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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué December 11, 2013


Congratulations to the OSUE Annual Conference Award Winners

  • JCEP/ESP Meritorious Support Service Recognition: Mary Jo Westfall – Monroe County
  • CES Extension Support Staff Excellence Award: Cheryl Fischnich – NE Region Office
  • Charles W. Lifer Excellence in 4-H Award: Bruce Zimmer – Monroe County
  • Marilyn Spiegel Excellence in Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Award: Melinda Hill – Wayne County
  • Steve D. Ruhl Agriculture and Natural Resources County Extension Educator Award: Mark Mechling – Muskingum County
  • OSU Extension Excellence in Community Development Award: David Civittolo – field specialist
  • ESP Excellence in Extension Award: Vicki Schwartz – associate state leader, 4-H Youth Development

Photos from the Extension Annual Conference have been posted at

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Memories and Milestones of Ohio State University Extension Now Available

Memories and Milestones of Ohio State University Extension 1905-2013 is now available as a professional reference for all OSU Extension employees and for sale to other interested individuals.

Each OSU Extension employee will receive one copy of the book as a professional development tool. If you did not pick up your copy of the book during the OSU Extension Annual Conference last week, it will be sent to you by year-end via county or campus mail.

Drs. Marilyn R. Spiegel and the late Jo M. Jones began work on Memories and Milestones of Ohio State University Extension in 2004, personally interviewing more than 100 former and current OSU Extension professionals and surveying a variety of other Extension professionals about their career experiences.

Drs. Charles W. Lifer, Linda M. Kutilek, and Nikki L. Conklin, OSU Extension emeriti, served as the editorial team in 2013 to finish the project. The historical information and personal stories Marilyn and Jo collected were updated, expanded and enriched with input from the editorial team, the OSU Extension assistant directors, and the leaders of our Extension professional organizations.

You can also review the summer 2013 OSUE Director’s Short Report (8:30 minutes) introducing the book. Copies of the book are available for purchase online via eStore – $10 per book, plus shipping. To purchase copies of the book, visit

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2014 Smith-Lever Act Centennial Celebration Begins

The 100-year signing anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, which officially created the national Cooperative Extension System, will take place in 2014. ECOP (the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy) has established a Centennial Committee to coordinate and support activities nationwide ( While celebrating Cooperative Extension’s heritage, the primary focus will be on contemporary efforts and launching Cooperative Extension for the next 100 years of educational programming that transforms the behavior of individuals, families, youth, farmers, communities, and businesses. The national efforts will be complemented by state and local activities.

Dr. Bobby Moser is the honorary chair of the Ohio Centennial celebration, and an OSU Extension executive committee has been convened to lead a few of the major centennial celebration activities during 2014.

Some of the state-level activities planned include:

  • March 12 – display in conjunction with CFAES legislative luncheon
  • May 8 – activities in conjunction with the national convocation
  • May/June (date TBD) – an Ohio conversation with national “Extension Reconsidered” effort
  • Sept 16-18 – recognition during Farm Science Review
  • Oct 18 (to be confirmed) – half-time Ohio State marching band show during Homecoming
  • Mid-fall – research colloquium/OSUE annual conference possible combined event. Per the OSUE strategic plan, this will involve all of CFAES, other colleges and academic units on campus.

Each county is encouraged to think about events you can have at the local level. You can involve your advisory committee, volunteers and others.

The OSU Extension Centennial webpage information will be released by year-end. An Ohio Centennial logo and lockup with the logo have been created for our use. and other images will be available online.

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Ohio State Severe Weather Policy Reminder

County-Based Staff
In accordance with university policy during snowy and icy weather, the following short-term closing procedures must be followed:

  1. If the county in which a person works is under an emergency Level 3 and the office is closed, then the employee is not required to report to work and would not be required to take vacation.
  2. If the county commissioners close the building where the Extension office is located (regardless of snow emergency level), then the employee is not required to report to work and would not be required to take vacation.
  3. If an employee lives or travels through a county that is under a Level 3 snow emergency, but his or her office is located in a county not under a Level 3 and the county commissioners have not closed the building, and the employee chooses not to report to work, then that employee is required to take vacation, compensatory time or leave without pay. Details of these arrangements need to be determined by the employee and his or her immediate supervisor.
  4. Employees are encouraged to use their own best judgment in deciding whether to risk driving to the office in Level 1 or Level 2 snow emergencies. They cannot be forced to come to work; but if the office is open and he or she chooses not to report to work, then that employee is required to take vacation, compensatory time or leave without pay. Details of these arrangements need to be determined by the employee and his or her immediate supervisor.
  5. County directors and unit heads are required to report to their immediate supervisor if the county is under a Level 3 snow emergency and/or if the county commissioners close the building where their office is located.
  6. County directors may not close the office unless the above conditions are met for snow and/or severe weather emergencies.

This policy is also posted on the OSU Extension intranet at

Campus-Based Staff
Review the Ohio State policy listed online at this link: Weather and other Short-Term Closing Policy 6.15 – It is the responsibility of faculty and staff to know if they are classified as essential, alternate or standby, and the responsibilities associated with each designation (which are described in the policy online).

An employee’s classification is stated in his or her annual merit letter. If he or she has been employed for less than a year, the classification should be stated in the offer letter addendum. Note that classifications are subject to change, and individuals classified as alternate or standby can be changed to essential and they can be required to work if necessary.

WOSU 820-AM is the official media outlet for Ohio State-related weather cancellations. Information will also be available at and 247-7777.

If you have a question about how the severe weather policies apply to you, consult with your immediate supervisor.

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Research in View (RiV) Resources for Extension Employees

The Program Development and Evaluation (PDE) unit has held several training sessions to help Extension professionals navigate RiV. As a reminder, the deadline for entering data in RiV the system for the 2013 reporting year is January 15, 2014.

Please visit the Extension Reporting section of the PDE website to view ‘helpful documents’ and ‘recordings of training sessions’ ( Some of the recording sessions have bookmarks embedded to help you navigate to the section of the video you are interested in viewing. Please read the instructions posted on the website to learn how to most effectively view the bookmarks and the chat pod of the recordings.

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OSUE Human Resources Onboarding Project Update

During the last year and a half, OSU Extension Human Resources has been engaged in a project to design a comprehensive and strategic process by which new employees are brought into the organization.

Specific updates to highlight:

  • The first New Employee Welcome Festival was attended by 45 new employees in October. It was a huge success, and we appreciate all the support for this event. Dates are being determined for future welcome festivals in spring and fall 2014.
  • Day 1 orientation/common start dates – As of January 13, 2014, regular* new employees will start every other Monday and attend a Day 1 orientation in Columbus. Day 2 orientation will be at their local unit. More information will be communicated to unit heads in the next few weeks. (*exceptions – students and temporary employees hired to work less than six months)
  • Onboarding design team – A group of individuals has been identified to assist with the development of resources and serve in an advisory capacity to help move the project forward. A list of these individuals can be found at the link to the project overview.

Questions or comments about this project may be shared with members of the design team, submitted on the project overview site, or directed to Graham Cochran ( and Karen Argabright (

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Extension Promotion Workshop January 14 – Register by December 31

Register by 5pm on December 31 to attend the Promotion Workshop on January 14 in the Agricultural Administration building auditorium at This is a repeat of the December 18 session.

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2014 Outreach and Engagement Grants Information Session – December 16

Information and application materials for Engagement Impact Grants, OSU CARES/OSU Extension Seed Grants, and Service-Learning Grants are now available at

These grant programs are integral to Ohio State’s academic core by fostering engagement scholarship across teaching, research and service, and providing faculty and staff with opportunities to connect with communities through innovative scholarship that addresses compelling challenges.

In 2013, $362,726 was awarded to support 23 programs and service-learning courses that broadened the scope of university engagement locally, statewide and internationally. For 2014:

  • Service-Learning/Undergraduate Studies will provide a total funding of $30,000 with a maximum individual award of $4,000 for course development and student philanthropy, with an additional emphasis on community partnership.
  • Engagement Impact Grant/Outreach and Engagement will provide a total funding of $300,000 with maximum individual award of $60,000 over a two-year period. Emphasis is on community engagement scholarship and development of sustainable programs.
  • OSU CARES/OSU Extension seed grants will increase total funding from $60,000 to $100,000 and the maximum individual award from $10,000 to $25,000, providing more engagement opportunities with Extension across Ohio.

The deadline for 2014 proposal submission is February 2014. If you know someone interested in applying for a grant or who might want more information before making a decision, encourage them to attend the first information session on December 16, from noon - 1 p.m., in room 110B of Hale Hall.

RSVP for the information session to For those who want to attend online, the CarmenConnect room is

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Ohio State’s Tobacco-Free Policy – effective January 1, 2014

-a message from Joseph A. Alutto, interim president, The Ohio State University

“I write to let you know that we are on track to implement the university's tobacco-free policy on January 1, 2014. Effective on that date, the use of all types of tobacco products will be prohibited in all university buildings and on all university-owned properties, including parking lots, garages and all outside areas.

“Since 1987, the buildings on our campuses have been smoke-free; and Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center and surrounding health sciences campuses have been tobacco-free since 2006. Our decision to extend the policy university-wide has been a result of ongoing discussions with campus and community groups including faculty, staff, students and adjacent neighborhoods. It is also in keeping with initiatives on the national and state levels encouraging universities and colleges to become tobacco-free.

“The university is highly committed to supporting all faculty, staff and students who wish to stop using tobacco. For more information about the policy and available resources, including smoking cessation programs, visit

“While implementing this policy across all our campuses is a major undertaking and a challenging transition for some individuals, doing so is essential to our goal of becoming one of the healthiest universities in the country.”

Extension Reminder
This policy impacts not only the Columbus campus, but also all regional campuses and properties owned and operated by Ohio State, OARDC and OSU Extension. It does not apply to our offices that are not in an Ohio State-owned property; however, all OSU Extension employees are encouraged to respect the wellness goals of the university and adhere to the tobacco-free policy when they attend events on main campus and other Ohio State-owned properties.

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Registration for February 7, 2014 Diversity Leadership Symposium is Now Open

Fight the winter blues by attending the 2014 Diversity Leadership Symposium on February 7 featuring Lee Mun Wah as the keynote speaker. Come and engage with colleagues from across the university. This year’s theme is In-reach to Outreach: Fostering Cultural Engagement through Awareness, Reflection and Action.

Registration is very reasonable at $45 (early bird rate) for OSU faculty and staff, with students invited to attend for $10. Continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack are included. Beginning January 15, registration increases to $55. For more details and to register, visit

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Online M.S. in Agricultural and Extension Education Courses

The online Master of Science degree in Agricultural and Extension Education (AEE) is targeted toward early- and mid-career, place-bound, working professionals who need access to graduate education to advance personal and professional goals. Consider this great opportunity to access graduate education to advance your personal and professional goals while taking advantage of the employee tuition assistance program at Ohio State. Visit for details on the program, application process, and other frequently asked questions.

Also, individual courses can be taken as non-degree status to help meet professional development needs and earn graduate credit that could be applied to a degree program. Below is a list of selected courses in AEE that are being offered spring semester 2014. The instructor’s name is included. Courses listed as “distance” are fully online courses. More information on courses is available through the ACEL website ( or course catalog (

  • COMLDR 5335 (on-campus) – Volunteer and Human Resource Management (Caryn Filson;
  • COMLDR 5350 (on-campus) – Youth Organizations and Program Management (Graham Cochran; and Nate Arnett;
  • AEE 7700 (distance) – Documenting Change through Evaluation and Accountability (Graham Cochran;
  • AEE 8100 (distance) – Applied Communication Theory and Practice (Emily Buck;
  • AEE 8420 (distance) – Leadership and Administration in Agricultural and Extension Education (Jeff King;

Several research courses (on-campus) are also available spring semester. Check the course catalog or email for more information.

If you are interested in the online Master of Science program, doctoral program, or taking an individual courses as a non-degree student, contact Scott Scheer (

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The Changing Face of the Organization: Millennials in the Workplace – January 14

Who are these new employees in your workplace? How do you relate to or manage this latest generation to enter the workforce? These younger employees are technologically wired, highly educated and eager to make a difference in their workplace. This highly interactive workshop is filled with information you can apply immediately in your organization.

Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000, and this generation is almost as large as the Baby Boomer generation. An achievement-oriented group, these new employees are technologically connected 24/7 and use social networking to connect with their peers. Millennials are a high-achieving generation that wants to immediately make an impact in their career, and they are anxious to take on leadership roles.

  • Learn about the culture and events that have shaped the Millennial generation.
  • Determine ways to improve communication and building relationships with this generation.
  • Generate ideas about how to manage and coach this generation of employees.

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop on January 15 from 9:15 a.m. to noon in room 105 of the Agricultural Administration building. The registration fee is $60 per participant. Register at

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StrengthsFinder™ (Online Workshop) – January 22

"You get what you focus on." – Vannoy and Ross, 2008

As a leader it is important to know what talents you possess, what you bring to the leadership table. Do you know what strengths you possess? Every leader possesses her or his own unique set of talents. According to the Gallup Organization, "we spend too much time focusing on our weaknesses, trying to make them stronger rather than recognizing our strengths." When you focus on your weaknesses, you miss out on utilizing what you do best for your organization.

By focusing on your strengths, you increase your effectiveness as a leader. Participants in this workshop will take the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ inventory to learn their five strongest talents.

What is the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ inventory?
"Marcus Buckingham, coauthor of the national bestseller First, Break All the Rules, and Donald O. Clifton, chair of the Gallup International Research and Education Center, have created a revolutionary program to help readers identify their talents, build them into strengths, and enjoy consistent, near-perfect performance. At the heart of the book is the Internet-based StrengthsFinder™ Profile, the product of a 25-year, multimillion-dollar effort to identify the most prevalent human strengths. The program introduces 34 dominant "themes" with thousands of possible combinations, and it reveals how they can best be translated into personal and career success."

  • Gain a better understanding of yourself
  • Identify your top five strengths
  • Learn how to maximize your strengths to increase your effectiveness as a leader

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop from 9 - 11:30 a.m. The registration fee is $60 per participant; register here

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