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Extension > Family Matters > September 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Military Families Learning Network Grant

The Center for Family Development has partnered with a national team to successfully receive a U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture eXtension Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) grant. The MFLN includes Cooperative Extension family specialists, as well as the military family service professionals it serves. MFLN serves these professionals through engaged online communities that identify and make use of the highest quality, best practices, research- and evidence-based information, educational and curriculum materials, and programming activities and efforts.

Leadership in a 'V' Formation

By Trish Olson, Interim Associate Dean — Extension Center for Family Development 

I was in Douglas County in West Central Minnesota this weekend where no roads are straight because of ponds and lakes; therefore, there was much waterfowl flying overhead (duck hunting opener may also have had something to do with that). Geese were constantly honking as they headed to warmer climates. It made me think about the "V" formation and leadership.

Well, I am not the first to think about this. Here's what Robert McNeish, Ph.D., a science teacher from Baltimore, Maryland, had to say about "V" formations and leadership in 1972. I've modified some of the "lessons" with Family Development in mind.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Secondary Traumatic Stress: Building Resilience for Professionals

Extension's Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC) is sponsoring Secondary Traumatic Stress: Building Resilience for Professionals"as part of its Lessons from the Field series on Thursday morning, October 30. CYFC invites professionals who work with traumatized children, youth, and families to participate in the event, which will be offered live at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University's Minneapolis campus, as well as broadcast in real time to host sites in Greater Minnesota.

Family Development on Twitter

The Center for Family Development is now on Twitter!


@UMNExtFD is our "handle."
This "all-FD" Twitter account is another tool in our communicator and relationship-building toolbox. We'll use this account to disseminate content from all program areas using "one voice;" share content from the SNAP-Ed, Youth & Money, and Family Education Network Twitter accounts; better connect the University and our work throughout Minnesota; and generally further our educational mission. Follow us today!

The Context of Our Work

By Patricia Olson, Interim Associate Dean

I often listen to a podcast called "On Being" with host Krista Tippett. Recently she spoke with renowned cellist and songwriter Yo-Yo Ma about a concept I think is important in Extension.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NEAFCS Regional and National Award Winners Announced

The National Educators Associate for Family & Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) educates and recognizes Extension professionals who improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. NEAFCS provides education in:
  • Food preparation, food safety and nutrition
  • Financial management
  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Home & work environment and safety
  • Relationship and parenting skills
NEAFCS also gives awards, and Minnesota educators walked away with many of them.

International Conference on Building Resilience

Just last week, Ellie McCann and Sara Croymans presented at the 4th International Conference on Building Resilience in Manchester, England. In partnership with the community group Red River Resilience, they submitted a paper for the conference titled "One Message, Many Voices: Inter-disciplinary Partnerships for Resilience Communication."

ellie and sara in london1.JPG
From left: Sara Croymans and Ellie McCann
Many other conference presentations were in the context of building resilience after disaster in the economic and physical structure context. Ellie and Sara's unique contribution to the conference was considering resilience from the perspective of social and emotional factors. They were able to connect with researchers from many countries and found the social and emotional factors seemed to reflect needs of those from developing countries.

Thank you Ellie and Sara for representing the Center for Family Development internationally!

Live Healthy, Live Well Website Launched

Late in July, we tallied the votes and unveiled the name for our new family-focused website. The Family Development web team is now pleased to announce the launch of the Live Healthy, Live Well website!


The creation of this website was a collaboration among Family Development content managers, taking content from the following websites:
  • Personal Finance
  • Health and Nutrition, Cooking Matters® Minnesota
  • Families in Tough Times
  • Families with Teens
Share this new website with your partners and colleagues! You can use this shortened link: z.umn.edu/lhlw

Hannah Jastram 
Communications Associate

Interim Associate Dean Announcement

Dear Colleagues,

In case you have not heard, I am filling in for Dr. Karen Shirer, Associate Dean for Extension Center for Family Development, while she takes some time this fall to tend to her health. While this situation was unexpected for both of us, I believe her leadership style is one where she has "well-insured" the Center to continue to thrive during her partial absence (she is working some so I can consult with her).

Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.
— Jamais Cascio

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions or ideas to move our Center forward during this interim time.
Trish Olson
Interim Associate Dean
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