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New Employees (August 21, 2014)

Milena Nunez Garcia, SNAP-Ed educator, Spanish, Olmsted County, 8/4/2014 Yeng Moua, SNAP-Ed educator, Hmong, Hennepin County, 8/11/2014 Laura Bohen, SNAP-Ed regional coordinator, Ramsey County, 8/11/2014

New Employees

Heidi Anderson joined Extension as the 4-H program coordinator in Benton County on July 22.

Heidi has been involved with 4-H as a youth member, a 4-H summer assistant and an adult volunteer. Her hands-on experience, community connections and work ethic will continue to positively impact the 4-H community in Benton County.

Heidi has strong academic training and professional leadership experience that will enable her to be an effective manager and leader in her new role. She is an honors graduate of St. Cloud State University with extensive coursework in marketing and Spanish. Most recently, Heidi provided leadership to the Minnesota Holstein Association where she managed the organization's operations, sales, membership and finances. She also collaborated with and led volunteers to coordinate major events, conventions and sales, while also directly leading the youth educational program.

Please join me in welcoming Heidi to Extension.

Mark Haugen
Extension Educator, Youth Development

 

On August 4, Rod Greder joined Extension as the new Extension consumer horticulture and agriculture educator in Wright County. Rod comes to us from the private sector with previous experience working for Cargill and Dow AgroSciences as a leader in their R&D, new business development and marketing divisions. He has started his own local foods operation including grass-fed beef, free-range chickens, and a variety of garden vegetables. Rod holds a master's and Ph.D. degree in plant genetics from the U of M and U of Illinois respectively. Rod's efforts in Wright County will be varied, focusing on consumer horticulture, agriculture and the Master Gardener program. Welcome, Rod!

Nathan Johnson
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

 

Letica Rodriguez, SNAP-Ed educator, Nobles County, 7/11/2014

Heidi Anderson, 4-H program coordinator, Benton County, 7/21/2014

Jamie Pikus, executive accounts specialist, Extension Regional Office, Grand Rapids, 7/28/2014

Jeremy Freeman, 4-H program coordinator, Chisago County, 7/28/2014

Michelle Klinkner, 4-H program coordinator, Faribault County, 7/29/2014

Elyse Paxton, senior editor, Extension Center for Community Vitality, 7/29/2014

Employee Transitions

Eli Sagor transitioned to a new appointment on July 14 managing the University of Minnesota Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative (SFEC). This role represents a unique collaboration in which CFANS Extension is partnering with the Cloquet Forestry Center. The SFEC is a long-standing educational program that develops and delivers education programs focused on forest ecology and management targeting natural resource professionals and related audiences. Eli will be officed at the Cloquet Forestry Center and will still spend some time on the St. Paul campus.

Linda Nagel
Director, Cloquet Forestry Center

Employee Departures

It is with sadness that the 4-H Foundation says goodbye to Brad Starbuck. Brad has served on the 4-H Foundation staff as a development officer in the Southwest region and for agriculture programs for nearly two years. His last day with the 4-H Foundation was Friday, August 1. Brad is not going far though; he is taking a job as director of corporate and foundation relations with the Carlson School of Management at the University Foundation. We wish Brad the best in his new role and thank him for his collaborative and positive work with the 4-H Foundation and the 4-H program.

Cara Miller
Executive Director, MN 4-H Foundation

 

With regrets we said goodbye to Darren Lochner, program coordinator for the Minnesota Master Naturalist Explorers Program. Darren's last day with the program was July 25. Darren was instrumental in developing sites, resources and training to pair current adult Master Naturalist volunteers with staff in existing after-school programs to offer fun, outdoor, science-based educational opportunities for 4th and 5th graders. The kids learn about the ecology and natural history of their schoolyard, neighborhood, nearby natural areas and entire state. We wish Darren the best of luck in his new position with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

Nathan Meyer
Program Leader
Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

 

Mike Boersma joined Extension in January 2006 as Extension educator, livestock and 4-H program director, in Pipestone and Murray Counties. Mike's last day is August 4. He has been a valued member of the Beef Team and the 4-H team in SW Minnesota. Mike developed two computerized Ration Balancer programs for beef producers that are used by producers across the U.S. and internationally. Mike has received numerous awards including the Dean's Distinguished Team Award for his work with the Beef Team in 2009 and with the Private Pesticide Applicator Education Team in 2012. We wish Mike all the best in his new position with the Minnesota West Community and Technical College Farm Business Management program.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader
Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
New Employees

Please join me in welcoming Andrea Rice to the Master Gardener volunteer program leadership team. Her main focus will be teaching technology expertise to the development of Horticulture Continuum of Learning education experiences. Andrea brings experience from her most recent job as coordinator for the Maryland Beginning Farmer Success program at the University of Maryland. Her office will be at the Arboretum; and she started July 15.

Tim Kenny 
State Director, Master Gardener Program

Dr. Joshua Rice, youth development Extension specialist in the science of agriculture, started his position on July 1. Josh earned his B.S. in animal and veterinary science, M.S. in agriculture, and Ph.D. in human and community development from West Virginia University. Before joining Extension, Josh taught agricultural sciences and acted as FFA adviser at Southern High School in Annapolis, Maryland. Josh is located in 405 Coffey Hall.

Jennifer Skuza
Assistant Dean, Extension Center for Youth Development


Debra Hawthorne, SNAP-Ed educator, Beltrami County, began July 10.
Departing employees

Ann Walter joined Extension in Mower County in 1992, serving as the 4-H youth development educator, after working with the 4-H program in Worth County, Iowa. She was a key player in the Heartland Cluster, working with teams to deliver programs that reached new audiences. In the regional system, she worked with community youth development programs, regional 4-H youth development programs and most recently as a member of the southeast regional team.

Ann's focus has been to provide training on cultural competency and youth program quality. She co-led the statewide Quality team, which developed resources to ensure that quality is integrated in all aspects of 4-H.

Ann has received numerous MAE4-HYDP Communicator awards during her career. As a team member with Operation Military Kids (OMK), she received the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Outstanding Educational Package award in 2010, and the Extension Dean's Award for Distinguished Team in 2008. She also received the Epsilon Sigma Phi Early Career Award and the NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award.

Ann celebrated her retirement with colleagues and family on her last day, June 30. She is looking forward to spending more time with family, in her garden, and exploring part-time employment working with youth in her community.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, Youth Development
New employees

LeeAnn Palmer joined Extension on June 5 as a 4-H program coordinator in Clay County. LeeAnn has an elementary education degree, with an emphasis in mathematics from Minnesota State University Moorhead. She brings experience as a classroom teacher and tutor along with an appreciation for inquiry-based and experiential learning.

LeeAnn is currently pursuing a master's degree in curriculum & instruction through Concordia University. She will join Lisa Kasson-Bauer in providing leadership to the 4-H program in Clay County, with specific responsibilities in science, 4-H afterschool and Summer Survivor.    

Becky Harrington
Extension Educator, Youth Development   

Maryann Woeste has been hired as the new part-time Extension administrative assistant in Todd County. Maryann previously served and retired from her role as the full-time office manager for Extension/Human Resources in Todd County. In her new role she is solely working for Extension, and she is happy to be back!

Susanne Hinrichs 
Regional Director, Northeast Region

Courtney Johnson began her 4-H program coordinator position in Crow Wing County on June 3. Courtney has served as a 4-H intern in Itasca County for the past two years. During this internship, she gained experience in volunteer management, youth development programming, organizing events and developing her leadership skills.

Courtney finished her degree in agricultural communications and animal science at North Dakota State University in May and traveled and studied agricultural practices in Denmark and China. She has been a leader in the Saddle and Sirloin organization, currently serving as the fundraising chair for events, and was chosen as emcee of Little International, the largest two-day agricultural exposition in the world. 

Marcia Woeste
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Jana Sampers has been hired as the new 4-H program coordinator in Cass County. She began her new position on Tuesday, June 10, at the Cass County Extension Office in Pine River. 

Jana is a graduate of Eagan High School and was an active Dakota County 4-H member. While in 4-H, she was instrumental in developing the Dakota Drill Bits horse drill team and served as a mentor for the Youth Teaching Youth program. Recently, Jana earned a B.S. degree in agricultural economics from North Dakota State University. While at college, Jana participated in the Saddle and Sirloin Club by serving as the Little International horse superintendent and coordinated events through the Collegiate Cattlewomen's group and the National Agri-Marketing Association. 

Jana's previous work experience includes employment at the American Federal Bank at Moorhead; VisionBank at Fargo; HopeKids Childcare at Fargo; and Fluegel's Farm, Garden and Pet Supply at Rosemount.

Marcia Woeste
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Jody Rosina Friton, clerical specialist I, Blue Earth County, 6/3/2014

Andrea Marie Kronbach, SNAP-Ed educator, Steele County, 6/9/2014

Anne Ulrich, SNAP-Ed educator, American Indian, Mahnomen County, 6/9/2014

Frank Mumford, director of annual giving, 4-H Foundation, 6/11/2014


Employee transitions

Cathy Jordan will be stepping down as director of the Children, Youth and Family Consortium (CYFC) on June 30 to take a joint position between her academic faculty appointment in the Department of Pediatrics and the Extension Center for Community Vitality. After 10 years as director, Cathy will invest her energies in two primary areas: community-engaged scholarship and a developing interest in nature-based education for youth at risk for academic failure or disengagement. In her new role, Cathy will continue to co-lead the Educational Disparities Initiative Area with Jennifer Skuza, assistant dean, Extension Center for Youth Development. On July 1, Trish Olson, assistant director for the Extension Center for Family Development, will serve as interim director for CYFC as we develop plans for Cathy's replacement.

Karen Shirer
Associate Dean, Extension Center for Family Development

New Employees

Patricia (Patti) Combs has been hired as the new accountant for the Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, effective Monday, June 16. Patti received a degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota. She comes to Extension with more than 25 years of University of Minnesota experience having worked both in the accounting and human resource functions, currently in the Department of Chemistry. Her certified approver status and extensive knowledge of the University systems and both sponsored and non-sponsored processes will be a great asset for the Center and Extension Finance & Planning.

Rick Konkol
Finance Manager

Abdikadir Ibrahim, SNAP-Ed educator, Somali, Hennepin County, 5/5/2014

JoDee Christianson, SNAP-Ed educator, Stearns County, 5/12/2014

Deanna Beaulieu, SNAP-Ed educator, American Indian, Hennepin County, 5/12/2014

Shirley Vang, SNAP-Ed educator, Hmong, Ramsey County, 5/12/2014

Melonie Vancura, administrative assistant, Jackson County, 5/12/2014

Thomas Peters, Extension sugarbeet agronomist, Plant Pathology, St. Paul, 5/15/2014

Megan Janssen, SNAP-Ed educator, Polk County, 5/19/2014

Samantha Stewart, SNAP-Ed educator, Cass County, 5/27/2014

Nancy Brewster, SNAP-Ed educator, Spanish, Hennepin County, 6/2/2014

Departing Employees

Richard (Dick) Stone will retire from Extension on June 30. Dick joined the Extension Housing Technology team in 2006, and worked closely with Patrick Huelman and William Angell on programming to improve home safety and durability. Dick is well regarded for his presentations and trade articles for professionals on home energy, thermal and moisture control, basements and foundations. Dick has also responded annually to a slew of questions about ice dams, and other challenges for cold-climate housing. We deeply appreciate Dick's consistently positive and conscientious contributions to teamwork. We congratulate him on achieving another career milestone and wish him all the best. Dick's retirement celebration will be held on Monday, June 30, 2:30-4 p.m. in Kauf Lab 225. RSVP to Nate Meyer.

Nate Meyer
Program Leader
Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

It is with heartfelt sadness that we inform the Extension community that Roxy McCann passed away on April 29. Roxy most recently worked as the accountant for the Extension Center for Youth Development and previously had been the accountant for the Center for Community Vitality since starting with Extension in August 2008. Prior to that she held an accountant position with the University Cancer Center.

Roxy brought much joy and spirit to our organization. Her energy was infectious and she had a great way of making staff feel at ease with the complexities of accounting. Roxy is greatly missed by all who knew her and the many lives she touched. Our heartfelt compassion and sympathies are extended to her family during this very difficult time.

Madonna Monette, Finance Director &
Dorothy Freeman, Associate Dean, Center for Youth Development 


New Employees

Lindsey Evenson, joined Extension on April 28 as a 4-H program coordinator in Kittson County. Lindsey was the development director and event coordinator at Willamette Valley Christian School in Brooks, Oregon prior to returning to Minnesota.


Lindsey received her B.S. degree from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. She has a passion for the outdoors and agriculture in addition to youth development, and has competed on two television shows: "Wanted: Adventure Host," and the "Rachel Ray Show."  She also hosts her own talk show, "The Scoop with Lindsey."

In her new role, Lindsey will lead the Kittson County 4-H program and will seek to develop partnerships to expand the scope of 4-H programming in Kittson County.

Margo Bowerman
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Thomas Peters joined NDSU and U of M Extension as an Extension sugarbeet agronomist and assistant professor. The position, which is located at NDSU, supports sugarbeet growers in North Dakota and Minnesota. He will collaborate with faculty and staff, sugarbeet cooperatives and allied industries on a systems approach for controlling sugarbeet weeds.

Thomas was raised on a dairy farm in Stearns County. He received his bachelor's degree in agronomy and soil science from the University of Minnesota. He earned his master's degree in agronomy from the University of Nebraska and his doctorate in agronomy from NDSU. Thomas worked for Monsanto for almost 24 years.


Leslie Anne Yetka, education manager & Extension landscape educator, MN Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen, 4/29/2014

Abdikadir Ibrahim, SNAP-Ed educator, Somali, Hennepin County, 5/5/2014

Richard McAtee, principal accounts specialist, Regional Office, Grand Rapids, 5/8/2014

Deanna Beaulieu, SNAP-Ed educator, American Indian, Hennepin County, 5/12/2014

Shirley Vang, SNAP-Ed educator, Hmong, Ramsey County, 5/12/2014

Melonie Vancura, administrative assistant, Jackson County, 5/12/2014


Employee Transitions

Beverly Swenson
, retired from Extension on Apr 30.  Bev was the 4-H program coordinator in Kittson County for 16 years, although her 4-H career extends much further than that! Bev maintained a small but mighty 4-H club program, providing great attention to detail and was an early adopter of new programs and initiatives.


Margo Bowerman
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Brenda Postels left her local Extension educator position in Wright County on April 11. Extension benefited greatly from her expertise in the area of meat goat production and her ability to integrate different disciplines. Her efforts, particularly working on the Farm Information Line, made her well known in the agriculture community. We wish her well!

Nathan Johnson
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

New Employees

Hannah Jastram started as a communications associate for the Extension Center for Family Development on March 24. Hannah completed her training as a dietitian with the University of Minnesota and The Emily Program, and has worked with Family Development since 2012.

Heather Lee
Family Development Project Manager


Please join me in welcoming Diane Greiwe to the Arboretum and Extension. Diane started as Extension Master Gardener volunteer coordinator on April 8 and is located at the U of M Landscape Arboretum. Diane's background includes a degree in business marketing, a strong agency-based advertising and marketing work background, and a recent five-year position at Binghamton University in volunteer management and communications. What a great fit for this position!

Tim Kenny
State Director, Master Gardener Program

Welcome to Leslie Yetka to the Arboretum and Extension! As the education manager and Extension educator at the U of M Landscape Arboretum, Leslie's main focus will be managing the new Horticulture Continuum of Learning program area. She will also develop and implement education opportunities for four main audiences: Extension Master Gardeners, Arboretum members, the urban agriculture community, and the public. She started on April 29.

Leslie has a bachelor's degree in biology from Macalester College, and a master's degree in horticulture from the University of Minnesota. Most recently, Leslie has been managing education programming for the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. We are excited that Leslie has joined the education team.


Tim Kenny
State Director, Master Gardener Program

Welcome to Neith Little, Extension educator in agricultural water quality, Dakota County. Neith began in her position on April 21 and will be working in conjunction with the Dakota County Water Resources department to educate farmers on the issues of nitrogen management to prevent nitrate movement into ground and surface waters. Neith is a graduate of Cornell University with a master's degree in soil and crop sciences. She was previously a food, farm and sustainability specialist at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. We are pleased to have Neith as a member of our local educator team.


Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences



Meg Clark, office support assistant, Hennepin County, 4/22/2014

Kirsten Pederson, 4-H program coordinator, Dakota County, 4/15/2014

Elizabeth Quillo, SNAP-Ed educator, Todd County, 4/22/2014

New employees

Joshua Stamper started as the new Extension irrigation specialist on March 26. This is a 100-percent Extension position and is joint with the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. Joshua received his M.S. in agronomy/soils from Kansas State University in 2009 and has been working at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture since 2011 as the state nutrient best management practices technical coordinator.

Carl Rosen
Department Head, Soil, Water and Climate

Diane Greiwe, volunteer center coordinator, Master Gardener program, Landscape Arboretum, 4/7/2014

Ashleigh Omlid, administrative assistant, Mahnomen County, 3/26/2014

Annette Graves, principal office & administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office, Moorhead, 3/10/2014

Departing Employees

Clint Schoeck, CFANS Extension accountant, left his position on April 11 to fill the accountant position in the College of Science & Engineering (School of Mathematics) on the East Bank. Clint came to Extension from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and has served as the CFANS Extension accountant since March 2012. Clint has been a great asset to Extension Finance & Planning and CFANS Extension teams and will be greatly missed. We wish him well in his new position and thank him for his contributions these past two years.

Rick Konkol
Finance Manager

Ahmad Al-Warraky began his new role in Extension as an accountant in the finance & planning department on the St. Paul campus on Monday, March 24. Ahmad has been with the University of Minnesota since 2007, working in central accounting services where he has served as a project accountant and capital asset accountant. Ahmad will take on the accountant roles previously held by Sunni Dunn for the following units: dean's office, communications & public relations, program administration, government relations, and finance & planning.

Rick Konkol
Finance Manager

New Employees
Mohamed Farah began his role as program coordinator in the urban youth development office in St. Paul on March 10. Mohamed comes to Extension through a unique partnership between Youthprise, Extension and a Somali youth development organization called KaJoog.

Mohamed has more than nine years experience in the youth development field, where he has provided direct service and has implemented and evaluated quality programs. He has a B.A. in manufacturing management from the University of Minnesota Crookston, and has working experience within the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)  field.

Mohamed will focus on working with Somali youth at KaJoog through sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and will bring valuable connections and knowledge to Extension. Mohamed is bilingual in English and Somali and brings skills in volunteer development, grant writing and event planning.

Colleen Sanders
Program Leader, Youth Development

 
Kristie Gaalswyk began working as the 4-H program coordinator in Martin County on January 13. Kristie is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in theater arts and journalism. She has spent the last two years as the education coordinator for the Ordway Center for Performing Arts in St. Paul. Kristie has a passion for youth work and is excited to come back and make a difference in Martin County.

Kia Harries
Extension Educator


La Tasha Shevlin, Extension educator, financial empowerment, Dakota County, 3/3/2014

Michelle Knudson, administrative assistant, Watonwan County, 3/3/2014

Jacqueline Arndt, office manager, Traverse County, 3/3/2014

Kit Alviz, research & evaluation coordinator, Center for Family Development, 3/5/2014

Patti Laqua, SNAP-Ed regional coordinator, Ramsey County, 3/10/2014

Laura Perdue, Extension educator, Health & Nutrition, Extension Regional Office, St. Cloud, 3/14/2014


Departing Employees
After four and a half years with the Minnesota 4-H Foundation, Bill Welshons has resigned his position with us. His last day was March 17. Bill will be taking more time for his family and taking on a greater role with one of his other contract positions. We wish Bill a fond farewell and thank him for all he's done for us over the years. He has been a great asset to the 4-H Foundation and Extension 4-H. 


Cara Miller
Executive Director, Minnesota 4-H Foundation

New Employees

Pamela Hogan, office manager, Cottonwood County, 2/18/2014

Michaela Huhn, office manager, Meeker County, 2/24/2014

Molly Frendo began her new role with the Extension Center for Youth Development as the volunteer systems state program director on February 17.

Molly comes to us from Michigan where for the past six years she has served as associate program leader at Michigan State University Extension's Children and Youth Institute. In this capacity she has given statewide leadership to volunteer systems, overseeing and supporting a variety of volunteer-driven programming including the state's largest AmeriCorps program, the launch of the Michigan 4-H Tech Wizards group mentoring program, 4-H special interest (SPIN) clubs, as well as traditionally structured 4-H club and afterschool programs. Her responsibilities also included developing online and face-to-face education and communication tools to enhance the experience of volunteers, professionals and community partners of Michigan 4-H Youth Development and the Children and Youth Institute.

Molly is a fourth-year doctoral student at Michigan State University in the groundbreaking hybrid educational psychology educational technology program. Her doctoral work focuses on the ways in which computer-mediated communication and virtual communities can support the retention and motivation of volunteers. Molly plans to complete her Ph.D. while in Minnesota.

In her new role, Molly will be housed on the St. Paul Campus and give statewide leadership, working closely with state and regional Extension staff, to volunteer systems development and management. In the weeks and months ahead, watch for formal and informal opportunities to meet and talk with Molly, and learn more about her and her new role.

Brenda Shafer
Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

Karen Rachel Anderson, Extension educator, ag production systems, Steele & Rice Counties, 2/3/2014
Brittany Lynch, community program specialist, Urban 4-H Youth Development Office, 2/1/2014
Scott Patrick Hengel, clerk I, Winona County, 2/6/2014

New Employees 

John Vreyens has joined Extension as the director of Global Initiatives. John will be working on the implementation of a global perspectives strategy. The strategy includes seeking out appropriate experiences for Extension faculty and staff to provide technical assistance in select countries. In addition, the global perspectives strategy includes developing cross-cultural skills within the organization to enhance programs adapted to diverse communities of recent immigrants and cultural groups that are changing the demographics of Minnesota. He will work with the program resources group to develop materials for global dynamics and cultural knowledge.

John received his Ph.D. in education from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He specialized in international vocational education and training, based on research in Senegal working with women growing rice. He has a master's degree in agricultural education and a bachelor's degree in animal science, both from the University of Minnesota. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo working with a cattlemen's cooperative, and in Senegal working with rice as an Extension volunteer. Previously, John served as the director of international programs in CFANS. Most recently, John was director of programming and training for Peace Corps in Kenya.

Please join me in welcoming John to Extension.

Bev Durgan
Dean

Welcome to Karl Hakanson, Hennepin County educator in ag production systems. Karl returns to Minnesota after many years working in Wisconsin. He is a former employee of the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, UW-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; River Country and Golden Sands Resource Conservation & Development Councils; and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Karl's career has involved agriculture and the environment. He has worked successfully with large and small farms, nonprofit organizations and public agencies. Karl has a bachelor of science degree in agriculture from UW-River Falls and a master of science in land resources from the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW-Madison.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
 

Welcome to Karen Anderson, Rice and Steele counties educator in ag production systems. Karen is a 2011 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Karen has a bachelor of science degree in animal science with an emphasis in dairy production. She has most recently been operating her own dairy herd at her home farm in Lester Prairie. Karen has worked for other dairy farms and breeding service companies. She also worked as an Extension intern with Nathan Winter in McLeod and Meeker counties.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Gerri Lynn Gieseke Swiers, 4-H program coordinator, Mahnomen County, 1/2/2014
Virginia Lee Hendrickx, 4-H program coordinator, Wadena County, 1/8/2014
Kristie Gaalswyk, 4-H program coordinator, Martin County, 1/13/2014
Lisa Mari Haro, administrative assistant, Stearns County, 1/21/2014


Employee Departures

January 31 brought to a close the combined tenure of 68 years with the Extension Center for Family Development for Rosemary Heins and Cindy Petersen, Extension educators in family resource management. Friends for 37 years and close work colleagues for well over 15 years, they will celebrate this milestone together.

Rosi's career includes work in Redwood, Nicollet and Anoka Counties, and at the Extension Regional Office in Andover. Cindy's 37 years of work have been in Renville and McLeod Counties, at the former Extension Regional Office in Hutchinson, and more recently at the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center in Minneapolis.

All Extension faculty and staff are welcome to join Rosi and Cindy for their retirement celebration on March 7, 2:30 - 5 p.m., at the Extension Regional Office in Andover, 550 Bunker Hills Activities Center, 550 Bunker Lake Boulevard NW, Andover. Light refreshments will be served and a brief program will begin at 3:45 p.m.

Patricia Olson
Program Leader, Family Resource Management
 

Noah Litherland, Extension dairy nutrition specialist, left Extension to take a position in the dairy nutrition industry. During his time with Extension, Noah worked in dairy cattle nutrition, dry period nutrition for the transition dairy cow, lipid metabolism, dairy calf health and growth, use of by-products in ruminant diets, and regulation of feed intake. Noah developed a strong rapport with many stakeholders in our state's dairy industry, and he was instrumental in improving and overseeing our St. Paul campus dairy facility. He is a valued colleague, and he will be missed. We wish him all the best.

Mike White
Department Head, Animal Science

New Employees

M. Scott Wells recently began his appointment as an Extension specialist and assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. Scotty will focus his efforts on incorporating forages, perennial crops and/or cover crops into existing Minnesota cropping systems to increase crop diversity, control pests, improve soil and water quality, and enhance nutrient cycling. He will lead a strong Extension and research program that enhances current cropping systems by adding environmental and economic value.

In 2013, Scotty received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University, researching organic cropping systems. Prior to receiving his college degrees, he worked on the family farm as a dairyman and field hand before starting Wells Organics in 2000. Wells Organics was one of the largest organic certified poultry businesses in North Carolina. In 2008, Scotty received his B.A. in mathematics from the University of North Carolina and his M.S. and Ph.D. in crop science from North Carolina State University. Please extend a warm Minnesota welcome to Scotty.

Nancy Jo Ehlke
Head of Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
and
Jeff Gunsolus
Crops Program Leader

Employee Transitions

In addition to her duties as equine Extension specialist, Krishona Martinson will now be the new livestock program leader, following Jeff Reneau's retirement. Krishona began working with Extension in 2001 as a county educator in Wright County, and during this time she began developing the Extension horse program and team. She later became a regional Extension educator, and in 2008 became an Extension equine specialist. Her areas of research include equine forage utilization and management, forage-related health issues, and poisonous plants and weed control. Please welcome Krishona as the new livestock program leader.

In addition to her current duties as an Extension educator, Jill Sackett, Extension educator in ag production systems, now serves as Minnesota co-coordinator for North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) program. Jill is based in the Regional Extension office in Mankato.

Mark Whitney has left Extension. In his eight years with Extension, he led the swine team and worked extensively with distance educational tools SowBridge and PorkBridge.

Jeff Reneau
Livestock Program Leader

I am pleased to welcome Gerri Swiers as the new 4-H program coordinator for Mahnomen County beginning January 2. Gerri brings with her 19 years of education experience and is a well-connected member of the community. In her previous role as Extension support staff in Mahnomen County, she has been part of a new energy in the 4-H program which has doubled membership in the past year. She is a skilled listener, a thoughtful worker, and extremely passionate about youth and her community. We are lucky to have her. When she has free time, Gerri enjoys volunteering and coaching volleyball. Please welcome Gerri.


Joshua Kukowski

Extension Educator, Youth Development


The Minnesota 4-H Foundation would like to announce that Liz Kliewer, director of annual giving, will be leaving her role with us to pursue her doctorate in education. Liz has been with the Minnesota 4-H Foundation for four years giving leadership to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation's annual direct mail and special events. She will be missed by our staff and team. Liz's last day will be Jan. 3. Please join me in wishing Liz well as she advances her education and career!

Cara Miller

Executive director, Minnesota 4-H Foundation


After a long stint as full-time administrator with the Grand Rapids Experiment Station, Dan Erkkila began a 40 percent appointment with the Center for Community Vitality this summer, focusing on tourism. Professional development opportunities are re-familiarizing him with state, national, and international tourism and travel issues. Currently, Dan is engaged in four projects: 1) He is on the team conducting Tourism Assessment Program projects in Warroad with the Destination Voyageurs National Park; 2) He is studying the economic impact of events held in the Grand Rapids Civic Center, and conducting visitor profiles; 3) He is examining research on new immigrant populations' consumption of tourism products and services in Northern Minnesota; and, 4) He is exploring an approach to updating community profiles regularly across the state to ensure valid data on visitor spending profiles and other information needed for economic impact assessments.


Brent Hales

Associate Dean, Center for Community Vitality

Nicole Swenson started her new position with Extension on December 9 as 4-H program coordinator in Swift County, and will work from the Extension office in Benson. Nicole holds a B.S. in elementary education, and has most recently worked as an outdoor and environmental educator and substitute teacher. Prior to that she has held various positions, including assistant director for youth camps the last 8 summers.
 

Brian McNeil
Extension Educator, Youth Development

New Employees

John Verly, 4-H program coordinator, Jackson County, 11/1/2013

Kate Welshons, community program specialist, Center for Family Development, St. Paul, 11/6/2013

David Foley, 4-H program coordinator, Houston County, 11/11/2013

Sharon Funk, office manager, Otter Tail County West, 11/1/2013

Debra Larsen, administrative assistant, Carver County, 11/4/2013

Sheila Steinhoff, office manager, Rock County, 11/20/2013

Employee Transitions

Chuck Schwartau has accepted the position of Extension regional director, southeast. In this role, Chuck will manage the Extension Regional Office in Rochester, and will work collaboratively with LuAnn Hiniker, Extension regional director, southeast in Mankato to support Extension operations in the 18-county region. Chuck and LuAnn will work closely with the county Extension committees, county commissioners and other stakeholders and program partners in the region to connect the needs of the region with Extension resources.

Chuck has a deep level of experience with Extension and southeast Minnesota. He  began his Extension career in Dakota County as Extension educator and later worked in Winona County as Extension educator and county Extension director. He left Extension to operate the family farm. After six years he rejoined Extension, training Hmong immigrants in commercial vegetable production. Following that position, he entered the private sector with agribusiness. Chuck then  rejoined Extension with positions in Wabasha and Goodhue County. Since 2004 he has been an  Extension educator in Livestock in the Extension Regional Office in Rochester.

Chuck will begin his position as regional director on December 9, 2013.

Bob Byrnes
Director of Field Operations

Departing Employees

Maryann Woeste will be retiring on December 30 from her position in Extension as office manager and payroll specialist in Todd County. Maryann recently was awarded the Dean's Award for Distinguished Field Support Staff at the staff conference in April.

Maryann says that she, "is retiring from Extension, currently working with the greatest of county Extension staff: 4-H program coordinator Larissa Brune, Extension educator in agriculture Brenda Miller and community nutrition educator Patricia Ervasti. I've seen many changes--from a manual typewriter, to an electric typewriter and then the computer--word processing programs from SuperWriter to WordPerfect to Microsoft Word. These 43 years have passed very quickly and have been GREAT!"

Thank you Maryann for all you've done for Todd County Extension.

To celebrate, we are honoring Maryann at an open house scheduled for Tuesday, December 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Todd County Courthouse Board Room. All are welcome.

Susanne Hinrichs
Regional Director, Northeast

We are happy to announce that Katie Schneider will be joining Extension as the new 4-H program coordinator in Scott County, starting on December 12. Katie holds a B.S. in agribusiness and equine science. She brings experience in volunteer recruitment and community engagement with diverse audiences as a VISTA student at U of M Crookston, as well as five years of experience in conflict resolution through her role as a residence community advisor at UMC. In addition, she has 14 years of involvement in 4-H, with extensive experience in both livestock and the horse project. She possesses tremendous passion and energy, which she is excited to bring to Scott County 4-H.

Kathryn Sharpe
Extension Educator, Youth Development



Shipi Kankane has joined Extension's Center for Youth Development for the 2013/2014 academic year as the American Evaluation Association graduate equity and diversity intern. Please join the program evaluation team in welcoming her to Extension! Shipi recently earned her master's degree in educational policy and administration with a minor in computer studies and evaluation. She will lead statewide survey projects, assist with program evaluation and monitor efforts throughout our work. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to learn with Shipi this year!

Pamela Larson Nippolt
Evaluation and Research Specialist

Lauren Sorgaard is the new support staff in the Extension Office, Mille Lacs County. Lauren brings many skills to her new position and we are glad she is a part of the Extension team in Mille Lacs County!

Renee Kostick
Extension Educator, Youth Development

John Verly joined Extension on November 1 as a 4-H program coordinator in Jackson County.  John has an ag education degree from the University of Minnesota. He is a former Lyon County 4-H member and was actively involved with the 4-H Arts-In program and showing beef cattle.  

Kia Harries
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Sharon Funk, office manager, Otter Tail-West County, 11/1/2013

Debra Larsen, administrative assistant, Carver County, 11/4/2013

Alneida Madrigal joined Extension on October 23  as a 4-H program coordinator in Urban 4-H Youth Development Office, St. Paul Campus. Alneida has four years of experience in the youth development field working in both urban and rural contexts with underserved and underrepresented audiences. She is fluent in Spanish and has a B.S. in public affairs and non-profit management. Coming most recently from the Girl Scouts as a specialist for a Latina initiative, Alneida has gained valuable experience in partnership and volunteer development, program assessment, event planning, as well as the development of youth programs and parent engagement.

Jessica Russo
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Kari Buse will join Extension on October 22 as 4-H program coordinator in Anoka County. Kari has a degree in equine science from the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Her previous experience in 4-H Youth Development as a program coordinator, intern, 4-H volunteer leader and 4-H member has prepared her well for her new position.

Kari's work in Anoka will focus on special events and program, teen leadership, outreach and project coordination.

Betsy Olson
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Welcome David Foley as the new 4-H program coordinator for Houston County! David is currently the Goodhue County Interim PC and has worked in Dakota, Steele, and Goodhue counties with 4-H summer programming. His education includes extensive coursework in program planning and evaluation. David has a strong understanding of youth development and volunteer management, and a passion for 4-H.  

Nicole Pokorney
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Lauren Sorgaard is the new Extension Support Staff in Mille Lacs County. Lauren brings to us many skills and we are glad she is a part of the Extension team in Mille Lacs County! Welcome Lauren!

Renee Kostick
Extension Educator, Youth Development

John Verly, 4-H program coordinator, Jackson County, 11/1/2013     

Rita Marie Yetzer, senior administrative assistant, Carver County, 10/8/2013

Karen Bloomquist, 4-H program coordinator, Pipestone County, 10/14/2013

Nathan Crane has resigned his position as regional director, southeast, in Mankato effective September 30. Nathan had served as a regional director for over five years, and will be moving to a similar position with Iowa State University Extension.

LuAnn Hiniker, regional director, southeast, has been reassigned to the Extension Regional Office in Mankato.  A search is underway to fill the southeast regional director position in the Extension Regional Office in Rochester.

Bob Byrnes
Director of Field Operations

New Employees

Please welcome Beth Berlin as the new Extension educator in horticulture for Stearns and Benton counties. Her first day in this position was September 30. The focus of this position is on community horticulture education and giving guidance to the Extension Master Gardener groups in Stearns and Benton counties. She has a master's degree in horticulture with an emphasis on landscape design, and previous experience as a high school agriculture education instructor and as an NRCS technician. This experience and training will be a terrific asset in her new role. Welcome, Beth!

Nathan Johnson
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

We extend a big welcome to Angela Orshinsky. Angela joined Extension onAugust 26 and carries an appointment as Extension specialist and assistant professor, plant pathology. Angela earned a bachelor's degree with honors in microbiology and a doctorate in plant pathology from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. She also has postdoctoral experience from positions at The Ohio State University and Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada.

Angela's program focuses on developing and applying integrated pest management (IPM) practices for horticultural crop production and horticultural industries. Her research interests include biological control of plant pathogens and plant disease diagnostics. Her integrated Extension education activities will serve Minnesota fruit and vegetable growers, the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation and the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association.

Jim Bradeen
Department Head, Plant Pathology

Employee Transitions

In September, Phyllis Bongard transitioned from her Extension educator position to educational content development and communications specialist, a new role with the crops team. Phyllis will continue to be housed at the Extension office in Dakota County. Currently she is working on the Extension soybean website and will continue to work on emergency response issues.

Jeff Gunsolus
Program Leader, Crops

Effective last month, the Center for Farm Financial Management is now providing the programmatic and Extension educator supervision within the agricultural business management programming area. Bob CravenKevin Klair, and Dale Nordquist, Extension economists and program leaders in farm management, are the three individuals who are the new leadership team. All three have Extension appointments and have been conducting national farm management educational programs with the Center for Farm Financial Management for years. The center is embedded in the Department of Applied Economics. We welcome Bob, Dale and Kevin to their new roles.

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

Congratulations to Jill Sackett, Extension educator in ag production systems, who is transitioning to a position to support several grants that have significant Extension components. The main grant component is an e-learning grant withJeff Gunsolus, Extension program leader, crops, and Craig Sheaffer, professor, agronomy. Jill will also continue to support Extension's work in cover crops across the state. She will be housed at the Extension regional office in Mankato.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Ingrid Schneider, Tourism Center director, has been named editor of the Journal of Leisure Research. The Journal is a publication of the National Recreation and Park Association.

Patrick Huelman, Extension specialist in building and energy systems, won the Excellence in Building Science Education award at the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon in Irvine, CA. Pat was recognized for teaching students how to produce buildings that are energy-efficient, healthy, comfortable and durable. In addition to this award, Pat's NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership earned two Building America Top Innovation awards for exterior insulation, and builder and market support for Zero Net Energy Ready Homes.

Extension's Water Resource Team was recognized by the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals at the Joint Council of Extension Professional's Galaxy IV conference in September. Karen TerryJohn BilottaDoug Malchow,Shane MissaghiMary Blickenderfer and Eleanor Burkett, Extension educators in water resource management and policy, earned the Gold Award for newsletters (series of articles) for their From Shore to Shore newsletter. The publication educates Minnesota citizens about shoreland management to improve water quality, habitat, and aesthetics for lakes and rivers.

Congratulations to Rob Holcomb, Extension educator in agricultural business management, and the labor management team for achieving a National Finalist Search for Excellence in Farm and Ranch Management award for the Employment Skills for Today: Planning for Success program and curricula. Rob gave a presentation at Galaxy and was presented with a plaque. Other team members include Chuck Schwartau, Extension educator in livestock, David BauDon Nitchie and Gary Hachfeld, Extension educators in agricultural business management, and Antonio Alba Meraz, Extension educator in family resource management.

Kevin Janni, Extension engineer, livestock, received the 2013 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Henry Giese Structures and Environment award for his leadership contributions and research on emissions from animal facilities. Kevin was honored during the awards program at the ASABE Annual International Meeting in Kansas City, MO.

Extension integrated pest management specialist Bruce Potter has been named Educator of the Year by the Mid America CropLife Association (MACA). Each year Potter, who works in the Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, publishes multiple Extension articles in peer-reviewed journals and a popular weekly newsletter.

National Association County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) awards:

Extension beef and small farms educator Mike Boersma received the Achievement award for his work with livestock education for youth in Pipestone and Murray counties and the two computerized ration analysis programs he developed for beef producers.

Diane DeWitte, Extension educator in agricultural production systems serving Blue Earth and Le Sueur counties, received the Distinguished Service award for 22 years of service as an educator in Indiana and Minnesota. Diane specializes in swine production, crops, dairy and the Master Gardener education program.

Chuck Schwartau, Extension educator in livestock, was a National Communications award winner in the Radio Program Category for his entry "Farm Safety."

Brad Carlson, Extension educator in crops, was selected for a National Finalist Award in the video communications category for "Introduction to Selecting a Farm Tractor."

Diane DeWitte, Extension educator in agricultural production systems, and former Extension educator Laura Kieser's poster, "Local Extension Dairy Series Meets 21st Century Needs" was selected for presentation from 1,100 applications.

Lizabeth Stahl, Extension educator in crops, Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist, Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist, Dale Hicks, retired professor in agronomy and plant genetics, and U of M scientists Steve Quiringand Tom Hoverstad, were National First Place winners in the Applied Research Poster Competition for "On-Farm Evaluation of Twin-Row Corn and Soybean in Southern Minnesota."


On September 9, Lisa Kasson-Bauer transitioned from her previous position in Extension as interim 4-H program coordinator (since June) to 4-H program coordinator in Clay County. Prior to that she was the 4-H science program coordinator in Clay County, a new position that began in 2010. Lisa holds a bachelor's and master's of social work degree, both from the University of Nebraska.  

Lisa has given leadership to the development of science-based programs for middle school students while securing volunteers and partners to lead clubs. She extended 4-H's reach in the county, especially through engaging homeschool families in programming.   

In her new role, Lisa will give leadership to a volunteer system that supports a wide range of programs in Clay County 4-H.

Becky Harrington
Extension Educator, Youth Development

New Employees

Abby Neu joined Extension on August 26 as the new Extension educator, ag production systems, in Carver and Scott Counties. Abby comes to Extension from the seed production industry, and prior to that as a livestock nutritionist with a firm in Dakota County.

Abby will be focusing her efforts on continuing successful programming including the Carver County Dairy Day and the Scott County City to Country Tour. With a degree in animal science, Abby will be a good fit for these counties. She is a University of Minnesota graduate and long­time supporter of Extension, having served several years on the state equine advisory board and volunteering with 4­-H programs.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Agricultural Business Management, Local Programs

Julie Schneider, grants accountant, Finance & Planning, St. Paul, 8/20/2013

Colleen Sanders, program leader, Youth Development, Urban 4-H Youth Development Office, St. Paul, 8/19/2013  

Employee Transitions

Betsy Wieland will begin a new role in Extension as program manager in the Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; she will step into her new role beginning September 11. Betsy will work with program teams in allocating central resources for success, and she will oversee the logistical and managerial details of all of the Center's staff.

Betsy has served as an Extension educator, ag production systems, in Hennepin County since 2004 and as Minnesota co-coordinator for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) since 2011. She has an M.S. in agronomy and plant genetics from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in animal science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Betsy's Extension experience will be a great asset in this role.

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

Employee Departures

Mike Donnelly, Extension educator in ag production systems for Rice and Steele Counties, departed Extension on August 22 to pursue a graduate degree in dairy management in the Department of Animal Science. Mike was a local educator for the past two years. During this time, he successfully built a broad program around crop and livestock production in the two counties and beyond, starting a Quad County Dairy Day which encompassed Rice, Dakota Scott and LeSueur Counties. On behalf of all of his colleagues, we wish Mike all the best in his scholarly pursuits.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Agricultural Business Management, Local Programs

Jeff Gillman, Extension horticulture specialist, has started a new job at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina. As an associate professor in the Department of Horticultural Science for 15 years, Jeff's teaching and research included nursery management, plant propagation, pesticides and plant production. He was innovative in his teaching, outreach and research, and he created a work environment that fostered growth and personal and professional development. In Extension, Jeff was a great collaborator. He created and encouraged many new professional partnerships and collaborative endeavors within the University as well as throughout the industry.

Emily Hoover
Extension Horticulturalist, and
Department Head, Department of Horticultural Science

New Employees

Fabián Fernández recently began his appointment as an Extension specialist and assistant professor in the Department of Soil, Water and Climate. Fabián will be focusing his efforts in the area of soil nutrient (especially nitrogen) management--from both the agronomic production side and the water quality/environmental issues side. Fabián will provide intellectual leadership for a combined research and educational/Extension program that should contribute to multiple Extension program teams.

Fabián comes to Minnesota from the University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences where he led a research and Extension program that focused on soil nutrient management and plant mineral nutrition. Originally from Argentina, Fabián obtained his Ph.D. in soil fertility and plant nutrition from Purdue University in 2006, and his M.S. and B.S. degrees from Brigham Young University in 2002 and 2000, respectively. Welcome to Minnesota, Fabián!

Carl Rosen
Department of Soil, Water and Climate Head

Employee Departures

Sarah Dornink, program manager for the Center Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, departed Extension July 25 to be executive director at the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC), where she worked previously as the community program assistant. During her time in Extension, Sarah brought excellent dedication to program teams, including support during the crucial early phase of program business plans. We wish her the best in her new position!

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

Dan Gilchrist joined the Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) as assistant director earlier this spring. In his new role Dan will oversee communications and support the operations and programming of RSDP statewide.  Dan will help advance the work of RSDP in building community-University partnerships and provide greater visibility for our work with our campus partners.  

Dan previously served the University as a communications and legislative adviser to Extension, a federal relations officer in the Office of Government and Community Relations, and a speechwriter to the University president.

Kathryn Draeger
Statewide Director, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships

Michelle Garcia began her work as the Benton County 4-H program coordinator on July 15.
    
Michelle has strong academic and work experiences that have developed her skills and abilities to be effective in her new role. She received her bachelor's degree in political science with concentrations in environmental studies and education from the University of Florida, and an M.Ed from Florida Atlantic University, in environmental education.

Michelle has exceptionally strong interpersonal communication skills and is highly recommended by several former colleagues from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Over the past six years, she has worked in multiple states developing, implementing and evaluating programs. She has also created research-based curriculum, built partnerships and managed volunteer programs.  In addition to her skills in educating and reaching out to communities, Michelle has experience writing press releases, articles, media reports, creating an online media presence and delivering presentations to stakeholders.

Mark Haugen
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Lindsay Wimmer, CERTs Local Government Efficiency Financing Coordinator, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, St. Paul, 7/29/2013

Tomas Alvarez, developer, Information Technology, St. Paul, 7/29/2013

New Employees

Xinyi (Lisa) Qian began her position as tourism specialist with the Extension Tourism Center on June 20. In her new position, Lisa will assume leadership on tourism-related community and consumer-based research in Minnesota and will collaborate on the design, development, dissemination and evaluation of tourism research. Lisa looks forward to exploring collaboration opportunities with various tourism agencies, to contributing to the sustainable development of Minnesota's tourism industry with her applied research and to participating in continuous education of industry workers.

Lisa was awarded both an M.S. and Ph.D. in recreation, park and tourism management from Pennsylvania State University, University Park. A native of China, Lisa's bachelor's degree in tourism management was from Fudan University in Shangai, China. She previously held positions at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Shanghai, as a special event organizer, and an instructor of tourism courses at Penn State.

Ingrid Schneider
Tourism Center Director

Sarah Schieck, Extension educator, livestock-swine, Extension Regional Office, Morris, 6/3/2013


Nicole Kenney, Extension educator, livestock-beef feedlot, Extension Regional Office, Willmar, 6/3/2013


Jerry Buckley, Extension educator, ag production systems-home & commercial horticulture, Norman County, 6/3/2013


Amy Martell, administrative assistant, Carver County, 6/7/2013


Emily Fulton, county 4-H program coordinator, Washington County, 6/10/2013


Holly Hunt, administrative assistant, Itasca County, 6/11/2013


Tiffany Ralston, principal office & administrative specialist, Dean's Office, 6/17/2013


Kristin Spinler, county 4-H program coordinator, Mower County, 7/1/2013


Richard McAtee, principal accounts specialist, Extension Regional Office, Grand Rapids, 7/10/2013


Gerri Swiers, support staff, Mahnomen County, 7/1/2013


Lynne Borden, department head, family social science, Family Resource Management, 7/1/2013

Employee Transitions

On July 1, Dawn Newman joined the Extension Center for Community Vitality staff as an Extension educator in American Indian community economics. She brings with her a decade of experience in creating links between Extension programming and Minnesota's tribal communities. In her new role, Dawn's key directive is to apply Community Vitality programming and research as she engages American Indian communities.

Brent Hales
Associate Dean, Center for Community Vitality

Employee Departures

David Wilsey left his Extension position mid-July to begin coordinating the U of M Master of Development Practice degree program. Since 2008, David, an Extension natural resource educator, has been instrumental in developing sustained natural resources programming with the Fond Du Lac Band of Ojibwe, including the Thirteen Moons program. He has been a core member of the American Indian Task Force and leadership teams. David has also contributed substantially toward programming focused on sustaining/improving natural resources livelihoods. We will miss David on our program teams, but wish him all the best in his new position.

Nathan Meyer
Program Leader, EFANS

Amy Martell, administrative assistant, Carver County, 6/7/2013

Emily Fulton, 4-H program coordinator, Washington County, 6/10/2013

Richard McAtee, principal accounts specialist, Extension Regional Office, Grand Rapids, 6/11/2013

Holly Hunt, administrative assistant, Itasca County, 6/11/2013

New Employees

Alison Link recently joined the Extension Technology team as an academic technologist. Alison will work with Extension programs to consult, advocate, and produce online learning and other learning technologies. She recently finished her masters degree at the University of Minnesota in multicultural college teaching and learning, with a focus on Twitter and technology adoption in higher education. She is particularly passionate about ways that technologies can support global collaborations.

Previously, Alison worked as an instructional technology fellow for the College of Education and Human Design. Her undergraduate work was at Grinnell College in international relations. Alison also loves to bike, garden and go to the State Fair. We are excited to have her energy and knowledge in Extension. Welcome Alison!

Amy Baker
Chief Technology Officer

Emily Krekelberg joined Extension on May 20 as an Extension educator, ag production systems, livestock, in Stearns, Benton and Morrison counties. She just received her B.S. in animal science with a dairy production emphasis from the University of Minnesota. Her past experience includes two separate internships while in school: one working in the county Extension offices of Carver/Scott and Blue Earth, and the other working for an animal health company. The focus of Emily's work in Extension will be addressing the educational issues of dairy and beef producers in the counties she serves. Please welcome her to Extension.

We are pleased to welcome Jerry Buckley to Extension as an Extension educator, ag production systems, home and commercial horticulture, in Norman and Mahnomen counties. His first day of work was June 3. Jerry graduated from North Dakota State University with a B.S. in agricultural economics. Past experience includes an internship with the USDA-ARS in Mandan, ND assisting with crop and livestock based economic research, and most recently as an Extension agent in training with North Dakota State Extension based in Cass County, Fargo, ND.

Nathan Johnson
Program Leader, Local Programs

We are excited to welcome three new livestock educators to University of Minnesota Extension!  Eric Mousel received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. Eric started with Extension on May 28, and comes to us with great knowledge of beef cow/calf Extension and teaching experience. He is well-known for his expertise in applied reproductive strategies in beef cattle. Eric will be a member of the Beef Team in the Extension Regional Office in Grand Rapids.

Nicole Kenney received her B.S. at Texas A&M University and an M.S. in beef feedlot nutrition at the University of Kentucky. Nicole brings new energy and innovative applications to beef feedlot management. She will also be a new member of the Beef Team in the Extension Regional Office in Willmar.

Sarah Schieck is a Minnesota native and received both her B.S. and M.S. at the University of Minnesota in swine nutrition. Sarah will bring excellent teaching experience to the job, having spent the last few years teaching livestock nutrition and management classes at Ridgewater College in Willmar. Sarah will be a member of the Swine Team In the Extension Regional Office in Morris.

Jeff Reneau
Program Leader, Livestock

Ashley Hokanson, office manager/HR technician, Grant County, 5/16/2013


Departing Employees
Laura Kieser, Extension educator, ag production systems, has taken a position with AgStar doing information research for their organization. Laura has been an educator in Carver and Scott counties since 2004 and has developed a reputation for strong educational programs in dairy, small farms and Annie's Project. Over this time she transitioned the City to Country Tour program from a free program to a program which generates funds to support county requested income. She quickly adopted the use of evaluations to drive programs and generate outcomes for the counties. Good luck to Laura in her new position!

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Agricultural Business Management, Local Programs

Alison Link, academic technologist, Information Technology, St. Paul, 4/29/2013

Alicia Webb, 4-H program coordinator, Yellow Medicine County, 4/29/2013

Hannah Wall, 4-H program coordinator, Mille lacs County, 4/29/2013

Joshua Kukowski, Extension educator, Youth Development, Regional Office, Moorhead, /10/13

Jennifer "Jenny" Price joined Extension on April 9 as an executive office and administrative assistant in the Extension Regional Office in Farmington. Jenny has a bachelors of business administration in finance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and has previous work experience with the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Firstar Bank. Prior to Extension, Jenny was a full-time, stay-at-home mother of three.  

Jenny brings strong organizational, accounting and multi-tasking skills to her new position.  

Tammy McCulloch
Regional Director, Central

New Employees

Extension Finance & Planning is pleased to announce a new hire, Sunnianne (Sunni) Dunn.  Sunni joined us on April 8 as an accountant for the Dean's administrative units. She comes to us from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts financial administrative team where she was responsible for various financial duties and payroll since January 2012. Before venturing to the U of M, Sunni worked at the University of Alaska Southeast as a fiscal technician.

In her new role, she will provide financial support related to document preparation for the government relations and communication units, as well as provide financial budget support, oversight and management of Extension administrative programs. Sunni will also be incorporating the development reporting and gift transmittal processing into her position.

Sunni will be housed in 415 Coffey Hall on the St. Paul Campus. She is organized, professional and enthusiastic, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Extension.

Rick Konkol
Finance Manager

Merritt Bussiere, Extension educator, community economics, Extension Regional Office, Brainerd, 4/1/2013

Margo Bowerman, Extension educator, youth development, Extension Regional Office, Crookston, 4/3/2013

Jennifer Price, executive office & administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office, Farmington, 4/9/2013


Retirees

Join University colleagues and others at a retirement party to celebrate Kathy Fennelly's many years of service to the University of Minnesota and communities across the state. Prior to working at the Humphrey School where she is currently a professor, Kathy was Dean and Director of Extension from 1996 to 1999.

Kathy's retirement celebration will be held on Thursday, April 25, 4-6 p.m., Carlson Private Dining room, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis. RSVP online.  

Sue Riesgraf began her position as a Master Gardener coordinator in Carver-Scott counties in early February, where she manages 110 Master Gardener volunteers serving the two-county area. Sue brings a wealth of experience and skill to her new position. She was previously employed as a greenhouse worker and vineyard manager at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa. Most recently she served as a program manager for the MAST International program in CFANS. Please join me in welcoming Sue to Extension.

David Moen
Master Gardener Program Manager

Brenda Williams is Extension's new local educator in Todd County. Todd County has placed an emphasis on strengthening their livestock industry and supporting businesses. Brenda's knowledge in dairy and beef genetics, and general livestock management, will be instrumental in helping to expand those segments.

Nathan Johnson
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Jennifer Olk, began her new role with Extension on March 12 as an executive office & administrative specialist in the Extension Regional Office, Farmington.

Previously Jennifer worked for the University of Minnesota computer science department as a principal operator/student services specialist since 2007. During that time, she was the first point of contact for the department and was responsible for assisting with graduate student orientations, information sessions and files; coordinating Visas for international faculty and visiting scholars; supervising three student workers; assisting with travel and purchase forms; and event coordination for the department.  

Jennifer is organized, adaptable, and professional. In her new role, she will provide support to 4-H youth development and community vitality staff who are based out of the Farmington Regional Office.   

Tammy McCulloch
Regional Director, Central

Amber Shanahan, currently an Extension Youth Teaching Youth program coordinator in Washington County, is transitioning to a new role as Extension educator in youth development in the Extension Regional Office in Farmington on April 10.

Amber holds a B.S. in human development and family studies from the University of Wisconsin, Stout and an M.Ed. in family education from the University of Minnesota. She has prior work experience as a family educator with Michigan State Extension, an ESL/parent educator, a Challenge Course facilitator, a program coordinator for an after-school program, and as a program and training coordinator at a residential program for people with special needs.

Amber has effective skills in supervision and volunteer systems development, and works in an interdisciplinary nature to develop relationships and build strong partnerships. Amber will work with her colleagues in the central region to design and deliver quality programs for both youth and adults. Together, they will explore the best way to identify and address community needs through positive youth development.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, Youth Development

Betsy Olson will join Extension on April 15 as an Extension educator in youth development. Betsy has a B.A. in sociology from the University of Minnesota and an M.A. in international development with a concentration in research methods from the University of Denver. She has past experience working as a treatment family advocate with Vision Quest, serving as a Peace Corp volunteer in Jamaica, as a conference center associate with the Minnesota Continuing Legal Education and as a research assistant with Strategic Programs. Betsy most recently served as a 4-H youth development agent in Platteville, WI, where she provided leadership to the 4-H program and was instrumental in establishing a statewide youth council.

Betsy brings a strong youth development focus to her work and is very interested in evaluation and program quality. She is a skilled communicator, team player, and has strong people skills, all of which will be beneficial in her new role.

Betsy will be based in the Extension Regional Office in Andover, and will work with her colleagues in the central region to design and deliver quality programs for both youth and adults. Together, they will explore the best way to identify and address community needs through positive youth development.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, Youth Development

Grant Will, 4-H program coordinator, Lyon County, 3/4/2013

Caleb Anderson, receptionist, Carlton County, 3/11/2013

Kelly Strei, 4-H program coordinator - promotion & quality, Wright County, 3/18/2013

Brenda Miller, Extension educator, ag production systems, Todd County, 3/21/2013

Kathryn Sharpe has transitioned to a new role as Extension youth development educator in the urban 4-H youth development office. She joined Extension in 2008 as a program manager working with the New York Life Youth in Governance grant. Before joining Extension, Kathryn had positions as a teaching assistant in the Department of Geography at the University of Minnesota and a project specialist with the Mi Casa Resource Center for Women program in Denver, CO. She has a B.A. in history from Bryn Mawr College and an M.A. degree in geography, with a focus on social movements and immigration, from the University of Minnesota.

Kathryn has a wealth of expertise in working with diverse community volunteers, youth, parents, and student interns, as well as a strong grasp on the trends and issues in the field of youth development and best methods for reaching diverse audiences. Kathryn also brings strong facilitation and team-building skills to her new role.

Kathryn will work with her colleagues in the central region to design and deliver quality programs for both youth and adults. Together, they will explore the best way to identify and address community needs through positive youth development.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

The Extension Center for Community Vitality is pleased to welcome Merritt Bussiere to its team as the regional community economics educator working from the Extension Regional Office in Brainerd. Merritt will join the team on April 1 as the community economics educator serving an eight-county area in central Minnesota.   

Merritt grew up in Philadelphia, PA and earned his undergraduate degree from Temple University. He holds a master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a minor in economic development.

Merritt has 25 years of experience, including nine years with University of Wisconsin Extension as both an educator and a specialist. He also has worked in locations throughout Wisconsin, Maine and Michigan as a community development director, a community planning and development consultant, an economic development director, a Small Business Development Center business counselor, a zoning administrator, and a public policy researcher. Areas of specialization include community and economic development, business planning and finance, organizational development and group process, land use policy, and planning and regulation.

Matt Kane
Program Leader, Community Economics

Dianne Derrick joined Extension on February 15 as an Extension educator in youth development, and will work from the Extension Regional Office in Marshall. Dianne has a B.A. in social work and an M.S. in education in instructional technology. She is currently doing graduate work at Luther Seminary with a major in children, youth and family ministry.  

Dianne's past professional experience includes working in a variety of educational settings as a middle school reading teacher, a middle school media center director, an elementary library media specialist, and as an elementary teacher. She also has past work experience as a medical social worker.

Dianne's interests include working with diverse audiences, implementing innovative technology, and aligning curriculum to outcomes. She has a passion and commitment to youth development, and is an effective communicator and lifelong learner.

Dianne will work with her colleagues in the southwest region to design and deliver quality programs for both youth and adults. Together, they will explore the best way to identify and address community needs through positive youth development.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

Allison Sandve joined Extension as the news media manager on February 11. She was most recently at HealthEast, where she was a senior public relations specialist. Allison has a proven record of successful news pitching and response and is a respected member of the communications field in Minnesota.

Allison also has experience from Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and other healthcare businesses, as well as award-winning reporting for a daily newspaper in Red Wing and for the Eau-Claire, Wisconsin-based agriculture weekly The Country Today.

Allison looks forward to working with Extension faculty and staff to enhance our positive visibility in the news media and develop a statewide and regional news media strategy. She'll also work to boost our social media engagement and presence, and contribute to Extension's legislative advocacy.

Aimee Viniard-Weideman
Assistant Dean and Communications Director

Margaret Frazier, editor, Extension Center for Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Science, 2/18/2013

New Employees

Amanda Corbett, research fellow, Extension Center for Family Development, 2/1/2013

Brynn Mathiowetz, principal office & administrative specialist, Brown County, 1/17/2013

Employee Transitions

Tammy McCulloch has been named regional director, central region, with a primary office location at the Extension Regional Office in Farmington.

Tammy previously served as an Extension educator in 4-H youth development and has 12 years of professional experience including four and a half years of Extension experience in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Tammy holds an M.S. in organizational leadership and quality and a B.S. in agricultural education.

Tammy began the regional director position on January 16.

Bob Byrnes
Director of Field Operations

Janelle Lanoue, of Farwell, Minnesota, recently accepted the position of 4-H program coordinator in the Extension Office, Le Sueur County. Janelle is a graduate of North Dakota State University with a degree in animal and equine science, and is in the process of completing her master's of agriculture in Extension education.

Janelle has worked as a 4-H summer intern in Douglas County and has been an active 4-H member for 13 years. She has a wide-ranging background working with youth and adult volunteers, and an extensive background in youth programming and program development. Janelle is an organized and highly motivated individual. Her past experiences working with community partnerships and her ability to create and deliver programs are just a few of her many strengths. Janelle started her new position on January 14.

Deb Hadley
Regional Extension Educator 4-H Youth Development

Bob Koch began his new duties as an Extension soybean entomologist and assistant professor on January 3, following a national search. The position was made possible by a unique partnership among Extension, the Minnesota Soybean Growers, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.

Bob received his B.S. in biology from St. John's University in Minnesota, and earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota in 2005. He worked as a post-doc at the University of Minnesota, studying the impact of biological control and cover crops on soybean aphids.

Bob has been with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Invasive Species program for the past 6 years, leading a variety of outreach programs. He brings a wealth of information to the position, including a foundational understanding of ecosystem complexity, and the applied aspects of integrated pest management (IPM). His initial plans include establishing an Extension/research program to address the risk of economic loss and/or pesticide resistance in pests such as soybean aphids and spider mites. He also plans to meet with growers, Extension educators and crop consultants to hear more about current IPM needs. Bob is located in Hodson Hall, St. Paul campus.

Bill Hutchison
Professor, Department of Entomology

Wan Tansatit began as principal office and administrative specialist, a shared position for Extension Development and the 4-H Foundation, on January 7. She most recently worked as administrative assistant in the Foundation and Alumni Relations Office at St. Paul College in St. Paul, and prior to that, as administrative assistant for the dean and faculty members in the Business, Computer Careers and Communications programs at St. Paul College.

Wan is a graduate of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and Western Michigan University. She will be located in 9 Coffey Hall, St. Paul campus.

Jane Johnson
Development Director
and
Cara Miller
Executive Director, 4-H Foundation

Allie Lyman joined Extension on January 16 as 4-H program coordinator in the Extension Office in Carver County.  In her new role, Allie will be responsible for the overall leadership of the Carver County 4-H youth development program.   

Allie is a graduate of Winona State University with a B.S. in community and health promotion.  Most recently, Allie worked full time as a community and education outreach specialist where she developed and provided innovative programming to audiences on the topics of sexual and reproductive health. Allie is a former 4-H'er and an active committee member for the Defeat of Jesse James Day, where she served as the 2009 ambassador and continues to support committee work.

Allie has diverse practicum and work experience and has demonstrated the ability to adapt programming and identify the key people or organizations that can create a successful partnership. She has great ideas about infusing quality into the 4-H youth development program in Carver County.

Tammy McCulloch
Regional Director, Farmington

Kerry Marsolek, sponsored project accountant, Finance and Planning, St. Paul, 1/14/2013

Richard McAtee, executive accounts specialist, Extension Regional Office, Grand Rapids, 1/2/2013

Tom Rothman has accepted the position of director of agricultural stakeholder outreach for Extension. Tom's appointment will begin on January 7. Tom has extensive experience in agricultural communications, most recently as director of agricultural programming for the Minnesota Farm Network, and will bring a wealth of knowledge to this position. Tom will be located in Coffey Hall, St. Paul campus.

Sarah Greening
Chief of Staff

Melissa Runck began as 4-H program coordinator at the Extension office in Nobles County on November 13.  Most recently she served as a marketing logistics coordinator in Pipestone.

Melissa grew up in 4-H in South Dakota and was active in livestock judging and family and consumer science judging.  Her strengths include good communication skills, a background in working with youth of all ages and adult volunteers, and good organizational skills.

Kia Harries
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Eriks Dunens joined the Leadership and Civic Engagement (LCE) team in the Extension Center for Community Vitality on December 3. As alumni program and cohort coordinator, he will help design and implement new outreach strategies to Extension's 2,000-plus leadership program alumni, and will help to manage existing LCE cohort programming.  

Eriks is a recent graduate from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, with a master's degree in public policy. During his time at the Humphrey, he focused his studies on civic engagement, participatory process and program evaluation. Professionally, Eriks has worked with nonprofits to improve their chances at receiving grant funding; evaluated communications in a public management setting; and planned and implemented an engagement plan for neighborhood priority planning. He has provided administrative leadership in community-based organizations and projects, is competent in the use of various online resources, has planned and implemented events throughout Minnesota, and is passionate about community-based engagement and learning.

We look forward to seeing his contributions to Extension.

Mary Ann Hennen
Program Leader, Leadership and Civic Engagement

In December, Peter Campion joined the Extension Center for Community Vitality Leadership and Civic Engagement (LCE) team as an Extension educator, serving 11 counties in West Central Minnesota. Peter has been working with the LCE team for the past 1.5 years as a graduate research assistant while enrolled as a doctoral student in the University of Minnesota organizational leadership, policy and development program. During that time, he contributed to the team's leadership curriculum development efforts, the organization of an online leadership library, staff development discussions and program research and development.  

Prior to his graduate student experience, Peter taught both in-person and online courses as adjunct faculty at three higher education institutions. He has valued experience and skills in the use of multiple online education tools and online learning, evaluation processes, data analysis and research.  

Peter grew up in the Fergus Falls area and will bring a deep familiarity and passion for the health and well-being of the communities, leaders and residents of West Central Minnesota.  Peter is, we believe, the very first former professional football player to join Extension's staff.

Mary Ann Hennen
Program Leader, Leadership and Civic Engagement

New Employees

Ying Iverson joined Extension on November 26 as Extension's professional development director. Ying has a master's degree in Comparative and International Development, and a Ph.D. in Human Resources Development from the University of Minnesota. She has worked for the City of St. Paul as a human resources consultant; the Minnesota Judicial Branch as education and organization development program specialist, where she gained experience in working with staff located throughout Minnesota; and as a consultant to a large firm in rural northwestern Minnesota working on change management awareness, leadership alignment, communication and relationship management.

As professional development director, Ying will work closely with leadership in the Centers and Extension, as well as central University offices, to collaboratively develop and implement a comprehensive, internal professional development and training framework across important common topics.

Dick Senese
Senior Associate Dean

Kathy Schwantes began her position as regional director, southwest, on November 19. Prior to joining Extension, Kathy served as dean of Customized Training and Continuing Education, Ridgewater College, in Willmar and Hutchinson.

Bob Byrnes
Director of Field Operations

Sarah Dornink has been hired as a program manager for the Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Science; her first day will be December 19. In this newly created position, Sarah will focus her efforts on working with program teams in allocating central resources and efforts to assist in team success. She will also oversee the logistical and managerial details of all of the Center's staff.

Sarah has M.Ed. and B.S. degrees in Agricultural Education from the University of Minnesota and for the past six years served as the Community Program Assistant for the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC). We are excited to have her on board!   

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

Sally Dover, Extension educator, community food systems, Extension Regional Office, Cloquet, 11/15/2012

Anna Hanson, executive office & administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office, Crookston, 11/19/2012

Angela Serocki, office manager, Extension Office, Traverse County, 11/20/2012

Gloria Ahrens, office support, Extension Office, Traverse County, 11/21/2012

Deborah Rentfrow, community nutrition educator, Extension Office, Mower County, 11/26/2012

Erin Kelly-Collins, county development liaison & alumni coordinator, 4-H Foundation, St. Paul, 11/26/2012

Eriks Dunens, alumni program & cohort coordinator, Center for Community Vitality, 12/3/2012

Susan DeBlieck, Extension educator, community food systems, Extension Regional Office, St. Cloud, 12/3/2012

Sheila Onzere, Extension educator, community food systems, Extension Regional Office, Mankato, 12/3/2012

Employee Transitions

Jessica Franken, editor, Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, is leaving Extension to take a position as marketing manager at a local nonprofit. In her four years as editor/writer for EFANS, Jessica led several website redesigns, wrote and edited copy for promotional and educational projects, managed internal communications, and worked on strategic positioning and brand, among many other accomplishments. We wish the best to Jessica in her new position. Her last day will be December 7.   

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

Karen Blaedow, Master Gardener coordinator in Carver and Scott counties, accepted a position as a junior scientist in the U of M Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. Her last day with Extension was October 17.

David Moen
Master Gardener Program Manager

New Employees

Stacy Hall has accepted the position as 4-H program coordinator at the Extension Office in Koochiching County. She has been working as the interim 4-H program coordinator and did an excellent job. Stacy is not new to 4-H work. When her children joined 4-H she became a screened volunteer helping out in the Cloverbud room for her local club, and was hired as the county's food stand manager last summer.

Stacy is logical and systematic in her approach to work. Her strengths include good organizational skills, experience with youth of various ages, good teamwork, building community partnerships and networking. She also has excellent computer skills and a strong background in business and finance.  

Jan Derdowski
Regional Extension Educator, Center for Youth Development

Employee Transitions

Joanna Tzenis' position has been reclassified from a community project specialist to an Extension educator in a Children, Youth, and Families At Risk (CYFAR) position. This is a grant-funded position that is contingent on future CYFAR funding. Joanna has been working on the Minnesota CYFAR project for over four years.

Joanna earned an M.A. degree in comparative and international development education from the University of Minnesota. She received her B.A. from Kalamazoo College in human development and social relations, and studied at the International Center for Human Development in San José, Costa Rica. She is certified in teaching English as a foreign language and worked as an editor for an English language teaching publishing company in Piraeus, Greece. Joanna is fluent in Spanish and Greek.

Jennifer A. Skuza
Assistant Dean

Karen Blaedow, Master Gardener coordinator in Carver and Scott counties, accepted a position as a junior scientist position in the U of M Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. Her last day with Extension was October 17.

Mari Jo Lohmeier began her 4-H program coordinator position October 1 in Hubbard County. Most recently, she served as the student success coordinator for Park Rapids. Prior positions include: healthy communities coordinator, teacher assistant and physical & health education teacher.

Marcy Cordova began her role as the 4-H program coordinator in Cass County on October 3. For the past 13 years, Marcy has worked as a high school mathematics teacher in Wisconsin.

Mari Jo and Marcy's enthusiasm and commitment in making a difference in the lives of youth, and skills in program leadership and building partnerships are a few of the elements they both bring to the Brainerd-west 4-H team.

Marcia Woeste
Extension Educator, Regional 4-H Programs

Noelle Harden, Extension educator, community food systems, Extension Regional Office, Crookston, 10/22/2012

Alexis Troschinetz, CERTs research metrics coordinator, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, 10/22/2012

Anne Dybsetter, Extension educator, community food systems, Extension Regional Office, Willmar, 10/22/2012

Crystal  Rowland, administrative services assistant, Extension County Office, Mille Lacs, 10/25/2012     

Andrea Lucas, assistant support staff, Extension County Office, Mcleod, 10/29/2012

New Employees

Mari Jo Lohmeier joined Extension on October 1 as the 4-H program coordinator at the Extension Office in Hubbard County. Most recently, Mari Jo served as the student success coordinator for Park Rapids. Prior experience includes healthy communities coordinator, teacher assistant and physical & health education teacher.

Marcella Cordova began as the 4-H program coordinator at the Extension Office in Cass County on October 3. For the past 13 years Marcy has worked as a high school mathematics teacher in Wisconsin.

Their enthusiasm and commitment in making a difference in the lives of youth, and skills in program leadership and building partnerships are a few of the elements Marcy and Mari Jo bring to our Brainerd-West 4-H team.

Marcia Woeste
Extension Educator, Regional 4-H Programs

Jamie Reichow, Extension educator, health & nutrition, Extension Regional Office, Farmington, 10/8/2012

Megan Farka, 4-H program coordinator, Extension Office, Anoka County, 9/29/2012

Kari Hendrickx, 4-H program coordinator, Extension Office, Becker County, 9/19/2012

Shelly Wilke, administrative secretary, Extension Office, Itasca County, 9/19/2012

Christy Bright, principal office & administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office, Moorhead, 9/17/2012

Employee Transitions

Rex Wheeler, information technology operations manager, left Extension on October 12 for a position with the University's Office of Information Technology. During his six years in Extension IT, Rex led many efforts to improve efficiency, upgrade our systems, and involve Extension in IT across the greater University. His keen observational eye was always working to Extension's benefit, finding areas of collaboration and improvement.  

Rex leaves many legacies for us, including the establishment of a consistent computer standard for employees, beneficial resource-sharing partnerships with IT units across the University, and an accessible and knowledgeable help desk. Rex is perhaps best known as a master problem-solver, and is always willing to dig in and get to the bottom of any issue. In his new position, Rex will be coordinating a new effort to build communities of practice within IT at the University. Best of luck, Rex!

Amy Baker
Chief Technology Officer

Employee Departures

Tom Bartholomay, evaluation specialist in the Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences (EFANS), left Extension in September for a position with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. In his six and a half years as evaluation specialist, Tom developed the EFANS Results and Activities Database, served as principal investigator on a number of grants, led network analysis projects, spearheaded program planning workshops to help teams map their programs, and worked on the Learning Mostly Online project, among many other accomplishments. Best of luck to Tom in his new position.

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

Employee Transitions

Whitney Meredith has been promoted to evaluation specialist for the Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences (EFANS). Whitney has been with EFANS as evaluation coordinator since May 2011, leading evaluation efforts on several grants. In her new role, she will be heading up programmatic evaluation, business planning, and several other crucial efforts. Whitney has a master's in evaluation studies from the University of Minnesota.

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

In Memoriam

Dr. Norman Brown, former University of Minnesota Extension director from 1980-1984, died on September 25. A memorial service was held on Saturday, September 29 in Richland, MI. Read the full obituary.

The conference planning committee for the 2013 National Urban Extension Conference held in Overland Park, Kansas, May 6-9 is currently seeking proposals for concurrent and poster session presentations related to the conference goals. This is a great opportunity for faculty and staff from Extension to share their expertise with a national audience. Submission deadline is September 28, 2012. For more information about the conference and to submit a proposal, visit the conference website.

Kim N. Boyce
Regional Director, Central

Mary Ann Keddie recently joined Extension on September 10 as the new accountant for the Extension Center for Community Vitality. Mary Ann comes to Extension from the College of Liberal Arts fiscal administration office, where she has served as senior accountant since May, 2000. She received her degree in accounting/marketing from the Carlson School of Management, and brings with her many qualities that will benefit both Finance & Planning and Community Vitality.  

Mary Ann will be located on the fourth floor in Coffey Hall. Please stop by to welcome her as she settles into her new position.

Rick Konkol
Extension Finance Manager

Roxy McCann transferred to a new role as accountant for the Extension Center for Youth Development in July. Roxy formerly worked as the accountant for the Extension Center for Community Vitality, and will be helping to transition the new accountant in Community Vitality, Mary Ann Keddie. In addition, Roxy was successful in obtaining certified approval status and has been assisting in our effort certification and certified approvals while in staff transition. Extension Finance & Planning is very grateful for these additional services she has provided and pleased to have her in this new role.

Rick Konkol
Extension Finance Manager

I am pleased to announce that Jane Johnson has accepted the position of development officer for Extension, starting on September 10. Jane comes to us with a wealth of development experience, including the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, University of Minnesota Foundation, Minnesota Museum of Art, and the Regional Parks Foundation of the Twin Cities. Jane's office will be in 9 Coffey Hall along with the 4-H Foundation staff. Please stop by and introduce yourself.

We thank Matt Musel for his excellent work over the past five years and wish him the best as he pursues other opportunities. (Matt will continue with Extension on a part-time basis through the transition.)

Bev Durgan
Dean

Stephanie Heim has been named as the new associate program director for the Community Food Systems (CFS) program, part of the Extension Center for Family Development. Over the last two years, Stephanie has served as an Extension educator in family development with a focus on farm to school programming. In her new role, she will give leadership to SNAP-Ed efforts related to CFS and will work on the Community Transformation Program being launched with funding from the MN Department of Health and the dean's office, and in partnership with the Regional Sustainable Development Partnership.

Karen Shirer
Associate Dean, Family Development

Rani Bhattacharyya will join the Extension Center for Community Vitality as a community economics educator on September 24 and will work out of the Extension Regional Office in Crookston.

Rani is a Minnesota native with a keen interest in rural communities and rural development. Her work experience includes two years as a community development fellow with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, working on agritourism research and serving as statewide field staff for Rural Partners Illinois. At the Institute, she also worked on housing issues and on the Connect SI Program, similar in nature to the Extension MIRC initiative. In addition, Rani worked for three years with the Peace Corps in Bulgaria, primarily focused on supporting implementation of a regional sustainable tourism development strategy but also working with Roma/Gypsy populations on an environmental education program. More recently, she worked for four years with Green Seal in D.C. on environmentally responsible facility management practices.

Rani holds a master's degree from Western Illinois University in Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration, with a focus on rural destination development and management. Her studies there included course work in urban and regional analysis, community development, urban and regional planning, tourism development, and small community development. She earned her bachelor's in environmental studies from Northland College in Ashland, WI.

Matt Kane
Program Leader, Community Economics

Mustafa Sundiata recently joined the Simply Good Eating Program, West Metro as a community nutrition educator in Hennepin county. Mustafa is a chef and baker who enjoys gardening and food, and is interested in ensuring access to healthy foods for all. He previously worked with North Point Health and Wellness Center and Food Shelf in Minneapolis as a coordinator for six years. He also worked as a coordinator at Northside Fresh, a group of organizations and individuals whose mission is to increase access to fresh, healthy foods in North Minneapolis.

Mustafa is interested in reading and soccer. He  is a board member of the Midtown Farmer's Market and co-chair of Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council. Mustafa also serves as an advisor to Gardening Matters.

Fay McLain
Program Coordinator, Nutrition Education Program

Barbara (Barb) Weicherding recently joined the Simply Good Eating Program, West Metro as a community nutrition educator in Carver County. Barbara's previous work experience includes working for Extension in Brown County for 12 years and at the Brown County Courthouse-Recorder's Office.

Barb is excited about her new position with Simply Good Eating and appreciates the opportunity to be a part of the program.

Fay McLain
Program Coordinator, Nutrition Education Program

Brianna Routh, Extension educator, Building Healthy & Strong Families, Extension Regional Office, Marshall, 8/31/12

Madina Anderson, 4-H program coordinator, Youth Teaching Youth, Extension Office, Dakota County, 8/13/12

Larissa Maurice, administrative assistant, Extension Office, Renville County, 8/27/12

Maxine Norman, Extension educator in leadership and civic engagement (LCE), will retire on September 7. Maxine has worked in Extension for eight years, first as an educator in Hubbard County; then after working three years with the Minnesota State Health Department, Maxine returned to Extension in 2006 as an educator in leadership and civic engagement, working first in the Extension Regional Office in Brainerd, and most recently in the Regional Office in Moorhead.

Maxine has played a key role in offering the Connecting Rural Communities Program (CRC) in Menahga/Sebeka, Horizons, the Public Health Leadership Cohort, and the U-Lead Advisory Academy, as well as providing team leadership in areas such as curriculum development, adult education and incorporating the use of technology in LCE programming.  

While Maxine has earned several awards for her work with Extension, her favorite was the recognition she received from the Rural Telecom Congress in 2008, when she received the People's Choice Award for her work with CRC.  Maxine's retirement plans include spending more time with her grandchildren, an upcoming trip to Ireland, and adds that she has a few quilts to finish, too. Please join us in congratulating her and wishing her well in her new adventures. She can be reached via norma035@umn.edu.

Mary Ann G. Hennen
Program Leader, Leadership and Civic Engagement

Sam Bauer returned to the University of Minnesota as a new Extension educator in horticulture on July 16 in the Extension Regional Office, Andover. Sam's primary responsibilities in horticulture are with consumer turfgrass. He will work closely with other Extension educators  in horticulture and with faculty in the Department of Horticultural Science. Sam received his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Minnesota in 2005 and 2011, respectively. Sam is well versed on turfgrass issues facing the consumer. He brings with him tremendous international turfgrass experience and a solid understanding of how to connect with the public through social media.

Brian Horgan
Program Leader, Horticulture

Sarah Eichberger, Extension educator, Farm to School & Food Access, Regional Office, Farmington, 8/1/12

Kathy Olson, coordinator, Partnering for School Success, Center for Family Development, St. Paul, 8/1/12

Rhonda Dragan, executive office and administrative specialist, Center for Family Development, St Paul, 8/1/12

Mustafa Sundiata, community nutrition educator, Hennepin County, 7/30/12

Barbara Weicherding, community nutrition educator, Carver County, 7/30/12

Amber Shanahan, 4-H program coordinator, Youth Teaching Youth, Washington County, 8/1/12

Marlene Hovland, community nutrition educator, Renville County, 8/6/12

Annette Drewes, Extension educator in water resources, has taken a new position with the Leech Lake Tribal College in Cass Lake, teaching and developing a new natural sciences program. Thanks to Annette for her time as an educator housed in the Crookston regional office.

Nathan Johnson
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Jacquie Lonning started July 9 as the state program manager in youth development on the St. Paul campus.


Jacquie received her B.A. in leadership communication and philosophy & religion from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she served two terms in AmeriCorps which led to her interim appointment as BVU's Director of Community Service. She then worked at the University of South Dakota where she directed the service-learning, civic engagement, and undergraduate research programs and activities. She completed her M.S. in interdisciplinary studies: international leadership, service, and sustainability, through a joint degree program with Portland State University and the International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership (IPSL).

Outside of work, Jacquie has been a volunteer for nearly 10 years with youth-related organizations and enjoys traveling, biking, hiking, camping,and attending community events.

Jennifer Skuza
Assistant Dean, Youth Developmen
t

On July 19, Dawn Lubahn started as the 4-H program coordinator at the Extension office in Wabasha County. Dawn is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she received a B.S. in agriculture education. She was also an active member in 4-H for 10 years in Houston County, Minnesota. Dawn's previous work experience includes being a high school agriculture teacher, a FFA advisor and a program coordinator for a Big Brother Big Sister program in Montana.

Ann Walter
Extension Educator, Regional 4-H Youth Development Programs

Sam Bauer, Extension educator, horticulture, Extension Regional Office, Andover, 7/16/12

Christina Francisco, community nutrition educator, Extension Office, Itasca County, 7/23/12

Kimberly Asche has transitioned to a new role as Extension project manager for Minnesota 4-H Healthy Living. She has worked with healthy living programming for over 18 years; previously as an extension educator in the Center for Youth Development and in Health and Nutrition. She brings experience from a variety of settings in engaging all ages in hands-on learning, organizing events and supervising programs and staff.


In her new role, which began on June 18, Kim will manage the National 4-H Healthy Living Wal-Mart Youth Voice: Youth Choice summer program. She will also be hosting the Minnesota 4-H Healthy Living Skill-a-thon and Cook-off during the general encampments of the Minnesota State Fair. Kim enjoys working with the staff, volunteers and youth to grow and deliver programming to address the physical, social and emotional healthy living needs of youth.

Carrie Olson
Extension Educator, Educational Design and Development

Denise Stromme, Extension educator in leadership and civic engagement, joined Extension on July 9 at the Extension Regional Office in Brainerd. Denise received her master's degree in international management from the School for International Training. She comes to Extension with over 20 years of experience in environmental education and project management.

Denise has served as the conservation education director for the World Wildlife Fund in the Central African Republic. Most recently, she was an education specialist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency where she delivered environmental education programs and directed watershed project civic engagement efforts. In her new role in the Extension Center for Community Vitality, Denise will be working with the Leadership and Civic Engagement team to design, deliver and evaluate the leadership and civic engagement programming for the counties of Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wadena.

Mary Ann Gwost Hennen
Extension Program Leader, Leadership & Civic Engagement

Anne Williams started as a 4-H program coordinator at the Extension Office in Clearwater County on July 9.

Anne has a B.S. in communications with a journalism emphasis, and wildlife ecology with a minor in environmental education. Her experience includes non-formal education programming with the Deep Portage Learning Center, Seney Natural History Association and the U.S. Forest Service. She also has experience in the communications field as a reporter. Anne has created and taught a variety of hands-on environmental topics to youth, families and adults, trained staff, and coordinated events with volunteers. She was a 4-H member in southeast Minnesota and has served as a 4-H county fair judge.

As the new 4-H program coordinator, Anne will lead and manage the full range of the youth development program in Clearwater County. She will work along with volunteers and youth to grow the program and deliver programming to new audiences in the county.

Karyn Santl
Extension Educator, Regional 4-H Youth Development Programs

Nawal Hirsi recently joined the Simply Good Eating Program in the west metro as a community nutrition educator in the Extension office in Hennepin County, focusing on the Somali community. Nawal enjoys working with lower socioeconomic populations regarding nutrition and has experience working with various culture and age groups at Fairview Hospital and multicultural adult day care.

Nawal is interested in gardening, running, traveling and spending quality time with her family.
Nawal has been married for six years and they have two girls, ages 4 and 2.

Phalla Keo
Community Program Specialist

Angelina Thornhill joined the Simply Good Eating Program in the west metro on June 25 as a community nutrition educator in the Extension office in Hennepin County. Her focus will be working with the Native American community.  Angelina enjoys working with nutrition education and has previous experience with Native American community partners and organizations.

Angelina is interested in running and attending pow-wows.  She also makes her children's regalia as all three of her children are Native American dancers. Angelina is excited for this opportunity to partner with the Native American community to help ensure a healthy future for future generations.

Phalla Keo
Community Program Specialist

Based at the Extension Office in Ramsey County, Abdihamid Geyre has recently joined the Simply Good Eating Program as a community nutrition educator, focusing on the Somali community. Abdihamid enjoys working with adults in general, and the English-language learner (ELL) population in particular. Throughout his career, he has worked with families in Saint Paul's Early Childhood Family Education program, taught a class on Somali language and culture through the Saint Paul Community Education program, tutored both ELL and non-ELL college students on academic writing, and taught core subjects to fourth graders in a private school in the Twin Cities. Abdihamid's interests include Tae Kwon Do, Nordic cross-country skiing and creative writing.

Phalla Keo
Community Program Specialist

Yo Ha (John) joined the Simply Good Eating Program in the west metro as a community nutrition educator at the Extension office in Ramsey County, focusing on the Karen community.  Yo Ha enjoys being a team player with Simply Good Eating and the University of Minnesota.  He will be focusing on making nutrition education understandable to refugees and immigrants.  It is his vision that the health conditions of future generations will be greatly improved.

Yo Ha enjoys playing soccer (football), volleyball and table tennis.   

Phalla Keo
Community Program Specialist

Socorro Felton, community nutrition educator, Extension Office, Kandiyohi County, 6/12/12

Sharon Powell, Extension educator, family resource management, Carver & Scott counties, 6/21/12

Benjamin Anderson, regional director, Northwest, Extension Regional Office, Moorhead, 6/25/12

Alisa Mangen, 4-H program coordinator, Extension Office, Brown County, 7/2/12

Allie Deibele, office support assistant, Hennepin County, 7/2/12

Denise Stromme, Extension educator, leadership & civic engagement, Extension Regional Office, Brainerd, 7/9/12

Jacqueline Lonning, state program manager, citizenship, Center for Youth Development, 7/9/12

Mary Jo Katras, Extension educator, Building Healthy and Strong Families, joined Extension on May 29 at the Extension Regional Office in Andover.  Mary Jo comes to us with a Ph.D. in family social science. Some of her recent work experience includes: being a research associate on the Rural Families Speak project with Jean Bauer; coordinator of the Minnesota Financial Fitness Network; and lecturer in the Department of Family Social Science where she taught personal and family finance, family economics and family policy. In her new role in the Extension Center for Family Development, Mary Jo will be working on both SNAP-Ed and Family Resource Management projects.

Karen Shirer
Associate Dean, Family Development

Silvia Alvarez de Davila, Extension educator, Families in Transition, started on May 22. Silvia comes to us with a Ph.D. in work and human resources education organizational leadership, policy and  development. She also has degrees from San Carlos University, Guatemala in social work and anthropology.

A graduate student from Guatemala, Silvia Álvarez  was the 2007 recipient of the University's Women of Color Tapestry Award. The annual award is granted to individuals who help create a thriving campus community where diversity is welcomed and supported. Álvarez, who moved to Minnesota with her husband and three children, is credited with promoting Latino culture and Spanish language by creating a bilingual radio show on Radio K, the student-run radio station.

Some of her work experience includes: Save the Children, Guatemala; US AID, Guatemala; several projects in the areas of health, education and development; research associate, HACER; University of Minnesota research assistant; Midwest Coalition for Human Rights; University of Minnesota Spanish instructor; and group facilitator for the Jane Addams School for Democracy.

In her new role in the Extension Center for Family Development some of the projects she will be working on include: Parenting for School Success, Padres Informados, Jovenes Preparados, and other family-related educational projects. Silvia will be located in the Extension Regional Office in Farmington.

Karen Shirer
Associate Dean, Family Development

Kjersti Olson, Extension educator, Families in Transition, started on April 16 at the Extension Regional Office in Andover. Kjersti is Ph.D. Candidate, Curriculum & Instruction, specializing in family, youth and community education. She has an undergraduate degree in journalism.

Some of Kjersti's previous work experience includes: Children's Home Society & Family Services St. Paul,  director of international program & Latin America program manager; major gifts director at the Science Museum of Minnesota; Minnesota Medical Foundation;  and communications coordinator at the Universidad Nur Santa Cruz, Bolivia. In her new role in the Extension Center for Family Development, she will be working with Parents Forever, Hennepin County co-parent court, and other educational programs working with families in transition.

Karen Shirer
Associate Dean, Family Development

Brianna Routh, Extension educator, Building Healthy and Strong Families will start in late August at the Extension Regional Office in Marshall. This summer, Brianna is finishing  her MPH and RD in public health nutrition and is completing her internship in Iowa. Her undergraduate degree is in interdepartmental studies with an emphasis in public health and a minor in Spanish, global health and anthropology.  

Brianna comes to us with a wide range of experiences including:  work experience with Extension Health and Nutrition, being a part of the statewide SNAP-Ed impact study; graduate research assistant with the  Youth Farm and Market Project; research assistant working with  a project studying health and safety of women in the reserves and guard;  international experience through Dominican Republic research and immersion in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic; and anti-cholinergic drug project with the University of Iowa Department of Epidemiology.

In her new role in the Extension Center for Family Development she will be working on both SNAP-Ed and family relations projects, especially the intersection of family, community, and nutritious food choices.

Karen Shirer
Associate Dean, Family Development

Kate Demulling, joined Extension as executive office and administrative office specialist on the St. Paul campus on May 29. In this role, Kate will provide administrative and project management support for the family development research and evaluation team. Kate previously worked for Children's Home Society and Family Services, where she provided high level administrative support for families undergoing adoption.

Karen Shirer
Associate Dean, Family Development

I am pleased to announce that Ben Anderson has accepted the position of regional director, northwest region. Ben's office location will be in the Extension Regional Office in Moorhead. He will begin this position on June 25.

Ben is currently the executive director of the Thief River Falls, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. He also serves as local coordinator for Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities. Prior to his current positions, Ben was administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service for the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. In that position he managed a 90-person staff and 10 grant and loan programs.

Please joining me in welcoming Ben Anderson as Extension's newest regional director.

Robert J Byrnes
Director of Field Operations

Kristina Johnson joined Extension on June 7 as a 4-H program coordinator in Polk County.

Kristina has an animal science degree with an agriculture education minor from the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Kristina brings experience from a variety of settings in engaging all ages in hands-on learning, organizing events and supervising staff.  

In her new role, Kristina will lead and manage the full range of the youth development programs in Polk County. She will work with the volunteers and youth to grow the program and deliver programming to new audiences in the county.

Karyn Santl
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development Programs

Andy Robinson has been hired as an Extension potato agronomist in a joint appointment with North Dakota State University. Andy is originally from Parma, Idaho, and has a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Brigham Young University. He earned both a master's degree in agronomy and a Ph.D. in weed science from Purdue University.

Mike Schmitt
Associate Dean, CFANS Extension

Madeleine Smith is a new assistant professor and Extension specialist in plant pathology, based at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center. Her emphasis will be on small grains and canola. Madeleine has a B.Sc. in biological sciences from the University of Leicester, a M.Sc. in plant breeding and biotechnology from the University of East Anglia and the John Innes Centre, and a Ph.D. in plant pathology and microbiology from Rothamsted Research (all in the United Kingdom). Most recently, Madeleine was an assistant research scientist at Texas AgriLife Research.

Albert Sims
Director of Operations, Northwest Research and Outreach Center

Katie Wendinger, 4-H program coordinator, Nicollet County, 5/30/12

Molly Zins, executive director, Central Sustainable Development Partnership, Extension Regional Office, Brainerd, 6/6/12

Bobbi Ruesch, executive office & administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office, Marshall, 5/16/12

Silvia Alvarez de Davila, Extension educator, Families in Transition, Extension Regional Office, Farmington, 5/22/12

Sara Langworthy, coordinator, Children Youth & Family Consortium, 5/29/12

Katie Demulling, executive office & administrative specialist - research & evaluation, Extension Center for Family Development, St. Paul, 5/29/12

Mark Haugen, Extension educator, regional 4-H youth development programs, Extension Regional Office, St Cloud, 5/29/12

Mary Jo Katras, Extension educator, Building Healthy & Strong Families, Extension Regional Office, Andover, 5/29/12

On April 30 we welcomed Karen Blaedow as the new Extension Master Gardener program coordinator in Carver and Scott counties. She fills the position previously held by Jackie Smith who retired in January.

Karen brings excellent horticulture and plant pathology knowledge, as well as volunteer and program management experience to this position. Karen comes to Minnesota having served nearly four years as Extension horticulture agent and Master Gardener coordinator in Wayne County, North Carolina.

She holds a bachelor's degree in biology and a master's degree in plant and environmental science. She has extensive experience in plant pathology research. Following her graduate work at Clemson University, Karen worked nearly two years as a junior scientist in the University of Minnesota Department of Plant Pathology, supporting research projects on soybean diseases in Minnesota. 

David Moen
Master Gardener Program Manager
 

Amy Durand joined Extension on May 7 as an Extension educator for regional 4-H youth development programs and will provide program and administrative leadership to the multi-county region of Dakota, Goodhue and Washington counties.  She will be based in the Extension regional office, Farmington. 

Amy has a B.S. in agriculture, food, and environmental education from the University of Minnesota, and a M.A. in agricultural and extension education from New Mexico State University.  Her past work experience includes serving as an agricultural educator and FFA advisor at the Walter Biddle Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA; serving as an agricultural educator, department head, and FFA Advisor at the Academy of Sciences and Agriculture in Vadnais Heights, MN; and, serving as a graduate teaching assistant at New Mexico State.  Most recently Amy was an enterprise risk management specialist for AgStar Financial Services.  During her undergraduate work, Amy served as a 4-H summer intern in Fillmore County and interned with the Minnesota 4-H Foundation.

Amy enjoys working with diverse populations, as well as researching best practices related to youth development.  In her new role, she will assure effective and efficient delivery of 4- H youth development opportunities in her region, as well as serve on a statewide program team.

Amy brings passion to her work and indicated during her interview that she has been preparing for a career with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development for a long time. 

Nancy Hegland
Extension Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

Mark Haugen will transition to his new role as Extension educator for regional 4-H youth development programs on May 29. In this role, Mark will provide program and administrative leadership to the multi-county region of Benton, Meeker, Sherburne, Stearns, and Wright counties, and will assure effective and efficient delivery of 4-H youth development opportunities, as well as serve on a statewide program team.

Mark has a B.S. in secondary education, social studies from Bemidji State University and just completed his M.Ed. in youth development leadership from the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development. For the past eight years, he has worked as the 4-H program coordinator in Hubbard County and as co-owner of Hubbard Studio in Park Rapids.

Mark is skilled and very interested in working with volunteers and partners to design and develop high quality 4-H youth development programs.  He brings a passion for working with 4-H science programs with youth of all ages.

Nancy Hegland
Extension Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

Megan Farka, 4-H program coordinator, Anoka and Washington counties, 4/30/12

David Fluegel, executive director, West Central/Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 5/1/12

Jolene Reed, office assistant, Wright County, 5/8/12

Julie Christensen, Extension public relations and news media manager, has accepted a position with University Relations as assistant director for the News Service. Julie will be covering public affairs and legislative advocacy, admissions, UM Foundation, alumni affairs, the Office of Equity & Diversity and other areas. Her last day with Extension will be May 24, and she will join the University Relations staff on May 29.

During the six years Julie has been with Extension, she strengthened Extension's brand and visibility through a variety of successful public relations strategies that include building relations with key news media, developing newsworthy stories that reinforced organizational messages, providing news media coaching and training for faculty and staff, establishing Extension's social media presence, and serving as editor of Source magazine.

A note from Julie: I am forever grateful to the Extension faculty and staff I've had the pleasure to work with over the last six-plus years. You've brought meaning to the communications and public relations work and made it fun and enjoyable. I have learned so much along the way. I will miss uncovering and shaping the great stories Extension has to tell. And I will miss working with you. Please stop by and say hello if you're ever in Morrill Hall!

Please join us for a celebration honoring Julie's positive impact and many contributions to Extension, Thursday May 24, 1-2 p.m. in 120 Coffey Hall.

Aimee Viniard-Weideman
Assistant Dean and Communications Director

Rebecca Noran, assistant director and communications manager for the Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, is starting a new position at the University of Minnesota as assistant director for web communications in the Academic Health Center (health sciences units). Her last day with Extension will be May 21.

Rebecca joined the center in August 2008 and played a pivotal role in establishing and managing a high-performing center communications team as well as being a core member of the center leadership and administrative team. Significant to her success was that she was part of a critical transition in forming one center from two previous centers. A substantial number of projects, products, processes, and policies can all be attributed to Rebecca's guidance, oversight, and leadership. 

All are welcome to stop by for a farewell gathering, Monday, May 21, 1-2 p.m. in 125 Coffey Hall. 

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

Paul Peterson, Extension forage specialist in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics has left University of Minnesota Extension. Since 2000, Paul has led the forage education program in Minnesota and played a significant role in the forage community throughout the upper Midwest. Paul was well known throughout the state as he traveled and spoke extensively on forage-related topics over the years. Paul will be employed by Cornell University Extension at the Miner Institute in northern New York. 

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

Cheryl Pflipsen, executive office & administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office, St. Cloud, 4/17/12

Diane Muir, support staff, Kittson County 4/19/12

Petra Steinhofer, office support, Pope County 4/23/12

Karen Blaedow, master gardener program coordinator, Carver & Scott counties, 4/30/12

Jill Daniels, administrative secretary, Lincoln County, 4/9/12

Janet Beyer, community program assistant, Extension Regional Office, Rochester, 4/5/12

Lee Raeth, assistant to the dean and director of field operations, 4/9/12

Joan Berg, principal office & administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office, Moorhead, 4/11/12

Kjersti Olson, Extension educator, families in transition, Extension Regional Office, Andover, 4/16/12

Elizabeth Pukenis, certified approver for SNAP-Ed/RSDP, Finance & Planning, St. Paul campus, 3/19/12

Sue Allard, executive administrative assistant, Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, St. Paul campus, 3/22/12

Clint Schoeck, accountant II, Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, St. Paul campus, 3/26/12

Employee Updates

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Kimberly Coffee passed away in her home on Saturday, February 11. Kim worked as an executive office and administrative specialist with the Extension Center for Family Development since 2008. She was beautiful, funny, smart, sarcastic and, above all, caring. Her laugh was the loudest in the room, her smile was three sizes too big for her face, and she was generous with both.  Kim is greatly missed by all who knew her.

Karen Shirer
Associate Dean, Center for Family Development

Bonita Oestreich was recently hired as an Extension 4-H program coordinator in Wadena County, where she will work with youth and volunteers to deliver and grow a high-quality 4-H youth development program.

Bonita holds a B.S. in animal industries management from the University of Minnesota, Crookston, and additional credits in agricultural education from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul campus.

Prior to joining Extension, Bonita worked at the Lakeview School District in Cottonwood as the agricultural education teacher and was a Future Farmers of America (FFA) advisor for five years.  Other experience includes being a 4-H summer intern in Douglas County, a grad assistant for the University of Minnesota Center for Farm Financial Management and a research assistant at the WCROC, Morris.

Marcia Woeste
Extension Educator, Regional 4-H Programs

Layne Tralle, 4-H Youth Teaching Youth program coordinator, Anoka County, 2/29/12 

Kristin Fiedler, administrative assistant I, Stearns County, 3/7/12

Roxanne Orvis, administrative assistant, Pine County, 3/8/12

Amanda Henke, Let's Cook statewide coordinator, Center for Family Development, Brainerd Regional Office, 2/13/12

Erin Ostrowski, Cooking Matters program assistant, Center for Family Development, 2/7/12

We are pleased to welcome Hui Hui Wang, as a campus-based non-formal/informal STEM educator in the Extension Center for Youth Development. Hui Hui recently defended her dissertation entitled, "A New Era of Science Education: Science Teachers' Perceptions and Classroom Practices of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Integration," and was awarded her doctorate from the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development (CEHD).

Hui Hui holds a joint position with the Extension Center for Youth Development (70%) and the STEM Education Center (30%) in CEHD. Hui Hui has an interest in professional development of staff and volunteers in non-formal learning programs and has experience working in outdoor learning environments. She will be instrumental in working with all of us to seek partnerships and funding, design programs, train adults, and study efforts to provide science, technology, engineering, and math learning in informal and non-formal settings.

Pam Larson Nippolt
Program Leader, Program Evaluation

Susan Fibranz, community nutrition educator, Benton County, 1/30/12

Jolen Sindelir, community program specialist, Koochiching County, 1/30/12

Maria Thoreson, community nutrition educator, Dakota County, 1/23/12

Julie Sievert, Extension educator, ag production systems, Sibley County, 1/23/12

Amelia Ryan, 4-H program coordinator, Yellow Medicine County, 1/3/12

Kristina Alviz, project coordinator - CYTTAP, Center for Family Development, 1/3/12

Jennifer Brekke, support staff, Koochiching County, 12/14/11

Darla Stevens, 4-H program coordinator, Mille Lacs County, 12/12/11

Editor's note
Correction to February 2 issue of enews: "Bryan Willkom started with Extension as a 4-H youth teaching youth program coordinator in Dakota County on January 17."

Brian Willkom started with Extension as a 4-H youth teaching youth program coordinator in Dakota County on January 17.

Bryan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a B.A. in religious studies and organizational communication.  Bryan has worked in youth ministry since January 2009.  In addition to serving as a youth ministry director, Bryan has worked with outdoor education.

Bryan's strengths and interests are in youth outreach and programming for middle and high school age youth.  In his new role, Bryan will be responsible for the leadership of the Dakota County 4-H Youth Teaching Youth Cross-Age Education Program.

Tammy McCulloch
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development Programs

Meghan Wall began her new position in Extension on January 11 as 4-H program coordinator in Houston County.

Meghan is a graduate of Iowa State University with a B.S. in psychology and an M.S. in recreation management from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.  For the past two years she was employed as an assistant athletic programmer at Chaska Parks and Recreation.

Meghan comes with experience in developing, implementing and evaluating  youth development programs for youth and adults volunteers.

Ann Walter
Extension Educator, Regional 4-H Youth Development Programs

Joseph Rand joined Extension on January 9 as a 4-H program coordinator, in the Extension Office in Sherburne County.

Joe is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a B.A. in public communication.  Joe brings with him several years of experience in the field of youth development: He worked for seven years as a youth director through church ministry; he has remained active with the 4-H youth development program as a communication arts/performing arts judge, state fair educator in the 4-H robotics lab and Arts-In director for Dakota County; and, most recently, he has been substitute teaching in four districts for grades K-12.

Joe's strengths and interests are in youth programming, volunteer management, service learning and event planning.

Tammy McCulloch
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development

Anne Moore has accepted a new position as a school counselor in the St. Louis Park school district.  Her last day with Extension was January 6.

Anne began her career in Extension in Anoka County as a 4-H Youth Teaching Youth teen teacher, and progressed into several consecutive 4-H summer staffing appointments until she was hired on staff in June 2008.  From 2008 to the present, Anne has served as a 4-H program coordinator in Anoka County.  

Throughout her career, Anne worked with writing, implementing and evaluating grants that supported youth programming in the areas of health, science, environmental awareness, agriculture and natural resources.  In addition, she supported unique programming efforts in the summer months and during out-of-school time with at-risk audiences.   

Anne guided the 4-H youth leader group in Anoka County and assisted with the 4-H Youth Teaching Youth Program.  She wrote numerous curricula while on staff, including the 4-H Stepping Out Lessons, and a series of Internet Safety Youth Teaching Youth Lessons.  

We wish Anne the best in this career endeavor.

Tammy McCulloch
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development

Bob Hursh, information technology specialist, retired on January 11 after 33 years with Extension.

Throughout his career, Bob contributed to Extension in many different ways. He provided census information to various government departments as part of the Minnesota Analysis and Planning System.  As a programmer, Bob dedicated over 20 years processing data for 4-H livestock and exhibits for the Minnesota State Fair, and was part of the team that created the first computerized 4-H enrollment system for Minnesota. He found a passion in the state 4-H Shooting competition, creating systems to automate shooting flights and scoring for over 800 competitors in recent years.

In 1999 Bob played a key role in developing the Extension Store application and database . Since its inception, he helped support and maintain the system.  He has also continued to provide central system support as well as database administration and report support. He has been a valuable part of the Information Technology Operations team and we wish him the best.

Rex Wheeler II
IT Operations Manager

After 46 years, Elaine Greenfield, associate administrator for information technology, retired from Extension on January 11.

Elaine started and ended her Extension career in Coffey Hall on the St. Paul campus.  In 1965 she was part of the Extension Steno Pool, then moved to the Director's Office--both on the first floor.  In 1969 Elaine moved to the second floor where she provided secretarial support to Hal Routhe, assistant director, and in the late 70's she moved to the fourth floor to work for the information technology unit.  

Elaine helped order the first desktop computers when they were deployed to all Extension staff in the early 80's. She continued placing computer orders and keeping inventory of all computers for the rest of her career.  Elaine is known and respected for her knowledge of how "things get done at the University," and her dedication to Extension.

Rex Wheeler II
IT Operations Manager

New Employees

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Joyce Strand-Vosler began working with Extension's urban youth development office as an intern in 2010 and started her position as a program coordinator on March 15, 2011, helping with both the CYFAR grant and the National 4-H Mentoring grant. 

Joyce transitioned from graphic design to youth development in 2007 through CTEP AmeriCorps at the Neighborhood Learning Community on the West Side of St. Paul, focusing on media, art, and leadership enrichment with middle and high school youth. Professional development opportunities led her to the youth development leadership masters program at University of Minnesota with an emphasis on participatory evaluation.

Jessica Russo
Assistant Extension Professor
Director, Urban Youth Development Office

Emily Rence began working with Extension's urban youth development office in March of 2011 and started her position as a program coordinator on December 22 helping with the National 4-H Mentoring grant. 

Emily is completing her master of education in youth development leadership at the University of Minnesota. Through the masters program, she co-facilitates youth studies classes with Professor Mike Baizerman, and coordinates the freshman and senior research seminars for the Youth Studies Department. She also has previous experience working with the sexual health educator residency program at The Birds and the Bees Project. 

Jessica Russo
Assistant Extension Professor
Director, Urban Youth Development Office

Retirements

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After 39 years of service to Extension, Mary Duncomb, Extension educator in regional 4-H youth development programs, will retire on January 11. 
During her Extension career, Mary has provided leadership to the 4-H youth development program in several counties.  She started her career in Swift and Scott counties, but spent the majority of her career in Dakota County.  As Extension moved to a regional model, she added Goodhue and Washington counties. 

Mary is an astute community partner who has sought and received grants to support youth development programming. She was integral in starting the Youth Teaching Youth program in Dakota County in 1986, which has been recognized as a National Program of Distinction twice over the past five years.  She has also been recognized by her colleagues at the state, regional and national level.  A few of her awards and achievements include: the Dean and Directors Outstanding Field Faculty Award in 1994; Outstanding Team Award for Operation Military Kids in 2008; the NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award; Meritorious Service Award; and 25 years of service. 

Mary's retirement party will be held on Thursday, January 5, 3:30-6 p.m., Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, 4100 220th Street, W., Farmington.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

Janene Hodges Gilman, Extension educator in family resource management, retired on January 3 after 32 years of service to Extension.

During her career, Jan provided direct teaching to youth and adults to help them meet individual and family educational needs and understand the challenges they face.  She also provided training to educators, agencies and other professionals, allowing them to teach financial literacy to youth and adults. 

Jan has been a part of the youth and money leadership team that teaches financial literacy to professionals using the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program.  Her work with the Financial Management Latino AmeriCorps's program team received the Dean's Team award and ESP award. 

Jan and her husband Randy have a home in Sun City West, AZ, which Jan will enjoy during the winter.   She is hoping to find a position as a teacher through online education.  Right now her plans are to relax and enjoy her new life after retirement.

Patricia Olson
Associate Director, Family Development and
Program Leader, Family Resource Management

After 39 years of employment with University of Minnesota Extension, Shirley Anderson-Porisch, Extension educator in family resource management, retired on January 3. Throughout the years, Shirley held a variety of positions in Extension. She started in Lyon County as a home economist in 1973 and worked there until 2004 when she transitioned to her regional educator role in family resource management at the Extension Regional Office in Marshall. She also held positions as interim program leader, cluster program leader and county Extension director.

Shirley has focused her career on addressing the critical issue of financial literacy. She accomplished this through her commitment to quality evaluation, training and mentoring others, and curriculum development - most notably with Dollar Works 2: A Personal Financial Education Program. The Latino Financial Literacy Team greatly benefited from her knowledge and instruction. Shirley's knowledge has reached beyond Minnesota's borders including trainings in Oregon, Colorado and Michigan.

Shirley is committed to her profession and led the way for the Family Resource Management team to receive the credential of Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC). This credential opened doors for programming and programs that would otherwise not be open, such as her groundbreaking work with addicted gamblers and their families.

Shirley has been recognized locally and nationally for her professional contributions. She received the Distinguished Service Award in 1983, Continued Excellence Award in 1991, and the Outstanding Partner award in 2007.

Patricia Olson
Associate Director, Family Development and
Program Leader, Family Resource Management

Shirley Doering, Extension educator for regional 4-H youth development programs, retired December 30 after 28 years of service to University of Minnesota Extension.  Shirley began her career as a vocational home economics teacher, joining Extension in 1984 as an Extension agent for 4-H youth development in Blue Earth County, and remaining in that position until moving to the Extension Regional Office in Mankato eight years ago.

Throughout Shirley's career, she has been a voice for ensuring youth development programs are educational by demonstrating to volunteers, partners and staff how to effectively utilize research-based materials and youth engagement strategies to impact youth learning.  She is co-author of curricula that have been used nationally including "Livestock Quality Assurance and Ethics," "Operation Military Kids," "Self-Care for Kids," and "Questions for Guiding Experiential Learning."  Programs co-created with partners have impacted youth and communities, particularly in the areas of project-based learning, health and safety issues, service-learning and philanthropy.  

As the expectations for financial accountability by nonprofits has changed, Shirley has been one of the leaders in Minnesota to ensure appropriate stewardship practices are implemented.  Her awards include: the MAE4-HYDP Extra Mile Award, NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award, the Outstanding Agricultural Mentor Award, and several team awards.  

Shirley's retirement party will be held on Saturday, January 7, 2-5 p.m. (program at 3 p.m.), North Mankato Fire Station #2, located at 1825 Howard Drive in North Mankato.  No RSVP required.  

Tamie Bremseth
Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

Jackie Smith, Master Gardener coordinator in Carver and Scott counties, will retire on January 6. Jackie has served University of Minnesota Extension for 24 years as a Master Gardener volunteer and a Master Gardener coordinator. She was instrumental in merging two small county Master Gardener programs into one program that has grown to include more than 110 Master Gardener volunteers. Under her leadership, the breadth of Master Gardener programs has expanded significantly, always focusing on needs identified in the community. Jackie also organized and managed the statewide Minnesota variety seed trials and compiled trial data for publication in the Northern Gardener magazine, a publication of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society.

Jackie has initiated many program management and volunteer leadership best practices used to build a growing Master Gardener program. She has been a teacher, coach, mentor and friend to Master Gardener volunteers and Extension colleagues. Jackie inspires people with her knowledge of horticulture and her care and commitment to serving others. 

David Moen
Master Gardener State Program Manager

Tim Dolan, Extension educator in Sibley County, is retiring after more than 30 years with Extension. There will be a retirement open house on Thursday, January 12, 2-4 p.m. (short program at 3 p.m.), Sibley County Service Center, 111 8th Street, Gaylord.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Todd Busker, accountant for the Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (EFANS), will be leaving on January 6, for a position in the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Division of Plant Science. Todd has served as EFANS accountant since early 2008. We wish him well in his new position and thank him for his contributions to EFANS these past years. 

Jan Antinozzi
Finance Analyst, CFANS

New Employee

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Kelly Wilkins, county 4-H program coordinator, Dodge County, 12/12/2011

Retirements

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Bob Olen, Extension educator in agricultural production systems and horticulture, will retire on December 30.  Bob has served as a well-respected educator in St. Louis County for 35 years, addressing both consumer and commercial horticulture.  His research has focused on cold-hardiness.  Each year he conducts field trials and produces guides to help consumers choose the varieties that will thrive in the northland's harsh climate and soil conditions.  Bob has been a long-time fixture in the northland media, hosting weekly radio shows and several series of hour-long gardening programs on WDSE the Duluth PBS station.

Bob received the 2011 Dean and Director's Award for Distinguished Field Faculty, and was recognized as the 2011 Teacher of the Year, by the American Horticultural Society.  In 2011 he also received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents and the Promethesus Award from the School of Fine Arts at UMD.

Barb Liukkonen
Program Leader
Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

After 24 years with Extension in St. Louis County, Kendall Dykhuis, Extension educator in agricultural production system and horticulture, will retire on December 30.

Kendall's emphasis as Extension educator has been forage, fertility and livestock.  His recent research has focused on increasing fertility and production through the beneficial use of waste products such as wood ash from a biomass facility, dredged harbor materials and biosolids.

As part of the Arrowhead Cluster, Kendall received awards in 1998, 1992 and 1991 when the cluster received the Dean and Director's Distinguished Team Award.

Barb Liukkonen
Program Leader
Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

For the past 29 years, Wayne Seidel has blended the work of Extension and the county Soil & Water Conservation District to address natural resource issues in Lake County.  He will retire on December 30. 

Wayne created and delivered natural resources education for youth, developed stormwater and erosion control plans, helped create the Lake County Demonstration Forest, and led a very active Master Gardener Program.  Over the past 20 years, he was responsible for bringing $2.6 million in grant funds to Lake County for conservation and natural resource protection.

Wayne has been the recipient of numerous awards from professional associations and regional organizations, including being named 1989 Outstanding Environmental Education educator by MASWCD, and being a member of teams that received the Dean and Director's Distinguished Team Awards in 1991 (precycling) and 1993 (water quality).

A retirement party will be held December 19, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Law Enforcement Center in Two Harbors.

Barb Liukkonen
Program Leader
Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Jayne Hager Dee, regional director, Farmington, retires on January 9 after 13 years of service to University of Minnesota Extension.  Jayne's organizational, supervisory and management skills and her ability to build strong relationships has been the hallmark of her career.  In her years as a regional director, she has helped to secure additional funding for county programs, responding to community needs.  Her work experience includes both the private and public sectors.  She worked for 18 years in public relations and marketing in the food industry and coordinated a statewide public policy education project with Iowa State University Extension.  She moved into university administration as assistant director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development at Iowa State University prior to being hired as a University of Minnesota Extension director in Dakota County in 1998.

Her public service included serving as both a school board member and as a county supervisor (commissioner) in Iowa.  She also has served on a number of foundation boards, including president of the Iowa 4-H Foundation.  Currently she volunteers with the Alzheimer's Association, is a member of the Minnesota Public Radio Community Advisory Council and chairs her city's Charter Commission.  She looks forward to continuing her volunteer work in retirement.

A retirement reception for Jayne will be held on Thursday, January 5 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, 4100 220th Street, W., Farmington.  Please RSVP to jenri001@umn.edu by December 30.

Lee Raeth
Director of Field Operations

After 40 years with University of Minnesota Extension, Kathleen Olson, Extension educator in family relations, will retire on January 3.  Kathy began her career in Goodhue County in family and consumer sciences, serving 14 years as county Extension director and the past 8 at the Extension Regional Office in Rochester.  Kathy has worked passionately for programs that teach parents how to raise healthy, well-adjusted children.  She is currently involved in Partnering for School Success, developing materials for use with Latino, Somali, Hmong, American Indian and African American parents to help their children succeed in school.  She has brought in nearly half a million dollars in grant dollars for parenting programs during her career.

Kathy has been recognized for her work locally and nationally, co-authoring journal articles and presenting at numerous state, regional and national conferences to share her scholarly work.  She has been interviewed frequently for radio, TV, and print media, including U.S. News & World Report and Minnesota Parent, on parenting issues. 

Kathy has held multiple leadership roles at the state and national level in professional associations and has received several awards including: NEAFCS and ESP Distinguished Service and Continued Excellence, NEAFCS Florence Hall and Communication awards, Goodhue County Citizen of the Year, and the Distinguished Extension Team award for Positive Parenting in 2001.

Kathy's retirement party will be held on Saturday, January 7, from 6 to 9 p.m., St. James Hotel, 406 Main St., Red Wing; program at 7:30 p.m. RSVP to Lois Kennis, olso2074@umn.edu or 507-280-2863 by Friday, December 23. 

Patricia Olson
Associate Director, Family Development and
Program Leader, Family Resource Management

Employee Departure

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Bridget Barton, Master Gardener program assistant, accepted a coordinator's position with the University's Rural Health Research Center starting December 12.  Bridget will graduate in Spring 2012 with a graduate degree in the University's Humphrey Institute of Public Policy.  This is a great opportunity that will utilize her area of study and interest in public policy.

Julie Weisenhorn
Master Gardener State Program Director
and
Dave Moen
Master Gardener state Program Manager

Retirements

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Lee Raeth, director of field operations, will retire in early January after 38 years with the University of Minnesota Extension.   Lee was a county agent and county Extension director in Aitkin, Wright and Carlton counties and executive director of the Central Region Sustainable Development Partnership before becoming a district director in 1999.  He has been director of field operations since 2003.

Lee has played a vital role in strengthening Extension's impact across Minnesota by building and nurturing relationships among county partners, University leaders, and Extension faculty and staff. Through his leadership with Extension's regional directors, he has built an efficient statewide field operations system that supports Extension education and research.  Through his work as a member of the Dean's Leadership Council, leader of the regional directors and face of Extension administration with county commissioners, Lee has been instrumental in ensuring that Extension makes a difference in Minnesota.    

Lee is looking forward to sharing retirement with his wife Juli.  Travel and more time with family and grandchildren is the plan!

Bev Durgan
Dean

After 34 years with Extension, Barbara Piehl, Extension educator in volunteer and partnership development, will retire on December 29. 

During her Extension career, Barb has provided leadership to 4-H Youth Development programs, primarily in Chisago County, where she also served as the county extension director.  In 2004, Barb moved into a regional educator role, working with both Chisago and Isanti counties.  Barb has a keen sense in working with volunteers and has provided significant leadership to public presentations and curriculum development.

Barb has been recognized by her colleagues at the state, regional, and national level.  She received the Dean and Directors Outstanding Field Faculty Award in 2009.  Barb has also received the NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award, Meritorious Service Award, 25 years of service, and National Communicator Awards.

Barb's retirement party will be held on Thursday, December 15, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. at the Bunker Hills Activities Center, 550 Bunker Lake Blvd, NW Andover, MN 55304.  Please RSVP by December 8 to marti987@umn.edu.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

Rose Allen, Extension educator in family relations, will retire on December 30 after 26 years service to University of Minnesota Extension.  Rose started her career in Ramsey County in 1986. Since 2003, she has been housed at the Extension Regional Office in Farmington.

A key part of Rose's work with the Parents Forever program has been helping families during major transitions in their lives. She provided leadership in developing, "We Agree: Creating a Parenting Plan," an educational tool used by divorcing parents, parents living apart, never married parents, and parents where there is military deployment.

Her recent ground-breaking work in Hennepin County is setting the stage in Minnesota and nationally on how courts facilitate successful co-parenting support and arrangements.

In addition to several national awards, Rose had the honor of being invited to present internationally with Minnell Tralle in the United Kingdom at the International Conference on Children and Divorce in 2006.

A retirement reception will be held on Friday, December 16, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Extension Office in Ramsey County, 2020 White Bear Avenue, St. Paul.  View the reception evite for more information.

Patricia Olson
Program Leader, Family Resource Management

After 36 years with Extension, Minnell Tralle, Extension educator in family relations, will retire on January 3.

Minnell started her career as an acting Extension agent in 4-H Youth Development in Washington County in 1975. From 1976 to 2003, she was a county Extension agent in Home Economics in Sherburne County. Since 2003, Minnell has been housed at the Extension Regional Office in Andover. During her career she has held a variety of roles, including program leader and Parents Forever coordinator.

A major part of Minnell's work has been in the development and implementation of Parent's Forever, an educational program that teaches parents about the impact of divorce/separation, and gives them strategies to adjust to a new way of being a family. Due to Minnell's committed work and leadership, Parent's Forever, is mandated by the Minnesota Supreme Court Minnesota Statute 518.157 and requires judges to court order parents with contested custody and visitation issues into an approved parent education program. Through this important program thousands of families have been positively impacted.

Parents Forever is utilized nationally. Under Minnell's leadership the program received international recognition with Minnell and colleague, Rose Allen, being invited to present about their important work at an International conference on Children and Divorce in the United Kingdom in 2006. Minnell has also received 17 other awards and recognitions throughout her career.

Minnell's retirement party will be held on Thursday, December 15, 3 - 6 p.m. at the Bunker Hills Activities Center, 550 Bunker Lake Blvd, NW Andover, MN 55304. A program will begin at 4:45 p.m. Please RSVP by December 8 to marti987@umn.edu.  For questions, call 763‐767‐3836.

Patricia Olson
Program Leader, Family Resource Management

Russ Severson, Extension educator in crops, will be retiring on December 29, after 38 years with the University of Minnesota.  Russ began his career in 1973 as a Research Scientist at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center in Crookston.  In 1986, Russ joined University of Minnesota Extension where he served as a county educator in Polk County, eventually serving both Polk and Red Lake counties.  Since 2008, Russ has served as Extension educator for crops programs in the Extension Regional Office in Crookston.

Over the past 38 years Russ has planned and participated in numerous educational programs and has coordinated and conducted applied research in crops vital to the economic and environmental sustainability of the people in Northwest Minnesota.  Russ has been active in the West Polk County Crop Improvement Association and Soil and Water Conservation District and the Minnesota & National Association of County Ag Agents.

A retirement reception, celebrating Russ's career will take place on Tuesday, December 20, 3 - 5 p.m. in Bede Ballroom on the UMC Campus.  This event will be taking place at the end of the Soybean College Workshop held that day. 

Jeffrey Gunsolus
Professor of Agronomy and Weed Science

After 39 years of service to Extension, Carol Skelly, 4-H community program associate, will be retiring on January 11.  Carol initiated her Extension career with two consecutive summers as an assistant in LeSueur and Anoka Counties, which led her to her first position as home economist in Rice County.  Carol served as the 4-H agent in Scott County and then Rice County early in her career.  For the past 23 years, Carol has been dedicated to her position as the 4-H community program associate in Anoka County. 

Carol was pivotal in expanding a grant into a sustainable and award winning cross-age teaching program known as Youth Teaching Youth.  During her tenure in Anoka County, Carol has trained more than 8,000 teen teachers who have taught prevention and awareness skills to nearly 71,000 youth participants in elementary and middle schools across the county.  In addition, Carol has been instrumental in developing curriculum and marketing materials that have been implemented across both the state and country. 

Carol has a long list of personal awards and recognition and has provided leadership to numerous program awards for her work with Youth Teaching Youth.  Highlights of her career include: IFYE Delegate to Nepal (1971-72); Teen Caravan Program to the Netherlands-National leader (1979); NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award (1981); Program of Distinction, Youth Teaching Youth, NAE4-HA (2006); and, 2009 NAE4-HA Meritorious Service Award.

A retirement party will be held on Thursday, December 15, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. at the Bunker Hills Activities Center, 550 Bunker Lake Blvd, NW Andover, MN 55304. A program will begin at 4:45 p.m. Please RSVP by December 8 to marti987@umn.edu.  For questions, call 763‐767‐3836.

Tammy McCulloch
Extension Educator, Regional 4-H Youth Development Programs

Pat Morreim will retire on January 3, 2012 after 32 years of service to Extension. 

Pat began her Extension career in 1979 as the 4-H Agent in Anoka County and became the County Extension Director in 1987.  For the past eight years Pat has served as the regional director in Andover, currently working with six counties.  In her regional director role, she has also served as the liaison from the regional directors to 4-H Youth Development.

Pat is known for her ability to work and communicate effectively and collaboratively with Extension Committees and County Commissioners.  She has continued to stay connected to 4-H through her work with Financial Stewardship, the Healthy Living team, and was one of the authors of "Keys to Quality Youth Development."

Pat has been recognized by her colleagues on state, regional and national levels including receiving the NAE4-HA Distinguished and Meritorious Service Awards.

Please join us in celebrating Pat's Extension career at an open house on Thursday, December 15, 3 - 6 p.m. at the Bunker Hills Activity Center, Andover.  Please RSVP to Kristi at marti987@umn.edu.

Lee Raeth
Director of Field Operations

Jim Carlson, regional director, will retire on Jan. 3, 2012 with over 35 years with the University of Minnesota Extension. 

During his time in Extension,  Jim has held several positions:  as an 4-H/youth development educator, Agriculture educator and county Extension director in Morrison County for 27 years;  and for the past eight years, as  regional director in the regional office in Brainerd.

Jim is recognized for his ability in creating a work climate in county Extension offices and at the regional office that is efficient, effective and a pleasant place for staff to do their work.  Throughout his career, he has encouraged and empowered countless individuals to excel in their personal or professional lives.  In 2000, Jim and other team members from cluster nine received The Dean and Director's Distinguished Team Award.

Lee Raeth
Director of Field Operations

After over 35 years of dedicated service to University of Minnesota Extension, Bobbie (Barbara J.) Roberts will be retiring on January 11.  Throughout her career Bobbie has provided administrative support for Extension Agriculture, District Operations and Human Resources.  She is known and respected for her high attention to detail, excellent customer service skills and her dedication to Extension and the needs of its staff. 

An open house for Bobbie will be held on Friday, January 6 from 1-4 p.m. in room 125 Coffey Hall.  Please stop by and join us in wishing Bobbie well in her retirement.

Leslee Mason
Human Resources Director

Employee Transitions

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Lisa B. Brownstein, executive office and administrative specialist, is transferring from the Extension Regional Office in St. Cloud to the Extension Human Resources Office on the St. Paul campus effective December 12.   We are pleased that Lisa's strong knowledge of and experience in Extension operations will continue to serve Human Resources and the overall Dean's Office team very well.  

Leslee Mason
Human Resources Director

New Employees

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Jodi Gravning, program coordinator, Nutrition Education Program, Extension Regional Office, Morris, 11/14/11

Matt Kane was hired as the new program leader in Community Economics, beginning November 14.  Matt will bring new assets to the Center for Community Vitality with his background in policy, research and development, and his ties to the field of poverty and wealth creation. In his most recent position, he was director of policy and research at Growth and Justice, a progressive think tank committed to making Minnesota's economy more prosperous and fair. Matt has taught, and will continue to teach, a community economics-related course at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. In addition, he has a history of working with extension-like education for the National League of Cities, and with the U.S. Department of Commerce's manufacturing extension program.

Dick Senese
Associate Dean, Community Vitality

Jodi Gorres joined Extension on November 1 as the 4-H program coordinator in the Extension Office, Lyon County. In her new role, Jodi will perform coordinator functions including developing partnerships and growing the volunteer base. Jodi graduated from Concordia College with a B.A. in Child and Family Studies and a minor in Parent Education. She has worked for three years as a membership specialist with the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys in Redwood Falls, and for seven years as a parent educator.

Trisha Sheehan
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development

Retirements

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After 33 years of service, Dorothy Rosemeier, executive director to the West Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (WCP) board, will be retiring from Extension.  Dorothy has held her current position for 10 years. Prior to working with WCP, she served as Extension educator in Swift County for 23 years. Her Extension career evolved from home economics education to community development and civic engagement, with a strong belief in sustaining a healthy ecosystem and self-reliant rural communities.

Dorothy's retirement reception will be held on November 17, 6:30-9 p.m. at McKinney's, 300 14th Street South, Benson, MN.

Kathryn Draeger
Statewide Program Director, Regional Sustainable Development Partnership

Willa Reed, executive office and administrative specialist, will be retiring from Extension on December 1.  Willa began her career on the St. Paul campus in 2002 with the Center for Community Vitality, working specifically with the Farmer Lender Mediation program.  Since then, she has played an instrumental role in providing administrative and financial support for several units including former Associate Dean, George Morse and the Operations and Communications teams; David Werner, Chief Operations Officer; and Aimee Viniard Weideman, Assistant Dean for Communications and Public Relations. 

Willa's many contributions throughout the years have made a positive impact in Extension.  Prior to working for Extension, Willa worked for both the University of Illinois and Purdue University. 

Dave Werner
Chief Operating Officer

After 32 years of service to Extension, Barb Sorensen, Extension educator in volunteer and partnership development, will be retiring on November 30.  Barb has provided leadership to 4-H Youth Development programs throughout her entire Extension career.  She started her career in Isanti and Mille Lacs counties, and then spent 21 years in Nicollet County.  For the past nine years, she has served in regional educator roles, most recently in the Extension Regional Office in Farmington.  Barb is a skilled teacher, who serves on the 4-H Healthy Living program team.

Barb has been recognized by her colleagues at the state, regional and national level.  She has received the NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award, Meritorious Service Award, and recognition for 25 years of service.  She has also received several North Central Regional Communicator awards.

Barb's retirement party will be held on Thursday, January 5, 3 - 6 p.m. at the Extension Regional Office, Farmington.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

Neil Broadwater, Extension educator in dairy, will be retiring on December 31, after 36 years with Extension.  Neil started his Extension career in 1976 as county 4-H agent in Waseca County.  After that he worked for 24 years as county Extension director/educator in Winona County, spending one of those years simultaneously in Houston County. 

For the past eight years, Neil has served as Extension educator for dairy programs in the Extension Regional Office in Rochester. During that time he has served as editor for all Extension dairy team articles published in the Dairy Star newspaper.  He has also written and developed several articles, fact sheets and presentations and has helped develop and provide content for the Extension Dairy website.

A retirement celebration of Neil's career will take place on Friday, December 2, 4:30-8 p.m. at the Extension Regional Office in Rochester, Heintz Center Building, 1926 College View Road SE.  A program will take place at 7 p.m.  Refreshments and hors d'oeuvres will be served.  If interested in attending, please RSVP with number attending by November 23 to Mary Jane Stearns at 507-536-6310, or e-mail: mstearns@umn.edu.

Jeff Reneau
Program Leader, Livestock

Colleen Gengler, Extension educator in family relations, will be retiring on January 3.  Colleen has been in Extension since 1973, working in Cottonwood, Nobles, and Murray Counties prior to her current regional educator position at the Extension Regional Office in Worthington.

Colleen has received national recognition and international participation as a leader for the Families with Teens team. She has provided cutting-edge education through online teaching both in her Families with Teens work and providing education about the intersection of family and nutrition with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education.  In 1986 Colleen Received the NEAFCS Distinguished Service Award and in 2007 the NEAFCS Continued Excellence Award.

There will be a retirement reception for Colleen on Friday, December 9, 2:30 - 5:30 p.m. (program beginning at 3:30 p.m.) at the new location for the Extension Regional Office, Worthington, 1527 Prairie Drive, Worthington, MN 56187.

Patricia Olson
Program Leader, Family Resource Management

As work teams and supervisors work to plan employee retirement announcements and receptions, there have been several questions about the best way to get this information out to the Extension community.  It's important to honor individual retirements and celebrate the contributions of our colleagues who have helped shape Extension over the years.

Our policy is to allow the employee and supervisor to make retirement announcements, and here are several key ways to do that:

  • Supervisors are encouraged to submit retirement articles to Extension enews.  Use the Extension enews article template on the Extension intranet to guide your writing.  Be sure to consult with the employee to obtain approval before submitting.
  • Submit an article to your center communications manager for inclusion in center newsletters (Joyce Hoelting, CV; Rebecca Noran, EFANS; Heather Lee, FD; and Wendy Huckaby, YD)
  • Compile a list of staff and personal contacts to send a direct announcement about the individual's retirement and/or retirement reception.
Consult with your supervisor for additional questions about retirement announcements and retirement receptions.

Sarah Bjorkman
Employee Communications Manager

Employee Updates

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Tara Greiman started on September 1 as the new full-time research assistant for the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) initiative in the Extension Center for Community Vitality on the St. Paul Campus. She is researching and documenting rural broadband usage by businesses to establish a baseline for approximately twenty Minnesota communities.  Tara is a 2011 graduate of the University of Minnesota Morris with a B.A. in environmental studies and psychology.

Michael Darger
Extension Specialist, Community Economics

I am pleased to announce some reassignments in Extension Dean's office staffing. Sarah Greening, assistant dean for government relations, has added chief of staff for the dean’s office to her responsibilities. Sarah will be working across the administrative units to create greater efficiencies. John Byrnes has worked with Extension staff over the last 5 years in his role as marketing communications director for the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, will now be working in Extension continuing to focus on our relationships with agriculture stakeholders and news media. Please join me in welcoming Sarah Greening and John Byrnes to their new roles in Extension.

Bev Durgan
Dean

Tina J. Storlie, community nutrition educator, Houston County, 9/12/11

After 33 years of service with University of Minnesota Extension, Bob Mugaas, Extension educator in horticulture, is retiring. Please consider attending Bob’s retirement celebration on Wednesday October 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. RSVP by October 7 to Larisa Jenrich at jenri001@umn.edu or 651-480-7732.

New Employees

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Rebecca Kunst, Cooking Matters coordinator, Extension Center for Family Development, Blue Earth County, 9/6/11

Nick Phelps is the new Extension aquaculture specialist for the state. Nick also works as the aquaculture specialist at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on the St. Paul campus. He has a M.S. in aquaculture/fisheries and will soon complete a Ph.D. in veterinary medicine. His interests include fish health, fish production, and related water and natural resource issues. This 50 percent Extension appointment will bring Nick's experience together with an industry in need. 

Jeff Gunderson
Minnesota Sea Grant Director

Employee Updates

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CORRECTION
The August 18 RIO article should have included Barbara Sorensen's correct title, "Educator, 4-H Youth Development."

New Employees

Ellie McCann transitioned to her new position as Extension educator for regional 4-H youth development on August 8.  Ellie, hired to fill the position vacated by the May 31 retirement of Donna Geiser, is not new to Extension, having served as an educator in the Center for Family Development since 2003.  In her new position, Ellie will continue to be housed in the Extension Regional Office in Moorhead and will provide leadership to the 4-H Youth Development program in a six-county region that includes Becker, Clay, Mahnomen, Norman, Otter Tail and Wilkin counties. 

In addition to providing visionary leadership to Youth Development programs and staff in the region, Ellie will serve on teams charged with advancing statewide priorities, such as Youth Program Quality Improvement.  

Brenda Shafer
Program Leader 4-H Youth Development

Amanda Hane was recently hired as the new Leadership and Civic Engagement evaluation graduate research assistant in the Center for Community Vitality.  She will help Community Vitality begin a greater effort to do more ripple effect mapping of center programming, as well as analyze end-of-workshop and cohort program survey data.

Amanda will be entering the University's Counseling and School Personnel Psychology program in the fall and has just completed her master's degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Her research interests include poverty and adult identity, social network analysis, and community-based participatory research.

Her background includes co-facilitation of the Presidential Youth Leadership Institute curriculum in the Minneapolis Public Schools and developing needs assessments and evaluation activities with non-profit organizations. She is excited to return to Minnesota, where she completed her bachelor's degree at Carleton College and worked for several years in the educational and non-profit sectors.

Scott Chazdon
Research and Evaluation Coordinator, Community Vitality

Benjamin Arlt, Extension educator, agriculture production systems, Norman/Mahnomen counties, 8/15/11

Jacob Overgaard, Extension educator, agriculture production systems, Winona County, 8/22/11

New Employees

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The Center for Family Development's Health and Nutrition Program is pleased to announce the addition of a new team member.  Becky Kunst has been hired as the Cooking Matters coordinator for southern Minnesota.  She will begin her position on September 6 and will assist in supporting the expansion of Cooking Matters in the southern part of the state.  She will be located at the Extension Office in Blue Earth County. 

Becky's most recent experience was with LEEP, an organization that serves individuals with developmental disabilities, where she has been the executive director for the past 10 years. 

CeAnn Klug
Associate Program Director, Cooking Matters

Departing Employees

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Chery Hays Day, video production specialist, will be retiring on August 31, after 26 years of service to Extension. While Chery is most known for her video work, she has many accomplishments in her Extension career. Throughout her career, she would lend her creativity and excellent voice talent to recording messages for the Extension's INFO-U system and countless videos and presentations. Her extraordinary video expertise is largely self-taught and she has produced many important video projects in support of Extension's programs.

She is most proud of her work with the Extension Civil Service Committee in the mid 90s when through a grant, they partnered with the MN Women's Commission to provide a national broadcast called "Journey to Personal Power," and her continued work forming the Civil Service Bargaining Unit initiative. In 1997 she earned the University's Civil Service/Bargaining Unit Staff Award and in 1998 she was given the prestigious University of Minnesota President's Award for Outstanding Service.

Please join a retirement celebration to be held on Thursday, August 25, 2 to 4 p.m., Coffey Hall, Room 125, St. Paul campus. Submit cards, letters or gift contributions to Elaine Greenfield.

Karen Matthes
Organizational Training Director

After 27 years in Extension, Joan Sigmundik will be retiring from Extension on August 31.  Most of Joan's long career was spent at the Extension office in Ramsey County, where she provided support to Extension county programs.  There, she played a significant role in the coordination of Master Gardener volunteers, and the administration of the Dads Make a Difference program.  In 2003, she joined the Extension Center for Community Vitality to support community economics and leadership and civic engagement programming. There, she has played a significant role in managing staff development and project management of teams. 

A party will be held on August 30 at the Ramsey County Extension office to celebrate her career.

Joyce Hoelting
Assistant Director, Extension Center for Community Vitality

New Employees

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Benjamin Arlt, Extension educator in agriculture production systems, will join the Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences on August 15. A recent agronomy graduate from South Dakota State University, Ben will work in Mahnomen and Norman counties.

Nathan Johnson
Program Leader

Jake Overgaard will join Extension as the new Extension educator in ag production systems in Winona County the week of August 22. Jake is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, with an M.S. in horticulture. Jake grew up on a dairy farm in Ottertail County, served in the Peace Corps for three years in Guatemala working with diversified crop and livestock systems, and has recently been working with Hoch Orchards in Winona County. Jake's experience working with many different people, teams and environments will be a benefit to Extension and to Winona County.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader

Employee Departures

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Jo Ann E. Hardy, Extension human resources manager, will be retiring on August 10, after nearly 27 years of service to Extension.  Jo Ann was exemplary in assisting administration, payroll management, employee relations, problem solving, advocacy and coaching for employees and supervisors, data management, policy advising, work team management, networking, and building relationships and trust.  She is well-known for her extremely caring personality and for going above and beyond expectations in problem solving with and assisting her clients.  Also a lover of the arts, particularly music, Jo Ann is appreciated for bringing that enjoyment into our work place and conversations.  

Leslee G. Mason
Human Resources Director

After 39 years of service, Karen Lilley, communication specialist, will be retiring on Sept. 1. 

Karen began her career in Extension in 1972 as a graphic designer, producing art for slides, overheads, posters, exhibits, flip charts, and print. She became the art service coordinator in 1977. Other titles included: consulting communicator, computer strategist, information and technology head, print and electronic publishing leader, web coordinator, and business advisor. She has been the Extension website manager since 2006. 

Karen has been involved in the communication side of Extension's information technology development since 1983, including instructional design and documentation for educational software, the national CD-ROM project of educational materials, the start-up of the Gopher site which developed into the Extension website, and several generations of website redesign.

A retirement celebration will be held on Wednesday, August 17, 3 to 6 p.m., Coffey Hall, rooms 120-125, St. Paul campus.  Submit cards and letters to Catherine Dehdashti by August 15. A long-time supporter of The Blue House, an orphanage for girls in Uganda, Karen  prefers donations to The Blue House in lieu of any gifts.

Aimee Viniard-Weideman
Assistant Dean, Communications and Public Relations

Mel Baughman, Extension educator in forestry, retired July 31 after more than 36 years with Extension, the last 29 of those at the University of Minnesota. Mel served three years as program leader in natural resources, four years as program leader in forestry, seven years as assistant dean for undergraduate programs in the former College of Natural Resources, and one year as associate dean for undergraduate programs in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. As an Extension educator in forestry, he offered a broad range of expertise to family forest owners, but was known recently for his expertise on income and property tax laws and recreational trail design. Mel held many national posts and received many honors during his career, including the USDA Honor Award and the SAF National Technology Transfer and Extension Award.

A retirement reception for Mel Baughman will be held on September 1 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in 110 Green Hall on the St. Paul campus, with a recognition ceremony at 4:45 p.m. Send letters for a book of remembrances and/or contributions to a gift fund to Janelle Schnadt, Department of Forest Resources, 1530 Cleveland Avenue North, St. Paul, MN 55108, jschnadt@umn.edu.

Greg Cuomo
Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach

Supervisors are encouraged to submit articles to Extension enews introducing new employees as well as saying goodbye to employees leaving Extension. Please use the Extension enews article templates on the Extension intranet to guide your writing. And, please consult with the employee and obtain approval before submitting.

Sarah Bjorkman
Employee Communications Manager

Whitney Meredith started as an evaluation coordinator for the Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences on May 16. Her work involves the evaluation of a five-year grant that aims to develop decision-support tools to help farmers adapt their practices to changes in climate. Whitney recently completed a master's in evaluation studies at the University of Minnesota, where she assisted in a number of different types of evaluations. Prior to getting involved in evaluation, Whitney worked at nonprofits, and she was a Teach for America Corps member in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has an undergraduate degree in political science from Colgate University. 

Tom Bartholomay
Evaluation Specialist

Sara M. Budde, 4-H program coordinator, Stearns County, 5/23/11

Tim Arlt will become the agricultural business management program leader effective August 1. Tim will continue as a local program leader as well, but with a reduced number of local educators reporting to him. He will also continue as small farms program team leader and co-leader for the community food systems initiative. Tim has been with Extension for more than 30 years, starting as an Extension educator in 1980 in Steele County. He has been a program leader in Extension (EFANS and AFE) since 2004. He is a former regional educator in farm business management, and was a release time educator in farm business management in the mid-1980s during the farm crisis, and traveled the state helping farmers work through difficult financial situations. Tim holds an M.S. in agriculture and applied economics from the University of Minnesota.

Nathan Johnson will become a full-time program leader effective August 1, transitioning from his current role as split program leader/regional director. He will continue to supervise local educators, taking over supervisory duty for several of the local educators Tim Arlt supervised. Nathan will also take over for Tim as head of the Farm Information Line, and will take on leadership for local staff development.  

Employee Updates

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Houa Vue-Her joined Extension on June 1 as a program director for the Health and Nutrition program. Houa will be co-leading the Health and Nutrition program with Sue Letourneau and Renee Obrecht-Como. She will be focusing on nutrition content, the Minnesota Food and Nutrition Network, outreach and marketing and specially-funded projects including Great Trays, Farm to School, and Cooking Matters.

Houa has an M.S. and Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of Minnesota. Her research includes studies on the intake of calcium-rich foods and beverages by Hmong preadolescent girls and the relationship between eating occasions and obesity in midlife women.

Houa has experience as a WIC nutrition specialist in St. Paul and, most recently, as senior clinical research coordinator in the Endocrinology Department of Children's Hospital. She has a true passion for community-engaged nutrition and physical activity programs, which she continued to pursue in her free time while working at Children's Hospital. Please join me in welcoming Houa!

Karen Shirer
Associate Dean, Center for Family Development

Nate Meyer is transitioning from a combined program leader/educator role to a full-time administrator role as program leader for forestry, environmental science education, and housing technology, as well as leading the EFANS climate initiative. Since 2002, Nate has been a regional Extension educator with the environmental science education team, working largely on Best Practices for Field Days and Nature-Engaged Families. Over the past few years, his focus had been assessing environmental education professionals' leadership development needs and developing resources to support them in using effective presentation practices. As program leader, Nate has transitioned in the last year to lead the climate initiative. He served as co-facilitator for the Promotion Action Group. Nate has also worked closely with Extension economist Kent Olson toward developing a regional Extension service in the Iringa Region of Tanzania.

Greg Cuomo
Associate Dean, Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Gary Sands will step into the role of program leader for water resources beginning June 20. As part of his new appointment, Gary will also provide overall leadership for the water initiative. Gary is an associate professor and Extension engineer in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, and team leader for the Extension program for agricultural drainage and water management for production and the environment. As an Extension specialist at the University of Minnesota since 1998, his Extension and research program focuses on water management in agricultural systems, addressing production needs, and quantifying/mitigating environmental impacts. Gary's experience in this area spans a number of states and several countries. He has a successful history of collaborating with agencies, non-profits and the broad agriculture community and he has demonstrated a strong ability to work among groups with diverse perspectives.

Greg Cuomo
Associate Dean, Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Brad Carlson moved into the position of regional Extension educator in crops on June 1 at the Extension Regional Office in Mankato. Brad's programming emphasis is in the area of soil, water and nutrient management. Brad has worked as a locally-based Extension educator for more than 16 years (most recently in Rice and Steele counties), with programming experience in the agriculture and natural resources program areas. Brad's education and Extension experiences will continue to be a great asset to Extension.  

Jeff Gunsolus
Program Leader, Crops

New Employees

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Heidi Stulberg was hired as Extension's sponsored project accountant working with our grants manager, Dianne Sivald, and Center accountants to assist educators in the grant submission process.  She joined Extension Finance & Planning on May 9, and her office is located in 415C Coffey Hall, St. Paul campus.

Heidi brings with her much knowledge in the pre-award area of grants management, along with the familiarity of working in the University of Minnesota systems including EGMS, ECERT, PeopleSoft EFS, HRMS and UM Reports.  Her employment with the University of Minnesota began in January 2004, when she worked in the Dean's Office at the University of Minnesota Law School and later in the finance department.  From April, 2005 to present, Heidi has worked at University of Minnesota School of Dentistry and University of Minnesota Medical School, Pediatrics. In both of these positions, she worked on the grants account teams where she managed research grants over the entire life of the project from time of award to closeout. 

We are pleased to have Heidi join Extension.

Madonna Monette
Finance Director

Elizabeth (Betsy) Hodson, web production assistant, Community Vitality, St. Paul Campus, 5/2/11

Linda Loonan, county secretary, Nobles County, 5/11/11

Bradley Carlson, Extension educator in crops, Extension Regional Office, Mankato, 6/1/11

Employee Updates

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We are pleased to welcome Brad Carlson into the position of Extension educator in crops. Brad's programming emphasis will be in the area of soil, water and nutrient management and he will be located at the Extension Regional Office in Mankato beginning June 1. Brad has worked in Minnesota as a local Extension educator for more than 16 years (most recently in Rice and Steele counties), with programming experience in the agriculture and natural resources program areas. Brad's education and Extension experiences will continue to be a great asset to University of Minnesota Extension.

Jeff Gunsolus
Program Leader, Crops

Employee Updates

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Duane Starkey joined Extension on March 16 as an educator and conservation agronomist for grant-financed manure management projects. He is collaborating with José Hernández, Extension educator in livestock nutrient management. The two projects in progress are the Value of Manure workshops and on-farm trials, and Grid Soil Sampling for Phosphorus on small and medium livestock farms.

Duane has a strong background as an industry agronomist and worked briefly for Extension in 2003-04. He has a Ph.D. in agronomy from Kansas State, and an M.S. and B.S. in animal science from University of Nebraska. He will maintain a home office in Mantorville, with connection to the Rochester regional office. Welcome, Duane!

Les Everett
Extension Water Quality Project Coordinator
Water Resources Center

Natalie Sellner, Extension secretary, Beltrami County, 4/4/2011

Joyce Strand, urban 4-H program coordinator, urban 4-H office, St. Paul Campus, 4/14/2011

Recognizing New and Departing Employees
Supervisors are encouraged to submit articles to Extension enews introducing new employees as well as saying goodbye to employees leaving Extension. Please use the article templates found on the Extension intranet to guide your writing. Submit articles to the editor at extenews@umn.edu. Supervisors should work with the new or departing employee to edit and approve the article before submitting it to enews.

Sarah Bjorkman
Employee Communications Manager

New Employees

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Annette Drewes, Extension Educator, Water Resources, Crookston Regional Office, 2/21/11

Lizbeth A. Kliewer, Associate Development Officer, Minnesota 4-H Foundation, Minneapolis Campus, 3/7/11

Employee Updates

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Annette Drewes began as a water resource educator on February 21 at the Extension Regional Office in Crookston. For more than 20 years, she has enjoyed engaging communities in their understanding and respect for local and regional watershed issues. She has also taught a number of environmental and biology courses as an adjunct professor at Bemidji State University.

Her focus in her new position will be program development and leadership in partnership with NDSU and the International Waters Institute in the Red River Basin. Read an article about Annette joining Extension on the Grand Forks Herald website. Please join me in welcoming Annette to Extension.

Nathan Johnson
Regional Director and Local Program Leader

New Employees

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Vanessa Sabin joined Extension on January 18 as the new office manager in the Extension office, Kittson County. She has worked in an office setting for a number of years and brings a variety of skills to the work place.  Vanessa will be a great addition to the county office.  
Nathan Johnson
Regional Director, Roseau

Gregory Schweser, associate program director, Sustainable Local Food Systems, St. Paul Campus, 2/7/11
Michelle Herrera, senior services clerk, Carver County, 1/31/11
Sarah Smith, community nutrition educator, Faribault County, 1/31/11
Pamela Rhineberger, Extension secretary, Beltrami County, 2/10/11

New Employees

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JoDee Christianson recently changed her role within Extension to community nutrition educator in Benton County. Her previous position spanned seven years as 4-H program coordinator in Stearns County.

In her new role, JoDee will be working with people in Benton County covering topics offered by the Extension Simply Good Eating program, such as the importance of eating breakfast, eating balanced meals, and stretching food dollars.

The Simply Good Eating program is looking forward to JoDee joining our team.

Margaret Haggenmiller
Program Coordinator, Simply Good Eating

New Employees

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Ruth A. Koski, Community Nutrition Educator, Goodhue & Wabasha Counties, 12/13/10
Kendra Van Beusekom, County 4-H Program Coordinator, Nobles County, 1/15/11
Deborah Page, Assistant Director, Human Resources, St.  Paul Campus, 1/18/11

New Employees

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Deborah Page will begin in her new position as assistant director of Extension Human Resources on January 18. Her office will be located on the St. Paul Campus, Room 260, Coffey Hall. Deb will provide human resource consulting and project management, and will manage Extension payroll. Deb has been serving as a compensation analyst in the University Office of Human Resources for the past four years and has an additional nine years of human resource experience in other University units. We are fortunate that Deb comes to Extension with experience in, and knowledge of, University human resource policies and systems.

New Employees

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Shelly Kooima joined Extension in December as a 4-H program coordinator in Redwood County. Shelly is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Marketing. She has worked as a summer intern for two summers in Redwood County. Most recently, she worked in the livestock field in various positions.

Shelly will be working with volunteers to continue to grow and enhance the 4-H youth development program in Redwood County.

New Employees

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Carol K. Johnson, nutrition education assistant, LeSueur County, 11/10/10

Stephanie A. O'Donnell, principal office & administrative specialist, Resource Development Unit, St. Paul Campus, 11/15/10

Christian Lilienthal, a farmer from Arlington and graduate of the University of Minnesota, will be starting his new position on November 8 as Extension educator in agricultural production systems in Nicollet County. The position is 60 percent time and he will be available three days per week.

Christian has a diverse background in livestock and crop production and has been involved with Extension programming for a number of years. His conventional and niche market enterprises give him a well-rounded background into the types of agriculture present in Nicollet County. He says, "I understand the importance a real-life human resource can provide. In my own experiences, having someone available to help me find a starting point is often the key to successfully solving an issue."  

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Local Programs

 

 

Katie Gallagher joined the Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (EFANS) in October as communications designer on the St. Paul campus. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota graphic design program. Most recently a freelance designer, Katie worked at the University's Learning Abroad Center for three years, where she led large-scale redesigns of the catalogs and brochure series. Katie will be managing web and print design for EFANS. 

Rebecca Noran
Assistant Director and Communications Manager
Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Deborah Hadley accepted a new position as Extension educator for regional 4-H youth development programs at the Worthington Regional Office on October 13.  In her new role, she will be working with 4-H program coordinators to provide leadership to 4-H youth development programs in Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Rock and Watonwan counties.

Deb has worked with Extension as a 4-H program coordinator in Redwood County for the past six years.  During that time, she strategically utilized the diverse talents of volunteers and community partners to create, deliver, and improve 4-H programs, resulting in better program access and growth.

Deb also has prior work experience as an elementary school teacher and as a sales manager.  She has a B.S. degree in elementary education from Winona State University and recently completed her M.S. degree in education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

Tamie Bremseth
4-H Program Leader

Amy Baack, nutrition education assistant, Nicollet County, 10/4/10

Jessica R. Barnes, principal office & administrative specialist, Center for Youth Development, Minneapolis Campus, 10/11/10

Tammy McCulloch joined Extension on September 21 as an Extension educator in regional 4-H youth development programs based out of the Extension Regional Office, Andover.

Tammy has a B.S. in Agricultural Education from University of Wisconsin- River Falls and an M.S. in Organizational Leadership and Quality from Marian College. Her work experience includes serving as a small-business advisor and regional recruiter with the United State Peace Corps, as a youth development educator with University of Wisconsin Extension, and as a regional hosting coordinator with AFS Intercultural Programs. 

In her new role, Tammy will provide program and administrative leadership to Anoka, Carver and Scott counties. She will assure effective and efficient delivery of 4- H youth development opportunities, as well as serve on a statewide program and administrative team.

Tammy's passion and vision for the 4-H youth development program as well as her organizational and communications skills will be an asset to the Extension Center for Youth Development.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

Judy L. Myers, program coordinator, Center for Excellence in Children's Mental Health, Minneapolis Campus, 9/7/10

New Employees (September 16, 2010)

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On September 7, Brian Horgan joined Extension as program leader for the Horticulture program area, taking over the role from Carl Rosen who became head of the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate on June 21.

Since 2001, Brian has been an Extension turfgrass specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science. His Extension work and research focuses on nutrient fate and water conservation. He coordinates the regional school of turfgrass management; University of Minnesota turf and grounds field day; the Turfgrass Research; Outreach and Education Center on the St. Paul campus and the phosphorus fertilizer training program for golf courses superintendents.

Please join me in welcoming Brian to this new role.

Greg Cuomo
Associate Dean, Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Ann Danielson joined University of Minnesota Extension this month as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow in 4-H Youth Development. She will be working with students in two to three schools in Crow Wing County.  Her role will be to start afterschool 4-H clubs that support youth homework needs through homework mentors, involve young people in civic engagement activities and other 4-H events, and support the work of the Crow Wing County Youth Wellness Initiative and its Youth Council. Ann is also attending college part-time at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. She is originally from the Brainerd/Baxter area.  Welcome Ann!

Heidi Haugen
Extension Educator, Volunteer and Partner Development

Linda Sanders Dieleman, Healthy Schools training coordinator, Family Development, St. Paul, 8/2/10

Hans Muessig, program director, MN Intelligent Rural Communities Program for Business Communities, Community Vitality, St. Paul, 8/16/10

Kay Stanek, retired August 3.  Kay's leadership positions in her Extension career began at the University of Wisconsin Extension in 1968.  In 2000 she was appointed as the West Central District Director for University of Minnesota Extension and later as the Extension Campus Regional Director at University of Minnesota Morris.

Linda Dieleman recently accepted a position as the Extension Healthy Schools training coordinator. Linda is a registered dietician, licensed dietician and holds a BS in food and nutrition and an MS in nutrition. She comes with a wealth of experience in managing school food service programs and training.

Linda previously worked with Extension as an assistant professor and project leader in food production, nutrition and health. In her new role, Linda will be coordinating Extension's efforts in the "Great Trays" project, which is part of Extension's subcontract award with the Minnesota Department of Health to develop and deliver training for school food service staff in every school district in Minnesota.  

Sue Letourneau
Program Leader, Health and Nutrition

Jonathan E. Fu, graphic designer/media artist, Extension Center for Family Development, St. Paul, 7/12/10

Trudy M. Fredericks, executive office & administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office, Cloquet 7/19/10

Ruth Ellis began as a production assistant on July 1 in a full-time position shared between Extension Communications/Public Relations and Family Development. She will provide webpage development and site support for both the Extension public and employee websites, as well as web maintenance and administrative support for Family Development.
Ruth worked as a freelance production assistant during the building of the consolidated Extension Youth Development site, converting, moving and re-linking thousands of files. Before that, she held a variety of coordinator and administrative roles at Medtronic, Inc.

Karen Lilley
Web Manager

Jonathan Fu began as the Graphic Designer/Media Artist for Family Development on July 12. Jonathan just recently moved to Minnesota from California. He has a B.A. in Visual Communications with an emphasis in graphics and presentation design. He comes to this position with similar work experience at the University of California, Davis. He has also worked as a vice-president of design at a marketing company and as a graphic/web design freelancer. Jonathan will assist with Family Development educational and outreach-related materials development, including print, online courses, and audio and video recordings.

Heather Lee
Communications Manager, Family Development

Patrick Santelli, MN Schools Cutting Carbon Coordinator, Regional Development Partnerships, St. Paul Campus, 7/1/2010

Mary Michelle Vigen, Clean Energy Resource Teams Campaign & Metrics Coordinator, Regional Development Partnerships, St. Paul Campus, 7/1/2010

Departures (July 15, 2010)

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Wayne Schoper, Extension educator, Nicollet County and Farm Information Line, left Extension to pursue a career with the South Central College farm business management program; his last day was June 30. Wayne was a 25-year employee of Extension, known for his work in dairy and with compost dairy barns. Wayne was an educator in Brown county for nearly 20 years, and since reorganization in 2003 was an educator in Brown, Cottonwood, Watonwan and Nicollet counties. Since January he was also a valued member of the Farm Information Line. We wish Wayne the best in his new career working with farmers in the Brown County Adult Farm Management program.

Tim Arlt, EFANS program leader, local programs

Ryon Walker's last day with Extension is July 27. Ryon has been a livestock Extension educator and a key member of the Extension beef team since August 2004. Extremely well-liked and respected by our staff and Extension clientele alike, he will be sorely missed. We wish him well as he and his family move to Louisiana to be closer to family and begin a new faculty position at Louisiana State University's Hill Farm Beef Research Center in Homer, Louisiana.

Jeff Reneau, EFANS program leader, livestock

Jillian Rung New Sponsored Project Accountant and Grant Proposal Role
Beginning in early June, Jillian Rung accepted the position of Extension sponsored project accountant on the St. Paul campus. In this capacity she is certified to approve all Extension sponsored project transactions. 

Jillian will also play a role in the grant proposal submission process.  Please include her when submitting grant proposals in addition to: supervisor for the PI/Co-PI; Extension Grants Manager, Dianne Sivald; and Center Associate Dean (if cost sharing).

As a reminder, Extension's proxies for final proposal approval are Mike Schmitt and David Werner in situations where Dianne is not available. For questions about grant proposals, contact Mike Schmitt or Dianne Sivald.

I would like to thank Jackie Lee from the Department of Animal Science for serving as our interim certified approver this past winter and spring.

Madonna Monette
Finance Director

Ann Nordby New Web Manager for Youth Development
On July 1, Ann Nordby will join the Extension Center for Youth Development full-time as web manager for the youth development website.

Ann has broad media experience, including work in broadcast production, newspaper reporting, editing trade magazines, and for the past 10 years, writing and editing content for websites.  She joined the University of Minnesota in 2007 to work on CYFERnet, and one year ago she began working with the YD web team to develop and manage the new YD website, which launched in January.

Ann will lead and manage the integrated online communications for Youth Development, and will lead their team of web publishers and contributors as they work together to make the new youth development website a success.

Wendy T. Huckaby
Youth Development Communications Manager

Rachael J. Janssen, interim 4-H program coordinator, Martin County, 5/18/10

Emily L. Espersen, county 4-H program coordinator, Polk County, 5/19/10

Kristin E. Sievert, program coordinator, Nutrition Education Programs, Extension Regional Office, Morris, 5/24/10

Debra A. Altepeter, county 4-H program coordinator, Mahnomen County, 5/24/10

Starting June 8, Nate Meyer, Extension educator in environmental science education, and Barb Liukkonen, program leader for local educators, will begin their new roles as program leaders for the Environment Science Education and Housing Technology teams, and Water Resources Management and local programs, respectively. 

Since 2002, Nate has been a regional educator with the Environmental Science Education team, working largely on Best Practices for Field Days and the Nature-Engaged Families initiative. Over the past few years, his focus has been assessing environmental education professionals' leadership development needs and developing resources to support them in using effective presentation practices.   In his new role, Nate will continue to retain some educational responsibilities for environmental science education.

Barb served as an Extension educator in water resources until retiring from this position a year ago. Since rejoining Extension in July, Barb has worked on projects including an EFANS climate initiative, serving as principle investigator on an EPA 319 grant, and coordinating citizen and stakeholder involvement in creating a framework for the future of Minnesota's water resources.  In addition to her water resources duties, Barb will continue in the role of program leader for local educators.

Janelle J. Kuechle, Extension educator, horticulture, Stearns and Benton counties, 5/3/10

Erin R. Johnson, secretary, Beltrami County, 5/24/10

Darla Rae Kramer, support staff, Nobles County, 5/11/10

Lori L. Rothstein, Extension educator, leadership & civic engagement, Duluth, 5/17/10

As noted in the May 6 issue of Extension enews, Carol Ann Burtness, Extension food science educator, retired in January. A reception celebrating her years with Extension will be held on June 15 from 4-6 p.m. at the Long Prairie American Legion, 714 Commerce Road, Long Prairie, MN 56374. For more information or to send photos and other tributes, contact Sue Crotty at crott012@umn.edu or Marcia Woeste at woest001@umn.edu

Jillian E. Rung, sponsored project accountant, finance and planning, St. Paul Campus, 5/3/10

Lou Ann Jopp, Extension educator in food safety, will be retiring at the end of June. Lou Ann started working with Extension 46 years ago as a college student, editing Extension bulletins. She became an educator in Wright County in 1993. Lou Ann plans to spend time with her granddaughters and at her cabin, as well as gardening and traveling. Thanks to Lou Ann for her excellent work for Extension.

Katherine Waters
Program Leader, Food Science

Carol Ann Burtness, Extension food science educator in Brainerd, retired in January 2010. Carol Ann started with Extension in 1975. During her time in Extension, she co-developed trainings for faith-based organizations and food service employees, delivered programming, and was instrumental in the team's response to increased demand for food preservation information and classes. We wish Carol Ann the best and thank her for her many years of service to University of Minnesota Extension.

Katherine Waters
Program Leader, Food Science

Carl Hoffman, Extension educator, horticulture, retired on April 30. Carl started in Stearns County in 1989 as a summer assistant, increased to 50% time in 1994, and to 80% time in 2004 when he took on Benton County Master Gardener responsibilities. Carl is best known as a horticulturalist and has taught parts of the Master Gardener Core Course and the LPAT programs. Over the past 21 years, Carl has increased the Master Gardener program in Stearns County from 15 to 145 Master Gardeners. Congratulations to Carl on a great second career. We will miss his expertise, kind manner and friendship.

Timothy Arlt
Program Leader

CORRECTION
Correction to April 15 issue:  Sherri Gahring retirement article should have read, "Protect the Applicator: Reduce the Risk; and Sun Smart Projects" as programs Sherri provided leadership to during her time in Extension.

Krista L. Lautenschlager, county 4-H program coordinator, Kandiyohi County, 3/8/10

Mikisha M. Nation, community program associate, Center for Family Development, 3/11/10

Lindsey R. Swanson, nutrition education assistant, Clay County, 3/11/10

Melissa Mussman, county 4-H program coordinator, Steele County, 3/15/10

Kanko A. Akakpovi, nutrition education assistant, Steele County, 3/22/10

Ryan R. Johnson, SNAP Ed state outreach coordinator, Center for Family Development, Health & Nutrition, 3/29/10

Denise A. Trudeau-Poskas, Extension specialist, Community Leadership Development, 4/12/10

Sherri Gahring, Extension textiles and apparel specialist and professor in the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel, will retire June 1. Sherri began her career November 1, 1970 as a home economist with Iowa State University Extension. She joined University of Minnesota Extension in 1975 as a specialist in textiles and clothing.

Throughout her career, Sherri has provided statewide leadership to textile and apparel related programming, including Protect the Applicator Programs: Reduce the Risk and Sun Smart, and has received team awards for her work on topics such as family based business, craft marketing to tourists, retail analysis and development, and community design strategies. A reception in her honor will be held on Thursday, May 20, 2-4:30 p.m., 233 McNeal Hall, St. Paul campus.  A short program will be held at 3 p.m.

Becky Yust
Department Head, Design Housing & Apparel

Curtis Nyegaard joined the Extension team in Red Lake County on February 18 in a part-time position. His programming efforts are home horticulture, crops and livestock. Curtis retired from Extension six years ago with more than 30 years of service, 21 of those in Minnesota. We are glad to have Curtis back working with Extension.

Nathan Johnson
Regional Director and Program Leader

Patsy Lee recently joined Simply Good Eating Programs as a nutrition education assistant in Hennepin County.  Patsy received a B.A. in sociology and anthropology and was previously employed as a bilingual paraprofessional at Hope Community Academy in St. Paul.

Fay McLain
Program Coordinator, Nutrition Education Programs

New Employees (February 18, 2010)

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Patsy Lor Lee, nutrition education assistant, Hennepin County, 2/8/10

Jennifer Schoenfeld joined Extension on January 4. In her new position as 4-H program coordinator, Jennifer will be working to expand the 4-H program in Jackson County. 

Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in agricultural education.  Prior to joining Extension, Jennifer was an agricultural education teacher at Southwest Star Concept High School in Okabena. In addition, Jennifer has been serving as assistant FFA advisor at Mountain Lake High School. 

Cynthia Celander
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development

Kelly Wubbels, nutrition education assistant, Benton County, 1/25/10

Craig Roerick joined Extension on Wednesday, January 20, as the new Extension educator in agriculture production systems (livestock) in Stearns, Benton and Morrison counties. 

Craig is a native of Morrison County and has a background in animal science and dairy.  We are looking forward to having him as a part of the team. 

Tim Arlt
Program Leader
Extension Center for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences

Stephanie L. Heim, Farm to School Extension coordinator, Center for Family Development, St. Paul Campus, 1/4/10

Hannah R. Barrick, county 4-H program coordinator, Meeker County, 12/17/09

John W. Majiok, community program specialist, Extension Regional Office, Cloquet, 12/9/09

Jennifer A. Schoenfeld, county 4-H program coordinator, Jackson County, 1/4/10

After 31 years with the University of Minnesota, 12 of which have been with Extension, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, Juan Moreno, is announcing his retirement. Please join us to wish him well on the next chapter of his life.

A retirement party will be held on Friday, January 22, 3-5 p.m. (brief program at 3:30), Coffey Hall, Rooms 120-125, St. Paul campus. For directions or more information, contact Diana Martenson or Jennifer Wagner-Harkonen.

Bev Durgan
Dean

Craig Schrader, Extension educator in crops, has left Extension to pursue new endeavors in the Pacific Northwest. He moved to Port Townsend, Washington, in mid-December. Craig provided great service to University of Minnesota Extension and we wish him the best as he explores new opportunities.

Jeff Gunsolus
Program Leader, Crops

 

Jessica Jerney joined Extension on November 9 as a 4-H program coordinator in the Urban Youth Development Office, St. Paul.  In her new role she will coordinate programs in Minneapolis and other urban areas.

Jessica holds a Masters degree in Youth Development Leadership from the University of Minnesota, and has 10 years of experience working with community-based organizations on youth development, adolescent reproductive health and other social justice issues.  She recently worked with the Northwest Hennepin Human Services Council's Nonprofit Capacity Building Program providing organizational and programmatic development for youth-serving organizations. She hopes to use her professional and educational experience to benefit Extension. Welcome Jessica!

Maki Kawase
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Natalie M. Kvam, nutrition education assistant, Clay County, 11/9/09

Don Nitchie joined Extension on November 9 as an Extension educator in agricultural business management at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center near Lamberton. In addition to educational work, his responsibilities include being field staff for the Southwest Minnesota Farm Business Management Association.

Don received his bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Nebraska and his master's degree in agricultural economics from Colorado State University. Don has experience as an education director for Iowa State University Extension, a high school agricultural education teacher and he has also worked for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in Chicago and Colorado State University, College of Agricultural Sciences and Cooperative Extension. Welcome Don!

Kent Olson
Program Leader, Agricultural Business Management

Nicholas J. Neaton, County 4-H Program Coordinator, Wright County, 11/2/09

Bjorn Arneson recently joined Extension as assistant program director for the Horizons program in the Extension Center for Community Vitality.  Bjorn brings experience in general management, fundraising and marketing to his new position. He will coordinate evaluation, research and communications activities for the Horizons program.

Bjorn recently completed a master of public policy degree and a graduate minor in population studies from the Humphrey Institute. Welcome Bjorn!

Monica Herrera
Program Director, Horizons

Julie A. Crawford, support staff, Kanabec County, 10/19/09

Charla Hollingsworth, Extension plant pathologist, will begin her new position on November 8 with the USDA, APHIS, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) as a national science program leader for plant pathology and weeds at the Center for Plant Health, Science, and Technology in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Charla began her career in 2002 at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center in Crookston as an Extension specialist in small grains plant pathology. Over the years she has produced many research articles, extension bulletins, fact sheets and educational articles; contributed to numerous events; trained plant pest surveyors; and co-edited, Cropping Issues in Northwest Minnesota.

Charla played a central role in five successful applications for EPA Section 18 Specific Exemption Requests and data she provided for the Minnesota exemptions has been used for other state's exemption requests.

Carol Ishimaru
Professor and Head, Department of Plant Pathology

Jerry Wright to Retire

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Jerry Wright, Extension engineer and interim head of the West Central Research and Outreach Center retired on September 30. Jerry provided more than 33 years of dedicated service to Extension, contributing agricultural engineering expertise in irrigation water management, agricultural drainage, and other water management topics. Jerry's Extension work in irrigation is highly regarded and respected nationally.

Jerry is looking forward to spending more time with his family, traveling, gardening, working on his family history and doing some volunteer work in Glenwood. We thank you, Jerry, and we will miss you!

Gary Sands
Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Crops

New Employees

Heather M. Quiram and Jane Way both recently joined Extension as nutrition education assistants in Pope and Douglas counties, respectively.

Heather brings experience in childcare and providing service to the developmentally delayed to her new position. She is also a former member of 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA).  In her role, Heather will partner with agencies and schools serving low income families and individuals in Pope County.

Jane comes to Extension with a background in elementary education and experience in afterschool youth programming.  She and her children are active members in the Douglas County 4-H program. Jane will focus primarily on programming with young families and their children within Douglas County.

Karen Block
Program Coordinator, Nutrition Education Programs

Lindsey M. McCloskey, support staff, Mahnomen County, 10/06/09

Extension welcomes our new Grants Manager, Dianne Sivald. Dianne comes to the University after spending numerous years with Minnesota Public Radio, serving in grant leadership and project management roles.  Combining professional experience with her degree in journalism, Dianne looks forward to helping Extension program personnel become more successful in their grant efforts.  She is very enthusiastic about the work we do in Extension, and has expressed ideas on how to make this new position useful and efficient.  She is located on the second floor in Coffey Hall, St. Paul campus. Please help us welcome Dianne.

Mike Schmitt
Senior Associate Dean, Programs and Research

New Employees

Bjorn Arneson, assistant director, Horizons Program, St. Paul campus, 9/3/09

 

Candace B. Kulzer, principal office and administrative specialist, Farmer-Lender Mediation Program, 9/4/09

Samir Nassar, web production assistant, Communications & Public Relations and Family Development, St. Paul campus, 8/31/09

New Employees August 2009

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Darlyce M. Rangaard, nutrition education assistant, Lyon County, 8/10/09

Jeanna M. Possail, nutrition education assistant, Lincoln County, 8/10/09

Becky O. Carlson, community program specialist, Urban Youth Development Office, 8/12/09

Katelynn L. Johnson, county 4-H program coordinator, St. Louis County-Virginia, 8/3/09

Laura M. McAlister, nutrition education assistant, Hennepin County, 8/0/09

Carolyn J. Matz, nutrition education assistant, Marshall County, 8/31/09

Lisa M. Breuer, principal office and administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office, Cloquet, 8/10/09

Gao N. Vang recently joined Extension as a nutrition education assistant in Hennepin County. He received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in family social science and sociology with an emphasis in public health.

Gao brings a passion for community outreach and development and public health education to his new position. He has experience working with communities of color in helping to connect them to community resources as well as working with a school district to improve student attendance. Gao will teach nutrition education classes to the Hmong community in Hennepin County to help develop healthy eating habits.

Fay McLain
Program Coordinator, Nutrition Education Program

David Zlesak, Extension educator in horticulture, resigned from Extension in August for a tenure track position at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF).  As assistant professor in horticulture, he will be teaching woody plant identification and plant propagation to undergraduate students. In addition to his work in the Master Gardener program and initiation of the northern EarthKind program for roses, David was also the editor of and frequent author for the Yard and Garden newsletter. We wish David all the best in his new position at UWRF.

Carl Rosen
Extension Program Leader, Horticulture

Harlan Petersen to Retire

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After 32 years of service to the University of Minnesota, Harlan Petersen, Extension specialist, forest products, will be retiring in October.  Harlan started his career in 1977 working on options for utilizing Dutch elm disease killed trees.  His major emphasis has been teaching and outreach programs focused on wood-moisture relations and wood drying. Harlan has also worked with youth through 4-H and Future Farmers of America and has been involved internationally through Partners of the Americas. Harlan is looking forward to spending more time with his family, hunting, fishing and planning trips to the BWCA.

An informal reception will be held from 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, August 20, at 225 Kaufert Lab, 2004 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul. For more information contact Susan Seltz at 612-624-1293, or seltz043@umn.edu.

Shri Ramaswamy
Professor and Department Head
Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering

Katherine Waters, Extension educator, will begin as the new program leader for food safety education on August 1. She replaces Joellen Feirtag, who served as food safety program leader for five years and continues her role as state specialist in the food safety program. As program leader, Katherine will work with the food safety team on administrative needs, supervise food safety educators, liaise with the health and nutrition program in Family Development, and provide direction for agricultural safety and disaster education initiatives. Katherine will continue her duties as a member of the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN). Please join me in welcoming Katherine to her new role.

Greg Cuomo
Extension Associate Dean
Food Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Barb Liukkonen, who retired last month, has rejoined Extension's Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (EFANS) in a revised version of her previous program leader role. In this 50-percent-time position, she will supervise the county-based Extension educators in Northeastern Minnesota, strengthen Extension's relationship with counties, and provide leadership for emerging EFANS initiatives. Welcome back, Barb!

Greg Cuomo
Extension Associate Dean
Food Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Courtney Blair and Laura McAlister have joined Extension in Hennepin County as nutrition education assistants. 

Courtney enjoys working with youngsters and has worked as a community program assistant for the Bright Start Study--an obesity prevention intervention aimed at kindergarten and first grade students. She is interested in running, cooking and spending time with friends and family.

Laura is a registered dietetic technician (DTR) and is involved with the StayWell Health Management on the side. She enjoys dividing her time between working with colleagues and keeping up with her curious 3½-year-old son.

Welcome to Courtney and Laura!

Fay McLain
Program Coordinator, Nutrition Education Programs

Bette J. Vichorek, executive office and administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office, Cloquet, 6/22/09

Roberta (Robin) Trott was hired on May 18 as a half-time Extension educator for Douglas County. Robin will focus on horticulture education for the county as well as working with a very active Master Gardener program. Robin enjoys all aspects of horticulture but is very interested in vegetable production and farmers markets. She is completing a master's degree in natural science and environmental education at Hamline University. Please welcome Robin to Extension!

Nathan Johnson
Regional Director and Extension Program Leader

Tana Haugen-Brown, Extension educator, started a new part-time, one-year role on June 1 as co-coordinator for the pesticide safety and environmental education program. Tana's main responsibilities include the Private Applicator Recertification workshops. Tana will continue to work in the Extension office, Sherburne County, for her new pesticide safety and environmental education program duties as well as her county duties for Sherburne and Mille Lacs counties. Please join me in welcoming Tana to this new role.

Dean Herzfeld
Coordinator, Pesticide Safety and Environmental Education

Carl A. Turner, office support assistant, Hennepin County, 5/26/2009

Kim R. Pautsch, county coordinator's assistant, Kanabec County, 5/19/09

Michelle F. Okeson, interim 4-H program coordinator, Becker County, 5/4/09

Catherine T. Gordon, nutrition education assistant, Koochiching County, 4/13/09

Anna L. Gaukerud, county 4-H program coordinator, Clay County, 5/1/09

Gail Tischler to Retire

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After 33 years of service, Gail Tischler, communications coordinator, will be retiring from Extension on June 30. Gail's first position in Extension was an information specialist and instructor.  In this position she developed educational slide sets, oversaw the operation of the audiovisual library (and later the combined A/V and print distribution center), produced the first comprehensive A/V rental catalog, and managed the design of the computerization of the distribution center's operation. 

From there, Gail went on to hold a number of professional positions where she contributed her expertise as writer, editor, project manager and core team leader/supervisor to 4-H, natural resources, brand development and organizational marketing projects.

A retirement celebration will be held on Wednesday, June 3, 3 to 5 p.m., Coffey Hall, rooms 120-125, St. Paul campus.  Submit cards and letters to Karen Lilley by June 2.

Sarah Bjorkman
Employee Communications Manager

Barb Liukkonen, water resources education coordinator and Extension professor will retire May 31.  Barb began with Extension as a "cluster agent" in Lake and Cook counties, moved to Crookston where she helped implement local water plans in 22 counties, and then back to Duluth where she served as the acting program leader for Minnesota Sea Grant. Barb moved to the Twin Cities campus in 1996 where she has held a joint position with Extension and Minnesota Sea Grant.

Barb's water resources work has ranged from safe drinking water and volunteer monitoring to shoreland education and invasive species.  She has received numerous awards including the Extension Dean and Director's Award for Distinguished Faculty; a member of three different teams that have received the Dean's Distinguished Team Award; part of a Great Lakes Regional team that received the National Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals Team award and the Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service Outstanding Water Quality Program Award; and honored as the Outstanding Individual of the Year by the Minnesota Association of Resources Conservation and Development Councils. 

An open house will be held Friday, May 29, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the McNeal Hall atrium.  Please join us to wish Barb farewell.

Faye Sleeper
Co-Director, Water Resources Center

Kristina Kainz, nutrition education assistant, Wilkin County, 4/27/09

Extension will be placing increased effort in the grants area in the near future by searching for and hiring a grants coordinator this spring or early summer. Grants opportunities are increasing, the proposal process is very competitive, and the accountability associated with grants is great.

Extension administration realizes the need for resources to assist departmental and field faculty in going through the grants process of finding, applying, setting up and reporting. The grants coordinator, along with your Extension center's grants accountants, are key resources for the grants process. Watch for the posting of this new position in the near future to the Extension Employment Opportunities & Jobs webpage.

Mike Schmitt
Senior Associate Dean for Programs and Research

The date listed in the original April 9 Extension Weekly article was incorrect for submitting photos, letters and other memorabilia items. Please submit items for Donna Rae's May 4 retirement celebration to Joan Sigmundik by May 1.

Dick Senese
Extension Associate Dean, Community Vitality

Rod Elmstrand to Retire

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Rod Elmstrand, regional director, Mora has announced his retirement effective May 1. Rod has held a number of professional and faculty positions within Extension focused in agriculture, natural resources and community vitality.  

Rod began his Extension career in 1983 in Mille Lacs County, followed by nearly 20 years in Chisago County.  Midway in his career, Rod was selected among his peers to serve as a Bush Fellow studying community economics.  Prior to taking the regional director role in 2004, he served as Extension director/educator for Chisago and Isanti counties.  Rod looks forward to spending more time with his family and intends to stay involved in his local community. 

A farewell celebration and open house is planned for April 29, 2-4 p.m. at the Extension Regional Office, Mora.  Please join me in wishing Rod the very best in his retirement.

Lee Raeth
Director of Field Operations

Donna Rae Scheffert, leadership development specialist and Extension professor, Extension Center for Community Vitality, is retiring as of May 31, 2009. In addition to her specialist position, Donna Rae has held a number of professional and faculty positions within Extension focused on leadership development.  Recently she is best known for her work with Horizons.

Her awards include the Extension Dean and Director's Distinguished Service Award for Campus Faculty, Futures Award from Minnesota Rural Futures, and numerous other professional recognitions. She has co-authored a book chapter forthcoming from Jossey-Bass called "Facilitating Multi-Cultural Groups," along with several publications and articles.

Donna Rae looks forward to spending more time with her family and intends to stay involved in local leadership.

An open house will be held Monday, May 4, 2009, from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. in the Cherrywood Room, St. Paul Student Center; program at 4:45 p.m.  Submit photos, letters and other memorabilia items to Joan Sigmundik by March 30.

Dick Senese
Extension Associate Dean, Community Vitality

Janet Beyer to Retire

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Janet Beyer, program leader, Youth Work Institute, Rochester, is retiring as of May 1, 2009. In addition to her program leader position, Janet has been a regional Extension educator in community youth development and a county Extension educator in 4-H youth development. She has been the president of the Pi Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, treasurer of Minnesota Association of Extension Educators (MAEE), and a member of the community youth development leadership team.

Her awards include the Extension Dean and Director's Distinguished Service Award for Field Faculty, MAE4-HA awards for Team Educational Piece and Educational Package, ESP Mentor Award, and Winona County Fair Hall of Fame.

Janet plans to spend some time gardening, baking, being a grandma, basket-making, quilting and raising chickens!

An open house will be held Monday, April 27, 2009, from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m.; program at 5 p.m. Please join the celebration at the UCR-Heintz Center, Horticultural Atrium, 1926 Collegeview Drive SE, Rochester. Submit photos, letters, well wishes and other items for a memorabilia package. Items will not be returned unless requested. Send to Melissa Instenes by April 14.

Joyce Walker
Assistant Center Director and
State Program Leader, Youth Work Institute

Krista R. Johnson, office manager, Hubbard County, 3/16/09

Deborah D. Braulick, nutrition education assistant, Redwood County, 3/16/09

Milan Drewlow is a new county 4-H program coordinator in Wilkin County.  He joined the team on March 16, 2009. Milan was formerly a high school vocational agricultural education instructor and currently runs a crop and livestock farming operation. He has prior Extension experience as both a Traverse County educator with agricultural and 4-H responsibilities, and as a 4-H parent and volunteer. His focus will be to help the Wilkin County 4-H program grow.

Donna Geiser
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development

Vince Crary, Extension educator in agriculture production systems, has worked for Extension for more than 17 years.  The last seven years he worked in New York Mills, Ottertail County. Vince ran his own dairy supply business before becoming a part of the Extension team. As any county educator can tell you, the position requires familiarity with a number of disciplines to be able to field questions from the residents of the county. That was a part of the job he thoroughly enjoyed. Vince was very involved in the Dairy Initiative program as well as the Master Gardener program. Congratulations, Vince, on a job well done

Nathan Johnson
Regional Director and Extension Program Leader

Alicia Perales-Esparza recently joined Extension as a nutrition education assistant for Anoka County. Over the past 15 years, Alicia has been working in the community, primarily with immigrant families with young children, prenatal to age six. She provided resource information and served as an advocate in the areas of health, education and basic needs. In the past year, Alicia served as an interpreter for a very special "Play Project" with the Autism Society of Minnesota to help parents understand autism. Welcome, Alicia.

Cindy Gerdes
Program Coordinator, Nutrition Education Programs

Renee Obrecht-Como joins Extension as associate program director, health and nutrition.  She comes with years of University experience in grants coordination at the Institute on the Environment; prospect research at the University of Minnesota Foundation; and
grants and program coordination at the College of Human Ecology. Renee has an interest in U.S. history with a focus on public health issues.

Renee will coordinate statewide operations of the Health and Nutrition Program for Family Development.  She will also lead and coordinate the development of the Food Stamp Nutrition Education (FSNE) and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) annual plans and reports; and work to ensure viability of health and nutrition programs through resource development.

In her first year, Renee will be focusing on an effort to implement a new online reporting system for FSNE.  Welcome, Renee!

Karen Shirer
Extension Associate Dean, Family Development

Joyce McGee Brown, nutrition education assistant, Ramsey County, 2/9/09

Supervisors are encouraged to submit articles to Extension Weekly introducing new employees as well as saying goodbye to employees leaving Extension. Please use the New Employee Template or the Departing Employee Template to guide your writing. Submit it to eweekly@umn.edu. We ask that for a departing individual, you consult with that person and obtain approval before submitting an article.

Gail Tischler
Communications Coordinator

Renee Obrecht-Como , associate program director, Nutrition Education Programs, St. Paul campus, 2/2/09

Cindy Shawcross, nutrition education assistant, Clay County, 1/12/09

Kirstin Delp , Minnesota State Arts-In director, Extension Center for Youth Development, 1/8/09

For 21 years Roselyn Biermaier worked in Yellow Medicine County as Extension home economist/Extension educator. A highlight for her in the 1980s was co-authoring a curriculum on gambling education for youth as well as financial counseling for addicted gamblers and their families. Biermaier also set up the first classes that Extension educators taught to certified food managers.

She has worked for the last five years in the Extension Regional Office in Marshall as an Extension educator in food science. She was a lead educator for developing four new modules for the online recertification course for food managers.

Biermaier received three Dean and Director Awards--one for a cluster team, a food science team, and the Dean and Directors Distinguished Field Faculty Award. She also received the Florence Hall Award and Distinguished Service Award from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

A retirement party will be held Saturday, February 28, 2009, at the Friendship Cafe in Clarkfield, Minnesota, from 5 to 8 p.m. To attend, RSVP to Karla Engels.

EJoellen Feirtag
Extension Food Technologist and
Extension Program Leader, Food Science

Jill Sackett joins Extension as an Extension educator, conservation agronomy. An experienced educator, Jill has a B.S. in biology with a minor in chemistry. She is interested in native plants and the agronomic systems that incorporate them back into farming. Jill will be focusing on third crops for the corn and soybean area of south central Minnesota. She will be housed in the Rural Advantage office in Fairmont (a nonprofit organization interested in capitalizing on the interconnections between agriculture, environment and community) and working in conjunction with their staff on the promotion of third crops for conservation, water quality enhancement and economic growth.

Timothy J. Arlt 
Extension Program Leader, 
Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and 
Regional Director, Albert Lea