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Cooperative Extension Service Immunization Education Project Immunization Education Fellow

This project is a collaborative effort among the Extension Committee on Policy (ECOP), , eXtension, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  It grew out of efforts undertaken by the ECOP Health Innovation Task Force. eXtension anticipates receiving funding for Immunization Education efforts.  Key Extension leaders on this project are Dr. Roger Rennekamp, Dr. Michelle Rodgers, Dr. Caroline Henney, Ms. Ali Mitchell Dunigan and Dr. Chris Geith.  This project will allow CDC and the Cooperative Extension System to address health disparities among rural and other underserved communities by facilitating discussions at the community level to address barriers and concerns about COVID-19, flu and other adult vaccinations.  It is designed to help increase connections and communication between the community and health care practices, as well as increase accessibility and acceptability of local vaccination clinics and opportunities with the goal to and mobilize communities to implement public health programs to reduce health disparities, especially in rural areas. The four broad areas of emphasis for this project are:

  • A National Assessment
    • Create a landscape report through a national assessment of current activities, locations and delivery of extension immunization education, community dialogue, and the cooperative delivery of immunization clinics.  Timeline:   April-July 2021 
  • Vaccinate with Confidence National Campaign
    • Work with all 111 LGUs who are eligible to apply for funding to support their customization and deployment of the Vaccinate with Confidence Campaign. The package includes materials from the CDC, professional development offerings by the Vaccinate with Confidence technical assistance team available to all LGU’s and funding. LGU’s will complete a standardized and simple online application organized around a rubric to ensure funding priorities, such as serving underserved audiences and collecting standard data.  This information will be built into an application form briefly requiring a description of their planned implementation and their planned budget.  
  • An Impact Collaborative Summit
    • Work with eXtension Foundation to offer an Impact Collaborative Summit to develop opportunities for immunization education and clinics utilizing Extension resources, staff and locations as well as their partnerships with local health education resources, staff and immunization locations.  This Summit will help potential pilot recipients incubate and plan to accelerate opportunities for immunization education in rural and underserved communities.   Timeline:  April 2021.
  • Implement immunization education and clinic pilots, community dialogues, and the cooperative delivery of immunization clinics. Timeline:  May 2021-March 2022.
    • Pilots will test out immunization education programs, community dialogue frameworks, and clinic models in rural and underserved communities that will include data collection and use of common metrics for reporting.
    • A non-research report of what is learned will be created and shared with the Cooperative Extension System and collaborative leaders of this project. This report is to be a brief report and summary of the pilots from the pilot leaders. 

This project is seeking an Immunization Education Fellow who will work collaboratively with the Project Director and Assistant Project Director of the Immunization Education Project. This will be a one year buyout from a land grant university for approximately 10% time.   eXtension will serve as the principal investigator for the project and eXtension will serve as a backbone for the project efforts. 

The work of the fellows will focus on building the capacity and expanding the portfolio of the Cooperative Extension System’s work focused on health and well being.  Much of this will be accomplished through a Connect Extension subgroup where fellows will work as a team to foster identification and sharing of programmatic resources, expertise and collaboration around priority themes determined by Roger Rennekamp. This position will report to Dr. Roger Rennekamp.  

  • Engage Connect Extension group members weekly in planned activities such as learning circles, webinars, cafes, dialogs, and chat events. 
  • Create content that encourages engagement of members such as blog posts, forum questions and surveys related to Immunization Education. 
  • Catalyze the growth and effectiveness of the Immunization Education community on the Connect Extension digital platform.   
  • Develop a tagging vocabulary in Connect Extension to make resources easy to find. 
  • Design and host at least three national professional development online events to the Cooperative Extension System with eXtension; for example, an action dialog or a webinar.
  • Report monthly on group engagement to Roger Rennenkamp.
  • This position will work remotely.  Knowledge and experience with virtual work and computer skills are needed for this position.

The projected timeline for this position is  April 1, 2021 through March 30, 2022: (dependent upon project funding)

February 18 until position is filled:  Accept letters of interest and resumes

April 1, 2021: Start date for Immunization Fellow

April 1, 2021: Official start for the Project

If there are questions, please contact Dr. Roger Rennekamp Ph.D., Extension Health Director, at rogerrennekamp@extension.org

Persons interested in this position should apply here:  https://form.jotform.com/210485133469154

Contact Brenna Kotar, eXtension Foundation at ceoassistant@extension.org with questions pertaining to the application.  

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Megan Hirschman joins eXtension as Partner & Development Specialist

For Immediate Release
October 10th, 2019
Contact: Aaron Weibe, aaronweibe@eXtension.org

The eXtension Foundation is pleased to announce that Megan Hirschman has accepted the position of Partner & Development Specialist.

In this role, Megan will be designing and implementing strategies for external and internal partnerships, and fund-development relationships. She will identify and execute on unique business opportunities that exist in collaboration between corporations, foundations, and nonprofit organizations. Megan will be developing new and additional internal and external partnerships using a long-term relationship approach with CES and eXtension Foundation, and cultivate opportunities for resource enhancement and co-creation of local impact.

Megan Hirschman has over 15 years of experience working in many areas of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and over 10 years of Development experience.  She currently serves as a Consultant supporting large farms across Michigan in compliance and permitting for Nutrient Management with DEQ. Megan has also served as Director of Development for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University, and Director of the Michigan FFA Foundation. She is an active board member of the Michigan Quarter Horse Association, and enjoys showing horses and participating as a 4-H leader in her spare time.

According to Megan, “I’m very excited for this opportunity to help find even more innovative ways to generate local impact in the wonderful communities we serve.”

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eXtension Fellowship Opportunity: Technology in Extension Education & Organizations

Technology in Extension Education and Organizations Fellow
Funded by the New Technologies for Ag Extension (NTAE) Project

The purpose of this Fellowship is to catalyze adoption and awareness of new educational technologies and practices among professionals in the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service. The Fellow will serve as editor of a peer-reviewed publication and leader of related professional development offerings with production and technical assistance of the eXtension Foundation. The Fellow will work in alignment with a new Futuring Panel for Technology in Extension Education and Organizations. This panel will be preparing a separate trend report of technology use in the practices of Extension professionals and in Extension organizations.

The Fellow will lead the offering of at least 4 synchronous online professional development opportunities and serve as editor of Version 1 of the Technology in Extension Education and Organization eFieldbook to be published with eXtension no later than June 1, 2020. The eXtension eFieldbook is a digital platform for aggregating content, tools and engagement available to all professionals in Cooperative Extension. The professional development will use the eXtension social intranet platform called FlexLearn.

Responsibilities:

    • Serve in the role of editor of the eFieldbook Version 1 and identify a review group and authors/contributors and follow the publication guidelines of eXtension.
    • Identify and offer 4 online professional development opportunities in the form of learning circles, webinars or other synchronous, online awareness-building and skill-building experiences for Extension professionals using eXtension’s FlexLearn platform. 
    • eXtension provides technical assistance and serves as publisher of the eFieldbook. The Journal of Extension provides peer review. eXtension also provides technical support and marketing for the 4 professional development offerings.  

Reporting and Stipend:

  • The Fellow will report to the eXtension Foundation COO. eXtension will provide $5,000 to support this work to the Fellow or the Fellow’s institution, depending on the best way to handle the funds for the institution. 

Duration:

  • Beginning on, our near November 1, 2019 to August 1, 2019.

Apply

To apply for this fellowship, please submit the following information to Brenna Kotar, Assistant to the CEO, eXtension Foundation, ceoassistant@extension.org:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Three professional references, including email and phone number contact
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eXtension Announces New Fellowship Opportunity: Technology in Extension Education and Organizations Fellow Funded by the New Technologies for Ag Extension (NTAE) Project

The purpose of this Fellowship is to catalyze adoption and awareness of new educational technologies and practices among professionals in the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service. The Fellow will serve as editor of a peer-reviewed publication and leader of related professional development offerings with production and technical assistance of the eXtension Foundation. The Fellow will work in alignment with a new Futuring Panel for Technology in Extension Education and Organizations. This panel will be preparing a separate trend report of technology use in the practices of Extension professionals and in Extension organizations.

The Fellow will lead the offering of at least 4 synchronous online professional development opportunities and serve as editor of Version 1 of the Technology in Extension Education and Organization eFieldbook to be published with eXtension no later than June 1, 2020. The eXtension eFieldbook is a digital platform for aggregating content, tools and engagement available to all professionals in Cooperative Extension. The professional development will use the eXtension social intranet platform called FlexLearn.

Responsibilities:

  • Serve in the role of editor of the eFieldbook Version 1 and identify a review group and authors/contributors and follow the publication guidelines of eXtension.
  • Identify and offer 4 online professional development opportunities in the form of learning circles, webinars or other synchronous, online awareness-building and skill-building experiences for Extension professionals using eXtension’s FlexLearn platform. 
  • eXtension provides technical assistance and serves as publisher of the eFieldbook. The Journal of Extension provides peer review. eXtension also provides technical support and marketing for the 4 professional development offerings.  

Reporting and Stipend:

  • The Fellow will report to the eXtension Foundation COO. eXtension will provide $5,000 to support this work to the Fellow or the Fellow’s institution, depending on the best way to handle the funds for the institution. 

Duration:

  • Beginning on, our near November 1, 2019 to August 1, 2019.

Apply

To apply for this fellowship, please submit the following information to Brenna Kotar, Assistant to the CEO, eXtension Foundation, ceoassistant@extension.org:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Three professional references, including email and phone number contact

 

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Using Artificial Intelligence to Support Extension Services

By David Warren
eXtension Artificial Intelligence Fellow

Alexa, Siri, Google Search and other consumer-facing machine learning services have revolutionized the way that many people find answers to questions that occur in everyday life. With this thought in mind, eXtension is investigating how AI and machine learning tools could be applied to both improve access to information and increase the local impact of Extension Services. 

Our investigation has led to a scoping effort and preparation of a grant application that envisions the creation of a machine learning service. This service would accept questions from clients of partner Extension Services via text input, and deliver answers and resource links.

The type of service we are envisioning is a “chatbot”, which will utilize machine learning algorithms to find the best answers to questions. The chatbot will built on top of eXtension’s large database of thousands of questions and answers gleaned from years of the Ask an Expert service. Additional content hosted by partner Extension Services such as fact sheets, reports, links to workshops, and connections to local offices and resources could also form part of the answers that would be supplied to questioners. 

The chatbot would be accessible via API’s by the various Extension Services for use with websites, text response from phones, and potentially other uses. We hope to superpower local extension websites with this service, with eXtension remaining invisible behind the scenes. The goal is to provide local information and local connections, capitalizing on national data for machine learning to provide high-quality chats/answers.

This project in no way conceived as a replacement for the vitally important people who work in Extension Services. Instead, it is intended to leverage the expertise of Extension personnel in a new way, in order to reach people who likely would not have connected to Extension. We will work hard to give it the Extension feel, with right touch and local feeling.

The initial meeting of an ad hoc advisory group was held on April 10, 2019. Attendees from Land Grant Universities included: Becky Griffin of the University of Georgia; Rose Hayden-Smith of the University of California; Steve Judd of the University of New Hampshire; Robin Baumgartner of the University of Idaho; Eli Sagor of the University of Minnesota; and David Warren of Oklahoma State University.

A second meeting of the ad hoc advisory group is planned for April 29, 2019. The grant application for this project will be submitted at the beginning of June, and if funded, the project should begin late in the summer. Look for further updates here at eXtension.org. 

 

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David Warren named as eXtension’s 2019 Artificial Intelligence Fellow

For Immediate Release
April 10th, 2019
Contact: Aaron Weibe, aaronweibe@eXtension.org

eXtension has named David Warren from Oklahoma State University as the 2019 Artificial Intelligence Fellow. He will guide and frame a digital content scoping project which will be conducted by an eXtension technical partner in April, 2019.

According to David,

I’m both honored and excited to work with eXtension to help move forward the use of AI and machine learning for Extension Services across the country. This technology has great potential to build on the enormous knowledge that the professionals in Extension have built up over time, and help organize and deliver that knowledge in an innovative manner.”

David Warren is a strategist with expertise in driving change and launching digital businesses and products. The creation, management, and marketing of online businesses and data products has been the focus of David’s career for over twenty years.

David is currently Senior Director of Integrated Digital Strategies for the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University. He has previously held executive positions at large global corporations including VP of Data & Marketing Technology, VP of Digital Media, and Global Channel Manager for Ecommerce.

David holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University and has co-authored articles on the topic of Internet business that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals.

 

 

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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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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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Diversity & Inclusion Fellowships Information NAEPSDP

Are you evaluating your program? Ask the stakeholders!

Julie Huetteman, Ph.D., is the Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at Purdue Extension. She is serving as the National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP) eXtension Fellow for 2017.

My role as 2017 eXtension NAEPSDP Fellow for Program Evaluation was launched with the Diversity and Inclusion Issue Corps (now called the Impact Collaborative) in Cincinnati. Since then, I have attended online sessions for those projects to share progress, challenges, and accomplishments. In addition, I have been included on the Corps evaluation team to learn of feedback from project teams.

A theme in this feedback was “stakeholder” involvement expressed as 1) key to their program goals; 2) instrumental to providing external input, perspective and support for their program; and 3) important in their next steps to move forward in their program planning, implementation and evaluation efforts.

In my online interactions with project teams, I found myself repeating, “Have you asked them?” I reminded many to “keep asking questions” of their stakeholders, audience, participants, and attendees to connect to those perspectives, interests, and insights.

We don’t have to have all the answers. Instead, consider asking questions of stakeholders to get those answers.

In education, the “expert” typically shares information or content. But do we know what is of interest to attendees? Do stakeholders understand what is being shared? Is the program of value to participants? How did the audience benefit from taking part in activities? Here is the break: We don’t have to have all the answers. Instead, consider asking questions of stakeholders to get those answers.

A lot is involved in planning, implementing, evaluating and reporting Extension programs, and we want to do the best we can. So, consider asking questions throughout and use feedback to inform your decisions.

  • Are you planning activities that encourage attendees to be active, involved and engaged? Check on current research for best practices, then ask the intended audience: “What activities would you find interesting to do?”
  • When deciding which topics are most important, check the literature, then ask a couple representatives of your future audience: “What topics are important to you?”
  • While planning the evaluation, check on practice guidelines, then ask stakeholders: “What questions might be asked to find out the value of this program?” Alternately, give them draft questions and ask: “Which ones work well to capture the value of the program for you?” followed by “How might you state a question to ask about its benefit to participants?”
  • In your outline or curriculum, schedule specific activities to involve and engage participants like asking verbal questions, posting polls, sharing questions on a slide, and so on. Some examples: “Is there anything that you need to be clarified?” “Was this activity helpful?” “What was most valuable to you?” Also: Keep questions going throughout; don’t wait until the end of the program to ask.

Avoid packing your program with so much content that you forget about — or don’t leave time or space for — getting to know the audience.

Ask your audience to 1) help clarify your planning efforts, 2) give feedback during your implementation, and 3) craft questions for debriefing, or 4) review and express the evaluation results. Avoid packing your program with so much content that you forget about — or don’t leave time or space for — getting to know the audience. Include questions to get their ideas on, the perceived value from, and experience of the program. Key questions to get started might be: “Has the program met your needs?” “Is this activity/program of value to you?” “Is this of interest to you?” “What is important to you?” “How have you benefited from this presentation/program?”

Ask questions, then listen. Audience responses and feedback can guide your next steps for planning and evaluation. Make time to get to know, and connect with, the audience by asking about their thoughts or perceptions. Ask your audience – before, during and after your program – so that their perspective is the focus of your planning, activities, and evaluation.

Julie can be contacted at jhuettem@purdue.edu

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Diversity & Inclusion Fellowships Information

Perspectives: Overcoming Bias in Program Evaluation

Julie Huetteman, Ph.D., is the Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at Purdue Extension. She is serving as the National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP) eXtension Fellow for 2017.

My eXtension NAEPSDP Fellowship for Program Evaluation 2017 started with the Diversity and Inclusion Corps in Cincinnati. I have been exploring related resources, opportunities, and associations ever since. Here I share thoughts and reflections more so than a set of instructions. We need space and time to ponder our human experience and learn about other perspectives to incorporate those thoughts as we plan, develop, deliver and report on our Extension work.

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald is one book recommended to me by Dr. Pamala Morris, Assistant Dean/Director of the Office of Multicultural Programs in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University. The book is about research on our human minds that looks at how our biases develop toward race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion and so on. The researchers share their Implicit Association Test (IAT), which measures how the brain associates people and groups with traits and values. This automatic preference that develops pervades even when egalitarian beliefs are expressed.

A lot of self-reflection about perceptions and openness to others resulted for me. Completing sample tests and activities had me assessing my views, thoughts, and actions about and toward others. This created time and space to think and reflect on our society and our human relations across the personal and professional, local and regional, and global.

We can apply these reflections to program evaluation efforts.

  1. Make sure we make time to reflect on our own hidden biases.
  2. Make opportunities to include our clients/participants in our activities. Invite the perceptions, thoughts, and direction of our stakeholders from the beginning, and throughout, as we work to plan, develop, deliver, and report program activities and evaluation approaches.

The ultimate result is that the opportunities made available are of value and benefit to stakeholders. Given the busy-ness of our jobs, these steps can be easy to overlook, but they are incredibly worthwhile.

I would like to send a special thank you to Pam, for sharing this resource with me at this moment in our society and for a time of reflection on our human interactions.

Julie Huetteman, Ph.D., Coordinator, Extension Strategic Initiatives, Purdue Extension

Banaji, M.R. & Greenwald, A.G. (2016). Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. New York, NY: Bantam Books.