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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
Dr. George F. Czapar, Associate Dean and Director of Extension presents Rhonda Ferree with the Extension Technology Excellence Award

Ferree Wins Technology Excellence Award

Rhonda J. Ferree, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, was awarded the University of Illinois Extension Technology Excellence Award at Extension's annual conference in November 2013.

The Technology Excellence Award goes to a staff member who has utilized technology as a tool in program delivery and content.

During her 25-year Extension career Rhonda has been known as an early adopter of technology, using her skills as a program delivery tool. This includes expansive work with social media and a new distance technology delivery method.

Ferree feels that her social media work reaches a larger and potentially more diverse audience. Her current ILRiverHort Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blog social media sites provide cutting - edge, scientific based information that educates and interacts with local citizens in a whole new way.

In 2013 she used technology to successfully initiate an innovative new Master Gardener training delivery method that reached more people at locations closer to their homes. Using the online conferencing platform Blackboard Collaborate to do training at four locations simultaneously, she trained 37 new volunteers who otherwise would not have had the opportunity.

As Extension adjusts to cuts in public funds and the ever-changing clientele needs, Rhonda knows that we must assure extension provides an accountable and responsive service to citizens. Keeping current on technology and its role in program delivery is crucial in this effort. She uses it and distance learning to deliver quality education anywhere and anytime that is most convenient to clientele.

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