November 2020 - Issue 2
Si Yu'os ma'åse' Dr. Sereana Howard Dresbach for
your dedication, time and talents at UOG CNAS! 
I want to thank Dr. Sereana Dresbach for her short but very productive tenure with the Guam Cooperative Extension & Outreach (CE&O) program and her devoted participation within the College of Natural and Applied Sciences. Dr. Dresbach has also contributed to the betterment of the University of Guam during the 3 years she has been at UOG. I truly believe her accomplishments at CE&O will have long-lasting beneficial effects. Her previous US connections greatly added linkages to States and Counties that Guam’s CE&O had never previously engaged with. Her persistence has also provided opportunities for our faculty and staff, which have greatly enhanced their professional advancement. Her active role in the Western Extension Directors Association (WEDA) has been phenomenal. When travel was possible, Sereana participated in nearly all the conferences and even when COVID hit, she was still up early in the morning on Zoom meetings a few times per week. WEDA will definitely miss her active participation and added knowledge that only she could bring.

Dr. Dresbach tried to instill the extension philosophy wherever she went and to whoever she met. Breaking down barriers to create teamwork approaches to solve problems was her underlying message. Her approach was intense to some, but to others, it pushed them to be better agents of change. I think one of the community events that Sereana will be most remembered for was her Annual Extension Stakeholders meeting that was held in one of our prestigious hotels here on Guam. This event specifically honored the men, women and families who we serve.

Over the few short years that Dr. Dresbach lived on Guam, we had the chance to meet her wonderful husband, mother, sister, son and daughter. Her son, Kenton, was able to spend an entire summer working on an extension program with us. Her husband Eric, who was her most frequent family visitor, gave lectures in our agricultural classes and spoke with community organizations when he visited.

Life brings many challenges and because of Dr. Dresbach’s efforts, Guam CE&O is in a better place today and has the opportunity for a brighter future tomorrow. I personally want to thank her for coming to Guam and the friendship we have shared during her stay. I hope she will remember us in a positive light and will continue to be a true friend to the Guam CE&O over many years to come.

Lee S. Yudin 
College of Natural & Applied Sciences 
Dr. Dresbach has been instrumental in sharing her vast experiences in extension and engagement through innovative programming that has resulted in positive impacts in our community. The work she has led through extension faculty has been remarkable. We are grateful for her amazing contributions and wish her well as she embarks on her new journey.

Anita Borja Enriquez
Senior Vice President and Provost
Academic & Student Affairs
Farewell University of Guam

Sereana Howard Dresbach
Associate Dean/Director 
Cooperative Extension & Oureach 
Dr. Sereana Dresbach came to Guam in 2018 and in her short time working at the University of Guam, she was able to set goals that took Cooperative Extension & Outreach to new levels of achievement.

From the beginning, Dresbach’s goals were to move the mission of Extension forward and to engage people in their needs and concerns with research-based information that people could use in their everyday lives.

“Expanding the access to information and increasing the ability of all citizens to use that information have always been the operating principles I have utilized in extension, outreach and engagement,” said Dresbach.

Through multiple activities and programs, Dresbach has also worked hard to build sustained networks between extension professionals across the system by linking them with peers from across the western region and across the nation.

“Through these linkages, alliances and networks, we have been able to showcase the impacts of UOG extension education and identify strategies to continually improve engagement,” said Dresbach.

She believes that when professionals network and share information, better programs are created. Through networking, she has been able to showcase the programs and professionals, as well as capture and adapt programs to engage stakeholders.

Being mentored by amazing people in extension, one of the most important attributes she has learned was to invest in people.

“I have always believed that if I invest time, effort and treasure in people, the mission will come,” said Dresbach.

“My goal was to invest in UOG extension professionals and the result was engagement with their peers, continuous learning from each other and they tried new approaches. People will move the extension mission forward and that’s why people are a worthy investment,” added Dresbach.
From left: Kate Moots, Lee Yudin, Sereana Dresbach and Adrian Ares pose together in celebration of Boss's Day.  November 2018. 
While Dresbach says her time on Guam has not necessarily changed her perspective on engagement, it has however reinforced the basic principles as a land grant university.

She says engagement is based on continued interaction, meaningful dialogue, co-creation of actions and responsiveness, and while no university, land-grant or otherwise, operates a perfectly engaged institution, extension has the continuous opportunity to model behavior as engaged professionals.

“Incorporating the needs of our stakeholders into our research and extension activities is the mission of the land grant university and we must work every single day on that mission. Those foundation pieces of engagement are as important in Guam as any other land grant institution,” says Dresbach.

Additionally, her time on Guam has allowed her various opportunities to share her background in academia, business, agriculture, leadership and community service.

Dresbach said: “I was privileged to be asked to provide testimony on behalf of insular extension systems for USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture strategic plan.”

On another occasion, Dresbach was also asked to provide testimony regarding agriculture producers. Here, she was able to synthesize information regarding food systems from a Midwest producer standpoint, as well as consumer needs of the Western Pacific.

As she prepares to leave the university and the island, she hopes that extension will continue to try new things in the future.

“Doing new things and trying new approaches is always risky, because there is no guarantee of success. My hope is that people take risks and try new things, and if failure happens, its fail forward. Learn from the failure and keep going, as that is important to evolving as an extension system,” said Dresbach.

Of the many accomplishments and new experiences she has achieved and gained in the past two years here on Guam, it is the friendships and memories she will cherish the most as she starts a new chapter in her life.

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