Tag Archives: Kendra Moyses

MSU Extension staff members receive NEAFCS awards

Many of our Michigan State University Extension colleagues received awards at the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) annual session in September, in Big Sky, Montana.

Individual awards:

Zelda Felix-Mottley won the Continued Excellence Award, which goes to an NEAFCS member of at least 12 years. It recognizes active involvement in professional improvement programs, promotion of professional development and leadership. This is the highest honor awarded to NEAFCS members. Zelda has been with MSU Extension for 23 years and is based in Berrien County (District 13). She teaches face-to-face nutrition and physical activity workshops alongside her staff. She recruits agencies and organizations to participate in MSU Extension programming and connecting. She also builds relationships and rapport with legislators, commissioners and community partners that in turn support MSU Extension.

Diane Fair and Shannon Lindquist both won Michigan and national Distinguished Service awards. These awards are given to members of 10 years or more to recognize Extension family and consumer science educators for leadership, outstanding programs, and personal and professional growth. Diana is a disease prevention and management educator in District 13, and she provides diabetes and other health-related programs. Shannon is a member of the social-emotional work team, making efforts to provide these important programs in the seven counties of District 6. She facilitates trainings with parents, childcare providers and youth.

Michelle Jarvie, food safety, nutrition and physical activity educator in the U.P., received the New Professional Award. The New Professional Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments of NEAFCS members within their first three years of employment. The award is to encourage the use of innovative and effective methods of conducting Extension programs.

Brenda Reau, senior associate director of the MSU Product Center, received third place in the central region for the Communication Award for Educational Publication. This award recognizes a supplementary educational information piece that is designed to inform, update and make the reader respond in a positive manner.

Financial and homeownership educator Erica Tobe received first place nationally and also in the eastern region for the Social Networking Award for her project Twitter Chats and Google Hangouts for Financial Education Outreach. The project is focused on improving financial literacy through innovative technology approaches and involves a multistate collaboration. The award recognizes innovative online social networking efforts.

Team Awards:

Health and nutrition educators Eileen Haraminac, Jeannie Nichols and Jane Hart received two awards: the first place and regional Food Safety Award and the third place central region Communication Award for Internet Technology Communication. The Food Safety Award recognizes NEAFCS members for outstanding educational programs conducted for families, school nutrition workers, food industry employees or managers, church workers preparing meals, home care providers, and other groups/individuals preparing and/or serving food. The Educational Technology Communications Award encourages excellence in communication through computer programs, web pages or computer-generated presentations.

Holly Brophy-Herb and MSU Extension team members Kendra Moyses, Carrie Shrier, Maria Millet, Kylie Rymanowicz and Alan Pilkenton won the first place national award and central region award for Human Development and Family Relationships for their Building Early Emotional Skills (BEES) Parenting Program. The award recognizes innovative human development/family relationship educational efforts focusing on child care, parenting, relationships through the life span, marriage enrichment, communications (parent/child), retirement, aging, stress management and related issues.

Lastly, Tracie Abram and Michelle Jarvie received the Family Health and Wellness Award first place nationally and in the central region. The award recognizes innovative programs that promote and improve the health and wellness of families in areas such as nutrition, fitness, family meals, meal planning, time or stress management, and healthy lifestyle.

Congratulations to all of our NEAFCS winners, and thank you for the work that you do for MSU Extension and the people of Michigan.

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Why BEES are important to early childhood development

Are you wondering why an insect is important in childhood development? Well, the BEES I’m talking about don’t have anything to do with insects. BEES stands for our Building Early Emotional Skills program that is taught over eight weeks and uses hands-on activities and group discussions to help parents reduce stress, increase children’s social and emotional competencies, and increase the quality of parental modeling. The preliminary data show that it’s making a difference: participants report a positive increase in their parenting skills and functioning. We’re seeing positive results and an increase in demand for these classes.

The BEES program was developed by Holly Brophy-Herb’s team in the Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Human Development and Family Studies and adapted by our MSU Extension BEES team. Our team is made up of Kendra Moyses, Carrie Shrier, Maria Millett, Kylie Rymanowicz and Alan Pilkenton who all work closely with Holly.

The National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) recently selected the BEES program to receive first place nationally and regionally in the Human Development and Family Relationships Award category at the NEAFCS 2016 Annual Session Awards. This influential program and these passionate educators are deserving of these awards. I hope you’ll take a moment to congratulate your colleagues in person when we all come together next week at Fall Extension Conference.

To learn more about the program and the award, read the press release on our MSU Extension website.

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Presenting our curricula on a national level

Several Michigan State University Extension staff members shared their knowledge and expertise with the national 4-H community at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA) Conference held October 26‒30 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This was a great opportunity for MSU Extension to expand our reach to a nationwide audience of our peers.

Deb Barrett, Frank Cox and Janice Zerbe presented on the Career Exploration and Workforce Preparation work group’s National 4-H curriculum “Build Your Future: Choices… Connections… Careers.” Health and nutrition experts Janet Olsen and Karen Pace presented “Be SAFE” – to help addressing bullying in 4-H and other out-of-school settings. Judy Ratkos and Jennifer Weichel joined a panel conversation on using data to creatively make the case for 4-H, and Kendra Moyses, Betty Jo Nash and Jodi Schulz presented “Back to the Basics” – life skills curriculum packages to help 4-H leaders increase their impact. Three staff members, Christine Heverly, Glenda Kilpatrick and Janice Zerbe, were also recognized at the event for their service to Michigan 4-H.

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4-H Military Partnerships to expand to the U.P.

In a recent Spotlight article, I let you know about PURPLE UP! Day that took place April 15 at the Breslin Center. In this one-day event, Michigan State University Extension 4-H Military Partnerships: Operation Military Kids organized activities to recognize the sacrifices made by children of our service members. But this organization does much more than put on one event.

 4-H Military Partnerships: Operation Military Kids offers social, recreational and educational opportunities to Michigan children in military families. Military kids may feel alone or unique in their situations, which may involve one or both parents being deployed. The program allows military children to meet with other children going through the same experiences. It also provides activities that help them to develop the skills needed to get through this time – skills they can carry with them as adults.

 Recently, we’ve offered additional support in the Upper Peninsula. 4-H program coordinators Meredith Imler in Dickinson County and Melanie Greenfield in Chippewa County will now spend 25 percent of their time on developing the 4-H Military Partnerships: Operation Military Kids program in their counties. We don’t want to leave out the more than 600 military children in the U.P.

Thanks to Extension educator Kendra Moyses who coordinates the program.

 Read more in this Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications article: http://anrcom.msu.edu/anrcom/news/item/msu_extension_to_expand_support_for_military_children_in_the_u.p

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PURPLE UP! for military families

Michigan State University Extension colleagues show their support for military families on PURPLE UP! Day, April 15, 2014

Michigan State University Extension colleagues show their support for military families on PURPLE UP! Day, April 15, 2014. Left to Right: MSU Extension associate director Steve Lovejoy, MSU Extension Children and Youth Institute director Julie Chapin, MSU Extension educator Kendra Moyses, MSU Extension director Tom Coon and MSU Extension associate program leader B’Onko Sadler. Photo credit: Terri Badgley.

I had the honor to address some heroes on April 15 during PURPLE UP! Day at the Breslin Center. These heroes are not the usual kind – they don’t gain a lot of attention and we may tend to overlook them. They are the families of those who serve our nation in the military.

PURPLE UP! Day is a one-day event that is part of the Month of the Military Child. Michigan State University Extension 4-H Military Partnerships Operation: Military Kids organizes activities throughout April to recognize the sacrifices made by children of our service members.

Why purple? I’m told that purple is a universal color used to symbolize all United States military personnel. It’s a combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue. I wore my purple proudly that day as I expressed my gratitude to the families for their service to our country.

At the event, military families took part in fun and educational activities assisted by not only our staff but also members and coaches of various MSU sports teams. No one seemed to mind the fact that a very Spartan room with very Spartan people in it was awash in Northwestern purple. The evening really did revolve around the honored guests.

Read this Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications article to find out details about the event and read comments from Extension educator Kendra Moyses who coordinates the program: http://anrcom.msu.edu/anrcom/news/item/msu_extension_trades_green_for_purple_to_support_military_families

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Extension program leaders create resource to address bullying in out-of-school settings

It’s evident when you listen to news reports, scan social media or just talk to folks – issues related to bullying, bias and harassment concern parents, educators, family workers and others who work with and care about young people. And, of course, these issues concern young people as well.

Schools have resources to address these issues, but few address bullying issues in out-of-school settings. As always in Michigan State University Extension, our staff members see a need and work to meet it. That’s why MSU Extension Health and Nutrition program leaders for social and emotional health Janet Olsen and Karen Pace created Be SAFE: Safe, Affirming and Fair Environments.


The two targeted the curriculum for use in out-of-school settings such as 4-H clubs, Boys and Girls Clubs, scouts and after-school programs. Be SAFE helps young people aged 11 to 14 partner with adults to create physically and emotionally safe environments.

The overall goals of Be SAFE include promoting social and emotional learning and development, addressing and reducing bullying, preventing bullying behaviors by tapping the wisdom and assets of youth and adults, and developing positive relationships with peers and adults.

Research shows that young people benefit from time spent in positive and safe settings with adults and peers. Adults can use Be SAFE as an important tool to help young people to create those safe, affirming and fair environments. The resource helps adults to help young people be resilient when facing challenging situations such as bullying, bias and harassment.

As true of all MSU Extension curricula, this publication draws from extensive research, and Karen and Janet also drew from evidence-based bullying prevention programs. A number of their MSU Extension colleagues also contributed to the development of Be SAFE by serving as reviewers and as liaisons to the nine sites across the state that piloted the material. These included staff members from the Health and Nutrition Institute (Tracie Abram, Denise Aungst, Carolyn Penniman, Suzanne Pish, Erin Ross, Olga Santiago and Holly Tiret), the Children and Youth Institute (Kendra Moyses and Jodi Schulz), and the Organizational Development Team (Dionardo Pizaña). Former Children and Youth Institute staff members Andrea Caron, Sandra Griffin and Julie Scislowicz were also involved with these efforts.

Janet and Karen are currently working to assist MSU Extension staff members in providing education around issues of bullying, bias and harassment. It’s not too late to register for a June 4 train-the-trainer opportunity in Gaylord. You’ll receive a copy of Be SAFE and learn how to incorporate the curriculum into your program. You’ll also explore current research on bullying and learn key strategies to address bullying issues. Click on this link to learn more and to register.

Download a free PDF of the Introduction section of Be SAFE or order a copy of the 224-page guide, designed and edited by ANR Communications, at the MSU Extension Bookstore.

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Extension colleagues take part in leadership session

Several of our Michigan State University Extension colleagues took part in a session of the North Central National Extension Leadership Development (NELD) workshop held in Chicago Jan. 23–26. The session, “Understanding Our Roles as Leaders,” was the first of four sessions scheduled for 2013 exploring leadership and facilitated by the University of Minnesota Extension.

NELD’s mission is “to build leaders in Cooperative Extension at all levels and provide them with the vision, courage, and tools to lead in a changing world.”

The program helps the participant to develop leadership skills on a personal level and then use those skills to improve the effectiveness of extension programming.

The first session, an intense introduction to leadership, included developing facilitation skills and techniques, and working on team and consensus building.

Each participant did a self-assessment of emotional intelligence, which evaluated the leadership style each feels most comfortable using. In times of stress, people default to this style. When facing a difficult situation, people are less likely to use the leadership style they tend to be weak in. The program concentrates on getting participants to strengthen the weak areas so they have a variety of strengths to use in various situations.

Each participant also developed a personal philosophy of leadership and a plan of work in the leadership field to learn and implement in the upcoming year.

Participant Kelley Hiemstra, MSU Extension District 4 coordinator, had this to say about the experience: “The first session of NELD was fantastic. I look forward to the entire program and I am sure that it will assist me in my leadership roles.”

Besides Kelley, other participants from MSU Extension included Extension educators Eileen Haraminac, Erin Lizotte, Kendra Moyses and Kendra Wills.

Each are assigned to core groups of four to continue the work between sessions and act as mentors and coaches to each other. Each group consists of Extension employees from North Central Region states.

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Study while you work: Colleagues who can do it all

Fifteen Michigan State University Extension academic staff members have made use of the tuition assistance program initiated in 2007 to help them complete a master’s degree while working for MSU Extension. In October 2006, MSUE changed the criteria for employment as an MSUE academic staff member (educator, specialist or program leader) to include a minimum educational requirement of a master’s degree. Staff members already employed by MSUE who did not have a master’s degree were not required to complete a degree, but MSUE initiated a tuition benefit program for those who decided they did want to complete a master’s degree while working full time for MSUE. Staff members are free to choose any accredited institution and graduate program that aligns with their role with MSUE, and many have found online or hybrid online and face-to-face programs that adapted to their work and family responsibilities. The first graduates completed their degrees in 2009, and we still have colleagues making use of the program. Listed below are those taking part in the program, grouped by the year in which they have or will complete degrees:

2009: Lisa Bottomley, Kendra Moyses, Jodi Schulz

2010: Beth Clawson, Diane Smith, Donna Turner, Janice Zerbe

2011: Laura Anderson, Eileen Haraminac, Rebecca Henne, Gail Innis, Stephanie Marino, Jackelyn Martin

2012: Janis Brinn, Kendra Wills

For more information on the tuition benefit program, please contact MSUE HR manager Nancy Axtell. You can find more information on the program in our administrative handbook at http://www.msue.msu.edu/objects/content_revision/download.cfm/revision_id.595847/workspace_id.282708/Tuition%20Asst%20Procedures_01_2011.doc/

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Vote for Operation: Military Kids

More than 19,000 military youth live in Michigan – youth who must go on with life as usual while one or both parents serve overseas. Michigan State University Extension 4-H Operation: Military Kids (OMK) supports the children of men and women in the Marines, Army National Guard, Air Guard, Coast Guard, Army Reserves, Air Force, Navy, Navy Reserves and Marine Reserves, and children of Department of Defense contractors. The program provides an outlet with recreational, educational and social opportunities for military youth. OMK builds community partnerships to increase awareness and capacity for youth, families and communities to support youth of military families.

 Martin Waymire Advocacy Communications, a Michigan public relations firm, chose OMK as a featured contender this year in their annual Gives Project. Through the project, the firm selected OMK as one of four charities that demonstrate true heroism in our community, state and nation. We’d like you to show your support and go to the Gives Project website at mwacsocial.com to vote for OMK. This is one time where it’s okay to vote early and vote often. You can vote daily until Dec.16 at 11:59 p.m. when the poll closes.

 To find out more information on OMK, visit the Michigan 4-H Operation: Military Kids Web page, go to the OMK Facebook page or find out what’s going on nationally at OMK’s national site.

 B’Onko Sadler acts as 4-H OMK military liaison, and Kendra Moyses is 4-H OMK project director.

 You may remember when Gov. Rick Snyder proclaimed April as the Month of the Military Child. Watch and listen to B’Onko talking about Operation: Military Kids at the proclamation ceremony on the following video:

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Operation: Military Kids plans appreciation days, other events to celebrate military kids month

Military families are at the forefront of today’s headlines. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, recently launched a campaign to rally support for U.S. service members and their families.

 And April is designated as the Month of the Military Child. Gov. Rick Snyder kicked off the month in Michigan by signing a proclamation. This year’s theme is “Celebrate Military Children, the Strength of Our Future.” It’s an opportunity to recognize military children and youth for their heroism, character, courage, sacrifices and continued resilience.

 Michigan State University Extension 4-H Operation: Military Kids (OMK) and its state partners are putting on a series of military child appreciation days during the month of April. During the events, military kids receive certificates at an award ceremony and take part in fun activities. On April 8, during Military Child Appreciation Day, military families got to experience what the Detroit Science Center had to offer. Another Military Child Appreciation Day took place on April 10 at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing. Activities included a family barbecue, a self-guided tour of the zoo, and a special animal presentation. And yet another appreciation day will take place at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, April 23.

 Military kids took part in two Red Cross babysitter’s trainings and a youth sports clinic as part of the Month of the Military Child as well.

 All of these activities let military kids know that they are appreciated.

 Operation: Military Kids is led at MSUE by Kendra Moyses, OMK project director, and B’Onko Sadler, military state liaison.

 According to B’Onko, we need to remember that children serve, too.

 “They endure stress and other issues associated with deployment. We provide programming and events that connect them to other youth experiencing the same or similar situations,” he said.

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