1890s Multi-State Conference Speakers 2023

Dr. Carolyn J. Williams

Carolyn J. Williams is a native of Palestine, Texas. Her roots in Extension began when her mother enrolled her and two younger brothers in the 4-H Program under the leadership of the late Mrs. Ruby Ragsdale, Anderson county Extension agent. She is an experienced professional educator, manager and Extension leader with 46 years of experience as a transformation leader and strategic visionary advancing the land-grant mission.

Currently, as executive associate director of the Cooperative Extension Program, she provides statewide administrative oversight and accountability to the four program areas, agriculture and natural resources, 4-H youth development, community and economic development and family and community health in 50 Texas counties. She also assists in strategic planning and engagement with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Leadership Team in support of county program implementation and interpretation.

She worked as county Extension agent with the Texas A&M AgriLife Service in in five Texas counties for 18 years. She assumed the position as program leader for family and consumer sciences with the Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University in 1997 and the executive associate director position in 2011.

Williams presently serves as chair of the 1890 Association of Extension Administrators and has served as chair of the ECOP Program Committee and as a board member for LEAD21, the Agriculture Assembly Policy Board, EDEN Executive Committee, Texas Coming Together for Racial Understanding Task Group and the 1890 Foundation Board.

She received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Prairie View A&M University in home economics education and a doctoral degree from Texas A&M University in agricultural education.

Dr. Nina Lyon-Bennett

Dr. Nina Lyon-Bennett is assistant dean for academics in the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). In this position, she supports faculty and department chairs in managing various aspects of academic programming, including curriculum and program development and assessment, student enrollment and persistence to graduation. Dr. Lyon-Bennett fosters a spirit of excellence in fulfilling the school’s academic mission, assists the dean/director in developing and implementing policies and procedures and provides training and professional development opportunities for faculty, staff, and students. She focuses on a holistic approach to student success, academic excellence and creating a culturally inclusive environment where diversity of thought and a sense of belonging facilitates full participation in teaching, learning, community outreach and social engagement. Dr. Lyon-Bennett earned her Ph.D. in human development/family studies from the University of Georgia, and her B.S. and M.S. degrees in sociology from Clark College and Atlanta University, respectively, and completed graduate certificates in social gerontology, women’s studies, and family financial planning.

Over the course of her 30 plus year career in higher education, Dr. Lyon-Bennett has served in both faculty and administrative leadership roles, demonstrating a commitment to student success, understanding the intersectionality of race, class and gender on student recruitment, enrollment, retention and persistence to graduation, promotion, and tenure. She is an advocate of diversity, equity, and inclusion and for the advancement of women of color to leadership roles. Dr. Lyon-Bennett is a 2023 Fellow in the HBCU Executive Leadership Institute, a mentor for the 2022 Leadership Fellows Program with the Board on Health and Human Sciences, serves on the board of LEAD21, is a 2014 graduate of the Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI) and has secured over $6 million in external funding. In addition to her administrative duties, she currently serves as a Co-PD on the 1890 Centers of Excellence for Student Success and Workforce Development (SSWD Center), housed at North Carolina A&T University, where she is leading the effort on a formalized mentoring program for first-year students in schools of agriculture at eight 1890 land-grant institutions (LGIs). Dr. Lyon-Bennett serves as a facilitator for the Coming Together for Racial Understanding, is a published author and serves on several committees to advance the mission of 1890 LGIs to support innovative programming and effective delivery of academic, research, Extension and other outreach programs that benefit socially disadvantaged individuals, families, and economically distressed communities.

Dr. Virginie Zoumenou

of HODr. Virginie Zoumenou is a professor of dietetics and nutrition in the Department of Human Ecology, Extension nutrition and health programs director and director of the Center for Obesity Prevention Serving Preschoolers, their Siblings and Caregivers (COP-SPSC) at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). She is also a certified program evaluator and the principal investigator of the USDA AMS Cooperative Research Agreement project: Evaluating USDA AMS Grant Programs, Successes and Challenges with a Focus on Underserved Communities.

Dr. Zoumenou earned a doctorate in biochemistry and nutrition and a Ph.D. in dietetics and nutrition. Her focuses are on outreach programs, community engagement projects and childhood obesity projects emphasizing the nutritional needs throughout the life cycle. She implemented a childhood obesity project among head start preschoolers and their caregivers and initiated the Center for Obesity Prevention Serving Preschoolers, their Siblings and Caregivers (COP-SPSC) at UMES. Dr. Zoumenou has also provided leadership to several projects: The Well Connected Communities (WCC), a 10-year project sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the EXCITE 1 and 2 vaccination projects sponsored by the CDC and the Extension Foundation; and the USDA Agricultural Marketing Services (AMS) Project -Evaluating USDA AMS Grant Opportunities-Successes and Challenges-Focusing on Underserved Communities.

Dr. Zoumenou has been awarded more than $5 million in competitive and non-competitive funding opportunities. She received the 2015 1890s Region Excellence in Extension award presented by ECOP and NIFA; the 2015 1890 Excellence in Extension Award in Family and Consumer Sciences presented by the 1890 Association of Extension Administrators; twice the White House President’s Volunteer Service Award (2010-2012) and the 2013 Robert F. Allen Symbol of HOPE: (Helping Other People through Empowerment).PE: (Helping Other People through Empowerment).

Dr. Jacqueline M. Holland

Jacqueline M. Holland, Ed.D., CFCS, is an associate professor and chair in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Throughout her career in education, she has served as a classroom teacher, school administrator and district supervisor for family and consumer sciences programs.

Dr. Holland served as the president of the National Coalition for Black Development in Family and Consumer Sciences. During her tenure as president of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), she explored the practice of diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization. She currently manages the AAFCS Community of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Dr. Holland was inducted into the Havre de Grace High School Hall of Fame in 2018. She has received several professional awards in family and consumer sciences including the AAFCS Distinguished Service Award, Outstanding Family and Consumer Sciences Service Award, President Award, Outstanding Visionary Leader, and from Morgan State University, the President's Faculty Award for Service. She has presented and written globally on her research in home economics. Dr. Holland is co-author of the recently published book,African Americans in the Human Sciences: Challenges and Opportunities. It explores the role and experiences of African American women scholars and educators in human, family and consumer sciences.

Susan Jayne

Susan Jayne began working as a part-time EFNEP educator for University of Maryland Eastern Shore in June 2010. She began as an educator to children of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. She continued with the program and began education classes for adults in September 2010.

Now a full-time educator, her work now includes the Well Connected Communities (WCC) and Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) programs. These additional assignments have opened opportunities for her to reach out to residents of all ages including pre-schoolers through senior citizens.

Dr. Brione Lockett

Brione Lockett Ph.D., MPH:

The Illinois native holds four degrees from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) in History and Africana Studies, a Master’s in Public Health, and Doctorate in Health Education.

Dr. Lockett recently was an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences and served as the Coordinator for African American/ Black student Programs at Utah Tech University (Formerly known as Dixie State University). Over the last few years, he served as an instructor in the Africana Studies and the Education department, as well as an Administrative assistant within the College of Liberal Arts at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He has also served as a two-term SIU Board of Trustees member. Dr. Lockett recently served on Utah’s Ethnic Studies Coalition, was a reviewer for the American Public Health Association (APHA), and has served as a member of various public health, professional, university committees, and academic organizations.

He has worked with both Illinois State and Congressional leaders. He also coordinated a statewide public health career fair, worked with the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health board working with Native Americans, and served as a member of a Student Outbreak Response Team (SORT) that conducted wellness checks for elderly persons living in an assisted living facility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of the Fall 2022 semester, Dr. Lockett is an Extension Assistant Professor in Cooperative Extension within the College of Agriculture. He plans to continue the work and research in the communities, classroom, and campus being an advocate and supporter of those in need. Dr. Lockett will educate, train, support, and mentor persons in his current role. He will be researching, planning, coordinating, and implementing health equity and wellness programs and workshops that serve various populations throughout Tennessee.

This material was funded by USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP, and under an agreement with the State of TN. This institution is and equal opportunity provider.

Tennessee State University is an AA/EEO employer.

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