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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué October 23, 2013


Featuring the Work of OSUE Field Specialists

Throughout the year we will be spotlighting the work of our field specialists. In this issue, we feature David Civittolo (community economics).

I have enjoyed my role as a field specialist focusing on community economics and community land use planning. Since starting this position in 2012, I have been able to conduct Extension community development programming throughout Ohio.

One of my first projects was conducting and developing a countywide strategic plan for Coshocton County. The origins for this project started with retired county Extension director Paul Golden and his concerns regarding the oil and gas industry and its impact on the overall quality of life for Coshocton residents.

With the assistance of the Coshocton County Extension office and the Coshocton County Port Authority, a strategic plan was developed using input from more than 50 residents and 15 businesses that will guide the planning efforts of the county as the oil and gas economy develops. To read the plan, visit (

As the co-leader (along with Nancy Bowen) of the Ohio Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) signature program, I have had the opportunity to update and expand an already-established program by revamping curriculum along with marketing materials. With the help of numerous colleagues, the website was redesigned. I encourage you to visit the website to learn more about the program and curriculum content. The website is:

Business retention and expansion surveys are being conducted in Wyandot, Fayette, and Van Wert counties, the University District (Columbus), and the city of Strongsville (Cuyahoga County). If you know of a city, village or township that may be interested, please contact me and I will follow up.

In addition, to conducting business retention and expansion surveys in Ohio, I have had the opportunity to work with colleagues from Purdue University and the University of Florida to share program components and curriculum materials. At Purdue, Nancy Bowen and I shared the concept of cross-linking local entrepreneurs and business retention and expansion programs. Currently, Purdue University Extension does not have a BR&E program, but the hope is that they can establish one in 2014 based on our meeting and presentation material.

Joe Lucente and I had the opportunity to teach the BR&E program to 17 Extension educators in Florida. While the concept was not new to some of the participants, Florida leaders thought the program was important enough that Joe and I spend three days assisting them in developing and conducting surveys.

As we all know, when working for Extension, there are no two days alike. Variety in my work is one of the many things I enjoy about being a field specialist. It seems in a span of one week, I can be teaching in southeastern Ohio about oil and shale gas development and by the end of the week traveling to a northwest Ohio township to discuss comprehensive land use planning. While the traveling can be difficult at times, it is equally exciting to have the opportunity to meet and work with Extension colleagues that I would not typically work with. If you are interested in learning more about my position or could use assistance regarding community economics or land use planning, contact me at (330-263-3627 or

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OSUE Ed Tech Specialist Update

The educational technology specialists are excited about our work helping you work more efficiently and effectively. Visit our new blog at and check out our posts about social media, Carmen Connect, Twitter, building Word Clouds and Buckeye Box! The ed tech specialists will be utilizing this blog space as an online “warehouse” to park FAQs, helpful information, tech resources, and general thoughts on technology used in Extension. Leave a comment or issue, and the ed techs will answer it in an upcoming blog post! The four ed tech specialists and program areas represented are: Heather Gottke (4-H), Teresa Johnson (ANR), Jamie Seger (FCS) and Kimberly Roush (CD).

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Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World – Book Review

-Ken Martin, chair and associate director, programs

In the second chapter of Bob Johansen’s book Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World, the topic is “Clarity.” He defines clarity several ways. It is:

  • Seeing through messes and contradictions,
  • Making things as clear as they can be and communicating that clarity,
  • Seeing futures that others cannot yet see,
  • Finding a viable direction in the midst of confusion, and
  • Seeing hope on the other side of trouble.

There are several keys that contribute to the ability to provide clarity in a “VUCA” world characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. One is the importance of routines, as they help to manage chaos when things break down around us. Another key is flexibility. It is important for leaders to be clear about the goal, as in goal clarity, but to be flexible in how the goal is achieved.

Johansen provides insights into the differences between certainty and clarity. He addresses some of the challenges to clarity, including the differences in shared values and worldviews that occur inside and outside of diasporas. The chapter also provides examples of winning propositions that demonstrate clear future intent that stretch the organization to look beyond the present to a desired future state. Food safety is another example where clarity is important. People want to know where their food comes from and how it is grown so transparency is clarity in the food system.

There are a few things to consider regarding our attempts at clarity. Do we have clarity in how we handle customer relationships? In thinking about our strategic plan, do we have goal clarity? Do we have long-term goals for the organization, a clear shared vision, and short-term goals and actions that everyone is expected to take to implement the plan? Is there room for flexibility in how we meet those goals? Leaders must have clarity to be successful in a VUCA world.

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OSUE Volunteer Standards of Behavior Revised

As a result of the university policy mandating that all university volunteers now consider themselves as if they were mandated by Ohio Revised Code to be reporters of child abuse, sexual abuse or neglect, the OSU Extension Volunteer Standards of Behavior have been revised to reflect that change. The revised standards have been reviewed by OSU Legal Affairs and approved by Extension Administrative Cabinet. These standards are to be used with ALL who volunteer for Extension programs, and not simply 4-H volunteers.

What was changed? The new university policy was added. The wording pertaining to criminal acts was made more general, and the statement in which the volunteer applicant understood their position could be removed from them was repositioned for greater clarity and visibility.

When to implement? Immediately. Plus, as a goal, OSUE would like to have all Extension volunteers renew their “standards” by January 1, 2015. Renewing their standards is another way to ask volunteers to renew their pledge and indicate by signing the new form. It’s an opportunity for the county professional to educate the volunteer about our organization’s expectations. If any volunteers refuse to sign a new standard, that might be reason to secure their resignations as volunteers.

The new Standards of Behavior can be retrieved from It is located near the bottom of the page. Also posted is the same document with explanations of revisions included.

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Extension Promotion Workshops – Save the Date

The workshops will be held Wednesday, December 18, 2013 and Tuesday, January 14, 2014 on the Columbus campus.

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North Central Leadership Conference Call for Proposals

The North Central Leadership Conference planning committee is seeking proposals for workshops for the Next Generation Leadership – Pathways Toward our Future. The conference will be held in Omaha, Nebraska on April 28-30, 2014. Workshops proposals should be based on the conference goals and tracks listed below. Each workshop is 75 minutes. The proposal deadline is November 15.  

To submit a proposal, visit and click on the Call for Proposals tab.

Conference goals are:

  • Network with Visionary Leaders
  • Enhance Your Leadership Skills
  • Create Your Plan to Lead Change with Vision

Based on the 2012 conference evaluations, the planning team has identified two workshop tracks:

  • Building Your Administrative Skills
  • Building your Leadership Skills.

This conference places an emphasis on getting emerging leaders to attend along with current leaders as a means of succession planning and growing excellence. This conference promises to be great for both learning and networking!

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Steve D. Ruhl Award Nominations – Due November 1

Don’t delay, nominate today! The Steve Ruhl Agriculture and Natural Resources outstanding county educator award nominations are due to Mark Landefeld ( by November 1.

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The Brand Doctors are IN

Communications will be offering online branding workshops to help people in the college transition to the new university brand.

Kim Brown and Suzanne Steel will meet with you via CarmenConnect on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 10 a.m. They will share examples and address specific questions about materials you are creating. You will be able to submit your pieces in advance and receive on-the-spot guidance on adjustments needed to express the brand.

The sessions will end by noon, or sooner if all questions are addressed.

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New Branded Templates Available

Communications continues to update the branding site at with new templates and information.

Available templates include address labels, brochures, certificates, fliers, invitations, nametags, newsletters, postcards, PowerPoints, reports, research posters and fliers specifically for student organizations.

Remember, these templates can be used exactly as they are, or can be modified to accommodate your needs, as long as all branding rules are followed.

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CFAES Diversity Catalyst Team

The CFAES Diversity Catalyst Team is pleased to announce our new listserv providing access to information related to diversity and inclusion activities within our college and on campus. This listserv will not be open to non-CFAES faculty, staff or students; therefore you will need to subscribe. Messages will be sent only as needed. To subscribe, click here:

The CFAES Diversity Catalyst team is very excited to offer small grants to be used for diversity and inclusion initiatives. Grants are up to $500 and all faculty, staff, and students are eligible to apply. The application deadline is November 30 and should be submitted electronically to Kathy Lechman at All funds must be used by June 30. Click here to download the application If you have any questions, contact Kathy Lechman at

For the second year, the CFAES Diversity Catalyst Team is also pleased to offer professional development grants. These are grants of up to $500 available to all faculty and staff for professional development related to gaining skills that will be used to enhance teaching and contribute to an inclusive environment. Download the application here: All applications should be submitted to Cynthia Toler at A sub-committee of the CFAES Diversity Catalyst Team will determine the award recipients, and preference will be given to first - time applicants.

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CFAES Staff Advisory Council Road Trip – October 31

The promotion flyer is attached. Note-the application deadline is 4 p.m. on October 25.

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The Art and Science of Facilitation – October 30

A good facilitator can make the difference between the success and failure of a group. Did you know there is an art and science to facilitation? A successful facilitator utilizes a variety of tools, processes and skills to lead a group to make decisions, solve problems and be most effective. This hands-on workshop focuses on learning and practicing the stages and characteristics of group facilitation. Participants will learn tips and techniques for dealing effectively with groups including dealing with conflict in a productive manner.

What is Facilitation? “A process in which a person is acceptable to all members of a group, substantively neutral and has no decision-making authority intervenes to help a group improve the way it identifies and solves problems and makes decisions, in order to increase the group’s effectiveness.” -R. Schwarz, The Skilled Facilitator

Participants will: 

  • Understand facilitation and the facilitator roles
  • Assess and manage group dynamics Incorporate group problem-solving processes
  • Understand role of diversity, power and ethics
  • Recognize importance of humor and working miracles as a facilitator

Rose Fisher Merkowitz and Treva Williams are facilitating this workshop October 30 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in room 109 of the Agricultural Administration building. The registration fee is $125 per participant. To register and make payment, please go to

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Leading Strengths-Based Teams – November 5

The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”

This advanced strengths-based workshop (must have attended a StrengthsFinder™ awareness workshop), will help teams go further in understanding how their strengths help the team achieve success. Our individual talents help influence how a team cooperates and communicates to reach success. The more that teams collaborate and utilize the partnerships when strengths are combined can move a good team to a great one.

No one person works in a silo; therefore, we need to together, by tapping into each person’s strengths. When you find teammates who have strengths that complement yours, and you can team up together, you will accomplish more than if you work independently.

 Participants in this advanced strengths workshop will:

  • Increase their awareness of building strengths-based teams.
  • Gain awareness for individual and team efforts focusing on strengths.
  • Apply strengths-based principles to strengthen the team.

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop on November 5, 9:15 a.m. – noon in
room 105 of the Agricultural Administration building. The registration fee is $60 per participant. To register and make payment, go to

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Open Doors Training Offered – November 6 and 8

Open Doors is a four-hour training session which consists of three modules that focus on recognizing, identifying, and addressing bias.

  • Module 1: What is bias and how do I interrupt it?
  • Module 2: Sharing identities and empathetic listening
  • Module 3: Working with persons in distress

Open Doors training is brought to you by the OSU Multicultural Center Office of Student Life. There is no cost for Open Doors. For more information on Open Doors, visit

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eXtension Announces Two Position Searches

The eXtension governing committee, Jimmy Henning, chair, and Dennis Calvin, chair-elect, request your assistance in identifying applicants for two critical eXtension responsibilities. There is an opening for an eXtension executive director and for an eXtension strategic planning consultant. Applications for both positions are due November 15. For details, visit

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