About us


Strengthen the capacity of local leaders, residents, businesses, and organizations to build resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities through research-based resources and processes.

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Contact Us


Purdue Extension - Vigo County
275 Ohio St.
Terre Haute, IN 47807
Phone:  (812) 462-3371


Kristi Whitacre
County Ext. Director
Extension Educator -
Community Development


Community Development Program

Purdue Extension Leadership Vigo County Program

Community leadership in Vigo County is critical to developing our future leaders, strengthening economic development and driving quality of place initiatives.

During Leadership Vigo County, adult participants learn from their personal experiences and self-assessments, small group activities and discussions, current community leaders, online leadership webinars, and real-life applications.  Leadership Vigo County has a successful curriculum of 11 sessions and a Statehouse visit. At the conclusion of the 11 sessions participants receive a Purdue Extension Certificate. The sessions are: Getting to Know My County, Identifying My Leadership Style, Interpersonal Communication, Exploring Diversity in My County, Managing Conflict, Getting Involved in My County, Serving on Nonprofit Boards, Economic Development in My County, Exploring Education in My County, Learning How County Government Works, and Building a Healthy Community.   

The program fee is $325. There are a limited amount of ($200) scholarships available for those that don’t have access to professional development funds through their workplace, the remaining balance would be $125.  Each session is held at a different location within Vigo County. The program starts in the fall, meets every other week on Wednesday afternoons from 11:30 am-4pm, and concludes in March. For more information contact Kristi Whitacre kwhitacr@purdue.edu.

2016-2017 Participants: Left to Right: Holly Curtsinger, Kristi Whitacre (Vigo Program Leader), Allison Finzel, Abby Desboro, Lisa Moseley, Danny Wayne Beemer (back), Hilda Andres (front), Julie Davis, Amanda Solesky, and Brendan Kearns. Not Pictured: Andrew Akers
2017-2018 Participants: Left to Right: Back row- Susan Dolle, Matt Bird, James Ramer, Teresa Dwyer, Rebecca Dutcher, Kelly Walker. Front row - Emily Bruner, Carey LaBella, Danielle Elkins, Katie Shane, Danielle Isbell. Not pictured: Hannah Pruitt
2018-2019 Participants: Left to Right: Back row - Tanya Starcher, Ruth Hallam, Melissa Reed, Brent A. Barnhart, Terri Hemminghouse, Leah Singer. Front row  - Jodi  Lemmon, Nicole Beyer, Sara Haag, Libby Ray. Not pictured: Bonnie Thompson, Mike Vastag 
2019-2020 Participants: Left to Right: Back row – Kristi Whitacre (Vigo Program Leader), Amber Slaughterbeck, Gabrielle Comelleri, Dee Dodd, Samantha Bowman, Alex Allen. Front row - Heidi Mitchell, Leatha Waugh, Mechell Waugh, Jessie Uchytil. Not pictured: Vittoria Meyer, Margaret Hill, Tracy Wilson

Facilitation is the art and science of helping groups achieve a goal by organizing and managing the process. Facilitative leaders have the skills, tools, and awareness to draw out ideas, encourage effective discussion, and guide groups to make inclusive decisions and actionable plans. The Facilitative Leadership workshop teaches facilitation tools and techniques in a supportive “learning-lab” environment.

Are you someone who would like to help groups to make collective decisions, discuss complex issues, or plan events, projects, or programs effectively?

Find out more about the program HERE!

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Participants of the Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing program learn how to write effective grant proposals and navigate the grant process. Both beginners and experienced grant writers learn to develop ideas into winning proposals, identify potential funders and understand the full proposal development, submission and review process. The workshop is held in Vigo county and in counties across Indiana.

 Past participants have included staff and volunteers from local governments, nonprofits and educational organizations as well as members of community groups, clubs and concerned citizens who see a need in their communities that they want to help address.

Today, Indiana is home to new community playgrounds, expanded libraries, community agencies and improved businesses and schools that are meeting the needs of Indiana residents through newly-funded programs and services. Participants across the state have received more than $4,000,000 in grants awarded to their organizations in the last three years after attending the Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing workshop. For more information and a list of upcoming workshop locations click HERE!


Purdue Extension Community Development’s Digital Ready initiative advances the capacity of small businesses to strengthen their knowledge and application of broadband strategies.

Through interactive workshops and online courses led by a statewide team of Purdue trainers, participants learn about the importance of the digital economy, how to incorporate digital strategies into the work place and build technical knowledge.

Digital Ready Business lessons were designed to get small businesses and entrepreneurs on the internet by providing flexibility on when and where you learn. Through these lessons, you will receive in-depth instruction on how to get a business online, from creating a website through email reach, in order to better reach your customers.

Kristi Whitacre is a trained digital ready coach. For more information click HERE!