View of Downtown Little Rock

Welcome Speakers

Dr. Bob Scott

Dr. Bob Scott

Senior Associate Vice President - Extension and Director of the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Bob Scott is the Senior Associate Vice President - Extension and Director of the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. He grew up in southwest Oklahoma on a cattle and peanut farm. He attended Oklahoma State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy in 1991 and a Master of Science in Weed Science in 1994. He then attended Mississippi State University where he earned a doctorate degree in weed science. After graduating, Scott worked five years in the agriculture industry as a technical service representative. In 2002, he accepted the position of state Extension Weed Specialist, a position he held for 16 years. In 2013, he was named Director of the Lonoke and Newport Extension Centers, and in 2019, he became director of the Rice Research and Extension Center near Stuttgart, Arkansas.

During his career, Scott has served as president of the Arkansas Crop Protection Association in 2004 and was named Outstanding Young Weed Scientist by the Southern Weed Science Society in 2010. In 2018, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents and served as president of the Southern Weed Science Society.

He became Director of the Cooperative Extension Service on July 1, 2020. He lives in Cabot with his wife.

Diana Morian

Diana Morian

Director of Information Technology for the UA Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Diana Morian is the Director of Information Technology for the UA Division of Agriculture-Cooperative Extension Service. She has a Master of Science Degree in Education with an emphasis in Technology from the University of Central Arkansas. There is an accumulation of over 26+ years of IT experience, with over 14 of those at Extension. Diana can perform the duties in almost every area within IT. She is regularly rolling up her sleeves and helping where needed.

Ed Zuech

Ed Zuech

IT Director for the College of Ag Sciences at Penn State University

College of Ag Sciences at Penn State University

Edward is the IT Director for the College of Ag Sciences at Penn State University. He leads a team of 25 IT professionals in support of enterprise level systems and services for a diverse user base enabling all three missions of Penn State University: Teaching, Research and Service. The College of Ag Sciences is geographically spread across Pennsylvania to include 50+ University Park locations, 67 Extension County offices and seven research facilities and farms. Edward serves on several University committees and the College leadership team. Additionally, Edward serves in the United States Air Force and the Pennsylvania Air National Guard for the last 36 years and he currently holds the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. Lastly, Edward is the current NETC President NETC (2022 –2023) and previously served in this role (2018-2019).

Keynote Speaker

Dr.Nitin Agarwal

Dr. Nitin Agarwal

Director, Collaboratorium for Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies (COSMOS)

Web: https://cosmos.ualr.edu/

Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy Endowed Chair & Distinguished Professor

University of Arkansas – Little Rock

Web: https://profiles.ualr.edu/na10/

UA Little Rock

Nitin Agarwal’s research aims to push the boundaries of our understanding of digital and cyber social behaviors that emerge and evolve constantly in the modern information and communication platforms. At COSMOS, he is leading projects with a combined funding of over $20 million from an array of U.S. federal agencies including Department of Defense, DARPA, Department of State, National Science Foundation and plays a significant role in the long-term partnership between UA Little Rock and the Department of Homeland Security. He developed publicly available social media analysis tools (Blogtracker and VTracker), assisting NATO Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, European Defense agencies, Australian Defense Science and Technology agency’s strategic policy group, Singapore government, Arkansas Attorney General’s office, among others. Dr. Agarwal participates in the National Tech Innovation Hub launched by the U.S. Department of State to defeat foreign based propaganda. He is the chief technical advisor for Bond.AI, a Little Rock-based FinTech company, helping in developing financial behavioral models using Artificial Intelligence.

Dr. Agarwal’s research contributions lie at the intersection of social computing, behavior-cultural modeling, collective action, social cyber forensics, Artificial Intelligence, data mining, machine learning, smart health, and privacy. From Saudi Arabian women's right to drive cyber campaigns to Autism awareness campaigns to ISIS' and anti-West/anti-NATO disinformation campaigns, at COSMOS, he is directing several projects that have made foundational and applicational contributions to social and computational sciences, particularly in understanding coordinated cyber campaigns. He has published 10 books and over 300 articles in top-tier peer-reviewed forums including the NATO’s Defense StratCom Journal, Army University Press, CANSOFCOM’s Future Conflict journal, Baltic Security among others, with several best paper awards and nominations. His most recent book explores the deviant behaviors on the Internet and is published by Springer in their series on cybersecurity. His work has been covered by local, national, and international media including Bloomberg, US News, KUAR, Arkansas Business, Arkansas Times, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, and many others. Over the last several years, Dr. Agarwal has spoken at various public and professional, national and international forums such as the NATO’s StratCom COE (Riga, Latvia), DARPA, US Department of State, US Naval Space and Warfare (SPAWAR), US Pentagon’s Strategic Multilevel Assessment groups, US National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine, US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Facebook Asia Pacific HQ, Twitter Asia Pacific HQ, US Embassy in Singapore, Singapore Ministry of Communication and Information, NATO Senior Leadership meetings, USIP, among others.

Dr. Agarwal obtained Ph.D. from Arizona State University with outstanding dissertation recognition in 2009. He was recognized as one of 'The New Influentials: 20 In Their 20s' by Arkansas Business in 2012. He was recognized with the University-wide Faculty Excellence Award in Research and Creative Endeavors by UALR in 2015 and 2021. Dr. Agarwal received the Social Media Educator of the Year Award at the 21st International Education and Technology Conference in 2015. In 2017 the Arkansas Times featured Dr. Agarwal in their special issue on "Visionary Arkansans”. Dr. Agarwal was nominated as International Academy, Research and Industry Association (IARIA) Fellow in 2017, an Arkansas Academy of Computing (AAoC) Fellow in 2018, and an Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) Fellow in 2018. In 2021, his research was recognized as one of the top 10 solutions for “Countering Cognitive Warfare: The invisible Threat” by NATO’s Innovation Hub out of 132 teams from the 30 NATO member nations. In 2022, his COVID-19 Misinformation tracker was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the key technological innovations globally to address the COVID-19 pandemic. He can be reached at nxagarwal@ualr.edu.

Featured Speaker

Jason Davis

Jason Davis

Application Technologist

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Jason Davis has served as an Application Technologist with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture for the past 8 years. He has provided state-wide educational and technical assistance to county extension agents and Arkansas producers on application equipment selection, calibration, and drift mitigation in row-crop, pasture, and specialty crop production systems. Additionally, he assists producers with the adoption and use of GNSS technology, GIS applications, and precision agriculture equipment.

Presenters

Samantha Barker

Video Conferencing Technician

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Samantha Barker is the Video Conferencing Technician for the UA Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Information Science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2019. She competed in several Hack-A-Thon competitions in 2015-2019.

Technology has always been an interest and a favorite subject of hers with a love of chocolate and video games following close behind. Samantha likes to spend her free time with her husband and son, playing games with her bestie, reading mystery novels, picking up comic book collecting, and road trips with her family.

Megan Billson

Forest Resource Specialist

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Megan works as a Forest Resource Specialist at the Little Rock State office working directly under the Feral Hog Eradication Task Force Grant. A substantial portion of her job consists of using a drone to access feral hog damage on private property and thermal night flying to locate feral hogs for population assessments. As a recent graduate of Liberty University, where she completed her degree in Wildlife Biology, her career interests focus primarily on wildlife conservation and management.

Amy Cole

Digital Media Program Manager

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Amy has worked at the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service since September of 2013 as the Digital Media Program Manager where she oversees web, social media, e-newsletters, accessibility, and other digital media program areas. She has a background in website and digital media project management having worked as an Executive Producer at a nationally recognized web design firm for almost 8 years. She has an undergraduate degree in graphic design which helps her create branding and social media content among other projects. She has a master’s degree in Professional and Technical Writing also from UA Little Rock and is UX Certified by the Nielsen Norman Group. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, drawing, running, weightlifting, gardening, and singing (mostly in her car). She also loves spending time with her family which includes her husband Jeremy and their two daughters, Rowan, 17, and Riley 15, along with two cats, and a 50-year-old box turtle named Tank.

Kevin Cubbage

Area Information Technologist

Virginia Cooperative Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech

Kevin Cubbage is an Area Information Technologist with Virginia Cooperative Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech. He has been with Virginia Cooperative Extension for over 15 Years and, in his current role, works with 28 Units to provide support on many different aspects of Information Technology. One of the job's highlights is working with all program areas and developing and implementing new and innovative projects with his agents and staff.

Dr. Karen DiCicco

Assistant Director of Information Technology

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Karen DiCicco is the Assistant Director of Information Technology at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.

Karen attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Science in 2018, a Graduate Certificate in Data Science and Master of Science in Information Science in 2019, and a doctorate degree in Computer and Information Science in 2022. Karen joined the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in 2017 as a Professional Assistant II and became the Digital & IT Innovation Manager for the Division of Agriculture in 2019.

As the Assistant Director of Information Technology, Karen is responsible for identifying and integrating new and emerging technologies into existing program areas, data security, application development project management, and providing education, training, and support on technology for the Division of Agriculture.

Stephanie Diehl

Program Manager

Virginia Cooperative Extension's Family Nutrition Program (FNP)

As a registered dietitian with a master's in health sciences, I work for Virginia Tech as a Program Manager for Virginia Cooperative Extension's Family Nutrition Program (FNP). The FNP is funded jointly by two USDA grants - EFNEP and SNAP-Ed. I provide training and coaching for ten SNAP-Ed extension agents who provide train-the trainer curriculum education and implement policy, systems, environmental change work in the community to limited-resource families across the state. In my 30+ year career, I have worked as a public health nutritionist, a consultant dietitian for an OB/GYN office, a dietitian in a long-term care facility, and as a clinical dietitian at a specialty rehabilitation hospital for children and adolescents. For the past 20 years, my career has been in community nutrition with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Robin Ertz

IT Manager, Professional Development

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Robin has been serving Iowa State University Extension and Outreach for 25 years working in the IT Unit and currently in the Professional Development Unit. Over the years she has taught staff how to use technology; helped Extension educators move their courses online; designed and developed the virtual logistics and pieces of online courses; and developed and delivered research-based workshops focusing on: crucial conversations, adult learning strategies, presentation skills, technology, and digital accessibility.

Robin has a Masters in curriculum and instructional technology with certifications in instructional design and Crucial Conversations. This is Robin’s 20th NETC conference.

Dr. Lance Ford

Zoom Rooms Educator/Teacher

Zoom

Dr Ford is a Zoom Rooms Educator/Teacher. Lance has been a classroom teacher for over 28 years. As a Zoom Educator, Lance has had the opportunity to train over 30K teachers from Afghanistan to Australia and Canada to Brazil in the effective implementation of video technologies into the classroom. He teaches as an adjunct instructor for CASC in Poteau, OK where he leverages a variety of tools to engage learners both live and on-demand. He completed his PhD in Educational Administration, Curriculum and Supervision in 2009 from OU. Although he has been teaching via synchronous remote video for over 20 years, Lance’s focus is not the technology. Instead he is focused on how tools become the transparent conduit for authentic engagement regardless of geo-location.

Joe Gasper

IT Professional

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Joe Gasper is a seasoned IT professional with 20+ years of experience in higher education. Previously on the team that led the Microsoft 365 implementation for his campus, Joe is currently on the central IT team responsible for the agricultural and extension arm of his university. He enjoys connecting directly with users to help them increase their productivity and empower them to improve their business processes. With a sharing-is-caring mindset, you can listen to his modern workplace musings as co-host of #TheShiftShow podcast or find him sharing his knowledge in their Cloudy County Extension learning community. When he’s not absorbing blue light from his monitor, you’ll often find him out running or hiking.

Mike Gibson

Account Executive-Higher Education

Zoom

Mike Gibson is an Account Executive for Zoom Video Communications. He has worked in Higher Education, and Higher Ed technology since 2010, providing solutions to hundreds of Universities and Community Colleges in that span. As a trusted partner, Mike was recognized as Account Executive of the year and Pearson Award for outstanding service to customers for three years at Pearson Education from 2014-2016.

As a former educator, passionate about the Future of Education, and how to get the most out of your technology deployment for the campus community are topics that Mike will highlight.

Ashley Henderson

Online Course Technical Support Specialist

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Ashley Henderson has a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family life from Harding University. She started her career with University of Arkansas’s Cooperative Extension Service in 2006. Ashley has spent her professional career helping adults advance their learning through technology. She is currently serving as the Online Course Technical Support Specialist at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service. She currently serves as technical support to both our public and internal LMS systems (Moodle and Workday Learning). She works to help instructors build courses effectively and participants successfully enroll in and navigate the UADA’s online courses.

Dan Horn

Technology Trainer, Extension IT

University of Illinois

Dan provides training to Illinois Extension staff in technology areas to help them be more productive in their jobs. Training includes software used within Extension such as Office, Zoom, Adobe Products and internally developed software.

Dan has been with Illinois Extension for almost 13 years. He started in the State 4-H Office providing support for the internally developed database software used to manage 4-H Enrollments and Fair. When Illinois moved to 4-H Online and Fair Entry, he provided support and training on the new products.

In 2019, Dan transitioned into his new role as the Technology Trainer. With the impact of COVID-19, Dan provided a considerable number of virtual trainings that helped Illinois Extension staff continue to provide high quality programming in a new environment.

Prior to joining Illinois Extension, Dan worked for Consolidated Communications, a telecommunications company with their main office in Mattoon, IL. He held various positions in IT Support as well as Operator and Inmate Services support.

Dewayne Hyatt

Systems Administrator IV

University of Florida IFAS

Dewayne is a seasoned systems administrator currently with the University of Florida - IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences), specializing in server/endpoint management, configuration management, and modern workplace technologies. He is a passionate modern workplace teacher and loves to tell the story of digital transformation.

He has 16 years of experience in education technology and large enterprise environments. He is a community manager and has built a champions network of modern workplace professionals within the university of over 1300 members. Building upon this model he is also a co-founder of Cloudy County Extension a #ShiftShow community designed to bring modern workplace information to a national extension audience. He’s an avid hiker, camper, and lousy pickleball player.

Steven James

eLearning Specialist

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Steven James is the eLearning Specialist in the office of Extension Evaluation and Staff Development at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. His work focuses on instructional design and methodology for online learning environments. Steven enjoys fishing, hiking, and woodworking in his spare time, and he lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Greg Johll

Director of Educational Technology Support

University of Wisconsin

Greg Johll is the Director of Educational Technology Support for The University of Wisconsin Division of Extension. He has been with Cooperative Extension since 1994 where he started as the first help desk consultant and became director of the unit in 1998. As director he provides leadership for creating opportunities for statewide staff to more effectively use technology for collaboration and integration into their educational programs. He has presented at national, state and local conferences on a variety of topics. His work has also been feature in EdTech: Focus on Higher Education magazine (http://goo.gl/cd7w43). He holds an MS in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Educational Technology and Communications and a BS in mathematics.

Rachel Lipsey

Project/Program Specialist

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Rachel Lipsey is a Project/Program Specialist with the University of Arkansas System Division Of Agriculture. She holds a B.S in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Arkansas and has served in various roles in several departments (Engineering, Crops/Soil/Environmental Science, and Forestry) with the Cooperative Extension Service of UADA for 18 years. Her current projects include a Feral Swine Eradication Project, a Quail Habitat Demonstration, and a Deer Repellent Demonstration.

Kristena Merritt

Digital Media Technical Writer

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Kristena Merritt is a UA Little Rock alumna with her master’s degree in Professional and Technical Writing. She has worked as the Digital Media Technical Writer for the University of Arkansas Division of Ag since 2019. In her role, she works with the Digital Media Manager to manage the Arkansas Extension's public website. She specializes in web writing, usability, and e-newsletter content creation. She is fascinated with user experience and considers herself a user advocate. Outside of work, she loves to dance, play with her cat Rosie, and enjoy the local craft beer scene with her boyfriend, Isaac.

Lauren-Colby Nickels

Instructor

Mississippi State University Extension Center for Technology Outreach

Lauren-Colby Nickels is an Instructor for the Mississippi State University Extension Center for Technology Outreach. During her tenure with MSU-ES CTO, she has specialized in digital technology outreach and online marketing. She received her BA in Communications and Master of Public Policy and Administration from MSU, and she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Agriculture Education, Leadership and Communication. She is one of 2 Instructors in Mississippi who teach nontraditional workshops on the importance of digital technology. She helps small businesses and organizations build their brand and marketing plan using digital outreach such as websites, social media and third-party affiliates like Google and Yelp. She facilitates workshops and educational programs on the importance of digital literacy and technology outreach.

Michael Paskewitz

County Extension Agent

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Michael Paskewitz has worked for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture for 9 years as a County Extension Agent. Michael attained his commercial pilot license for small unmanned aerial systems. He is part of an Extension team using sUAS and multi spectral sensors to collect whole field imagery and develop workflows to quantify feral hog damage in agriculture.

Mary Poling

Coordinator for Interactive Communications

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Mary started testing and using Zoom in September 2012, initially to support agents and specialists in their online reporting. In 2015 she moved into her current position in the IT Department providing leadership and support for faculty and staff in their use of Zoom meetings and webinars. She is passionate about connecting visually in online meetings and is known for equating not turning on your webcam to like sitting in a face to face meeting with a paper bag over your head. Mary is a native of Illinois and a graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Krista Quinn

County Extension Agent

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Krista Quinn is a County Extension Agent for Agriculture with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in Faulkner County. In this role, she provides horticultural education to commercial growers, municipal staff, and homeowners. Krista also coordinates the Faulkner County Master Gardener program and serves as advisor to the Conway Tree Board. Krista has a B.S.and M.S. in horticulture from the University of Arkansas and is a certified arborist. She has over 20 years of experience working in horticultural education,research, and production. Before joining Extension, Krista served as Urban Forestry Program Coordinator for the Arkansas Forestry Commission and Executive Director of the Arkansas Flower & Garden Show.

Christine Rybak

Teaching and Learning with Technology Specialist

Wisconsin Extension

Christine Rybak is a Teaching and Learning with Technology Specialist for Wisconsin Extension. She has been with Extension since 2018 and prior to that, in the public K-12 field since 1994.

Christine is passionate about instructional design, brain-based teaching, and purposeful technology integration. She seeks to empower others by providing solid strategies, supports, and a safe environment for both struggling and flourishing. She is a Wisconsin native and holds an undergraduate degree in education and science, and a master’s of arts in education.

Gretchen Skinner

In-Service Training and Forms Manager

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Gretchen Skinner has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has worked for higher education in the field of training and distance education for over 20 years. She started her career in the field of child welfare in 1998 and moved into the Cooperative Extension Service in 2015. Gretchen has dedicated her professional life to technology, adult learning, and online courses. She is currently serving as the In-Service Training and Forms Manager for the Information Technology department at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service. She often refers to herself as a solutions architect and a master of troubleshooting. She currently is the administrator for both the public and internal LMS systems (moodle) and has invested many years into excellent customer service, database management/reporting, and assisting with the development of online courses. She also develops online forms for many purposes including registration, sales, surveys, and conferences.

Dr. Pete Vergot

IFAS Extension Professor & District Extension Director

University of Florida IFAS

Pete provides leadership, instruction, support of educational program development, and administration of the extension program for the 70+ county extension faculty and 60+ staff located in the 16 counties of the Northwest Extension District across the panhandle of Florida. Pete is a Founding Member of NETC.

Rita Watson

Program Associate for Virtual Education

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Rita Watson is a Program Associate for Virtual Education in the Community, Professional, and Economic Development Department at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.

Rita joined the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in 2002 as an Administrative Assistant and later moved to the Program and Staff Development Department in 2019.

Rita worked with a team consisting of subject matter experts, agriculture producers, communication specialists and information technology specialists to create the Soil & Water Conservation Virtual Field Trip Series for the United State Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) grant that shared research-based information and applications about water conservation and soil health.