Dr. Laura Stephenson is the associate dean and director of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. In her previous role she served as assistant dean of extension and department chair of family and consumer sciences at the University of Tennessee. However, much of her extension career has been in Kentucky.
She brings an abundance of experience to the system, having served the state as an extension agent, district director and assistant director for family and consumer sciences extension field programs. Stephenson is a strong advocate for county-based programming, building the capacity of interdisciplinary faculty teams and engagement of local, regional and state stakeholders.
Stephenson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and a doctorate in gerontology from UK. She began her career in Cooperative Extension in 1988 and transitioned into leadership roles at UK before leaving for Tennessee in 2013.