FYI 05-18-18

A Message from the Associate Dean

Please join me in expressing gratitude to Dr. George F. Czapar, immediate past Associate Dean and Director of University of Illinois Extension and Outreach, for his dedicated and loyal service to the University of Illinois and to the Cooperative Extension Service at large. George began his career with Extension in the early 1980s, and served as an Extension Educator, Director of the Center for Watershed Science, and Associate Dean, among other positions, over a career that spanned more than 35 years. His interest in working collaboratively with others to promote agriculture, conservation, the environment, our economy, and human ecology throughout the state and to advocate for Illinois Extension has been truly remarkable. George is a shining example of the nature and kind of individuals who are attracted to Extension – those who live to serve others, who find value in giving to their communities, and who believe that knowledge, technology, support, and engagement are essential for humanity.

I am overwhelmingly honored and privileged to serve as the Interim Associate Dean and Director of Extension and Outreach in the College of ACES at the University of Illinois. My intent is to serve you responsibly and respectfully while honoring the traditions of Extension and striving for innovations. I have much to learn from and look forward to meeting you!

The state of Illinois has released $10 million to University of Illinois Extension, including $8.35 million to match contributions from county boards. Click Bipartisan coalition secures release of $10 million to University of Illinois Extension for full details.

Shelly Nickols-Richardson, Interim Associate Dean
Office of Extension and Outreach

News & Announcements

We are pleased to announce exciting changes ahead for Extension’s state communications, web, and IT departments (CommIT). In response to widespread input and long-running requests from Extension staff for increased support, we have been approved to expand the CommIT team to provide these essential services for Extension programs.

In the upcoming months, we will fill positions for permanent directors of IT and communications, as well as additional specialists in web development, IT, creative services, and communications. These positions will work as a collaborative team to advance the broader impact mission of Extension, as well as enrich its identity and visibility.

This expansion will give the web team the capacity to build and maintain a new Extension state website with modern functionality for Extension’s staff and digital audiences, and expand the state communications team from a current low of 1.5 FTEs to a team with capacity to assist with your creative services, publicity, and strategic communications needs.

Thank you for your continued patience as we strive for excellence. We’re excited to share more in the coming months.

Best regards,

Shelly Nickols-Richardson Interim Associate Dean and Director
Deborah Seiler Communications Coordinator
James Hazzard Interim IT Director

In case you missed it, the marketing tab of the portal has a few new resources: Name tag order forms for Extension staff and volunteers, and additional wordmark configurations with updated guides. The style rules aren’t changing – you’ll just have more options to work with. (Looking for fewer files to keep track of? Grab the full color, black, and white wordmark from the “Extension ACES Wordmarks” folder and those will cover all your needs with 3 files.)

Specifically, the new resources include:

  • Extension Wordmark Guide – updated (Read me! I’m quick and important)
  • Extension Wordmarks at a Glance – updated
  • Extension Master Gardeners Brand Guide – new
  • Vertical and informal* wordmarks – updated
  • Additional 4-H and Master Gardener lockups – updated

*Importantly, note from the Extension Wordmark Guide that informal wordmarks must always include “College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences” spelled out elsewhere on the document. This can be in any font, but if you would like to match it to the style standards, just use image or font file from the “ACES Text and ACES Bar” folder.

Finally, be sure to check out the spring issue of ACES@Illinois magazine, with Extension’s own Keith Jacobs on the cover, Master Gardeners on p. 12, Extension interns on p. 28, and more.

Upcoming Conferences
  • Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors): June 6-8, 2018, Kansas City, MO. A multistate conference about integration of immigrants in new destinations. People from various fields who work with Latinos and immigrant communities come together to share research and best practices that facilitate the integration of newcomers. For more information:

Thomas Shanower will become Acting Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Shanower will be replacing outgoing NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy.

More at: NIFA Acting Director

It has been announced that on March 16, Angie Barnard’s title was formally changed to Executive Director of the Illinois 4-H Foundation/Director of Development and in turn her appointment was increased from 70% to 100%.

Angie is uniquely qualified based on her 10+ years of experience in development and her current experience as Executive Director of the Illinois 4-H Foundation. In this dual role, Angie will devote time and strategy to raising funds for the College’s Campaign priorities and goals and to promoting private giving opportunities specifically for 4-H and Extension. She will continue to work with the 4-H Foundation Board and work closely with Jennifer Smith, who also supports 4-H and Extension as part of her development portfolio.

  • Thomas "TJ" Valentin, Office Support Associate, 528 Bevier Hall, supporting the offices of CED, Web, and IT.
  • Laurencia Hubbard, SNAP-Ed Community Worker, Unit 1 - Winnebago County
  • Margo Turman, 4-H Extension Program Coordinator, Unit 1 - Stephenson County
  • Jannette Saglier, SNAP-Ed Community Worker, Unit 2 - Boone County

Unit 2 County Director - Heather Coyle will begin her duties as County Director on Monday, May 21, 2018.

Heather has a master’s degree in Business Administration from Liberty University. She has previous experience with Extension and Outreach in various capacities from both Iowa State University and University of Illinois. Heather also served over nine years in government administration for Whiteside County in Illinois. I am excited about the skills and experiences that she is bringing to our organization.

Please join me in welcoming Heather in her new role with University of Illinois Extension.


  • Camaya Wallace Bechard, Consumer Economics Educator, Unit 12
  • Kalyn Berglin, Office Suppport Associate, Unit 16
  • Morgan McDonald, Office Support Associate, Unit 14
  • Catherine O’Connell, Extension Program Coordinator (Communications & Marketing), Unit 18
  • Leah Street, 4-H Youth Development Educator, Unit 12 (3/5/18). Formerly Program Coordinator in Unit 12
  • Sarah Boente, Office Support Assistant, Unit 18
  • Jessica Jaffry, 4-H Extension Program Coordinator, Unit 18
  • Jennifer Peterson, 4-H Youth Development Educator, Unit 7 (4/16/18). Formerly Program Coordinator in Unit 7
  • Dawn Dove, SNAP-Ed Community Worker, Unit 8
  • Tim McNally, SNAP-Ed Community Worker, Unit 8
  • Tessa Hobbs-Curley, Family Life Educator, Unit 10 (4/2/18). Formerly 4-H YD Educator in Unit 10
  • Jessica Swearingen, 4-H Program Coordinator in Unit 12
  • Haley Haverback, Extension Watershed Outreach Associate in Unit 7 (will be housed in the Henry/Stark office in Galva)
  • Jessica Soule, Extension Educator, Commercial Ag, Unit 20
  • Nick Flax – Extension Educator, Horticulture, Unit 21
  • Pamela Heiser – Community Worker, SNAP-Ed, Unit 21
  • Jance Curry-Witzman – Community Worker, SNAP-Ed, Unit 26
  • Jessica Soule – Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture, Unit 20
  • Heather Willis – Office Support Assistant, Unit 26
  • Joe DeVillez – Office Support Assistant, Unit 26
  • Landon Chandler – Community Worker, SNAP-Ed, Unit 26
  • Rima Abusaid – Community Worker, SNAP-Ed, Unit 22
  • Kim Morrison – Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, Unit 19
  • Renae Patterson – Office Support Assistant, Unit 24
  • Jennifer Woodyard – Watershed Outreach Associate, Unit 21
Unit 19 County Director - Danna Lewis began her duties on April 25, 2018. Danna received her Bachelors in Healthcare Management from SIU-C, her Masters in Higher Education Administration and Student Personnel from Capella University in Minneapolis and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration at SIU-C.

Danna comes to us from SIU-C where she held the position of Acting Assistant Dean for the College of Business at SIU-C. She also held previous positions as Director of Career Services at SIU-C, Coordinator of Residence Education at Colorado State University, Director of the Department of University Housing at Georgia Southern University, Director of Recruitment and Retention at SIU-C and Student Services Support Specialist at Kaskaskia College.

Please join us in welcoming Danna to our Extension community!

PubsPlus, the online store for College of ACES and Extension publications, has been redesigned with a new look and new features. Check out the new website at Please note that you will need to create a new account to use the new site.

Looking for gardening publications? The following item is now available from or call 1-800-345-6087: Vegetable Gardening in the Midwest, C1331-18, 208 pages, $28.95.

In an April 13 email message, President Tim Killeen announced that a program providing additional paid days off during our December/January holidays has been extended to a third straight year. Below is the message.

Dear colleagues:

We are pleased to announce that a program providing additional paid days off during our December/January holidays has been extended to a third straight year.

Employees who are eligible for leave benefits will again receive three paid gift days for this year’s Reduced Service Days – on December 27, 28 and 31. Before the program began in 2016, employees had been required to draw from their annual pool of paid time off to be paid for the reduced service days.

The program is reflected in the FY 2019 Holiday Schedule that will be distributed to employees this month. Our universities, hospital and clinics, and system offices will follow up with more details, including how to report the gift days and how they can be used on different days by essential employees who must work on December 27, 28 or 31. As in years past, the gift day program will be evaluated after the holidays to determine whether it will be extended.

For employees in union-represented bargaining units, paid time off for the holidays is addressed through the required collective bargaining process.

Our employees are the foundation of our excellence and our global standing as a go-to destination for students and research discovery. We hope this program illustrates just how much we appreciate everything you do.


Tim Killeen, President, University of Illinois System
Barb Wilson, Executive Vice President, University of Illinois System
Michael Amiridis, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Robert Jones, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Susan Koch, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Springfield

From Iowa State University: After a nationwide search, John Lawrence has been appointed vice president for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Lawrence, who has been serving as interim vice president since March 2017, previously served as associate dean in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and director of extension and outreach. He will begin serving in the permanent role immediately.

From Chris Boerboom: I want to share some great news (in my opinion). I will be retiring from NDSU Extension on July 2 after 6+ years as director. Lisa and I plan to move to the Twin Cities to be closer to family and enjoy life in a new way. As I mentioned on our last call, we just completed the external review of Extension and we have some great plans shaping up so it seems like a good time to hand over the reins to the next leader. VP Grafton will launch an internal search for an interim director soon and a permanent director will follow. I guess that's about all to share at this time. See you all in Ohio (NCCEA Spring Conference, April 23-25). More at:


Congratulations to Gary Schnitkey and Scott Irwin for their well earned recognition as AAEA award winners.
  • Gary Schnitkey: AAEA Distinguished Extension/Outreach Program, More than 10 Years
  • Scott Irwin with co-author and ACE alum Dwight Sanders: AAEA Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize Award for their article "The Impact of Index and Swap Funds on Commodity Futures Markets."


Deepest condolences are extended to the family and friends of University of Illinois Extension staff member Linda Reynolds who passed away on February 4. Linda was a Unit 8 Office Support Associate in LaSalle County where she worked for 24 years. Memorial contributions can be made to a charity of the the donor's choice. Full obituary may be viewed at .

Our condolences to Rhonda Mueller on the passing of her father, Melvin Harre, on February 24, 2018. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Rhonda at:

University of Illinois Extension Washington County Office
9623 Wall St.
Nashville, IL 62263

Obituary may be viewed at:

Tom Lashmett, retiree of U of I Extension, passed away March 29, 2018. Tom was employed by U of I Extension for 33 years beginning in May 1969 where he worked in Winnebago County for 3 1/2 years. He transferred to Morgan County in the fall of 1972 where he continued until his retirement in 2002.

Memorials are suggested to the Morgan County 4-H Foundation, Scott County Fair Board, and Reflections at Garden Place Memory Care Assisted Living.

Click obituary for more information.

John Scott Jr., 91, of Champaign died Sunday, April 1, 2018 at University of Iowa Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa. John worked as a farm manager and appraiser in LaSalle County. Full obituary may be viewed at

We have learned the news that Thelma Malone passed away. She was a former Unit Leader in Williamson County who retired in 2006 after 34 years of services. Click here to read the full obituary.

condolences are extended to the family and friends of Rickey “Rick” Keim on his passing Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Rick was retired after working 31 years with Extension in Pike and Schuyler counties as an Ag Associate/Advisor, before moving to Greene County where he worked as Unit Leader. His obituary can be found at:

Current Openings in Extension

Search Job Title Application Deadline
A1800321 Extension Information Technology Analyst June 21, 2018
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