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To maintain eligibility as a principal investigator (PI) at the University of Minnesota, PIs must complete Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) continuing education. The following workshops satisfy RCR continuing education awareness/discussion requirements.  

  • Know your rights: Copyright essentials for authors and creators
    Friday, April 11, 10 a.m. - noon. Online-only interactive session
    In this session, authors and creators learn more about their rights in their creations, and how to manage those rights to achieve their goals. Primarily intended for faculty, researchers, and graduate students engaged in the scholarly writing and publishing process.

  • Can I use that? Dealing with copyright in everyday life
    Wednesday, April 30, 10 a.m. - noon. Online-only interactive session
    Learn about options for using materials created by others--in writing, presentations, remix videos and beyond. Primarily intended for faculty, researchers, and graduate students engaged in the scholarly writing and publishing process.

All Extension faculty, educators and others who are interested in applying for grants are required to complete the University's eligibility process. For more information about PI eligibility, visit the Grants section on the Extension intranet.

Kristen Mastel
Outreach & Instruction Librarian
and
Dianne Sivald
Grants Manager

April is the national "Month of the Military Child," a time to honor youth impacted by deployment. Extension 4-H and Operation: Military Kids invite you to "Purple Up! For Military Kids!" We encourage everyone to wear purple on the third annual national event Tuesday, April 15 to show support and thank military children across the country and in Minnesota for their strength and sacrifices. Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue.


Extension 4-H delivers Operation: Military Kids programs to help youth discover positive ways to cope with their loved ones' deployment, and feel connected, active and supported.


Amber Greeley
Extension 4-H and Operation: Military Kids Program Specialist

As part of the Extension Cultural Agility webinar series, Anne Phibbs, director of education, Office of Equity and Diversity and Susan Aase, associate to the director, Disability Services, will present the webinar, Advancing access for everyone: Introduction to disability and disability service on April 10, 1-2 p.m. These experts join Extension for a second month to offer participants insight into what disability is, how to recognize visible and invisible disabilities, and how to address barriers and advocate for solutions so all individuals have equal access to a healthy and inclusive work environment.


Join your Extension colleagues from across Minnesota for a vibrant and engaging discussion. Registration is required.

Ying Iverson
Director, Professional Development

One Health in the 'real world' takes people, time, commitment and collaborations. This year's One Health Partnerships workshop, held on April 30 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Minneapolis, will explore One Health from concept through everyday realities on the ground.

The workshop begins with a plenary session addressing what One Health is and the actors who make the One Health system work, followed by an on‐site panel discussion at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to address animal-human interactions in public settings (highlighting recent outbreak of H1N2v swine influenza that caused influenza in humans in 2012). The workshop will end in an interactive learning room where participants will delve into the realities of how One Health works in the 'real word' and how we can build on this with synthesis of insights and improving One Health partnerships. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to carry these insights forward in a published synthesis document that can be used to inform stakeholders who bring One Health to the realities of disease.

Register today for this one-day workshop as a single event, or as part of the larger International Conference on One Medicine, One Science (iCOMOS) conference.

Kris Junker
Center for Animal Health and Food Safety
Several professional development opportunities are scheduled in February to increase awareness and understanding of important Extension initiatives and topics. The following sessions will be held live via UMConnect webinar; registration is required:
  

Promotion-related

Cultural agility

As always, the webinar recordings for these sessions will be available on the intranet after the session date. Recordings for all past webinars are available on the Professional Development section of the Extension intranet. The most recent webinars include "Overview of Extension promotion" (Jan. 29), and "Extension development" (Feb. 5).

Ying Iverson
Professional Development Director

Kick off the new year by getting acquainted with Moodle, the University of Minnesota's online course management system. Moodle can be a wonderful platform for enhancing your online outreach and supporting learner engagement with rich interactive tools. To get started with Moodle, request a site, dig in, and test out the platform anytime! For information on how to request a site, how to apply the Extension theme to your site, and to view Moodle training videos, visit the Moodle section of the Extension intranet.

You can also take advantage of the University's Moodle training offerings on the Twin Cities campuses (with some limited availability online).  

For experienced Moodle users, please note that Moodle 2.2 sites will be retiring soon and will need to be upgraded to the newest Moodle instance. If you still have courses in Moodle 2.2 and need more information about the transition, contact Alison Link as soon as possible.

Alison Link
Academic Technologist

A new Extension webinar series has been created that focuses on supporting Extension educators as they go through the promotion process. The first webinar of the series, "Overview of Extension Promotion," will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 10 to 11 a.m. via UMConnect. Presenter Renee Pardello, assistant dean, will provide an overview of promotion goals, process, timelines, and roles and responsibilities. She will also briefly discuss promotion guidelines and provide answers to commonly asked questions from educators.

This session is open to all Extension staff and educators who are involved in the promotion process. Please note that you need to register for the webinar via ULearn, the University's learning management system. You will receive a confirmation email and have the choice of adding the webinar on your Google calendar upon registration. If we have less than 10 people registered, the webinar will be rescheduled. If you have additional questions, please contact Tiffany Ralston.

Ying Iverson
Professional Development Director

A webinar recording is now available for the January 8 Extension Topic Webinar:

"Libraries' makeover," presented by Kristen Mastel, Extension Librarian. In this webinar, Kristen demonstrated how Extension staff can navigate the new Libraries' website to effectively search for articles and materials within their program area.

Ying Iverson
Professional Development Director

Starting in January 2014, the Extension Topic Webinar Series will move from bi-monthly to monthly, covering topics of interest to all staff.  


The next webinar, "Libraries' makeover: Get a sneak peek of our new website and search interface," will be presented by Kristen Mastel, outreach and instruction librarian, on January 8, 10-11 a.m. via UMConnect or in-person at Coffey Hall, Room 401. Learn how to navigate the new Libraries website efficiently and effectively in your program area. MNCAT Discover features a "blended search" interface that will allow you to search the overwhelming majority of articles and other materials currently licensed by the Libraries, including books and other holdings. In addition, participants will view MNCAT Discovery's filter capability that offers more than Google Scholar.  


The February topic webinar, held on February 5, will feature Jane Johnson and Cara Miller who will present information about "Extension Development." All 2014 topic webinar dates and information can be found on the Program Resources section of the Extension intranet.


These webinars are open to all employees. Registration is required via ULearn, the University's learning management system. For additional questions, contact Ying Iverson.


Ying Iverson

Director, Professional Development


A webinar recording is now available for the December 12 Extension webinar, "Introduction to the Public Value of Extension Programming," presented by Laura Kalambokidis, state economist & Extension economist. In this webinar, Laura discussed how to understand and demonstrate the public value of Extension programs.

Ying Iverson
Professional Development Director

All Extension staff are invited to attend the next Extension webinar: Introduction to the Public Value of Extension Programming, by Laura Kalambokidis on December 12, 10-11 a.m. via UMConnect (online only). In Extension, we can readily provide evidence of our program's private value to participants, but we also create public value when our programs benefit others in the community. By understanding and demonstrating the public benefits our programs provide, we can prioritize our efforts and secure public support for Extension. This presentation will introduce the public value approach to anyone who develops, delivers, evaluates or seeks funding for Extension programs. Join us for this important topic!

Registration is required. More information about this webinar and registration instructions can be accessed through the Extension intranet.

Ying Iverson
Director, Professional Development

The University's Public Engagement Issue Area Networks initiative was created to help the University build a more unified systems approach to public and community engagement.  They do this by networking existing community-engaged research, teaching, and public service efforts on nine key societal issues: art; economic development; diversity and inclusion; environment and sustainability; food; health; poverty; transportation; and youth and education.

On December 13 a Design Thinking work session will connect individuals, groups and units that have interest in or are conducting community-engaged research, teaching and/or outreach work on similar issues. The session will engage participants in a design thinking process facilitated by Virajita Singh, an expert on design thinking and senior research fellow in the College of Design. More information and registration available on the Office of Public Engagement website.

Diana Martenson
Organization and Program Development Specialist

More than 300 Extension faculty and staff from across the state participated in Extension's program conference in Duluth for professional development and organizational networking.  Many sessions materials are now available for download on the Extension intranet.  

As part of the Step-It-Up Challenge, there are three grand prize winners based on their total step counts: Paulo Pagliari, nutrient management specialist, crops; Sarah Schieck, Extension educator, livestock; and Julie Sievert, Extension educator, ag production systems. They will each receive a copy of Voyageur Skies by Extension's Don Breneman and Mark Seeley.

The program conference survey is open until November 14. Please complete the survey. Your feedback will be used in planning next year's conference!

Ying Iverson
Professional Development Director

Next week, more than 300 Extension faculty and educators will gather in Duluth at the Extension Program Conference for three days of networking and professional development.

Our Extension conferences, including Youth and U, Nutrition Education Conference, and Staff Day, all provide valuable opportunities to learn about the research and education, emerging issues, and initiatives that are happening in Extension. They are an important investment for our statewide organization.

Bev Durgan
Dean

All Extension faculty and staff are invited to attend Community Day, a celebration of University/community partnerships, at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) from 2 to 7 p.m., Thursday, October 17 at UROC, 2001 Plymouth Avenue North in Minneapolis.  

Learn about UROC's latest research projects and its lasting commitment to public accountability and transparency. Enjoy refreshments, live music, tours, displays and demonstrations. Extension staff in health and nutrition, family resource management, and 4-H youth development will have displays, presentations and information available for interested community members. Special guests include University President Eric Kaler, Provost Karen Hanson, newly appointed Vice President for Equity and Diversity Katrice Albert, and Vice Provost for Student Affairs Danita Brown Young.

The event is free and open to the public. Visit the UROC website for details.

Kim Boyce
Regional Director, Central

On August 15, Extension hosted a webinar, "Communicating Extension's Value," presented by Aimee Viniard-Weideman, assistant dean and director of communications and public relations. During the webinar, Aimee provided an overview of the Extension communications team and its roles within the organization. She discussed the importance of communications for Extension and its programming, such as branding, media relations, etc.  To access the recording of this webinar, visit the Extension Topic Webinar section of the intranet.

Ying Iverson
Professional Development Director

On June 6, Extension hosted a topic webinar, "Understanding the State We Are Serving," by Ryan Allen, Extension assistant professor in leadership and civic engagement. During the webinar, Ryan led a discussion of how Minnesota's demographic shifts impact Extension's work. To access the recording of this webinar, visit the Extension Topic Webinar section of the intranet.

Extension topic webinars will be held every other month and offer Extension faculty and staff a chance to review and discuss priority topics within Extension. The next webinar will held on July 23; Dick Senese, senior associate dean, will facilitate a discussion about "Building Collaboration at Extension."

Ying Iverson
Director, Professional Development

All Extension staff are invited to attend the upcoming "Welcome to Extension" webinar on May 17, 10-11 a.m. This session aims to welcome new employees and support them in their first few months in Extension, and also serves as a refresher to existing employees about organizational and operational processes.

Staff can attend in-person on the Twin Cities campus (401 Coffey Hall) or join online via UMConnect. To register for this session, visit the Human Resources section of the Extension intranet.

For additional questions, please contact Ying Iverson at iversony@umn.edu or 612-626-3565.

Ying Iverson
Director, Professional Development

The 2013 Women's Agricultural Leadership Conference will be held on April 10, 8 a.m.-3:50 p.m. at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska. This year's event marks the 15th year of programming and features presentations by several local ag professionals and pioneers, including Robin Kinney, executive director, Federation Services National Cattlemen's Beef Association; and Dave Frederickson, Minnesota commissioner of agriculture. I am also honored to contribute to this event as a panel discussion speaker.   

The Women's Ag Leadership Conference is focused on exploring and highlighting the integral roles women play in agriculture. All women and men (including students) who are interested in women's agricultural leadership are encouraged to attend.

To register and for more information about the event, visit the conference website.

Bev Durgan
Dean

All Extension staff are invited to attend an upcoming webinar, "Parents ForeverTM Online Course for Parents," offered twice on April 8 and 11. Attendees will learn how the online course compliments in-person classes, similarities and differences between the two versions, what research is being conducted, how you can preview the course, where to direct requests, and more.

Both webinars are approximately 30 minutes and are intended for Extension staff, Parents ForeverTM coordinators and trainers, and other family-serving professionals. For more information and to register, visit the Parents ForeverTM website.

Ellie McCann
Extension Educator, Family Relations

April is the national "Month of the Military Child," a time to honor youth impacted by deployment. Extension 4-H and Operation: Military Kids invite you to "Purple Up! For Military Kids!" We encourage everyone to wear purple on the second annual national event Monday, April 15 to show support and thank military children across the country and in Minnesota for their strength and sacrifices. Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue.

Extension 4-H delivers Operation: Military Kids programs to help youth discover positive ways to cope with their loved ones' deployment, and feel connected, active and supported.

Please join Extension in taking this opportunity to appreciate and celebrate these young heroes. Help spread the word to "purple up" on April 15 so that Minnesota's military youth can see the support of their community!

Amber Runke
Extension 4-H and Operation: Military Kids Program Specialist

In celebration of National Travel & Tourism Week, the Tourism Center is hosting a poster session and light lunch on Monday, May 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Minnesota Commons Room, St. Paul Campus. We invite you to join us to see the breadth and depth of tourism resources at the University. All are welcome. Please RSVP by April 30 to Jennifer Wagner-Harkonen at tourism@umn.edu.

Ingrid Schneider
Tourism Center Director

How we welcome and orient new employees is a vital first step toward helping them build a successful career in Extension. In December 2012, Extension began offering an orientation program to introduce new employees to Extension and provide them with the information and tools they need to become a part of the Extension community.  

This orientation consists of two offerings: a "Welcome to Extension" webinar, and a "Topics" webinar. The Welcome webinar aims to welcome new employees and support them in their first few months in Extension. The Topics webinar provides an overview of current priority initiatives in Extension. New and current employees are invited to attend both of these sessions.

The next Topics webinar, "Plan of Work and Performance Evaluation," is on April 4, 10-11 a.m. More information about this and future orientation sessions, including instructions on how to attend, is available on the New Employee section of the Extension intranet.

If you have any question, please contact Ying Iverson.

Ying Iverson
Professional Development Director

As part of Extension's recognition of National Agriculture Day on March 19, Dean Bev Durgan highlighted the role Extension's Institute for Agricultural Professionals plays in bringing the newest research and innovations to farmers. Her column, "Reaching more farmers through agricultural professionals," was distributed to news media throughout Minnesota and has appeared in newspapers and industry publications. It was also shared via Facebook and Twitter.

"According to a 2011 survey, agricultural professionals serve an average of 60 clients each, having an impact on some 48,000 acres. Just one of the Institute's educational programs impacts 4.3 million acres across the state and surrounding regions," Durgan observed. Essential partnerships among Extension, farmers and agricultural professionals were featured recently in Source Magazine.

Allison Sandve
News Media & Public Relations Manager

Now is the time to begin your preparations for this year's Galaxy IV conference, "Bridging the Centuries - A New Era for Extension," held September 16-20 in Pittsburgh, PA.  

Approximately 2,000 Extension educators are expected to attend the conference, so the earlier travel plans are set, the better rates you will get on registration and travel arrangements. Early bird registration ($450) opens May 1; after July 15, the rates go up.  In the meantime, take some time to research the main Galaxy hotels: Omni William Penn (NAE4-HA headquarters), Marriott City Center (NACAA headquarters), Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel (NEAFCS headquarters), Double Tree (ANREP headquarters), and the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh (NACDEP and ESP headquarters).

Several University of Minnesota Extension staff have been involved in planning this year's Galaxy IV conference including: Chuck Schwartau, Extension educator in livestock; Michael Darger, Extension specialist in community economics; Eleanor Burkett, Extension educator in water resource management and policy; and Kathleen Olson, coordinator for Partnering for School Success.

For more information about this event, visit the Galaxy website.

Kathleen Olson
Program Director, Partnering for School Success
&
Eleanor Burkett
Associate Extension Professor Water Resources

Copyright workshops will be available in March and April to take in-person on the Twin Cities campus and online. Nancy Sims, University of Minnesota assistant librarian, will offer the three copyright workshops, two of which satisfy RCR continuing education awareness/discussion requirements.

Visit the University Libraries website for more information and to register. Please register early, especially if attending online, as the sessions fill up quickly.  

Kristen Mastel
Outreach and Instruction Librarian

The Extension Center for Family Development is part of a national campaign, called America Saves Week, that encourages people from all income levels to save money and build personal wealth. America Saves Week runs February 25 through March 2 and is a great opportunity for individuals to assess their own saving status.

Facts about saving:

  • Fewer than 50% of Americans say they have a savings plan with specific goals.
  • Only 66% of Americans spend less than their income and save the difference.
  • Only 66% of Americans have sufficient emergency funds for unexpected expenses like car repairs or a doctor's visit.

To participate in America Saves Week, pledge a personal savings goal, and/or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily saving tips and resources.

Mary Jo Katras
Extension Educator, Building Healthy and Strong Families

Extension faculty and staff are invited to a special event to raise funds for Minnesota State 4-H Arts-In, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Funds raised will support the Minnesota 4-H State Arts-In program and make technology improvements for this program as well as other activities at the 4-H building on the state fairgrounds. The funds will be increased by a matching grant from Dean Durgan.  

Please join us on Saturday, March 2, 7-10 p.m. in the Northstar Ballroom, St. Paul Campus Student Center. Cost is $40 per person; participants must be registered and payments received by Monday, February 25. Contact the Minnesota 4-H Foundation office to register: 612-624-7971 or fdnstaff@umn.edu.

Kathleen Olson
Program Director, Partnering for School Success
and
Cara Miller
Executive Director, Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Extension faculty and staff are invited to join nearly 300 Extension professionals at the National Urban Extension Conference in Overland Park, Kansas on May 7-9. A pre-conference session will be held on May 6-7. The conference agenda is robust, and includes several keynote presentations and more than 90 concurrent sessions and posters. Ten of the sessions and posters feature staff from University of Minnesota Extension.

The event theme is "Relevant, Reliable, Responsive and Remarkable," and will highlight topics that focus on building cultural competency skills, community capacity, and strategic collaborative partnerships in urban and suburban communities.  

To view the full event agenda, and to register for the conference, please visit the event website.

Kim Boyce
Regional Director, Central

University of Minnesota Extension and the Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education will co-host a session, "Extension's Public Purposes and Value in Troubled Times" on Wednesday, September 19, 4-5:30 p.m.

As part of the yearlong UMN Land Grant 150 anniversary celebration of the Morrill Act, Scott J. Peters, professor at Syracuse University and co-director, Imagining America, and Richard Senese, Extension senior associate dean, will address the following fundamental questions:

  • What is Extension?
  • What are its public purposes and value in troubled times like ours?
  • And, what does it offer to the urgent work of renewing and sustaining our economy, our environment and our democracy?
These questions and others will be taken up in conversation, drawing lessons from forgotten aspects of Extension history, and from contemporary work in Minnesota and elsewhere.  The event will be broadcast live at the Continuing Education and Conference Center, Room 42, St. Paul Campus, and is also available online for web streaming.  Register to attend in person or online through the event website.

Diana Martenson
Organization and Program Development Specialist

Extension faculty, educators and program staff are encouraged to register for the Extension Program Conference, October 8-10 at the Hilton in Bloomington. The cut-off date for the reduced U of M Extension group rate is September 10, so make your hotel reservation online today!  

A sampling of what's in store at this year's conference (visit the conference website for a full list):

  • Keynote sessions: featuring U of M President Eric Kaler and instructional technology expert, Barbara Chamberlin.
  • Research roundtables: Interactive discussions about Extension research and how it generates new knowledge and/or innovative practices for Extension work.
  • Breakout sessions: The backbone of the conference is concurrent, educational offerings (detailed breakout session descriptions will be available soon).
  • Lightning talks: Back by popular demand, the lightning talks session is an informal event on Tuesday evening featuring rapid-fire presentations from colleagues.
  • Biometric health screening:  Have your blood pressure, body mass index, and body fat percentage measured by a University RN and earn points toward reducing non-federal health insurance premiums.  Sign-up for a 5-minute health screening.  
"Like us" on Facebook to receive ongoing conference updates. For more information and to register, visit the program conference website.

Dick Senese
Senior Associate Dean

Extension Children, Youth & Family Consortium hosts a yearly seminar series called Lessons from the Field. These seminars engage community and University clinicians, community leaders, and researchers in dialogues that close the research-practice gap. The series aims to strengthen children's mental health practice and policy by promoting use of evidence. This year's events will be broadcast live from McNamara's Johnson Hall to sites throughout Minnesota via video stream and interactive television.

Registration is available for October 18 seminar, "Generational and Historical Trauma:  Significance and Response," with a primary focus on trauma from the perspective of American Indians and African Americans.

Judy Myers
Coordinator, Children's Mental Health programming

Materials from many sessions that were offered at the 2012 Extension Staff Conference are available online. Slides and/or handouts from seven sessions have been posted. Photos that were taken at the event are also online for viewing. Visit the ESCC staff conference site on the Extension intranet to access the available conference materials.

Shelly Tschida
Executive Assistant to the Dean, and
ESCC Member

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler and Dean Allen S. Levine, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, cordially invite all Extension staff to join them in recognizing the 2012 Laureates of the Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture, an award that recognizes living Minnesota individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the production of food and alleviation of hunger in three separate categories: production, agribusiness and knowledge. The event features a keynote presentation by Kenneth Quinn, former U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia and current president of the World Food Prize Foundation.  

The ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 24 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the McNamara Alumni Center, East Bank campus. A reception will directly follow. To attend, RSVP by May 17 by using the online RSVP form, call 612-624-0822 or email kling175@umn.edu.   

Bev Durgan
Dean

Tourism Works for U!

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Tourism is a key sector in Minnesota, the U.S. and the world. The University's Tourism Center is celebrating National Tourism Week with a poster session Tuesday, May 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the St. Paul Student Center, Minnesota Commons Room. All Extension staff are welcome to attend and will get a chance to meet University personnel involved with tourism research and education who will present their work and discuss this industry that generates $950 billion in the world and $11 billion annually in Minnesota.

The event is free, but please RSVP to tourism@umn.edu by May 7.

Ingrid Schneider
Tourism Center Director

The University of Minnesota Office for Public Engagement is hosting a public engagement symposium, "Strengthening the University of Minnesota as an Engaged University: Community Perspectives," on Tuesday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to noon at the McNamara Alumni Center. This symposium will engage participants in a critical conversation on how the University can strengthen its partnership work with communities. For more information and to register for the symposium, please visit the event website.

Diana Martenson
Organization and Program Development Specialist

April is the national "Month of the Military Child," a time to honor youth impacted by deployment. Extension 4-H and Operation: Military Kids invite you to "Purple Up! For Military Kids!"  As part of this second annual national event, we encourage everyone to wear purple on Friday, April 13 to show support and thank military children across the country and in Minnesota for their strength and sacrifices. Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue.

Extension 4-H delivers Operation: Military Kids programs to help youth discover positive ways to cope with their loved one's deployment, and feel connected, active and supported.

Please join Extension in taking this opportunity to appreciate and celebrate these young heroes. Help spread the word to "purple up" on April 13 so that Minnesota's military youth can see the support of their community!

Amber Runke
Extension 4-H Programs Manager, and
Operation: Military Kids Program Specialist

You are invited to attend a screening and discussion of "Farm School Growing Our Future." This 30-minute documentary by Extension, the Minnesota Department of Health and Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) provides an in-depth look at farm to school partnerships in Minnesota and how communities can work together to improve children's health and education and strengthen local economies. After a successful premiere in the Twin Cities last month, Extension is organizing nearly a dozen screenings throughout the state this spring.  Don't miss this opportunity to invite others and come together with community leaders, schools, farmers and parents to build healthy, sustainable communities.

Visit Extension's Farm to School website for details and to RSVP to the regional screenings, or to learn about Extension's farm to school efforts. 

Stephanie Heim
Extension Educator, Farm to School

Extension civil service and bargaining unit staff are invited to attend the Extension Staff Conference on Thursday, April 26. The conference will be held in Chaska at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Visit the Extension Staff Conference section of the intranet to view an outline of the agenda, book a hotel room, register and read about special sessions and activities.  The deadline to register is Friday, March 30.

The Extension Staff Consultative Committee has really raised the bar on this year's event to provide staff the opportunity to immerse in high-quality professional development based on input obtained via the pre-conference survey. Not only does this event bring together Extension staff from across Minnesota, it is a valuable tradition of staff development in our organization.

I am encouraging all civil service and bargaining unit staff to attend and take advantage of the event offerings. We look forward to this annual immersion in learning and teamwork to advance our skills, our programs and our organization.

Bev Durgan
Dean

AFSCME "Day on the Hill"

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AFSCME's Annual "Day on the Hill" will take place on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.  This is an event where AFSCME members jointly visit the legislature in order to lobby for more money, or fewer budget cuts, for the University of Minnesota.

The University supports AFSCME in this effort of emphasizing the University's importance to the state of Minnesota. Therefore, the University has agreed to allow AFSCME Union members to participate in the "Day on the Hill" activities without loss of pay.

Supervisors of AFSCME employees are encouraged to work with their interested AFSCME employees to arrange for maximum participation in this day's events.  Participating AFSCME employees shall be allowed time off with pay that is not subtracted from vacation, sick leave or compensatory time balances.  The expectation is that employees interested in attending the event contact their supervisors ahead of time so the appropriate staffing arrangement can be made in the department.

For questions contact Extension HR.

Leslee Mason
Human Resources Director

Questions have surfaced about whether it is permissible to hold classes or events on caucus night, February 7.  Consistent with Minnesota State law, at their December 2005 meeting, the Board of Regents approved a resolution authorizing the University of Minnesota to schedule classes and events on caucus night.

Pursuant to this resolution, all classes and events scheduled for caucus night will be held as scheduled with the expectation that instructors will make reasonable accommodations for students/participants who wish to participate in party caucuses.

If a faculty or staff member scheduled to teach on Tuesday night wants to attend their party caucus, or if enough of their students/participants indicate that they will be attending caucus so that holding class becomes impractical, instructors may either cancel class or make reasonable alternative arrangements.

Sarah Greening
Government Relations

The North Central Cooperative Extension Association is hosting an online professional development opportunity on "The Challenge of Feeding 9 Billion People: Implications for Cooperative Extension." This two-part workshop and panel discussion will draw on national experts to introduce emerging challenges in the food system and to initiate a discussion of opportunities for Cooperative Extension.

The workshop webinar will take place on Tuesday, April 3, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. with a panel discussion on Thursday, April 5, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

The agenda will address the challenge of feeding 9 billion people from perspectives in agriculture, natural resources, consumers, and youth and workforce development. Additional details and how to connect will be available closer to the event.

Mike Schmitt
Associate Dean, Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Copyright workshops will be available in February and March to take in-person on the Twin Cities campus and online. Nancy Sims, UM assistant librarian, will offer the three copyright workshops, two of which satisfy RCR continuing education awareness/discussion requirements.

Visit the University Libraries website for more information and to register . Please register early, especially if attending virtually, as the sessions fill up quickly.  

Kristen Mastel
Outreach and Instruction Librarian

The University of Minnesota is celebrating the inauguration of Eric W. Kaler during the week of September 19 and Extension will be featured in two of the week's events: the St. Paul campus tour on Monday, and the Urban Research and Outreach Center open house (see UROC article below) on Tuesday.

During the tour of the St. Paul campus, Extension will feature our work in turfgrass as an example of Extension research and education that impacts the economy and the environment through industry and consumer audiences. Brian Horgan, associate professor, Extension turfgrass specialist  and horticulture program leader, and Bob Mugaas, Extension professor in horticulture, will lead President Kaler and Dean Bev Durgan through a tour of the Turfgrass Research, Outreach and Education (TROE) Center. TROE is a living laboratory on the St. Paul campus where researchers discover how to grow better grasses in our harsh climate, manage water use, and reduce the runoff of pesticides and herbicides.

Also during the St. Paul campus tour, President Kaler will see another example of Extension research and education as the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) features the Bee Lab. Marla Spivak, Extension entomologist, CFANS professor and 2011 MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" winner, will give a tour of the only bee research, outreach, and teaching program in the Upper Midwest.

Watch Extension's Facebook page for photos of the events.

Aimee Viniard-Weideman
Assistant Dean and Communications Director

The Urban Research and Outreach Center (UROC) will host an open house celebrating the center's programs and partnerships.  The open house will take place on Tuesday, September 20, from noon-6 p.m. and will feature several activities including building tours, a sneak peek at a University/TPT documentary on North Minneapolis, a visit by University President, Eric Kaler, and cooking demonstrations by Extension's Simply Good Eating program.  Other Extension programs with a presence at UROC, including Urban 4H Youth Development; Family Development's co-parent court project; Hennepin County Master Gardeners and agriculture; as well as the Children, Youth, and Family Consortium, will also provide interactive demonstrations.

The event is free and open to the public. More information can be found on the UROC website.

Barb Grossman
Director of Urban Operations

We are more than halfway through the Minnesota State Fair and fairgoers have once again had many opportunities to experience the University and Extension.  Extension's presence at the State Fair represents the many ways we connect with our audiences, from the traditional face-to-face demonstrations to the use of technology to reach people from a distance.

A few Extension highlights of the fair include:

4-H

  • The 4-H building includes more than 6,000 4-H exhibits and performing arts shows that showcase the knowledge and skills 4-H'ers have acquired throughout the year.  See the 4-H website for daily highlights from the State Fair.
  • Social media enthusiasts can join the conversation about 4-H at the Minnesota State Fair on Twitter. Follow Minnesota 4-H on Twitter and use "@MN4H" in tweets commenting on 4-H exhibits, workshops and demonstrations (large Twitter wall screens are on display in the 4-H building and the cattle barn).
  • About 2,200 "blue ribbon" kids exhibit livestock in the animal barns. Competition results are delivered on the 4-H State Fair Results website, where visitors can stay informed and connected through their handheld devices.

Master Gardeners

  • Master Gardener volunteers are available in the Agriculture Horticulture building to answer gardening questions every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Visitors can also watch Master Gardeners present gardening education throughout the day on the Agriculture Horticulture Building stage, The Dirt.

Aimee Viniard-Weideman
Assistant Dean, Communications

Extension, in collaboration with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, will present the 2011 Clean Water Summit on September 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Arboretum. The summit will focus on trees and their contribution in protecting and achieving clean water. Featured presentations by local and national experts, including Extension climatologist and meteorologist Mark Seeley, will address technical aspects and policy and planning issues related to using trees in stormwater management, as well as the community benefits trees provide.

A special post-conference session will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. for local leaders to attend an abbreviated session of the Clean Water Summit. This session provides local leaders with vital messages about the role they play in Minnesota communities without having to attend the full-day conference.

The summit and the special evening program are led in-part by Extension educators from the Water Resource Program.  For more information and to register, visit the 2011 Clean Water Summit website.

John Bilotta
Extension Educator, Water Resources

As part of the UMore Park Open House this year, visitors will have an opportunity to reap the benefits of Extension Master Gardener expertise.  Attendees can tour close to fifty Extension Master Gardener education and research display gardens; attend free mini gardening classes; receive answers to their gardening questions at the "Ask a Master Gardener" tent; and take part in many more event activities. This family-friendly open house provides an opportunity for citizens in surrounding communities to learn about the many University activities underway at UMore Park, as well as those of our close collaborators.

The event will take place on Thursday, August 18 from 4-8 p.m. at the UMore Park location in Rosemount.  More information and directions to the open house can be found on the UMore Park website.

Julie Weisenhorn
State Master Gardener Director and
Assistant Extension Professor, Horticultural Science

University of Minnesota Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives (HFHL) Institute, in collaboration with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, will host the third annual Healthy Foods Healthy Lives Symposium October 10 and 11, at the University Radisson on the East Bank. 

This symposium will seek to examine the health impacts of current food system approaches and the role the University of Minnesota has to play in finding collaboration from across disciplines and sectors.  The first day will focus on the research side of the issues, with academic presentations by experts from across the globe and representing many sectors (academia, government, industry, NGOs).  Speakers will bring together knowledge and expertise from public health, medical science, environmental and natural resource sciences, production agriculture, business and public policy to provide a framework for coordinated, collaborative research and policy.  The second day will be comprised of best practice case studies representing the applied side of health promotion in the context of food production, delivery and consumption.  How are communities engaging in creative strategies to improve their own food environments, and what are industry, academia, government, and non-profits doing to support improved health outcomes across all populations? 

For more information and to register, visit the HFHL website.

The North Central Cooperative Extension Association (NCCEA) is hosting a series of webinars that are offered as a way to explore Cooperative Extension's role and program priorities for its work on metropolitan food system issues.  This webinar series is an expansion of a NCCEA symposium on metropolitan food systems that was held in May in Kansas City, MO.

The purpose of each webinar is to share key discussion points from the Kansas City meeting, and to engage participants in dialog that will develop a broad roadmap of critical priorities for Cooperative Extension programming associated with metropolitan food systems. For more information, view the NCR webinar series webpage.

The Academic Health Center is sponsoring Designing for Learning: Engaging Students and Teachers from the Arctic to Australia, a training session with Dr. Aaron Doering speaking about his transformative work on the design of online learning environments and the impact it has on teaching and learning.

Over the past five years, Doering has logged thousands of miles through the Arctic on dog sled, communicating remotely with millions of children in K-12 classrooms and sharing lessons in global climate change and sustainability. In this interactive presentation, Doering will also discuss geospatial technologies such as Google Earth, and how it can be used to evaluate classroom teaching and improve student learning.

This event is free and will be offered both face-to-face and through a webinar on October 14 from 9-11:30 a.m.Register for the face-to-face event, or register for the webinar.

Allison Jacobsen
Business Applications Manager

University of Minnesota Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives (HFHL) Institute, in collaboration with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, will host the second annual Healthy Foods Healthy Lives Symposium on September 30 and October 1, at the University Radisson on the East Bank. 

During this two-day event, nationally and internationally renowned speakers will present the latest insights regarding beneficial plant foods and dietary supplements, food safety issues, and economic, behavioral and policy barriers to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Mark Bittman, The New York Times food writer and author, will participate in the symposium and will discuss challenges related to nutrition and healthy eating messaging.

An evening book signing and public talk by Bittman on his recent book, Food Matters, will take place at the Landscape Arboretum on September 30 from 7:30-9 p.m.

For more information or to register, visit the Arboretum website. We anticipate a high demand for this event, so we encourage you to register early to reserve a seat.

Mindy S. Kurzer
Professor and Director, Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute

Extension and the Fathers & Families Network are sponsoring a series of sessions that will be held throughout the state from September through November in St. Paul, Redwood Falls, Fergus Falls, Minneapolis, Owatonna, Cloquet, Crookston and Brainerd.

Sessions will address research and practice related to the ways that married, unmarried and noncustodial families can access government services, how the economy is changing family format and father involvement, and how family service/educational professionals are impacted in our daily work.

All sessions will take place from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and are especially intended for individuals and organizations that work with families and children. Get full details and register online at the Minnesota Fathers & Families Network website.  For questions call (651) 222-7432 or email info@mnfathers.org.

Ellie McCann
Extension Educator, Family Relations

Dear Colleagues,

The Minnesota State Fair kicks off next week and once again the University and Extension are participating in Minnesota's Great Get-Together. I am pleased to see that our presence at the State Fair this year represents the many ways we connect with our audiences, from the traditional face-to-face demonstrations to the use of technology to reach people from a distance.

If you happen to be in the Twin Cities during the Fair, I hope you have an opportunity to stop by the fairgrounds and visit the University's building, the 4-H building and the Master Gardener exhibits in the Horticulture building. If not, you can still stay connected through technology.

A few Extension State Fair highlights:

Farm to School will be in the Eco Experience building at State Fair. Stay connected through the Community of a Plate Twitter feed.

Master Gardeners will be giving demonstrations during the 12 days of the fair in the horticulture building. See the schedule for more information.   

Check out 4-H News to see highlights of 4-H media coverage and daily highlights from the Minnesota State Fair as well as happenings across the state. This year we are offering a new feature - the ability to check 4-H competition results during the fair using handheld devices! State Fair Results pages will be updated frequently during the fair.

Follow many other University happenings at the fair at the Discover the U at the Minnesota State Fair website.

I hope you enjoy these last days of summer.

Bev Durgan

The 2011 National Urban Extension Conference will take place in Des Moines, Iowa, May 2-5.  The conference planning committee, made up of Extension professionals from 14 states, understands the unique challenges that face land grant institutions in their urban educational outreach efforts.  This is a unique opportunity for learning and discussion.  Conference highlights include nationally recognized keynote speakers, urban success stories and sessions featuring leading Extension professionals, urban cultural immersions, and networking with Extension professionals from around the country.

For more details or to submit a presentation, visit the conference website.

Wendy Huckaby
Youth Development Communications Manager

On June 1 and 2, the Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the College of Food Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences hosted a series of presentations by Mario Piedra, director of EARTH University.  The presentations were part of an ongoing effort that started in 2009 called "Extension in the World" - an effort focused on evaluating Extension's role and potential impact in international work. 

Both days of the June presentations are now available via UMConnect web recording. The June 1 presentation focused on EARTH University's three educational approaches in Central America. The June 2 presentation discussed biodiversity and how to strike a balance between production and conservation.

Renee Pardello
Assistant Dean, Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

The National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences, Minnesota Affiliate, an organization that educates and recognizes Extension professionals who improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities,  is hosting a professional development day on Tuesday, July 20 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Cargill Building, Room 105, St. Paul campus. All Extension faculty and staff are invited to attend and learn about aging populations and the use of technology, how to reach out to an aging rural population through the use of social media, and techniques to train your brain and keep it sharp. View the online event form for a detailed agenda and registration information.

Minnell Tralle
Professional Development Chair, NEAFCS, MN Affiliate

The Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences along with the U of M College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, is hosting a two-day series of presentations by Mario Piedra, director, EARTH University, June 1 and 2. The first day will focus on EARTH University's three educational approaches in Central America:  a community development approach based on issues such as water, health and production; a regional approach working with small producers; and, a country approach that involves the supply chain.  On the second day, Mario will discuss biodiversity and how to strike a balance between production and conservation.

Both presentations will be held from noon to 1 p.m., 105 Cargill Microbial and Plant Genomics Building, St. Paul Campus. They will also be available via UMConnect webinar for those who cannot attend in person.  All Extension faculty and staff are invited to attend, and there is no need to register.  For questions contact Renee Pardello.

Renee Pardello
Assistant Dean, Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Community partners and University of Minnesota faculty and staff will host the official opening of the University's Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC) - a facility that signifies the University's commitment to the state's growing urban communities.  The open house will take place Wednesday, May 12, from 1-6 p.m. and will highlight the many research, outreach and education programs in the facility.  Extension programs that will have a presence at the UROC, including Urban 4H Youth Development, Simply Good Eating, Hennepin County Master Gardeners and Operation Frontline, will showcase their community partnerships along with providing hands-on demonstrations.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the UROC facility in North Minneapolis, 2001 Plymouth Avenue North.  Welcome festivities will begin at 3:30 p.m. followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and brief remarks by President Bruininks at 4 p.m. More information can be found on the UROC website.

Barb Grossman
Director of Urban Operations

Extension is offering various technology training webinars in May and June for NetFiles, UMConnect, PowerPoint and Adobe Presenter 7. Sessions range from 30-50 minutes and are available at a distance so you can participate from your office. The sessions will help build your technology-based skills and create efficiencies in your work. 

View the technology training calendar on the employee website for specific workshop topics, descriptions and instructions on how to attend.  For questions, contact Karen Matthes.

Karen Matthes
Organizational Training Director

The University Libraries, Senate Library Committee, and Office of the Provost are sponsoring a short forum with Jason Baird Jackson, Associate Professor of Folklore at Indiana University, to discuss and learn about issues of access and authors' rights. Connect with others who wish to advance sustainable venues for disseminating the results of scholarship through their roles as authors, editors, society leaders, campus advisors and committee chairs.

University of Minnesota faculty and staff are invited to attend.  The event will take place on Wednesday, May 12, from 1:30-3:30 p.m., Walter Library, Room 402, Twin Cities Campus. Space is limited so reserve your seat now or participate online by accessing the live presentation through UMConnect.

Kristen Mastel
Assistant Librarian, Magrath Library

The Arboretum's 2010 exhibit "Powerhouse Plants: Veggies By The Yard" will be on campus this year. Five designs have been created by Arboretum gardener Ted Pew, and will be on exhibit to encourage the home gardener to make space for some healthy, delicious vegetables in their gardens.

Master Gardeners will be planting all five designs in front of the Plant Growth Facilities Building on the St. Paul campus. Once a week throughout the season, they will harvest the vegetables, weigh and measure the produce, and blog about their successes and challenges on the Veggies By The Yard blog. In addition to the campus site, twelve other Master Gardener groups throughout Minnesota will also be planting one or more of the planting designs and blogging about their experiences. For more information contact Julie Weisenhorn.

Julie Weisenhorn
State Master Gardener Director

The University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, the Grains for Health Foundation, and the Food Industry Center are co-sponsoring a meeting, "The Future of Grains in Schools: Tipping the Scales Toward a Healthier Food Supply," on June 2-3 at the Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel.  Through presentations and interactive working groups, attendees and experts will examine barriers and opportunities within the school food supply and its delivery chain to determine potential improvements to the development, delivery and consumption of healthier grain foods in schools.

An outcome of the meeting is to designate a multi-sector interdisciplinary Task Force to plan and develop a model for delivering healthier grain foods through U.S. school foodservice. Participants of the event will be able to volunteer or nominate an expert for the Task Force.  For registration and details, visit the event website.

Len Marquart
Associate Professor, Food Science and Nutrition

The 2010 Annual ESCC Staff Day will be held at the Lodge at Brainerd Lakes on Thursday, April 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  This year's theme is "Taking Care of U!" and will feature topics from managing and organizing your work life to sessions on skillful living and eating locally. 

Extension civil service and bargaining unit staff are invited to register for this event online. The deadline to register is Friday, April 9.  Visit the ESCC section on the employee website for complete event details.

Lorelei Finley
4-H Program Coordinator, Pine County

Extension employees interested in learning more about the University of Minnesota's role in food conservation during WWI are invited to attend the celebration of Rae Katherine Eighmey's new book, "Food Will Win the War: Minnesota Crops, Cooks and Conservation during WWI," published by Minnesota Historical Society Press.  The event will be held on April 19 beginning at 4 p.m. at the University Book Store, Coffman Union. The event is free and open to the public.

In her book, Eighmey, a St. Paul resident and food historian, writes about the accomplishments of the University, Extension and the state's farmers and citizens to help the food-starved, war-torn American Allies eat another day and fight another battle.

For additional information about Extension's role in food conservation, watch the Extension Centennial video, "Access to Healthy Foods," featuring Eighmey as commentator.

Julie Christensen
Public Relations and News Media Manager

The University of Minnesota Agricultural Education Club will sponsor an Agricultural Awareness Day on Tuesday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the Northrop Auditorium, Minneapolis Campus.

As the world population soars, there is an even greater demand for the food, fiber and renewable resources that the United States produces.  This event provides a chance for producers, agricultural associations, corporations, government agencies and University students and staff to share their agriculture stories and increase awareness about the role of American agriculture. 

Extension is hosting an exhibit featuring 4-H and an interactive program on ethical animal production and care.  In addition to the exhibitors, live animals will be on display. This event is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Jason Kaare
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

On Saturday April 10, University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences will host, "Classes Without Quizzes," featuring a keynote by the Director of the University's Center for Hardwood Ecology, Lee E. Frelich, on Climate Change and Minnesota Forests. Other nationally recognized experts from CFANS will present mini-seminars on topics including: the state economy, local foods, landscaping and the latest research in alternative energy.  This year the event also includes kids-only sessions on honeybees, mammals and dairy science.

The event is designed for people of all ages and will be held from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Classroom Office Building, 1994 Buford Avenue, St. Paul Campus. For registration and details visit the event website.

Holly Klinger
External Relations Assistant
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Last weekend the UMConnect (a.k.a. Adobe Connect) web conferencing system was upgraded. As a result, UMConnect has many new and improved features such as breakout rooms, recording edit capabilities, grant participant talk and screen share privileges, and the ability to upload PDF and PPTX files into the meeting room. A list highlighting the new UMConnect features is posted on the employee website.

Join us next week for an online demonstration of the new features.   Choose from two 30-minute webinars, both held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23 or Thursday, March 25. More information can be found on the IT Training Calendar

If you have questions about the UMConnect upgrade, please contact the IT Helpdesk at 612-624-6700.

Karen Matthes
Organizational Training Director

On February 8-9, Extension, in partnership with the Minnesota Farmer Assistance Network (MFAN), hosted a series of webinars to inform Extension staff about the resources available to them through the efforts of Extension and MFAN. MFAN provides business, financial and family guidance to farm families on a variety of topics including:  financial statement preparation; debt restructuring; business reorganization; farm transition; and, farm family issues including family finances and debt, communication and stress.

The webinars were recorded via UMConnect and can be accessed on the Extension employee website. The target audience for these webinars is Extension staff who receive questions regarding the MFAN program and those who work with and provide business and financial guidance to dairy and swine farm families.

Ellie McCann
Extension Educator, Family Relations

All University of Minnesota employees are invited to attend the University's Professional Development Fair, which will be held on Tuesday, March 9 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Coffman Memorial Union. Mary L. Nichols, dean of the College of Continuing Education, will deliver the keynote address, The Art of Sensemaking--Empowering Yourself in Times of Change. Additional agenda items include breakout sessions on a variety of career-enhancing topics and an information expo featuring training and development organizations from across the University.

Registration for this event is required.  Space is limited for the keynote address, so register soon. For more information about the Professional Development Fair, visit the event website.

 

Leslee Mason
Human Resources Director

University of Minnesota Extension, in partnership with the Minnesota Farmer Assistance Network (MFAN), will host a series of three webinars in February.  MFAN provides business, financial and family guidance to farm families on a variety of topics including:  financial statement preparation; debt restructuring; business reorganization; farm transition; and, farm family issues including family finances and debt, communication and stress.  Attendees will learn more about the resources available through the efforts of Extension and MFAN.

The webinars are scheduled for approximately 45 minutes each with time allowed for questions and discussion via UMConnect.  All Extension faculty and staff are invited to attend. 

Ellie McCann
Extension Educator, Family Relations

AFSCME Day on the Hill

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AFSCME's Annual Day on the Hill will take place on Wednesday, February 17.  This is an event where AFSCME members jointly visit the legislature to lobby for more money or fewer budget cuts for the University of Minnesota.

The University supports AFSCME in this effort of emphasizing the University's importance to the state of Minnesota; therefore, the University has agreed to allow AFSCME union members to participate in the Day on the Hill activities without loss of pay.

Supervisors of AFSCME employees are encouraged to work with their interested AFSCME employees to arrange for maximum participation in this day's events. Participating AFSCME employees shall be allowed time off with pay that is not subtracted from vacation, sick leave or compensatory time balances.  The expectation is that employees interested in attending the event contact their supervisors ahead of time so the appropriate staffing arrangement can be made in the department.

For questions contact Extension HR.

Leslee Mason
Human Resources Director

Extension Technology Webinars

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Extension is offering various technology webinars in February--all available at a distance so you can participate from your office. The sessions can help to build your technology-based skills and create efficiencies in your work.  Sessions range from 30-50 minutes in length to better fit your schedule.

View the technology training calendar on the employee website for workshop topics, descriptions and instructions on how to attend.  For questions, contact Karen Matthes.

Karen Matthes
Organizational Training Director

The University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment is hosting Frontiers in the Environment, a series of weekly seminars that explore the frontiers of knowledge in climate change, renewable energy, land use, food security and many other environmental hot topics. Speakers of each seminar will provide the audience with an understanding of the issue, its global significance and breakthroughs on the horizon.

The seminars will be held on Wednesdays from February 3 through April 28, noon to 1 p.m. at the Vocational Technology Building on the St. Paul Campus.  The lectures also broadcast live on the web. View the event website for details on each seminar and instructions on how to attend.

 

Stephanie Szurek
Events Coordinator, U of M Institute on the Environment

All University of Minnesota employees are invited to attend the University's annual Quality Fair, which will be held on February 4, 2010 from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the TCF Bank Stadium. The Quality Fair offers an opportunity for University employees to share innovative ideas that inspire and motivate colleagues through a lively poster display session.  Employees are invited to attend all or a portion of the fair. Additional activities include presentations by University and national speakers, mini-sessions on a variety of topics including tools for collaboration and project management, food, prizes and more.

You'll hear and see great ideas from across the University to take back to your department. New this year, you'll also be able to hear about what's happening outside of the University in education, clinics and the state. Registration for this event is required.  For more information visit the event website.

Dave Werner
Chief Operating Officer

The Center for Rural Design will host a two-day event, the First International Symposium on Rural Design, January 15-16 on the St. Paul campus. The event provides attendees an opportunity to help shape an entirely new field-the emerging discipline of rural design-dedicated to researching and addressing rural issues and improving rural quality of life.

The symposium is free, but registration is required.  More information is available on the
event website.

Stephen Streng
Research Fellow, Center for Rural Design

Materials from many sessions that were offered at the 2009 Extension Program Conference are available online. Slides and/or handouts from eight sessions have been posted. Photos that were taken at the event are also online for viewing. Visit the program conference page on the employee website to access the available conference materials.

Amy Baker
Program Resource Director 

University of  Minnesota Extension and the University's Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment will host, "Growing the Bioeconomy: Solutions for Sustainability," a two-day conference that will feature researchers in biofuels, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack, and U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.

On the first day, a virtual conference will be broadcast live December 1, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Continuing Education Conference Center, St. Paul.  The broadcast may also be viewed from a personal computer. The second day will bring together producers, landowners, and community and business leaders from Minnesota's bioeconomy, December 2, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  

For registration and more information, visit the Biorenewables website.

Greg Cuomo
Associate Dean for Food Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Tech Tutoring

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Extension Tech Tutoring is a new program that provides Extension faculty and staff an opportunity to learn specific software skills or concepts on an individual basis.  Examples of tutoring sessions include: adding narration to a PowerPoint presentation; sharing documents through NetFiles; creating electronic forms; and many other skill building opportunities.

Tutoring sessions can take place from a remote location through UMConnect, or if you are on campus, you can schedule a time to meet in person. You can find a list of software applications training available through this initiative and information about how to schedule an appointment on the Tech Tutoring webpage.

Karen Matthes
Organizational Training Director

The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences will host a symposium titled, "Sustainable Animal Agriculture in the 21st Century," on December 3 from 1-5 p.m. at the North Star Ballroom, St. Paul.  The symposium will focus on global food production, the environment and livestock production, and an animal-welfare audit with presentations from nationally known experts and responses from U of M scientists.  There will also be a chance for Q&A with the audience.

The event is free, but you must register online by November 30.

F. Abel Ponce de León
Senior Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

To share some of the experiences and impacts international work has brought to Extension, the Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences is sponsoring two brown bag seminars at the University's celebration of International Education Week.

  • November 16, 12-1 p.m., 401 Coffey Hall; "Brazil: An Upcoming Agricultural Player," Nathan Winter, Extension educator, agricultural production systems.
  • November 18, 12-1 p.m., 220 Coffey Hall; "Beef and the Kremlin: Developing Outreach and Education Relations in Russia and How it Benefits Minnesotans," Lori Schott, Extension educator, beef.

Renee Pardello
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Extension Technology Webinars

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Extension is offering various technology webinars in November and December - all available at a distance so you can participate from your office. The sessions are now shorter in length to better fit your schedule.

·         Adobe Presenter Basics, November 17, 1 p.m. (45 minutes)

·         Introduction to NetFiles, November 19, 1 p.m. (30 minutes)

·         UMConnect Meeting Room Management, November 24, 1 p.m. (30 minutes)

·         NetFiles: Document Version Control, December 3, 1 p.m. (30 minutes)

·         PowerPoint Animations, December 10, 1 p.m. (30 minutes)

·         Screencasting 101, December 15, 1 p.m. (30 minutes)

View the technology training calendar on the employee website for workshop descriptions and instructions on how to attend.  For questions, contact Karen Matthes.

Karen Matthes
Organizational Training Director

On Monday, October 5, Great Conversations in partnership with the Freeman Lecture series, will host Feeding the World: At Home and Abroad, featuring U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in conversation with J. Brian Atwood, Dean, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and Allen Levine, Dean, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.  The speakers will discuss topics such as food aid and international development, obesity and nutrition, food security, farm and foreign trade policy, and a host of other topics related to the USDA's mission.

The conversation will take place at the Ted Mann Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are free, but reservations are required.  Attendees are also encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item. Visit the Northrop Web site for details.

Julie C. Lund
Director of Communications
Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

Extension will participate in TCF Bank Stadium's one and only open house for alumni and members of the general surrounding communities on Sunday, October 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. As part of Homecoming Week, the open house will feature interactive stations that highlight some of the University of Minnesota's world class research and outreach.

Extension's presence will include an educational exhibit on stopping the spread of emerald ash borer in Minnesota as well as a 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) station from the Center for Youth Development.

Free tours of the stadium will be available. No RSVP is needed, but visitors are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the Emergency Foodshelf Network. Find more information on the homecoming webpage.

Julie Christensen
Public Relations and News Media Manager

Extension is offering various technology training courses in September-all available online so you can participate from your office. Courses on Netfiles and UMConnect provide staff and faculty with instruction on how to collaborate and teach remotely through the use of software.  Each session takes about an hour.

  • Introduction to Netfiles: Tuesday, September 15, 1 p.m.
  • Getting Acquainted with UMConnect Web Conferencing: Tuesday, September 22, 1 p.m.
  • UMConnect Adobe Presenter Basics: Thursday, September 24, 1 p.m.

View the training calendar on the employee website for workshop descriptions and instructions on how to attend. For questions, please contact Karen Matthes.

 

Karen Matthes
Organizational Training Director

Extension's Second Annual Small Farm and Rural Living Expo will be held on Saturday, September 12 from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. at the Scott County Fairgrounds. The Expo will include six stages, including two demonstration stages featuring topics such as cheese making and beekeeping as well as an on-farm research stage highlighting area farmers and their field projects.  The event also features vendors, local foods, children's activities, music and more.

For more information about the Expo, including an informational brochure with a map to the Scott County Fairgrounds, please refer to the Extension small farms website.

 

Nathan Winter
Extension Educator, Agricultural Productions Systems

The Minnesota Obesity Center with the University of Minnesota Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute will host a symposium from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on September 21 at Cowles Auditorium (Hubert H. Humphrey Center) on the Twin Cities campus. Nationally and internationally renowned speakers will present state-of-the art science on four highly controversial topics related to the effects of food consumption on human health: food processing, consumption of organic foods, high fructose corn syrup, and antibiotic use in animals. The purpose of the symposium is to generate exciting discussions that may lead to consensus on the controversial topics and/or recommendations for research needed for their resolution.

University of Minnesota faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.  Visit the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives website for more information and to register online.

Mindy S. Kurzer
Director, Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute

Reservation communities of the Upper Midwest in partnership with the University of Minnesota will host a symposium on August 25-27 at the Shooting Star Casino Hotel in Mahnomen, MN. This three-day event is an important initial step toward the emergence of mutual understanding of the significance of wild rice among University scientists, Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) people and rice growers. A key focus will be the potential for genetic engineering of wild rice and the risks posed by such a possibility.

Extension faculty and staff are invited to register. More information about the symposium can be found on the event website.

Craig Hassel
Extension Nutritionist

As part of the UMore Park Open House this year, visitors will have an opportunity to reap the benefits of Extension Master Gardener expertise.  Attendees can tour close to fifty Extension Master Gardener education and research display gardens; attend free mini gardening classes; receive answers to their gardening questions at the "Ask a Master Gardener" tent; and take part in many more event activities. This family-friendly open house provides an opportunity for citizens in surrounding communities to learn about the many University activities underway at UMore Park, as well as those of our close collaborators.

The event will take place on Thursday, August 20 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the UMore Park location in Rosemount.  More information and directions to the open house can be found on the UMore Park website.

Julie Weisenhorn
State Master Gardener Director and
Assistant Extension Professor, Horticultural Science

All University of Minnesota staff and faculty are invited to a sneak preview of the new TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis Campus, on Tuesday, August 25 from 2-6 p.m. All you need is a valid U Card to attend. This faculty and staff appreciation event includes fun activities and performances as well as hot dogs, chips, pop and a gift (while supplies last.)
 
Several questions have come up in regard to Extension staff participation in this event.  Here are some key points around your optional participation:

  • Any University staff member may attend the event from 2-6 p.m. without claiming this time as vacation.
  • Please check with your supervisor for approval if your attendance will affect your normal work schedule, program commitments and/or include substantial travel time to and from the event. 
  • Supervisors should make every effort to allow attendance and coordinate office and program coverage.
  • Any University staff member not attending should continue to follow normal work hours and schedules.
  • Travel (mileage) and other expenses related to attending this event will not be reimbursed.

While we fully understand that attendance at this event will be impractical for some of our staff, should your calendar, schedule, work commitments and travel plans permit, we hope you will consider taking advantage of this appreciation event on August 25. Please contact Leslee Mason, Extension Human Resources, with any additional questions you may have.

Leslee Mason
Human Resources Director

Visitors to the 28th annual Farmfest next week will have opportunities to learn about crop maturity concerns, renewable energy and farm program decisions at the University of Minnesota exhibit. Farmfest, the state's largest farm-related gathering, takes place on August 4-6 at the Gilfillan Estate in Redwood County. Extension educators and faculty will engage visitors in conversations about how University research applies to the decisions they make on the farm. Dean Bev Durgan and Governor Tim Pawlenty are part of a Farmfest forum panel titled, "Making Minnesota Strong for the Next Decade and Beyond."

In addition, 73 Minnesota families will be honored by the University as 2009 Minnesota Farm Families of the Year, for their contributions to agriculture and their local communities. For more information about Farmfest, visit the event website.
 

John Byrnes
Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station

During the week of July 20, the Cloquet Forestry Center will be celebrating 100 years of education, research and outreach. Established in 1909, the Center is the longest continuously operating forestry field station of its kind in the United States. Please join the Cloquet Forestry Center and University of Minnesota Extension in Cloquet for the CFC Centennial Celebration. More information can be found on our website.

Mardi Harder
Regional Director
Extension Regional Office, Cloquet

Karen Lilley, Extension public website manager, and Heather Lee, family development project manager, recently presented at the national joint meeting of the land-grant Association of Communication Excellence (ACE) and the National Extension Technology Conference (NETC) in Des Moines, IA. The presentation, "Web Rehab--Pulling it All Together for Users," summarized the ongoing cooperative efforts between program teams, the public website team, and center communications and web staff  to improve the website to meet the needs of our customers.

Aimee Viniard-Weideman
Assistant Dean, Communications

The 7th Biennial Association of Natural Resource Professionals (ANREP) National Conference at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in June 2010, offers a forum for sharing methods, tools and programming to help us address the challenges we are facing in providing research-based community outreach in a changing environment. The conference will emphasize creating effective multistate and multi-agency collaborations to meet these challenges with the greatest impact and efficiency.

Educators and state specialists from all Cooperative Extension program areas are invited to submit an abstract. The submission deadline has been extended to July 18.

ANREP conferences feature diverse natural resource topics, including wildlife, forestry, water quality, sustainability, youth and community involvement. They are also seeking presentations that focus on emerging issues including climate change and energy and how Extension is dealing with programming under challenging budget times. Examples of interdisciplinary programming, collaborations with researchers or multi-state efforts are encouraged.

For more information on the conference and to review the criteria and submission process for abstract proposals, visit the ANREP conference website.

Eleanor Burkett
Extension Educator, Water Resources Management

Dear Colleagues,

As you may recall, last year before the national and state budget issues surfaced, I said I would like to hold an all-Extension conference in honor of our Centennial year. Given the current budget realities and the significant expense required to bring our 800+ employees together, the Extension leadership team and I have decided we will not hold an all-Extension conference this year. In the meantime, we have and will continue to support program related conferences such as the Youth and U conference, Extension center meetings for educators and faculty, and the Extension Staff Consultative Committee annual conference.

The next few years are expected to be even more financially challenging. However, Extension has the opportunity to survive and thrive during these times if we focus and align our priorities as an organization. At last year's program conference, I reported that if Extension is to grow and succeed in the future, we must focus on the following priorities:

  • becoming an employer of choice to recruit and retain the best faculty and staff
  • becoming a leader in the use of educational technology to expand the reach of the University
  • becoming a leader in program evaluation to ensure that all programs have clear outcomes and impacts

While we have made progress in these areas in the last year, these priorities require ongoing attention from throughout the organization to be successful. For that reason, we have decided to hold a two-day program conference this fall. Program leaders, educators and administration will be meeting in the Twin Cities, October 5-7, 2009, to address the issues that cut across the program teams and impact all of us. I ask educators, faculty and administrators to hold these dates on your calendar and watch for more information from Senior Associate Dean Mike Schmitt.

Bev Durgan

Check out Extension's June technology training calendar. All of the sessions are online so you can participate from your office. Each session takes about an hour.

  • Movie Maker to Media Mill: Editing Video for the Web, June 16, 1 p.m.
  • Best Practices for Shooting Good Video, June 25, 1 p.m.

Workshop descriptions and instructions on how to attend can be found on the employee website. If you have questions, please contact Karen Matthes.

Karen Matthes
Organizational Training Unit Director

Extension Youth Development staff who recently planned and implemented a successful three-day online staff development conference will be offering a webinar to share what they learned, including: the factors that were considered in the planning of the event, the methods used by the planning team, the tools chosen to compliment the methods and evaluation results.

The webinar will take place on June 18, 2009 from 1-2 p.m. via UMConnect.

Larry Coyle
Extension Professor

The recent discovery of an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation in St. Paul has caused concern as there are an estimated 900 million ash trees in Minnesota. The MN EDEN team is hosting two UMConnect meetings to provide information about EAB. The presenter is Dr. Jeffrey Hahn, Extension entomologist, who will also cover Extension resources available to assist in responding to inquiries.

The intended audience is county and regional Extension staff who may be receiving calls and questions from consumers.  Anyone interested in learning more about EAB and Extension resources is invited to join the meeting. Dial 616-712-8000; access code 766941.

Dates are Wednesday, June 10, and Tuesday, June 16. Both meetings will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. (content is the same).

Bob Byrnes
MN EDEN Coordinator and Regional Director

The Policy Fellows Program offered by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, is now seeking applications for the 2009-10 program―with a June 15 deadline fast-approaching! 

This nine-month program, sponsored in part by Extension, offers participants practical training in public affairs leadership for emerging leaders. The program equips participants with three core leadership competencies to inspire, organize, and work effectively with others to advance the public good: mindfulness, strategic effectiveness in context, and persuasion and collective action.

For more information, visit the website; or contact the Center at 612-625-8330 or cspg@umn.edu. You can also contact a fellow alumni or Extension staff member such as Mary Ann Hennen, Toni Smith, Toby Spanier and Cindy Bigger to hear about personal experiences. If interested in participating in the program, contact your supervisor.

Dick Senese
Extension Associate Dean, Community Vitality

On June 30, Extension will host the EDEN Regional Food Protection Conference.   EDEN is the Extension Disaster Education Network, an affiliation of land- and sea-grant professionals reducing the impact of disasters through education.

Extension professionals; food industry representatives; and local, state and federal agency staff interested in food protection are encouraged to attend. The goal of this regional conference is to explain and explore how extension in the upper Midwest region can help meet the food protection educational needs of consumers and industry. It will also strengthen coordination and communication efforts between extension and food safety professionals.

The conference will be held at the Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul campus. For those unable to attend in person, it will be broadcast live online so groups at satellite locations can participate. Registration information is available online.

Katherine Waters
Extension Educator, Agricultural Safety

Check out Extension's May technology training calendar. All of the sessions are online so you can participate from your office. Each session takes about an hour.

  • Practical Tips for Hosting a Webinar, May 12, 1 p.m.
  • Movie Maker to Media Mill: Editing Video for the Web, May 14, 1 p.m.
  • UMConnect Web Conferencing Basics, May 19, 1 p.m.
  • UMConnect Web Conferencing Intermediate, May 21, 1 p.m.
  • Office 2007 Overview, May 28, 1 p.m.

Workshop descriptions and instructions on how to attend can be found on the employee website. If you have questions, please contact Karen Matthes, 612-624-4213.

Karen Matthes
Organizational Training Unit Director

The Extension Center for Youth Development invites University faculty and staff to attend its free public symposium, "A European Perspective on Youth Work Concepts, Policies, and Practices.Presenter Lasse Siurala, Ph.D., director, Department of Youth, City of Helsinki, will talk about how non-formal learning in the youth field has gained political recognition, contributes to social integration, develops work-related skills, increases social capital, promotes active citizenship, and enhances social change.

The symposium will take place on Friday, May 8,  from 8:30 a.m. to noon, McNamara Alumni Center Memorial Hall, 200 Oak St. SE, Minneapolis, MN  55455. This symposium will also be available live via web link.

Visit the Extension youth website for more information and to register.

Wendy Huckaby
Youth Development Communications Manager

A challenging budget situation and economic uncertainties make it a great time to celebrate working at the University and finding more ways to enrich our jobs and careers here. That's why I'm so pleased to announce the First Annual U of M Professional Development Fair, Wednesday, April 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Coffman Memorial Union. 

The Professional Development Fair will include an information expo featuring training and development organizations from across the University, giving employees unprecedented access to all of the opportunities available to help develop and update essential skills. The event will also include breakout sessions on important topics and a keynote address by certified career management professional Trudy Canine. Due to space constraints, the keynote address is limited to 200 participants, so you'll want to register soon.  Registration information and additional details about the Professional Development Fair are available on the University website.

Leslee Mason
Human Resources Director

The deadline to register to join your peers at the annual Extension Staff Consultative Committee (ESCC) 2009 Staff Day is tomorrow, April 17. The event will be held at The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes on May 7.  Registration information and the agenda are available online.

Registration questions should be sent to Julia Gladhill. General event questions can be directed to co-chairs Ilhan Omar or Cindy Gerdes.

Ilhan Omar
Nutrition Education Assistant
and Cindy Gerdes
Program Coordinator, Nutrition Education Programs

Extension at the Capitol

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Over 100 Extension staff and supporters from across the state gathered in St. Paul this week for the 2009 Extension at the Capitol. This annual event is an opportunity for Extension's stakeholders and staff to learn more about Minnesota issues and Extension programs and then spend a day meeting with their legislators to discuss their personal stories about Extension's impact. Thanks to all of the attendees for their time and efforts on behalf of Extension.

Sarah Greening, Assistant Dean and
Toni Smith, AMC Liaison

The Weisman Art Museum is hosting an open house celebration on Thursday, April 23, 2009, from 4 to 6 p.m. The event will highlight community-based research, service learning, internships, volunteering, community organizing and capacity building done in partnership with schools, neighborhood groups, government and community organizations. Come to reflect on your experiences and learn from others while enjoying the setting of the museum. Recipients of the 2008-09 Outstanding Partners in Engagement awards will also be recognized. This event is free and there is no need to register.  Light refreshments will be served.

Contact David Holliday to reserve space to exhibit a poster featuring a community-University partnership. Exhibit only if someone can be present to discuss the poster during the open house.

Diana Martenson
Organization and Program Development Specialist

Extension is hosting a Regional Food Protection Conference on Tuesday, June 30, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Continuing Education Center on the St. Paul campus. The conference will also be broadcast live through UMConnect.

Food protection is the intersection between food safety, quality and food defense. The goal of the conference is to explain and explore how extension can help meet the food protection educational needs of consumers and industry, and to strengthen coordination and communication efforts between extension and other food safety professionals. The conference is intended for extension professionals, food industry representatives, and individuals from state and federal agencies and organizations with a vested interest in food protection in the upper Midwest region.

Conference information will be available online in mid-April.  For general questions, contact Katherine Waters; to participate through UMConnect, contact Jenny Pierquet.

Katherine Waters
Extension Educator, Agricultural Safety

Public Engagement Symposia Series

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The Office of Public Engagement is hosting a Spring Semester Public Engagement Symposia series.  Each symposium explores a topic critical to understanding and advancing public engagement in higher education. All symposia are free, but require an RSVP at public@umn.edu. Be sure to include your name.

The next symposium is "Meeting the Standards of Scientific Inquiry in Community-Engaged Research," Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 9 a.m. to noon. It will be held in McNamara Alumni Center and will include a panel presentation followed by round table discussions on the role of public and community engagement in academia. Details are available online.

A video of the first symposium from January 15, "Unpacking the Complexities of Civic Engagement," is available online.

Diana Martenson
Organization and Program Development Specialist

Legislative leaders and other lawmakers will be visiting Minnesota communities to gather public input on the state's $4.8 billion budget deficit and to talk about the governor's budget recommendations. We encourage all Extension staff to attend a session to learn more about the legislative proposals and to express the value of the University and Extension to the well-being of the state.

Listening sessions will take place from February 19 through February 26. Check the online schedule to find a location near you.

Sarah Greening
Assistant Dean

Extension at the Capitol

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"Extension at the Capitol" will be held March 25 and 26. The event is designed for Minnesota citizens who have experienced Extension programs, are interested in the legislative process, and want to learn about University research. The event covers research tours on the St. Paul campus, legislative workshops and visits with legislators at the capitol. The research tours showcase research in action and the translation of that research through Extension programs. More information on the two-day event is available on the Government Relations website.

Regional directors are recruiting participants. Extension educators and center staff are also encouraged to bring a program team. Contact the regional director in your area of the state or the associate dean in your program area to register or learn more about potential teams. Registrations are due by February 27.

If you have specific questions about the program content or registration details, please contact Toni Smith, Sarah Greening or Gwen Gmeinder.

Toni Smith
Extension at the Capitol Planning Committee

Participatory Action Research (PAR) workshops engage University researchers and community stakeholders in collaborative investigations to derive solutions and action steps that can effectively address real life, complex issues in the local community.?

The Office of Public Engagement is sponsoring a three-hour introductory workshop designed to involve University faculty, community members, students and staff in exploring the principles and practice of PAR. The workshop is offered twice.

  • Tuesday, March 24, 1 to 4 p.m., Presidents Room, Coffman Union
  • Wednesday, April 22, 6 to 9 p.m., north Minneapolis, location TBD
There is no cost to attend but registration is required seven days prior to either workshop.? Contact Michelle Wittcoff Kuhl at 612-624-1562 to register or for more details.

Diana Martenson
Organization and Program Development Specialist

The Midwest Greek Step Show on Saturday, February 14, will feature competitive step teams from traditional black college fraternities and sororities. Step is a collection of rhythms made with the hands, feet and, occasionally, props such as canes. All proceeds will benefit Minnesota Urban 4-H, which provides out-of-school time learning opportunities for Minnesota youth in the metropolitan area.

The show begins at 6 p.m. at Northrop Auditorium, Minneapolis campus. The cost is $15 to attend. For more information, contact Delphanie Daniels at 651-335-9839.

Wendy T. Huckaby
Youth Development Communications Manager

All Extension staff are invited to participate in the online enrichment course "Extension 2.0: Building Awareness of Current Educational Technologies." The popular Extension 2.0 course , which encourages exploration of the new tools and technologies freely available on the internet, is being offered again starting this week.

If you are interested in playing around with some of the web tools that are out there, this course is for you! Increasing your familiarity of internet tools will lead you to be able to identify opportunities for using these tools in your everyday work. The course is made up of nine fast and fun weekly units. All participants who complete each weekly activity will be entered to win one of 45 MP3 players!

Enroll today through the Employee Site. Enrollment does not close at any certain date, but enrolling now will make it easier to keep up with the quick weekly units.

Amy Baker
Program Resource Director

University of Minnesota faculty and staff are invited to attend the Extension Center for Youth Development's symposium, "More Than Safe Spaces: Adolescent Development and Relationship Building in After-School Settings," presented by Nancy L. Deutsch.

The symposium will take place on Friday, January 23, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Memorial Hall, McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street SE, Minneapolis. The event is free but registration is required. More information about the symposium and the speaker is available online.

Wendy T. Huckaby
Youth Development Communications Manager

January Technology Webinars

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UMConnect Web Conferencing Basics: Tuesday, January 13, 1 p.m.
UMConnect Web Conferencing Intermediate: Thursday, January 15, 1 p.m.
UMConnect Adobe Presenter Basics: Tuesday, January 27, 1 p.m.

Workshop descriptions and instructions on how to attend can be found on the Extension Employee Site. No registration required. If you have questions, please contact Karen Matthes.

Karen Matthes
Organizational Training Unit Director