Feedback sought on Cooperative Extension Institute for Health and Well-Being director candidates

The following message was recently sent to Cooperative Extension staff by JulieAnn Stawicki, Interim Associate Dean, Department of Youth Family and Community Development, University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension:

If you were unable to participate in the candidate presentations for the Director position for the Extension Institute for Health & Well-Being, the links to the archived presentations are provided below. We have double checked the links and believe that the recordings should have better quality. I apologize for those of you who tried to view these live. We are working on a better solution for future presentations.

I am looking forward to having your feedback related to the candidate’s strengths and limitations. I will rely on the feedback, along with the rest of the information from the search and screen process, as I make my decision.

Here is a link to the survey which will be open through Friday May 11, at 5pm:
Qualtrics Health & Well-Being Institute Director Candidate Feedback

Heidi Busse’s Presentation

Amber Canto’s Presentation

Amy Conlon’s Presentation

Abby Gold’s Presentation

Thank you for your participation in this hiring process. I am looking forward to your feedback!


JulieAnn Stawicki, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Dean, Department of Youth Family and Community Development
University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension
(608) 262-8359; 711 for Wisconsin Relay


UW-Extension Cooperative Extension’s Search and Screen Committee announced four finalists for the new position of Health & Well-Being Institute Director. Final interviews were held May 3-4 with the finalists giving short presentations and taking questions. The presentations were recorded and are available for viewing at the links below.

The presentation topic was:

The Health & Well-Being Institute Director will provide visionary leadership for this new institute and contribute to the cross-disciplinary leadership within Youth, Family, and Community Development and other extension program areas.  

Please identify a current or emerging issue relevant to health and well-being in Wisconsin.  Address the significance of the issue and provide your strategic vision for UW-Extension’s role in addressing the issue. In your vision, include ideas for fostering an inclusive and collegial team environment, potential for leveraging collaborations, opportunities for extramural funding and support, and ways to assess the impact of the work.  

The finalists are:

Amber Canto (view presentation)

Amber Canto is the University of Wisconsin-Extension FoodWIse State Coordinator. She is also an Honorary Associate Specialist for the School of Medicine and Public Health. Prior to her current position, she was the UW-Extension Poverty & Food Security Specialist and a Nutrition Consultant for the United Nations Children’s Fund. Ms. Canto’s work experience has developed her capacity in systems thinking, interdisciplinary programming, program management, and administrative leadership. She has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and Spanish from UW-Madison and a Master’s in Public Health, Public Health Nutrition & Global Health Certificate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Amy Conlon (view presentation)

Amy Conlon is a Project Manager for Strategy & Development at UW Health. Previously, she was the Program Director for the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Program at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center. These experiences are examples of Ms. Conlon’s work in building programs to tackle public health issues through research and outreach. She has extensive experience in grant and budget creation and management. Ms. Conlon has a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science – Worksite Wellness & Cardiac Rehabilitation from Winona State University and a Master’s in Public Health with a major in Community Health Education from the University of Minnesota – Minneapolis.

Abby Gold (view presentation)

Abby Gold is the Vice Chair for the Department of Public Health at North Dakota State University where she conducts searches for and supervises faculty and staff, recruits MPH students, develops new programs and curricula, formulates and leads strategic goals, and creates MOUs with partner departments within the university. Her previous role was as a Nutrition & Wellness Specialist in a dual appointment with the University of Minnesota-Extension and the North Dakota State University Extension Service. Dr. Gold has a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition from University of Massachusetts; a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Minnesota; and a PhD in Communication from North Dakota State University.

Heidi Busse (view presentation)

Heidi Busse is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Wisconsin with a focus on multi-sector nutrition partnerships. She also served as a Nutrition and Agriculture Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist with the International Potato Center in Ethiopia. Her professional skills include management of multi-institution and multi-disciplinary networks and projects; partnership development across sectors, disciplines, and geographies; and design, implementation, and evaluation of nutrition and health programs. She has managed federal and foundation grants. Dr. Busse has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from Lawrence University; a Master’s in Public Health and a PhD in Environmental Studies with a focus on nutrition and food security policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.