The Introduction to Inclusive Excellence in Extension course supports members of the Oregon State University (OSU) Extension community in understanding OSU's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as Extension's federal Civil Rights responsibilities, so they can be equipped to act in a manner that is consistent with OSU's commitment to Inclusive Excellence. While the course is designed for individuals volunteering for OSU Extension, anyone wishing to learn more about putting diversity, equity, and inclusion values into practice can benefit from this training.
This course is designed to support Extension volunteers in:
Ana Lucia Fonseca has a passion for social change and the value that authenticity brings to organizations and the world. Before being an inclusion Specialist, she worked as an Extension youth development faculty with a specialty in culturally relevant education for youth and families. Ana Lu is a Social Psychologist with an M.S. in Forest Engineering and is currently working on her Ph.D. focusing on Latina Entrepreneurs. Ana Lu also serves on the Board of Directors of the Oregon State Credit Union. Before working at OSU, she worked for the Federal Mexican Government implementing innovative rural development programs for indigenous communities and leading the national forestry education program. Areas of interest include social justice, financial feminism, innovation, and community vitality.
Dr. Kristi Backe is the Curriculum and Professional Development Coordinator for the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program. After earning a B.A. in Elementary Education at Purdue University, Kristi spent six years teaching environmental education programs and coordinating curriculum development at the Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. While earning her Ph.D. in Entomology at North Carolina State University, Kristi organized outreach events in schools, camps, and community centers to support students in connecting to their local ecosystems. In her role as Curriculum and Professional Development Coordinator, Kristi works with the Outdoor School team, formal and nonformal educators, and many university and community partners to support meaningful outdoor learning experiences for students throughout Oregon.
Charissa V. Jones is the Outreach and Inclusion Coordinator for the Oregon State University Extension Service Outdoor School Program (OSU Ext. Outdoor School) and a first-year doctoral student at Oregon State University in the College of Education’s STEM Education program. She is a cultural and community connector with over 15 years of experience in outdoor and environmental education. Originally from Suriname, South America, she is interested in (re)connecting folks to their environments by exploring the intersections of culture, EDIJA (equity, diversity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility), and environmental and outdoor education with a particular interest in exploring how culture filters community sense-making around “environment/outdoor/nature-based” learning. Charissa understands the power and necessity of grounding her work in her own subjectivity to hold herself accountable to the communities she works with. This attention to her identities and how they intersect her work provides her with the ability to provide attention and care to implementation processes. She active in the outdoor and environmental education community at local, state ,and national levels and currently serves on the board for the Environmental Education of Association of Oregon (EEAO) and is a member of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) Affiliate Networking Group. Charissa earned a M.Sc. in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England (AUNE) and a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a focus on Environmental Education from New College of Florida (NCF).
Elsa Curtis serves as Program Representative for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion unit of the OSU Extension Service. Her work focuses on Civil Rights compliance for County Extension offices, and expanding access to Extension programs and services for historically excluded populations. Her professional experience and interests include operationalizing equity and inclusion, and creating culturally responsive and inclusive customer service strategies. Prior to her role with Extension, Elsa worked for OSU’s College of Business, and University Events department planning and implementing events and communication strategies to engage a wide audience of OSU students, employees, and community members, as well as working as a customer service representative for a local event rental company, and working for the Scouts of America as a Camp Commissioner.