Skip Navigation
Employment Opportunities

Jobs at Member Institutions & APLU

Job Postings enable you to post your own job and find other job listings offered by APLU members. This service is free for APLU members. For more information, email

Apply Now
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Website URL:
Posted: 05/19/2020
Extension Outreach Associate, Strategic Communications - 121175 - Extended until 6/3/20


Extension and Public Engagement Connection Center

College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

University of Illinois Extension


Everything we do is designed to improve the quality of life of the people in the state of Illinois, across the nation, and around the world. We discover, develop, translate, and disseminate knowledge to address societal concerns and train the next generation of experts and leaders in a way that empowers them to expand the boundaries of science to higher levels of understanding and influence.

Be a part of our story. Through learning partnerships that extend knowledge and change lives, University of Illinois Extension provides educational programs aimed at making life better, healthier, safer, and more profitable for individuals and their communities. Illinois Extension has operated continuously for more than 100 years connecting the citizens of Illinois to their land-grant university by providing educational programming around the state. University of Illinois Extension is based in the College of ACES and works with all colleges and units of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

University of Illinois Extension is seeking creative and motivated individuals to join the inaugural team of a newly launched Extension and Public Engagement Connection Center (EPECC) at University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. EPECC will work to strengthen university connections across the state in a way that builds reciprocal and collaborative partnerships via the deeply rooted Extension network, which serves more than 1.3 million program participants each year. EPECC staff will provide leadership within a talented network of professionals to re-imagine the land-grant university through public impact-focused research, teaching, and outreach.

  1. Extension Outreach Associate, Strategic Communications serves as a full time, 12 month academic professional directly reporting to the EPECC Coordinator. The Outreach Associate will be primarily responsible for the development and delivery of services that support public impact-focused research (PIR) and community engaged scholarship within Extension’s five critical issue areas: food, economy, environment, community, and health. The position will have emphasis on developing outreach communication strategies to achieve the broader impact goals of Extension’s applied research and outreach programs, including changes in audience knowledge, belief, attitudes, and behavior.

One full-time position is available.

Location: Champaign-Urbana Campus

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

This is a security-sensitive position. Comprehensive background checks, including but not limited to a criminal conviction information check, a CANTS check, and a review of the Registered Sex Offender list, will be conducted.

Specific responsibilities of the Extension Outreach Associate, Strategic Communications are as follows:

Strategic Development, Delivery, and Evaluation

· Develop and implement evidence-based strategies for outreach communications that support the public impact goals of PIR and community engaged scholarship projects.

· Maintain and develop expertise in the latest developments for impact-focused science communication, including strategies to change audience knowledge, belief, attitudes, and behavior.

· Apply and experiment with new models for impact-focused communication within PIR and community engaged scholarship by strategically partnering with teams within Extension as well as faculty

· Contribute to the research and development of outreach strategies with key stakeholders, including setting specific and measurable broader impact goals, designing evidence-based outreach communication strategies, conducting audience research and pre-trials, and evaluating results.

· Develop, create and deliver multi-modal training and education opportunities on best practices in impact-focused science communications to EPECC clients and the larger Extension and U of I network.

· Contribute specific technical expertise to clientele and customers of EPECC.

· Identify with EPECC staff opportunities to integrate additional client services where appropriate and needed.

· Anticipate and identify barriers to achieving outreach/ impact goals with target audiences, and work to develop and implement better strategies.

· Oversee and evaluate project outreach goals and address issues as they arise, in consultation with project staff and investigators.

· Evaluate partner satisfaction and project outcomes for continual improvement by working with EPECC staff; communicate results to Extension leadership and relevant stakeholders.

· Identify and expand communication channels and traditional and digital strategies for outreach to target audiences.

· Create new opportunities for engagement and communication with target collaborating with Extension field offices and community partners.

Organizational Leadership and Development

· Market and represent Extension’s interests to external partners and stakeholders in areas related to expertise.

· Compete for internal and external resources to enhance the development of innovative educational programs with potential for high impact. Includes strategic use of available funds to increase program quality and impact.

· Develop and maintain professional collaborations with EPECC-associated partners and Illinois Extension personnel statewide.

· Establish positive relationships and partnerships with industry, stakeholder, and community groups to secure research collaborations and partnerships for Illinois Extension and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

· Assist with and support the total University of Illinois Extension and Outreach program.

· Serve as an effective team member with EPECC and volunteer for leadership roles as appropriate.

· Perform other duties that contribute to the mission of University of Illinois Extension and Outreach programming, as assigned.


· Establish professional relationships and participate in campus- and field-based partnerships that tie EPECC to Illinois Extension and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign research programming by partnering with Extension Specialists and/or faculty members on projects as appropriate within the initiatives connected.

· Be an active member within a professional society to keep abreast of changes within the discipline.

· Continually seek professional development opportunities to enhance competency in subject matter area.

· Use research and evaluation findings to create innovative programs and make changes to existing programs in order to improve quality.

· Share principles of evidence-based best practices with EPECC, Illinois Extension, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign peers.

Other Information

  • Comply with all University of Illinois Extension Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies and guidelines in all aspects of Extension work; assists Unit staff with data collection for Affirmative Action, Gender, and Targeted reports.

· Local, regional and (limited) statewide travel required; personal transportation required.

· To perform the functions of this position, the employee will be required to perform work both within an office and outside in the communities that are served, and must have the capability to travel from one location to the other in a timely fashion. Employee is responsible for securing personal transportation. A valid driver’s license is preferred. Some work will be required during evenings and/or weekends. When working, the employee may be exposed to a variety of environmental factors to include, but not limited to, hot or cold weather, exposure to noise and allergens, and uneven ground. In performing the functions of this position, the employee may be subjected to various mental and physical demands as well to include, but not limited to, independently traveling to and performing work at different locations, lifting and moving items that may occasionally weigh up to forty (40) pounds and frequently weigh up to twenty (20) pounds, and twisting, pushing and pulling movements. More detailed information regarding the functions of this position (including the physical, mental and environmental requirements of the position) may be obtained from Human Resources for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) by contacting

Administrative Relationship

The Extension Outreach Associate, Strategic Communications is administratively responsible to the Coordinator, Extension and Public Engagement Connection Center.


· Required: Master’s degree in communications, social and behavioral science, or related field. Candidates with a Master’s degree in progress may be considered for interviews, but degree must be completed by hire date. Three years of direct work in strategic communications. Experience successfully collaborating with individuals from a variety of disciplines and cultural backgrounds to develop program content.

· Preferred: Experience in research and/or higher education settings. Experience developing and facilitating workshops/training to faculty or professionals. Experience in design and assessment of social marketing campaigns, especially within Extension’s five critical issue areas: food, economy, environment, community, and health.

  • Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Strong initiative and ability to work well independently and as part of a team. Evidence of ability to stay current with trends in the field of impact-focused communication, including strategies to change audience knowledge, belief, attitudes, and behavior. Familiarity with public impact-focused research (PIR) and community engaged scholarship. Excellent group facilitation, verbal/written communication, and presentation skills. Knowledge of the mission of Extension, the land-grant system, and University of Illinois policies and procedures is preferred.

Additional Information

The position is a full-time, benefits-eligible, non-tenure, academic professional position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date on the Champaign-Urbana campus, with some travel to county offices across the Illinois Extension network. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Generous vacation and sick leave. State Universities Retirement System. Group health, dental, vision and life insurance.

Application Procedure

To apply, go to Log in to your account and upload a cover letter and resume as well the names and contact information of three professional references. Resume dates must be in month/year format and employment history, at a minimum, should include all work dating back to the completion of your undergraduate degree. Positions that were less than full-time/100% must be noted as being part-time. Transcripts may be requested at a later date. To receive full consideration, all requested application materials must be submitted via the online system by the close date of June 3, 2020.

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois must also comply with applicable federal export control laws and regulations and, as such, reserves the right to employ restricted party screening procedures for applicants.

For further information about the position, please contact Deborah Seiler at For technical assistance with the online application process, please email