Tag Archives: LouAnna K. Simon

MSUE educators honored as distinguished academic staff

Two Michigan State University Extension educators received MSU Distinguished Academic Staff Awards at the annual University Awards Convocation Feb. 14 at the Pasant Theatre in the Wharton Center. The awards presentation followed President Lou Anna K. Simon’s Founders’ Day Address and discussion of the 2012 State of the University report. The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources honored the awardees with a reception prior to the ceremony in the atrium of Agriculture Hall.

 The award recognizes the outstanding achievements of academic specialists and MSU Extension academic staff members who serve the university in advising, curriculum development, outreach, extension, research and teaching.

 Roger A. Betz, senior Extension educator, is the person Michigan agricultural producers go to for help in all things financial. Since 1990, Roger has served as district Extension farm management educator, using a variety of educational methods to effectively disseminate knowledge. Roger is dedicated to assisting farmers to successfully manage their operations through sound financial practices. Roger has worked face to face with several hundred farm families to make sound business decisions that assist them in managing their tax obligations. These decisions lead to growth of the farm businesses and contribute to economic growth at the local and state levels.

Roger Betz

Roger Betz, senior Extension educator, received an MSU Distinguished Academic Staff Award on Feb. 14, 2012.

 He’s used the University of Minnesota’s FINPACK financial management software to help more than 600 Michigan farms manage their finances. He created and developed a worksheet to supplement FINPACK’s financial analysis, which was incorporated into this nationally used software.

 Roger has provided leadership and coordination for the TelFarm accounting program. His work with TelFarm producers not only benefits the farm families but also provides valuable research data for MSU. He developed several electronic tools designed to help producers make very complex decisions about whether to take part in various USDA programs.

 For 18 years, Roger has conducted two, full-day financial training sessions a year for Extension educators. He also developed and taught an intensive three-year training program to build his fellow Extension educators capacity and confidence in working with producers in financial and farm management.

 Roger is an innovator and effective leader who is passionate about helping both farmers and co-workers. And if anyone ever doubted that, they would have been convinced by the four farm families who attended the ceremonies on Tuesday because he has meant so much to them.

 Lela L. Vandenberg, senior Extension specialist, has served MSU Extension for the past 18 years.

 Lela formed MSU Extension’s LeadNet team, a professional development group composed of multiple teams collaborating to develop curricula and materials, conduct workshops and encourage leadership development in strategic planning, conflict resolution and team building. Several of these curricula were adopted by other organizations and in other states.

Lela Vandenberg

Lela Vandenberg, senior Extension educator, received an MSU Distinguished Academic Staff Award on Feb. 14, 2012.

 In 2009, Lela assisted the integration of MSU Extension into eXtension, the nationwide collaborative Web presence for Cooperative Extension. As team chair of the MSU eXtension Institutional Team, she promoted and implemented this new technology, ultimately changing how technology is used within Extension.

 She created a training process that helped us successfully conduct two virtual Fall Extension Conferences, the first of which was a weeklong conference attended by more than 600 staff with more than 100 online meetings. She took the lead in developing an extensive training process to orient staff to use Adobe Connect Pro to teach, collaborate and assist online conference training.

 As part of a team who worked intensely to engage MSU Extension horticulture staff in “Ask an Expert” training and use, Lela was instrumental in expanding horticulture information to residents across the state. She helped design and coordinate numerous online “Ask an Expert” training sessions for staff and Master Gardener volunteers.

 Simply put, she’s a leader in leadership. Her contagious enthusiasm encourages others to get involved and take the lead. We’ve known that around MSUE and perhaps we’ve taken it for granted. What’s been fun to see is how others around the country have discovered the wonderful colleague we have in Lela.

 Congratulations to both of you!

1 Comment

Filed under Awards

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.

Comments Off on 1st MSUE cohort in human development and family studies graduates

Filed under Uncategorized