Tag Archives: laura anderson

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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1st MSUE cohort in human development and family studies graduates

The first cohort of Michigan State University Extension staff members to graduate together with Master of Science degrees in human development and family studies: community services attended a reception for graduates at Cowles House April 26 at the invitation of President LouAnna K. Simon. This was the first time MSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) offered this degree targeted at MSUE staff. Previous participants in this online degree program from MSUE completed as individual students without the benefit of the cohort experience.

 As a cohort, the women started as a group and finished together, connecting during the learning process through face-to-face and online meetings, and phone conferences.

 Said Extension educator Becky Henne, “I truly enjoyed the experience that much more because of the cohort design.”

 The group made the commitment to work hard to get their master’s degrees while working full time, and they did it in an area that will have great benefit to MSUE and the Children and Youth Institute. I’m told they did some pretty incredible work for their capstone projects that will bring great benefits back to our organization.

 The group included eight members: Laura Anderson, Kristina Bowers (former MSUE student intern), Andrea Caron, Eileen Haraminac, Becky Henne, Gail Innis, Lisa Myers and Michelle Warczinsky.

MSUE cohort graduates with Dr. Simon

MSUE first cohort members attend reception at Cowles House with President Simon. (Left to right) Shelly Warczinsky, Lisa Myers, Becky Henne, Eileen Haraminac, Dr. Simon, Andrea Caron, Laura Anderson and Gail Innis.

 This online degree was an important collaboration between the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and MSUE. Dr. Barbara Ames directs all of the graduate majors within that department. Many faculty members within HDFS contributed to this major. Retired Extension specialist and professor Joanne Keith and Health and Nutrition Institute director Dawn Contreras, whose overall role was advisor to the cohort, also taught courses.

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