Sempier adds new role, leads outreach programs

By: LaDon Swann / Published: Oct 24,  2018

Column by LaDon Swann
Column by LaDon Swann

I am extremely pleased to announce Dr. Steve Sempier’s appointment as MASGC’s outreach director. His new appointment began Sept. 1, 2018. This new position came about after a topical assessment team (TAT) review from the National Sea Grant Office that I requested so a team could make recommendations for improvements to our outreach program.

A major recommendation from the September 2017 review was to implement a different leadership structure by creating an outreach leader position to provide overall leadership for MASGC’s entire suite of education, outreach and extension programs.


Steve will be working to:

  1. Provide overall leadership for MASGC-supported outreach and education programs and assists in seeking external funding partnerships for outreach and education programs;
  2. Facilitate integration of MASGC research into MASGCsupported outreach and education programming;
  3. Engage with principal investigators of MASGC-affiliated outreach and education projects to ensure alignment of project objectives with the MASGC strategic plan and facilitate development and communication of impacts, accomplishments and other project-level achievements.

MASGC supports more than 30 individuals representing nine institutions in two states. These staff members have multiple funding sources, affiliations and allegiances. In such a complicated organizational structure, it is imperative to have a strong and committed outreach leader to serve as a catalyst for leadership, motivation and cohesion.

I requested that the topical assessment team make a complete review of MASGC's relevant programs, processes and operations to provide advice to MASGC on how it can improve the management of its matrix organization; how it can improve the integration of its research program with its education and outreach programs; and how it can integrate its stand-alone outreach programs into its core outreach program.

Unlike other evaluation processes, TAT reviews are not mandatory. Because funding decisions are de-coupled from the process, they provide a venue for open and frank dialogue among the TAT members and affected parties. TAT reviews can often be helpful to move internal institutional decisions.

I have worked with Steve for more than 10 years and know he will excel in his new position while retaining his deputy director duties. 


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