Tag Archives: dale elshoff

Grandparents University – a professional and personal opportunity

Grandparents University, scheduled for June 24–26, provides an opportunity for 8- to 12-year-olds to experience life on the Michigan State University campus. They get to live on campus, eat where the college students eat and even take classes. An added enhancement is that they do it all with their grandparent or favorite adult. Besides sparking an interest in potential future Spartans, the event brings alumni back to campus, providing an intergenerational experience that creates a connection between the participants and MSU.

More than 1,000 participants from 35 states and Canada attended the 2013 Grandparents University. A post-event survey reflected extremely positive reviews.

Kathryn Reed, assistant director of alumni relations and special events in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, invited me to encourage you to be a part of this unique experience by lending your expertise to presenting a session. Many who take part say that participating in Grandparents University is one of their favorite activities. It’s one of those experiences that you’ve heard about – the kind that after it’s over, people overwhelmingly say they get back more than they give.

You’ll also gain professional experience. It’s an opportunity to hone teaching skills and materials, to learn public opinion on the topic you cover and to think about your subject from a different standpoint due to the diversity of the participants.

Last year, Extension educator Laurie Rivetto presented a financial management session and pronounced it “a ton of fun.”

Laurie normally works with youth using the MSU Extension 4-H-created Spartan Dollars and Cents budgeting simulation. The Grandparents University session allowed her to use the simulation with both adults and children.

“Although my target audience is usually youth, this session had the additional outcome that the adults got a lot out of it, too, “said Laurie.

The adults found it challenging in the simulation to have to stick with a limited budget. Many remarked that it helped them to relate to different budget scenarios that others might be grappling with. For example, some found they could not afford to purchase health care insurance within the budget and a discussion took place about the challenges of this arrangement.

Laurie also said that taking part in Grandparents University gave her a different perspective.

“It was neat to be a part of a program that involved so many different departments and units, including Extension, at the University. It was a great team effort,” she said.

This year Extension educator Frank Cox will join Laurie in presenting Spartan Dollars and Sense. They’ll also present the Wonderful World of Work in which the generations will learn from each other about work.

Grandparents University 2011 participants take part in one of the many sessions offered at the Michigan State University annual event.

Grandparents University 2011 participants take part in one of the many sessions offered at the Michigan State University annual event. Courtesy of Grandparents University.

If you decide to present, you’ll need to target your 90-minute session to the 8- to 12-year-old audience, making sure that what you present is a fun, interactive, hands-on lesson that holds kids’ interest. You don’t have to be limited to the classroom. You can conduct your session in a lab, on the farm or another location. Need more than 90 minutes? You can sign up for two 90-minute sessions, given as Part I and Part II. It’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Why not just adapt a program or outreach effort you currently teach?

Interested? Contact Kathryn at 355-0284 or at kreed@msu.edu by November 7. (The deadline has recently been extended.) When you do, please let her know the following:

  •  The name of the session leader
  • Session title
  • A short description that can be included in promotional materials (3 to 5 sentences long)
  • The number of people the session can accommodate (Sessions are as small as 10 people and as large as 200. The average is about 25.)
  • The name of the person coordinating
  • If a specific classroom or lab is required
  • If there is a day or time during these three days when the session cannot be led (if known)

Last year, in addition to Laurie, Extension educators Jed Jaworski, Georgia Peterson, Dixie Sandborn and Jessica Wright participated. Charles Gould, Paul Gross, Dennis Pennington and Mark Seamon have participated for years but were unable to present in 2013. These four have already committed for 2014.

Others who have presented in the past include Laura Allen, Bindu Bhakta, Constance Costner, Dale Elsoff, Andrea Grix, Vanessa Holmes, Betsy Knox, LuAnne Kozma, Cyndi Mark, Emily Proctor, Kama Ross, Erica Tobe and Sheila Urban Smith.

By the way, several faculty members on campus have used their Grandparents University sessions in grant applications when an outreach or other similar component is required.

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4-H’ers go on to shine as collegiates in national rifle competition, help others

Here’s another great example of 4-H’ers taking the skills that they’ve learned and putting them to use as they get older and leave the ranks as 4-H club members, not only to win awards but also to help others.

 On March 16, several former 4‑H’ers, now members of the Michigan State University Rifle and Pistol Club, took top honors at the awards ceremony for the National Rifle Association (NRA) Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championship at Fort Benning, Ga. Led by Amos and Clayton Peck of Ingham County and Tyler Luce of St. Joseph County, MSU won the Air Rifle Team title. Amos Peck was the 2012 Air Rifle Individual champion. Tyler Luce came in second.

 Said MSU outreach specialist Dale Elshoff, “Amos and Clayton Peck and Tyler Luce have been involved in 4-H Shooting Sports for many years, and working with 4-H volunteer instructor and MSU volunteer rifle coach Keith Hein is the main reason they choose to affiliate with the MSU shooting team. More importantly, they are great young men. People talk about them like they are talking about Draymond Green and Kirk Cousins. It’s been a pleasure and honor to work with all three of these athletes.”

 Amos, Clayton and Tyler have been training with team members Elijah Bean, Andrew Traciak and assistant coach Angelina Taylor for years under instructors trained through the 4-H program.

 Amos will compete at the USA Shooting National Junior Olympic Championship in Colorado Springs in April.

 Coach Hein credits the 4-H Shooting Sports Program with the success of the MSU Demmer Center Shooting Sports Education and Training Center.

 He said, “It would not have been possible to open the Demmer Center without 4-H Shooting Sports. The program would not exist without the commitment by 4-H leaders and the talent that came out of 4-H.”

 He went on to say, “I’m extremely proud of these young people and their efforts. You can’t buy the credibility and the commitment or the character that these young people have – that comes out of our 4-H programs. Their success comes out of that commitment they made to be the best at their sport and take it to the level that they do.”

 The kids also use their expertise to help coach local home-school programs. They give back to the community by teaching others what they learned.

 Read more here: http://www.nrablog.com/post/2012/03/17/Michigan-State-takes-the-spotlight-at-2012-awards-ceremony.aspx#continue

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4-H Mentoring Weekend involves learning, fun for mentoring matches

July 16–18, 55 people that included mentoring matches and a team of volunteer staff members got together for 4-H Mentoring Weekend at Kettunen Center. Participants took part in outdoor leisure activities while strengthening their mentoring relationships. They were able to experience first-hand some of the new activities from the 4-H Guided Adventures project, including fishing, canoeing, kite building, archery and geocaching. Participants also climbed the MAX, Kettunen Center’s new rock wall, created crafts, and explored theater and drama.

 Three hours of the weekend allowed mentors to focus on skill building, using new curriculum from the Michigan 4-H Mentor Training curriculum project, while mentees performed science experiments and got to know each other through a series of team-building activities.

 During free time, mentor matches worked together on a service project to benefit the Ingham County Capital Area Humane Society, explored tie-dyeing, participated in a talent show and took part in a Jell-O fight.

 Programs from around the state were represented at this event made possible with support from an MSUE 4-H Participation Fee Grant and by donations from the Lansing Jaycees and the organizations that covered registration fees for their matches.

 Jillian Tremonti, AmeriCorps member, coordinated the weekend. Lisa Bottomley, Michigan State University Extension 4-H mentoring specialist; Molly Frendo, MSU Extension associate program leader; and Dale Elshoff, conservation education specialist for MSU Extension and the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies; provided the staff oversight of the event.

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Elshoff is a favorite among students

Dale Elshoff

Dale Elshoff

Congratulations to Dale Elshoff, the recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Faculty Award from the MSU Senior Class Council. Dale, MSU Extension conservation education specialist, shows her constant dedication to the campus community by being an exceptional teacher and leader. While I am always pleased when our faculty and staff members receive awards, it is especially sweet when the award comes from students. They can be a tough group! Dale was nominated by an anonymous student from the 2009 senior class.

Even though Dale’s work with students is separate from her Extension responsibilities, it’s pretty clear to me that what makes her an excellent educator in the classroom makes her an excellent educator in our youth conservation and shooting sports programs.

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Filed under 4-H, Awards