Category Archives: professional development

MSU CEC Team treated like rock stars in Nebraska

Mark Thomas, Kay Cummings, Andy Hayes, Khurram Imam, Micah Loucks, and Frank Gublo pose for a photo in front the Loop Brewing Co. brick building.

MSU Extension Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) From left to right: Mark Thomas, Kay Cummings, Andy Hayes, Khurram Imam, Micah Loucks, Frank Gublo. Photo courtesy of Andy Hayes.

This week, we’ll hear from Michigan State University (MSU) Extension educator Andy Hayes sharing about the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) Team’s experiences in Nebraska:

Our MSU Extension CEC Team traveled to McCook, Nebraska, to participate in the state’s first CEC conference. Patterning their conference after our successful Michigan model, the Nebraska Extension team added their own flair and expertise and created an outstanding entrepreneurship conference.

MSU Extension team members Frank Gublo, Mark Thomas, Kay Cummings, Micah Loucks, Khurram Imam and I traveled to the conference and also gave breakout session presentations on a variety of entrepreneurship topics.

Approximately 80 people from 40 Nebraska communities participated. After hearing excellent keynote speakers in the local restored vintage movie theatre, participants attended breakouts around town in a wide range of businesses such as shoe stores, coffee shops, antique furniture stores and jewelry stores.

Nebraska Extension team members were so appreciative of the multi-state partnership between Michigan and Nebraska and our coaching and guidance; and participants were grateful that we traveled all that way to attend and participate; we truly felt like rock stars. And McCook is a cool town – the perfect setting for the team’s first conference.

Some of us even ventured out to the plateau at 5:30 a.m. to watch the mating dance of the prairie chickens. (Honest, you can’t make this stuff up!) It was seriously cool, and the scenery while watching the prairie wake up with the sunrise would make anyone want to live there.

While en route, we picked up a traveling companion from the University of Minnesota Extension, which made the trip even better. We ate beef in a local restaurant in York, Nebraska, and had time to tour the Food Innovation Center on the Nebraska Campus. All were truly impressive.

A great trip, and what makes it even more perfect is that we probably learned way more from our partners in Nebraska than they did from us.

Thank you, Andy, for sharing the stories from your trip. We’re thrilled about the positive impact that you and everyone on the CEC Team are having on the people of Michigan, and we’re proud that your ideas are spreading nationally.

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Filed under Conferences, Economic development, Entrepreneurial, Partnerships, professional development

Reflections on Fall Extension Conference

I hope that you found this year’s Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Fall Extension Conference (FEC) exciting and inspiring and that you had a chance to meet new colleagues. I enjoyed my chance to connect with you on Tuesday morning. I hope that you were encouraged. Saying “yes” and putting yourself outside of your comfort zone in times of need will open doors and build trust in your communities. Reaching out and finding out what your colleagues are doing across your district and across the state will build a foundation of collaboration that you can tap into in times of need.

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What did you think about our Extension celebration? We were so honored to have our Friend of Extension and Key Partner recipients with us, as well as special guests from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It was great to have the MSU PomponTeam kick off the event with high energy and Spartan spirit. After dinner, we had the unique opportunity to learn about the life of Temple Grandin through a performance of pieces from the new musical “Temple.” Dr. Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, a world-renowned autism spokesperson and a livestock industry consultant. The performance showcased  the talent of Michigan high school students along with musical theatre and dance students from the MSU Department of Theatre.

For a chance to hear Temple Grandin speak and learn more about her work, listen to her TED Talk. The theme of her talk is that the world needs all kinds of minds and that it is important that our society value each person’s mind. This is true in our work with families, youth and communities. This is also true in MSU Extension: each of us has a unique mind and set of skills we bring to the table every day, and our organization needs every one of us. We need each of our minds, especially when our communities face a crisis, such as the water emergency in Flint. It is important that we realize the importance of collaboration and the strengths that our colleagues have to offer, and bring everyone together to create a multidimensional response.

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Congratulations and thank you again to all of our key partners and staff award winners. It is important that we take time to honor the work our colleagues and partners are doing to advance our mission and outreach across the state. Our fantastic MSU Extension Communications Team is working on press releases for our Friend of Extension and Key Partner award winners, and I’ll update this post with a link to each once they’re published.

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Thank you to our FEC committee, volunteers and the MSU Extension Events Management Team for all of their hard work to put together a meaningful conference.

Photo of everyone on the Fall Extension Conference Committee.

Thanks to our Fall Extension Conference Planning Committee!

We hope to continue to make improvements and incorporate your feedback into designing FEC. Please make sure you fill out our FEC survey by Wednesday, November 9, so that your voice is heard about what to keep and what to improve.

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Filed under Awards, Fall Extension Conference, professional development

How Extension mentoring relates to sailing vessels

On Wednesday, March 30, I got the chance to meet our new Michigan State University Extension staff members at New Staff Onboarding. It was an interesting experience for me welcoming them to the organization, as I am just as new as they are to MSU Extension. As I reflect on their introduction to MSU Extension and my own, I think about the importance in having an organization program that provides guidance and help throughout an employee’s transition. I think that the new MSU Extension mentoring program is going to be the key element in ensuring that our new colleagues have the relationships, tools and resources that they need to have a successful transition.

On the March 7, 2016 all staff webinar, we talked about the importance of mentoring in our organization and ways that you can participate. Overall, we want to make sure that our new staff have a supportive onboarding experience. There is a need to help new staff understand Extension and our role within the university as well as our internal organizational structures such as district teams, institutes and work teams, and stakeholder relationships and interactions. Mentors will help new staff build an effective network of relationships between coworkers and clientele while helping them realize their potential. We also want to provide mentors for those that have been in the organization and are transitioning to a new role.

There are so many benefits to being a mentor. This is a wonderful opportunity to give back and build relationships and trust with others within our organization. Through mentoring, you will also learn from others as well as keep your skills and knowledge up to date. Ultimately, you will share in the success of a new employee and the organization as a whole.

Are you interested in learning more about the new staff mentoring program? The MSU Extension Mentor Work Team is hosting two information and training webinars on April 15 and June 7. I have added the training information at the end of the post, and if you have any other questions about them, please contact Dionardo Pizaña.

In thinking about the metaphor we use for our new staff “onboarding,” I am reminded of John F. Kennedy’s words, “. . . a rising tide lifts all boats.” To tie together both seafaring metaphors: we can lift our entire organization through mentoring and strengthening our new colleagues as we bring them on board.

MSU Extension Mentor Information and Training Webinar

Friday, April 15, 2016

10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

https://msu.zoom.us/j/967402776

or

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

https://msu.zoom.us/j/893431729

 

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Filed under Mentoring, professional development

Thanks to all who ‘SERVed’

Thanks to all of you who helped promote our Michigan State University Extension professional development by giving SERV (Sharing Extension Resources Virtually) presentations on May 29 and June 5. Thanks also to those who took the time out to participate in the sessions. If you weren’t able to attend the live sessions, I encourage you to visit at this link: http://od.msue.msu.edu/uploads/files/PD/SERV_recording_links_May-June2014.docx

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There’s still time to submit your proposed offering for SERV

Sharing Extension Resources Virtually (SERV) is an online professional development opportunity we provide twice annually to facilitate skills development among Michigan State University Extension staff. Most offerings are provided by MSU Extension staff or faculty members who have experience worth sharing. Please consider submitting a proposal for one or more SERV sessions of three possible lengths: 10, 25 or 50 minutes. Sessions can focus on core competencies and skills, knowledge or information relevant to some aspect of MSU Extension, or reports of projects or programs you think your colleagues should know about. And feel free to submit (and host) sessions led by colleagues and partners from outside MSUE. Our one request is that you make your sessions engaging and participatory. Click on this link for more information and to apply. The last day to submit a proposal is April 24.

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Recorded SERV sessions available online

On June 17, we completed a successful SERV – Sharing Extension Resources Virtually event. Participants explored everything from working with military families to managing events. For those of you who were not able to take part in our SERV sessions or for those of you who did and now want to review what you learned, the recorded sessions are available at fec.msue.msu.edu/fec/serv_adobe_connect_rooms.

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Get it free!

I’ve had dozens of questions about copyright since my article on that subject appeared in Spotlight.

In a follow-up article, guest author Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications editor Rebecca McKee answered a question about getting permission to use a photo. She gave helpful tips on requesting permission and using photos from third parties.

Amy Blair, Michigan State University copyright librarian, gave a SERV – Sharing Extension Resources Virtually session June 17 called “Navigating Copyright and Fair Use of Information.” That session is available online here. I encourage anyone who writes articles for MSU Extension News, creates PowerPoints for workshops, develops curriculum or does just about anything that involves using third-party information to watch this webinar.

Besides explaining fair use in copyright law, Amy explains how the MSU Copyright Permissions Center can assist you in obtaining permission to use third-party information. She also mentions some websites that allow use of images as long as you give proper attribution. This can be a real timesaver when searching for that perfect photo – and it’s free!

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