Tag Archives: nancy victorson

Congratulations to MAE4-HYS award winners

Congratulations to our 2016 Michigan Association of Extension 4-H Youth Staff (MAE4-HYS) award winners! These awards were announced and received at the 2016 Children and Youth Institute (CYI) Retreat. In 2015, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension served 182,000 youth. The people mentioned below are just a handful of those making a difference in young people’s lives. The awards are a testament to the important work that our CYI colleagues are doing across the state.

Makena Schultz, MSU Extension leadership and civic engagement educator, received the Achievement Award. This award recognizes new 4-H staff members who have demonstrated excellence in the development and organization of their county 4-H Youth Development Programs. Makena received the award for her coordination of 4-H Capitol Experience, programs in reflections and failure resiliency, her lessons on teen facilitation, group decision-making, youth-adult partnerships, communications and conflict resolution as well as her development of new partnerships, and her collaboration in creating the World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute.

Melissa Elischer, MSU Extension dairy youth educator, received the Presidential Citation. The award recognizes staff members for a specific program, topic or activity. Melissa works with MSU faculty and MSU Extension staff members, 4-H volunteers and stakeholders to develop, implement and evaluate statewide programs that provide opportunities for youth to develop content knowledge and life skill development. Additionally, her work brings together MSU faculty from the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Department of Animal Science, local volunteers and industry partners to bring growth and renewed energy to 4-H dairy events. Through her programs, bookmarks and dairy guide, she has been able to introduce and teach animal care and well-being to youth and adults across the state. Melissa also received the Scholarship for Personal and Professional Development, which she can use to travel in the U.S. or abroad to study youth work or use toward graduate tuition to facilitate growth in her Extension work.

Kristi Ayers, MSU Extension 4-H program coordinator based in Kent County, received the Diversity Award, which recognizes staff for outstanding effort and accomplishments in achieving and sustaining diversity in county and state 4-H youth work. Kristi has formed key partnerships with community agencies and schools serving youth in Grand Rapids. Through these partnerships, she has offered programs in Spanish as well as food and nutrition education in urban food desserts. She has supplied blankets and books to people who needed them. Through the 4-H embryology project, she has taught young people about the beginning of life.

Kathy Fischer and Dana Wawrzyniec won the Team Award. Based in Calhoun County, Kathy is a 4-H program coordinator, and Dana is a health and nutrition program instructor. Together, they worked with the local nonprofit Sprout Urban Farms to teach Calhoun County residents how to eat healthier. They developed a community space with a tool lending library, visited classrooms to teach about plant gardens and eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and formed a partnership with the food service director. After learning about plants in the classroom, students were excited to see fresh produce as part of the lunch choice. Kathy also received the First Time Conference Scholarship to attend the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

The Partnership Award recognizes individuals or groups outside of MSU Extension who have made an outstanding contribution to MSU Extension 4-H Youth Development. The following partners received the award:

1) Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer has supported the Clinton County 4-H Livestock sale for over 30 years. Troy Bancroft, his family and the company staff have a huge impact on the Clinton County 4-H and Youth Fair as financial supporters and sponsors and as volunteers, lending their time and resources. They also provide a space for board meetings, awards ceremonies and other events. The partnership between 4-H and Agro-Culture has been invaluable.

2) Fifth Third Michigan State Fair LLC and Suburban Collection Showplace benefits 4-H and our youth in many ways. It gives 4-H’ers an opportunity to showcase 4-H projects, learn life skills, and apply for and receive scholarships for their achievements. The junior fair board provides leadership development. The future opportunities are infinite, creating a mutually beneficial relationship with a fantastic opportunity to highlight the services of MSU Extension.

3) Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) has been a longtime supporter of youth programming in Michigan. For more than 80 years, MMPA has partnered with MSU Extension to enhance and grow 4-H programming in dairy science and other animal science project areas. Contributions to the program have been extensive. They include annual funding through the 4-H Foundation, grant matches, start-up funds with continued support for a 4-H camp, personnel to assist at statewide dairy youth events, and the hosting of an annual youth career development and scholarship program at the Novi headquarters. Ken Nobis, Joe Diglio and Sheila Burkhardt, attending on behalf of MMPA, were honored during the program.

Tom Guthrie and Nicole Wethington each won the Colleague Award, which recognizes an individual within MSU Extension who has made an outstanding contribution to MSU Extension 4-H Youth Development. Tom is a statewide Extension educator based in Jackson County. In 2015, Tom was a superhero who helped Jackson County overcome a health outbreak leading to a short quarantine of the barn at the fair. Tom helped in monitoring pig health, calling in experts, and communicating with superintendents and families, and staff worked as a team to minimize the impact to the fair, exhibitors and buyers. Nicole is an MSU Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program‒Education (SNAP-Ed) program instructor in Crawford and Roscommon counties. She has taught 4-H day campers about germs and physical activity, trained aspiring chefs about food safety and the source of our food, and shared exotic fruits and vegetables. She has also trained staff and volunteers to deliver lessons on healthy choices.

Helen-Ann Cordes, a 4-H program coordinator in Alpena County, received the Communicator Award, which recognizes significant accomplishment in presenting 4-H to the general public, civic groups, 4-H groups or individuals through public information methods. Her use of technology, print and social media to educate and communicate with members, their families and volunteers has allowed her to reach people where they are. Video recorded trainings and updates for leaders also minimize the number of after-hours meetings necessary. Helen-Ann also uses these media to market 4-H to residents of Alpena County and certain programming to surrounding counties.

Julie Thelen received the MAE4-HYS Excellence in Camping Award, the National Excellence in Camping Award, the MAE4-HYS Programming Expertise Award in Animal Science and the National Excellence in Animal Science Programming Award. Julie is an MSU Extension 4-H livestock and veterinary science educator who develops, implements and evaluates statewide programs for youth. She received both the MAE4-HYS and National Excellence in Camping awards for her work expanding the livestock and veterinary science programs by introducing the 4-H Animal and Veterinary Science Camp. Julie received both state and national programming awards in animal science because of her focus on curriculum development, specifically bringing zoonotic disease education to the forefront of animal science and her development of 4-H club biosecurity and zoonotic lesson kits.

Glenda Weiss received the Urban Programming Award for partnering with local schools to offer science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. She designed science activities shared at urban events and developed community center partnerships to hold craft events. She also partnered with Pingree Farms to provide youth with transportation to their farm where they learned about caring for farm animals.

Jodi Schulz, an MSU Extension educator focusing in capacity building and academic success, received the Michigan Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual’s career in 4-H. She is a model example of a 4-H staff member, a CYI educator and an MSU employee and has been over her 10-year career. Highlights of her contributions include the Life Skills Wheel, the creation of Michigan 4-H SPIN Clubs and her productive partnership with Bay City Public Schools.

The National Distinguished Service Award is one of the highest honors given at the national level. Staff must have 7 years of experience and have won the Michigan Distinguished Service Award to be eligible. This year, Betty Jo Krosnicki, MSU Extension educator in career education and workforce preparation, and Janelle Stewart, MSU Extension children and youth educator, received this prestigious award. Over the past 10 years, Betty Jo served in a number of capacities during her tenure as an MSU Extension educator, including county coordination, the Volunteerism Area of Expertise Team and workgroup roles on the Academic Success, Life Skills, and Career Education and Workforce Preparation teams. Janelle coordinates for Lenawee County, works on the Leadership/Civic Engagement work team, serves on the Advisory Resource Team and is a member on the Capitol Experience Steering Committee, the State Youth Leadership Council Advisory Committee and the Spectacular Steering Committee. She teaches classes in the leadership, citizenship, global education categories such as Youth/Adult Partnerships, Officer Training, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Teen Facilitation, Leadership, Running Effective Meetings and much more.

Bev Przystas received the National Meritorious Award, which recognizes professional attitude, professional improvement, professional accomplishments, personal attitudes, interests, community involvement and special honors received. Recipients must have more than 15 years of service. Bev has been the 4-H program assistant for Gladwin County for 37 years. Her passion for 4-H youth development has reached many youth, volunteers, her community and peers. Her ability to listen and to work with others has helped to bring positive outcomes to potentially negative situations. In her many accomplishments, she has shown teamwork, compassion and integrity.

Jan Brinn, an MSU Extension educator specializing in academic success, leadership, civic engagement and global and cultural education, received the National Excellence in Global Citizenship Award. The award recognizes those who strive to develop and/or conduct programs and/or projects that provide opportunities for youth to develop a world-view including a global perspective and the skills necessary for global citizenship and the development of appreciation for living in a global society. Jan’s work with the Michigan’s 4-H China Project has been positively influencing youth for over 25 years. More than 350,000 youth have participated in the Michigan 4-H China Project global citizenship programs in a variety of settings. Through the Art Exchange, Michigan children in grades K‒6, communicate and learn about China through creating visual letters to send to children in China.

The Rocky Award celebrates the moments when staff do something extraordinary. This year, the award was given to the group that attended the 4-H National Conference in Portland, Oregon: Jan Brinn, Sarah McKinney, Matt Newman, Roxanne Turner and Nancy Victorson. They received the award based on their successful and thorough exploration of Mount Hood.

Please join me in congratulating our MSU Extension colleagues for their work and their award recognition.

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Filed under 4-H, Awards, Children and Youth

Constitution Day event to spark youth interest in civic engagement

Today, we celebrate Constitution Day. On this day in 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the U.S. Constitution, the governing document of our country. Across the country, people will be commemorating this historic event with various events and activities.

Tonight, Michigan State University Extension Chippewa County 4-H, the League of Women Voters of the Eastern Upper Peninsula (EUP), the EUP ISD and Lake Superior State University (LSSU) will host a Constitution Day celebration with guest speaker Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget Mary McCormack. Participants will hear Justice McCormack speak on the importance of youth being civically engaged. The free event takes place at LSSU’s Arts Center and is open to all.

The League of Women voters will have information available on the importance of voting, and MSU senior Extension educator Nancy Victorson, a member of the Leadership and Civic Engagement work team, will have information available on 4-H’s state (4-H Capitol Experience) and national (Citizen Washington Focus) government leadership programs as well as its International Exchange Programs.

Melanie Greenfield, Chippewa County 4-H program coordinator, was a key partner in organizing the event.

Julie Chapin, MSU Extension Children and Youth Institute director, said, “Melanie has had a major role in recruiting youth and others to attend and in the creation of this event originally. Last year’s program was a huge success and this year promises to be the same.”

For more information regarding the Constitution Day Celebration, please contact Melanie at 906-635-6368. Consider going if you’re in the area. The event starts at 7 p.m.

If you can’t make the event in person, you can catch Justice McCormack’s speech live tonight at https://livestream.com/lakestate/events/4352729.
There will be a question and answer period at the end of her speech where you can Tweet in questions to ‪#‎JusticeQuestion!

Read more here: http://www.sooeveningnews.com/article/20150829/NEWS/150829051/0/SEARCH

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Sometimes the lesson learned is not in the lesson plan

In our roles at Michigan State University Extension, we might spend many hours preparing a presentation or workshop with specific objectives in mind expecting that participants will grasp the intended educational concept or skill. Sometimes, we have the unexpected pleasure of participants gaining even more than what we’ve planned for. That’s what happened at the 4-H Visual Arts and Crafts Workshop that took place at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Mich., Oct. 12-13. Surprisingly, it happened because of what most of us would consider an unfortunate situation.

 The hands-on aspect of visual arts makes it a good vehicle to teach life skills. The workshop participants (4-H volunteers aged 12 and up) learn to serve as role models when they’ll teach and help process these same activities, connecting the 4-H members they work with to life skills used in science, entrepreneurship and leadership.

Roma Fuller, 4-H Visual Arts and Crafts Workshop .

Roma Fuller, 4-H Visual Arts and Crafts Workshop participant, uses battery-operated light to work on her glass etching project when the power went out during the workshop that took place at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Mich., Oct. 12-13, 2014. Photo credit: Connie Lange

 However, when a transformer blew and the power went out for almost five hours, participants practiced some life skills not in the lesson plan that day. As participants continued to work on their projects in the dark, both staff and participants practiced resiliency, teamwork and patience. Kettunen Center staff members brought in candles and lanterns, and participants used their flashlights to finish their projects.  The planned hot meal was no longer possible, so Kettunen Center staff rose to the challenge, serving a cold-cut buffet with trimmings.

 Extension educator Connie Lange remarked, “Everyone worked together to make it successful so a challenging time is now a memory that makes us smile and proves the resourcefulness of 4-H people! The workshop is a true example of how 4-H people can work through just about anything!”

 Three work groups collaborated to plan this workshop including Leadership and Civic Engagement, Career Exploration/Workforce Preparation and Academic Success. Senior Extension educator Nancy Victorson chaired the workshop while Jan Brinn, Sara Keinath, Rebecca Krans, Connie Lange, Bev Przystas, Dave Radloff and Laurie Rivetto served on the committee. All committee members facilitated portions of the workshop and pitched in to make things work when the lights went out. Other staff members who taught were Catarina Edison and Cheryl Powell.

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Filed under 4-H

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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Luce County millage passes easily

I’m happy to report that the Luce County millage passed by a large margin with 899 voting “yes” and 292 voting “no.”

 Michigan State University Extension educator Nancy Victorson said, “One township clerk told us this was unprecedented numbers for a primary and attributed the turn out to the ballot issues.”

 Both Extension and the Luce County Parks and Recreation offices were eliminated from the county budget in 1992. Originally passed in 1992 to make up for the loss, the millage must be renewed every 5 years to keep both offices in existence. The one mill will be divided equally between Extension and the Luce County Parks and Recreation.

 Nancy attributes the win to the relationships Extension has built up in the community, strong networks of support and social media.

 The Extension Council, the Friends of Extension and Parks and Recreation Committee (formed to promote the millage), 4-H leaders and families, farmers market supporters and other long-term supporters of Extension came together in support.

 Facebook postings and emails played a huge role in getting the word out about the importance of the millage and reminding people to vote.

 Nancy says it took the entire Luce County Extension team working together to give the millage supporters the kind of program outcomes that they needed to compel voter support. The team made highly visible valued programs in the community a priority, not just in the months before the passage, but throughout the entire five years since the last millage vote. Winter Break for Knowledge (an event with more than 100 people attending), 4-H and the creation of a farmers market are just some of the programs that MSU Extension provides to the people of Luce County.

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