The Mississippi State University Extension Service is strengthening its administrative team by adding a second associate director.

Paula Threadgill, who currently serves as the state program leader for Family and Consumer Sciences and the interim state program leader for the 4-H Youth Development program, will begin her new role as an Extension associate director immediately.

“The goal of my new staffing plan is to make the Extension Service more efficient while still providing the quality of service our clients expect,” said Gary Jackson, Extension Service director. “Instead of five state program leaders, we now have two experienced associate directors, who will work with our county and state level staff to implement our plans.”

Threadgill will be responsible for the 4-H Youth Development program, the Family and Consumer Sciences program, and the Center for Continuing Education. Threadgill has worked for MSU since 1994 in a variety of capacities. She earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics from the University of Alabama, a master’s degree in home economics from the University of Montevallo, and a doctoral degree in agricultureand Extension education with an emphasis in rural sociology from MSU.

After serving as a district director with the MSU Extension Service for the northwest region, Threadgill taught in MSU’s School of Human Sciences for five years and became an Extension professor. She joined the Extension Service’s administrative team in April 2010.

Joe Street, who currently serves as an Extension associate director and interim head of the Delta Research and Extension Center, will continue to lead Agriculture and Natural Resources programming and oversee the Boll Weevil Eradication Program and the Mississippi Horse Park.

Jackson unveiled his proposed staffing plan at the Extension Service’s annual conference in October 2012.

“We’re aligning our county, state and regional priorities with the federal plan of work,” Jackson said. “We’re moving from the historic teaching, research and service model to a new model that addresses learning, discovery and engagement. Our style of outreach and focus must be on what Mississippians are facing today -- their educational, social, economic, scientific and personal health challenges.”

Jackson’s staffing plan supports MSU’s continued local presence in county offices and regional research and Extension centers.

“Our role is to link scholarship and creativity to meet the needs of our people and communities,” Jackson said. “The Extension Service is the front door to Mississippi State University, providing the extensive knowledge, research capabilities and resources of this premier land-grant university to Mississippians.”