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Showing posts from August, 2016

The Courage to Converse: Psychology and Public Health Meet in the Heart

By Sarah Cronin, Graduate Research Assistant — Family Development

I live in two worlds – psychology and public health.

In the world of psychology, I work with individuals as they overcome their deepest pains. My doctoral training has led me to community settings where I’ve served children and families affected by early childhood trauma and attachment disorders. I currently work part-time at a college counseling center where I counsel college students who experience challenges such as acute anxiety, family issues, sexual assault, or severe mental health diagnoses.

My clients are no different than you and I. We are all human. Their pains are our pains – we all have struggles that are hard to talk about, hard to share. We feel shame from our past. I sit with my client’s shame every day in order to help them heal.

Family Development Lands Three Issue Area Grants

By Hannah Jastram, Communications Associate

This summer, three Family Development staff members received Extension Issue Area Grants to further work in Minnesota communities.

Issue area grants were created to support cross-disciplinary work, increase external visibility, and demonstrate Extension's comparative advantage in addressing complex issues, such as promoting youth educational success and food systems. The three proposals accepted in this round are the following.

Upload Your Work for Posterity and Discoverability

By Emily Becher, Research Associate — Applied Research and Evaluation

The other day, Program Leader Mary Jo Katras and I got to talking (as we do) about how awesome it would be if we had a place to save conference presentation posters and papers from across Extension Center for Family Development. This way, we could have a historical record of what we’ve done and also see the great work our colleagues are doing.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that the University of Minnesota Library System already does this!

The Courage to Converse: Why I Vote

By Jennifer Garbow, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency

American Indians call this continent on which we live Turtle Island. Originally, Ojibwe people lived on the east coast of what is now called the United States. Then a prophecy came that instructed the people to migrate west. The Ojibwe people traveled up the Saint Lawrence River around the Great Lakes and followed rivers and lakes inland until we came to the place where the food grew on the water. This is how we arrived in Minnesota and why wild rice, manoomin, is considered a sacred food and an important part of Ojibwe life and culture.

At the 2016 Qualey-Skjervold Professional Development Conference, America Bracho, M.D., engaged us in a large group activity. She asked a question about our identity and we clustered in different groups based on how we self-identified. To a question of where our parents were born, I stood in a small “other” group.

Family Development Hosts Visitors from Guatemala

By Trina Adler, Program Leader — Health and Nutrition

Last month, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development (FD) was chosen to host a delegation of officials from Guatemala who want to learn how to improve school food programs. The delegation will visit the United States for two weeks this September.

With the support of Extension’s Director of Global Initiatives John Vreyens, FD’s Director of Programs Trish Olson, myself, and many others collaborated to submit an application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Foreign Agricultural Service with a proposed schedule of visits, meetings, demonstrations, and training opportunities in both Washington, D.C. and Minnesota. FD’s application was accepted in late July, and we are now in the process of confirming the schedule of events.

Nudging to Health

By Hannah Jastram, Communications Associate

A team of Health and Nutrition educators at University of Minnesota are rolling out a new food shelf partner education workshop, called Nudging to Health: Promoting Healthy Choices at Your Food Shelf. This workshop is one of three available to help food shelf staff in Minnesota achieve better outcomes for their clients.

Many food shelves have a client-choice model, in which the facility is set up like a grocery store. Clients walk through the aisles with a grocery cart and select items they need and will use. This model allows clients greater freedom, which can leave less desirable but more nutritious items on the shelf.

This is where nudging comes in.

Why? Yes, and…

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

“Why?” It’s such a deceptively simple question. When uttered over and over by a three-year-old trying to understand their world, it’s also a question that can wear down even the most patient parent, grandparent, or aunt (like me). The call-and-response of “why… because” sometimes ends with an adult saying, “because I said so.” Sound familiar?

Last week, a group of Family Development administrators participated in a training that included a strategy called The 5 Whys. The 5 Whys strategy illustrates the power of the classic repetitive questioning technique used by three-year-olds.

The 5 Whys is used as a way to get at root causes of a dilemma — by asking “why?” at least five times, you’re more likely to uncover the root causes. Our trainer, Kim Boyce (retired from Extension after a career in Community Vitality and Field Operations), gave the example of the Jefferson Memorial.