University of Vermont team earns Urgent Community Need Award at eXtension’s Impact Collaborative Summit

For Immediate Release
November 16th, 2018
Contact: Aaron Weibe,

Indianapolis, IN. Vermont DEI, a team from the University of Vermont participated in eXtension’s Impact Collaborative Summit from October 16th – 18th in Indianapolis, IN. The Summit united design thinkers from the Cooperative Extension System and partners from organizations confronting the most pressing challenges of our time to shape positive futures for communities. Three days of co-creating, hands-on learning, and collaborative conversations sparked innovation and creative implementation planning in over 30 projects designed for local community impacts. Summit teams, which included Extension professionals and partners, along with diverse partners from regional and national organizations and businesses explored the processes and practices that enable co-creative approaches to the challenges and opportunities in our communities.

The team included Alison Nihart, Cheryl Herrick, and Sarah Kleinman. Their program promotes a shift in culture within CES and its programs to embrace and operationalize a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive atmosphere, recognizing multiple dimensions of identity and experience.

At the end of the three-day Summit, teams participated in a “PitchFest”  where they each presented the advancements on their projects and the important next steps and investments needed to move forward.  The PitchFest was judged by external partners/investors, Extension leaders, and peer co-creators.

As a result of the PitchFest, Vermont DEI earned an award for Urgent Community Need – Internal. This award has earned the team recognition within the Cooperative Extension System nationally and a trip to the 2019 Impact Collaborative Summit.

To learn more about eXtension’s Impact Collaborative and how it is helping Cooperative Extension professionals make a more visible, measurable, local impact – visit us online at

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