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NMSU faculty member works with Purdue University team to receive diversity award

Kim Hand has been working in the Cooperative Extension Service field for more than 20 years and was able to contribute her technical expertise to a team project with Purdue University to win a prestigious diversity award.

Hand, senior coordinator for the Cooperative Extension Service at New Mexico State University, along with a team from Purdue University, received the National Association for Multicultural Media Education 2010 Multicultural Media Award. Hand used her technical skills to help design the eXtension diversity website.

The eXtension is an online edition of the Cooperative Extension Service. The site encourages community interaction through social networking sites as well as by providing information on various diversity and international issues.

"We worked really hard developing the site and encouraging participation from the community," Hand said. "So it was nice to get recognition for that."

Hand has also been working on the International Relations Institute-Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences international database, which lists all NMSU faculty and staff who have international experience. It allows the NMSU community to locate members of other colleges within the university and other NMSU campuses who have expertise or knowledge of a foreign language or country.

Rich Phillips, project manager for the College of ACES, said Hand's work is a very important part of internationalizing NMSU.

"Hand has been a leader in using technology to effectively communicate across cultures and within the land grant system," Phillips said. "The IRI-ACES international database will give us, for the first time, the ability to search for NMSU faculty and staff with expertise, language and global experiences. We will be able to use it in many ways."

Hand said the award and the IRI-ACES Database foster the commitment of the university to lead with an international focus and prepare leaders to meet global challenges.

Hand's work has also given her the opportunity to travel to other countries to give presentations on eXtension and diversity. Hand and Pamala Morris of Purdue University and Julie Middleton of Missouri State University traveled to China last year, presenting at one of the first international conferences in which eXtension has been represented.

For more information on NMSU International Programs, visit http://international.nmsu.edu. The eXtension diversity website can be accessed at http://extension.org/diversity.