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

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

  • 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 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…

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 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

Success Stories

eXtension Catapults Specialist into Diversity Leadership Role

The eXtension Diversity and Inclusion Corps provided the confidence and motivation Mannering needed to go forward with the Unity luncheon, online modules, and related activities, instead of just thinking about it.

Christy Mannering’s farmhouse office in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at the University of Delaware is “off the beaten path,” says Adam Thomas, CANR interim director of communications. “She actually only sees two to three people per day, and they’re the same people.” Mannering is a digital communications specialist and web developer, and her job requires her to sit at a desk behind a computer most of the day.

At the same time, Mannering is very passionate about working with people.  In fact, she and her son run a non-profit organization in her off-hours that feeds the homeless and provides additional help to those in need.  Mannering found a way to work differently by squaring her desire for more on-the-job people involvement with her work duties through the eXtension Diversity and Inclusion Issue Corps.

“When I saw the request for proposals, it piqued my interest,” she says.  “I’ve always been interested in why I behave as I do and why others act a certain way. You can’t do anything in this world completely alone, at least not very well. You need to be able to collaborate and work with others, especially if you are interested in service.”

Mannering reached out to the Office of Equity and Inclusion on her campus for help in putting her eXtension proposal together and for including benchmarks for measurable local impact. She submitted the proposal in December and cheered when it was approved in January 2017.  Not one to let grass grow under her feet, she involved colleagues in her college, in the Equity and Inclusion office, and others to plan the first-ever Unity Event in CANR.

The Unity luncheon, held in March, brought together 55 graduate students and faculty.  (Among other roles, Mannering is a grad student in public administration.)  The event featured an exercise in which participants were asked to wind strands of colorful yarn around pegs on a board labeled with such titles as “veteran,” “LGBTQ,” “employee,” “parent,” “immigrant,” etc.  The result was a work of art that the college dean keeps in a central area where people continue to add to the piece.

unity event wall chart - defining unity“The event showed everyone in the college that although you may have dissimilarities from others, you also have nuances that cross over.  It was a very successful event,” Thomas says.

Participants in the Unity luncheon also were given an opportunity to anonymously write on cards scenarios they had witnessed where people were harassed or treated inequitably.  Groups at tables then discussed the scenarios and came up with possible ways to deal with uncomfortable situations.  One participant in the post-event evaluation said: “It made me feel better to see how many people are against bigotry but are too afraid to speak up.  They’re intimidated, not apathetic.  If I took the initiative to defend someone, others might also be supportive.”

 “The way we live, the way we work, the way we present ourselves, our action and our inaction, can very much impact and shape the lives of the people around us. We need to be able to work differently so that we can ‘walk in each other’s shoes’ and not judge them.”

Mannering is taking her learning from her eXtension Diversity and Inclusion experiences a step further by creating online modules on emotional intelligence, which she sees as an antidote for bullying and harassment in the workplace.  She has created the first two modules and plans up to eight more.  (Mannering would value input from potential users to add to and improve the modules.) “Creating modules and researching this for the issue corps may be allowing me to provide some ‘aha moments’ for others,” Mannering says.

Thomas credits eXtension with giving Mannering the “confidence and motivation to go forward with the Unity luncheon, the online modules, and related activities, instead of just thinking about it.”  He adds that the college will be willing to give Mannering time to work on the modules because “Christy is one of those people who can multitask until the cows come home, and a lot of people could benefit from her work.”

small group activity at the unity luncheonIn the meantime, Mannering is less lonely in her remote office.  The eXtension Diversity & Inclusion experience provided Mannering with on-campus visibility that she was previously lacking: “I was invited to participate in a diversity summit on campus, which I wouldn’t even have known about previously.  I’ve met people from other parts of campus, and I’m still emailing with friends I met at the Unity luncheon. It’s given me a lot of hope; many other people at the university want things to improve, too. It’s opened my eyes to a lot, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity,” Mannering says.

“We’re all human, and we all deserve to be treated humanely.”

For more information, contact Mannering at 302-831-7217 or

Success Stories

Diversity and Inclusion Experience Spurs Minnesota Professionals to Advocate Up the Chain of Command

silveira and marczak at the designathonMost employers buy into training and developing their employees so that they can be better employees.  But two University of Minnesota extension professionals determined that they needed to do more.  They decided that their charge was not only to “keep and grow” extension paraprofessionals in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, but also to prepare them to leave for other employment.  Radical thought!

“We are developing them not just for us but for them so that when they leave us, they leave with a more robust portfolio where they can be marketable elsewhere and obtain a more livable, higher-wage job,” says Mary Marczak, Director of the Urban Family Development program.

One “aha moment” the women had was when they realized that they need to do a better job of “communicating up and down the system” to inform others of the value of nutrition educators’ work.

Cassie Silveira, EFNEP Coordinator and Extension Educator, says the four-county area surrounding Minneapolis is “amazingly diverse.”  One-third of the growth in recent population has come from international immigration, including people from Laos, Somalia, Ethiopia and Viet Nam. Nutrition educators need to reflect the diversity of the population to do their jobs, but they also need their own upward mobility.

Marczak’s and Silveira’s thoughts about paraprofessionals’ mobility needs crystallized into action steps at an eXtension Diversity and Inclusion “designathon,” a structured opportunity for extension personnel to sit around the table with other professionals to create educational programs that benefit their communities at large.  The designathon is one component of the Impact Collaborative process, in which extension professionals are supported to accelerate the adoption of innovation in local programming.  Each designathon encourages educators to visually map out concepts; get feedback from peers across their states; learn from “key informants,” who are national content or technology experts; explore avenues for funding; and discuss ways to communicate new ideas to their colleagues and potential partners.

One “aha moment” the women had was when the designathon led to story mapping.  They realized that although they know the value of what they are doing, they need to do a better job of “communicating up and down the system” with associate deans, assistant deans and others to inform them of the value of the educators’ work, too. Two specific policy changes for which the professionals are advocating are getting more dollars for staff professional development and opening up university training or courses for nutrition educators.  The designathon experience “helped us refine our story,” Silveira says.

Evaluation results from the February 2017 designathon found that 27 of the 55 participants said the experience helped to push their project forward – most frequently described as finding dedicated work time in a supportive environment.  This is particularly important as only 18 percent of Impact Collaborative project teams in 2017 said they are able to meet regularly, while 37 percent said they never are able to meet and work.

Do designathons have a future in changing how extension workers work?  Very likely.  As one participant said, “I plan to use the process again.  I didn’t think we could get this much done.”

For more information about EFNEP in Minnesota, contact:

Cassie Silveira at or 612-625-5205 or Mary Marczak at: or 612-625-8419

Want to structure a designathon? Contact Terry Meisenbach at:

Click on the link for more information about the eXtension Diversity and Inclusion Impact Collaborative.



Apply Now! eXtension Impact Collaborative Diversity & Inclusion Program Fellow

impact collaborative logoeXtension Foundation is looking for candidates for the Impact Collaborative Diversity & Inclusion Program Fellow. The Impact Collaborative is the next evolution of the Issue Corps Program. The Fellow is responsible for leading the formation and success of the Collaborative cohort.  This is estimated to be a one-year commitment for .50 -.70 FTE.

The responsibilities for this fellowship will include working with the program manager, organizing committee, and eXtension team to ensure the success of the Collaborative. A full list of responsibilities is available at the call for applications web page.

The selected fellow will have at least a Master’s degree and will have expertise and experience in diversity and inclusion. The Fellow will have broad visibility and ability to leverage their network and build new relationships. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking for experience leading a national program and those considering a sabbatical.

Closing date for the position is 5 p.m. PDT, July 21, 2017, or until a suitable candidate is found. To apply, visit the Call for Applications to review the requirements. If you have questions about the Fellowship, contact Terry Meisenbach

About the Impact Collaborative

The eXtension Impact Collaborative is the only national network in the Land Grant University System that uses a proven process to accelerate capacity for projects with problem-solving teams so that significant local change happens. We do whatever it takes to clear the way with customized and consistent practices offering exceptional expertise and tools that change the way people see what’s possible. The effect is unstoppable momentum. We are catalytic, engaging, and empowering.

Diversity & Inclusion Information

i-Three Issue Corps: Diversity Corps Member Heads to Chile

As a recent eXtension Diversity & Inclusion Issue Corps member, I am conducting some of my research in developing several South American Cuisine curricula in Chile. I recently went on a study tour with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Culinary Professionals Practice Group to Santiago, Valparaiso, and local sites nearby.

The purpose of the trip was to learn about the culture and cuisine of Chile, as well as Peru and Argentina. We worked with local chefs and historians touring seafood and produce markets, vineyards, a goat farm and cheese facility, indigenous pottery production, and preparing the multi-cultural foods.

Seafood at the market
A variety of fish and octopus at the market

Surprisingly, besides the Spanish influence, French and Italian cultures had, and continue to have, a large influence on the customs and cuisine. For example, one would think coffee would be the hot beverage of choice, as they are so close Central America, where is it grown. However, tea wins out, mostly due to the western European influences.

One of my favorite culinary finds was the spice blend of Merken, a combination of local ground chili pepper, ground coriander, and a little salt.

Merkin - a spice blend found in Chile

Merken is a local spice mix used in Chile

It is used in soups, stews, and on sopapillas with salsa, for example. Of course, with Chile having such a long coastline, you would expect to see a variety of seafood as well. I hope you enjoy my introductory video and pictures highlighting some of my finds.

grilled octopus dish
A grilled octopus dish
A curried scallop dish
A curried scallop dish