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News Roundup – April 2018

You may recognize (D x V x F x S) > R as the change formula, or at least one version of it. D= dissatisfaction. V = vision. F = first steps. S = support. R = resistance. For more, watch this 8-minute video. When the product of the left side of the equation is greater than resistance, change can happen. As one Designathon One participant noted, “If D, V, F, or S = 0, then resistance wins.” Which part of D, V, F, or S do you find the hardest to get above zero? Which is the easiest?

Comments? Questions? Let us know by tweeting to @eXtension4u and using the #eXtIC hashtag.

News Roundup

Apply to the Impact Collaborative.  The IC is designed to support teams and projects and encourage innovation toward measurable local impact. Connect with other extension professionals, find solutions, and carve out time to take your projects and programs to the next level! Learn more about the IC 2018…

Next Steps – Designathon One. The first five IC Designathon One events included 170 extension professionals and their community partners. The next wave of events is being redesigned to have a greater focus on local or state priorities and context. To accomplish this, a local design team will work with the Impact Collaborative team prior to each event. The University of Kentucky will host the first pilot local Designathon One event in late April with their design team prioritizing next steps for their Innovation Working Group and key initiatives across the state. Several more such events are being discussed. Learn more about Designathon One or how to request one for your state…

Nexus 4 change logoInformation Exchange. Three members of the Impact Collaborative team will be presenting about the IC process and program at the 2018 Information Exchange. Nexus4Change is hosting the exchange with the theme “Transformative Change And Innovation”. The event will be May 16-19, 2018, in Perrysburg, OH. Extension professionals wanting to accelerate their competence and confidence in deep transformative change — leveraging the power of the collaborative tools & methods that equip organizations and communities tackling 21st Century challenges should attend. Learn more | Register

Pesticide Grants. In September 2017, EPA awarded a new five-year cooperative agreement to eXtension Foundation to establish and administer a national sub-award program in support of pesticide applicator education, and training for certified applicators of restricted used pesticides. An online application process was created and 83% (46/57) of eligible applicants applied, and were awarded, funds. The total amount funded was over one million dollars with the average award being over $23,000. Learn more…

journal of extension logoJournal of Extension. Two articles in the February Journal of Extension have ties to eXtension.

Web Mapping Tool. An eXtension innovation grant project, the National Extension Web Mapping Tool (NEWT), is available for use. The goal of NEWT is to help extension professionals effectively use spatial data to make program and strategic planning decisions. NEWT is designed to be user-friendly for those with no Geographic Information System (GIS) experience and is also useful for those familiar with GIS. NEWT provides relevant spatial data at a variety of scales (national, state, county) in a variety of formats (maps, tables, graphs). Learn more or register for the upcoming webinar on April 12, 2018, at 2 pm EDT. Visit the NEWT website…

ed tech ln logoEdTechLN. If you weren’t able to join the March 15 EdTechLN tweetup, take a look at the recap “New Tech Tools & Tips for 2018.” The next tweetup will be April 19, 2018, at 2 pm EDT. The topic is Instructional Design Best Practices. The host will be Gwyn Shelle, Michigan State University, and the moderator will be Emy Swadley, Utah State University. Participate by following and using the #EdTechLN hashtag on Twitter or by using one of the recommended live Twitter chat tools.

eXtension LearnUpcoming Webinars

Check out these (among many more) upcoming professional development events listed on learn.extension.org.

Search Recordings on Learn

Visit learn.extension.org anytime and search for topics in your area or expertise or in areas in which you need to get started. Want to know about bugs, financial management, food safety, or military children? There are dozens of recordings being added every month to this valuable resource. Visit learn.extension.org…

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Information

What is Next for the Impact Collaborative and Designathon One?

The Impact Collaborative (IC) was created to foster innovative project ideas and accelerate their development toward implementation for local impact. One of the first IC activities was a series of Designathon One events. Now that the first wave of events is completed, what did we learn and what is next?

The IC Designathon One events were set up as regional workshops that lasted 2 ½ days. We received a lot of great feedback that indicated we were on the right path, and one theme was persistent in pre-workshop inquiries, in-workshop activities, and post-workshop evaluations. That was the need for additional local context and customized examples and activities suited for that context. As such, some of the original events were canceled in order to re-plan them around either state priorities or a focused regional initiative. The workshop was also redesigned to be a two-day event.

The IC process will continue with virtual professional development events and more Designathon workshops. The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service (CES) will be the first to host a redesigned IC Designathon One event. A Design Team made up of Kentucky CES educators was established to work closely with the IC Team to design an experience to meet the needs and goals of Kentucky. Their priorities are in addressing next steps for their Innovation Working Group and key initiatives across the state. This event will take place in late April at the Kenton County Extension Office in Northern Kentucky.

Designathon Two, virtual events, and another 10-12 Designathon One events are being planned and will move forward after the team concludes the Kentucky event and processes feedback and recommendations. To find out more about planned events or make a suggestion for an event location, contact Ashley Griffin at agriffin@extension.org.

The Impact Collaborative and its associated Designathon One events are open to extension professionals and their community partners at eXtension member institutions. We are still accepting new members for 2018! All inquiries about membership should be directed to Beverly Coberly at beverlycoberly@extension.org.

How does this affect applications for the Impact Collaborative?

We encourage everyone to submit their applications as soon as possible. Even if there is not a Designathon One event in your location, there will be opportunities to attend a Designathon One track as part of other upcoming events. By applying soon, you get to be a part of a community of innovative extension professionals and work toward solutions with key informants and others. The Program Fellows are planning virtual office hours and professional development events. Learn more about applying to the Impact Collaborative…

 

 

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Newsroom

News Roundup – March 2018

Now that we have finished the first wave of Designathon One events, we are poring through the feedback and planning the next steps of the Impact Collaborative. What is next? The fellows and IC facilitators will begin offering “office hours” and professional development webinars. More Designathon events (both One and Two) are in the works. To take full advantage of all that the IC has to offer, you are encouraged to contact the program fellows (see below) and/or begin your application as soon as possible!

Comments? Questions? Let us know by tweeting to @eXtension4u and using the #eXtIC hashtag.

News Roundup

Apply to the Impact Collaborative.  The IC is a process to incubate innovative teams and projects and accelerate their development toward measurable local impact. Change, challenge, or validate the way you approach projects and programs by participating in the IC.

Nexus 4 change logoNexus4Change Information Exchange. The 2018 Information Exchange includes the theme “Transformative Change And Innovation”. Three members of the Impact Collaborative team will be presenting about the IC process and program. The event will be May 16-19, 2018 in Perrysburg, OH. Extension professionals wanting to accelerate their competence and confidence in deep transformative change — leveraging the power of the collaborative tools & methods that equip organizations and communities tackling 21st Century challenges should attend. Learn more | Register

Related: There will be a hybrid Online/Onsite Keynote for the Great Lakes Exchange March 10th, 1 pm EDT. It is for scholars, practitioners, leaders, educators, and students who value utilizing collaborative approaches in new, creative, and impactful ways. Register for the Online keynote

national pesticide safety education center logoCommunications & Engagement Manager. eXtension and the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) are looking for a Communication & Engagement Manager. This person will be responsible for strategic engagement efforts, marketing, development of products, and continuing to keep the website up to date, among other duties. This is a 1.0 FTE (0.7 eXtension/0.3 NPSEC) position structured as a one-year buyout or contract position. The first round reviews are occurring now, apply ASAP if you are interested. Learn more…

Success Stories. Be inspired by how Extension professionals found new tools and approaches that increase their ability to impact their target audiences.

eXtension LearnUpcoming Webinars

Check out these (among many more) upcoming professional development events listed on learn.extension.org

Search Recordings on Learn

Visit learn.extension.org anytime and search for topics in your area of expertise or in areas in which you need to get started. Want to know about bugs, financial management, food safety, or military children? There are dozens of recordings being added every month to this valuable resource. Visit learn.extension.org…

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Cuthbertson and Dellifield Named Program Fellows for the Behavioral Health Impact Collaborative

Contact the fellows: Jami Dellifield – dellifield.2@osu.edu and Courtney Cuthbertson – cuthbe16@anr.msu.edu

Courtney Cuthbertson

Dr. Courtney Cuthbertson is a Community Behavioral Health Specialist for Michigan State University Extension.  Trained as a sociologist of mental health, Dr. Cuthbertson conducts research and provides programming in the areas of mental health and substance use.  She earned her BS in Psychology and Sociology, MA in Sociology, and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Illinois.

Before working for MSU Extension, she served as a postdoctoral fellow for the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development on the CAPE Project to better understand and develop ways for communities to use behavioral health data to inform timely interventions. She is a certified instructor for adult and youth Mental Health First Aid, and does volunteer therapy dog work with her Newfoundland, Onyxx, in her spare time.

“I am excited for the opportunity through eXtension and the Impact Collaborative process to work with Extension colleagues around the country to develop more projects and programs for behavioral health.  The Cooperative Extension system is well-situated to be responsive to communities facing increasing rates of youth suicide, opioid overdoses, and other behavioral health issues, and I look forward to seeing how Extension can continue impactful work by expanding efforts in this emerging area.”

Jami Dellifield

Jami Dellifield is an Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, at Ohio State University, Hardin County. Her specialty areas are “Healthy Relationships” and “Healthy People”.  She has presented at the local, state, and national levels on Mental Health Awareness. Jami is a co-author of the 2018 Ohio 4-H Project Book, “Your Thoughts Matter, Navigating Mental Health”.

She is currently the co-Leader for the Ohio State University Extension’s Healthy Relationships Team. She is also a graduate of the 2017 North Central Region NELD (National Extension Leadership Development). She is a member of the Live Healthy, Live Well team (including writer/reviewer for the Live Healthy OSU blog and text message challenges), a writer/reviewer for the Live Smart Ohio blog, a member of the Dining with Diabetes team, teaches Successful Co-Parenting and Active Parenting, is a co-superintendent for the Ohio State Fair 4-H Clothing Judging, is a member of the OSU Extension Opioid Work Group, and was a part of the “WeGrill” CYFAR grant team. She was a member of the NCRCRD pilot program for CAPE training and one of the instructors for the Ohio CAPE project.

Jami has BA in Psychology with a minor in Communication from Ohio Northern University and an MA in Christian Education with a specialization in Youth Ministry from the Methodist Theological School of Ohio.

“I am thrilled to work with eXtension and Courtney as we further the efforts around Behavioral Health in the USA and in Extension.  Being chosen to do this work and to support others who are working within their communities is a great honor and opportunity.  I look forward to hearing about the amazing strides Extension Professionals are making to work with community partners and to help change the way each of us works in Extension locally, regionally, and nationally as our work applies to behavioral health needs.”

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Newsroom

News Roundup – February 2018

If you were thinking about attending the Madison or Ithaca Designathon One events, be sure to take note below of actions you need to do today! Have any comments or questions? As always, let us know by tweeting to @eXtension4u and using the #coopext and/or #eXtIC hashtag.

News Roundup

Paul Hill (left) and Jamie Seger (right)

Thank You!  The eXtension Innovation Lab has brought some inspiring and thought-provoking work to the forefront of eXtension and the Cooperative Extension System. Innovation grants and fellows have developed pathways to help us explore the maker movement, networked knowledge, and citizen science among other emerging topics. Innovate Extension events gave us a glimpse into the future of Extension and the Ed Tech Learning Network has become the go-to resource for exploring innovation in educational outreach. Jerry Thomas and Jamie Seger (Ohio State) and Paul Hill and Emy Swadley (Utah State) have been at the center of the lab. As they all return to previous roles at their respective institutions, we want to say “Thank You!” for their dedication to advancing innovation in Extension. (Paul and Jamie are pictured, right). Even though the lab will no longer exist as a stand-alone entity, the work of the lab will continue through the Impact Collaborative. The EdTechLN will also continue with tweetups and the newsletter. To learn more about the lab’s accomplishments visit the eXtension Innovation page.

Designathon One. Important dates for two Designathon Events are TODAY!

  • Ithaca, NY, February 20-22, 2018 (co-hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension). The hotel block releases today (February 8) and the group rate will no longer be guaranteed. The early bird registration rate is available until February 13.
  • Madison WI, February 19-21, 2018 (co-hosted by University of Wisconsin Extension). Register by February 8 to ensure enough Kickboxes are shipped! The early bird registration rate is available until February 12.

Why attend? Learn a unique and supported process for getting good ideas on the ground efficiently. Designathon One emphasizes innovation, engagement, and designing for impact. The rest of the Impact Collaborative process builds on the learnings from D1. Check out the photo album from the Raleigh event and take a look at the #eXtIC hashtag on Twitter to learn more!

Apply to the Impact Collaborative. eXtension created the Impact Collaborative to advance the Cooperative Extension System relevant to creating co-innovated solutions for emerging problems. Change, challenge, or validate the way you approach projects and programs by participating in the IC.

Karen VineseXtension NAEPSDP Fellow. As Cooperative Extension is increasingly being asked to co-create solutions with partners and communities we serve, it requires a different approach in program planning.  Karen Vines, Virginia Tech, has been selected as the  2018 NAEPSDP eXtension program design/development fellow. Karen will serve as a key informant for the 2018 Impact Collaborative in program development and will focus on helping extension professionals use engagement in their program planning. Read more…

Success Stories. Be inspired by how Extension professionals found new tools and approaches that increase their ability to impact their target audiences.

  • Impact Collaborative Process Helps Extension Professionals Create Online Civil Rights Training Course (Minnesota) Read more…

eXtension LearnUpcoming Webinars

Check out these (among many more) upcoming professional development events listed on learn.extension.org

  • Join the JCEP 2018 Leadership Conference Virtual Town Hall Meeting which will be broadcast on February 14, 2018, 1:00-2:30 PM EST. The topic is “Balancing Innovatin and Tradition”. Learn more or register…
  • The National Extension Web Mapping Tool (NEWT) was developed help extension professionals use spatial data in program decisions. February 22, 2018, at 2 pm EST. Learn more or register…

Search Recordings on Learn

Visit learn.extension.org anytime and search for topics in your area or expertise or in areas in which you need to get started. Want to know about bugs, financial management, food safety, or military children? There are dozens of recordings being added every month to this valuable resource. Visit learn.extension.org…

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Communication & Engagement Manager – Request for Applications

We’re searching for a Communications Manager!
Join our virtual team from any location
March 1, 2018, first round of application reviews

Communications and Engagement Manager
eXtension and NPSEC Partnership

national pesticide safety education center logoCommunication and engagement with the Cooperative Extension Service and other eXtension partners across the nation is critical to eXtension viability and future.  It is imperative the eXtension stay in touch with the people eXtension serves. eXtension is known for cutting-edge technological leadership over the past several years and now for our Impact Collaborative that is supported by innovation, collaboration, and evaluation.  The Impact Collaborative is creating measurable and visible impact at the local level through various strategies, to include Designathons One and Two.

Strategic engagement efforts and marketing are critical to the continued success of eXtension for programming, messaging, marketing, development of appropriate products, as well as continuing to keep the website up to date with information on the opportunities within eXtension.  eXtension will work collaboratively with NPSEC (National Pesticide Safety Education Center) in the support and guidance of this position.  NPSEC has similar needs for efforts from this position in the areas of strategic messaging, targeted communications, including on social media, marketing, and website maintenance.

The Communications and Engagement Manager will lead in the following areas for both eXtension and NPSEC:

  • Strategic Messaging
  • Marketing for Program Sharing, Fundraising, and Revenue Generating
  • Social Media
  • Website Management
  • Engagement with the Impact Collaborative to develop and sustain a supportive of innovative, engaged extension professionals
  • Graphics and Communications
  • Effective Communication and Engagement Strategies

For NPSEC:

Pesticide Safety Education Programs, State Lead Agencies, Federal Government and others to be identified

For eXtension:

ECOP (Extension Committee on Policy); NEDA (National Extension Directors Association), USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), State Extension Directors, Regional Extension Directors, some funders, and others to be identified.

Qualifications

  • Bacherlor’s degree in journalism or communications.  Master’s preferred.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of communications strategies, marketing packages and reach and ability to write with clarity in a fast-changing environment.
  • Knowledge of or experience in the Cooperative Extension, the audiences they serve and how this higher educational process works.
  • Knowledge of communication systems, including experience with graphics, social media, written media, fliers, brochures and ability to create communication pieces that convey the messages with clarity.
  • Knowledge and experience with managing networks and engaging them in co-creative efforts.
  • Personal computer skills required.
  • Experience in effectively working with and managing several projects at once and working with a virtual team across the country.

Specific Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Develop communications and marketing strategy and tactics with leadership team
  • Implement the communication and marketing strategy, tactics, objectives and plans.
  • Develop graphics and communications pieces to highlight the Impact Collaborative and eXtension
  • Work  with all facets of eXtension and NPSEC to develop marketing pieces and develop strategies for social media
  • Provide proactive communications and recommendations to solve communication needs as they arise
  • Write and produce documents for the eXtension membership campaign, eXtension Board, and NPSEC
  • Review, strategize and implement a social media plan for increased communications and marketing for both eXtension and NPSEC
  • Keep an updated database of new Extension Directors/Administrators for eXtension and state/territory/tribal Pesticide Safety Education extension staff for NPSEC
  • Keeps subscriber lists up to date
  • Writes posts/emails, a monthly “round-up” about the highlights of activities connected with eXtension and weekly ECOP Monday Minute items to distribute to the ECOP Executive Director.
  • Ensures that posts about upcoming events (webinars, online courses, etc.) and professional development hosted by eXtension.  Will require writing.
  • Update the content on the eXtension and NPSEC websites, including authoring new content, and creating new navigation as needed for both eXtension and NPSEC.
  • Review google analytics and take steps to optimize the user experience.
  • Work with the evaluation team to identify key data and successes for sharing on the website, written communications, and slide decks.
  • When practical, travel to eXtension and NPSEC face to face events and obtain photos, video, interviews, and other material needed to support communication and impact reporting and make sure others are capturing appropriate content as needed.
  • Provide leadership for developing a shared message and voice among eXtension staff and leadership team relative to programs, processes, and initiatives of the foundation
  • Author messaging for member institutions and keep them informed of the accomplishments of their faculty/staff relative to eXtension programs.

This is a 1.0 FTE  contracted position or University buy-out with .7 funded by eXtension and .3 funded by NPSEC. This position will be for one year, with a possible renewal for an additional year with satisfactory work and appropriate funding. This is not an employee position. The position reports to the eXtension Chief Operating Officer and National Pesticide Safety Education Center Executive Director.

First round application review will be March 1, 2018.  The position will be advertised until the position is filled.

How to Apply

Please send your letter of interest and your resume to ceoassistant@extension.org by March 1 for first round reviews.  For more information on the position contact:

Dr. Beverly Coberly
Chief Operation Officer
eXtension Foundation
beverlycoberly@extension.org
573-239-9409

Or

Tom Smith
Executive Director
National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC)
smitht48@msu.edu
517-202-3019

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Karen Vines Named 2018 NAEPSDP/eXtension Fellow

Karen VinesAs Cooperative Extension is increasingly being asked to co-create solutions with partners and communities we serve, it requires a different approach in program planning.  Karen Vines, Virginia Tech, has been selected as the  2018 NAEPSDP/eXtension program design/development fellow. Karen will serve as a key informant for the 2018 Impact Collaborative in program development and will focus on helping extension professionals use engagement in their program planning.

Karen is an assistant professor and continuing professional education specialist with a split teaching and Extension appointment in the Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education department at Virginia Tech. Karen teaches the introduction to Cooperative Extension class and the online graduate nonformal teaching and learning course. She also provides professional development workshops on program planning to agents in Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Karen’s dissertation completed in 2017 focused on increased use of engaged program delivery models in Cooperative Extension. Through her research, she confirmed that in order to increase engagement in Cooperative Extension we need to think differently about how we develop and implement programming.

Karen has served in extension roles in four different systems, University of Kentucky, Purdue, Penn State, and Virginia Tech. During her career, she has been active in both the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) and Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) with responsibility in both organizations for program development associated with their professional conferences. She has also chaired an emerging issues subcommittee for the ESP professional development committee which developed one of the early webinar series and provided both an invited presentation on mobile technologies and served as a representative of NACAA and ESP, chairing the poster and workshop sessions at Galaxy IV.

I am interested in using this program design/development fellowship to share and learn from others about how program design and development must change as Extension remains relevant for the future.

Dr. Vines can be contacted at kvines@vt.edu

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Shatomi Luster-Edward Named Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Fellow

Shatomi Luster EdwardeXtension has named Dr. Shatomi Luster-Edward as the Program Fellow for the upcoming Diversity and Inclusion Impact Collaborative. She will devote the majority of her time in 2018 to setting up an organizing committee, recruiting participants, and mobilizing support networks for Impact Collaborative participants.

Dr. Shatomi Luster-Edward is a Financial Education Specialist with the University of Missouri (MU) Extension. She focuses on various aspects of financial education that include the following initiatives and programs: economic development, rapid response for dislocated workers, payday lending, small dollar loans, tax assistance, renting and housing initiatives, to name a few.

Serving as a consultant in the areas of organizational development, staff development, and program/project management, Shatomi serves communities in both Kansas and Missouri.  Nationally, Mrs. Luster-Edward serves on the Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) executive board, that focuses to make financial security a possibility for people of color and those with limited incomes. Shatomi serves on the executive board of EXCEL (Expanding College for Exceptional Learners), that focuses on young adults/students with disabilities. In addition, Shatomi, co-founded GiRL Inc. (Gifted Intelligent Respectable Ladies), building and implementing life skills for K-12 learners.

She has also traveled abroad on vocational group study exchanges and to present in Romania and Nairobi, Kenya. These exchanges provided an opportunity of understanding that emphasized the importance of cultural awareness, educational acumen, and socioeconomic acuteness.

A graduate from the University of Missouri (MU) and Ottawa University (OU), she received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Business Administration (OU) and her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (MU).

“Throughout my life and life lessons I have always valued people.  That value was guided by The Golden Rule, ‘treat others as one would wish to be treated.’  My hope is, with the help of others, that I (preferably “we”), can make a substantial community impact and provide program solutions that incorporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).  I’m excited about the DEI Collaborative/Fellowship as it allows me to substantiate the value of individuals.”

You can contact Dr. Luster-Edward at shatomile@extension.org.

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Information Newsroom

News Roundup – January

Impact CollaborativeRequest for Applications. The Food Systems Impact Collaborative is now accepting applications! Please share this opportunity with other Extension faculty and staff interested in Food Systems in your networks. The IC is designed to catalyze next-level Extension programs and professionals. The experience includes Designathon events, networking, professional development, access to key informants, and much more! Anyone at an eXtension member institution is eligible to apply.

  • Food Systems – Request for Applications | Start your application
  • Diversity & Inclusion (See below for the announcement on the Program Fellow)
  • Behavioral Health (Coming Soon!)
  • New! There will also be an “open” topic option for those that do not fit any of the above

The process for all four will kickoff in January 2018 with Designathon One, and continue with Designathon Two events in April/May 2018. The process will also include tailored professional development events (online), and access to key informants.

Designathon One. Registration is open for most of the Designathon One events! NOTE: Those planning to attend the North Carolina event at the end of January should be aware that the hotel room block cutoff is January 12.

Luster, Shatomi, Jackson, Family Finacial Education SpecialistProgram Fellow. We are pleased to announce the Program Fellow for the Diversity & Inclusion Impact Collaborative. Dr. Shatomi Luster, University of Missouri, will devote the majority of her time in 2018 to the Impact Collaborative. She will be responsible for organizing the support network, recruiting teams to be part of the IC, and supporting their efforts to ensure a successful experience. More about Shatomi and her professional background and interests will be coming soon!

Success Stories. Two recently published success stories highlight how Extension professionals found new tools and approaches that increase their ability to impact their target audiences.

EdTech Learning Network. The latest TweetUp focused on “SnapChat storytelling”. Check out the Tweetcap… (you don’t need to be on Twitter to read it).

From the eXtension Blog

eXtension LearnUpcoming Webinars

Check out these (among many more) upcoming professional development events listed on learn.extension.org

  • Engage with the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, starting at 2:00 pm EST for a webinar on the Communicating About Risks – It’s More than Just Information. Learn more or register for the webinar…
  • Join Gary Felton associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science & Technology at the University of Maryland for a webinar on Compost Health and Safety on Friday, January 19 at 2:00 pm EST. Find out more at Learn more or register… This webinar is number eight in a series of 12. Find out more about the entire series HERE.
  • Learn more about Organic Tomato Seed Production on January 30, 2018, at 2 pm EST with the eOrganic team. Learn more or register…

Search Recordings on Learn

Visit learn.extension.org anytime and search for topics in your area of expertise or in areas in which you need to get started. Want to know about bugs, financial management, food safety, or military children? There are dozens of recordings being added every month to this valuable resource. Visit learn.extension.org…

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Success Stories

eXtension NAEPSDP Fellowship Provides Opportunity to Work Differently In Program Evaluation

As long as we are in the realm of ‘I finished my program, now I need to evaluate it’ we are not serving diverse, or really any, audiences as well as we could.

When Julie Huetteman saw the call for applications for a joint eXtension/National Association for Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP) fellowship, she was intrigued.

In her role as Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at Purdue University, Julie tracks metrics, reads every impact report, and analyzes the impact of Purdue Extension and how it fits with the University strategic plan. She interacts with people in many different positions, all the way from individual consultations on program evaluation to system-wide reporting. As she puts it, she gets to see both the forest and the trees.

It was also because of these many roles, that she has a unique perspective on the “busy-ness” experienced by most Extension professionals.

The busy-ness of Extension has created a reality in which we ‘add-on’ evaluation. It is something we have to get done. We don’t take the time to engage the stakeholder and fully consider their perspectives.

Huetteman applied for the Fellowship because she saw a moment where she could step forward and focus on the most important part of her job, evaluation. The Fellowship gave her the permission and the time to pursue additional knowledge and skills and focus on something she is passionate about, program evaluation that is responsive and inclusive. She not only saw the opportunity to apply a new approach to her own program but also a platform to influence other Extension professionals’ approaches to evaluation.

As she read literature and connected with colleagues for recommended resources, she soon gravitated toward an emerging approach known as Culturally Responsive Evaluation or CRE. CRE requires engaging the stakeholders at the beginning so that the program evaluation uses culturally appropriate ways to collect, interpret, and share data that is valuable to the audience. It is a way for data and information to serve the culture and not the evaluation itself.

Instead of ‘I’m the evaluation specialist and we need to do this’, we need their perspectives from the beginning to learn what is of value to them and so we can adjust our approach as needed.

This seems self-evident, but it is not how many Extension professionals have traditionally evaluated their programs. During her fellowship, Huetteman served as a key informant for the Diversity & Inclusion Issue Corps (now known as the Impact Collaborative). Through her interactions with different projects, she found herself repeating the same question….”Have you asked them?” She was surprised to hear how often the answer was “No.”

She suspects one reason for this, beyond the busy-ness of Extension, is that Extension has served a fairly traditional audience that is somewhat homogeneous (at a system-scale). This is changing in many areas and has caused some Extension professionals to rethink their approach. She recently toured an Extension office whose 4-H program largely serves a diverse, urban audience. “They are completely changing their way of thinking and considering new ways to serve their audience differently.”

The hard part of CRE, according to Huetteman, is that every program evaluation effort will be different. Every audience, every program, and every change in context requires a different approach.

What’s next? Huetteman plans to use what she learned and created during her Fellowship to help Extension professionals at Purdue approach program evaluation in a new way. She is also part of a network in the North Central. Each person holds a unique program evaluation role at their respective institutions, and by working together they hope to share resources, consult, mentor, and form a critical mass that can advocate for an engaged and responsive approach to program evaluation as the norm for Extension.

Considering the polarized political climate we all live in, taking time to listen and adapt our approaches and appreciate the perspectives of other people is more important than ever.

You can contact Dr. Huetteman at jhuettem@purdue.edu and visit her fellowship page for links to webinars and blog posts developed during her Fellowship.

Learn more about the National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP)

Learn more about eXtension