unh UNH outreach Engagement and Outreach donate Donate

Lisa Townson
Assistant Director, Program Support

  • Provide overall organizational leadership for program support, including: marketing and communications, technology, educational program development, implementation, evaluation and reporting.
  • Provide leadership to interdisciplinary programmatic efforts that further the community engagement mission of the University New Hampshire.
  • Responsible for submission of federal annual Plan of Work and Accomplishment Report.


Lisa Townson joined UNH Cooperative Extension in December, 1998 and currently serves as the Assistant Director for Program Suppport.  She provides state-wide organizational leadership for program development and evaluation for Extension staff in all program areas, provides oversight for the organization's support units including marketing and communications, information, technology and distance education and staff development.

Lisa is responsible for training and supporting staff in their use of the on-line reporting system.  Originally from Michigan, she worked as an agriculture agent and then a district livestock specialist in Ohio and Michigan for seven years prior to her move to New Hampshire. Her educational background is in animal science, agricultural education, and more recently higher education.

Current Research

  • Disciplinary differences among faculty in how they view and carry out engaged scholarship projects

Educational Background

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Higher Education, University of New Hampshire, 2009

  • Masters of Science (MS) Agricultural and Extension Education Michigan State University, 1996

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) Animal Science Michigan State University, 1985


  • University of New Hampshire -

    Assistant Director, Program Support

    Extension Specialist, Program Development & Evaluation

    Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development

  • Michigan State University Extension - Served as regional livestock specialist in Southeastern Michigan, working closely with beef and sheep producers there. She acted as a co-chair for the state-wide Extension Livestock Team and delivered local and state-wide programming.

  • Ohio State University Extension - Worked with agriculture and 4-H. She soon moved into a multi-county water quality/dairy/livestock position. Working with a team of Extension Educators and other agency personnel, she addressed water quality issues as part of a Federally funded Hydrological Unit Area (HUA) project.

Professional Associations

  • American Evaluation Association (AEA) - Extension Education Evaluation Topical Interest Group

Program Specialty Areas

  • Program development and evaluation -- logic models, on-line surveys, staff development around evaluation

  • University Outreach and Engagement -- engaged scholarship, faculty rewards, faculty and graduate student development.

    - UNH Outreach Scholars Academy - http://www.unh.edu/outreach-scholars/ - Emerging Engagement Scholars Workshop - http://ncsue.msu.edu/eesw/default.aspx

Select Publications

  • Franz, N.K., Townson L. (2008). The nature of complex organizations: The case of Cooperative Extension. New Directions for Evaluation. (120) Winter 2008.

  • Abrams, E., Townson, L., Williams, J.E., Sandmann, L. (2007). Engaged faculty at the University of New Hampshire: The outreach scholars academy. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. (Accepted for publication in October, 2007).

  • Meyer, S., Halter, S., Townson, L. (2007). Assessing after-school program efficacy in engaging youth in New Hampshire: Using logic models to develop evaluation research design and measures. The New Hampshire Journal of Education (X). Spring 2007.

Contact Information

Taylor Hall
59 College Road

Durham, NH 03824-2621 View Map

Phone: 603-862-1031
FAX: (603) 862-1685
E-mail: Lisa.Townson@unh.edu