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Congratulations to Step III awardees

Every year, senior staff members work with the administration to review the applicants for Step III. It is a rigorous process for the applicants, involving a portfolio review and a seminar presentation, which is assessed by the applicant’s peers and institute director, but a great opportunity for recognition within Michigan State University Extension. The four staff members who have been awarded the status this year are Rebecca Finneran, Brenda Long, Janet Olsen and Holly Tiret.

Step III is awarded to Extension academic staff members who have demonstrated excellence and scholarly achievement in their work as Extension professionals over an extended period. Those who are awarded Step III achieve “senior” status, similarly to a professor rank among faculty. Their titles will now reflect their Step III status by adding “senior” before them.

Please join me in congratulating them on their hard work and dedication to Extension!

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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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Last call for Step III letters of intent

Back on May 31, we congratulated the five colleagues who will be promoted to “senior” educator/specialist status (also referred to as Step III in our personnel system) as of July 1 this year. We also asked for individuals who are interested in pursuing the Step III/senior status for next year to let us know of their intent by July 1. All that is needed at this time is a “letter of intent” submitted to the individual’s institute director with a copy to Nancy Axtell. The memo needs to include the names, titles and contact information of six possible reviewers – three internal to MSU and three external. The deadline for the letters of intent has been extended to Friday, July 6.

All Step III information, including the timeline, sample documents, template, etc., is available in the Administrative Handbook under Step III.

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Step III promotions approved by MSU, letters of intent for 2012-13 review due July 1

The Michigan State University Provost’s Office has approved promotions of five 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 and specialists:

Lisa Bottomley, Children and Youth Institute
Lisa has built a solid reputation as a mentoring expert not only within Michigan but also across the nation, bringing distinction to MSU Extension. Through her work, she networks with scholars and practitioners throughout the country. Major funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation have recognized her work, a testament to the quality of her scholarship.

Deb Barrett, Children and Youth Institute
Deb provides excellent leadership in a diverse county. She demonstrated impact through parent evaluations during the We Can Ride Club program. Program assessments indicated systemic change within the New Buffalo School District leading to healthier food choices and activities for students. This program is an excellent example of success and impacts through collaboration. Deb has facilitated significant changes in the overall Berrien County 4-H program, leading to increases in volunteerism and better club accountability and management. Deb implemented new worm farming entrepreneurship curricula, leading to successful worm growing and sales by the clubs.

Martin Nagelkirk, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
Martin is the state’s lead person in MSU Extension for the wheat industry. He uses a wide variety of educational methods while evaluating his efforts and showing impact in significant ways through practice changes and economic increases for the industries he serves. His educational efforts include field research plots, classroom education, demonstrations, newsletters, articles, electronic mailing lists and one-on-one contacts. A tremendous facilitator, Martin works behind the scenes in programs such as the wheat referendum to accomplish many tasks in his Extension role. He works to share his published research results in plant pathology journals with the industry in both written and electronic media. His abilities to maintain funding for his wheat field plots and other activities in the Thumb Ag Research and Education (TARE) project are a result of sustained funding from agribusiness and the wheat industry, which see his work as critical.

Dennis Pennington, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
Dennis has become a recognized leader in the bioenergy field, establishing excellent connections within Michigan, the North Central region and nationally. Dennis shows clear evidence for excellence in scholarship including the development of bulletins, fact sheets, education programs and Web pages. Dennis is and will continue to be a major factor in MSUE’s ability to serve the growing bioenergy industry, developing research programs and educational materials to help farmers decide to grow and market bioenergy crops and building capacity through training programs for Extension educators to help develop this growing sector.

William Shane, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
William is an outstanding researcher in peach breeding. He has contributed to fruit Integrated Pest Management areas with the development of the Enviroweather system while staying in tune with his peers via professional meetings and conferences. William’s research program demonstrates commitment to the area and expertise in the field with patents generated as new varieties are developed. His strengths lie in the research-based aspects of his work as he has made significant contributions to the advancement of the scientific base of his field. His unique position of both research and Extension education provide the opportunity for enhancing the quality, effectiveness and stability of the fruit industry in southwest Michigan and securing the role of MSU Extension at the cutting edge of horticulture education and practice.

 This leads perfectly into our next announcement. Between now and July 1, we are accepting letters of intent for 2012-2013 review. To be considered for the 2012-2013 Step III Review Process, a letter of intent, which includes names and contact information of potential assessors, is due July 1, 2012, with final portfolios due electronically to your institute director with a copy to your district coordinator and Nancy Axtell by Oct. 1, 2012. You can learn more about Step III and all these processes in the Administrative Handbook at Step I, Step II and Step III Promotions.

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Step II and Step III promotions approved by MSU

The Michigan State University Provost’s Office has approved promotions of 10 Extension academic staff members to Step II and five to Step III. Step II is awarded after successful completion of a three-year and six-year portfolio review process, and is analogous to the promotion to associate professor rank for faculty. For individuals appointed in the MSUE Continuing Employment (CE) system, Step II also comes with award of CE 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 achieve “senior” status, analogous to achievement of the professor rank among faculty, and their titles are changed by addition of the senior modifier to the title of educator, program leader or specialist.

 Individuals who were successful in the Step II process this year include:

  • Janis Brinn, Children and Youth Institute
  • Kittie Butcher, Children and Youth Institute
  • Ryan Coffey, Greening Michigan Institute
  • Elizabeth Ferry, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • Andrew Hayes, Greening Michigan Institute
  • Glenda Kilpatrick, Children and Youth Institute
  • Betty Jo Nash, Children and Youth Institute
  • Nikki Rothwell, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • Brad Slaughter, Michigan Natural Features Inventory
  • Dixie Ward, Greening Michigan Institute

 Those who were promoted to senior status this year include:

  • Phil Durst, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • Kathy Lee, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • Amy Irish-Brown, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • George Silva, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • Jane Herbert, Greening Michigan Institute

 Congratulations to all for this significant achievement. You can learn more about the Step II and Step III processes in our Administrative Handbook at Step I, Step II and Step III Promotions.

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