Libby Bestul

Libby Bestul

Outreach Specialist, MS
4232A Nancy Nicholas Hall 1300 Linden Drive

Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.

Using a variety of different technologies I develop and disseminate information on numerous human ecology topics, such as parenting, youth-adult participatory evaluation, cooperatives, healthy living, and financial literacy for UW-Extension.  I facilitate communication between other faculty, the industry, students and the public. I plan, schedule, promote and coordinate events for the outreach functions as well as design and oversee evaluations, budgeting and purchasing.

Previously I worked in a variety of positions in operations, marketing, finance and human resources. I managed a summer youth gifted and talented program, worked as a substitute teacher and I continue to do general business consulting and volunteer for arts-related nonprofits.

My Education

MS in Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania
MBA Certificate, Minnesota Management Institute, University of Minnesota
BS in Housing, Marketing and Management emphasis, University of Minnesota

My Strengthsfinder: Maximizer ~ Strategic ~ Positivity ~ Individualization ~ Woo

I am the chair of the steering committee for the Community Partnership and Outreach (CPO) Staff Network. We share a vision of the Wisconsin Idea that recognizes community members as full partners, essential to the engaged, collaborative work that transforms our communities and institutions for the public good.

I am on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra where our mission is “enriching lives by providing transformational musical opportunities and experiences.” Each year WYSO offers a full array of the finest orchestral training and performance opportunities to over 450 qualified young musicians between the ages of 10 and 18. Three full orchestras, two string orchestras, a chamber music program and a full array of ensembles and workshops make up the core of the WYSO program. Three times I have chaired the Art of Note Gala, WYSO’s signature fundraising event.


My UW Cooperative Extension outreach crosses several areas within the School of Human Ecology.
One project area is Youth-Adult Partnership (Y-AP).   Y-AP E thumbnail

Y-AP Resources are available free on-line for your use.  The Youth-Adult Partnerships in Evaluation is a Resource Guide for Translating Research into Practice with valuable insights into the accessible literature for both practitioners and professionals.


Helping people across the state with financial literacy crosses many projects, such as the Rent Smart curriculum released in Spring, 2017.  This course teaches people with little to no rental experience, or those with trouble obtaining rental housing, how to acquire and keep housing in Wisconsin.

Also in the area of financial literacy is the Money Smart in Head Start project with newsletters on 16 topics, currently being translated into Spanish.

logoParenting, grand-parenting and aging are additional outreach areas.  Recently the work group on Creating Aging Friendly Communities created a toolkit for the Aging-Friendly Environment Assessment on the Supporting an Aging State website.  Also on this site are professional development opportunities in the form of a coffee break conversation with the State Specialist in Family and Financial Well-being in Middle and Later Life.  Other Extension programs include Raising a Thinking Child, and Strengthening Families.