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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué July 9, 2014


Commons Creating – A Leadership Skill

–Karen Bruns, assistant director, Family and Consumer Sciences and leader, OSU CARES

All of our communities have that “space” where members of the community come together for fellowship, achieving common goals and focusing on a common mission. When I was growing up in Mercer County, that place was the school or church. Living here in Columbus, the Columbus Commons in the downtown area is one of those places. In both cases, it is a place designed to benefit all those who come to the space. It is a place where all who participate can improve. It allows for competition at the highest level, whether it is a high school game or the summer kickball league at the Columbus Commons.

In our work environment, we need these “commons-creating” opportunities to be the type of organization that can be successful in the future – per Bob Johansen in his book Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain Future.

By commons creating, we bring people together to be part of a common cause for the greater benefit of all. It provides the platform for building to some greater good. As we think about these commons-creating environments, they should be rooted in mutually beneficial partnerships that provide for reciprocity. They are the places where collaboration and mutual success can occur. They provide new opportunities for synchronizing individual self-interests with larger common interests. Commons creating challenges us to realign resources to focus on these common causes. In most cases, this means shifting both financial and human resources. As a result of the shifts, we need to come to a new clarity on how we share resources and how we engage with each other.

Commons creating is not new to us in Extension, but are we ready to take this to a new level? Our work with teams, signature programs and the Ohio State Discovery Themes is leading us in the direction of commons creating. But, are we performing at the highest level to achieve our common cause? Are we creating an environment where cooperation and competition thrive? Have we brought new clarity to achieving our common cause? These are the challenges for each of us as leaders who are making the future.

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Director’s Internal Advisory Committee

–Keith Smith, associate vice president, Agricultural Administration and director, OSU Extension

The Director’s Internal Advisory Committee met on June 27; a number of topics were discussed. The group was updated on the status of the Southwest regional director search, news on raises and benefits for this fall, Ohio State branding, OSUE Annual Conference, RiV (Research in View), signature programs, and Central State partnership questions.

The group discussed major programs that they are working on in the field and that stretch all the way from wellness discussions with employers, SNAP-Ed and EFNEP to county levies; health and wellness programs; community gardens; quality assurance; projects in China, Tanzania, Ukraine, etc.; nutrient management issues associated with SB 150; Centennial celebrations; STEM camps; leadership academy; shale energy development; bioenergy workshops; Sheep Day; and a number of other topics and activities in which the members of the Internal Advisory Committee are involved.

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OSUE Administrative Cabinet Recognition

Administrative Cabinet is pleased to recognize a few individuals for their particularly outstanding work on some key projects recently. We will publish the recipients’ names quarterly in the Communiqué. Cabinet acknowledged the following individuals during the second quarter of 2014:

  • April – Kim Showalter, program accountability specialist, Program Development & Evaluation unit • for her work with the federal reporting efforts and revision of performance appraisal forms.
  • May – Lisa Oberer, program assistant, Ohio 4-H Foundation • for her work as the only Foundation staff member during the past nine+ months; and Jason Haskins, relationship manager, Ohio State CIO Customer Solutions • for his assistance handling the negotiations for OSUE’s broadband update.
  • June – Betsy DeMatteo, educator, Family and Consumer Sciences • for her work to reconnect OSU Extension with the Ohio Treasurer’s office, handling some of Kirk Bloir’s duties while he was on special assignment, leading work for Ohio Saves month, and implementation of FCS marketing efforts.

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You Can Make a Difference at the 2014 Annual Extension Conference – Get Ready to Submit a Poster or Presentation

–Gary Straquadine, David Marrison and Tim Tanner, co-chairs, poster and concurrent session committee

The Annual Conference planning committee is excited about how the plans are coming together for the OSU Extension Annual Conference and Research Colloquium on December 9-11 at the Ohio Union.

The question is however, are YOU ready to be part of something different at Annual Conference? This year you will have the opportunity to present in a juried, engaging environment. What does that mean? Poster sessions will be awarded cash and/or rosette prizes for first, second, third, and honorable mention awards by professional judges. Additionally, your peers will be selecting a people’s choice award for each of our three unique poster sessions. Participants will even have a chance to win an iPad mini! Sound like fun? Students, faculty, and staff are ALL invited to submit proposals for consideration.

The 2014 conference will include concurrent presentations (45-, 60- or 120-minute oral presentations) and three poster sessions (60-minute Meet the Author interactive sessions). There will be an undergraduate and student poster session, research poster session, and educational outreach poster session. We are encouraging students, OSU Extension educators, state and field specialists, program staff and support staff to apply to broaden the scope of our Annual Conference. We want something for everyone!

The themes for 2014 posters and presentations should focus on one of the following: 1) the Vice President’s themes or 2) other proposal topics will be considered, especially those that are innovative and have potential for impact statewide. All proposals will be peer-reviewed and will be due by September 1 via electronic submission. In a few short weeks, the call for proposals will be released for the Conference. Be thinking about what type of presentation or poster that you may wish to submit and watch for the call for proposals!

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Ohio State Branding – OSUE Stationery Reminder

As you may recall, the new Ohio State brand is to be implemented as fully as possible as of July 1, 2014. A note about stationery – As we have announced since spring 2013, offices should have been using up old letterhead and envelopes, then ordering new. If you have about 50 sheets or less of old letterhead with the OSU Extension logo on it and you can use it up this summer, please continue to do so.

However, any full reams of letterhead or boxes of envelopes should be recycled and not used at this point. Note – it is NOT acceptable to put labels over the old logo on envelopes or other items.

Please order the correct letterhead and envelopes for your office and begin using them ASAP, per Ohio State guidelines. You should also update business cards as well. Visit to place your orders.

The CFAES Communications Digital Print Center can also produce your business cards and letterhead with favorable pricing. Contact Gary Warren at

The Business Office has shared information about processes necessary to meet the new branding requirements when you purchase apparel or other promotion items. You can refer to the reminder in the June 2014 Business Office Update, and a job aid is posted online at

If you have any questions about using the Ohio State logo or fulfilling the branding requirements, visit and/or e-mail Suzanne Steel (.7) and Kim Brown (.3384) with your questions.

As we mentioned to the county directors in April, the university is aware that the transition of county office signage to the new Ohio State brand will take longer. We are finalizing an update and instructions for this process in the near future, and county directors will get an update as soon as that information is available.

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OSU Extension Team is Accepted to Present at 2015 JCEP Leadership Conference

A Community-Designed Healthy Urban Food System
To support a community as they explored how food could be a catalyst for urban neighborhood development, an OSU Extension team collaborated with community, corporate, philanthropic, agency, church, and university partners in a central Ohio neighborhood. Extension educators set the stage for stable relationships, inter-organizational linkages, and feedback upon which localized food systems could be built (Dunning, et al., 2012).

The OSU Extension team, representing community development, agriculture and natural resources, and family and consumer sciences, focused on the education component of a community-designed healthy food system in Weinland Park, an urban neighborhood located between downtown Columbus and The Ohio State University campus.

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Ohio State Human Resources Leave Policy – Vacation Donation

The university has a leave policy ( which allows staff to donate unused vacation time to colleagues who will “provide care for their own or an immediate family member’s life-threatening or terminal illness or injury. The use of donated vacation may also be requested for the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child or for the death of an immediate family member.” More information can be found in the FAQ section:

Employees who have a need (or their supervisors) periodically contact our Human Resources unit. The guidelines indicate that they may not solicit donations, so it is difficult to let you know when others are in need. If you would be willing to consider donating vacation time to a colleague in need, please let Kate Lobley (.82) in OSUE Human Resources or your regional director/assistant director know. Human Resources would then notify you when a request is received. Sharing your name is not a commitment to donate on your part, only a willingness to be informally contacted about a need.

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PHA Completion Rates

–Elayne M. Siegfried, Esq., Human Resources director, CFAES

The attached summary contains the PHA completion rates for all Ohio State employees who are enrolled in our healthcare system – comparing results as of June 2014 to the June 2013 results.

As a reminder, all faculty and staff members should have a biometric screening and complete their Personal Health and Well-Being Assessment (PHA) by September 30. Doing so will allow them to earn a medical plan premium credit and have a medical plan choice for 2015. If faculty or staff members opt not to complete the PHA, they will be limited to one medical plan which has higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

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What Will it be Today: Conflict, Compete, Collaborate? Workshop – July 23

There are many choices to be made in the workplace. The workplace can be a breeding ground for conflict due to different personality and communication styles. We can choose to ignore or accelerate conflict with others, or we can choose to allow conflict to make positive changes within our organization. On the other hand, we can choose to work collaboratively or cooperatively together to further the goals of our organization. It's a choice we make; so what will it be today?

Participants will:

  • Understand why conflict in the workplace happens
  • Identify the ways cooperation increases productivity
  • Explore ways to collaborate together

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop from 9am to 12 noon. Cost is $75 per participant. To register, visit

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Mission Possible: Positive Leadership Workshop – July 31

Are you a positive leader? Do you wonder how others think about your attitude as a leader? A quick test is to observe the way people react to you when you walk into a room. Are people happy to see you? Do they want to talk to you? Or do they quickly make themselves scarce? If they run when they see you, it's time for an attitude check.

Negativity in organizations is costing U.S. businesses $300 billion per year. It is imperative that leaders establish a culture of positive leadership. As a leader, others look to you to set the tone for your team or organization. Being engaged and committed to a positive culture is a priority for the leader, and also for every employee in an organization. Organizations that have a positive culture are more productive, have happier employees and most importantly, have happy and satisfied customers. 

Leaders have a choice about their attitude – and no matter what the situation, you have a choice to make about how you are going to react. It is vital that you create positive strategies that keep the team or organization strong.

Participants will:

  • Learn new ideas for boosting their own attitude
  • Develop strategies for creating a positive culture at work
  • Discuss ways to increase productivity at work
  • Improve working relationships

This workshop will be held 1:30-4:30pm. Cost is $75 per participant. To register, visit If you have questions, contact Jody Termeer (.1).

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The Changing Face of the Organization: Millennials in the Workplace – August 5 Online Workshop

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 that you can apply immediately in your organization.

Millennials were born between 1980-2000, and this generation is almost as large as the Baby Boomer generation. An achievement-oriented group, these new employees are technically connected 24/7 and use social networking to connect with their peers. This high-achieving generation 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 build relationships with this generation.
  • Generate ideas about how to manage and coach this generation of employees.

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop from 9-11am. The cost is $75 per participant. To register, visit If you have questions, contact Jody Termeer (.1).

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Women’s Wellness Weekend – August 15-18

–Susie Whittington, professor, CFAES Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership

Women are encouraged to visit Camp Wesley in Bellefontaine for an "Ohio Proud...A Great Stay-cation!" on August 15-18. The weekend will offer physical wellness sessions, presentations on tourism in Ohio, and relaxation. The registration deadline is July 15. To find out more, click here.

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Personnel Update

The personnel update for the second quarter of 2014 is attached.

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