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K-State Today

June 13, 2022

Mestrovich Seay selected as executive director of UFM Community Learning Center

Submitted by Ashley Nietfeld

UFM Community Learning Center welcomed a new executive director, Aliah Mestrovich Seay, in May. Mestrovich Seay is taking over leadership of UFM from Linda Teener, who held the position for 32 years before her retirement in June.

Mestrovich Seay previously served as a state Extension specialist for 4-H Youth Development, Community Vitality for Kansas State Research and Extension, a role she had held since 2015. In that position, she provided statewide programmatic oversight for 4-H project areas focusing on community vitality, culture, communication and the arts across the state of Kansas. Throughout her career, Mestrovich Seay has been involved in service and community-engaged scholarship supporting community development initiatives and systemic change while engaging new youth and adult audiences to address community needs.

"With more than 20 years in the field of education and the nonprofit sector, I am honored to facilitate the unique learning experience that is UFM Community Learning Center," Mestrovich Seay said. "To be able to support others in making a difference in their own backyard and have creative, inclusive and accessible learning opportunities for all is a lifelong dream of mine as a Manhattanite and native Kansan."

During her tenure at UFM, Teener directed the growth of UFM programs from approximately 60 classes each semester to the current 190 noncredit offerings and 100 for-credit classes. She added two community outreach programs, the UFM Teen Mentoring Program and Project EXCELL, a program designed to offer enrichment to adults with developmental disabilities. She also led the expansion of the Community Garden from 130 to 255 plots.

UFM is a creative educational program serving Kansas State University, Manhattan and communities across Kansas. UFM offers a variety of noncredit and credit classes for all ages and interests. Based on the philosophy that everyone can learn and everyone can teach, UFM provides opportunities for lifelong learning and personal development. UFM also serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and as a catalyst for new programs and services that enhance the quality of life for all. In addition to the noncredit and credit classes, UFM coordinates several other programs, including Teen Mentoring, the Lou Douglass Lectures, Manhattan Community Gardens and Project EXCELL.