The NPSEC Staff
As Executive Director, Tom works with extension Pesticide Safety Educators and other stakeholders to manage the organizational, fiscal and governing structure of the Center. He oversees the development of services and products to help state and territory pesticide safety education programs operate more effectively and efficiently. Tom also works to identify and develop new revenue streams to help support pesticide safety education and to sustain NPSEC.
Tom is also an Extension Specialist in Agriculture and Agribusiness at Michigan State University, where he develops and delivers training programs in food, agriculture and natural resources to US military veterans who have barriers to employment. He also is a co-principal investigator for VESTA, a National Science Foundation National Center of Excellence focused on online wine and grape education. Tom also does work related to standards and has conducted training programs for international delegations for inspection and certification of agricultural products. Other international work has included skills and workforce development in East Africa and Southeast Asia as well as teaching in China.
“Building a new organization focused on pesticide safety education across the country with a mission to directly support state pesticide safety education programs is a tremendous opportunity and is critically important in these times of high need and reduced resources,” Tom Smith – February 2017
Education Program Developer
As NPSEC’s Educational Program Developer, Kerry is responsible for working with PSEP programs to identify existing educational resources and tools, in addition to developing new tools to meet the needs of Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) coordinators. Another key responsibility for Kerry is to work cooperatively with PSEP’s to identify and facilitate opportunities to generate revenue to improve the sustainability of their programs. Kerry also works in collaboration, with numerous other stakeholders, including industry, state and federal agencies, and organizations supporting pesticide safety education to accomplish these goals.
As a former member of the Penn State Pesticide Education program, Kerry’s pesticide safety education experience provides a solid background in the development of educational materials using a wide range of approaches to meet stakeholder needs. Kerry has been involved in helping the University of Delaware to reestablish their PSEP as a PSEP IMI Goal 1 State. This opportunity has given her a broader perspective of PSEP needs in smaller states. Her 70% part-time appointment with the NPSEC allows her to continue her efforts to establish a sustainable PSEP in Delaware and fulfill her responsibilities as AAPSE President.
As the Executive Assistant, Courtney provides administrative support to the National Pesticide Safety Education Center by coordinating meeting logistics, managing travel and expenses, preparing reports, responding to information requests, and maintaining the national Paraquat training database.
Courtney is also an Administrative Assistant with Michigan State University Extension where she arranges travel and manages expenses as part of a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to host meetings related to Worker Protection Standard and Pesticide Certification & Training.
She holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Entomology from Michigan State University (MSU). Before joining NPSEC, she served as Lab Manager for the Benbow Applied Ecology Lab at MSU and conducted forensic entomology research.
Creative Director of Communications
Kara Maddox is the Creative Director of Communications for the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC). Kara’s responsibilities include developing and implementing communications & marketing strategies, managing digital content and social media activity, and supporting Corporate Social Responsibility engagement efforts for NPSEC.
Kara joins the NPSEC team after 10 years of teaching in higher education. She is an Associate Professor of English and Communications at Georgia Military College. Her teaching career began when she was fifteen-years-old living just outside the city of Chicago where she worked as a Sensei with Illinois Shotokan Karate Club. She is a two-time national champion and a junior Olympian in kumite.
In 2005, Kara moved down south to attend the University of Georgia where she double majored in English and English Education. She holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Augusta State University. In 2018, Kara earned her Master of Arts degree in Communications from Johns Hopkins University with concentrations in Public Relations & Digital Communications. She is the founder of KJMdigital and now lives in Colorado Springs, CO.
Chuck has a Bachelor’s degree from The School of Communications and Theater at Temple University, specializing in Radio-Television-Film. Since 1988, he has been working in broadcast and independent video production, eventually opening his own business, Chazzbo Media, in 2009. His work with NPSEC began in 2017, and includes writing for video and online education modules, as well as producing and directing multiple related video projects; most recently overseeing a series of multimedia projects spotlighting the problem of Invasive Species in Guam.
Mike has been with NPSEC since 2017 creating a wide variety of multimedia projects including; website designs, video productions, e-learning modules, e-book authoring and more. He graduated from Slippery Rock University with a Bachelors of Science in Communication with an emphasis in Emerging Technologies and Multimedia, with a Minor in Film and Media Studies in 2007. Mike has since worked with clients across the country of all sizes and is excited for the opportunity to work with you on your next project.
National Pesticide Safety Education Center
PO Box 1391
Okemos, MI 48805, USA
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