FYI 12-20-2017

A Message from the Associate Dean

We received many positive comments regarding our Annual Extension Conference last month. It was great having our program coordinators participate this year, and it was one of our largest conferences to date. Thanks again to the organizing committee for creating an excellent program and to our speakers for sharing their time and expertise. Expanding professional development opportunities was identified in the Extension Culture Survey as an area for improvement and we continue to look for other ways to implement this recommendation.

Beth Welbes will begin on January 16, 2018 as Program Planning and Assessment Director. She has over 20 years of assessment and evaluation experience with the Center for Prevention Research and Development (CPRD) in the School of Social Work on campus. Please join me in welcoming Beth to Extension.

Extension’s Web Application Development Manager, Paul Thornhill, accepted a new position in the private sector beginning January 3, 2018. Paul has been an important part of the web team and his leadership will be missed. My sincere thanks to Paul for his dedicated service to Extension and we wish him well in his new position. Dr. James Hazzard will be assuming the role of Interim IT Director and will provide overall leadership for Extension IT and web teams.

Finally, I want to thank everyone for your continued dedication and commitment to Extension this past year and wish you all the best during this holiday season and in the coming year.

George F. Czapar, Associate Dean and Director
Office of Extension and Outreach

News & Announcements

Extension communications will ring in the new year with 13,270 followers on Facebook (/UIExtension), 3,100 on Twitter (@ILextension), and 7,588 subscribers on YouTube (/UIExtension), where the top video – a 7-year-old classic on drying flowers – has been viewed more than 269,000 times. Thanks to the efforts of all Extension staff, University of Illinois Extension has been mentioned more than 580 times in earned media this year, not including broadcast and offline news. Communicators across the state have also pitched in to revitalize Extension spotlight stories, coordinated by Abby Bobrow, which share the big picture of what we do and why it matters.

Our resolutions are set for another great year of public engagement in 2018, including through Extension’s brand new Instagram account (@ilextension) and continued collaboration with the College of ACES. We wish you a wonderful holiday season.

From James Hazzard, IT
One of our new training efforts in Extension Technology Services is our new “book” club. It isn’t actually something you read, instead everyone who participates will take the same class. January’s club will be about We will have a discussion and training session on Thursday, January 11th at 2pm to discuss the lesson, answer questions, and talk about Box’s use in Extension. To register or get more information please click here.

A best practice to consider when reaching out to underserved audiences is to develop programs based on ethnic and cultural themes, i.e. African American History Month (February); Women’s History Month (March); Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (March); Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May); Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (June); Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 16); and Native American Heritage Month (November). It is also important to be aware of ethnic and religious holiday observances when scheduling programs and meetings. Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Source: Diversity Best Practices.

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Erin Medvecz - Extension Educator, Environmental and Energy Stewardship for Unit 27 began her duties on November 1, 2017. Erin holds a Master's degree in Plant Biology from Southern Illinois University and a Bachelor's in Environmental Studies from the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota. She was most recently Conservation Education Representative for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at the Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center.

Morgan Newell - County Director for Unit 25 began her position on November 6, 2017. Morgan has a Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Management and an M.B.A., both from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. Morgan is a native of Lawrenceville, Illinois and comes to us from Addus Homecare in Mt. Carmel, where she served as Director. She has also served as Administrator for United Methodist Village in Lawrenceville.

The Chancellor's Distinguished Staff Award (CDSA) is presented annually to up to eight staff employees for their exceptional accomplishments and service to the university. Each recipient is recognized with a $1000 cash award and a plaque of appreciation from the Chancellor. Recipients' names are also commemorated on a permanent plaque in the Staff Human Resources office. Awards are presented at the banquet in the spring.

Nomination Deadline is 5:00 p.m. on January 16, 2018.

Click here for details.

Below is the November 30, 2017 email message from Dean Kidwell announcing the Interim Head, Department of Crop Sciences. I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Patrick Tranel has agreed to serve as the interim head of the Department of Crop Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Tranel is a highly respected weed scientist who has had a stellar 20-year career at the University of Illinois. His research program is internationally recognized for expanding our understanding of the evolution and underlying mechanisms of herbicide resistance in weeds. He currently holds the Ainsworth Professorship in Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. Dr. Tranel also is an award-winning teacher. He has been highly engaged in various leadership roles in the department over the years and brings an excellent understanding of both the department and the university to this position. Dr. Tranel will assume the interim head role on January 1, 2018. A national search to identify the next permanent head of the Department of Crop will be initiated in the spring of 2018.

I am grateful for Dr. Tranel’s commitment to serve in this role and look forward to continuing to collaborate with him and personnel in the Department of Crop Sciences to ensure a vibrant future for the department and the College of ACES

Current Openings in Extension

Search Job Title Application Deadline
A1800008 Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development February 6, 2018
A1800031 Extension Watershed Outreach Associate, ANR (Water Quality) February 16, 2018
A1800037 County Extension Director February 19, 2018
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