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Showing posts from March, 2020

Dean's Column (March 2020)

Dear colleagues, The last couple of weeks have brought unprecedented changes to how the University of Minnesota operates, in ways that none of us could have anticipated. Extension faculty and staff have responded with creative, thoughtful solutions that allow Extension to continue serving all Minnesotans, even in a crisis. In accordance with federal and state guidelines, we have cancelled all in-person Extension-sponsored events though May 15, 2020. No one knows how long the COVID-19 situation will last, but most public health leaders predict that this is the “new normal,” at least for the next few months. Over the next few weeks and months, you will read more in our newsletters, social media and the news media about how Extension is contributing to Minnesota communities through innovation and collaboration. Our communications team has created this form to pass along ideas for stories about Extension’s role in this time of crisis, and I invite you to share stories that you hear about

Extension Retiree Luncheon 2020

Join us for our annual summer Extension Retiree Luncheon in the Twin Cities. Reconnect with friends and colleagues, enjoy a delicious complimentary lunch, hear about the latest happenings in Extension, and enjoy a featured speaker. We hope to see you this summer! Thursday, July 30, noon-2 p.m., Midland Hills Country Club, 2001 Fulham St., Roseville; RSVP by July 23. Please RSVP to Wan Tansatit, Extension development office, at 612-624-7971 or . Jane Johnson Chief development officer

Lynne Borden appointed Extension interim associate dean for organizational innovation and research

Lynne holds academic appointments in Extension and the Department of Family Social Science and leads Extension’s Children, Youth and Families Consortium. Her research and teaching interests include community-based programs that promote positive youth development, as well as public policy and its effects on families. Lynne’s career has included teaching, Extension and research appointments at the University of Arizona, Michigan State University, Ohio State University and the University of Illinois. She began this new role on Jan. 27.

Craig Taylor is the new southern regional director

Craig has been based at the Mankato Regional Office since Nov. 11. He will also work with the Worthington Regional Office and the western counties of the southern region. Craig previously worked with community economic development at the University of Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis, where he built strong collaborative relationships with community stakeholders.

Awards and accomplishments (March 2020)

Congratulations to the following Extension faculty and staff who received awards in the past few months: Scott Chazdon , evaluation specialist for Community Vitality, was named the 2019 winner of the Outstanding Leadership and Service to the Extension Evaluation Profession award from the American Evaluation Association and its Extension Education Evaluation topical interest group. He received the award at the American Evaluation Association conference in Minneapolis on Nov. 14. Kia Harries is serving as the 2019-2020 president for the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals. In November, Kia was installed as president during the 2019 conference in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Over the next year, she will work with the board of trustees and the Joint Council of Extension Professionals board to support 4-H youth development professionals across the country. Stephanie Heim received the Emerging Leader Award for alumni from the University of Minnesota

Welcome new retirees (March 2020)

Timothy J. Arlt began his Extension career in 1982 in Steele County and retired on Dec. 31 as a program leader for county-based educators in agriculture, food and natural resources in the Mankato Regional Office. Tim’s leadership was a crucial presence at countless County Extension Committee and budget meetings across Minnesota. Julie M. Blomquist retired as an administrative secretary for Anoka County on Jan. 9. During Julie’s 41-year career, she managed departmental budgets, prepared Extension committee materials and provided support for Master Gardeners, septic system education and 4-H. Susan M. Craig , Extension educator for 4-H Youth Development, Watonwan County, affected the lives of hundreds of youth and adults through her 15 years of commitment, passion and believing in the potential of young people to learn and lead. She retired Jan. 28. Kent D. Olson retired on Feb. 13 after a 35-year career of teaching, research and leadership in the Department of Applied Economics, Extens

In memoriam (March 2020)

Wanda E. Olson of rural Lewiston passed away Nov. 14 at age 84. She began her career as an Extension county agent in Winona and Goodhue counties. After receiving her master’s degree, she worked for more than 25 years on the St. Paul campus as a household equipment specialist. Thomas L. Melin of Ada worked in Extension 4-H youth development for 30 years before retiring as professor emeritus. He volunteered in his community for many years before he passed away on Nov. 14 at age 68. Mary Ellen Miller , formerly of Austin, retired in 1989 after a 25 year-career as a family development Extension educator in Mower County where she received numerous local and national awards. She passed away Feb. 29 at age 92. Elizabeth N. Schmidt of Roseville, formerly of Morris, passed away at age 89 on Nov. 21. Elizabeth was the second Extension home agent in Big Stone County. Her career included serving as a five-county coordinator for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.

Retirees in retirement: Sharing your story (March 2020)

Shirley Barber , an Extension educator in Ramsey County until she retired in 2000, headed a translation team from Finland and the United States for the book From a Boy To a Man: Pojasta Mieheksi , by Yrjö Kujala. Originally published in Finland, the book describes the 1860’s famine and the hardships faced by many Finnish ancestors, including Shirley’s maternal family. Sandra Becker , who retired in 2005 as a professor and Extension communications educator on the St. Paul campus, spends time in Albuquerque, N.M., as a volunteer at Cloud Dancers, an equine program for people with disabilities. She also volunteers at a preschool helping kids who experienced trauma. Robert Byrnes retired in June after 40 years of contributions in many Extension roles, most recently as the director of field operations. In December, Bob was named as the coordinator for the Highway 23 Coalition, where he will work with their board of directors to define the mission, vision and action plans for Highway 23. Ar

Epsilon Sigma Phi - Pi Chapter update (March 2020)

The organization is off to a great start in the new decade and is capitalizing on member synergy to make a few updates. The traditional Slice of Pi newsletter will transition to shorter news briefs that will be published multiple times throughout the year, beginning in March. The old ESP Pi Chapter blog has been replaced by a Google Site to allow for easier sharing of information and resources. Please let me know if you have information or photos to add to the site. The Lunch and Learn webinars will begin again in April. Save the evening of Oct. 7 on your calendar for the Pi Chapter member social event. It will be held in conjunction with the Extension Program Conference in Brooklyn Park. Sara Croymans ESP Pi Chapter president

Media Moment (March 2020)

Emily Wilmes, director of University of Minnesota Extension's rural stress task force, was a guest on the Land O'Lakes Something Greater podcast in February to talk about rural stress and mental health. She joined host Kim Olson and Glenda Gehl, the senior director of member relations at Land O’Lakes.