Extension ConnEXTion

January 2013 (print-friendly version)

Professional Development in the New Year

Happy New Year! 2013 is off and running and I bet you are setting a pace that would be difficult for many to keep up with.

Extension professionals have a reputation for leading the pack, not only with the speed of their response but also with innovation, collaboration and accountability. Although our work as Extension educators engaged in helping communities and individuals be successful isn’t really a competitive race, it often feels like the ultimate endurance race... Who isn’t feeling increased pressure to meet ever expanding needs with fewer and fewer resources? It takes an individual who is fit, defined as suitable, healthy and equipped, to meet the challenges of the day.

Professional development can help you have suitable competencies for the tasks that lay ahead, maintain a healthy attitude for staying focused, and be well equipped with new skills, or in other words be fit, for helping communities and individuals be successful. As OSU Extension positions itself to address contemporary issues affecting Oregon, faculty and staff members will need to engage in training and development in order to maintain professional expertise in relevant areas.

It’s never too late to make New Year’s resolutions... Now is a good time set some professional goals for 2013. In order to help you set individual goals, I purpose the following four overarching organizational goals as a frame for the training and development needed by OSU Extension employees to help the organization advance:

  • Goal 1: OSU Extension builds capacity to make a difference.
    (Effective recruitment, hiring and orientation)
  • Goal 2: OSU Extension is dynamic and capitalizes on opportunities to help Oregonians.
    (Needs assessment, program planning, and program delivery)
  • Goal 3: OSU Extension demonstrates that it makes positive change happen.
    (Program evaluation, program reporting, and communicating results)
  • Goal 4: OSU Extension is competent in an ever-changing world.
    (Career-long learning and professional development)

The goals briefly state the desired condition of the organization, summarizing our core values and operating principles. Under each goal are the relevant areas of expertise or habitude that faculty and staff need for being fit and able to meet the challenges of the day.

As you consider what professional goals to set, think about:

  • What areas you wish to be more competent in and confident about for accomplishing your current assignment?
  • Where do you see your career in five-years and what knowledge and skills will you need to get there?
  • In your last performance review, were there areas identified that needed improvement or strengthening?
  • What are your strengths and are you interested in developing a deeper specialty in that area of knowledge or skill?

You may also want to talk with your supervisor or peers about what they'd suggest as appropriate professional goals. Sometimes others can see your work from a more objective perspective and provide valuable feedback on your skills and abilities. Or they can share positive trainings or development experiences they have had that may give you ideas to pursue for yourself. And, if your plan of work is entered into SOARS, be sure to include your 2013 goals in your professional development plan.

Faculty members working at 1.0 FTE for Extension should commit at least 12 days (90 hours) per year for training and development, to be negotiated with and approved by the immediate supervisor in consultation with program leader(s) and department head. Those faculty members working less than 1.0 FTE will scale their training and development commitment to match their FTE. This commitment may include program in-service, university sponsored workshops and webinars, eXtension webinars, professional meetings and conferences, Extension Spring Training, O&E strategic conference, for-credit courses, etc. The number of days may be higher for newer faculty members or for faulty who have a change in assignment.

Office and program support staff should commit to at least two or three training and development activities per year, to be negotiated with and approved by the immediate supervisor and may vary in length of time commitment from a few hours of training spread over several weeks to two or three days of intensive in-service on a new initiative. This commitment may include program in-service, university sponsored workshops and webinars, eXtension webinars, professional meetings and conferences, Extension Spring Training, O&E strategic conference, for-credit courses, local workshops or programs that contribute to the assigned worked, etc.

Don’t let costs get in the way of following through on your 2013 professional goals. Through the generous donations of Extension supporters, OSU Extension offers professional development funds to support faculty and staff in their professional develop activities. These funds are awarded quarterly and designed to help faculty and staff gain the knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviors to enhance Extension education programs and services. See the Professional Development Fund webpage for details.

It is training and development that will help each of us achieve the finish line in this endurance race we all have entered for 2013. To remain a focused, responsive organization that engages successfully with Oregon’s people and communities for positive impacts, we each must be fit and able. I hope you will take advantage of the organization’s commitment to your professional growth and set 2013 professional goals that benefit you and the important work you do.

Deb Maddy
Associate Provost for University Outreach & Engagement
Associate Director of Extension Service

OSUEA Cooperator of the Year and Friend of Extension Awards

Each year, OSUEA and ESP honor individuals and businesses who have made significant contributions to Extension programs. It is through these cooperators that Extension is able to accomplish so much. To eliminate duplication of efforts, OSUEA has partnered with our ESP affiliate. The deadline for nominations this year is March 1, 2013.

OSUEA Cooperator of the Year Program has three categories:

  • Individuals with fewer than 10 years of service
  • Individuals with more than 10 years of service
  • Businesses or organizations (no time limit)

The Friend of Extension Award

Sponsored by ESP, the Firend of Extension Award is open to any non-Extension person, company or organization that has demonstrated outstanding support and involvement in Extension efforts. Past Cooperator Award Winners who have continued to serve and contribute are eligible to be nominated as well. The winner of this award will be nominated for the National ESP Friend of Extension Award.

Nomination procedures

Take time now with your staff to nominate someone for this award. The recognition and honor of being named a "2012 OSU Extension Service Cooperator" is a small reward for the time, energy, and dedication a volunteer gives. Every program area in every county, and statewide, has several individuals and businesses who are "you can count on" cooperators. Now is the time to nominate them for this recognition.

  1. Administrators, specialists, agents, and support staff discusses potential nominees for one or more categories
  2. Prepare a nomination
  3. Send in the nomination by March 1 via email to Deb Schreiber 
    • New this year is a requirement for a 150 word abstract
    • Continuing this year is the award participation fee (see policy for details)

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Deb Schreiber  or John Williams, co-chairs of the OSUEA or Mike Knutz, ESP Awards Committee Chair.

Staff Achievements and Awards

Journal of Extension (JOE)

Congratulations to our OSU Extension colleagues who have articles published in the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Extension (JOE):

To learn more about publishing in JOE, see the JOE Submission Guidelines and Help for JOE Authors.

O&E State of the Division Address

The second annual State of the Division of Outreach and Engagement was held on January 15th, 2013.  Scott Reed, Deb Maddy, and Dave King shared highlights from the past year and their vision for 2013 with a Q&A and discussion following their address.

If you were unable to attend, the recorded session is available through Media Space.

Thank you to everyone who attended in person or online. Your presence and questions were a valued addition.

Spring Training, April 9-10, 2013

Spring Training has become a tradition among Extension faculty and staff serving Oregon. It is a time for gaining knowledge, improving skills, enhancing personal capacity, and connecting with colleagues. This year we will again cooperate with Ecampus' Faculty Forum to offer you more learning options about developing and delivering online education.

Is there a topic you want to share with Extension staff or faculty? Have you been asked to lead a workshop for Spring Training 2013? If so, just complete the online form by February 4, 2013.

If you would like to see a topic repeated from past years, or would like to suggest a new topic, please let Drea Zigler know as soon a s possible. We will do our best to meet your needs.

Tentative Schedule:

Monday, April 8

  • Program Meetings (TBD)
  • Core Curriculum (part one)

Tuesday April 9

  • 8:00am-4:45pm Spring Training Classes
  • 8:00am-1:00pm Core Curriculum (part two)
  • 8:00am-11:45am FERS Seminar
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm Professional Faculty & Classified Staff Appreciation Lunch
  • 5:00pm-6:00pm OSUEA Reception
  • 6:00pm-7:00pm OSUEA and Search for Excellence Awards Presentation
  • 7:30pm-9:30pm Pizza & Bowling

Wednesday, April 10

  • 8am-4:45pm Spring Training Classes
  • 8:00am-11:45am CSRS & CSRS Offset Seminar
  • 5:30pm-8:30pm Cooperators Awards Reception & Banquet (by invitation)

Thursday, April 11

  • Ecampus Faculty Forum
  • Program Meetings (TBD)

Need Financial Assistance?

The next application deadline for Professional Development Funds is February 1. Please apply if financial assistance will allow you to join us. These funds are available to all Extension employees and may be used to attend the classes and award events. Application is on the Extension website.

The Cispus Workshop for Collaborative Resource Management

Today, agencies and organizations face natural resource issues that are difficult and complex. Involving multiple stakeholders in natural resource planning and decision-making through collaboration requires shared commitment, resources, and funding. It requires skills in communication and group dynamics as well as strategies and techniques that help people work together effectively and productively. For over 40 years the Cispus Workshop has provided relevant, practical professional development that is based in on-the-ground field experiences of natural resource professionals. Participants engage in interactive, hands-on learning and walk away with strategies and techniques they can employ the first day back at the office.

This is an interagency workshop, sponsored by and staffed by employees from both Federal and State agencies. Participants learn together in a collaborative environment and represent a variety of natural resource management agencies, organizations and the private sector. The workshop is held at the Cispus Learning Center, which is located on a 100-acre self-contained campus in the Cascade Mountains near Randle, Washington. It is about a 3-hour drive from Portland or Seattle.

Register by February 1st for earlybird rate!

For more information contact:
Susan Sahnow, Director
Oregon Natural Resources Education Program
Forestry & Natural Resources Extension, College of Forestry
Oregon State University Extension
051 Peavy Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331
P: 541-737-3005
F: 541-737-9037
Joys, Sorrows, and Well-Wishes


  • Dave Keir, former Extension Agent in Coquille (Coos County), Medford (Jackson County) and for a short time in Hood River, passed away on December 7th.

    A memorial service will be held in the spring in Pine Grove. The family requests that remembrances in his name be made to Hospice of the Gorge or the Pine Grove Fire Department. Please visit the Anderson Tribute Center to leave a note of condolence for the family.

  • Carolyn Raab, Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist and Professor, died peacefully on Thursday, December 6th at home with her sister and the parish nurse. An organ concert will be held on Sunday, January 20th at 2:00 PM at the First United Methodist Church, 11th and Monroe, in Corvallis.

    Donations to continue her work may be made to the OSU Foundation – Dean’s Excellence Fund in CPHHS and indicate in the notes section that they are in memory of Carolyn Raab.

  • Duane Hatch, retired Extension faculty and staff chair, passed away on December 21, 2012.
  • Our condolences to Wilbur Bluhm, retired Extension faculty, on the loss of his wife Mary Bluhm who passed away on January 6, 2013. A funeral service was held on Saturday, January 12 in Salem.
  • Jack Gurton, long-time Extension Agent, passed away December 29. Jack was the 4-H Extension Agent in Eugene from 1949-1968. He also served the post of Extension Agent in Newport and Redmond, OR before retiring. The family may plan a memorial at a later date.
The Oregon Potato Research/Extension Professorship

The Oregon Potato Commission has created an endowment to help fund a plant breeder to lead OSU's potato development efforts. The gift has made it possible for the university to fill a position that was vacant for nearly two years because of funding shortages.

The inaugural holder of the professorship, Sagar Sathuvalli, will work to create new varieties of potatoes that are more nutritious and resist pests and diseases. He is based at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center. A report by OSU Extension Service notes that potatoes were Oregon's sixth most-important agricultural commodity in terms of 2011 gross sales. The Oregon Potato Commission's gift is the 30th to leverage the Provost's Faculty Match Program.


New Extension Technology Help Website

It’s a new year and we now have a new Extension Technology Help site!

We've included the link "Technical Training & Tools" on the OSU Extension employees page to help you find the Technology Help site in the future.

The Technology Help site combines the old ECTU site and resources from ECTU, EESC, CN, and OSU into a one-stop, quick reference site for your technology support needs. Some of our resources include:

Featuring a range of software resources, including Adobe Connect, InDesign, Photoshop Elements, mobile devices, Microsoft Excel, Outlook, Pachyderm, and more.

Please take time to look it over and familiarize yourself with it. We will be adding more resources as they are developed, and as always, your feedback is appreciated.

This has been an ECTU and EESC combined project. Thank you to Tamara Hill-Tanquist, Crystal Hines, and Greg Berardinelli from EESC, Wayne Jardine from ECTU, and all the usability testers who helped out with this project.

Submitted by: Victor Villegas, Technology & Media Support Coordinator

Personnel Updates

Provided by UABC-HR

New Hires

  • Scott Lawrence Thiemann - Ext Curry Co - Education Program Assistant
  • Lori Kruse - Ext Hood River Co - Education Program Assistant
  • Ana Gomez-Diazgranados - Ext Jefferson Co - Education Program Assistant
  • Emily Jane Anderson - Ext Union Co - 4-H Program Coordinator


  • None


  • Patricia Steele - HHS Ext Fam/CommHlth OffCmps

Recruitment Updates

  • None