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Michael Gutter named new Associate Dean and State Program Leader for 4-H Youth Development, Families and Communities

GAINESVILLE, Fla. —  University of Florida Dean and Director for Extension Nick Place announced Tuesday that Professor Michael Gutter has been promoted to associate dean and state program leader for 4-H Youth Development, Families and Communities within the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Gutter, who has been serving as interim program leader for the Family and Consumer Sciences Initiative, will officially begin in this new role Feb. 6.

“Michael Gutter has had overwhelming support from many of our faculty through this search process and I am highly confident in his visionary leadership for this critical position in UF/IFAS Extension,” Place said in an announcement to faculty and staff. “He has a strong passion for youth, families and communities, which came out clearly in his interview. He sees many opportunities where we will be able to grow and strengthen these Extension programs across the state in both rural and urban areas.”

Gutter has a Bachelor of Science degree in family financial management and a doctorate in family resource management with a specialization in finance, both from The Ohio State University.

“Strong youth and families need strong communities and vice versa,” Gutter said. “I am honored to have a chance to work with our outstanding state, regional, and county faculty in our 4-H Youth Development, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Community Development Initiatives. By continuing to honor our history and looking toward the future, together we can make the best even better and improve the lives of Florida’s youth and families, while strengthening our communities.”

Gutter has received several awards including the 1999 Texas Instruments Award for an Outstanding Paper, 2001 ACCI Dissertation Award, 2003 School of Human Ecology Excellence in Outreach Service Award, and the 2008 American Council on Consumer Interests Mid-Career Award.

The common theme that connects Gutter’s research, teaching and outreach is helping households achieve financial security. This has involved research examining how socioeconomic status, financial education, personal psychology, and financial socialization are related to financial behaviors. In that context, Gutter currently explores how financial education is related to financial behaviors.

Gutter’s outreach projects at UF/IFAS include Managing in Tough Times, Florida Saves, Get Checking, Military Family Learning Network, and the Florida Master Money Mentor. His projects focus on enabling access to resources and services as well as improving people’s knowledge and understanding about family resource management. These projects have had funding from the Consumer Federation of America and Bank of America. He regularly tweets on personal finance topics under @mikegutter on Twitter.

Brian Myers served as Interim Associate Dean and State Program Leader for 4-H Youth Development for 15 months. Myers will assist with the leadership transition, then return to his faculty position in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication in March.

Michael Gutter

Dr. Michael Gutter