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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Training and Conversation Are Essential to Extension’s Commitment to Civil Rights


By Mary Jo Katras, Program Leader — Family Resiliency
“I really like how the civil rights training provided the history of civil rights. For me it provided context to the training.”

“I think my biggest take away is that you're not done with recruitment and programming until your participant pool looks like the broader community. There is no point at which you say ‘I've done enough.’ Because whatever recruitment and programming strategies you're using, they aren't working. So you need to keep trying new things with the goal of ever-increasing parity with the community at large.”

“I've only completed one so far, but I was really struck by the number of FD employees represented. Made me feel grateful to the leadership in our center, as well as determined to help however I can to increase diversity within leadership. Also appreciative of the courage it took to speak about some of these issues. FD is full of amazing people!!!”

“The one thing that is really sticking out in my mind is the information on staffing parity. The U has some work to do here.”

“I appreciated the opportunity to take the civil rights training. I found the training informative and well organized, starting with the introduction and evolving into the five lessons. The training and resources provided the information we need to be compliant.”

“I liked the use of the different languages as it pushed us beyond our mainstream language and perhaps out of our comfort zones."

“I liked how the training used Extension employees as we it provided an opportunity to learn more about our colleagues!”

Have you done the Extension Civil Rights Training for Employees yet? These are the voices of your colleagues in Family Development as they reflect on what they found helpful, inspiring, and/or enlightening about the civil rights training, which consists of five online lessons to be completed by the end of the year.

Monday, November 20, 2017

After Disasters, FD Provides Financial Recovery Resources and Education


By Sara Croymans, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency

In the first nine months of 2017 the United States experienced 15 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each. These events included one drought, two floods, one freeze event, seven severe storms, three tropical cyclones (hurricanes), and one wildfire. These events resulted in 282 deaths and significant economic effects for individuals and communities according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In response to this need, the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development (FD) provides financial recovery resources for disaster professionals and survivors in a variety of ways. Together, Lori Hendrickson, Extension educator in family resiliency, and I make up FD’s small disaster recovery team. Here are some highlights of what we accomplished from October 2016 to now.

Website Bytes: A Firmer Focus on Financial Capability


By Hannah Jastram Aaberg, Communications Associate

Earlier this month, I told the story of how website content managers in Family Development worked hard reorganize the University of Minnesota Extension Farm to School website section. This week, the story I have for you is about the Financial Capability website section, formerly titled “Personal Finance.”

To recap, as website coordinator of the core FD web team, I had the pleasure of walking alongside content managers as they tackled these projects. These reorganizations had two things in common that helped guide their work to completion:
  • Dedicated and knowledgeable content managers. 
  • A goal to better serve users. 
To learn more about the twists and turns of the financial capability journey, read on.

Friday, November 17, 2017

A New Era Begins for Me


By Judy Myers, Extension Educator — Children, Youth & Family Consortium 

Image of Judy Myers
After nearly seven years with the Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC), I am retiring in December 2017. The past years have been rich with wonderful relationships with CYFC, Family Development and other Extension colleagues. I have also experienced meaningful community partnerships, and deep learning with our many scholar and practitioner partners.

Monday, November 13, 2017

UofM Secure WiFi Network to Be Retired at the End of 2017

The University of Minnesota WiFi network UofM Secure will be retired at the end of December 2017.


Please connect to eduroam, the preferred secure WiFi network for University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff. To connect, choose “eduroam” from your WiFi network preferences or options and enter your full University email address and password.

Questions? Contact Technology Help at help@umn.edu or 612-301-4357.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Finding Joy in the Face of Adversity


By Mary Marczak, Director of Urban Family Development and Evaluation

My maternal grandmother (and namesake) was my kindred spirit. No one made me feel more OK during the abrupt transition at age 10 from an orphanage in South Korea to a family home in Minnesota than my Polish grandmother. I think she identified with my experience because she came to the United States from Poland as an elementary-age child and had to make her way in a new world. So her particular habit of saying, “The world is going to hell in a hand basket!” always jarred me. Gahh!! What does that mean!? How much should I be worried?


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