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Julianne DunnInstructor-Economic DevelopmentPhone: 501-551-1463Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Julianne Dunn - June 17, 2021
CREATE BRIDGES was recently recognized as the national award runner-up in Innovation
and Creativity by the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals
at their 2021 Annual Conference.
These awards create a platform for community development work to be showcased in a
professional setting beyond the state level and creates a pathway toward national
distinction. The Innovation and Creativity award is awarded to projects that creatively
address a community or implementation issue in a novel manner that demonstrates improvement
in program results.
CREATE BRIDGES is an economic development pilot that launched in 2018. CREATE BRIDGES stands for
Celebrating REtail, Accommodations, Tourism, and Entertainment by Building Rural Innovations and Developing Growth Economies.
Two Arkansas regions are involved in CREATE BRIDGES: 3C's (Howard, Little River, and
Sevier), and Ozark Foothills (Fulton, Izard, and Sharp).
The Create Bridges Initiative is a partnership among the Southern Rural Development
Center, University of Kentucky’s Community & Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky,
University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service’s Community, Professional and
Economic Development unit, and Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service.
The second phase of Create Bridges launched in 2020 and includes University of Illinois,
New Mexico State University, and North Carolina State University.
(Dr. Stacey McCullough presenting at the 2019 CREATE Data Academy in Locksburg, AR.
Photo Credit: Julianne Dunn)
Dr. Stacey McCullough and Julianne Dunn are the state leads in Arkansas for CREATE
BRIDGES and Brandon Mathews (Ozark Foothills), Murriel Wiley (3C's), and Hazelle Whited
(Ozark Foothills) are regional program coordinators.
(Brandon Mathews and Hazelle Whited presenting to the Ozark Foothills Regional Steering
Committee in Salem, AR. Photo Credit: Julianne Dunn)
"One of the benefits of NACDEP membership is an opportunity to be recognized for outstanding
work by your peers,” said NACDEP President Adam Hodges of West Virginia State University
Extension Service. “The long-term benefit to Extension Community Development is an
opportunity to learn from our peers. These award winners that are being recognized
represent the best of the best and will provide new ideas for expanding our work across
Created in 2003, The National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals is an organization dedicated to improving the visibility, coordination, professional
status and resource base of community and economic development Extension programs
and professionals. NACDEP held its conference and awards virtually from May 15-19.
Active members are currently employed as Extension professionals with at least a 25%
extension appointment with responsibilities or strong interests in community and economic
To learn more about CREATE BRIDGES, explore their Resources page.