Cummings Recognized for Excellence in Extension

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By: Caitlin Powers

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Scott Cummings, Dr.PH., was  recognized by the American Evaluation Association by receiving the 2013 Sustained Excellence in Extension Evaluation Award.

“Scott has demonstrated strong leadership and his work will make significant evaluation efforts more relevant and visible in Extension work,” Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Director, Douglas Steele, Ph.D. said.

Cummings’ award recognized his outstanding contributions to Extension and evaluation through his work with the Excellence in Extension effort. He is the program leader for Extension’s Organizational Development unit and associate head for Extension in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications.

Cummings has been a major contributor in developing the framework and operationalizing of the national web-based system, Excellence in Extension, Steele said. The system collects standard data from the 75 Extension institutions from all over the nation to measure the impact of Extension.

“The award recognizes the work we are doing with the Excellence in Extension project,” Cummings said. “It shows the respect people have collectively for what we do.”

The system creates reports institutions can use to measure their value and impact to then benchmark how they are doing compared to other states. The reports have also been used for legislative purposes in Washington D.C.

“This project is aimed at trying to make everybody better,” Cummings said.

The Excellence in Extension project was the basis for Cummings’ nomination for the award. Cummings credits his team for the success of the project that has allowed him to be recognized.

“We are very fortunate we have good resources and a lot of staff and not every state and institution has the resources we’ve got,” Cummings said.

Working with Extension for 17 years, Cummings said the award is something he didn’t expect but feels really good about after it happens. Being successful as a group is more important Cummings said.

“It doesn’t really change what I do, how I work or how I think about things.”

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