COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Susan Ballabina has been named associate director for program development for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Ballabina, who had been based in Dallas as the agency’s East Region program director since 2005, will be headquartered in College Station.
“Without fail, Dr. Ballabina has demonstrated excellence in program delivery and devotion to the AgriLife Extension mission to improve the lives of people, businesses and communities through high-quality, relevant education,” said Dr. Doug Steele, AgriLife Extension director.
Ballabina’s position was created to fulfill the “critical need for associate directors in providing leadership and direction to our agency, bring additional voices to the administrative leadership team and emphasize the people, programs, and partnership approach to our mission,” Steele noted.
Ballabina joined AgriLife Extension in 1994 and served as an agent in Dallas, Williamson, Cherokee and Upshur counties prior to becoming regional program director.
Her method of AgriLife Extension outreach has become a model for the state, leading to significant increases in the number of educational contacts, volunteers, partnerships and resources in her region, Steele said.
Among the program teams Ballabina is credited with initiating or enhancing statewide are Master Wellness Volunteer, Dinner Tonight, Weight Management Issue, Sports Nutrition and Fuel Up to Play 60.
These programs aim at helping various audiences learn ways to make healthy, affordable choices in food consumption and exercise. She has encouraged not only local educational programs but the adoption of new technology such as webcasts, email blasts and social media options to reach larger audiences, Steele noted.
Ballabina earned her bachelor’s in home economics education in 1994 from Tarleton State University, her master’s in communications from Stephen F. Austin in 1998 and her doctorate in public affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2007.