Dear AFCPE Members and Stakeholders,

As my Board Presidency draws to a close, I cannot help but reflect on the progress we have made as an organization. When I attended my very first conference as a graduate student in 1998, I remember feeling inspired and awestruck by my esteemed colleagues and mentors. I even met the President and the Executive Director–it was great!

Upon completion of my degree, my career took me to the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a faculty member. During this time, I become more involved in AFCPE as a committee member and regular reviewer. While I was not ready to be a leader, I  believed that service to the field should be an important part of any career plan. I also  started bringing my students to AFCPE to share their research and projects.

With each professional move that I make, I have enjoyed sharing and connecting my colleagues with AFCPE. In my work with Extension, AFCPE has allowed me to meet  Extension Specialists and Educators from across the country. Through a diverse community of colleagues, we have been able to share ideas and resources and expand our knowledge and skills. I have made many friends through AFCPE and always enjoy reconnecting with them at the symposium each year. We have watched each other grow both professionally and personally. We’ve seen each other’s children and grandchildren grow through pictures and stories.

Several years ago, I was honored to join the AFCPE Board of Directors. During my Board tenure, I have worked to represent my constituency, guide the strategic direction of the organization and support our outstanding AFCPE Staff, led by Rebecca Wiggins.

As this year draws to a close, I am reminded how important AFCPE has been in my career. I hope that each of you will consider serving AFCPE. Make it part of your career plan and professional growth.

I eagerly look forward to many more years of attending the AFCPE Symposium and continuing to be an active member of this organization. I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones too! Thank you for a great year, and here is to many more together!


Michael S. Gutter, Ph.D. 
Outgoing President, AFCPE

December 22, 2015

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