Tag Archives: mariah montenegro

Teams work together to attain ACE awards, present at conference

Many of our Michigan State University Extension colleagues will attend the Association of Communication Excellence (ACE) Conference in Portland, Oregon, June 24-27. And once again, many will be presented with ACE awards they have received.

A team from Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications and ANR Technology Services received a silver award in the website category for our own MSU Extension website. Winners include Dennis Bond, Sean Corp, Michelle Lavra and Beth Stuever.

A silver award for a marketing communications campaign went to a team who worked together on the Smart Gardening Initiative. The team included Joy Landis, Mallory Fournier, Rebecca Finneran and Mary Wilson. The recipients developed a process for the Consumer Horticulture team to market Smart Gardening advice and expertise to reach a large number of Michigan gardeners. Additional staff who lend their expertise, time and effort to Smart Gardening include MSU Extension educators Bob Bricault, Diane Brown, Hal Hudson, Rebecca Krans and Gretchen Voyle. Entomology Professor Dave Smitley has also helped build the basis for the initiative.

A bronze award for a marketing communications campaign with a budget of $1,000 or more went to the team of Sean Corp, Katie Gervasi, Mariah Montenegro, Mindy Pratt, Paula Sheynerman and Beth Stuever, all of ANR Communications. The team won for “Extending the Reach of Michigan State University Extension.”

Congratulations to all winners!

In addition, a team from ANR Communications will be presenting at the conference. Sean Corp, Katie Gervasi, Mindy Pratt, Paula Sheynerman and Beth Stuever will present “Promoting Extension: They Come for the News: They Stay for the Programming” Wednesday, June 25 at 4:15 p.m.

Also, the Smart Gardening team of Joy Landis, Mallory Fournier, Rebecca Finneran and Mary Wilson will present “How a Message Campaign Produced a Team to Deliver Smart Gardening to a Smart Audience” Wednesday, June 25 at 11 a.m.

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Staff members give 4-H website new look

If you visited the Michigan 4-H Youth Development website lately, you were greeted with a colorful interface. If you’ve been to the site before, you’ll notice a change – a redesign of the graphics and styles. Although web features and content did not change, they’re enhanced by the redesign.

The Michigan 4-H home page before redesign

The Michigan 4-H home page before redesign

The new look and feel was a collaborative effort that began in August 2013 between Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Technology Services and ANR Communications. At that time, the 4-H Web Team consisted of ANR Technology Services information technologist and manager of web services Dennis Bond, communications manager in ANR Communications Michelle Lavra, ANR Communications technical writer Mariah Montenegro and ANR Communications graphic artist Marian Reiter.

Besides redesigning the site, the 4-H Web Team completed the goal of realigning 4-H site content and Michigan State University Extension 4-H site content so that topic, program, event, news and resource information flow more consistently between sites.

ANR Technology Services provided the bulk of the work of designing and building the new look and feel. Pablo Contreras, then the ANR Technology Services web designer, worked on the design of the new 4-H website from August to October 2013, providing design revisions as needed. ANR Communications approved the design on Dec.13, 2013. Ken Villapando, an ANR Technology Services student employee, began implementing the new site on Jan. 10 and completed his work Feb. 3. Dennis provided functionality changes and oversight during this process, launching the new design on Feb. 7.

The new Michigan 4-H home page after redesign

The new Michigan 4-H home page after redesign

The 4-H Web Team currently includes Dennis, Marian and Mariah, and additionally Jamie Wilson and Beth Stuever, both communications managers in ANR Communications. Kayci Reava of ANR Technology Services became web designer in early January.

The 4-H Web Team meets weekly and is instrumental in the continued development of the website. Over the next few weeks, ANR Technology Services and the 4-H Web Team will continue to make changes to the design to ensure the highest possible quality.

Visit the site and get a look at the team’s hard work: http://4h.msue.msu.edu/

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4-H’er realizes dream of giving back

In a recent Spotlight article, I told you about Mattea Antrup, a 10-year-old 4-H’er who sold her hog, which she raised through the 4-H program, to donate money to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Mattea felt compelled to step up with this act of generosity after an accident left her spending 7 weeks in a near full-body cast. Mattea was in and out of the Grand Rapids hospital often and during that time she noticed other young patients ‒ some who never left the hospital. Mattea decided that she would donate the money from one of two hogs she would sell at the Ottawa County Youth Fair. With this decision, Mattea joined the 4-H Revolution of Responsibility: a nationwide movement of young people making positive impacts in the community.

On Oct. 7, Mattea’s dream was realized when she gave DeVos Children’s Hospital a check for $6654.96. Her donation will go to patient families for gas cards to attend appointments, food vouchers, a burn patient scholarship camp, grants and other things to make the patients’ and families’ lives a little easier.

Katie Gervasi, editor in Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications, wrote a Michigan 4-H Today story about Mattea and traveled out to the hospital to witness Mattea’s donation and take a few photos.

Katie heard from Dawnel Antrup, Mattea’s mom, who was grateful that Katie wrote the story about Mattea’s journey through a difficult situation.

Ms. Antrup said, “Thank you for recognizing her passion to give back to others that maybe are struggling more than her. You captured the story beautifully. The Antrup family is very appreciative of your hard work in capturing even the smallest details. Thanks Tons!”

Michelle Lavra, ANR Communications manager and Katie’s supervisor at the time said, “Katie did a great job on this story. Not only is it a nice example of the Revolution of Responsibility stories Katie and Mariah (Montenegro, ANR Communications technical writer) routinely write, it is also a nice example of the difference 4-H’ers like Mattea are making in their communities. And it’s certainly nice to get a great testimonial like the one Katie received from Mattea’s mom.”

As we discussed at Fall Extension Conference this week, we have some incredible stories to tell about the work we do. This is one of those stories. And it also illustrates how much our ANR Communications colleagues help us to tell those stories and to get them out to a broader audience. Thanks, Katie!

Read the story Katie wrote about Mattea here: http://4h.msue.msu.edu/today/4_h_pig_raises_more_than_6000_for_helen_devos_childrens_hospital
The story was picked up by the Associated Press (AP) and distributed across the country from North Carolina to Texas. Read the AP story here:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/MI_MAGNANIMOUS_MATTEA_MIOL-?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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Siblings continue 4-H tradition of entrepreneurship

I’ve got a great story in the tradition of Cuppa Jo Java ‒ you know, that coffee shop started and operated by 4-H’ers in Rapid River, Mich.

This story starts with the brother and sister team of Rachel and Derek Hartline of Tustin. Now, you might find that the norm is for teen siblings to not get along or at least to ignore each other, but these two have worked together successfully to open their own ice cream parlor they’ve named the Dairy Station.

The Hartlines used their 4-H experience in raising and selling animals and translated it into making and selling ice cream. Their time in 4-H helped them to become responsible and to learn how to manage money and time. And I’m sure having caring parents had a lot to do with their success.

Read this story about the young entrepreneurs by Mariah Montenegro, Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications technical writer: http://anrcom.msu.edu/anrcom/news/item/teens_start_a_new_tasty_business

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