Tag Archives: Brad Neumann

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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PlacePlans initiative leads to passage of Allegan riverfront proposal

More than 70 percent of Allegan voters approved a proposal Nov. 5 to take $500,000 from the city’s sinking fund to support a riverfront plan.

The plan is a collaborative effort of the Michigan State University School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC), MSU Extension and the Michigan Municipal League (MML). The concept is built around Gov. Snyder’s MI Place initiative that focuses on placemaking – creating vibrant, walkable places where people want to live and work. The three parties worked together through PlacePlans, a MI Place partnership that helps communities design and plan for transformative placemaking projects with the support of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). MSU received a grant from MSHDA to develop design proposals around placemaking.

Warren Rauhe, SPDC associate professor, said, “The passing of the proposal is an outstanding first step. This is seed money. Other grants and funds could double or triple that amount.”

“One of the main tenets of PlacePlans was to build local consensus resulting in a shared local vision and tangible outcomes,” said Wayne Beyea, outreach specialist in the SPDC. “The community got together and there was real action that happened right on the heels of the proposal’s unveiling.”

The Allegan riverfront plan involved three components: 1) the plan and the illustrations 2) the audit of the assets that the community already had to support the plan and 3) the actual process itself involving hundreds of people including a design charrette. A charrette is an intensive multi-day, collaborative design workshop resulting in shared guiding principles for physical improvements.

The primary role of the SPDC, led by Wayne and Warren, was to develop planning and design recommendations and offer technical assistance.

Luke Forrest and Heather Van Poucker of the MML coordinated and audited the community’s assets.

MSU Extension field staff played a key role in guiding the charrettes following the National Charrette Institute’s Charrette System. They interacted with key stakeholders and assisted with facilitation of interviews. MSU Extension educators involved are part of the government and public policy work group in the Greening Michigan Institute. They include Brad Neumann, Julie Pioch, Dean Solomon, Michelle Walk and Richard Wooten.

“The collaborative approach using Extension expertise around design charrettes is what makes this project unique,” said Wayne. “Warren and I worked in concert with students, faculty, MSU Extension educators, MML and state agency partners, using funding from MSHDA. The effort went so well that the same three partners are under contract to do this again.”

Allegan is one of four cities that were part of MI Place placemaking projects and collaborative efforts by MSU SPDC, MSU Extension and the MML. The others include Alpena, Sault Ste. Marie and Dearborn.

“The projects involved more than 1,400 local participants among the four communities – extensive public involvement,” said Warren.

“PlacePlans strives to reach the goal of attracting vibrant talent to the state,” he said.

The work of the SPDC, Extension and the MML should help that goal become a reality.

Read the Downtown Allegan Riverfront Development Project PlacePlan Concept Report:

http://www.cityofallegan.org/reports/finalreportriverfrontredevelopmentproject.pdf

Read an article and watch a video about the proposal on this WZZM 13 webpage: http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/272417/2/Riverfront-proposal-on-Allegan-city-ballot

Read more here in this MLive article: http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2013/11/allegan_city_voters_xxxx_50000.html#incart_river_default

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Filed under Urban planning

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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Youth develop leadership, public speaking, relationship skills as part of Branch County project

In March, Connie Lange, Michigan State University Extension 4-H educator, organized a Dale Carnegie Training course for youth in grades seven to 12 as part of the Branch County Youth Leadership Development Project. Phil Zeller of the Ralph Nichols Dale Carnegie Program taught the sessions in Lansing each Saturday in March.

Connie not only served as facilitator and coordinator of the program, but also played a key role in securing scholarships for the youth participants. The Dale Carnegie program was offered for $800 (a $200 discount), and in coordination with The Dearth Estate in Coldwater, eight Branch County youth were given a full scholarship while 28 were able to attend for only $75. Of those 28, the 24 participants with perfect attendance were refunded the $75 fee through the Branch County 4-H Foundation.

A graduation was held the evening of Tuesday, March 29, in which participants were asked to share what they learned about themselves, about leadership, and about changes in their lives as a result of participating in the program. According to Brad Neumann, District 13 coordinator, participant after participant shared, with nearly 100 family members and perfect strangers in the room, how the program helped them foster more positive relationships in school and within their families, become more comfortable with themselves and appreciative of the differences of others, improve public speaking skills, and develop aspirations of leadership.

It is evident that Connie is a driving force behind youth leadership development in Branch County. She and the Branch County Youth Leadership Development Committee also developed and conducted the Take the Lead leadership training program. The Take the Lead and the Dale Carnegie Training Course are programs offered an alternating yearly basis. Take the Lead helps youth in grades six to eight develop skills and personal attributes around character, challenge, communication and community. Great work, Connie!

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Filed under 4-H