Ohio ESP - Alpha Eta Chapter

 

Welcome to the Ohio Alpha Eta Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi. We are dedicated to fostering standards of excellence in the Extension system and developing the Extension profession and professional.

President:  Mary Beth Albright
President Elect: Joe Lucente

About ESP: Ohio Alpha Eta Chapter

ESP Mission - Epsilon Sigma Phi is dedicated to fostering standards of excellence in the Extension System and developing the Extension profession and professionals.

ESP Vision - Epsilon Sigma Phi leads the Extension system in promoting and supporting professionalism in Extension.

Learn about the benefits of being involved in ESP - National ESP brochure

Leadership Fund. Pay forward by donating to the Leadership Fund! (brochure MS Word doc)

The Epsilon Sigma Phi Leadership Endowment Fund is a part of the permanent endowed fund of The Ohio State University. The interest from the fund will be used to improve the quality of educational programs offered by Ohio State Unversity Extension.

Potential Awards

State

  • Excellence in Extension. Nominee must show continued leadership initiative and excellence in program or administration on state/regional/national level.  Member is eligible for nomination five years after receiving chapter DSA.  Minimum of 20 years in Extension.
  • Distinguished Service. Designed to pay the highest chapter tribute to an experienced Extension professional who has consistently exhibited continuing leadership and excellence in Extension program planning, delivery, evaluation, in program and/or administration over a career of 20 or more years. Data supporting measurable impacts of the candidate's work in meeting needs of clientele will strengthen the nomination.
  • Mid-Career. Designed to recognize an experienced Extension professional (with 10-20 years of service) that has exhibited continuing leadership and excellence in State Extension program planning, delivery, and evaluation in program and/or administration.
  • Early Career. Designed to recognize the achievements of rising young professionals who have shown noteworthy enthusiasm, performance, and accomplishment during their early Extension careers (less than 10 years) in program design and delivery.
  • Friend of Extension. This is the highest recognition presented by ESP to a non-Extension (lay) person, business or organization and is designed to recognize truly outstanding support and personal involvement in Extension efforts.  National guidelines allow each ESP chapter to nominate and present up to three candidates a year for this recognition.
  • State Support Staff Meritorious Service. For support staff who have demonstrated excellence to support Extension programs. *Nominee will not be an ESP member.
  • Team Teaching. Designed to recognize outstanding efforts of Extension staff teams (two or more individuals) for responding to and incorporating into a specific educational program one or more critical issues. Critical issues may be defined by local, regional, state or national need. At least 50% of team members must be current ESP members.  Nominees will be selected from among the winners of the Team Teaching categories, thus no additional nominations are accepted for this award.
  • Administrative Leadership. Recognizes an Extension Professional who has shown noteworthy administrative enthusiasm, performance, and accomplishment during their Extension career (10 years or more).  Administrative leadership may be at county, regional, chapter, program, department, or national level. Documentation of the candidate's work in meeting the needs and furthering the efforts of supervised faculty, staff and/or program should be primary in this recognition.
  • Visionary Leadership. Designed to recognize Extension professionals whose significant accomplishments have resulted in leading Extension forward in new directions. This person's visionary leadership enabled Extension to anticipate a significant new opportunity and developed support to implement program organizational changes necessary to achieve success.
  • Diversity / Multicultural (Individual). Acknowledges outstanding efforts and accomplishments in developing, achieving and sustaining Extension programs and/or audiences in our diverse and multicultural society.
  • Diversity / Multicultural (Team). Acknowledges outstanding efforts and accomplishments in developing, achieving and sustaining Extension programs and/or audiences in our diverse and multicultural society.  At least 50% of team members must be current ESP members.

Regional

  • Distinguished Service. Designed to pay the highest chapter tribute to an experienced Extension professional who has consistently exhibited continuing leadership and excellence in Extension program planning, delivery, evaluation, in program and/or administration over a career of 20 or more years. Data supporting measurable impacts of the candidate's work in meeting needs of clientele will strengthen the nomination.
  • International Service. Nominee must have contributed to Extension in other countries through state, regional, national and /or overseas work.
  • Mid-Career Service. Designed to recognize an experienced Extension professional (with 10-20 years of service) that has exhibited continuing leadership and excellence in State Extension program planning, delivery, and evaluation in program and/or administration.
  • Team. Designed to recognize outstanding efforts of Extension staff teams (two or more individuals) for responding to and incorporating into a specific educational program one or more critical issues. Critical issues may be defined by local, regional, state or national need. At least 50% of team members must be current ESP members.  Nominees will be selected from among the winners of the Team Teaching categories, thus no additional nominations are accepted for this award.

National

  • Distinguished Service Ruby Award. This is the most prestigious recognition presented by ESP and is designed to recognize truly outstanding thinking, performance, and leadership in Extension.  It is understood that the recipient has made highly significant contributions on the state, regional, national, and (when applicable) international Extension scenes in a variety of ways and over a career that spans a lifetime.
  • Friend of Extension. This is the highest recognition presented by ESP to a non-Extension (lay) person, business or organization and is designed to recognize truly outstanding support and personal involvement in Extension efforts.  National guidelines allow each ESP chapter to nominate and present up to three candidates a year for this recognition.


ESP History
Historical files for the Alpha Eta Chapter are located in the OSU Library's Archives. None of the records are available online, but can be pulled from the warehouse and viewed in person. Call to make an appointment to view items. Click here for a list of what items the Archives has regarding Epsilon Sigma Phi's Alpha Eta Chapter.

A Short History . . .
In 1977 Mildred Payne, then the national ESP Secretary-Treasurer was asked to collect material for a 50-year history of ESP, from which most of the following highlights are gleaned. The document is based upon interviews with early Extension workers.

Matt Thorfinnson, retired Minnesota agent said that in 1922 he met with W.A. Lloyd, Federal Extension Administrator and Agronomist Ogaard in Montana where they decided there should be an organization for professional Extension workers. They gave it the name of Ancient and Abnormal Order of Buffalo. That name lasted until 1927, when the first chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi was born. From the beginning, it was recognized as an organization for veterans who had been in Extension work for 10 years or more. The emphasis on veterans was so great that it included a unique House of Pioneers, made up of the 232 members who had been in Extension work before the Smith-Lever Act of 1914

In the early years of Extension, Lloyd conducted a survey on tenure. He received responses from 350 Extension workers. He stated: "this group of people had found their place and were doing the things they would choose to do above anything else... A true fraternity already existed. It only remained to name it and formally organize it."

This he did, with the help of a group of Montana Extension veterans, at a meeting in Bozeman, January 10, 1927. As ESP Grand Director in 1929 he said: "Epsilon Sigma Phi represents no selfish purposes. It is not a vehicle for achievement of any personal ambition, for the promotion of any particular propaganda. It is not an agency to put over any plan or scheme of any person or group. Our fraternity must never permit itself to be prostituted as a tool to advance matters concerning which there is wide and settled differences of opinion among Extension workers. Such a path leads to dissension, discord, disaster, and death. We stand to work not for self but for the good of the whole Extension organization. Our Creed expresses our articles of faith, our obligation, a personal pledge of fine toleration, helpfulness, sympathy, and a never dying, always enduring, optimism."

The first ESP Creed was written by Lloyd in 1922 as A New Year greeting to agricultural agents. It was adopted in 1927 by the fraternity with a change of only one paragraph. The second Creed was written in 1960 by Luke Schruben, then ESP secretary-treasurer, and Les Schlup, veteran Federal Extension editor.

During 1927, chapters were started in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona. The first national ESP convention was in Reno, Nevada, July 21, 1927, attended by delegates from 10 states, and there a grand council was organized.

The Ohio Alpha Eta Chapter of ESP was organized October 17, 1928 at Columbus, Ohio and had 26 members. The officers were: Chief, G.C. Musgrove; Secretary-Treasurer, Minnie Price and Annalist, O.C. Croy.

However, the creation of the new fraternity was not entirely without dissent. The Ohio Extension News wrote: "not long ago on this page we wrote mild-mannered sarcasm about the establishment of an Extension honorary fraternity, established for Extension veterans, by Extension veterans, and to do honor to Extension veterans. At that time no Ohio chapter had been established and we said, hopeful, that perhaps Ohio was too ornery to keep step in this new and gaudy procession.

"Well we were wrong. Some of the boys in a weak moment succumbed to the blandishments of the tinsel-toters rather than think up reasons for not joining. Had they had time the inclination to think up reasons against such a fraternity they might have included these: 1) Fraternities are strikingly out of place in so democratic a movement as Extension, 2) length of service is an impotent idol before which to worship and 3), 4), and 5) it's all damfoolishness."

Apparently others in Ohio disagreed with that assessment. However in 1936, Ohio must have again questioned the value of the ESP organization. Correspondence indicates that the Alpha Eta Chapter discussed the possibility of dissolving their chapter. A letter from Madge Reese, ESP Grand Secretary-Treasurer to Alma Garvin, Alpha Eta Secretary-Treasurer asked Ohio to reconsider "the possible surrender of your charter." Ms Reese also stated: "Even as an honor society, it would seem to be worthwhile maintaining your chapter. You may not need us, but we do need you."

Back in 1922, 'Pioneer' agent Mosher wrote in an Illinois bulletin: "I believe that one of the most valuable functions of the Extension Service in the future will be to develop local leaders and give them work to do... I believe that in the future much more of the work of the county farm adviser could well be devoted to finding these potential leaders with their varying talents and helping them to organize for work..."

Reviewing the historical documents that are available, it is clear that ESP and Extension have always grappled with serious issues, including funding (Farm Bureaus used to provide funds to hire agents in some cases and the Kellogg Foundation has a long history of funding Extension training), potential unionization of Extension, the inclusion or exclusion of minorities in the organization, and of course professional development, including increased training in behavioral sciences and educational methodology as well as agriculture and home economics.

What we are today cannot be separated from who we were in the past. What we will be in the future depends on what we do today.

Historical Documents