MSU Extension names Lisa Bottomley and Jodi Schulz children and youth leaders

Lisa Bottomley and Jodi Schulz have been named co-directors of the Michigan State University Extension Children and Youth Institute (CYI) after a national search. They begin their roles January 1, 2024.

Headshots of Lisa Bottomley and Jodi Schulz.
Lisa Bottomley (left) and Jodi Schulz (right).

Lisa Bottomley and Jodi Schulz have been named co-directors of the Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Children and Youth Institute (CYI) after a national search. Both have been serving in interim associate director roles for the same institute, and begin their new roles January 1, 2024. They replace Julie Chapin, who will provide support to the leadership transition and assist MSU Extension with special projects and initiatives until she retires June 30, 2024.

Quentin Tyler, director of MSU Extension, said that Bottomley and Schulz are well poised to lead CYI, which is home to the organization’s programming for children and youth from birth to 19 and the adults and families that support them.

“Both have a long history with MSU Extension and working for the betterment of young people,” he said. “Their in-depth knowledge of the organization as well as their track records of helping young children and youth thrive in Michigan makes them a perfect fit for these important positions.”

MSU Extension aims to provide every Michigan child with the tools and skills necessary to lead a healthy and productive life using an experiential, hands-on learning model. That includes training volunteers, parents and other caregivers in best practices to support young people throughout their lives. Bottomley and Schulz will be responsible for initiating and coordinating educational programming and applied research programs in the areas of early childhood education and youth development in all 83 Michigan counties. They will create and implement a strategic vision for the institute, working closely with the 150 professionals who provide programming in this area.

Bottomley will supervise academic and administrative staff, providing day-to-day leadership for administrative operations, educational programs, and the translation of CYI’s vision into action. She will oversee and provide leadership to staff as they respond to emerging issues, provide advice about implementation of programs, and create/strengthen linkages among other core programming areas in MSU Extension as well as aligned research and education programs at MSU.

“I am excited to work with our talented staff to bring critical programming to children, youth, parents and caregivers throughout Michigan,” Bottomley said. “I am looking forward to working with our current partners and developing additional partnerships to enhance our programming and reach new audiences.”

Bottomley has had increasingly more responsibility with MSU Extension since she began as a 4-H youth-mentoring educator in Ottawa County in 2000. Since then, she has become a respected expert on youth mentoring and volunteer management among national and international audiences. She has a Bachelor of Science in sociology from Central Michigan University, where she continues to be engaged as a member of the CMU alumni association board of directors. She received a Master of Arts degree in youth development from MSU in 2009.

Schulz will be CYI co-director and State Leader for Michigan 4-H Youth Development, overseeing supervision of 4-H staff throughout the state. She is responsible for statewide 4-H program development and growth, oversight of 4-H events, 4-H online offerings and working with the Michigan 4-H Foundation.

“I strongly believe in the Children and Youth Institute’s mission of empowering youth, individuals, families and communities through experiences that help them thrive in a complex world,” Schulz said. “I look forward to balancing the rich history of the Institute and 4-H, while also looking to the future as we position ourselves to be a cutting-edge resource for knowledge, research, programming, and partnership.”

Schulz joined MSU Extension in 2002. She helped develop the 4-H SPIN (special interest) club model for Michigan, and later assisted with the creation and implementation of a centralized volunteer management system. She earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture and natural resources communication from MSU in 2002, and a Master of Science in child, youth and family studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2009.

Did you find this article useful?