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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
Photo by Sam LeVan, FreeImages

I can’t begin to count the number of conversations I have had over the past months about what we do (or did, or should do…) about work and life. As mentioned in the previous post, we have talked about so many things with regards to life/work balance, returning to offices, how we work, roles and responsibilities, etc, especially as we near what is beginning to feel like the end of this pandemic.

For many Department of Extension colleagues, we mark the beginning of another chapter in this story as transitioning to a face-to-face work environment via Extension county offices begins today. Whether you were part of a county office that had already initiated some sort of a transition or not, there is no question that re-opening will require a little bit of extra attention.

Changing our routines can be fun and exciting (think of a two-week vacation). It can also be stressful (who wants to re-live March 2020?). What some of our county-based colleagues are dealing with today is akin to family reunion. How awkward are those as you try to make your way around to get re-acquainted with everyone as people arrive? And who among us hasn’t wondered at some point “how soon can I leave?”  : )

I would prefer to think of today as the first day on the job. For some of our pandemic-era new hires, it may be just that (and for those I say thank you for hanging in there). While we are like family and this may feel like a family reunion of sorts, I would encourage you to also think about our return to ‘normal’ as a reset.

We have been blessed with so much opportunity to learn so much about ourselves, our work, about what is important. If you are a county educator, what aspects of your work are most suitable and appropriate for the county office setting? What aspects are better suited done or require you to be elsewhere? How can you improve or strengthen relationships with your office colleagues, each of them serving in a variety of critical roles? How can they better support you? How you can you better support them? It is a perfect time to ‘reset’ how you approach your work.

Every one of us plays a critical role in carrying out our mission. We have the potential to exponentially increase our abilities if we use our county office spaces as places for cultivating highly productive and collegial relationships with colleagues, stakeholders and clientele.

Welcome to your first day…how will you invest yourself?

Posted In: A&P, Faculty
Tags: county offices, RTO, teamwork, first-day back
Comments: 0

When you try to live in the moment, one would assume the blurring of time would be expected. That has generally been the case for me. But the blurring of time and events since March 2020 has taken that feeling to an entirely new level. It takes real effort to piece together the memory of key events and accomplishments. It has been surreal. And it has been eye-opening.

Many I have talked to have told me how useful this past year has been. It has forced them to re-envision how they engage their audiences, co-workers, team-mates, family, and friends. They have explored teaching tools and technologies more deeply than they would have otherwise. They have taken better care of themselves with more nutritious meals, intentional exercise, and planned social events. They have taken better care of those they care about.

As we collectively begin to venture back into the world we knew pre-pandemic, we continue to be reminded of how much has changed. And yet one could argue that really nothing ever changed other than our perspective (Queue Robin Williams' character John Keating in the 1989 Dead Poets Society).

In a recent conversation with Pam Montgomery, she combined perspective with this notion of balance. At some point over the past year, I think a feeling of balance is what many realized was missing. It required a change in perspective to even notice it. And for many I've talked to, we didn’t even know how imbalanced we had become. Perspective is a wonderful thing indeed.

Our time here is limited and there is no shortage of ways we might spend it. How do you want to spend your time with work, family, friends, yourself?

Posted In: A&P, Faculty
Tags: balance, perspective, Robin Williams, intentional
Comments: 0

It is hard to believe it was March 16 when we last met on these pages. My apologies to you, but higher priorities called. Well, it was largely you, and to be honest, although it has been hectic, I have enjoyed nearly every moment of it.

What am I talking about? Put simply, your path (here’s where you may want to reference a late February post focused on educator opportunities for professional growth and advancement.)

Through the faculty annual review process and A&P educator promotion reviews, I have had the chance over the past month or so to learn so much more about our educators and their professional paths. I have read about your accomplishments and your plans for the future in your own words as well as the words of your colleagues and external stakeholders. In addition, reading the written comments of your annual review letters enables me to visualize your professional growth similar to time-lapse photography. Thank you all for making the most of your opportunities to document growth and opportunities for improvement using your words.

Seeing such a broad cross-section of Extension educators, from our recently hired A&P I and II promotion candidates to our 30+ year professors, from this perspective has been a joy. It fills my heart to see among the documentation of our junior A&P colleagues peer evaluation of teaching letters authored by many of our most accomplished senior level faculty. To read about our plans for the future, especially considering everything we learned about ourselves and our work over the past year, gives me the greatest hope and confidence that we will continue to make a difference in the lives of many.

To read about you like this has strengthened my awareness of your work and your unique contributions. Many are just starting to walk their path and many others have already covered quite a bit of ground. I appreciate each of you. Remember that there is no one ideal or perfect path to make a difference; each path is as unique as each of us.

What a beautiful way to spend one’s day. I look forward to helping you create your path!