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Threadgill to retire from MSU Extension Service
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Longtime Mississippi State University Extension Service administrator and MSU Extension professor Paula Threadgill announced her retirement effective Dec. 31, 2020.
Threadgill came to MSU for graduate school in 1994 after serving as a county agent in 4-H Youth Development in Fayette County, Alabama, with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service for 16 years. She completed her doctorate in agricultural and Extension education in 1998 and became an assistant professor at MSU.
Since 2000, she has held a variety of positions, including northwest district director for family and youth, Extension professor, and state program leader for family and consumer sciences. She has served as the associate director for family and consumer sciences and 4-H Youth Development since 2013.
As a professor in agricultural and Extension education, Threadgill was responsible for developing several courses.
“The one that I am most proud of is the Volunteer Management Class,” she said. “This was the first in the college, and I taught the class to graduate and undergraduate students. Most importantly, I taught over 100 students, and half of those were MSU Extension agents who were working on graduate degrees. The agents were able to exhibit the skills learned in the class with volunteers in the counties.”
Another career highlight was being part of the committee that hired the first male MSU Extension agent with responsibilities in family and consumer sciences, Ira Martin, who works in Tunica County.
“I was able to work with many wonderful individuals who believe in developing youth, building leaders and helping adults to make heathy choices for the future. Extension is truly a family,” she said.
During her career, Threadgill secured grant funding for several programs, including support from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Her work has been recognized with awards from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Farm Foundation.
Threadgill served in leadership positions for professional organizations of which she was a member, including the Mississippi Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Joint Council of Extension Professionals. She was also involved in community service organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Kiwanis, the Jaycees and the Upsilon Pi Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
“Dr. Threadgill provided much-needed stability during a difficult time of transition in MSU Extension,” said Extension Director Gary Jackson. “Through administrative challenges and changes, budget reductions and changing expectations, she has led MSU’s efforts to protect our young people and volunteers in so many ways. For example, Dr. Threadgill provided the leadership for the development and implementation of our minor protection system and new volunteer registration requirements. She has always been an advocate for our people with an emphasis on health, nutrition and overall human development. I appreciate her service.”
Due to the pandemic, a public retirement reception is not possible. Donations in Threadgill’s honor can be made to the MSU Foundation at https://www.msufoundation.com. Funds will be directed to support programs in family and consumer sciences.