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Showing posts from March, 2016

Snow or No, Staff Development Goes On

By Sharon Mulé, (say “mul-lay”) Staff Development Coordinator

On January 6, 2015, I was in Manchester, NH and it was snowing.

I was in New Hampshire to conduct a two-day training for staff from the Manchester Department of Health and Manchester Public Schools. During those two days, the snow kept piling up. The snow piled so high that it took me two days and nine re-bookings to get back to Minnesota!

This year on January 6, I was flying off to Palm Springs, CA to conduct two days of training. This time I had no problems with the flights, and when I returned I not only landed safely in Minnesota, but also landed in a new job as staff development coordinator for Family Development.

Adapting I CAN Prevent Diabetes for Latino Audiences

By Anne Dybsetter, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

How well does a nationally-recognized diabetes prevention program work for a Latino community in southwestern Minnesota? Leticia Rodriguez and her colleagues in University of Minnesota Extension’s Health and Nutrition programs are going to find out.

Rodriguez, a SNAP-Ed educator, is a well-known face in Worthington, MN. An Extension employee for 17 years, she has been teaching about nutrition and health in the southwestern Minnesota community, population 12,943, for much of her career.

Recently, Rodriguez has been one of several SNAP-Ed educators teaching and adapting ICANPD (Individuals and Communities Acting Now to Prevent Diabetes), an evidence-based lifestyle change program designed to prevent diabetes among people at high risk for developing the disease. She has participated in Family Development efforts to adapt the course to Latino cultures and teach it in Spanish in Worthington, with the goal of better preventing …

A Guide to the Youth You Serve

By Mark Otto, Project Director for Outreach for the REACH Lab — Department of Family Social Science

Getting out of our own “boxes” sometimes requires keener insight into the minds, habits, likes, and dislikes of those we serve. Forget what you know about Millennials; today’s young people, Generation Z, are different than any other generation. Research has shown that not only their brains look different than ours, but they function differently. Watch this recorded webinar to explore characteristics of generation Z, learn how these young people think and react to situations, and discover what they can do to bridge the gap between what we as professionals want to teach and what Generation Z wants to know.

Family Development Research and Evaluation Welcomes New Team Member

By Emily Becher, Research Associate — Applied Research and Evaluation Team

The Family Development Applied Research and Evaluation team welcomed Marijo Wunderlich to the team as a research associate on March 28. Marijo has over 20 years of experience in public health and evaluation, including working as a lead evaluator for the W. K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, MI, the Minnesota Department of Health Statewide Health Improvement Program, St. Paul-Ramsey County Public Health, St. Paul, MN, and Rainbow Research in Minneapolis, MN. Marijo will support health and nutrition research and evaluation projects, with a focus on Policy, Systems and Environment (PSE) efforts.

Relevance of Family and Consumer Sciences from Flint to Your Community

By Trish Olson, Director of Programs

On March 23, FD will meet at the “virtual watercooler” at the beginning of its one-day meeting to hear and discuss a short presentation titled: “Our Value: Analysis of Extension Family Consumer Sciences (FCS) Programs in North Central Region.” A longer version of this presentation was delivered earlier this month at National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) headquarters in Washington, D.C. Ironically, given that our meeting is a virtual gathering ‘round the water cooler, a key subject of this presentation is water quality.

Spectrum of Prevention Article Published

By Trina Adler, Program Leader — Health and Nutrition

The Journal of the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) recently published an article by Extension educators in Health and Nutrition titled "Strategies Across the Spectrum: Spectrum of Prevention as a Decision-Making Tool in Extension." The authors explored use of the Spectrum of Prevention as an organizing framework for child care-related programming decisions about audience, content, objectives and evaluation, all within a context of limited resources.

Cooking with Whole Grains Article Published

By Trina Adler, Program Leader — Health and Nutrition

Family Development’s Early Childhood Nutrition Team is creating healthier food environments for young children in Minnesota and has the results to prove it! The team recently had an article published in the March issue of Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior titled "Cooking with Whole Grains: A Skills-Based Training for Child Care Providers."

Journal Publishes FD Team’s Article on Intergenerational Solidarity

By Karen Shirer, Associate Dean

What happens to a family when one or more members live outside their home country? Family Development Director of Programs Trish Olson teamed up with Family Social Science Associate Professor Cathy Solheim and Research Assistant Jaime Ballard to find out. The trio’s findings are the lead article of the February issue of Journal of Human Sciences and Extension.

A Sense of Wonder at Our Shared Path

By Mary Marczak, Director of Urban Family Development and Evaluation

This is a picture of me taken at age 9 at an orphanage near Seoul, South Korea. Back in the 70’s, each year, the Korean government would send one or two promising orphaned children to a school in Switzerland. These children were to live and study in Switzerland then return as adults and use their education to benefit South Korea.

I was chosen for this path one year. I remember it as a painful year of tests, shots, visits to the dentist, doctors, and more tests. Very near my departure date, I became extremely ill (blood poisoning) and by the time I recovered, I had to wait for the following year to go to Switzerland. As chance would have it, during that year I was adopted and ended up in Minnesota instead!

Flash forward about 16 years. I am in graduate school at the University of Arizona in Tucson. We had a new cohort of graduate students starting, so I decided we needed to have regular breakfast gatherings to get to…

Family Transitions Team Puts Minnesota’s Work on a National Platform

By Sara Croymans, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency
Anita Herring Harris, Extension Educator — Military Families

The Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Family Transitions (FT) concentration area team has been hard at work bringing expertise from Minnesota to military service professionals across the nation.
You have 5 minutes to get a cup of coffee and get signed in to our next webinar!
See you there! — MFLN Transitions (@MFLNFT) February 24, 2016
In February, the MFLN FT team hosted two webinars focused on parenting issues unique to military families:

Communications Team Welcomes Student Worker

By Hannah Jastram, Communications Associate

On March 1, the FD Communications Team welcomed Riga Cavanaugh as a student worker. Riga has experience in many different areas, including theater, business management, social justice, and social media. She plans to graduate from the U of M in spring 2018 with a bachelor's degree in art and a certification in addiction studies.

Riga will help caption videos on Family Development's YouTube channel to increase accessibility for all audiences, put together the CYFC Monthly, and perform other communications-related tasks as assigned. Welcome Riga!

SNAP-ing It Up at the Association Conference

By Renee Obrecht-Como, Director of Operations — Health and Nutrition

Each of us has professional associations related to our work, and SNAP-Ed is no exception. The Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators held its annual conference the week of February 8 in Arlington, VA. Minnesota had strong representation: seven Extension administrators (Karen Shirer, Trish Olson, Mary Marczak, Mary Caskey, Margaret Haggenmiller, Ryan Johnson, and me) and the Department of Human Services’ Food and Nutrition Programs Supervisor Sarah Aughenbaugh.

The following are my top three highlights from the 2016 conference, with plenty of links you can follow to learn more.

Spectrum of Prevention Training Development Continues

By Anne Dybsetter, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

How’s your memory? Do you remember what happened last July, August, and September? In case you missed it or need a refresher, a training series called Exploring our Work with the Spectrum of Prevention was rolled out to Health and Nutrition staff. The series included four online modules with content related to frameworks and language around PSE (policy, systems, environment), the Spectrum of Prevention, systems thinking, engagement, partnering, and assessment.

Those of you with particularly astute memories might be thinking, “Wait, didn’t they say something about ‘more to come’?” Fear not! The team that developed the modules has a number of things in store.

Families and Inheritance: New and Proven Educational Resources and Strategies Webinar

By Marlene Stum, Extension Specialist and Professor

Are you familiar with the Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?™ program and want an update on the latest research and products? Then join me for the upcoming eXtension webinar, Families and Inheritance: New and Proven Educational Resources and Strategies.

In this webinar, you will receive:
A brief overview of Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?™ and key learnings from 20 years of programming history.An update on what’s known from a review of families and inheritance research.An introduction to a new Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?™ Workshop Facilitator's Toolkit published in 2015. Learn about up-to-date educator tools, potential target audiences, and effective strategies to make a difference locally.Families and inheritance educational experiences: Successes and challenges. Join me for this live webinar on Wednesday, March 30, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. No registration is required ahead of time. Shortly before the start …

Raising the Hoop, Shining the Light, and Having some Fun

By Karen Shirer, Associate Dean

Today I want to share some photos of my granddaughter, Lucia, who will be 19 months old on March 2. I’m not doing this just to brag — although I’ll admit I’m very proud of her! I’m sharing these photos to help me explain what I have been thinking about of late regarding our work in Family Development.

The first photo shows Lucia “dunking” a basketball after her daddy raised the hoop 2 inches (her back is to us in the picture). Playing basketball became far too easy for her and to keep her interest, she needed a stretch goal. Don’t we all need to stretch ourselves beyond what is routine and comfortable!

Challenge Accepted

By Mary Jo Katras, Program Leader — Family Resiliency

Family Development staff will be presenting 15 different sessions at the “Meeting Society's Grand Challenges Through Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning” University of Minnesota systemwide conference on Thursday, March 31.

This conference will showcase the University’s most innovative engagement practices through sessions that focus on community-engaged research, teaching, and outreach. Family Development will be showcasing our innovative work in the topic areas of community partnership building, diabetes prevention for Somali audiences, disaster recovery, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, Extension mapping, financial capability, food shelves, food networks, health equity, health promotion program for young Latino teens and parents, Minnesota’s achievement gap, and the spectrum of prevention. Thank you to all FD staff members who submitted proposals!

For more information about the conference, v…

Grand Challenges Research Report Released

By Karen Hanson, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

The following is an excerpt of an email sent to selected Twin Cities faculty and staff by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost on February 15.

Dear Colleagues

I am delighted to convey to you the report of the Grand Challenges Research Strategies Team. This group — a large committee of distinguished faculty led by Raymond Duvall — consulted widely and worked diligently to produce this thoughtful report and its excellent recommendations. The team has identified a set of research foci that will leverage the breadth of the University of Minnesota's research power in order to address the grand challenges of our time.

Welcome to New Health and Nutrition Specialist

By Teri L. Burgess-Champoux, Program Director, Health & Nutrition Special Projects

Urvashi Mulasi joined the Center for Family Development on February 17 as a Recipe Analysis and Formatting Specialist to work on the “Recipe Project” for Health and Nutrition educators. She will be primarily responsible for analyzing, reviewing, and formatting various recipes that are used by Health and Nutrition educators.

Urvashi recently graduated with a doctorate degree in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota and is also a registered dietitian. Welcome!

FD in the News

Your monthly roundup of regional media coverage of the work Family Development staff members are doing.

Green thumbs up: County offers support for community garden

Nobles County commissioners offered their support for a collaborative project between the local University of Minnesota Extension SNAP-Ed program and the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) to develop a community garden on a piece of tax-forfeited property in Worthington.

Building good ‘financial parenting’ skills: It’s never too late (or too early!) to begin

A lively and informative discussion with Mom Enough podcast hosts Marti and Erin Erickson and Extension Specialist Joyce Serido about raising kids who are financially competent.

Beyond school bathrooms: What's really at stake in the gender-inclusion debates

“When a population, a minority member, is omitted, it puts that person at increased risk because they can’t see themselves anywhere,” Extension Specialist Jenifer McGuire says. “It also puts everyone els…