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Dr. Hannah Carter
Program Director
Dr. Hannah Carter grew up surrounded by the potato fields of Aroostook County, Maine. She graduated in 1995 with a B.S. degree in Environmental Science from the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Upon graduation, she began her career with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension (UMCE) working within Maine’s potato industry. In 1999, she graduated with her M.S. in agricultural education and communication from the University of Florida and in 2004 she earned her Ph.D. from UF in agricultural leadership. She currently is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. Within this appointment, she is the Director of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, a leadership development program for individuals involved in Florida’s agriculture and natural resource industries. In addition to this, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership development and continues her research on leadership programming. She also conducts leadership workshops and presentation throughout Florida, and the nation, for various organizations and industries.


Janice E. Shephard
Administrative Assistant
Janice Shepard was born in Lynn, Massachusetts and raised in Lancaster, PA. Janice assists the director in the administration and operation of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute. Her responsibilities include the financial administration for the Wedgworth Leadership Institute and its endowment through the University of Florida Leadership and Education Foundation, Inc., logistic arrangements for the seminars, preparation of program materials and correspondence, daily operation of the office, administrative support for the University of Florida Leadership and Education Foundation, Inc. Board of Director’s as well as the Wedgworth Leadership Institute’s Advisory Council. She also provides secretarial support for the alumni association. In addition to her responsibilities with the Leadership Institute and raising her two children, she obtained an associate’s degree in Private Investigation and has her own business.


Valerie McKee
Leadership Programs Coordinator
Valerie, originally from Okeechobee, FL, came to the AEC department as an undergraduate student majoring in Agricultural Education and Communication and specializing in Communication and Leadership Development.  After graduating in 2014 from UF, Valerie attended Texas A&M University to earn a Masters of Science in Agricultural Leadership.  Upon graduating in December 2015, Valerie moved back to Florida to work in her current position as the Leadership programs Coordinator for the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources (WLIANR), the Alumni Association for the Wedgworth Leadership Institute (AAWLI), and the UF/IFAS Center for Leadership.  In her role, Valerie seeks to develop leadership capacity within Florida’s agriculture industry by providing program support, developing outreach and marketing efforts for the programs she serves, and managing internal communication mediums. She has a sincere passion for Florida’s agriculture industry, leadership education, her faith, and serving others. Valerie hopes to one day obtain a Ph.D. and work with students as a professor of leadership education. When she gets the chance, Valerie spends her free time saltwater fishing, kayaking, blogging, and painting portraits of livestock.