Tag Archives: bethany prykucki

ESP receives Chapter of Merit – Platinum Award

Congratulations to our Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) Michigan Alpha Psi Chapter who received the highest award – Chapter of Merit – Platinum Award – at the ESP National Conference in Wilmington, North Carolina, which took place October 9–12.

The Chapter of Merit recognition program was developed by the National Board to provide recognition for those chapters who have put forth an exemplary effort to forward the cause of the Extension system and to provide professional development opportunities for their members. Award efforts are scored on several criteria and each chapter receives an award category, Platinum being the highest. The Michigan Chapter received the highest award in the North Central region and nationally.

“There was a variety of criteria in which we were scored,” Shari Spoelman, Michigan State University Extension District 6 coordinator and ESP president-elect, said. “The ones that stand out for our chapter include Organization/Leadership, Awards and Recognition, Member Recruitment and Retention, and Professional Development.”

Shari stopped by yesterday and brought the award so that we can display it proudly in our office.

ESP Award Plaque Sits next to a poinsetta on a shelf in the Director's Office.

Please join me in congratulating the ESP board members on the recognition of their outstanding efforts:

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MSU Extension teams receive awards at NACDEP

Congratulations to our Michigan State University (MSU) Extension teams who received four awards at the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) 2016 conference June 26‒29 in Burlington, Vermont.

The Master Citizen Planner Webinar Series earned the 2nd place National Educational Technology Team Award. The program won 1st place in the North Central Region. Team members include Brad Neumann, Glenn Pape, Dean Solomon, Kurt Schindler, Julie Pioch, Andy Northrop and Ingrid Ault.

Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool received the 2nd place National Educational Materials Team Award. It was 1st place in the North Central Region. Team members include Brad, Kurt, Glenn and Mark Wyckoff.

The MIplace Initiative earned 2nd place nationally for the Excellence in Community Development Team Award. It was also 2nd place in the North Central Region. Team members include Brad, Kurt, Glenn, Mark and Wayne Beyea.

Michigan Citizen Planner Long-Term Evaluation Project earned 2nd place in the North Central Region in Excellence in Teamwork. Team members include Brad, Glenn, Dean, Kurt, Wayne, Bethany Prykucki, Ann Chastain, Dr. Patricia Crawford (School of Planning, Design and Construction) and Rohit Menon (graduate student).

Please join me in congratulating our colleagues on their excellent work.

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Staff and leadership learn how to work with elected officials

Just recently, Michigan State University Extension colleagues Roxanne Turner, Phil Tocco, Holly Tiret, Ann Chastain and Bethany Prykucki, along with Mike Kovacic, director of stakeholder relations in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Katie Frey from the Director’s Office and I had the good fortune to attend the Public Issues Leadership Development conference in Washington, D.C. April 12‒15. This conference is hosted by the Joint Council of Extension Professionals.

We went to meetings, trainings and programs as part of the conference, which provided invaluable experience about how to communicate with elected officials. During our time in Washington D.C., we met with several elected officials and legislative aids, where we could put our skills to use in practicing good communication and advocating effectively for MSU Extension. I was very proud to see how each of our educators explained the great work they do for the Michigan citizens they work with. As a group, we also met Sen. Debbie Stabenow from Michigan, who is already a great supporter of MSU Extension.

Having strong, effective relationships with our elected officials is crucial for their continued support of MSU Extension. This program was a great step in helping some of our staff members learn the best way to get involved.

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Extension connects on ballot issues

In an article in last week’s Spotlight, I drew your attention to Bulletin GE 49, written by Michigan State University Extension specialist Claire Layman. The bulletin supplies non-partisan objective information allowing Michigan residents to make informed decisions on the six proposals appearing on the ballot Nov. 6.

Besides writing the bulletin, Claire was busy using technology to educate further about the proposals. With help from ANR Communications multimedia production team leader Steve Evans, Claire led two Adobe Connect sessions on campus with leading experts on the ballot issues. On Oct. 22, the group hosted fora, reaching out to four locations: Harrisville, Lawrence, Sault Ste. Marie and Wayne. On Oct. 24, the fora involved five locations: Clinton Township, Flint, Hastings, Houghton and Traverse City.

Attendees read over the bulletin and watched three pre-recorded video interviews with policy experts who covered both sides of the proposal issues. Afterward, they asked questions of the experts through Adobe Connect.

Experts included MSU Extension specialist and professor of economics Eric Scorsone, professor in the MSU School of Human Resources and Labor Relations Peter Berg, marketing economist in the MSU Product Center Bill Knudson and senior associate director of the Land Policy Institute Mark Wyckoff.

A total of 149 people participated in the fora with the most attending at Harrisville in Alcona County with 53 participants.

Extension educators hosting the forums included Darren Bagley, Ann Chastain, Terry Gibb, Ginger Hentz, Brad Neumann, Julie Pioch, Bethany Prykucki, Mike Schira, Bonnie Witchner-Zoia and Richard Wooten. Terry Gibb helped write Bulletin GE 49 and helped to organize the overall registration.

In addition, Extension specialist Georgia Peterson helped out by wrangling questions as they came in one evening from the four live sites. She quickly figured out the best method to do so within Adobe Connect.

Organizations that partnered with us in this endeavor included the League of Women Voters, the Lake Superior State University Political Science Club, the Northwest Council of Michigan Governments and the District 13 Extension Council. Partner organizations served to recruit and market the forums, and served as table facilitators at small group discussions.

Claire reports that all evaluations have not been tabulated yet but those that have come in so far have been generally very positive. In Alcona County, 82 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “Because of tonight’s event, I am better informed to make decisions on Michigan’s proposals in the upcoming election.” One hundred percent of Alcona County respondents agreed or strongly agreed that events such as the fora are valuable for our democracy, and 79 percent of them agreed or strongly agreed that they’d like to be a part of similar events.

Associate professor Luke Reese has been instrumental in leading us in the use of Adobe Connect technology. He continues to offer monthly online workshops and is largely responsible for our organizational competency in Adobe Connect meetings and webinars.

Thanks to Claire for making innovative use of technology and to Luke and Steve for continuing to teach, lead and support us in technology efforts. And thanks to our Extension educators for hosting and our partners for their contribution to the events.

We have further signs that people look to us when they want to make informed decisions based on expert opinion. As of Oct. 31, we had more than 400 page views for the forum event listings and nearly 1,400 page views on Extension educator Terry Gibb’s article “November Ballot Issues Could Mean Changes for Michigan Residents.”

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GLLA honors leadership for common good award winner and graduates, kicks off endowment campaign

On June 11, the Great Lakes Leadership Academy (GLLA) held its Graduation Ceremony and Endowment Campaign Kickoff.

In addition, Dr. Russ Mawby, former president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and trustee emeritus of Michigan State University, was honored as the third recipient of the William Milliken Award for Leadership for the Common Good. Dr. Mawby helped to develop the original model for an agricultural leadership program that was funded by the WKKF in the 1960s. It became known as the Kellogg Farmer Study Program that was presented by the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The program was replicated in dozens of states and other countries, and gave rise to subsequent leadership programs in Michigan, including the Michigan Agricultural Leadership Program in the 1980s and the Great Lakes Leadership Academy in recent years. Dr. Mawby’s legacy also includes having helped to create the Michigan 4-H Foundation. He and his wife Lou Ann were present at the GLLA banquet to receive the award. A summary of Dr. Mawby’s legacy was captured in this video, produced as an in-kind gift by the Michigan Farm Bureau.

Three MSU Extension colleagues were recognized as recent graduates of GLLA programs:

Sonia Joseph Joshi, outreach specialist for Michigan Sea Grant Extension and the NOAA Center of Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health, graduated from the Leadership Advancement Program.

Bethany Prykucki, Extension educator, and Dixie Sandborn, 4-H horticulture specialist, graduated from the Emerging Leader Program.

The mission of the GLLA Leadership Advancement Program is to promote positive change, economic vitality and resource conservation, and enhance the quality of life in Michigan by encouraging leadership for the common good. The program is designed for those who are preparing for top leadership positions.

The Emerging Leader Program is a leadership development initiative designed to equip individuals who are interested in their community and the food systems and agricultural, natural resources and environment, and business and manufacturing sectors with tools for successful leadership.

Vicki Pontz, GLLA director, announced the launch of the Capital Campaign for an endowment to support the ongoing success of GLLA. With a goal of $2.5 million, Vicki announced more than $400,000 in gifts and pledges to launch the campaign. The plan is to reach the campaign goal over the next year. With these initial gifts, the campaign is getting off to a great start.

Congratulations to Dr. Mawby, to our graduates and to Vicki for a great evening of celebration!

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Access 4-H enrollment system saves time, money and helps us to tell our story accurately

One of the core principles of our redesign process is to adopt emerging technologies to help us do our work more effectively and more efficiently.  Access 4-H is a great example of that principle put into action. Bethany Prykucki, Otsego County Michigan State University Extension educator is one of our early adopters and gives Access 4-H high marks: “It’s been wonderful. I can’t imagine how many hours it saved our office manager.”

 Access 4-H is an online enrollment system being implemented throughout the nation. First piloted by Oregon, it went live to a wider subset of states that included Michigan in spring 2009. In Michigan, four training sessions, led by National 4-H Council staff members Ki Augusto and Meredith Muckerman, took place in August 2010 in Delta, Otsego and Isabella counties, and here on campus in Ingham County. Julie Chapin, MSUE children and youth institute director, and Gloria Ellerhorst, MSUE 4-H Youth Development staff member, attended all of them, giving input specific to Michigan where necessary. Participants from all over the state took part in this initial training and then went back to their offices to share what they had learned. District 12 held additional trainings as did Otsego, Barry and Eaton counties.

 Bethany held a training for 4-H leaders at a computer lab at the University Center in Gaylord on December 4. Each club sent a leader and a member from each club came prepared with all of the information they needed to enter into the system. They also brought the enrollment fees for their members and submitted those at the same time. They were able to log in to Access 4-H that day and enter all of their club’s information.  The Access 4-H enrollment system saves MSUE and our county partners valuable time and money.

 Club leaders benefit as well. They have direct access to e-mail addresses, phone numbers and addresses of club members in case they need to be contacted. If a member moves or changes an e-mail address, the leader can easily change it. Leaders use the information to communicate quickly and completely with members.

 In Eaton County, Jennifer O’Neal, MSUE Extension educator, created a mini-computer lab in the MSUE county office conference room for Access 4-H training for club leaders. The leaders spent about two hours learning the system.

 According to a survey Jennifer took of the leaders after the training, 100 percent of attendees were comfortable or very comfortable entering a new member into the system. More than 90 percent felt comfortable or very comfortable about using Access 4-H overall after attending the training.

 At the State 4-H Office here on campus, Gloria Ellerhorst facilitates the use of the Access 4-H to generate reports that call for youth development data. In the past, MSUE 4-H personnel sent Gloria either a disk or an e-mail with a zip file attached that included the data. She then imported the data into the outdated Blue Ribbon software, county by county. With the Access 4-H youth development system, 4-H personnel and 4-H club leaders can enter the data themselves.

 “It’s live data that’s timely and accurate,” says Gloria. “And because it is Web-based, personnel are not confined to their office computers. They can do their work from remote locations.”

 Often Gloria assists others using Access 4-H by pulling up statistics that are used for various purposes. For example, Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications manager Michelle Lavra often asks Gloria to provide participation numbers either by county or program area. Michelle uses the information to inform others, particularly legislators, about the great work we do in 4-H. Gloria also reports data to the Michigan 4-H Foundation and to Julie Chapin who uses it to report to the United States Department of Agriculture. The accurate data reflects 4-H’s impact, influencing funders and national, state and local leadership. This past January, Michigan completed its first ES-237 enrollment report using this new system.

 If your district or county did Access 4-H training that was not mentioned here or it was mentioned and you’d like to talk about it, please add a comment on my blog. Or if you’d just like to talk about the system, feel free to comment.

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