VSU hires 4-H Stem Extension Specialist


Contact: William Gee, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-5005, wgee@vsu.edu


STEM Specialist Seeks to Engage, Energize, Motivate Youth 

Charles “Charlie” Nealis, Virginia State University’s new STEM 4-H Cooperative Extension specialist  .    Download high-resolution photo from Smugmug.

Charles “Charlie” Nealis, Virginia State University’s new STEM 4-H Cooperative Extension specialistDownload high-resolution photo from Smugmug.

Ettrick, Va. –  Charles Nealis, new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Cooperative Extension specialist at Virginia State University, portrays today’s student as a curious, passionate, techno-savvy innovator destined to change the world. Shortly after arriving at VSU, “Charlie” has hit the ground running, his sights set on increasing awareness of STEM opportunities and encouraging youth to pursue STEM careers. 

“STEM subject matter helps students develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving capabilities vital to success in nearly every profession,” Nealis says. “Employers have come to expect this from their employees.”

Nealis says he’ll work closely with 4-H programs and local school systems to engage community youth in unique, cutting-edge, hands-on activities designed to equip them for the future.  “My job is to corral and funnel their creativity and enthusiasm to position them for success in our global, technological society,” he adds. 

A Gainesville, Fla. native, Nealis  earned  each of his academic degrees from the University of Florida. His bachelor’s degree is in food and resource economics; his master’s degree in  agricultural  education and extension; and his doctorate in soil and water science.

An ardent Florida Gator fan, Charlie’s first priority is spending time with his wife and infant daughter. During his spare time, he enjoys basketball, hiking and fishing.

He can be reached at (804) 524-2583 or at cnealis@vsu.edu.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.”