Michigan State University Extension was well-represented at the inaugural conference of the National Association of Extension Program & Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP) Dec. 6–8 in Atlanta. All seven of the MSU Extension staff members who attended the conference offered presentations: Cheryl Peters, Alan Pilkenton, Dionardo Pizaña, Michelle Rodgers, Beth Stuever, Lela Vandenberg and Bonnie Zoia.
The theme of the conference was change.
Dionardo conducted a 2 1/2-hour capstone session, “Navigating Your Emotions Through Change” that generated deep reflection, discussion and a lot of applause, as well as rave reviews from those who attended.
Other sessions included:
- Clicking to Successful Engagement with MSU Extension News (Stuever)
- Facilitative Leadership Development (Zoia and Vandenberg)
- Virtual vs. In-person Professional Development: Comparing Outcomes From Two Annual Extension Conferences (Peters, Rodgers and Vandenberg)
- Tools and Training for Collaborating & Educating Online: eXtension, SharePoint, Adobe Connect (Pilkenton and Vandenberg)
- Doing a Tough Thing Well…Re-building Trust at MSUE (Rodgers)
- Utilizing an Assessment of Evaluation Competencies to Support Extension Professionals (Peters, Rodgers and Bruce Haas [research and development])
“Hearing the stories of other states’ efforts to restructure and deal with shrinking budgets helped us realize that we’re not alone and that similar processes have been going on in Extension systems throughout the country,” said Lela.
MSU Extension associate director Michelle Rodgers remarked that it’s been one of her goals to have the great work that MSUE is doing to be recognized by our peers. She recalled that she was delighted to have a couple of participants come up to her and share the sentiment: “Thanks for Michigan sharing these sessions…clearly Extension in Michigan is on the cutting edge.”
Dr. Rodgers said, “This was a great time for members of the organizational development team to participate in scholarly activities around their area of specialization. Presentations were grounded in research and evaluation and modeled the scholarly work that we believe can occur across every part of our organization. MSUE has benefitted greatly from the synergy of efforts created through the teamwork of those in organizational development (OD). I was personally very proud of our MSUE OD team members.”
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