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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Southworth Hired as Coordinator for Extension Rural Tourism Program

LAS CRUCES -- Allison Southworth began work July 16 as the program coordinator for New Mexico State University's Rural Economic Development Through Tourism (REDTT) project.

REDTT, funded by the Cooperative Extension Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provides tourism education, training and technical assistance for communities in Chaves, Cibola, De Baca, Dona Ana, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, Otero and Sierra counties.

Southworth will work as technical assistant for Otero, Chaves and De Baca counties, promoting tourism through agriculture. She will coordinate educational training programs for hotel and restaurant personnel, as well as county Extension staff, to encourage New Mexico hospitality.

"We also like to see gas station and convenience store personnel at these training programs because they have direct contact with visitors to the state," Southworth said.

She also will help communities initiate agricultural festivals. "REDTT is very grassroots, and we try to help communities develop what they feel is important," she said.

Southworth holds a master's degree in family and consumer sciences with an emphasis in tourism development from NMSU. She received her bachelor's degree in hotel administration from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

She has worked part-time for REDTT since 1992. Before coming to NMSU, she held administrative positions in various national hotel chains including the Hilton, Radisson and Amberley Suites hotels. She also is a member of the Tourism Association of New Mexico.