RNECE – West Leadership Team

BakerSusan Susan Baker, Ed.D.  – RNECE – West Director
Associate Professor, Extension Specialist – EFNEP Program Area Leader, Family and Consumer Sciences
Colorado State University
Susan has 25 years of leadership experience of the EFNEP program, PI and Co-PI of multiple USDA funded grant projects, and development of a widely used nutrition education curriculum. She provides overall direction for CSU’s EFNEP program, facilitating communication and coordination between the university and the county offices where the program resides. Susan represents the program at national meetings and is responsible for program implementation and administration following the EFNEP guidelines as well as coordinates educational programming, program evaluation efforts, and leadership of research projects evaluating program effectiveness.  She is also actively involved in NC2169: EFNEP Related Research, Program Evaluation and Outreach., 970.491.5798
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BaraleKaren Karen Barale, M.S., R.D., C.D., FADA – RNECE – West Co-Director
Associate Professor, State EFNEP Leader
Pierce County
Washington State University Extension
Karen coordinates the Washington State EFNEP program. In addition, she oversees local EFNEP and SNAP-Ed programs in Pierce County. Karen is a co-PI on the USDA People’s Garden School Garden Pilot Project Grant, and a member of the implementation team on two USDA AFRI grants –  A Family Based Media Literacy Approach to Improving Youth and Family Nutrition and Promoting the Self-Regulation of Energy Intake on African American and Latino Preschoolers: A Family Focused Obesity Prevention Program. Karen provides leadership to the Dietary Assessment and Behavior Workgroup for the NC2169: EFNEP Related Research, Program Evaluation and Outreach., 253.798.3262
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AuldGarry Garry Auld, Ph.D., R.D. – RNECE – West Evaluation Specialist
Colorado State University
Gary’s research interests include designing community and school nutrition education programs; program evaluation (quantitative and qualitative); sustainable food system issues; interventions and assessments of limited resource audiences. He serves as an evaluation consultant to nationally recognized nutrition interventions for EFNEP and SNAP-Ed as well as the Eating Smart • Being Active curriculum. He is currently one of the co-leaders of NC2169: EFNEP Related Research, Program Evaluation and Outreach, 970.491.7429
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Katie McGirr, MS., RD. – RNECE – West Center Manager
Research Associate III
(970) 491-3642
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Brigid McDonnell, MPH  – RNECE – West Project Manager
Research Associate II
(970) 491-6581
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Dwayne Watson  – RNECE – West Budget and Technical Support
Office Manager
(970) 491-2555
Steering Committee Members
Name Institution Institutional Position Area of Expertise

Nancy Betts Oklahoma State University Department Head Research methodology and statistics
Jan Carroll Colorado State University Extension Administrator Organizational development
Leslie Cunningham-Sabo Utah State University Assistant Professor/Extension Specialist
Carrie Durward Utah State University Associate Professor/Extension Specialist
Kathy Gunter Oregon State University Associate Professor and Extension Specialist Physical activity and programming
Marilyn Morrissey Colorado State University Sponsored Programs Fiscal management
Joanne Littlefield Colorado State University Extension Director of Extension Outreach Communications
Rachel Novotny University of Hawaii Professor Childhood obesity prevention
Jill Shultz Washington State University Professor and Extension Specialist Evaluation, SNAP-Ed Implementing Agency
Mary Kay Wardlaw University of Wyoming Associate Extension Director Programming and adult learning
Ruth Willson Colorado State University Extension Director of Technology Information Technology
Nutrition Education Advisory Committee

Name Institution Institutional Position
Cathy Franklin Washington State WIC Nutrition Program Nutrition Coordinator
Heidi LeBlanc Utah State University Extension Professor/Food Sense Director
Danita Martinez Wyoming Department of Family Services State SNAP Director
Mindy Meuli University of Wyoming Director, Cent$sible Nutrition Program
Amy Pezzani Food Bank of Larimer County Executive Director
Marla Reicks University of Minnesota Professor/Extension Nutritionist
Elena Serrano Virginia Tech Associate Professor
Mary Wilson University of Nevada Extension Nutrition Specialist
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Policy, Systems and Environmental Change Advisory Committee
Name Institution Institutional Position

Alice Ammerman University of North Carolina Director, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Donna Johnson University of Washington Professor
Catherine Lillehoj Iowa Department of Public Health Research Scientist
Aurora Buffington Southern Nevada Health District Health Educator
Natalie Tauzin Spokane Regional Health District Health Program Specialist
Amy Ellings Washington State Department of Health Program Manager
Cheryl Polasek Puget Sound Educational Service District Nutrition Services Director
Erin Ulric Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Branch Chief
Stephanie Martinez Arizona Department of Health Services Nutrition Network Program Manager