Paula Threadgill takes Extension leadership role
When Paula Threadgill became leader of Family and
Consumer Sciences for the Mississippi State University Extension
Service, she decided to tackle the state's obesity problem.
Threadgill was named state leader of the Extension Service arm of Family
and Consumer Sciences, or FCS, on Jan. 1. She had been filling the role
on an interim basis since April 2010. She is also an Extension professor.
"My role is to provide leadership to the FCS area agents across the
state and to gain support from stakeholders so they can understand our
programming and the importance of what we do," Threadgill said. "Our
challenge is to educate the people of the state about what FCS can
offer. We have a whole generation of people we’d like to reach."
Gary Jackson, director of the MSU Extension Service, said Threadgill
brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position.
"She achieved an excellent professional record as a field agent in the
Alabama Extension system prior to coming to MSU," Jackson said. "She
also served as a faculty member in the School of Human Sciences and as a
district administrator prior to being named State Program Leader for
Family and Consumer Sciences.
"She understands and champions Extension and will serve as an effective
leader for our FCS programming," he said.
Threadgill is overseeing the work of 42 people with responsibilities in
various programs within the Family and Consumer Sciences field. One of
her challenges is to use the program's personnel and resources wisely so
the public knows what services are offered and can benefit from them.
Topics addressed within FCS include family issues, financial management,
nutrition, food safety and health education.
"One of my goals is to try to get enough support from the Legislature so
we can hire more FCS agents across the state," Threadgill said. "There
is a need, especially in the Delta, for food safety and nutrition
"We in Family and Consumer Sciences would love to help reduce the
obesity rates in the state. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
can positively affect many areas of life," she said.
Threadgill is originally from Livingston, Ala., and grew up active in
4-H. Her mother was an Alabama Cooperative Extension System home
economist and 4-H agent, and her father was an educator and county
Threadgill has worked for MSU since 1994 in a variety of capacities. She
earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama, a master's
degree from the University of Montevallo in Alabama, and a doctorate
degree from MSU. She holds numerous professional affiliations and has
earned awards for her professional accomplishments.