Meet a Tiger: Della Baker Sprowl
A 38-year veteran of Clemson, this Tiger helps to tell the story of Cooperative Extension and how it meets the needs of South Carolinians.
Meet Della Baker Sprowl.
Title: State program leader for evaluation, accountability and staff development, Cooperative Extension Service
Years at Clemson: 38
What I do at Clemson: I lead the department of Extension Staff Development and Accountability. I provide leadership for Extension accomplishment reports to all levels of the organization. In collaboration with program team leaders and district Extension directors, I identify training needs of various job groups within the organization and assist in the coordination of training. I assist with the design and coordination of systems for the collection of data to achieve requirements for accountability documents, then deliver these documents to our federal, state, institutional and local partners.
What I love about Clemson: Clemson allows me to grow – personally and professionally. I have developed friendships with people that I have known throughout the years. I am able to connect with those from various parts of the university to gain resolution to problems. Meeting and hearing from the people (agents, staff, citizens) gives me fresh new perspective on the relevance of what we do in Extension to address the needs of the people.
Accomplishment I’m most proud of: I was selected to participate in the inaugural class of the university’s Staff Development Program (SDP). I served on the staff development steering committee and then later became chair of that committee. As a program participant, I focused on sustainability and the appropriate ways to share environmental sustainability information with students. As assessment chair, I facilitated focus group sessions to garner feedback on how to improve the program. As chair of the steering committee, I researched the intended basic competencies of the program that help strengthen engagement between staff and the university and spearheaded the development of the program’s core curriculum. In addition, I later mentored a participant in the university’s SDP program.
In Extension, I was selected as the national president of Epsilon Sigma Phi, a national honorary fraternity dedicated to fostering standards of excellence in the Extension system and developing the Extension professional. Before serving as president, I led the organization through its five-year strategic planning process. The next year, I was able to operationalize the plan as president.
Where I see myself in five years: Providing consultations for assessments and training to profit and non-profit groups.
Last thing I watched on TV: The local weather report.
Guilty pleasure: Sweet tea and cake
One thing people don’t know about me: I have five very energetic grandchildren between the ages of 4 and 7.
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