ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY, Ala. – The Alabama Cooperative Extension System at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) held its first virtual Urban Summit on November 19-20, 2020, featuring national and global speakers. Each Summit presenter delivered a message that focused on the theme, Resilience in a Time of Crisis, while attendees walked away with strategies for success.
1890 Extension Administrator Allen Malone opened the Summit followed by greetings from Andrew Hugine, Jr., the president of AAMU. President Hugine, who is known for his acrostics, delivered a message of HOPE, which stands for higher power, optimism, persistence and excellence.
The keynote speaker, Marshall Stewart, vice chancellor for Extension and engagement at University of Missouri-Columbia, spoke on New Normal, New Reality, New Opportunities, asking the audience to turn COVID-19 into a positive opportunity to try new strategies. Other motivational speakers included Claudette Owens, chief executive officer of Quantus Link, LLC; Charlotte Teague, assistant professor of English, Alabama A&M University; Karockas Watkins, president and chief executive officer, Vision Excellence Company and president and executive director, Ability Plus Incorporated in Huntsville, Alabama; and other Alabama Extension staff. Mansfield Key III, better known as Ole Pete Key, closed the event by sharing stories of inspiration and a message of hope in the new normal.
The Summit ended on a high note with staff awards.
The following Alabama Extension staff were honored for their work in 2020.
- Extension Longevity Award: James Childress
- Administrative Support Award: Juanesta Green
- Technical Assistance Award: Shannon Schoeneweiss
- Local Leadership Impact Award: Andrea Morris
- Most Productive Specialist Award: Dorothy Brandon
- Most Grant Dollars Award: Angela Williams
In addition to individual awards, team awards were also presented.
Several teams received awards for productivity, new partnerships, and outreach.
Program Area Productivity Award: Family & Child Development and Consumer Science & Personal Financial Management Teams
- Team Leader: Dorothy Brandon
- Team Members: Danielle Rudolph, Darlene Minniefield, Nkenge Hyter, Ciji Griffin, Cynthia Whittaker, Juana Christian, Pamela Irby and Donna Gullatte
Most New Partnerships Award: Human Health, Diet and Nutrition Team
- Team Leader: Tamara Warren
- Team Members: Darlene Minniefield, Juana Christian, Megan Lester, Nkenge Hyter and Monica Townser
Most Participants Reached Award: Home Grounds, Gardens & Home Pests and Forestry, Wildlife & Natural Resources Teams
- Team Leaders: Rudy Pacumbaba and Karnita Garner
- Members: Allyson Shabel, Roosevelt Robinson, Hayes Jackson and Marcus Garner
The Urban Summit 2020 was successful in meeting its objectives.
“The Urban Summit is an opportunity for Alabama Extension staff at AAMU to participate in professional development activities and to be recognized for past achievements,” Malone said.