Penn named FACS associate dean for Extension at UGA

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The University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) has named Allisen Penn the associate dean for UGA Cooperative Extension and outreach.

Penn comes to UGA having spent the previous decade as a regional program leader for University of Tennessee (UT) Extension in Nashville.

The FACS associate dean for Extension and outreach is responsible for leading the college in fulfilling its land-grant university mission of providing Georgia’s residents, businesses and communities access to quality educational experiences and the institution’s knowledge base.

“Dr. Penn is a proven leader who brings extensive experience and skills to support Extension and outreach programming,” FACS Dean Linda Kirk Fox said. “With 10 Extension faculty and 52 FACS Extension agents delivering programming throughout the state, Extension and outreach efforts are a vital part of our overall land-grant mission. We’re excited to have Dr. Penn as a member of our team and look forward to her leadership of this critical component of the college.”

Penn will work closely with leaders from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UGA Extension, the Office of the Vice President of Public Service and Outreach, and other colleges and units for the successful application of research to prioritize the needs of the state.

Through the Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance, she will address health and wellness needs, particularly in rural and underserved populations, by strengthening and expanding research collaborations with faculty from a variety of disciplines.

“The UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences and UGA Extension have an outstanding reputation for conducting relevant integrated research,” Penn said. “The FACS Extension and outreach program is strategically poised for growth, and I am excited to join the team and collaborate with administration, specialists, program development coordinators, agents and partners to positively impact communities, families and individuals.”

Penn has an extensive background in Extension work. She has conducted more than 150 presentations and trainings and has authored nine publications. In addition, she has developed a variety of educational materials for Extension and outreach.

As a regional program leader for UT Extension, Penn served on the regional administrative team and provided leadership for planning, delivering, evaluating, reporting and marketing regional Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H Youth Development educational programs for 108 agents in 31 counties.

Prior to her role at UT, she served as a leadership specialist and assistant professor with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service from 2002 to 2010.

She began her career as a county Extension agent in Texarkana, Arkansas, in 1987, working in four counties before being named associate district director for the Ouachita District.

Penn received her doctorate in higher education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and holds a master’s degree in counseling and a bachelor’s degree in home economics from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

She succeeds Deborah Murray, who retired in June after serving in the role since 2012.

Cal Powell is the public relations coordinator for the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences.
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