Tag Archives: grand valley state university

4-H riding program wins awards for making a difference

The Kent Special Riding Program (KSRP) was honored as nonprofit of the year at the WGVU Engage I HAVE Made a Difference Awards ceremony Nov 8 at the L. William Seidman Center on the downtown campus of Grand Valley State University. The award recognizes an organization that demonstrates overall excellence and conducts a superior level of service to the community by helping their constituency.

Kent Special Riding Program (KSRP) instructors Amy Plets (left) and Jackie Foster accept KSRP’s WGVU Engage I HAVE Made a Difference award for nonprofit of the year, Nov. 8, 2013, at Grand Valley State University.

Kent Special Riding Program (KSRP) instructors Amy Plets (left) and Jackie Foster accept KSRP’s WGVU Engage I HAVE Made a Difference award for nonprofit of the year, Nov. 8, 2013, at Grand Valley State University.

 WGVU Public Media, a PBS member station, honors local individuals and organizations dedicated to helping the community and all its citizens to reach their best potential with the 2013 WGVU Engage I HAVE Made a Difference Awards. The awards, offered in eight categories, are part of a national program for PBS stations that recognizes excellence in the local nonprofit community.

 The KSRP was also a finalist in the health category, which recognizes an individual or an organization with exemplary health, safety and environmental community initiatives and programs that have made the community a better, healthier place.

 The KSRP is a member of Kent County 4-H and is part of the Michigan State University Extension program. It has just wrapped up its 37th year in providing therapeutic and recreational horseback riding instruction to individuals living in Kent and surrounding counties who are physically, mentally and emotionally challenged. The program strives to maximize the potential of all individuals involved in the program in a safe and stimulating environment.

 Congratulations to all involved!

 

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Extension staff member wins national technology award

Many of our Michigan State University Extension staff members are busy earning advanced degrees while continuing to work full-time for our organization. MSU Extension 4-H associate program leader Molly Frendo has not only been pursuing a Ph.D. in educational psychology and educational technology (EPET) at the MSU College of Education, she has also won a national award while balancing both worlds. Molly has been selected to receive the National University Technology Network (NUTN) 2013 Student Recognition Award.

NUTN is a consortium of higher education institutions that provides a networking and professional development arena for the advancement of teaching and learning. The NUTN Student Recognition Award recognizes students whose use of distance learning has been both exemplary and impactful in providing opportunities for personal and professional advancement. Molly received the award because of her use of technology in contributing to her work and in advancing her own goals personally.

MSU faculty members Punya Mishra and Leigh Graves Wolf nominated Molly for the award, which she’ll receive Sept. 17 in Albuquerque, N.M., at Network 2013, the NUTN annual conference.

Molly has been at the forefront of advancing technology in Extension, lending her expertise in the area of volunteer management and administration.

She helped create a virtual community of AmeriCorps volunteers through Moodle. She’s led and co-led a variety of workshops on technology on topics such as creating effective and engaging webinars, facilitating effective conference calls and using social networking in a professional manner. More recently, the topics have included using virtual communities to support volunteer retention and using technology to build capacity in volunteer administration. Additionally, she was the closing keynote speaker for the 2013 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism, where the title of her speech was “Finding your Sense of Adventure: Technology and the 21st Century Volunteer.”

In addition, she used MSUE-developed curriculum to teach Grand Valley State University undergraduate social work students about setting appropriate boundaries on- and offline. She was a project manager for the recently published 4-H mentoring curriculum Ready to Go: Mentor Training Toolkit. She also helped launch 4-H Tech Wizards in Michigan.

Active in eXtension, she’s co-facilitated online professional development on both the Learn and Campus sides of the Internet-based collaborative environment. She co-leads the eXtension Community of Practice focused on volunteer administration. She serves on the 2014 National eXtension conference committee, the MSUE I-Team (eXtension Institutional Team) committee and the I-Team website committee. She received an I-Team award last year at Fall Extension Conference for use of technology in programming.

Molly said, “My work here in Extension never was really meant to focus on technology (which is kind of the funny thing!), but I got started in the area of technology through running the AmeriCorps program and using Moodle to do an online community there. It was so successful that we thought about the ways that it could be helpful in other 4-H volunteer environments. In doing this work, we’ve been able to envision the role that technology can and should play on a wider level within the Cooperative Extension Service. There’s a lot of potential for us to innovate how we serve the public and partner together across the country – but the skill set to do that effectively is a new one and we’re working on equipping everyone to do it well. I’ve really enjoyed my work in this area; it’s what prompted me to begin my Ph.D. in this area to be more prepared to serve Extension on a broad level.”

Congratulations, Molly! And thanks for sharing your innovative spirit with MSUE!

Read more here: http://edwp.educ.msu.edu/news/2013/phd-student-wins-national-recognition/

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Extension volunteer becomes Governor’s Mentor of the Year

Nic Bottomley received the Governor’s Mentor of the Year Service Award July 23 at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. The Mentor of the Year award is one of the Governor’s Service awards that pays tribute to outstanding volunteers throughout Michigan. Nic is a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Grand Rapids through D.A. Blodgett.

Nic has many Michigan State University Extension connections. He’s married to MSU senior Extension specialist Lisa Bottomley. As you may have noticed, Extension spouses have a long history of volunteering for our organization.

Nic and his Big Brothers Big Sisters mentee Austin have become part of the Michigan 4-H Youth Development family by actively participating at five 4-H Mentoring weekends. Nic has delivered professional development webinars for the Children and Youth Institute on digital risk and safety, using his expertise as a juvenile probation officer and therapist who works mainly with youth who have committed sexual offenses. Nic also serves as an adjunct instructor at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). He has partnered with MSU Extension by having associate program leader Molly Frendo use MSUE-developed curriculum to teach GVSU undergraduate social work students about setting appropriate boundaries both on- and offline.

Congratulations, Nic, and thanks for all you’ve done for Extension!

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