Tag Archives: Kurt Schindler

MSU Extension teams receive awards at NACDEP

Congratulations to our Michigan State University (MSU) Extension teams who received four awards at the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) 2016 conference June 26‒29 in Burlington, Vermont.

The Master Citizen Planner Webinar Series earned the 2nd place National Educational Technology Team Award. The program won 1st place in the North Central Region. Team members include Brad Neumann, Glenn Pape, Dean Solomon, Kurt Schindler, Julie Pioch, Andy Northrop and Ingrid Ault.

Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool received the 2nd place National Educational Materials Team Award. It was 1st place in the North Central Region. Team members include Brad, Kurt, Glenn and Mark Wyckoff.

The MIplace Initiative earned 2nd place nationally for the Excellence in Community Development Team Award. It was also 2nd place in the North Central Region. Team members include Brad, Kurt, Glenn, Mark and Wayne Beyea.

Michigan Citizen Planner Long-Term Evaluation Project earned 2nd place in the North Central Region in Excellence in Teamwork. Team members include Brad, Glenn, Dean, Kurt, Wayne, Bethany Prykucki, Ann Chastain, Dr. Patricia Crawford (School of Planning, Design and Construction) and Rohit Menon (graduate student).

Please join me in congratulating our colleagues on their excellent work.

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Celebrating our Distinguished Academic Staff

Last week I had the privilege of attending the MSU Extension Reception for our Distinguished Academic Staff Award recipients: Phil Durst, Terry Gibb and Kurt Schindler. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, this year Extension cleaned house, taking home three of the four DAS awards given. It was great to come together with our award winners, their families and colleagues to celebrate at the Kellogg Center.

Group photo with our MSU Extension award recipients. Left to right: Jeff Dwyer, Kurt Schindler, Terry Gibb, Phillip Durst, Patrick Cudney.

Group photo with our MSU Extension award recipients. Left to right: Jeff Dwyer, Kurt Schindler, Terry Gibb, Phillip Durst, Patrick Cudney. Photo courtesy of ANR Communications.

It was such a privilege to be able to get to know more about our distinguished colleagues and their outstanding work.

As I promised in the January 2016 issue of Spotlight, here is the link to the Michigan State University news release highlighting our award winners’ accomplishments:

2016 Distinguished Academic Staff Awards

As I listened to each nominator speak about Phil, Terry and Kurt, I realized how much Extension staff members rely on each other and how important mentoring is in this organization.

I would like to thank Betsy Braid, Megghan Honke Seidel and the rest of our Events Management team, and Terri Badgley for a great event. I would also like to express my gratitude again to Phil, Terry and Kurt for their outstanding service.

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MSU Extension educators will receive three out of four Distinguished Academic Staff awards for 2015

Congratulations to Phil Durst, Terry Gibb and Kurt Schindler for winning the MSU Distinguished Academic Staff award for 2015. I was thrilled to hear that three out of four awards will be given to MSU Extension educators this year. What a testament to the work that you do and the impact that you have! I’ve done a little digging, and I found that in the 17 years the university has given this award, MSU Extension has had at least one award winner 15 of those years. Most of those years, two educators have been recognized. In 2010, we even had four winners! It is such an honor for me to come into this organization filled with passionate, dedicated people making a difference in Michigan.

In my February blog, I will post the links to the press releases that highlight the individual efforts of our well-deserving winners.

Please join us to celebrate their awards on Tuesday, February 9, from 11:30-2 p.m. in the Big Ten C Room of Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. The program will begin around 12:15 p.m. and a light lunch/refreshments will be served. Please RSVP using this link: RSVP for Awards Reception, by Sunday, February 7. We hope that many of you will be able to join us to celebrate Phil’s, Terry’s and Kurt’s accomplishments.

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Six Extension educators receive Step III promotions

The Michigan State University Provost’s Office has approved promotions of six Extension academic staff members to Step III status. Step III is awarded to Extension academic staff members who have demonstrated excellence and scholarly achievement in their work as Extension professionals over a sustained period. Those who are awarded Step III are promoted to “senior” status and their titles are changed by addition of the senior modifier to the title of educator, program leader or specialist. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding senior Extension educators.

Teresa Clark-Jones, Greening Michigan Institute

Teresa provides home ownership education in Washtenaw County and is certified to provide foreclosure prevention and intervention as well as post-purchase education. She wrote and updated the content for the credit section of the MI Money Health website. Teresa has provided train the trainer programs for the RELAX: Alternatives to Anger Program statewide and assisted in creating the evaluation tool to measure the effectiveness and impact of the program. She co-authored a USDA CSREES-NIFA Children, Youth and Families at Risk grant that awarded Washtenaw County MSU Extension $240,000 to create a coalition in a school district to build a sense of community. She is an excellent collaborator as demonstrated through her membership on numerous county coalitions. She has taken on key leadership roles with the Michigan Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (MEAFCS). She is active in professional organizations and has received numerous honors and awards.

Barbara Duvall, Children and Youth Institute

Barb has excelled in collaboration both within MSU Extension and with outside organizations. A peer reviewer of state and national curricula in the area of youth financial literacy, she has also co-authored a National 4-H career exploration curriculum. She also authored a 1-year follow-up evaluation for the 4-H Millionaires program, based on a tool created by colleagues at The Ohio State University Extension. Her involvement in the 4-H Kids Club afterschool program helped it to win a National 4-H Program of Distinction Award as well as the Family Strengthening Award from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She served as teacher and facilitator as well as researcher for the 4-H Natural Helpers program, developing an evaluation tool and compiling the evaluation results into a summary report that captured program impact over the course of 18 years and reached more than 400 youth. Barb has been recognized by her peers at not only the state level but also the national level when she was selected for the National Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

Gerald May, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute

Gerald has accomplished many quality Extension programs and initiatives within the pork industry in Michigan. He uses a variety of educational delivery methods. He has developed a state and national reputation in the area of site selection for animal production systems and management of air emission from those operations. Recently, he has provided leadership for the climate variability and change action team activities. He has participated in many state, regional and national pork-related educational training meetings, conferences and tours. He is involved in GAAMPS (generally accepted agricultural and management practices) efforts and is a teaching resource for many in-service training efforts. He received the Michigan Association of Extension Agents (MAEA) President’s Citation and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) Achievement Award.

Stanley Moore, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute

Stan has state, national and international recognition in his area of responsibility in the dairy industry. He also is gaining a reputation as an expert in agriculture human resources (HR) management. His efforts in HR management have connected him with Hispanic labor support agencies allowing him to incorporate the connections into his programming. In addition, Stan has taken the initiative to learn Spanish to serve those audiences. He uses a wide range of methods to deliver his educational efforts. An effective teacher, he is able to reach both youth and adult audiences. He has taken leadership within the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute Ag Business work group for Extension’s agriculture labor education. As an active member of the Michigan Association of Extension Agents (MAEA), he has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Service Award in 2008 and various awards for his communication efforts. Stan is perhaps recognized most for his roles as regional director, national vice president, president-elect and finally president of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA). Stan has worked with small and large producers, giving leadership to the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference from 2003 to 2010 and watching it grow from 300 to 700 participants.

Kurt Schindler, Greening Michigan Institute

Recognized statewide as the go-to person for land use information in Michigan, Kurt has taken on key roles in the development of curricula and materials. He teaches sessions for the Michigan Prosperity Initiative and maintains the land use page for MSU Extension. He has authored or co-authored numerous publications in the MSU Extension Land Use Series. He was part of the team that developed Citizen Planner throughout Michigan and has taught Citizen Planner for many years. He is an active member of the eXtension Community of Practice Land Use Planning team. Kurt provided technical assistance and cooperated in a research project with the Victor Institute to develop the Wexford County master plan. Kurt has offered programs in a wide variety of formats, incorporating experiential learning activities and humor. He has provided leadership as co-chair to the Government and Public Policy work group in the Greening Michigan Institute and the Land Use AoE team. He received his American Institute Certified Planner credential in 2009. Kurt has received the MSU Extension Director’s Meritorious Service Award and the Raymond Vlasin Award for Program Excellence. He also received the prestigious Michigan Association of Planning Outstanding Professional Planner of the Year award in 2010.

Nancy Victorson, Children and Youth Institute

As the result of an America’s Promise initiative, Nancy conducted a community youth needs survey in individual schools. As the outcome, a community teen center was developed. Now known as the Luce County Community Resource and Recreation Center run by a youth-adult board, the teen center has been sustained by the community for 16 years through grants and donations. Nancy is involved in statewide grant programs through AmeriCorps, such as 4-H Club Read and 4-H Peer Mentoring/Service Learning. She has secured more than $116,000 in grants to support positive youth development programs. She engaged youth in program planning and teaching through the 4-H Natural Helpers program. She established and maintained an active Extension Council. Through her efforts in international exchanges, she has provided opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to interact with and learn from each other. Intentional in her programming to introduce cultural experiences to youth, leaders and community members, she coordinated international exchange programs, developed an innovative global education experience through a Culture Fest and co-authored a new 4-H global education curriculum. Her effective collaboration with multiple partners over time has resulted in quality programming in the counties she serves and statewide.

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Happy Birthday to us: The 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act

By Kurt Schindler

This week I’d like to welcome guest author Kurt Schindler, Michigan State University Extension land use educator. Please read our colleague’s reflections on the Morrill Act below:

On July 2, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act into law, creating a national network of colleges and universities meant to serve the higher education needs of farmers and laborers across the nation. This radical investment was also meant to foster economic development by stimulating the transfer of knowledge from research into practice on farms, in factories and in families (agriculture, home economics, public policy/government, leadership, 4-H, economic development, natural resources, coastal issues and many other related subjects). The uniquely American aspect of the act was the direct investment of resources into the creation of these institutions by grants from the U.S. government. And those grants came in the form of publicly owned land that was turned over to the state government, which in turn could use that land grant to house the university, to sell for capital to use in building the university or both. From that unique concept came the common name for this act and the institutions it helped to support: the Land Grant Act and land-grant colleges and universities. Michigan State University is Michigan’s land-grant institution, which is why Extension in Michigan is part of MSU, and why Extension provides service to Michigan residents.

We at Michigan State University like to point out MSU was the first land-grant university to be formed (although Penn State wrongly also makes that claim). (Hey, we are supposed to have this particular bias.)

The Morrill Act was expanded with the passage of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which created a nationwide Extension system and directed the nation’s land-grant universities to oversee its work. This resulted in an Extension office in virtually every county in the United States. MSU Extension work began before the system was officially organized (and one might say the idea of Extension was copied from the idea born in Michigan). Michigan State College (now MSU) hired its first livestock field agent in 1907. In 1912, the Michigan Legislature authorized county boards of supervisors (now county commissioners) to appropriate funds and levy taxes to further teaching and demonstrations in Extension work. Eleven agricultural agents were named that year. Today, Extension is still funded through Smith-Lever federal funds, state matching funds, county funding, grants, contracts and fees for service. That three-way partnership, federal-state-county, is still a vitally important cooperative effort.

With the passage of the Smith-Lever Act, the first statewide home economics and 4-H youth Extension workers were appointed in Michigan; county home economics agents were appointed beginning in 1915. In the early years of Extension, “demonstration agents” showed or demonstrated new farming or homemaking techniques. Today, Extension agents use a wide variety of information systems to deliver educational information.

The land-grant and Extension idea worked. Many other countries copied the popular concept with India now supporting the largest Extension-like system in the world.

It is inspiring to be part of a vision that was created 150 years ago and that is still alive, transforming and improving to meet today’s needs. It’s hard to imagine what President Lincoln’s or Vermont Senator Justin Morrill‘s expectations may have been back in 1862. And it’s just as hard to anticipate how our organization and our mission may change and how it may remain the same 150 years into the future.

To view a copy of the Morrill Act and to find out more about it, visit the following websites:

Copy of the Morrill Act: http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=33&page=transcript

Ten-minute video posted on the home page of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU): http://www.aplu.org/page.aspx?pid=2190

Exhibits and information associated with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which will feature the anniversary of the Morrill Act on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., June 27–July 1 and July 4–8, 2012: http://www.festival.si.edu/2012/campus_and_community/

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Land use educator receives prestigious award

It’s always great to see one of our own being recognized for excellent work. Kurt Schindler, Michigan State University Extension regional land use educator, received the prestigious Michigan Association of Planning (MAP) Award for Exemplary Contributions at the 2010 Michigan Association of Planning Annual Conference in Detroit on Oct. 20. Kurt has been involved with MAP for nearly 30 years and is a long-time instructor of MAP programs. The organization recognized as we do Kurt’s ability to work patiently and expertly with government officials and community planners. From defining educational needs to developing quality training programs to persuading community planners to become involved, Kurt is sought out as a person of expertise, humility, vast experience and genuineness. I am proud to congratulate Kurt on this well-deserved honor.

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Those big, beautiful EIS

I know they are three of the most dreaded letters in MSU Extension. But if you don’t report your work through the Extension Information System-commonly known as EIS-we can’t access information about all the good work you’re doing on behalf of MSU Extension. Simply put, if you don’t have EIS, we can’t see you.

Kurt Schindler, natural resources and land use educator, is a terrificand prolificEIS reporter. Pat Cudney, North Region director, tells me that Kurt uses his reports to refine his educational initiatives and develop new program ideas and delivery models. Now, if you consider how it is helping Kurt locally, and look at how it helps those of us in administration stay well informed, you can see the true power of EIS.

Have you had something positive happen as a result of your EIS reports? Tell us about it in the comment section!

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