CENTER – Dr. Jheri-Lynn McSwain has been named the new Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 4-H youth development specialist for District 5 effective July 1.
District 5 includes Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Houston, Jasper, Marion, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur and Wood counties.
Over her professional career, McSwain has been a fisheries biologist, worked on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration space shuttle project, taught elementary school before becoming principal, and interned as a horticulturist with AgriLife Extension before joining the agency as its family and community health agent for Shelby County.
McSwain has been an AgriLife Extension family and community health agent since 2013. In Shelby County, she acted as the office’s county wellness and 4-H coordinator and supervised its Better Living for Texans program.
She has 18 certifications with AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Department of Agriculture, the American Montessori Society and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, according to her biography.
“I am excited about this new opportunity and to work with the state office, East Region leadership team and District 5 agents to be a resource in the development of youth into productive adult citizens,” she said.
McSwain earned her bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries from Texas A&M University; master’s degree in education from Baylor University; master’s degree in horticulture from Texas Tech University and doctorate in forestry with an emphasis in educational interpretation and horticulture at Stephen F. Austin University.
McSwain said she hopes to build a cooperative educational environment within communities in her region to train AgriLife Extension personnel and serve youth and adult programming needs.
“As the District 5 4-H youth development specialist, I envision establishing additional corporate-level sponsorships to support youth at the county level, to provide hands-on training for new agents and to work with county extension agents to build positive community relationships, while growing their club enrollment and increasing member diversity.”