BOZEMAN – Montana State University Extension professionals Paul Lachapelle, Micky Zurcher and Tom Harrington won awards for excellence recently from the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals.
Lachapelle, an MSU Extension community development specialist, earned the NACDEP western region and national Distinguished Career Award. Lachapelle oversees Extension’s community development programming, which provides education, research and engagement opportunities across the state in areas such as local governance, strategic planning, leadership development, public officials training, citizen board workshops, community foundation education, conflict management, community and health and grant writing.
Lachapelle, who is also a political science professor at MSU, has researched topics such as Native American men’s health, community foundation building, international community development and tourism planning. He is currently serving as president of the International Association for Community Development, an international, volunteer led, not-for-profit organization committed to building a global network of people and organizations who are working to promote human rights, equality and social justice through a community development approach, according to the website.
Micky Zurcher and Tom Harrington, who are Extension agents in Madison-Jefferson Counties, received the NACDEP Western Region Excellence in Teamwork Award for their efforts in “Making Boulder’s Future Bright.” The award recognizes outstanding work in building partnerships and collaborations to address a unique problem. Working with community groups and individuals, Zurcher and Harrington successfully built a coalition to help the community of Boulder transition after the 2015 closing of the Montana Development Center, the town’s largest employer. The “Making Boulder’s Future Bright” project establishes groundwork to improve the Boulder economy while maintaining the character of the community.
The awards were presented at Big Skies, Bold Partnerships, the Community Development Society /NACDEP joint conference, which was hosted by MSU Extension in Big Sky, June 11-14. The event brought more than 350 community development professionals to Montana for networking, workshops and tours. Participants learned about Montana’s local food scene, how breweries are impacting local economies, ways the Big Sky Arts Council brings culture to the area and more.
NACDEP is an organization dedicated to improving the visibility, coordination, professional status and resource base of community and economic development Extension programs and professionals.
For more information, contact Jodie DeLay at (406) 994-2502 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Jodie DeLay, MSU Extension, (406) 994-2502 or email@example.com