Tag Archives: relax: alternatives to anger

Follow these tips to promote your ‘baby’

Many of you have produced Michigan State University Extension curriculum or bulletins on subjects near and dear to you. The product has become your “baby” so to speak. You’ve put much time and energy into producing a product you believe in. You want others to benefit from your efforts. However, you’re disappointed to find that sales of the product in the MSU Extension Bookstore are not what you expected. This does happen in some cases. But there are other cases where MSU Extension-produced products are selling well in our bookstore. Often, the product’s promotion may make the difference. I’d like to tell you about three cases in which our MSU Extension colleagues’ efforts in promoting their products have resulted in at least modest increases in sales. All three worked with Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications to develop their products.

RELAX: Alternatives to Anger is an educational series for people who want to manage their anger and stress both at home and at work. It was updated in December 2012 by MSU Extension educators Holly Tiret and Suzanne Pish. Sales of RELAX from the third quarter of 2013 accounted for more than double the total sales of the first and second quarters.

Holly attributed the uptick in sales during that period to the RELAX team’s promotion of the product at the Galaxy IV Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., in September. At the conference, the team distributed postcards advertising the RELAX curriculum that included a brief description, cost, contact information, and the MSU Extension Bookstore and MSU Extension websites. The team further increased product visibility by wearing shirts with the MSU Extension logo and the RELAX  logo at the conference. In addition, the Michigan Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (MEAFCS) provided funds to purchase a booth to promote many MSU Extension programs.

Holly said, “We didn’t just sit at our booth. We walked the exhibitor booths, and people kept asking us what RELAX on our shirts stood for. We ended up having to carry postcards with us to give to people as we walked around visiting other vendors.”

Sales of RELAX outside of Michigan accounted for a third of all sales. Holly attributes that to national exposure through the Galaxy conference and participating in the exhibitor hall. The curriculum also received National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) national, regional and state awards further increasing awareness.

“The fact that we were a part of the professional organization helped us reach a much broader audience of potential customers,” said Holly.

Over the next two weeks, I’ll tell you about two other curricula that our colleagues have successfully marketed.

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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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Learn to RELAX with MSU Extension anger and stress management curriculum

A Michigan State University Extension curriculum has been updated and is getting new attention, thanks to eXtension and other online learning options. “RELAX: Alternatives to Anger,” an educational series for those who want to manage their anger and stress both at home and at work, was recently updated by MSUE educators Suzanne Pish and Holly Tiret.

Since it was released on eXtension in December, ten individuals have taken part in an online offering of this program. In addition, nearly 70 copies of the curriculum CD have been sold through the MSU Extension Bookstore. Staff members can also order workbooks to use when offering the program, and incentives like stress balls and promotional magnets.

Suzanne and Holly worked with ANR Communications technical writer Katie Gervasi to produce the curriculum. Others in ANR Communications were involved in designing templates and getting the RELAX items into the MSU Extension Bookstore. The team wanted to extend the availability of the curriculum so they decided to also offer the online option through eXtension. Anyone can take the course. The cost is $20.

Closer to home, Suzanne will collaborate with the MSU Extension Staff Wellness Committee to offer RELAX for MSU Extension campus staff March 26. Register here.

“We would like to have MSU Extension staff to help advertise the online course to potential participants,” Suzanne said, “Just a week ago, a participant from Wisconsin called to say how much she enjoyed the course.”

Holly said, “I also got an email from an MSU student looking for an anger management class for himself. I emailed him and gave him instructions on the online course. We are even reaching students at MSU!”

To get to the online course, go to http://msue.anr.msu.edu/resources/relax_alternatives_to_anger_online_program.

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Filed under Social and emotional health