Susan Colbert

Susan Colbert
Susan Colbert
Program Director, Expansion and Engagement (Franklin County)
Terrace Place, 99 E. Ninth Street, Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-297-3861
Degree Information: 
MS in Social Sciences with a focus on Applied Public Affairs Studies, State University of New York at Buffalo
BS in Psychology and Sociology, Canisius College
Additional Information: 

Specialization & Areas of Expertise:

Specialization: Economic Development

Areas of Expertise:

  • Urban Programs
  • Housing
  • Community Partnerships

Program Information:

OSU Extension University District: A Model of Collaboration and Commitment

OSU Extension University District Newsletter - News You Can Use:


Susan currently serves as Community Development Program Director for OSU Extension in the University District, located in Columbus, Ohio. She began her employment with OSU Extension in 2000 as a Program Assistant and was promoted to Extension Educator in the University District. She has over 20 years of experience in community and economic development in the states of New York and Ohio.

Under Susan’s leadership, OSU Extension has played a critical role in the transformation of neighborhoods east of High Street, especially Weinland Park. OSU Extension relocated its Community Learning Center to Godman Guild Association, where they serve an average of 50 students a week in their GED, Workforce Development, and Computer classes. Moreover, OSU’s Fisher College of Business students have offered free tax preparation services to over 1,000 residents, who have received at least $1.5 million in Earned Income Tax and Child Credits. Her Extension programs have helped at least 20 people start or expand their own business and others purchase a home or pursue post-secondary education as a result of their Individual Development Account program.

Susan and her team of volunteers/staff utilize an asset-based approach, which focuses on the resources and strengths of the neighborhood (i.e., people, places, partnerships, etc.) rather than the needs and deficiencies of the area. This approach has helped OSU Extension gain the respect and trust of residents and stakeholders. To this end, OSU Extension has received numerous accolades for their work in the University District:

  • C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement National Outreach Scholarship’s Exemplary Program Award (October 2011)
  • Leadership Ohio Award for Excellence (May 2011)
  • Walter and Marian English Award from the United Way (August 2010)
  • The Godman Guild Association Partner of the Year Award ( June 2010)
  • The John Stitzlein Award for outstanding contributions to diversity in programming (Sept 2009)
  • The Ray Miller Institute for Change and  Leadership (December 2009)
  • Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbank’s Ohio Benefit Bank Award (November 2006)
  • OSU’s Department of Human and Community Resource Development Out on the Limb Award for outstanding achievements and accomplishments (January 2005)
  • OSU Extension Most Notable Ideas Award (May 2004)
  • Fifth H Award for innovative programming ( July 2003)
  • Housing Counseling certification from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Internal Revenue Service and the City of Columbus, Ohio

Susan was a recipient of the 2014 Ohio State University Distinguished Staff Award. She was nominated by a longtime collaborator organization, Campus Partners, for her exceptional dedication to collaborative efforts in the University District neighborhoods. She was also recognized in Who’s Who in Black Columbus in November 2015. And most recently, Susan was named the recipient of the Raymond A. Schindler Excellence in Community Development Extension Award for 2018.