Central State University Meet and Greet at Mott Branch

Join the Central State University (CSU) Northwest Ohio Extension team as we brainstorm ways to assist local communities.  Members of the CSU Northwest Ohio Extension team will meet with residents at the Mott Branch Library, located at 1010 Dorr St, Toledo, OH 43607, on Tuesday, November 30, 4:00pm to 6:00pm. At that time community members will have the opportunity to meet the Northwest Ohio Team in person and participate in an informal workshop to help identify the local community needs and CSU Extension educational opportunities to serve.

“Giving back to the community through exciting and transformative programs is at the heart of Central State University (CSU) an 1890 Land-Grant Institution,” said Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension Educator Michelle Wallace. “This forum will allow us to introduce ourselves to the community and give residents a chance to ask us questions, as well as to give us information on how we can serve,” she added.

According to Wallace, in 2014, when Central State University, located in Wilberforce, Ohio became an 1890 Land-Grant Institution, they immediately began the daunting task of hiring dedicated professionals to fulfill their mission of “Engaging Communities and Transforming Lives.”

The second Morrill Act signed in 1890 provided matching state funds of federal monies designated to Black Colleges and Universities, now known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).  The first Act, passed in 1862, established State universities across the country, but most were inaccessible to black people, so the second Morrill Act was designed to bring about equity in educational opportunities for black Americans and descendants of slaves. Thanks to the efforts of the Ohio senate in 2012, Central State University achieved its Land-Grant status in 2014.

“The land-grant designation not only allows Central State University to become a bonafide research institution, but it also provides non-tuition-based learning as an “extension” of the university through field educators who cover agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer science, 4-H youth development, and community economic development education,” added Family Consumer Science (FCS) Extension Educator, Jewel Rollins.

In September of 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic, Central State University took on a massive on-boarding of extension educators across the state.  The university divided the state up into five regions: Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, Southeast, and Southern.  Each region has a team whose mission is to provide research-based education to communities throughout Ohio.

“The Northwest Ohio team is trying to get to know everyone in our region and learn first-hand how we can best serve the community,” says Rollins.

Below is a description of each member of the Northwest Ohio team including their title followed by a short bio.  A search is currently being conducted for a Regional Extension Associate.

Lindsay Ferguson – Extension Regional Program Assistant

Lindsay Ferguson is the Regional Program Assistant for the Northwest Region. She is a 2019 Graduate of The Ohio State University majoring in Community Leadership with a specialization in Extension and Community Education. Extension has been a part of her life since she was young and her direct involvement with multiple extension programs throughout all ages, including college, has inspired her to help this growing program. Lindsay is looking forward to helping those in need within the Northwest Region.

Jewel Rollins – Family Consumer Science (FCS) Extension Educator

Jewel J. Rollins is the Family and Consumer Science Educator in the Northwest Region.  She is a 2020 graduate of Central State University with a BS in Exercise Science. As the Northwest Region FCS Educator, she is able to provide educational support for the following extension programs: Eating Smart Living Strong, Financial Literacy, Health and Wellness, Family Resiliency, and Mental Health. These programs are available to all ages.  As an educator, she is trained in CPR/AED/First Aid, and also has training in the areas of nutrition, mental health first aid, smoking cessation, and diabetes empowerment through the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP™). Jewel is excited to bring her knowledge of topics that promote good health in all aspects of life to the community.

Hannah Albers – 4H Youth Leadership Extension Educator

Hannah Albers is the 4-H Youth Leadership Development Educator. She is a 2019 graduate of The Ohio State University majoring in agriculture business and applied economics with a minor in agriculture communication. Hannah joined the Central State University Extension team in October 2020. She plans to facilitate the Junior Extension Master Gardener program training at different locations in Northwest Ohio, and assists with summer camps and afterschool programs held in Lucas and Allen Counties. Hannah’s goals are to expand 4H through multiple 4-H clubs and “train-the-trainer” programs that will increase opportunities to reach more youth and families, leading towards better futures.

Eric Smith – Community and Economic Development (CED) Extension Educator

Community and Economic Development Extension Educator Eric Smith focuses include individual and workforce development, small business and farm operation assistance, and neighborhood and community revitalization. Eric has a Master’s in Community Development from North Dakota State University and holds professional certifications in such diverse models as Energizing Entrepreneurial Communities and Asset-Based Community Development. He comes to his role 20 years of experience in community development in international, rural, and urban settings.

Michelle Wallace – Agriculture and Natural Resource (A & NR) Extension Educator

As the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator, Michelle Wallace’s areas of focus assisting beginning farmers with sustainable farming systems, small fruit production systems, cut flower production, beekeeping, and integrated pest management.  Michelle has a Bachelor of Science in horticulture and a Master’s in landscape architecture from North Carolina State University, and a Bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Toledo.  Prior to joining the extension team at Central State University, she spent more than ten years with North Carolina State University – extension as a horticulture and agriculture agent.

“The Central State University Extension team is excited about this opportunity to actively work with residents to identify and address community needs within the framework of our specialty areas and the mission of Central State University,” says Wallace.  “We truly hope the community will come out and join us.”

No registration is required.  Please visit the Toledo Mott Branch Library for any update regarding Covid-19 protocols. For more information on Central State University visit CentralState.edu.  To reach the Northwest Ohio Regional state email lferguson@centralstate.edu.