Extension Specialist

Apply now Job no: 505460
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 012002 - Nutrition Education
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

This position provides leadership for program evaluation, implementation of policy, systems, and environmental strategies, and conducting integrated, applied research addressing identified needs to increase the number of Mississippians who are healthy at every stage of life. The successful candidate will have an opportunity to collaborate with faculty regionally and nationally on projects.

Salary Grade:  17

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges.  For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Department Profile:

The office of Nutrition Education at Mississippi State University seeks nominations and welcomes applications for a twelve-month, non-tenure-track position as an Extension Specialist to begin Spring 2023. The review of applications will start on March 1 and continue until the position is filled.

The office of Nutrition Education includes two federally funded programs, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) for persons eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The programs, in collaboration with community partners, focus on preventing nutrition and physical activity-related chronic diseases, improving food security, and creating supportive environments to make healthy choices easier where people eat, live, learn, work, play, and shop.

The Mississippi State University Extension office of Nutrition Education is accepting applications for an Evaluation, Policy, System, and Environmental (PSE) Specialist. Mississippi State University Extension implements evidence-based education, policies, systems, and environmental strategies, and the social marketing campaign HappyHealthy to help limited-resource families in Mississippi improve their well-being.

Area of Specialization:

Evaluation, Policy, and Systems

Anticipated Appointment Date:

April 2023. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Lead efforts to build needs assessment and program evaluation capacity.
2. Design and implement a needs assessment for the state.
3. Design and implement a comprehensive plan for evaluating programs.
4. Develop and validate assessment instruments to conduct program evaluation.
5. Collect, manipulate and analyze financial or quantitative and qualitative data.
6. Maintain large and complex databases.
7. Ensure reporting processes are completed promptly and accurately by the Regional
Registered Dietitians, Community Wellness Planners, and Nutrition Educators, per the
SNAP-Ed and EFNEP guidelines.
8. Monitor processes and analyze program outcomes to document impact, enhance
programming, and improve program accountability.
9. Develop and compile reports for state and national stakeholders.
10. Develop strategies for communicating the mission and effectiveness SNAP-Ed and
11. Provide in-service educational training related to data collection, program accountability,
and evaluation to Regional Registered Dietitians, Community Wellness Planners, and
Nutrition Educators to enable them to assist with and conduct program evaluation.
12. Collaborate with evaluation staff from other program areas.
13. Coordinate with faculty submitting evaluation tools and programs for review by the
Institutional Review Board (IRB) when appropriate.
14. Serve on external boards and committees as appropriate to build partnerships to enhance
15. Serve as liaison with appropriate agencies and professional groups such as the American
Evaluation Association and N-PEARS Advisory Council.
16. Other duties as assigned.
17. Adhere to the policies and spirit of Civil Rights/AA/EEO.

Minimum Qualifications:

Education: Ph.D in child/youth/family studies, education, family sociology, evaluation science, social science, or related field. The degree/research must incorporate evaluation methodologies.

Valid driver’s license and ability to travel as required for the performance of assigned tasks.

ABDs or degree pending considered (all but DISS):


Preferred Qualifications:

Two years of professional evaluation and assessment experience are strongly preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Applicant’s experience should demonstrate the following:
• Knowledge of current qualitative and quantitative techniques for collecting, analyzing, and
reporting data.
• Experience creating queries, performing data validation and verification, and writing and
developing reports.
• Proven mathematical skills to collect, manipulate and analyze financial or statistical data.
• Proven problem-solving and analytical skills that demonstrate resourcefulness and attention
to detail.
• Organizational skills and ability to meet deadlines, prioritize assignments, and manage time
• Experience and proven ability to work productively as a team member and in cross-cultural
• Ability to work creatively, collaboratively, and professionally in an interdisciplinary
• Ability to take the initiative, manage multiple projects, work flexibly, and adhere to priorities
with minimal direct supervision.
• Ability to work independently in an office environment without daily supervision.
• Ability to carry out all functions of the position remotely if required.
• Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
• Proficient in technology such as NVivo, SPSS/SAS/Stata, Qualtrics, Microsoft Office,
SharePoint, Adobe Creative Cloud, ESRI, and data management, and can learn and master
other computer technology/software as needed.
• Proficient in the manipulation and use of large and complex databases.
• A commitment to professional development.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

• Varying environments include typical office setting, government agency offices, schools,
gardens, retail, food pantries, etc.
• Travel to and work in the community.
• Occasional overnight, evening, and weekend travel to partner sites; local, state, and national
meetings and conferences are required.
• Job frequently requires standing, walking, sitting, reaching, talking, and hearing.
• Job occasionally requires climbing or balancing, stooping/kneeling/crouching/crawling,
and handling objects with hands.
• Physical effort/activity will be required, must be able to lift up to 50 pounds unassisted.
• Vision requirements: Ability to see information in print and/or electronically.

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply:

All applicants must apply online at http://explore//

Attach your cover letter, current CV, official transcripts, a writing sample of an evaluation report, and a list of three professional references. Social security numbers included on requested transcripts should be redacted before submitting them online.

Screening Date:

February 21, 2023 until filled. 

Restricted Clause:

Position is contingent upon continued availability of funding.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

What do I do if I need an accommodation?

In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Mississippi State University, please contact the Department of Human Resources Management at tel: (662) 325-3713 or

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact the Department of Human Resources Management at (662) 325-3713 or Upon request, sections of this job listing are available in large print, and readers are available to assist the visually impaired.

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