MU names new 4-H Center for Youth Development director

  • Published: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension has named Lupita Fabregas as the director of MU’s 4-H Center for Youth Development. Fabregas will assume her new responsibilities Feb. 1, 2019. She previously served as assistant director with University of California 4-H and as clinical assistant professor and cooperative extension specialist with Oklahoma State University 4-H.

“We are extremely excited to have Dr. Lupita Fabregas join the University of Missouri,” said Marshall Stewart, MU vice chancellor for extension and engagement. “Beyond Lupita’s warm people skills, the Missouri-specific research and analysis she conveyed during her formal presentation demonstrated a truly impressive level of understanding. I am confident that our 4-H Center for Youth Development will flourish under her leadership.”

In California, Fabregas led the largest 4-H expansion program in the United States as part of a concerted effort to spread the benefits of 4-H programming throughout the state.

“I am honored to be entrusted with shaping the lives of Missouri youth and building on the success of MU’s 4-H program,” said Fabregas. “Working as a team — youth, volunteers, faculty and staff — we can create bright futures for Missouri’s greatest gift, its children.”

Fabregas holds a doctorate in agricultural education from Oklahoma State University, a master’s degree in education from UPAEP in Puebla and an undergraduate degree in agricultural engineering and animal sciences from Monterrey Tech. She has numerous peer-reviewed publications, and research and conference presentations to her credit.

Vice Chancellor Stewart added: “I want to personally thank the members of the search committee for all their hard work, which has resulted in an outstanding new leader for Missouri 4-H.”

Members of the search committee were Candy Gabel (chair), Bradd Anderson, Stephen Ball, Tim Coy (volunteer leader), Kathy Dothage, Crystal Karhoff, Joe Lear, Kale Monk, Mitchell Moon (MU student), Diane Olson (Missouri Farm Bureau), Beth Rasa, Susan Renoe, Abby Schmidt (MU student) and Hank Stelzer.


In addition to the hiring of Fabregas, it was announced that Alison Copeland, who currently serves as MU Extension’s interim director for the 4-H Center for Youth Development, will transition to the position of deputy chief engagement officer with the University of Missouri System on Jan. 1, 2019.

Reporting to the chief engagement officer for the UM System, this new position will focus on UM System-wide engagement initiatives to drive economic development, educational excellence and health/well-being.

“I am excited to see Dr. Copeland accept this opportunity and put her stamp on a new and challenging role at the UM System,” said MU Vice Chancellor and UM Chief Engagement Officer Marshall Stewart. “Throughout her career at MU, Alison has proven she is extremely capable and talented. I look forward to her efforts to move engagement forward at the UM System level. We are poised to do great things for the people of Missouri.”

With the departure of Copeland, Jo Britt-Rankin, associate dean and extension professor in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences, will serve as interim director for MU Extension’s 4-H Center for Youth Development until Fabregas assumes responsibility on Feb. 1, 2019.

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