Amy Harder Appointed Associate Dean of UConn Extension

Harder will lead UConn Extension's programs, which serve all of Connecticut's 169 municipalities

Smiling woman outside

Amy Harder will join UConn to lead the University's Cooperative Extension System. (Contributed)

The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) at the University of Connecticut is pleased to announce that following a national search, Amy Harder, Ph.D. will serve as the next associate dean of UConn Extension. Harder will be taking over this role from Michael O’Neill, Ph.D. who has served as both associate dean and associate director of UConn Extension since 2012.

“Dr. Harder brings extensive experience and dedication to the community to this role,” says CAHNR Dean Indrajeet Chaubey. “We are confident that she will help the College build on the current success of UConn Extension to serve our communities and fulfill our land-grant mission.”

Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, it wasn’t until Harder was an undergraduate at Colorado State University that she learned about Extension and changed her career path to focus on working for the organization. Her experience as a county 4-H agent inspired her research and Extension programs as a state Extension specialist, which focus on competency-based professional development, effective mentoring, and improving organizational practices in extension organizations. That work has resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed publications and competitive research funding.

“I am honored to join one of the nation’s top public universities and support communities in Connecticut and beyond,” says Harder. “I am excited to have the opportunity to work with stakeholders around the state to connect residents of all ages and all backgrounds with CAHNR through Extension’s impactful programs.”

Before coming to UConn, Harder served as a professor within the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida and director of the Program Development and Evaluation Center. She holds a Ph.D. in agricultural education and communication from Texas A&M University.

Harder will assume the role as associate dean of UConn Extension January 27, 2023.

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