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Monday, November 20, 2017

Life member utilized concepts gained at conference in financial counseling efforts

By Cindy Petersen November 19, 2017 

Thank you to the ESP Scholarship committee for awarding funds to attend the Association of Financial Counseling Planning Education (AFCPE) Symposium in San Diego, CA, November 15-17, 2017. Even though I am retired, I continue to keep up my Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) designation. By attending the annual AFCPE Symposium it provides me, the opportunity to receive the needed CEU's to keep the designation. 

The information I learned this year is helpful with one to one financial counseling that I currently provide to a woman in our community. She has student loan debt, mental illness, very limited income, and needs a variety of ideas to keep her engaged in learning how to manage a budget. Each of these issues were addressed in the general sessions and breakout sessions I attended at the conference. The symposium was also helpful in keeping me up-to-date on important trending topics in the financial area. 

The Accredited Financial Counselor designation places an emphasis on ethics. These moral codes are important not only with one to one counseling, but also with volunteer work that I do as an AARP Tax Counselor for the Elderly and others, plus through my paid seasonal position as a cashier with the U of MN Landscape Arboretum AppleHouse. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Minnesota Extension Professionals Recite the Extension Creed

Press play to hear the recital of the Extension creed at the 2017 fall program conference 

What I love(d) about being an Extension Professional



Thursday, October 26, 2017

Extension’s early detection and management of forest invasive species program shared at an international conference

By Angela Gupta
2017 Scholarship Recipient

Trip to Freiburg, Germany IUFRO (International Union of Forest Research Organizations) 125th Anniversary Congress was wonderful! One of my goals was to better understand how the UMN Extension's nationally recognized programming related to volunteers, citizen science and invasive species ranks at a world level. During the conference, I realized we are a world leader! Further, I have already brought some of the ideas and goals issued at the IUFRO back to Extension's Fall Conference, and the Extension Invasive Species Community of Practice. I've followed-up with two other IUFRO presenters that will hopefully lead to additional work (hopefully an academic paper published together and a new 3D printed model of a new invasive species.)

The challenge to the presenters and the audience in my session was to work on invasive species at a global level. Invasive species impact the whole world. I think UMN Extension is well positioned to take leadership at an international level. I hope to work towards that goal; which should ultimately reduce the introduction, spread and negative impacts of invasive species to ecosystems and human health.

During this trip and IUFRO conference I gave an oral presentation titled: Empowering volunteers in early detection and management of forest invasive species using 3D printed models, online tracking systems and UAVs. That led to a networking dinner with the other session speakers; follow-up contacts that are already talking about jointly publishing this work and our ideas; and I've incorporated the global impact model that was presented into UMN Extension's conversations about invasives at the 2017 UMN Extension Fall Conference in Brooklyn Park.

In addition, I visited several of Freiburg's green and sustainable projects and neighborhoods for ideas that could be incorporated into Rochester’s growth and development. I met with Rochester's Sustainability Coordinator on 10-16-17 during which we talked about Freiburg's efforts and how some of those ideas could be used in Rochester.

It was great trip and conference! Thank you for helping me to make it happen!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Different Perspectives of Storytelling for Extension Educators

ESP Scholarship Recipient Report 

By Colleen Gengler, ESP Life Member

September 27, 2017

Thank you to ESP, Pi Chapter, for the scholarship to attend NEAFCS Minnesota Affiliate’s Professional Development Day - Different Perspectives of Storytelling for Extension Educators. I was honored to open the day by sharing the family memoir I co-authored, Under Minnesota Skies.

My presentation was following by Mary Marzak and Becky Beyers talking about “The Art and Science of Storytelling.” I knew that given who the presenters were, I would go home with new resources and knowledge about storytelling. The session did not disappoint!

From time to time in book presentations, I’ve been asked how to get started in writing family stories as well as how our book came about. Mary and Becky talked about the process of telling stories and how they evolve. Mary used a graphic, which included the beginning or introduction, the meat of the story and then bringing it all together in the closing. That’s how storytelling is done.

The session reminded me of several things from my Extension career including 4-H demonstrations, telling a parenting story to illustrate a best practice and writing news columns. Mary shared several resources including books by Harry Wolcott and Jonathan Gottschall; both of which I am checking out (literally!). She also mentioned a delightful website from Khan Academy. It is Pixar in a Box - Introduction to Storytelling. The examples are wonderful because it is Pixar but storytelling points are all there.

My purpose for attending the day was somewhat different from the current Extension staff who attended the day to build skills in telling stories of their work to decision makers. My objective in learning was the how and why of storytelling was definitely met, These concepts will add to my own book talks. It was also enjoyable to connect with former colleagues, meet staff new to me and appreciate current Extension work.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Legislative Update

August 8, 2017

by Gwen Gmeinder, Legislative Chair, ESP Pi Chapter

State Relations  

University Relations Office created a summary of the 2017 State Relations Session Summary, a high-level review of the University’s efforts to represent interests and needs to our State elected leaders.

Federal Relations

Farmfest was held August 1-3, Morton, MN.  Dean Bev Durgan and Sarah Greening met with Congressman Collin Peterson, Congressman Tim Walz and the agricultural legislative staff for Senator Klobuchar and Senator Franken.

On August 3, 2017, the U.S. House Ag Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, Texas and U.S. House Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson, MN 7th District, hosted a Farmfest forum on “The Next Farm Bill … Conversations in the Field.”  Dean Durgan testified to the importance of the 2018 Farm Bill. Smith-Lever federal funding provides 15% of Extension’s budget. Her remarks included the programs Extension offers across the State and ways federal funding has allowed Extension to address critical needs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My study in Finland and Estonia - 2017 MEWS Scholarship Recipient, ESP Pi Chapter

My study in Finland and Estonia June 2017

2017 MEWS Scholarship Recipient, ESP Pi Chapter

By Margo Herman, Extension Educator, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development

I recently completed the National Afterschool Association International Learning Exchange (ILE)       June 26-29, 2017 in Finland and Estonia. I am most grateful for your $500 scholarship to attend this learning exchange. It was a great experience that provided valuable perspective and connections to excellent resources.

ILE is dedicated to cultural and educational professional development focused on developing innovative knowledge and strategies for afterschool leaders. The US delegation included 19 participants (all leaders in afterschool) from 12 states. We met with 10 colleagues in Finland and 4 colleagues in Estonia over the course of the week.
I served on the planning committee to make this learning experience vibrant for all involved and was part of a panel presentation on the 3rd day of the conference “US Youth Policy in a Trump Administration” as I shared recent focus group notes from Somali youth enrolled in our Urban 4-H program.

Throughout the week, I shared our Extension Center for Youth Development strategies and resources with participants. In addition, I scheduled 2 additional (outside the learning exchange agenda) one-on-one meetings with Finland 4-H staff to exchange resources related to our urban 4-H programming, our Youth Teaching Youth curriculum, and our WeConnect global citizenship curriculum. In turn, the Finland  4-H staff shared resources with me about their 4-H international exchange program, their 3 Steps To Employment program, and Finland 4-H Entrepreneur program.These programs focus on substantive program for older youth that I believe we should consider within our strategic plan to continue our
4-H youth development programming bridging youth into adulthood.

ILE had an impact on my Extension work in the following ways:

  1. I built many connections and a stronger network with my US colleagues, particularly in the states of CT, NH, VT, TN and VA through discussion about our unique youth programs and resources. We exchanged our philosophy, resource material and website information.
  2. ILE inspired new thinking about the importance of building capacity of our 4-H program for older youth.  Finland and Estonia support youth work at a national level up until age 29 to build national capacity for successful employment of young people. Starting age 13 they focus specifically on job skills and career skills through 3 Steps To Employment. This is a key age, as  Minnesota notices a significant drop off in 4-H enrollment between 6th grade and 9th grade (32% decrease in 2016).
  3. I exchanged information with our 4-H colleagues in Helsinki, Finland. Our Extension Center for Youth Development website was highly beneficial to them as a link to our WeConnect global citizenship curriculum content, as well as our youth development research page (includes blogs, articles, research and recorded symposia). They also noted specific interest in our Urban 4-H Model and our Youth Teaching Youth approach. In return, their resources that are beneficial to our MN 4-H program are their 3 Steps To Employment program, and their international learning exchange model (part of a global 4-H network). 

Friday, March 3, 2017

2016-2017 Committees

ESP Minnesota PI Chapter

2016-2017 Committees 

Awards & Recognition
This committee shall recommend to the Executive Committee individuals and teams to be nominated for chapter, regional, or national ESP awards; be responsible for securing and presenting chapter awards; and annually review the criteria for selecting awards recipients.

This committee shall raise funds according to the direction and intention of the Executive Committee for these purposes: to add to the Minnesota Extension Workers Scholarship Fund; to support the mission, vision, and operations of the Pi Chapter; and any other purpose which contributes to the professional development and work of Pi Chapter members.

Global Relations
This committee provides awareness and access to international work, service, and travel opportunities.

Vacant, Chair

History & Archives
This committee will record and collect documents, stories, photos, exhibits, oral histories, and other memorabilia. It will preserve them in an appropriate location and in durable formats to ensure they are safe and accessible over time. It will provide a list of the contents along with information about how to access archived information.

This committee shall remain informed and keep membership informed of pertinent legislative matters that concern University of Minnesota Extension and its staff.

This committee shall work with the Treasurer to maintain and report an annual roster of annual and life members to the ESP office; identify and recruit qualified new annual and life member candidates; report all changes of status of members; be responsible for the initiation and orientation of new members; and order ESP membership cards and/or creeds for new members with approval from the Executive Committee.

Professional Improvement
This committee shall identify and recommend to the Executive Committee appropriate professional improvement programs and activities, and plan, implement, and evaluate offerings.

Retiree / Life Member
This committee shall work to maintain the active involvement of life members in the chapter; maintain communication linkages with life members; and report needs, concerns, and issues to the Executive Committee. Send ESP sympathy card to family of retiree, remove name from ESP life member list, add to deceased list and donor management system. Commerate memorial service at annual meeting. Plan post-educational session at retiree luncheon.

This committee shall promote scholarship programs of the Pi Chapter and ESP, review applications and recommend Pi Chapter amounts, and annually review scholarship selection criteria.

This committee shall be chaired by the immediate past president of Pi Chapter; and shall recommend to the executive committee a slate of candidates for office to be elected at the annual meeting of the membership.

This committee shall consist of three (3) members not to include members of the executive committee; shall review the financial records of Pi Chapter; and recommend any changes deemed advisable.

  • Three members not on Executive Committee appointed by Treasurer, Sara Croymans, 

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