Serving Communities through Engagement

As a department, CLD is guided by the values of learning, discovery, and engagement which underlie the land-grant philosophy. As such, CLD strives to collaborate with diverse institutions, communities, and people to improve lives. In the process, the Department integrates engagement with both research and instruction. For example, the results of the Department’s upcoming statewide Kentucky Communities Survey will both be presented to local Kentucky audiences and inform community projects. In addition, our faculty with Extension title series appointments are expected to engage in applied research and publish whether or not their DOE officially includes a research component. In the case of instruction, the Department facilitates and encourages student community engagement through service learning for undergraduates and “action projects” for graduate students. A previous review of rural sociology conducted before the formation of CLD noted it was difficult for the review team to distinguish between faculty with Extension title series and regular title series appointments. We considered that a compliment and hope we have maintained a highly integrated approach in all our programs.  

It is impossible to adequately describe all of CLD’s engagement efforts in this document. Instead, recent representative work within several overlapping focus areas will be discussed along with the activities of the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative and the Center for Leadership Development. 

Center for Leadership Development  (CFLD)

The Center for Leadership Development  builds leadership capacity through research, education, networks of leadership partners, and services. 

The CFLD supports the leadership related activities within the UK College of Agriculture including the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative, is home to the Turner Leadership Academy,  (a 2-year undergraduate leadership certificate program), and hosting partner for the Let’s Lead  website (a consortium of 15 community organizations offering leadership development programming to local youth and the public.)

Through the W. Norris Duvall Endowment for Youth Leadership, Ethics and Service, the CFLD sponsors an annual Duvall Leader in Residence Program.  In 2009, Hal Hamilton and Susan Sweitzer (founders of the Sustainable Food Laboratory ) shared their experience leading a Theory-U  approach to building an international collaboration.  The week-long program gave students, faculty and staff in the College and University, as well as community people and leaders in state government an opportunity to meet and speak with leaders with a Kentucky connection that exemplify innovation and service.

In addition, Duvall funds support a longitudinal youth leadership development research project in collaboration with the Kenton County School District examining effectiveness of school and community-based leadership initiatives to enhance high school students’ leadership skills and youth/adult partnerships.

The CFLD is able to consult with on-campus sand community-based groups and organizations to design and develop programs to build leadership capacity through enhancing individuals’ skills and group effectiveness.  It offers workshops and custom programs in the area of individual, interpersonal, organizational and community leadership skills.  One of its signature programs is Equine Guide Leadership Education and the workshop Herd Dynamics for Leaders where participants work with horses to learn leadership competencies.  The CFLD also provides training on personality types, communication, effective listening, team development and many other leadership skills sets.

Dr. Patricia Dyk is the Director of the CFLD and Lissa Pohl, MA is Program and Outreach Associate.  See our website for additional information at .


Kentucky Consortium for Community Leadership (KCCL)

The Kentucky Consortium for Community Leadership (KCCL) is designed to be a “one-stop shop” for all of your community leadership needs.  Established in 2008, KCCL isn’t your traditional consortium of organizations; rather it is a “resource” consortium, bringing together the numerous resources that leaders need to be successful in today’s complex communities.  This includes websites, trainings, articles, extension publications and information on the many issues associated with community leadership.

Two important resources call the KCCL website their home.  First, the Building Community Leaders for Tomorrow (BCLT) program is housed on the website.  This is a program of topics salient to today’s leaders – aspects such as negotiation, conflict management, community action and many more.  These topics are presented in two ways: (1) through individual seminars developed for a target audience and (2) through Extension in-services offered across the state.  Check the website for upcoming trainings, and if you are interested in having a seminar on a specific leadership topic developed for your group, please contact Dr. Kristina Ricketts at

Another important resource available on the KCCL website is the Empowering Leaders in Kentucky (ELK) program.  This program was designed to assist individuals in improving leadership capacities within their families and communities.  ELK includes a variety of components including ELK Extension publications, teaching outlines and learning activities, as well as group trainings.  See the website for more details.

Finally, Dr. Kristina Ricketts, the leadership development specialist for the University of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension, is happy to work or consult with community leaders and groups.  She can provide information on a wide variety of topics, including local leadership program development, leadership curriculum development for groups, leadership evaluation, special leadership topics and more.  Please contact her at with any questions.

Additional information about KCCL can be found on its website at:


Nonprofit Leadership Initiative (NLI)

The Nonprofit Leadership Initiative’s mission is to serve, support, and strengthen Kentucky’s nonprofit sector. As such, the Initiative provides programs and services that encourage nonprofit collaboration, effectiveness, accountability and innovation to strengthen Kentucky communities. The NLI has developed a statewide Nonprofit Network with approximately 250 members and organizes an annual fall conference or gathering of Kentucky nonprofits. A current list of network members along with detailed information on the NLI is available on the Initiative’s web site at

In addition to the annual conference, the NLI organizes an extensive schedule of workshops. The NLI also sponsors “Lunch and Learn” which is a monthly luncheon designed to provide an opportunity for nonprofit professionals to come together for networking and discussion on various topics. (Engagement Appendix 2 includes a list of past Lunch and Learn topics.)

Finally, the NLI Director, Danielle Clore, either consults with or arranges consultation for individual nonprofit organizations in such areas as strategic planning, board development, board self-assessment, fiscal management, fund development, and program evaluation.  

Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaches Institute (KECI) 

Dr. Hustedde is Director of the Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaches Institute which combines leadership development with entrepreneurial coaching and advocacy. Funded by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, this unique educational initiative focuses on 19 tobacco dependent counties in Northeastern Kentucky and  provides intensive educational experiences for 60 civic leaders who learn to coach individual entrepreneurs and work with others to stimulate entrepreneurial friendly communities. The program was recognized as “one of the best entrepreneurial practices in the nation” by the U.S. Small Business Administration office of Advocacy, the Kauffman Foundation, and the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association in 2005. Additional information about the Institute is available on its web site at

Agricultural Education Outreach 

CLD Agricultural Education faculty have a significant outreach program in support of public school agriculture teachers and programs, school administrators, the Kentucky Department of Education, and regional university faculty. This is accomplished through work with Kentucky TEAM AG ED Joint State Staff (Horstmeier, Kitchel, Robinson) and the Kentucky Vocational Agriculture Teachers (Horstmeier, Kitchel, Robinson), being the advisor for Ag Ed REPS which recruits high school students into agricultural education (Robinson), and developing and teaching professional development seminars for the Kentucky Department of Education CTE New Teacher Academy (Horstmeier). Other activities include working with Kentucky FFA and the Kentucky FFA Foundation and hosting FFA activities at UK which bring high school agriculture teachers and their students to campus. 

Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL)

The purpose of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) is to provide teaching and learning resources for faculty in the College of Agriculture to include: a website identifying resources that faculty can look up for improving their practice; coordinating a college-wide advisory committee for teaching and learning issues; assisting the college in developing and coordinating workshops and conferences (e.g., our annual teaching workshop, NACTA Conference, etc…); and providing direction and coordination of an Academy of Teaching and Learning Scholars in the College. Tracy Kitchel is the Center's director.  The Center is housed in the Office of Academic Programs and and supported by the Associate Dean for Academic Program, Dr. Mike Mullen.   More information can be found at the Center's website:

Community Communications Interest Group (CCIG)

The Community Communications Interest Group houses three initiatives: Kentucky Online Community Journalism and Civic Engagement Project (to examine how newspaper editors/news audiences use features on online newspapers and blogs, their perceptions about credibility, attitude toward website and media and citizen journalists' role conceptions, and their civic and community engagement patterns); The Kentucky Citizen Media Project, KCMP (to initiate a citizen-based media through the Internet in Robertson County, Kentucky, which is the only county in Kentucky with no local newspaper, but a county-wide Wi-Fi wireless network. Then the KCMP will train citizens to become citizen journalists who report and deliver news and information regarding public and community affairs through the online citizen media; and The Internet and US Farmers Markets  (to examine community structural pluralism and its impact on community organizations' activities. Specifically, this study examines to what degree community features affect the Internet adoption by U.S. farmers' markets.)   Seungahn Nah  is the principal investigator.  More information can be found at their website:

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