Skip to main content

The Bucket List

By Sharon Mulé, Professional Development Coordinator

Once in a while, people will ask me what’s on my bucket list. While I have a personal bucket list (you can ask me in person sometime), I also have a professional bucket list. Or more specifically, a professional development bucket list.

This year’s bucket is full of professional development ideas to help us all in our professional lives. Here’s a few you won’t want to miss.

Educational Equity

“Exploring Extension’s role in addressing educational equity” is the Extension’s most recent topic webinar (sign-in required). This webinar explores the impact of persistent inequalities in educational achievement and on the ecologies of youth and families. If you haven’t had an opportunity to view this webinar, please do so. To continue the conversation, attend the 2017 Educational Equity in Action statewide convening on June 20–21, 2017 on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities West Bank Campus.

Building Trust

head shots of Eriks Dunens and Dawn NewmanThis June, Eriks Dunens and Dawn Newman from Community Vitality will address the topic “Strengthening trust in communities.”

In our work with each other and in the community, building a foundation of trust is essential. Attend this 90-minute webinar on Thursday, June 8 at 11:30 a.m. to explore the types of trust, the three most common places where trust is built or lost, and the challenges and opportunities to strengthen networks and build trust with and within communities. This webinar will offer a unique opportunity for us to join community leaders and other community-based participants to learn more about the topic of trust.

Registration deadline for Extension staff is Monday, June 5. Register for the webinar directly through ULearn or from the Extension intranet: Topic Webinar (sign-in required).

Mental Health

In collaboration with Extension Professional Development, we began a series on mental health on April 7. The first webinar featured a discussion on mental health and wellness in stressful times, focusing on rural and farming communities. If you weren’t able to join us live, please watch the webinar recording. On Tuesday, August 15, we will continue this series with “Mental health: a public health issue.”

Conferences for Extension Employees

We have also been working collaboratively with Extension Professional Development on agendas for both the Extension Staff Conference and the Extension Program Conference. These are professional opportunities for us and we hope that you all plan to (or did!) attend.

The Extension Program Conference is October 11–13 at the Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park.

We will not have a Qualey-Skjervold Conference this year. We will have a Friday Fall webinar series that will launch in early September.

Book Study

Planning is in the works for a book study on the booklets of Ellyn Satter who wrote Child of Mine, Feeding with Love Good Sense. This series will include learning materials, webinars by our Extension educators, and opportunities to learn together in team meetings. For more information, contact Sharon Mulé.

Civil Rights

All staff are required to complete Extension’s new civil rights training by December 31, 2017. Access the training here: Civil Rights Information (sign-in required).


Many of you have asked for more training on three Xs: Excel, Qualtrics, and WebEx. Take a look at the Core Technology Skills for University of Minnesota Extension Personnel checklist. There are links to many great resources for brushing up on your tech skills.

Speaking of tech skills, we may offer WebEx training with the Extension IT team. I need to know what, specifically, you need help with so that we can design a training with you in mind. Please send me a note at to let me know what WebEx skills you would like to develop. See also this page on the FD intranet: WebEx (sign-in required).

And You?

So, what’s on your professional development bucket link? How can I help you check off an item or two? There’s plenty of room for your ideas and plenty of resources to help you do your work. Please feel free to help me fill the bucket! We will continue to post opportunities for professional development on the FD intranet Professional Development web page and include them in Family Matters.

Print Friendly and PDF