Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2015

Exploring Guatemala

Silvia Alvarez de Davila, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency
Trish Olson, Director of Programs — Family Development

The resplendent quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala. This bird symbolized freedom to the ancient Maya because it would not live in captivity. There are many things that "bind" modern Guatemalans — poverty, political upheaval, to name just two — yet this symbol is everywhere. Their commitment to the development of and investment in their youth is one way they work for freedom.

Scenes from Video Land

Making UMConnect Recordings Accessible — Remember how the Adobe Connect server is no longer with us? Ruth has been hard at work uploading past webinars to our YouTube playlists, such as Disaster Recovery
6 Tips for Creating Share-worthy Videos — While Academic Technologist Alison Holland can't promise you'll "go viral," she is willing to bet your number of views and share will increase if you follow these tips.
Digital Backpack — Access to a suite of video clips, audio clips, and graphics is now available to faculty and staff through a two-month trial of VideoBlocks for Education. Download as much content as you like to your own device (not to a shared server)!

Lessons from the Field: The Synergistic Effect

By Eugene Hall, Graduate Research Assistant

Hennepin County Judge Bruce Peterson used the word “synergy” to describe what was happening during last week’s Lessons from the Field seminar, titled “Children in Common: Ensuring the Emotional Well-Being of Children When Parenting Apart.” The event was held “live” in Minneapolis and by video stream for clinicians, researchers, parents, and other interested people throughout Minnesota and the nation.

Introducing a New SNAP-Ed Regional Coordinator

Please welcome Susan Draves as the newest member of the SNAP-Ed Regional Coordinator team. Susan will be working out of the Rochester regional office and since she grew up in Rochester, is very familiar with the area. She is a U of M graduate ('87) and a mother of four (two are teens and two are in college). Susan resides in Lake City and loves pursuing an active lifestyle that includes hiking, biking, walking her dog, sailing and gardening. She is passionate about local foods, farmers markets, good reads, improving her Spanish, and music!

Word Matters: Appreciating Pope Francis’s Way with Words

Last month I had the privilege of seeing Pope Francis in person. I was among the nearly 1 million people who lined the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia when he passed by in the popemobile — only 20 feet away. I was near enough to see his broad smile and feel the warmth of his presence, which radiates joy and peace.
Lookin' good Papa! — Salt + Light (@saltandlighttv) September 22, 2015 While I have some points of disagreement with Pope Francis, I am in accord with many of his teachings — especially his overarching plea to preserve the life and dignity of all people, whatever their station or circumstance in life. I also like his focus on the poor and marginalized. (Can you see why I love working in Family Development?)

Now, Pope Francis isn't saying anything that past popes haven't said. Yet, his words resonate more than those of previous pope's — with me and millions of people worldwide, both Catholic and non-Cathol…

Health and Nutrition Extension Educator Positions Filled

We are happy to announce that both of our Health and Nutrition Extension educator positions for the urban area have been filled.
Laura Bohen will be transitioning from a SNAP-Ed regional coordinator role to this new position around November 2. The details for this transition are still being determined. We will be opening a new search for a replacement for Laura's current position; the link for this new posting will be available shortly.Laura Perdue will be continuing as an Extension educator, but will transition from the St. Cloud office to the urban area position in November. This change will take place November 2, but Laura's physical move will most likely take place later in November. We will also be posting a replacement for Laura's current EE position; more details to follow soon. Congratulations to Laura and Laura!
Mary Marczak Director — Urban Family Development and Evaluation

Owning the Personal

By Karen Shirer, Associate Dean

On Wednesday, October 7, at the annual Extension Fall Program Conference in Bloomington, America Bracho, M.D., spoke at our center’s meeting about her work as executive director of Latino Health Access (LHA), a center for health promotion and disease prevention in program in Santa Ana, CA. As Trish Olson, director of programs, wrote in a Family Matters column in July, Participation Makes the Difference, a team of seven Health and Nutrition staff members visited LHA this summer, and we used the program conference as an opportunity to share Dr. Bracho’s message with more FD staff and faculty.

Email Etiquette: Rethink Replies to Listservs

By Hannah Jastram, Communications Associate, and Mary Caskey, Associate Program Director

Email these days. It’s hard to keep up. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all agreed on how to make each others’ lives easier by sending fewer emails?

In this Email Etiquette tip, we propose rethinking how we congratulate colleagues on listservs. In the past couple months, we’ve seen an uptick of announcements of media covering the great work of FD staff. On the helpful side, the announcements sent through the FD or H&N listserv are a good way to celebrate our colleagues and inform everybody about what they’re doing. On the less helpful side, the congratulatory responses to these announcements can clog our email inboxes.

Did you know that every time someone replies to an email from the FD listserv, that reply lands in over 150 email inboxes? Let’s look at how we can show enthusiasm for our colleagues’ accomplishments, as well as show respect for their inboxes.

Adapting Diabetes Prevention Program for Different Cultures

By Anne Dybsetter, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

University of Minnesota Extension staff in health and nutrition are planning, piloting, and documenting adaptations to Individuals and Communities Acting Now to Prevent Diabetes® (or I CAN Prevent Diabetes), a diabetes prevention program. The adaptations are to make the program culturally relevant for Somali and Spanish-speaking populations, while maintaining content- and principle-based fidelity and ensuring intended outcomes and impacts.

Through this 2-year project, the I CAN Prevent Diabetes course is being implemented in two different cultural communities in southwestern Minnesota:
The Latino community in Worthington.The Somali community in Willmar. The project team is gathering information to help adapt I CAN Prevent Diabetes to be accessible and culturally relevant for these populations. Sources of information include local cultural guides, focus groups with community members, interviews with community partners, and…

Through Grant, Extension Helps Fresh Connect Food Hub Grow

“What about a food hub?”

This is the question Dana Reith, Jane Eastes, and Melissa Mattson of Lakes County Service Cooperative (LCSC) asked in 2012. Two years later, they had established the Fresh Connect Food Hub in Fergus Falls — an effort that included a 12-week pilot season during which more than 34,000 pounds of produce from nine farms were distributed to 12 school districts, a hospital, and a nursing home in West Central Minnesota. Growers anticipate distributing an even greater volume of produce by the end of the food hub’s second season later this fall.