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Communications specialist joins Illinois 4-H to help create meaningful experiences for youth

Friday, January 15, 2021
carissa nelson 4-H staff communicator

URBANA, Ill. – From helping youth explore, learn, and grow to supporting businesses through difficult times, new University of Illinois Extension and Illinois 4-H staff are dedicated to meeting the needs of communities around the state.

Carissa Nelson joined Illinois Extension in January as Illinois 4-H Media Communications Specialist. As a marketing and communications professional, Carissa is passionate about working to create value-driven messaging that will have a lasting impact on Illinois 4-H. 

“Carissa brings a fresh perspective and innovative thinking to our Illinois 4-H team,” says Lisa Diaz 4-H assistant dean and director. “With her leadership, we are looking forward to expanded communications efforts with our diverse stakeholder groups.”

A Central Illinois native and past 4-H participant, Carissa is a College of ACES graduate with a bachelor's degree in marketing from University of Illinois and a master's degree in family and consumer sciences from Illinois State University. She has digital marketing certifications from Google, Facebook, Hootsuite, and others. Her favorite thing about working in this field is creating valuable connections between people and information. 

“It is so important that 4-H offers a place where anyone can belong, and that sets it apart from other youth organizations,” Nelson says. “By fostering a sense of belonging, sparking passion, and giving kids the support of caring mentors and leaders, we can and do create life-changing experiences for today’s youth.”

Nelson lives in Rantoul with her husband, Clay, and their two sons, Declan and Rhys. In the summer, they can be found camping almost every weekend. An avid reader, she shares books, recipes, and more on her personal blog spoonfulofeasy.com.

Nelson is based in the state 4-H office in Champaign and can be reached at carissa7@illinois.edu.

Extension and 4-H educators and specialists connect every county in Illinois with university research through in-person and distance-learning programming and other educational outreach. They work to provide businesses, families and agricultural producers with the practical tools and resources needed to solve problems.

WRITEREmily Steele, Media Communications Coordinator, Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.

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