Amanda Clasen, 35, is a new K-State Research and Extension- Southwind District agent. She is serving Neosho, Woodson, Bourbon and Allen Counties. They have offices in Erie, Yates Center, Iola and Fort Scott.
Hers is a newly created position, that started June 12, 2023.
“I am the Community Vitality Agent, helping local communities grow by helping identify local needs and highlight the bright spots within the community, as well as working with local collation groups to identify health, childcare and housing needs within our counties,” she said. “I can help local groups find grants for project funding as well as help in assisting with the writing of those grants. We are still expanding on programming for this position as it is a new position, so I am looking into possibly adding Youth Entrepreneurship similar to what Fort Scott currently offers to our other counties in the future.”
“I am housed out of the Erie Office, but travel to each office at least once a week,” she said.
Her contact info: email: [email protected] or phone 620.244.3826
Clasen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education- Pittsburg State University in 2011, and a Master’s Degree in Adaptive Special Education from P.S.U. in 2015.
“I was a special education preschool teacher for 11 years before taking this position,” she said. “Along side of my teaching duties I served as a Family Engagement Coordinator for three years, helping write grants to provide events within the school to promote stronger parent/family relationships as well as including outside agencies opportunities to share information with parents.”
She was born and raised in Linn, KS, a small rural town in north central Kansas, and currently lives in Erie with husband Mac and three sons, 10 years, 8 years and 3 years-old.
She has been involved in her community through XI Delta PSI.
So far in this job, she is enjoying “Getting to network with local communities and members and see what fun and exciting projects that they have already completed and working towards,” she said. “There are so many hidden ‘gems’ in our small towns and I’m excited to continue to uncover them with getting to know community members.”
With any new job, the beginning can be challenging.
“With this being a new position, there is not currently not an established programming plan, so deciding what communities need or want for programming has been a struggle, but I’m excited to learn!” she said.