Kristy L. Ouellette

Extension Professor of 4-H Youth Development, University of Maine
Chapter Member: Maine SSN
Areas of Expertise:

Connect with Kristy

About Kristy

Ouellette's research focuses on the the impact of the 4-H youth development program on first generation members. Through the lens of social capital, Ouellette explores the connections and intentional pathways young people who engage in PYD experience. Overarching themes in Ouellette's writings include, outreach to undeserved audiences, expanding pathways for youth, social and cultural capital and first generation youth. Ouellette serves as a 4-H Thriving Regional Champion, a member of the National Association for 4-H Youth Development Professionals, American Educational Research Association and Maine Afterschool Network. She is also a school board member in her local district.

In the News

"4-H and Other Development Groups Help Young Mainers Find Purpose," Kristy L. Ouellette (with Mitch Mason), The Bangor Daily News, October 4, 2022.
Guest to discuss Redefining Learning: A WDinExt Podcast on Bob Bertsch, Kristy L. Ouellette, August 17, 2017.


"Using Videoconferencing to Create Authentic Online Learning for Volunteers" (with Jennifer Lobley). Journal of Extension 55, no. 5 (2021).

Elaborates on how face-to-face training for Extension volunteers is no longer the only viable delivery mode. Mentions in times of rapid technological advances, we are faced with a plethora of options for offering volunteers the training and support they need.

"e-Learning for 4-H Volunteers: Who Uses It, and What Can We Learn from Them?" (with Marilyn K. Lesmeister, Jennifer Lobley, and Kerry M. Gross). Journal of Extension 52, no. 1 (2021).

Re-establishes the profile of the 4-H volunteer and evaluates both the format and content of e-Learning for 4-H Volunteers modules launched in 2006. Finds volunteers from seven states perceived that online modules made learning more convenient and flexible.

"Redefining the Concept of Learning in Cooperative Extension" (with Steven M. Worker and Alexa Maille). Journal of Extension 55, no. 3 (2021).

Summarizes key aspects of the educational research literature by comparing two prevailing metaphors for learning: acquisition and participation. Develops a definition of learning on the basis of the two metaphors, and discusses the related implications for program and curriculum development, pedagogy, professional development, and assessment of learning.

"Factors Related to Motivating Adult Somalis with Refugee Status to Volunteer for 4-H" (with Mitchell D. Mason). Journal of Extension 54, no. 5 (2021).

Identifies best practices for engaging the growing Somali-Mainer population as a volunteer base. Demonstrates that Somali immigrant adults are willing to volunteer for 4-H when the outcome will be a higher academic achievement for their children and when volunteering matches their cultural expectation of helping others. Reports Somali adults' limitations related to their ability to volunteer, particularly language barriers and child-care commitments.

"Understanding the Perspectives of First-Generation 4-H Members" University of Southern Maine Digital Commons (2021).

Examines how for extension educational programs to meet the educational needs of today's youths, families, and communities, Extension needs to expand "what counts" as learning.

"Programming Where the Kids Are: An Informal STEM Series at Day-Camps To Improve Attitudes Toward Science and Engineering" (with Mitchell Mason and Sarah Sparks). Journal of STEM Outreach 1, no. 1 (2018).

Discusses how 4-H is the youth development program of the Cooperative Extension and has identified Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) as a national priority. Mentions that conducting STEM education during summer months for hard to reach youth can be a challenge.

"Maine 4-H Afterschool Academy—A Professional Development Opportunity for Out-of-School-Time Providers" The Journal Extension 51, no. 3 (2013).

Introduces how the flexibility and freedom of afterschool settings can complement and extend the exploration, curiosity, and discovery that are promoted in classroom curricula. Explains that many scientists report that nonschool environments helped spark their passion to pursue a career in science (Gibbons, Bergsman, & Smith, 2008).