CFAES Give Today
OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Recent Blog Posts

Last year we celebrated promotion of 33 A&P educators in the 2022 class (38 in 2021). Now is the time to gear up for 2023.

Thanks to Terri Fisher, we have tried to anticipate everything you need to know and organized it online to help you navigate the pathway forward. It is found at

A previous post covered the key dates. This one is focused on your three-page narrative.

Your three-page narrative can be thought of as a written response to the age-old interview question, “Please tell us a little about yourself and why you are interested in this job?” Below is how you might respond to such a question in writing:

Describe your role as an Extension educator – What are your focus areas? Who are key partners? How do you spend your time? Put this in the context of the specific A&P rank you currently hold described in the General Expectations for A&P Educators.

Describe some of the most significant accomplishments you have made in your current rank for the various dimensions of your role – What impacts have you made in teaching? How have you engaged in applied scholarship? What differences have your service contributions made? (Check the General Expectations Table to see all of the various dimensions of an Extension educator role).

Describe how you plan to build on what you have accomplished in your current rank in the context of the expectations of the new rank you are applying for. What do you want to do with your key partners? How do you want to continue to grow your expertise and reputation within your focus areas? How will you continue to actively serve and to what ends?

In applying for promotion, you are not only applying for a new rank, but you are also applying for a new role with higher level expectations. The goal of the three-page narrative is to help you think through your work, the difference you have made, and how you want to continue to grow and challenge yourself.

For the 23 A&P educators who are promotion candidates in the 2023 class, February 1 is the first due date for these narratives. We typically aren’t in the habit of thinking, talking, or writing about ourselves in this way but doing so has value. Each of us, our positions, and our work are unique. The narrative is designed to help us better tell our unique story. Regardless of your plans for promotion, how are you using the three-page narrative to help you grow as a professional?




Posted In: A&P
Tags: three-page narrative, narrative, A&P Promotion
Comments: 0
Pathway Forward

The Ohio State University aims to be recognized worldwide for the quality and impact of its research, teaching, and service; key responsibilities of tenure-track faculty at the institution (3335-06-02). A mindset of continuous growth and improvement strengthens us, our collaborators, and teams and creates the potential for individual, organizational, and community excellence.

Excellence of this magnitude has the potential to make us healthy, happy, highly functioning Extension professionals and ultimately make Extension an employer of choice. Such excellence requires us to know and understand the expectations.

Regardless of rank as an A&P educator or faculty professional in the Department of Extension, a body of work is expected. Creation and maintenance of your dossier is one easy way to “see” your growing body of work and share it with others. That dossier can also help you seek balance across your various efforts and ultimately inform your direction or pathway forward. 

When you have demonstrated excellence in your current role, you may be ready for challenges that foster your continued growth and professional advancement. Our Department of Extension APT describes expectations for faculty (pp 17-20 here). A&P educator expectations are similar with respect to a body of work and are shared here.

Like any meaningful adventure, navigating professional advancement in Extension via faculty or A&P promotion requires advance planning, an understanding of the journey, and learning from others who have adventured before you. To help in that regard, Terri and I have recently updated the online guides for faculty and A&P educator promotion. Key dates, actions, roles, and responsibilities are outlined to help you plan the next leg of your journey.  Please become more familiar with these online materials to help inform your next steps.

When you are ready to talk more, come see me! Three more dates and times have been scheduled for open office hours via Zoom at this link

  1. Oct 18 9:00-10:00
  2. Oct 26 1:00-2:00
  3. Oct 31 2:00-3:00
  4. …and if these don’t work for you, let’s set something up.

The pathway may not be the same for all of us, but a pathway is waiting for you. Let’s keep traveling together.

Posted In: A&P, Faculty
Tags: promotion, Tenure, advancement, Dossier, APT, educator, faculty
Comments: 0

A previous post announced this year’s A&P educator and faculty promotion class. Today, we will briefly highlight the promotion celebration held for our A&P educators a few weeks ago. Roughly half of this year’s class could join along with our four state program leaders too. If you were unable to join, you can view/listen to the brief recording here.

If you prefer the much-abbreviated notes version, keep reading to see the top take-aways:

  1. Promotion in rank is like starting a new position. With promotion, you have higher-level expectations. See the A&P educator expectations table here.  
  2. How will you approach your work to meet or exceed expectations of your new rank? Like starting a new position, don’t wait to visit with your colleagues, program leader(s), area leader, etc about engaging in specific activities, pursuing contributions, addressing audiences, etc. Collectively, our goal is to help you grow as a professional. We build on existing and previous efforts. I am always happy to talk with you about your work and what comes next. Send me a note if you would like to set up a time to visit.
  3. If you have thoughts about pursuing the opportunity for a faculty appointment we should visit soon. If you are A&P IV and you are wondering about how to move ahead, consider these three steps: A) let’s find a time to talk soon, B) get a look at the materials posted here, and C) it’s time to start building out your dossier (if you have not already – FYI, you can download the dossier outline from a link on the right-hand side of this OAA page.)
  4. If you don’t know yet what you don’t know and want to just drop by to learn from others, we have had three very informal Open Office Hours via Zoom in early August and have more scheduled (below) at this link:
    1. August 24 – 11:00-noon
    2. September 6 – 9:00-10:00 am
    3. September 19 – 11:00-noon
    4. …and if these don’t work for you, let’s set something up.

I hope you have had a great summer and are looking forward to fall!


It is that time of year that we recognize colleagues for the successful application for promotion in rank. Our A&P and faculty program professionals continually engage in a variety of functions (think programming, engagement, teaching, scholarship, service, etc). When “ready” their accomplishments across these activities are reviewed by peers weighed against the expectations of their rank and position description. Think A&P Educator Expectations Table and our Departmental APT Criteria for faculty.

If you are interested in more info, you may want to subscribe to a blog dedicated to this topic at It aims to aid in your pursuit of professional growth. It might also help you in your efforts to assist colleagues. If you are already subscribed, please encourage your co-workers you believe might also benefit.

Today we celebrate professional growth recognized in the form of promotion in rank of 33 A&P and 3 faculty colleagues. A&P professionals promoted in the 2022 class include:

A&P Educator I to II (8)

Molly Avers (Ottawa 4-H), Justin Bower (state 4-H), Danielle Combs (Highland 4-H), Lydia Flores (Marion 4-H), Frances Foos (Madison 4-H), Andrew Holden (Ashtabula ANR), James Morris (Brown ANR/CD), Sami Schott (Noble FCS/4-H)

A&P Educator II to III (10)

Katie Cole (Seneca 4-H), Michelle Fehr (Guernsey 4-H), Beth Guggenbiller (Mercer 4-H), Stephanie Karhoff (Williams ANR), Tyler Kessler (Adventure Central 4-H), Marcus McCartney (Washington ANR), Beth Miller (Auglaize 4-H), Christy Millhouse (Preble 4-H), Roseanne Scammahorn (Darke FCS), Lydia Ulry (Fayette 4-H)

A&P Educator III to IV (15)

Godwin Apaliyah (Fayette CD), Becky Barker (Morrow 4-H), Christy Clary (Brown 4-H), Mike Estadt (Pickaway ANR), Cheryl Goodrich (Monroe 4-H), Jason Hartschuh (Crawford ANR), Teresa Johnson (Defiance 4-H), Jenny Lobb (Franklin FCS), Lisa Manning (Lake FCS/4-H), Amanda Osborne (Cuyahoga CD), Kelly Royalty (Clermont 4-H), Kate Shumaker (Holmes FCS), Beth Stefura (Mahoning FCS), Kyle White (area leader and Lorain CD) and Rhonda Williams (Darke 4-H)

Faculty promoted include:

  • Glen Arnold, Field Specialist Manure Management (to professor)
  • David Marrison, Coshocton ANR (to professor)
  • Elizabeth Hawkins, Field Specialist Agronomic Systems (to associate professor with tenure)

The process of applying for promotion is like applying for a new job. You document your qualifications, skills, experience and meaningful accomplishments.  You also describe what you have achieved in ways that enable others to reasonably assume you can succeed in the role for which you are applying. Why do we do this? You want to continue to be challenged and grow as a professional. Your employer wants to ensure you can be successful when tasked with higher level responsibilities.

Our goal is to help each other continue the upward trajectory in a way that is manageable, healthy, and sustainable. Key in doing so is understanding how the expectations vary depending on one’s rank. Do you know the rank of those you are working with? Do you know the expectations of their rank and of your own? How are we working in ways to better take care of each other?

Posted In: A&P, Faculty
Tags: expectations, promotion, A&P, faculty
Comments: 0
Charting a Course

The turning of the calendar is usually a time we report on last year, and then think about and formalize plans for the next year. As far as recurring work activities go, this one of my favorites because it forces me to slow down and think about accomplishments and where I’ve spent time. Reflecting also provides some perspective on the things that didn’t get as far as I’d hoped and can generate some new thinking and ideas that I might try instead. It helps to identify a course forward.

Evaluating like this is what we do. It can help us with focus, direction, and inform our strategies for getting better. It can work for us in our solo work, as a regular part of the teams we work with, and the larger organization as well.

Let’s talk about our Extension teaching, for example. We have tools to help us become a better instructor. Engaged in teaching as a part of OSU, we have a responsibility to evaluate our instruction. Classroom teaching uses the Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) at the end of each course. Extension teaching events can use the Evaluation of Effective Extension Teaching (EEET) to assess quality of teaching across nine dimensions. To better inform your teaching improvement set an intention about how you want to gather feedback from your learners. Be intentional about how you will use this information for personal growth. What are your strongest dimensions? Study what you do and ask colleagues to help explain what you are doing to be rated so highly in them. Do the same for the other lower rated dimensions. See evaluation of teaching as more than a requirement – it is an opportunity for growth. You can learn more about EEET here.

The university also requires teaching faculty to acquire an evaluation of teaching from a peer on an annual basis too. Extension teachers (both A&P and faculty) have a responsibility to evaluate teaching in this way as well. Seek out peers who are known for teaching excellence (to be of a higher rank is no longer required). Watch them teach and ask them to formally observe you. Perhaps you want to demonstrate your teaching skills via the on-line Zoom platform. Find a reviewer who has expertise teaching with Zoom to get the most useful suggestions and feedback. Make it easier for them to help you by providing plenty of advance notice, teaching materials, and a letter template already started with the pertinent details. Learn more about peer evaluation of teaching in Extension here.

This time of year, it’s cold and dark a lot more than I prefer. What a perfect time to chart out our professional journeys that will take place over the sunny and warm months to come. There’s no shortage of opportunities!

Pathway Forward

It’s that time of year again! Time to talk about A&P educator promotion. We celebrated promotion of 38 A&P educators in the 2021 class and now is the time to gear up for the 2022 class.

Thanks to Terri Fisher, we have tried to anticipate everything you need to know and organized it online to help you navigate the pathway forward. Here are the basics to get you started:

  • January 1 – nomination is needed!! The nomination is a simple note from your supervisor, state program leader(s), or associate chair and your annual performance reviews since last promotion or date of hire (whichever is most recent) sent to Terri at fisher.456 and cc’d to all relevant parties. Remember, you can also self-nominate. If you want to discuss which is better, please call me!
  • January 15 – candidacy decision is made. You will know by this date whether you will be invited to proceed as a candidate. Depending on your current rank, additional documentation will be requested including teaching evaluations (for A&P II, III, and IV candidates), peer feedback (A&P III candidates) and clientele feedback (A&P IV candidates).
  • February 1 – draft 3-page narrative is due. Example narratives are found online. Remember, you are applying for a new position when you apply for promotion – describe in your 3-page narrative what you have done in your current role to make you qualified for the new role. Showcase your skills and impact of your efforts. Expect feedback designed to help you better tell your story. Your review team wants you to be successful in your career progression.
  • March 15 – final 3-page narrative is due. You have nothing more to submit. No worries now, let the process work.
  • April – your review committee meets. Comprised of your supervisor, state program leader(s), and associate chair, this group will determine whether to recommend advancement to the department chair by May 1.
  • May 15 – department chair will decide.

Ready to learn more? Please join in one or more of the scheduled A&P educator promotion virtual lunch and learn discussions scheduled for November 17, 19 and December 2, 14 (noon-1pm each day). The informal conversation is designed to answer your specific questions. Go here to join on any of the dates. 

To prepare you for those discussions, please review the A&P educator promotion-related content in significantly more detail found here.  And as always, if you feel the need to talk one-on-one, do not hesitate to contact me! (davis.1081 or 614-292-8793)

Posted In: A&P
Tags: A&P Promotion, review committee, review team
Comments: 0

We have talked about the value of being part of the land-grant institution on these pages in the past. One thing about that which is particularly appealing to me is the focus on learning. The notion that working together we can identify solutions and capitalize on opportunities in ways that we could not otherwise is the essence of Extension work. It is also how we grow personally and professionally.

The Department of Extension is home to several hundred of us (more on that in a future post.) Over the years, literally dozens of our colleagues have been engaged in formal degree programs while carrying out their Extension work. In addition to the desire to learn for learning’s sake, many if not most all have pursued degrees (or are currently doing so) to qualify for promotion (e.g. from A&P I to II) or career advancement (take an A&P educator or other role).

All of this learning creates a ton of knowledge, energy, and inspiration. You share it with your colleagues and your program partners. It runs through your work. It makes you better and I thank you for going above and beyond to invest in yourself. It’s what makes all of us better.

I have been involved in this work long enough to realize that we can do better. How? I am hopeful that we might leverage our investments for greater impact by learning more about your individual efforts. What degree are you pursuing? On what are you focused? What courses are you most passionate about? Will you be (or have you recently been) engaged in research?

If you are currently pursuing and/or have recently received a degree within the last three years (any and all degrees from anywhere), I’d be interested in hearing from you. Please let me know the degree(s) and institution(s). If you are thinking about a project, thesis, or dissertation topic (and/or recently completed such) please let me know the topic(s) or question(s).

So that we might help you make the most of your investment, I look forward to hearing from you (  

scholarship on the refrigerator

In the simplest of terms, scholarship is sharing knowledge. It is material we create to inform others about what we know. It is the practical application of what we know or what we have learned.

We have an abundance of opportunities for Extension scholarship. Our various program efforts are informed by knowledge. These efforts involve materials. Whether factsheets, handouts, or videos, for example, the materials provide opportunity for scholarship. What we learn about our program effectiveness is knowledge. We have a responsibility to share this knowledge with others so that they might benefit from what we have learned. Such efforts can involve sharing with others via a conference presentation, peer-reviewed journal publication, poster or abstract, for example.

Federal Smith-Lever funding for Extension work includes the expectation for Extension scholarship. It is a key dimension of our work and really does include a wide range of Extension outputs that we need to create for a wide range of audiences (e.g. youth, adults, colleagues, program partners, general public, etc). Extension scholarship supports and advances our individual and collective efforts as part of the larger organizational mission. See a post on this subject from last summer here.

Finally, our scholarly efforts are made better when our outputs are reviewed by others (see Extension Scholarship and Review Process for Department of Extension Educational Materials here). We are in the business of collaborating with others in the creation of knowledge that can be readily applied to make life better.

Can you imagine a more wonderful place to be?

Walking Together photo by Daniela Corno from FreeImages

Last time we talked about our recent A&P Educator promotions and briefly described how applying for promotion in rank is like applying for a new job. Since that post, we’ve conducted follow-up workshops by program area to celebrate these accomplishments, talk about next steps, and get feedback on the promotion process itself. The conversations have been rich and the feedback insightful. If you joined in these conversations, thank you! If you weren’t able, we have them recorded (see links below). If you prefer a very abbreviated notes version, read on!

  • Opportunity knocks - Your accomplishments as an Extension educator can be recognized via promotion in rank. The opportunity to apply for promotion in rank provides the framework for charting your professional path. Upon promotion to Educator IV, the opportunity to apply for a tenure-track faculty position is possible. And your path continues.
  • Everyone is different - The professional path you take is a reflection of a variety of things which are different for every individual (e.g. area of specialization; programs created, taught, evaluated; applied scholarship and service pursuits). Your path is informed by ongoing conversations with others (e.g. your support team, peers and colleagues, etc); assessments of needs, opportunities, and concerns locally, regionally, statewide, etc; and your area(s) of interest/expertise. (Of course, there are other things that impact it as well. Who hasn’t started out on one trail and somehow gotten onto another and completely turned around in the woods?)
  • Find your ideal pace - Our path and the rate at which we advance in rank depend on the above and the pace at which we want to push ourselves. See the A&P General Expectations table. Discuss in your conversations your plan of work within these dimensions (i.e. the row headings) within your current rank (i.e. column heading). Your task is to demonstrate excellence within these dimensions (i.e. the row headings) over time at a pace that recognizes the need for balance. It doesn’t make sense to miss out on the scenic views, wildlife, and opportunities to be present as you all-out sprint up the mountain, does it? The goal is to proceed at a pace that you can sustain, enabling you to travel the path to your ultimate destination.  
  • Travel together – While our exact paths may not be the same, advancing in rank requires us to hike the same hill. And, like any adventure, most of us would agree that this one is typically more enjoyable with others. Value colleagues you can travel with along the way. Seek them out and welcome their invites. Coach others who may be on the path you have traveled previously. Share the neat things you have seen along the trail as well as the pitfalls to avoid. Getting better is something we do together.

Zoom Workshops

June 23 - FCS recording

June 25 - CD recording

June 29 - ANR recording

July 1 - 4-H recording

A quick scan of these pages shows the word “promotion” has been used nearly four dozen times over the past year. Given that the blog is all about promotion in Extension and professional growth, this makes sense. Of course, we talk about the larger context from time to time, but if you have subscribed, I am hoping it's because you have an interest in working with others to help them grow or grow yourself professionally. If you have a colleague you know has not subscribed, please encourage them to do so by going here:

Today we celebrate professional growth recognized in the form of A&P educator promotion in rank. I am happy to report that 38 Extension Educators were recently recognized for their accomplishments in Extension teaching, creative work, and service. Colleagues promoted in the 2021 class include:

A&P Educator I to II (5)

  • Alisha Barton, Aubry Fowler, Kenzie Johnston, Catelyn Turner, and Courtney Woefl

A&P Educator II to III (13)

  • Brooke Beam, Lesley Cooksey, Allison Cooper, Trevor Corboy, Christine Gelley, Whitney Gherman, Janessa Hill, Erika Lyon, Clifton Martin, Jamie McConnell, Ashlee Meardith, Amanda Raines, and Jacci Smith

A&P Educator III to IV (20)

  • Mark Badertscher, Tom deHaas, Audrey Dimmerling, Amanda Douridas, Lorrissa Dunfee, Ken Ford, Candace Heer, Jacqueline Kowalski, Ashley Kulhanek, Emily Marrison, Gigi Neal, Sarah Noggle, Patrice Powers-Barker, Andrea Rees, Melissa Rupp, Beth Smith, Gwynn Stewart, Rebecca Supinger, Kathy Tutt, and Kate Wells

The process of applying for promotion is like applying for a new job. You document your qualifications, skills, experience and meaningful accomplishments. You also describe what you have achieved in ways that enable others to reasonably assume you can succeed in the role for which you are applying. Why do we do this? You want to continue to be challenged and grow as a professional. Your employer wants to ensure you can be successful when tasked with higher level responsibilities. We all want to get better.

To celebrate our recently promoted educators, discuss next steps, and address questions, 90-minute Zoom workshops have been scheduled for each program area (schedule below). All are welcome. Please feel free to direct any questions you have to your AD or me.

  • June 23, Wednesday, 9:00 am FCS
  • June 25, Friday, 1:00 pm CD
  • June 29, Tuesday, 9:00 am ANR
  • July 1, Thursday, 1:30 pm 4-H

Our goal is to help each other continue the upward trajectory. Who have you helped today?

Posted In: A&P
Tags: A&P Promotion
Comments: 0