By: Caitlin Powers
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service welcomes the newest member of the extension team, Kevin Andrews.
“We have a great team here,” Andrews said.
As the newly hired extension assistant Andrews assists with the Texas Extension Accountability System Help Desk.
“The Texas Extension Accountability System is what every agent and specialist across Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service uses to keep track of what they do on a daily basis,” Andrews said.
The TExAS Help Desk is what provides the Texas Extension Accountability System users assistance when they experience problems or have questions about the system.
“When they have question of how to use the software or get an error message they give me a call,” Andrews said.
Andrews explained the importance of the accountability system is to give managers and supervisors an idea of what is going on across the state. As an extension assistant Andrews takes the data and complies it to go to managers, supervisors, and most importantly, state legislatures.
“When they are in session, like they are now, we can show them we had this many contacts with this many, we did these type of programs, and these were the outcomes and outputs of the programs,” Andrews said.
The focus area of Andrews’ job is the data visualization. Instead of a spreadsheet with just numbers, Andrews and the Extension team are putting the data out on the web and are designing it to be compatible to be viewed on smart devices, such as iPads.
Andrews said he is also taking data for all extension programs in the United States to use to benchmark Extension’s programs against.
“Anytime you evaluate something you are doing, you have to have something to compare it against,” Andrews said.
The best comparisons for extension programs in Texas are the extension programs in Florida or California, Andrews said.
Andrews received a Bachelor of Arts in business from Texas A&M-Commerce and then became a commercial real estate broker where he developed an interest in community development and urban planning.
Andrews made his way to Aggieland to pursue a Master of Education in agriculture leadership, education, and communications and is now currently working on his Ph.D. with the department where he is focusing on extension based community development and urban planning.
Andrews believes his position as an extension assistant will open up a lot of doors for him to purse his passion for community development and urban planning.
At his new position, Andrews hopes to further the awareness of extension and is excited to be at the grass roots of the project.
“To be on the ground floor of anything is always exciting,” Andrews said, “and to work with this team as they work to rebuild Texas by having websites that have visualization aspects, is exciting.”