Tag Archives: katie gervasi

MSU Extension Communications Team cleans house for ACE awards

Congratulations to our Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Communications Team! They will be given prestigious awards and recognition at the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) Annual Conference coming up in June in Memphis, Tennessee. The ACE Critique and Awards program recognizes individuals and teams for excellence in communication and technology skills.

The MSU Extension Communications Team will receive three gold awards.

They will receive a gold award in the special reports category for their work on the MSU Extension and AgBioResearch Legislative Report, coordinated by Sean Corp. Others on the Legislative Report team who contributed to writing, designing and editing included Patricia Adams, James Dau, Katie Gervasi, Nichole Hersch, Cindy Hudson, Marian Reiter, Beth Stuever, Mindy Tape, Jamie Wilson and Holly Whetstone.

In addition, the team of Nichole Hersch, Beth Stuever, Mindy Tape and Jamie Wilson will receive the gold award in the issues management category for their work on Avian Influenza Epidemic: Managing Tough Issues Across Multiple Audiences. Others contributing to the avian influenza project include Patricia Adams, Alicia Burnell, Kraig Ehm, Leslie Johnson, Rebecca McKee, Samantha Proud and Marian Reiter. As a bonus, the project also won an Outstanding Professional Skill award, given to the entry that rises to the top of all the gold award winners.

Beth Stuever will receive the ACE Pioneer Award, which recognizes communicators who demonstrate exceptional leadership as well as technical skills, and make significant contributions to ACE during their first 10 years of ACE membership. Beth received the award for her service in many leadership positions contributing to the excellence of the profession, actively presenting at multiple conferences and engaging with ACE Learning Communities. Additionally, Beth supported colleagues and team members in their engagement with ACE and provided resources for them to participate at the annual conference.

The MSU Extension Communications Team is also highly engaged in the conference itself ‒ presenting three sessions. Mindy Tape and Jamie Wilson will partner with Iowa State’s Egg Industry Center to offer a session on avian influenza regarding stakeholders, timelines and actions. Beth will partner with her former supervisor, former MSU Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications director Ruth Borger (now the vice president of communications at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) to present a session on time management. Mindy and Tom Cummins will present a session on keys to increasing productivity.

We are extremely proud of our MSU Extension Communications Team and and how the caliber of their work and the work of others involved is being recognized at a national level. Please join me in congratulating them on their awards.

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N:15 ‒ ANR Communication creates news in 15 seconds

In today’s fast-paced and constantly connected world of smartphones, social media and more, we have to stay competitive if we want to attract people to our material as they scroll over multiple news items a day. Michigan State University Extension is well known throughout the state in the agriculture community and among people in the older population, who are more likely to rely on traditional news delivery. But how can we make sure that we’re catching the eye of the younger generation who want information now?

Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications is working to create 15-second videos that will offer a quick-pitch delivery of relevant news. These videos could work either as an introduction, to entice viewers to watch a longer video or to read an article, or as a full explanation of a concept, such as in “How to Convert Grams of Sugar into Teaspoons.

Kraig Ehm and Katie Gervasi, who lead the project, have created a few short videos based on content they already have. They’ve found that they can film an entire recipe in 15 seconds, as they did on this video:

The possibilities are endless!

Check out the ANR N:15 YouTube Channel to see the videos created so far, and stay tuned for more to come!

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Teams work together to attain ACE awards, present at conference

Many of our Michigan State University Extension colleagues will attend the Association of Communication Excellence (ACE) Conference in Portland, Oregon, June 24-27. And once again, many will be presented with ACE awards they have received.

A team from Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications and ANR Technology Services received a silver award in the website category for our own MSU Extension website. Winners include Dennis Bond, Sean Corp, Michelle Lavra and Beth Stuever.

A silver award for a marketing communications campaign went to a team who worked together on the Smart Gardening Initiative. The team included Joy Landis, Mallory Fournier, Rebecca Finneran and Mary Wilson. The recipients developed a process for the Consumer Horticulture team to market Smart Gardening advice and expertise to reach a large number of Michigan gardeners. Additional staff who lend their expertise, time and effort to Smart Gardening include MSU Extension educators Bob Bricault, Diane Brown, Hal Hudson, Rebecca Krans and Gretchen Voyle. Entomology Professor Dave Smitley has also helped build the basis for the initiative.

A bronze award for a marketing communications campaign with a budget of $1,000 or more went to the team of Sean Corp, Katie Gervasi, Mariah Montenegro, Mindy Pratt, Paula Sheynerman and Beth Stuever, all of ANR Communications. The team won for “Extending the Reach of Michigan State University Extension.”

Congratulations to all winners!

In addition, a team from ANR Communications will be presenting at the conference. Sean Corp, Katie Gervasi, Mindy Pratt, Paula Sheynerman and Beth Stuever will present “Promoting Extension: They Come for the News: They Stay for the Programming” Wednesday, June 25 at 4:15 p.m.

Also, the Smart Gardening team of Joy Landis, Mallory Fournier, Rebecca Finneran and Mary Wilson will present “How a Message Campaign Produced a Team to Deliver Smart Gardening to a Smart Audience” Wednesday, June 25 at 11 a.m.

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4-H’er realizes dream of giving back

In a recent Spotlight article, I told you about Mattea Antrup, a 10-year-old 4-H’er who sold her hog, which she raised through the 4-H program, to donate money to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Mattea felt compelled to step up with this act of generosity after an accident left her spending 7 weeks in a near full-body cast. Mattea was in and out of the Grand Rapids hospital often and during that time she noticed other young patients ‒ some who never left the hospital. Mattea decided that she would donate the money from one of two hogs she would sell at the Ottawa County Youth Fair. With this decision, Mattea joined the 4-H Revolution of Responsibility: a nationwide movement of young people making positive impacts in the community.

On Oct. 7, Mattea’s dream was realized when she gave DeVos Children’s Hospital a check for $6654.96. Her donation will go to patient families for gas cards to attend appointments, food vouchers, a burn patient scholarship camp, grants and other things to make the patients’ and families’ lives a little easier.

Katie Gervasi, editor in Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications, wrote a Michigan 4-H Today story about Mattea and traveled out to the hospital to witness Mattea’s donation and take a few photos.

Katie heard from Dawnel Antrup, Mattea’s mom, who was grateful that Katie wrote the story about Mattea’s journey through a difficult situation.

Ms. Antrup said, “Thank you for recognizing her passion to give back to others that maybe are struggling more than her. You captured the story beautifully. The Antrup family is very appreciative of your hard work in capturing even the smallest details. Thanks Tons!”

Michelle Lavra, ANR Communications manager and Katie’s supervisor at the time said, “Katie did a great job on this story. Not only is it a nice example of the Revolution of Responsibility stories Katie and Mariah (Montenegro, ANR Communications technical writer) routinely write, it is also a nice example of the difference 4-H’ers like Mattea are making in their communities. And it’s certainly nice to get a great testimonial like the one Katie received from Mattea’s mom.”

As we discussed at Fall Extension Conference this week, we have some incredible stories to tell about the work we do. This is one of those stories. And it also illustrates how much our ANR Communications colleagues help us to tell those stories and to get them out to a broader audience. Thanks, Katie!

Read the story Katie wrote about Mattea here: http://4h.msue.msu.edu/today/4_h_pig_raises_more_than_6000_for_helen_devos_childrens_hospital
The story was picked up by the Associated Press (AP) and distributed across the country from North Carolina to Texas. Read the AP story here:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/MI_MAGNANIMOUS_MATTEA_MIOL-?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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One-year-old performs beyond expectations

Our new Michigan State University Extension website is one year old today! With your help, the site has done extremely well. The latest statistics taken April 15 reveal we’ve had 1.8 million pageviews on the site!

The website’s beginnings go back to fall 2010 when Dr. Wendy Powers, director of the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute, challenged Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications to build on the success of the CAT (Crop Advisory Team) Alerts that entomology specialist Joy Landis and her team had produced so successfully.

Joy; Dennis Bond, web administrator for ANR Technology Services; and communications manager Beth Stuever made quick work of creating and launching News for Ag in March 2011. Faculty and staff members shared their practical knowledge in Internet articles. The site gave farmers and others in agriculture access to the latest information and research.

Dr. Powers said, “Our intent was to demonstrate how this would work and the impact if might have. Fortunately, the site now reflects the breadth of MSUE by including all of the institutes.”

Eventually, educators and specialists from all four institutes lent their expertise and the MSU Extension website was born on April 18, 2012 – one year ago today.

You may recall that during Fall Extension Conference in October 2012, we hit the million mark for pageviews. The number of people who are engaging on our pages grows steadily. This last week produced some new high numbers. Our current lows are as big as the past highs! When we began this process, we considered 2,500 pageviews in a week an outstanding result. The highest day ever in News for Ag was in March 2012 with slightly more than 2,200 visits. The portal averaged about 6,000 visits PER YEAR. Now, we get more than twice that almost every day. In fact, in the last 30 days, more than 100,600 people have visited the site. Collectively, they have viewed 220,695 pages. And about 29,000 people come back to our site EVERY DAY.

To compare ourselves to other Extension services, Iowa State in the last 30 days had 587,402 pageviews, while we had 210,616. In a year’s time, we have grown to have almost half as many as they have. Keep in mind, they have a more mature site that includes ALL their events and all their 4-H information. We also have three times as many pageviews during the last 30 days as Kansas State Extension, and two-thirds as many as the Ohio State University Extension and as North Dakota State University Extension Service – all sites that have been around longer and are considered more mature than our site.

Extension specialist Cindy Straus worked hard on gathering these statistics and putting them into a format we could understand. Thanks, Cindy!

And really, the website is only part of the story. Articles that appear on the site are often picked up by traditional and digital media, thereby extending the value of every article written and helping us reach more people with pertinent education.

We’re making some great progress, partly because we have great content. However, we need more content to attract people to our website. Extension educators, reach out to faculty – whether they are Extension specialists or not – and offer them the opportunity to get more visibility for the work they are doing through MSU Extension website articles.

The MSU Extension web team includes Dennis, Sean Corp, Michelle Lavra, Laura Probyn, Marian Reiter, Cindy Straus and Beth Stuever.

A team of posters regularly upload or “post” articles that educators and specialists submit (hence, the term “poster”).

Beth said, “The posters are our front lines in working with educators and specialists to ensure high-quality, timely information is added daily.”

These posters include Mindy Maxwell Pratt (poster team coordinator), Sean Corp, Sandra Ennes, Mallory Fournier (under the supervision of Joy) and Katie Gervasi.

Thanks to all of these staff members and to all of you who are writing the articles and lending your expertise to the site. You’re making our numbers go up! You’re bringing a lot of attention to our programs that we wouldn’t have been getting without the new website.

Watch this week’s webinar at https://connect.msu.edu/p14evbgs7ij (at 50:39) to find out more.

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ANR Communications projects receive ACE awards

Two projects from Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications recently received Association for Communications Excellence (ACE) awards. The ACE Critique and Awards (C&A) program recognizes individuals and teams for excellence in communication and technology skills.

The Michigan State University 4-H Revolution of Responsibility campaign earned a silver award in the category for a marketing communications campaign with a budget of $1,000 or above.

National 4-H launched its Revolution of Responsibility campaign in late 2010 and early 2011. Michigan was one of the first states to adopt the campaign and use it as part of an event in early 2011. Since then, Michigan 4-H has expanded on its use of the Revolution of Responsibility theme, specifically to inform decision-makers at the local, county and state levels of the importance of 4-H programming.

A team in ANR Communications worked together to produce an award-winning campaign.

Communications manager Michelle Lavra developed the overall strategy, came up with the original tone of execution for Michigan’s version of the Revolution of Responsibility campaign, wrote the copy and designed the original fliers, posters and banners, provided photography, sought out stories, wrote video scripts, conducted interviews for videos and wrote some of the print stories.

Technical writer Katie Gervasi wrote print stories; worked on story fliers, marketing fliers and posters; posted Web content and social media; provided photography; handled development, design and production of promotional items; and handled all of the logistics for banner orders, printing and distribution.

Natasha Berryman, a former writer for ANR Communications now an AgBioResearch communications manager, wrote print stories, designed and populated story fliers, posted Web content and social media, and provided photography.

Multimedia production team leader Steve Evans was the producer and videographer for all three videos. He also wrote scripts, did all of the video editing and posted the videos to our YouTube site.

Roses for the Home: Growing Roses in the Midwest (E3157), a revision of Roses for the Home, won a bronze award for a one- to full-color popular publication.

ANR Communications graphic designer Alicia Burnell designed the rose bulletin and Patty Adams edited it.

Mary Wilson, MSU Extension horticulture educator, acted as project coordinator on the effort. Rose expert and MSU Extension Advanced Master Gardener Nancy L. Lindley wrote the bulletin.

Mary; Dr. Bridget Behe, MSU professor of horticulture; Janet Byrne, MSU plant pathology specialist; and Dr. David Smitley, MSU professor of entomology; lent their expertise as reviewers.

Read more about the publication in this June 2012 Spotlight article.

Congratulations on these two award-winning projects!

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Learn to RELAX with MSU Extension anger and stress management curriculum

A Michigan State University Extension curriculum has been updated and is getting new attention, thanks to eXtension and other online learning options. “RELAX: Alternatives to Anger,” an educational series for those who want to manage their anger and stress both at home and at work, was recently updated by MSUE educators Suzanne Pish and Holly Tiret.

Since it was released on eXtension in December, ten individuals have taken part in an online offering of this program. In addition, nearly 70 copies of the curriculum CD have been sold through the MSU Extension Bookstore. Staff members can also order workbooks to use when offering the program, and incentives like stress balls and promotional magnets.

Suzanne and Holly worked with ANR Communications technical writer Katie Gervasi to produce the curriculum. Others in ANR Communications were involved in designing templates and getting the RELAX items into the MSU Extension Bookstore. The team wanted to extend the availability of the curriculum so they decided to also offer the online option through eXtension. Anyone can take the course. The cost is $20.

Closer to home, Suzanne will collaborate with the MSU Extension Staff Wellness Committee to offer RELAX for MSU Extension campus staff March 26. Register here.

“We would like to have MSU Extension staff to help advertise the online course to potential participants,” Suzanne said, “Just a week ago, a participant from Wisconsin called to say how much she enjoyed the course.”

Holly said, “I also got an email from an MSU student looking for an anger management class for himself. I emailed him and gave him instructions on the online course. We are even reaching students at MSU!”

To get to the online course, go to http://msue.anr.msu.edu/resources/relax_alternatives_to_anger_online_program.

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