Heidi is a Senior Extension Associate with Cornell University’s Community and Regional Development Institute and someone who is committed to community empowerment and sustainability – meaning the ability of community members to shape their future in ways that make them great places to live and work. At CaRDI and through eXtension’s Enhancing Rural Capacity Community of Practice she supports this empowerment through work directly with community leaders, the development of educational programs and tools, and research designed to help local officials, community and economic developers, and other local leaders to collaboratively pursue their goals. Heidi is also the Coordinator of the CALS NYS Internship Program, an initiative designed to provide Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students with opportunities to gain-career related work experience and meaningfully contribute to the communities in which their internship host is based, with the overall goal of strengthening youth retention and attraction in rural regions. Heidi’s other areas of interest include agriculture and food systems and impact assessment. She is a founding member of the Enhancing Rural Capacity Community of Practice and is a strong proponent of professional (broadly defined) networks designed to support collaborative work, shared learning and peer support.