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New Connect Extension Podcast Episode: Getting to the Heart of the Matter with Washington State University


The Washington State University EXCITE program team comes on the podcast to discuss their new project Getting to the Heart of the Matter which aims to address vaccine hesitancy among Extension professionals. The goal of the project is to implement strategies that will  reduce vaccination hesitancy and increase willingness to become immunization educators.  Project leaders from WSU include Erica Austin, Paul Bolls, Zena Edwards, Courtney Payne, and Bruce Austin.
This episode is a conversation with Project PI Erica Austin and Zena Edwards. They share the project's inception and how their background in interpretation processing theory, motivational interviewing, and neuromarketing science will be used to get to the heart of vaccine hesitancy and outline the first steps of the project in which they are currently working to. Hear the two share personal stories of vaccine hesitancy they've faced themselves and at Washington State, what they are curious to learn about Extension through this process, challenges they anticipate, and the impact they hope the research has on vaccine hesitancy and other issues.

After listening, I'm sure you will agree that the analysis and tools gained from this project will be pertinent to Extension beyond covid-19 vaccine education. Follow the Washington State team's project on the EXCITE website- for all of their updates and published research!

The podcast episode is available on most podcast networks and the podcast player below. Thank you to Erica and Zena for sharing!

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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