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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How Can One Person Make a Difference?

Dear colleagues,

How can one person make a difference? This is the question the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) is posing next month (November 10) as they engage in a discussion about the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks with the author Rebecca Skloot.

What Does Family Development Tweet About?

In September, I announced the launch of the Family Development Twitter account, @UMNExtFD. This handle (user name) joined three other Family Development Twitter handles. What are they all about? Here's the scoop:

Pinterest for Parent Education

Brianna Routh kindled an interest in Pinterest last summer that continues to burn.

Our former Building Healthy and Strong Families Extension educator started an account on the Pinterest social content discovery and curation website in August 2013. She won an NEAFCS social networking award in 2014 for this FD Pinterest account.

Meanwhile, Brianna approached CYFC Coordinator Sara Langworthy and I about writing an article based on her work. We submitted an "Ideas at Work" manuscript to Journal of Extension (JOE) this July, and received a quick turnaround. The reviewer recommended that the article "be fast tracked for publication -- this is cutting edge and shouldn't have to wait for months to be published!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Employees

Welcome to our new employees!
  • Christopher Strand, SNAP-Ed educator, St. Louis County-North, 9/16/2014
  • Abdulahi Dohe, SNAP-Ed educator (Somali language), Kandiyohi County, 9/19/2014
  • Jackie Larson, SNAP-Ed educator, Otter Tail County-West, 10/6/2014
  • Mira Friedlander, AmeriCorps Vista Volunteer — Cooking Matters® Minnesota, Ramsey County, 10/16/14

'This is not the end, it is merely the beginning'

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

I recently read an insightful commentary about the two 2014 Nobel Prize winners working for the welfare of children: Malala Yousafzai, 17, of Pakistan, and Kailash Satyarthi, 60, of India. I was naturally drawn to the piece because it's about inspiring people making tremendous sacrifices for the sake of children. But I was also intrigued because the authors are two U of M graduate students* who are also from Pakistan and India. I encourage you to read the entire commentary, in which the authors offer their perspective on the importance of the Nobel Prize going to leaders from their home countries.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


By Trish Olson, Interim Associate Dean

At the Extension Program Conference last week, I attended a session about storytelling as a tool for evaluation by Dr. Richard Krueger. He told us about a study that predicted the characteristics of a successful Extension educator. Was it content expertise? Was it their ability to explain complex research to lay practitioners?

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