadership and Strategic Initiatives, Office of the President
Dr. Kendra Stewart-Tillman, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Gannt Multicultural Center
Your Turning Point Starts Now
Dr. Kenston J. Griffin
New Days, New Ideas
Dr. Kenston J. Griffin
Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance
The Power of Servant Leadership
Robert K. Greenleaf
Born To Build
Moments of Truth
The Customer Comes Second