Tag Archives: I Team

Two MSUE all-stars honored at eXtension conference

A number of our Michigan State University Extension colleagues have been attending the fourth National eXtension Conference this week in Sacramento, California. Yesterday, two of our colleagues received honors for their contributions to the national effort to foster collaboration in the development of online resources to better serve our clients.

Michigan State University Extension director Tom Coon accepts the eXtension Champion Award on behalf of MSU senior Extension specialist Lela Vandenberg

Michigan State University Extension director Tom Coon accepts the eXtension Champion Award on behalf of MSU senior Extension specialist Lela Vandenberg at the National eXtension Conference March 26, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif. Lela Vandenberg was not able to attend the conference. Photo credit: C. Penniman.

Lela Vandenberg, senior leadership and professional development specialist, received the Champion award for her many contributions to the development and application of eXtension, the national web resource for Cooperative Extension. Lela has led the MSU Extension Institutional Team since 2012, and has been a key leader and facilitator for MSU Extension colleagues in understanding not only how eXtension can be a resource to assist them, but also how we can adapt and use technology to reach more people more effectively. Lela has been a leader at the national level as well, and is frequently invited to speak to and facilitate Extension colleagues at other institutions in the use of new technologies for Extension collaboration, learning and teaching. We’ve known of Lela’s many contributions because we’ve been the greatest beneficiaries of her insights and good will. What was especially exciting about the Champion award, the highest award given by eXtension, is that colleagues from across the nation recognize and appreciate her contributions and leadership. It’s an honor to have Lela as a colleague and a treat to be able to celebrate her achievements. Lela was not able to attend the conference this year, so I had the honor of receiving her award on her behalf, and it’s currently tucked in my suitcase, headed for Michigan. MSU Extension educator Carolyn Penniman was kind enough to take a photo of Lela’s award.

Karen Waite, senior academic specialist in the Department of Animal Science and the Children and Youth Institute, received the Community of Practice Individual Achievement Award. Karen was not able to attend the conference, so Betsy Greene, equine specialist at the University of Vermont and a collaborator with Karen on the HorseQuest eXtension Community of Practice, accepted her award on her behalf. Karen has made many contributions to the HorseQuest Community of Practice and has been a key leader in developing content relevant to the needs of youth and particularly youth leaders in equine programs. Together with animal science associate professor Christine Skelly, Karen has helped to create and expand the My Horse University online certificate program, which has benefited greatly from the collaboration of HorseQuest members.

Betsy Greene, University of Vermont Extension specialist and associate professor, accepted the "Community of Practice Individual Achievement Award" on behalf of  Michigan State University Extension specialist Karen Waite at the National eXtension Conference

Betsy Greene, University of Vermont Extension specialist and associate professor, accepted the “Community of Practice Individual Achievement Award” on behalf of Michigan State University Extension specialist Karen Waite at the National eXtension Conference March 26, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif. Karen Waite was not able to attend the conference.

Congratulations to both Lela and Karen for their recognition. And many thanks to both for being great leaders and innovators for MSU Extension! By the way, it was not at all surprising that the University of Delaware eXtension Institution Team received the Outstanding I-Team award at the ceremony yesterday. Michelle Rodgers, associate dean and director of University of Delaware Cooperative Extension (and former associate director of MSU Extension), made a point of building a strong I-team when she began her role at Delaware two years ago. No one at MSU Extension should be surprised that her team has skyrocketed in their contributions to and use of eXtension. Congratulations, Michelle!

All the awards will be posted to about.extension.org/blog within the next few days. They’ll also be announced in the April eXtension UPDATE next week.

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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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Award nominations deadlines approaching

It’s that time of year ‒ to recognize colleagues or friends of Michigan State University Extension who make our organization great. We can honor them by nominating them for various awards.

Staff awards given by the MSU Extension director include:

  • Meritorious Service, Educator
  • Meritorious Service, Program Instructor/Associate/Assistant
  • Meritorious Service, Specialist/Program Leader
  • Meritorious Service, Support Staff

Staff awards given by the I-Team (MSUE eXtension Institutional Team) include:

  • Ask an Expert
  • Community of Practice (CoP)
  • Technology in Programs

Access the nomination form for these awards: Click on Complete Staff Award Nomination Information and scroll down.

The Key Partner award recognizes individuals, organizations, media, special MSU programs and government officials who have made significant contributions to creating, improving or promoting MSU Extension programs. The MSU Extension director grants the award. The award is determined based on nominations from staff, faculty, retirees and volunteers. Access the nomination form for the Key Partner award: Key Partner Nomination Form. MSU Extension employees should notify their institute directors of their nominations.

Submit all nominations for the above awards to Megghan Honke at honkemeg@msu.edu by Aug.16. The information will be combined and submitted to the administrative team for decisions by Sept. 10.

The John Hannah Award from the Michigan Council of Extension Associations is considered the most prestigious of the Extension awards as it recognizes superior Extension programs. All board-appointed Extension staff members are eligible. You may nominate programs conducted by a co-worker or yourself. Send nominations for the John Hannah Award by Aug. 16 to the current Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) president-elect Matt Shane at shanemat@msu.edu. For additional information on the award and a list of previous winners, go to http://esp.msue.msu.edu/awards/john_hannah

The State Friend of Extension Award from the Michigan Chapter of ESP recognizes individuals who truly have been friends of Extension. Their efforts may have been to help promote programs, represent us as lay leaders, serve as key program development persons, act as program collaborators or support MSU Extension in other ways. Past recipients have come from organizations, media, MSU, local government and private business. To submit a nomination, follow directions here. Nominations must be received by Aug. 16.

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Award nominations deadlines approaching

It’s that time of year to recognize colleagues or friends of Michigan State University Extension who make our organization great. We can honor them by nominating them for various awards including the following awards from the MSUE Director: Meritorious Service, Educator; Meritorious Service, Program Instructor/Associate/Assistant; Meritorious Service, Specialist/Program Leader; and Meritorious Service, Support Staff. In addition, the I-Team (MSUE eXtension Institutional Team) gives the Ask an Expert, Community of Practice (CoP) and Technology in Programs Awards. Access the nomination form for these awards here.

The Key Partner award is designed to recognize individuals, organizations, media, special MSU programs and government officials who have made significant contributions to creating, improving or promoting MSU Extension programs. It is granted by the MSUE Director and is determined based on nominations from staff, faculty, retirees and volunteers. Access the nomination form for the Key Partner award here. MSU Extension employees should notify their institute directors of their nominations.

Submit all nominations for the above awards to Megghan Honke at honkemeg@msu.edu by July 31. The information will be combined and submitted to the administrative team for decisions by Aug. 31.

The John Hannah Award from the Michigan Council of Extension Associations is considered the most prestigious of the Extension awards as it recognizes superior Extension programs. All board-appointed Extension staff members are eligible. You may nominate programs conducted by a co-worker or yourself. Send nominations for the John Hannah award by July 15 to the current Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) president-elect Brenda Reau at reau@msu.edu. For additional information on the award and a list of previous winners, go to http://www.esp.msue.msu.edu/esp/john_hannah.

The State Friend of Extension Award from the Michigan Chapter of ESP recognizes individuals who truly have been friends of Extension. Their efforts may have been to help promote programs, represent us as lay leaders, serve as key program development persons, act as program collaborators or support MSU-Extension in other ways. Past recipients have come from organizations, media, MSU, local government and private business. To submit a nomination, follow directions here. Nominations must be received by July 15.

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eXtension selected for Google for Nonprofits program

The single nationwide Web presence for Cooperative Extension, eXtension, is another way U.S. land-grant universities provide objective and research-based information and learning opportunities that help people improve their lives.

Since the time our Michigan State University Extension eXtension Institutional Team (I-Team) was formed in Oct. 2009, we’ve made a lot of progress in the increased use and adoption of this Internet-based educational network by MSU Extension staff members and faculty. I’ve reported on that progress and even awards the I-Team has won for outstanding work with eXtension. Educators, specialists and faculty are answering questions on Ask An Expert, leading and participating in Communities of Practice (CoPs) and offering many professional webinars nationally through eXtension.

Recently, eXtension gained additional resources to further strengthen the interactive learning environment as our national “front door.” The eXtension Foundation, which exists to support the work of the national eXtension Initiative, has been selected to participate in the Google for Nonprofits program. Participating in the program gives eXtension access to a free or discounted version of Google Apps (applications). Through the Google grants program, eXtension will get free Adwords advertising and appear as an advertiser on Google search results pages, and have premium branding and increased uploads on YouTube as well as access to other applications. These products and resources will allow us to reach more potential donors or partners, raise awareness and improve business operations. Read about it here.

 The initial CoPs involved in the Google grants program will be DAIReXNET; Families, Food and Fitness; and Just in Time Parenting. Other CoPs will be included as knowledge and experience in participating in the nonprofits program is gained.

 Read more about the Google for Nonprofits Program: http://www.google.com/nonprofits/.

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Michigan State eXtension shines nationally

Michigan State University Extension came off a winner at the 2011 National CoP (Communities of Practice) Workshop in Louisville, Ky., June 29, earning both a team award and an individual award for work with eXtension, the nationwide collaborative web presence for Cooperative Extension.

 The Institutional Teams from MSU and the University of Missouri received the first ever Be Grow Create awards for outstanding work in advocating for and integrating eXtension into their respective institutions. The award recognizes outstanding teams for planning, creativity, organized activities, web conference attendance, director interaction and institutional engagement.

 Team members are Wayne Beyea, Ruth Borger, Erica Ciupak, Kathe Hale, Michelle Rodgers, Chris Skelly, Lela Vandenberg and Liz Wells. Glenn Pape and Erica Tobe were also team members the first year the team was organized in 2009.

 The Institutional Team, known as the I-Team, has made significant strides in the two years since its inception. Most notable are the increases in eXtension IDs, Ask an Expert (AaE) resolved questions and CoP membership. An eXtension ID allows an educator or specialist to contribute to eXtension by answering questions or collaborating with CoPs. Given the strength and commitment of the team’s members and their ongoing effort to promote eXtension involvement, these increases should continue.

 Lela Vandenberg, senior MSU Extension specialist, was one of three recipients of eXtension’s first Be Grow Create Outstanding Institutional Team Member award. The award recognizes her responsiveness and engagement with MSU on behalf of eXtension, her role in institutional team development and sustainability, and eXtension advocacy.

 As chair, Lela has been the driving force behind the eXtension I-Team. She created a series of how-to handouts that have been shared widely. Her online AaE experiential training has dramatically increased staff involvement. More than 150 people have taken the hands-on course. After training, staff members feel competent and excited to answer questions on AaE.

 Lela has shown herself to be a tremendous advocate for eXtension. She’s presented at professional association meetings and statewide conferences to introduce eXtension to the MSUE community, encouraging participation. Lela has worked with the marketing and promoting subcommittee to recruit faculty and staff involvement. Through her leadership, MSU eXtension IDs have gone from 30 in 2008 to 223 in the first six months of 2011.

 The I-Team with Lela at the helm is helping to carry out two of the principles of our redesign – increasing responsiveness and adopting emerging technologies. Clearly, we are doing both with eXtension and winning awards in the process.

 Read more about the I-Team’s win here: http://about.extension.org/2011/07/03/michigan-state-missouri-honored-as-outstanding-institutional-teams/

 Read more about Lela’s win here: http://about.extension.org/2011/07/03/hunnings-hurt-vandenberg-honored-with-be-grow-create-awards/

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Meet the I Team

by Michelle Rodgers, MSUE associate director of operations

A few weeks ago eight Michigan State University Extension faculty members and educators attended Your Gateway to the Future of Cooperative eXtension. We’ve dubbed this group, the MSUE I Team. The “I” stands for institutional, and their job is to launch eXtension at MSUE.

Lela Vandenberg, Kathe Hale, Wayne Beyea, Liz Wells, Christine Skelly, Glenn Pape, Erica Tobe, Ruth Borger, Erica Ciupak and I came back excited about eXtension’s tools such as moodle, SecondLife, Flickr, Ask an Expert (AaE), Communities of Practice (CoP), social networking, widgets and knols.

If you have no idea what some of these terms mean, the team also learned that it is never too late learn. And the best way to do that is to get on board with eXtension. This welcoming community of colleagues is working to explore how we can use technology to meet the Extension mission. A 30-minute visit to the web site can introduce you to many of these tools. There are 42 Communities of Practice, to get involved in, and I encourage you to select one or two that are meaningful to you.

This week the MSUE eXtension institutional team met to develop a plan to integrate state participation in eXtension. Many ideas were shared and the group is currently using a wiki as a tool to work collectively on finalizing the planning process that began in our face to face meeting.

If you have used eXtension, we’d like to hear about your experience. Tell us about it in the comments section below. By networking in this way, we can help all of us get ideas of how we might be able to incorporate eXtension into our work. So go there to enter your experiences or to learn what your colleagues are doing!

If you missed the lunch and learn session about eXtension with Jerry Thomas from Ohio State, you can catch up by viewing the recorded session. And you can join the final session on Oct. 29 from noon to 1 p.m. by logging on to the Breeze site. (You’ll find all the log in information and phone numbers to call there.)

You can also explore eXtension on your own by visiting the eXtension main page.

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