Tag Archives: Leadership

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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GLLA honors leadership for common good award winner and graduates, kicks off endowment campaign

On June 11, the Great Lakes Leadership Academy (GLLA) held its Graduation Ceremony and Endowment Campaign Kickoff.

In addition, Dr. Russ Mawby, former president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and trustee emeritus of Michigan State University, was honored as the third recipient of the William Milliken Award for Leadership for the Common Good. Dr. Mawby helped to develop the original model for an agricultural leadership program that was funded by the WKKF in the 1960s. It became known as the Kellogg Farmer Study Program that was presented by the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The program was replicated in dozens of states and other countries, and gave rise to subsequent leadership programs in Michigan, including the Michigan Agricultural Leadership Program in the 1980s and the Great Lakes Leadership Academy in recent years. Dr. Mawby’s legacy also includes having helped to create the Michigan 4-H Foundation. He and his wife Lou Ann were present at the GLLA banquet to receive the award. A summary of Dr. Mawby’s legacy was captured in this video, produced as an in-kind gift by the Michigan Farm Bureau.

Three MSU Extension colleagues were recognized as recent graduates of GLLA programs:

Sonia Joseph Joshi, outreach specialist for Michigan Sea Grant Extension and the NOAA Center of Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health, graduated from the Leadership Advancement Program.

Bethany Prykucki, Extension educator, and Dixie Sandborn, 4-H horticulture specialist, graduated from the Emerging Leader Program.

The mission of the GLLA Leadership Advancement Program is to promote positive change, economic vitality and resource conservation, and enhance the quality of life in Michigan by encouraging leadership for the common good. The program is designed for those who are preparing for top leadership positions.

The Emerging Leader Program is a leadership development initiative designed to equip individuals who are interested in their community and the food systems and agricultural, natural resources and environment, and business and manufacturing sectors with tools for successful leadership.

Vicki Pontz, GLLA director, announced the launch of the Capital Campaign for an endowment to support the ongoing success of GLLA. With a goal of $2.5 million, Vicki announced more than $400,000 in gifts and pledges to launch the campaign. The plan is to reach the campaign goal over the next year. With these initial gifts, the campaign is getting off to a great start.

Congratulations to Dr. Mawby, to our graduates and to Vicki for a great evening of celebration!

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Have you taken the cultural competency series yet?

Developing Multicultural Competencies From the Inside Out: Skills for Lifelong Learning. It’s a long title, and it addresses a key topic.

Inside MSU Extension, we often refer to this as the cultural competency series. It’s a sequence of five, two-day workshops that focus on embracing cultural differences in society. And it’s one of the most important workshops you can take. Several staff members have already gone through the training, including Michelle Rodgers, MSUE associate director of operations. Even with all her experience, Michelle is the first to say that the series challenged her to think about, and more fully understand and value, experiences that are different from her own. In fact, she hopes to incorporate a multicultural-leadership approach in both personal and organization settings using practices and tools that are sensitive and effective with many populations – an aspiration we share throughout MSUE.

The great thing about this series is that it’s grounded in an underlying principle that diversity is not simply a process of learning about others. It begins with learning about yourself—your own cultural identity, beliefs, biases, worldviews and attitudes about differences. That provides a framework to define cultural competency in your environment and to assess cultural competency at four levels—personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural.

If you have not taken this course yet, I encourage you to consider it. And look around you to see if there are some community partners you think would benefit from it as well. Here’s a look at the schedule for the next series. All sessions will take place in Battle Creek, Mich.

  • August 19-20, 2009 Building Foundations for Growth and Change
  • October 27-28, 2009, Exploring Identity, Oppression and Privilege
  • December 9-10, 2009, Developing Authentic Relationships across Difference
  • February 23-24, 2010, Exploring Transformational Leadership and Multicultural Change
  • April 6-7, 2010, Moving Toward Sustainable Multicultural Change

The series costs $800, with a tuition break to $500 for MSU Extension staff members. That’s $50 per day for staff members. And it includes meals! Three credit hours of undergraduate or graduate credit are available, too. You can register here.

If you have any questions about the series, contact Dionardo Pizaña or Karen Pace. They have done an excellent job putting together a great series that can benefit us all.

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