- Director, Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR)
Ph.D., Teaching & Learning/Outreach Education, May, 2012
Virginia Tech, Department of Agricultural and Extension Education
M.S., Career and Technical Education, 2007
B.S.N., Nursing, 1996
James Madison University
- Grant Recipient, Farm Credit System Foundation, Inc., 10,000 for paraprofessional leadership development, 2010.
Excellence in Agriculture, National Finalist, 2008.
Partners in Agricultural Leadership, Class IV, 2007-2008.
- Honorary FFA State Degree, Virginia, 2010
Current research is focused on enhancing the impact of paraprofessional level educators and providing a framework for use of such an educational model for other forms of community education programs in Virginia and beyond. The exploration of holistic theory has become a central interest in assessing, qualitatively, the overall experience of paraprofessionals and the unique role they play as both learners and educators in non-formal community settings. I anticipate that by enhancing an understanding of how they learn themselves, paraprofessionals will better understand how they teach and increase their ability to evaluate client reach in an effort to incite behavior change.
Additional research is in areas of organizational collaboration and volunteerism as methods to impact community development. Much of the research traditionally done with and within land grant institutions has centered on Research-to-Practice models that allows a continuation of traditional dissemination and translation of research. Interestingly, a movement toward, and embracing of, opportunities surrounding social science and educational models that are Community-Centered provides a new lens through which to apply translational research in a useable and fluent manner.
Serving as the inaugural director of VALOR provides an opportunity to utilize my formal background in experiential teaching and learning issues and adult education, and non-formal background in social community development and leadership to maximize opportunities in Virginia for developing the strong leaders and collaborative partnerships necessary for the optimal future of our agricultural industry. The variety of grants with which I have worked, coupled with research initiatives in formal and non-formal settings have resulted in building collaborative partnerships at multiple levels. This experience with stakeholders at both funding and delivery ends of the spectrum has contributed to the skills necessary for translational research and the essence of bringing organizational research to the public. Working with an advisory group and alumni offers an exciting opportunity to impact all aspects of the program and I particularly look forward to serving as a liaison between the college and industry. I am a member of the steering committee for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Grant and serve various roles with Virginia Farm Bureau, Roanoke County Farm Bureau, Virginia Vineyards Association, Virginia Agribusiness Council, and others.
Seibel, M. Development of peer educators within paraprofessional community-based adult education models: an experiential learning perspective. Proceedings of the 2011 Association of Educational Research Conference. Toronto, Canada.
Seibel, M. & McFerren, M. (under review). Leveraging Volunteer Educators in Community-Based Family Nutrition
Programs. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
Seibel, M., McFerren, M., & Stevens, J. (under review). Nutrition Outreach Instructors: Innovative personnel as a key to enhancing the reach of EFNEP programs. Journal of Extension.
McFerren, M., Midkiff, J., & Seibel, M. (2010). Virginia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education
(SNAP-Ed) Plan; FY 2011-2013. USDA, Food Nutrition Service: Washington, DC.
Seibel, G., & Seibel, M. (2010, December). Behavioral interviewing: Preparing your student for a successful career. Presentation at the National Association of Agricultural Educators/National Association of Career and Technical Educators. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Seibel, M. (2010, May). Maximizing student potential: Strategies for enhancing learning, skill and confidence in
different arenas. Association of Career and Technical Educators. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Seibel, M., & McFerren, M. (2010, May). Collaborative partnerships: the key to bringing research-based nutrition education to communities and families. Association of Career and Technical Educators. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Seibel, M., & Seibel, G. A. (2009, December). Using local experts: Utilizing volunteers in your classroom and beyond. Presentation at the National Association of Agricultural Educators/National Association of Career and Technical Educators Conference. Nashville, Tennessee.
- Co-Instructor, AEE 5044, Program and Curriculum Development, Summer I, 2010 (Online)
- AEE 5154, Partnerships and Volunteerism, Spring, 2008; Spring 2007 (Online)
As inaugural director of the VALOR program, Megan brings excitement and passion about the agricultural industry and what it means to leaders and communities throughout Virginia. With a background in healthcare, education, and agricultural production, she brings a unique perspective to the opportunities and challenges facing American agriculture.
Megan holds a B.S.N. from James Madison University, M.S. from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. Industry engagement entails officer and member roles in the Virginia Vineyards Association, Roanoke County Farm Bureau, Virginia Agribusiness Council, FFA Alumni, and others.
Megan manages her family’s beef cattle and commercial wine grape operation with her husband, Andy, and they raise their three children on the family farm in Botetourt County.
“The opportunity to address social, political, and economic issues related to agriculture is more important now than ever in our global society. Doing that through VALOR is enormously exciting.”