Donna Shanklin is a traveler. As a military brat in the 1960s, she lived in half dozen places before settling in Kentucky when her dad retired.
Her first job was working at the local hamburger joint, but the job that impacted her life was working as a Integrated Pest Management Scout through the University of Kentucky’s Todd County Cooperative Extension Service office. There she was introduced to insects, weeds, and action thresholds. Growing up in a rural area, Donna wasn’t a farm kid, but appreciated nature and being outdoors.
She graduated from the University of Kentucky twice (B.S., M.S.), was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, and a fire ant specialist in Arkansas. She went to the University of South Florida for her M.P.H.;Donna arrived in Alabama in 2007. Her international work experience includes Farmer to Farmer experiences in Egypt, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, and a 3 month experience in Bolivia with Save the Children.
Her travels have taught her several things – one important thing is that “Common sense is learned — what we think is common sense like washing our hands, and rotating crops — is something we have learned – either through experience or someone taught us.”
As a leader in the eXtension Creating Healthy Communities community of practice, Shanklin’s emphasis is environmental health. However, she is amazed with technology and how its use can impact people — she is on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.
Donna Shanklin, MS, MPH
Regional Extension Agent – Human Nutrition, Diet and Health
Alabama Cooperative Extension