Tag Archives: anr technology services

New design makes MSU Extension site mobile friendly

According to stats from Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Technology Services, more than 35 percent of the traffic to the Michigan State University Extension site in 2014 was from mobile or tablet devices. Additionally, more and more of our users are now purchasing “smart” devices for day-to-day use, so it is likely that those numbers will continue to rise.

In an effort to accommodate the needs of all of our clients, ANR Technology Services has re-designed the MSU Extension website to be “responsive” to whatever device they use. That means that the website will determine, based on the size of the screen, how to display itself to make it as easy to navigate as possible. It will be just as easy to find what you’re looking for on a smart phone as it is on a desktop.

“A responsive website will help to ensure that MSU Extension experts and information remain available across the wide spectrum of mobile devices and screen sizes,” said Dennis Bond, web manager. “This type of website has been a goal of ours for some time now, and I’m very proud of our website development team for their superb design and implementation.”

This re-design was a long time in the making, and it goes a long way to help us be as accessible as possible, all while maintaining Michigan State University’s branding standards. Our website is a great place to highlight your effort and programming, and continued improvements will make it even easier to showcase. Great job, everyone!

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MSU prof inducted into Michigan Golf Hall of Fame

Dr. Paul Rieke was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, on June 8. He was honored for his service to the golf industry through his teaching, research and extension activities while at Michigan State University.

Paul is the father of Phil Rieke, information technologist in Agriculture and Natural Resources Technology Services.

“He spent a lot of time helping people around the state in the turf industry and made many friends in the process, including former MSU turf program students,” said Phil about his dad.

Dr. Rieke is an MSU professor emeritus whose work included an Extension appointment. He was affiliated with MSU since 1960 and served six years as leader of the MSU Turfgrass Team. He helped develop the MSU Hancock Turfgrass Research Center and was involved in the indoor turfgrass project at the Silverdome for the 1994 World Cup. He’s generally regarded throughout the nation and the world as the authority on turfgrass soils and nutrition.

You can read more about Dr. Rieke’s many accomplishments as well as about the ceremony and the others inducted that day on this Professional Golf Association Web page: http://www.michiganpgagolf.com/michigan-golf-hall-of-fame-inducts-four-at-ferris-state/

By the way, another of the inductees, Becky Iverson, is an MSU graduate.

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Teams work together to attain ACE awards, present at conference

Many of our Michigan State University Extension colleagues will attend the Association of Communication Excellence (ACE) Conference in Portland, Oregon, June 24-27. And once again, many will be presented with ACE awards they have received.

A team from Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications and ANR Technology Services received a silver award in the website category for our own MSU Extension website. Winners include Dennis Bond, Sean Corp, Michelle Lavra and Beth Stuever.

A silver award for a marketing communications campaign went to a team who worked together on the Smart Gardening Initiative. The team included Joy Landis, Mallory Fournier, Rebecca Finneran and Mary Wilson. The recipients developed a process for the Consumer Horticulture team to market Smart Gardening advice and expertise to reach a large number of Michigan gardeners. Additional staff who lend their expertise, time and effort to Smart Gardening include MSU Extension educators Bob Bricault, Diane Brown, Hal Hudson, Rebecca Krans and Gretchen Voyle. Entomology Professor Dave Smitley has also helped build the basis for the initiative.

A bronze award for a marketing communications campaign with a budget of $1,000 or more went to the team of Sean Corp, Katie Gervasi, Mariah Montenegro, Mindy Pratt, Paula Sheynerman and Beth Stuever, all of ANR Communications. The team won for “Extending the Reach of Michigan State University Extension.”

Congratulations to all winners!

In addition, a team from ANR Communications will be presenting at the conference. Sean Corp, Katie Gervasi, Mindy Pratt, Paula Sheynerman and Beth Stuever will present “Promoting Extension: They Come for the News: They Stay for the Programming” Wednesday, June 25 at 4:15 p.m.

Also, the Smart Gardening team of Joy Landis, Mallory Fournier, Rebecca Finneran and Mary Wilson will present “How a Message Campaign Produced a Team to Deliver Smart Gardening to a Smart Audience” Wednesday, June 25 at 11 a.m.

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Staff members give 4-H website new look

If you visited the Michigan 4-H Youth Development website lately, you were greeted with a colorful interface. If you’ve been to the site before, you’ll notice a change – a redesign of the graphics and styles. Although web features and content did not change, they’re enhanced by the redesign.

The Michigan 4-H home page before redesign

The Michigan 4-H home page before redesign

The new look and feel was a collaborative effort that began in August 2013 between Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Technology Services and ANR Communications. At that time, the 4-H Web Team consisted of ANR Technology Services information technologist and manager of web services Dennis Bond, communications manager in ANR Communications Michelle Lavra, ANR Communications technical writer Mariah Montenegro and ANR Communications graphic artist Marian Reiter.

Besides redesigning the site, the 4-H Web Team completed the goal of realigning 4-H site content and Michigan State University Extension 4-H site content so that topic, program, event, news and resource information flow more consistently between sites.

ANR Technology Services provided the bulk of the work of designing and building the new look and feel. Pablo Contreras, then the ANR Technology Services web designer, worked on the design of the new 4-H website from August to October 2013, providing design revisions as needed. ANR Communications approved the design on Dec.13, 2013. Ken Villapando, an ANR Technology Services student employee, began implementing the new site on Jan. 10 and completed his work Feb. 3. Dennis provided functionality changes and oversight during this process, launching the new design on Feb. 7.

The new Michigan 4-H home page after redesign

The new Michigan 4-H home page after redesign

The 4-H Web Team currently includes Dennis, Marian and Mariah, and additionally Jamie Wilson and Beth Stuever, both communications managers in ANR Communications. Kayci Reava of ANR Technology Services became web designer in early January.

The 4-H Web Team meets weekly and is instrumental in the continued development of the website. Over the next few weeks, ANR Technology Services and the 4-H Web Team will continue to make changes to the design to ensure the highest possible quality.

Visit the site and get a look at the team’s hard work: http://4h.msue.msu.edu/

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New features added to Events Management System

The next time you log in to the Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Events Management System, you’re likely to notice several changes and exciting new features. Staff members in ANR Event Services and ANR Technology Services have been hard at work developing and adding new features to increase the functionality and capabilities of the system.

The most noticeable change is the creation of a new dashboard. When you log in to the events management system, you will see your event listing. From this event listing, your event title will direct you to the dashboard. This new dashboard provides a summary of your event as well as access to all the necessary links for managing and running your event in one easy-to-find place.

In addition, the events management system now has quotas. You have the ability to set minimum and maximum attendance numbers on the entire event, on a registration process or on a registration input. This new functionality includes a waitlist component so once you reach your quota, your participants will be able to be placed on a waitlist for a possible opening. Visit the “Events Planning Resources” section of the ANR Communications website to watch a pre-recorded training session and learn how to set up quotas on your event.

The counts report also has expanded field options to make it more robust. These customizable reports can now include cost and financial information, such as the registration cost, balance due, amount paid, credits and late fees. In addition, you can now add the notes field on a counts report.

The team is also hard at work developing the duplicate event feature and it should be released before the first of the year.

If you have any questions regarding the system and these new features, or if you want to know how to implement them for your next event, please contact ANR Event Services at events@anr.msu.edu or 517-353-3175.

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Events management hits $1 million mark

Robert (Bob) Kriegel, systems analyst in Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Technology Services, has been busy. At the request of Dr. Suzanne Lang, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) associate dean of faculty and administrative affairs, he’s preparing a PowerPoint presentation on the ANR Events Management System and future directions. He shared with me a couple of the metrics he gathered during his analysis for that presentation, and I will share some of that with you now.

As you may have guessed, results of his analysis clearly illustrate the seasonality of Michigan State University Extension event-based programming, with both registrations and revenue peaking in mid- to late winter. You may not be aware though that over the last business quarter, gross monthly revenue is growing at a year-to-year rate of 2 to 3.8 times, so system usage is expanding at a rapid pace.

The events management system has been up and running since March 2012. Nearly 500 events have been created in the system, and more than 300 staff members have accounts in the system. This includes events and staff in MSU Extension, the CANR and AgBioResearch. I’m happy to report that Bob’s analysis shows that on Oct. 11, the events management system passed the $1 million mark for gross revenue, reached in less than 20 months.

Thanks, Bob, for sharing the data, and to the whole team (both ANR Technology Services and ANR Events Management Services) for making this a reality! Thanks also to the faculty and staff members in MSU Extension, the CANR and AgBioResearch who are using the system to manage their events!

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Speaking of MSUE News…

Our MSUE Web site, driven largely by our news articles and events postings, hit an all-time record earlier this week. On Monday, March 11, we had 3,403 unique visitors to our Web site. That surpassed the previous record of 3,383 set on January 29, 2013. Thanks to Dennis Bond, web administrator for ANR Technology Services, for keeping us informed of these landmarks. And thanks to all who contribute content for the Web site. Content is what brings readers to our site – even librarians from law schools!

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