New Extension Social Media Specialist Joins the Team
Innovative Media welcomes Jeffrey Buras in a new position for the department, that of social media specialist.
Jeffrey is a long-standing public servant who has worked in non-fiction media, creating messaging around conservation and responsible land management. He was the producer for the Seachange series from Freethink Media, and a producer for the Texas Parks and Wildlife series on PBS. With Texas Parks and Wildlife, Jeffrey traveled the state covering everything from the agricultural benefit of bats in the panhandle to light pollution in the Davis Mountains.
Jeffrey moved to Las Cruces from Washington, DC, where he helped maintain community gardens at Galludet University and distributed local produce through a CSA project. Originally from Houston, Jeffrey also spent a decade in the media industry in Austin. Jeffrey received a bachelor’s degree in Communications from American University and a certificate in Agroecology from the University of the District of Columbia, as well as community garden leadership training from the Sustainable Food Center in Austin.
In his spare time, Jeffrey enjoys hiking and backpacking, and you can find him working the snack counter at the Fountain Theater.
"Jeffrey jumped in with both feet. His first week on the job, New Mexico Extension personnel from around the state arrived to Gerald Thomas Hall for the 2022 Extension Inservice. It was a great way for him to hear from county extension about their needs and experiences with social media. He showed amazing capacity to take it all in and immediately give back, by leading a workshop on Canva, a graphic design tool to create social media posts. Since then, he has been communicating daily with social media managers for county and other extension accounts to help troubleshoot problems, strategize, and facilitate collaboration." —Amy Smith Muise, Program Manager
Need for a new position
Many New Mexico extension educators — as well as individual programs — have engaged clientele with social media, across the many different content areas covered in extension. In listening sessions last year, agents, specialists and program leaders shared their greatest needs for social media, including opportunities for learning from others in extension about their social media work and content to be distributed through channels.
The social media specialist position is funded in part through existing extension funding, and partly from grants on several educational campaigns that require social media distribution. The position will be re-evaluated in two years to determine the specific and continuing needs.
Written By: Barbara Chamberlin, Interim Department Head, Professor, and Director of the Learning Games Lab