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Extension > Family Matters > April 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

Staff Announcements

The Department of Family Social Science recently announced two new faculty members with Extension appointments. Dr. Jenifer McGuire will join the faculty as an Associate Professor in the area of Parenting Education, beginning fall 2014, pending approval from the Provost's office. She can be reached at jkmcguire@wsu.edu. Jodi Dworkin served as the chair of the search committee and Ellie McCann served as Extension's representative.

Dr. Joyce Serido has accepted an offer to join the FSoS faculty as an Associate Professor in the area of family economics beginning Fall, 2014. She can be reached at jserido@email.arizona.edu. Sharon Danes served as chair of the search committee and Jennifer Garbow served as Extension's representative.

Please join me in thanking Jodi, Ellie, Sharon, and Jennifer for their service to hire these new specialists.

Help Us Get the Word Out to our Partners about SNAP Education

In Health and Nutrition, we continue to make great progress hiring SNAP-Ed educators for the new model. Our next push is to ramp up our external communications with partners and we need your help. In the next few months, we will be sharing resources with you for communicating with county and regional partners. To get you started, we have put together a map showing the regions for SNAP-Ed (they match Extension's regions) and the counties for EFNEP (Hennepin, Ramsey and southern Anoka.) Click here for a copy of the map.

Thank you for helping us get the word out.

Learnings from PILD

Public Issues Leadership Development Conference, also called PILD, is sponsored by the Joint Councils of Extension Professionals. For Family Development, the National Association of Family and Consumer Sciences represents our interests on the Joint Council. EFANS, Community Vitality, and Youth Development also have national organizations that represent them. The mission of PILD is to provide leadership and advocacy skills to affect public issues. Conference sessions focused on enhancing public advocacy and education skills and broadening understanding of public issues that impact Extension and its clientele. On the last day of the conference, a team of Extension Educators and staff visited with members of the MN congressional delegation on Capitol Hill.

I walked away from the conference with some key lessons learned. One keynoter reminded me again of the importance of social media, especially Twitter, as a resource to get out our messages. Another provided guidance on how to foster common purpose as a way to energize collaborations for action. I purchased a recommended book titled The Power of Invisible Leadership (Hickman and Sorenson, 2014). I learned in the first pages that leadership is about promoting a common vision and mission to move a group to action, and not about getting others to take action on behalf of the leader. I am looking forward to getting deeper into the book and how I can apply it my own work.

If you have the opportunity to attend this conference in the future, I highly recommend it. The conference offers great professional development in its sessions and hands-on experience meeting with elected officials.

Karen Shirer
Associate Dean

Minnesota Poverty: Call to Action

The University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development is one of numerous sponsors for this upcoming conference. As most of you are aware, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of President Johnson's State of the Union address calling on the nation to launch an "unconditional war on poverty." This address signaled a renewed national commitment to fighting poverty through targeted policy resulting in programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, Pell Grants, expansions to Social Security and nutrition assistance. This conference is intended to celebrate this anniversary and renew efforts by debunking false claims and putting forward a proactive vision about how to end poverty.

Family Matters: Update on the Center for Family Development

wedding.jpg
Shirer-Johnson Wedding Picture

Life at work and home has been very busy and eventful of late. In early April, my daughter, Allison, was married — see the picture of Allie and her new husband, Mike, on the right. We had a wonderful celebration at our home in Circle Pines with immediate family. The next day I headed to Public Issues Leadership Development Conference (PILD) in Washington, DC. I wondered why I scheduled this trip immediately after the wedding but in the end was so glad I participated. See Learnings from PILD for some of the lessons learned.

This week, you will also find information about new faculty hires (Staff Announcements) and an award for a SNAP-Ed educator (Extension Staff Day), as well as a map showing the location of the SNAP-Ed educators and the regional coordinators (Help Us Get the Word Out). In addition, four professional development opportunities are described including the joint meetings with Family Development and the National Association of Family and Consumer Sciences in Minnesota.

Enjoy the warming April weather.

Karen Shirer
Associate Dean
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