CFAES Give Today
Extension Operations

Ohio State University Extension


Note from David Civittolo

Sometimes I get so focused on the hours, days, and weeks ahead that I don’t give much thought to what I was doing a week ago or, to be honest, even yesterday. Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the train derailment in East Palestine. As the date approaches, I’ve spent time mulling over the catastrophe and I find myself incredibly inspired by the team that stepped up – on behalf of CFAES and Extension – to provide support, knowledge, expertise, and direction to a community in its time of crisis.

Now would be an appropriate time to thank and acknowledge all of the professionals who were involved in leading, participating in, or supporting the East Palestine response team in its year-long work. They include: Haley Shoemaker, Jeff Hattey, Devin Petersen, Matt Teegarden, Paola Forero, Heather Raymond, Nicholas Basta, Jason Hartschuh, Dee Jepsen, Kent McGuire, Maurice Eastridge, Michael Bisesi (vice dean, College of Public Health), Eric Barrett, Sam Custer, and Adam Ward.

I’m proud of the way the team organized and aligned itself with other resources within Ohio State, local and state governments, and other agencies. And how it never lost sight of the focus – helping the East Palestine community. I'm even more humbled at how their work in and on behalf of the affected area continues to present day – well beyond the immediate crisis response.

While events like this are not typical in our day-to-day work, they are reminders of how much Ohioans rely on the resources we make accessible to them.

My challenge to you is this – keep focused on the tasks at hand, but don’t forget to acknowledge the work you’ve done and the lives you’ve impacted through your work as an Extension professional.

Thanks for all the big and little impacts you have on those you serve – David