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Cooperative Extension

Extension Emerging Leadership Initiative

About the Initiative

The Extension Emerging Leadership Initiative (EELI) is a professional development opportunity for Extension and the College’s professionals and staff who are dedicated to fulfilling Extension’s mission. We seek those who have the highest ethical standards and have demonstrated potential as future leaders. We also aim to make the cohort a diverse mix of backgrounds and experiences to ensure the cohort has a wide variety which makes for a more rewarding experience. The program will select up to 15 professionals that are either at the county or state level. Three full years of Extension/CAFLS employment, three full evaluation ratings of Successful or higher, and no written or progressive discipline actions from Human Resources in the last two years are requirements for participants.

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Marylne Walker

Dr. Marlyne Walker Memorial Leadership Award

The Dr. Marlyne Walker Memorial Leadership Award recognizes one EELI graduate per year who demonstrates outstanding dedication and commitment to Extension through leadership and service.

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What They're Saying about EELI

Dr. Dobbins with EELI participants

“I’ve seen the people who have gone through EELI, they are not going to be our next generation of leaders — they are a generation of leaders right now — and they bring a new vim and vigor to their jobs. ”

Dr. Thomas Dobbins
Clemson Cooperative Extension
Dr. Edoe Agbojan

“The EELI program is a great resource for extension professionals. SC State University participants have applied many of the strategies and skills daily. I recommend EELI training for extension professionals.”

Dr. Edoe Agbodjan
Associate Extension Administrator
SC State 1890 Extension
Shawn Smith

“I discovered my voice and my place in leadership. It has given me confidence, boldness, and the motivation I needed to continue my path in learning and growing. ”

Shawn Smith
Family Nutrition & Health Agent
1890 Research & Extension ​SC State University
Ben Boyles

“EELI is a transformative journey, unlocking the potential of participants to effect positive change and shape a brighter future for South Carolina’s two great land-grant universities.”

Ben Boyles
Director, South Carolina New and Beginning Farmer Program
Clemson Cooperative Extension

Cohort 3 Graduation

Cohort 2 Graduation

Cohort 1 Graduation

Extension Emerging Leadership Initiative
Extension Emerging Leadership Initiative | 900 Clemson Road, Columbia, SC 29229