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Showing posts from March, 2018

Exploring staff development opportunities

By Sharon Mulė, staff development coordinator, Center for Family Development


On April 6, 2016, I landed in Roanoke, Virginia. I had been with Family Development since January but walking into the National Health Outreach Conference (NHOC) was like landing on another planet. Fast forward two years and another NHOC in Annapolis, Maryland. Now here I am helping plan the NHOC for May 2-4 in Minnesota!

With a great conference planning team who really know their stuff, we are moving through the conference planning process and it’s getting exciting! Whether you plan on attending or not, take a few moments and look at the range of presentations from people all over the country.

FR team piloting curriculum on understanding health insurance costs

By Mary Jo Katras, program leader in family resiliency

A team of 10 Family Resiliency (FR) educators is partnering with two universities to pilot a workshop on health insurance costs. The workshop, Understanding and Estimating Health Care Costs, is one of the modules in the Smart Use health insurance curriculum offered through FR.

The FR team has partnered with University of Maryland Extension and University of Delaware Extension since 2013 to pilot and use their Smart Choice and Smart Use curricula. The curricula provide education and resources to help increase health insurance literacy. “Health insurance literacy” refers to knowledge about making health insurance choices.

Want to do GIS mapping? Here are tips to get started

By Nicole Helgeson, graduate research assistant in GIS mapping

As a graduate research assistant in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, I often hear comments like this: “I just want to make simple map, but am overwhelmed by everything that I need
to know to get started.”

No wonder people are overwhelmed. When GIS appeared in the 1960s as a simple map coordinate program, few expected that GIS would become such an integral part of everyday life. From transportation to business, from agriculture to health and nutrition, hardly an area today does not use GIS in some way or other. According to the SAGE handbook of GIS and society, what was once a specialized profession of a few has now become more available and accessible than ever.

To help you sort through the massive amount of information, I have put together a list of tips to get started in GIS mapping your research results. Or whatever story you want to tell.

Two new metro area SNAP-Ed regional coordinators join FD

By Margaret Haggenmiller, associate program director in SNAP-Ed metro

Two new SNAP-Ed regional coordinators have joined the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development. Ayolanda Evans is based at the U of M Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center in Minneapolis. Janice Horsager Rasmussen is based at the Ramsey County Extension office in St. Paul.

It's the lion you don't see that'll eat you!

By Mary Marczak, director of urban family development and evaluation

My graduate school statistics professor, A.J. Figueredo, often lamented how he couldn’t make it as an animal behaviorist so he became a stats professor. Lucky for us, he used his knowledge about animal behaviors to explain difficult statistical concepts. In research and hypothesis testing, Type II errors lead you to make wrong conclusions. Typically that's because you don’t know enough, don’t have enough data, or haven’t waited long enough for the effects or relationships to show up.

Getting the message across

By Carolina De La Rosa Mateo, graduate research assistant, Center for Family Development

I love the excitement of data collection and analysis. That’s because I am a first-year student in the University of Minnesota Master of Public Health program, which emphasizes the value of quality research.

As part of my graduate work, I have been on several teams and assisted in data collection for dozens, if not hundreds, of individuals. Currently, I’m on the Applied Research and Evaluation (ARE) Team with the Center for Family Development (FD).

SNAP-Ed Works!

SNAP-Ed helps people lead healthier lives. SNAP-Ed educators with the Extension Center for Family Development teach low-income families and individuals about good nutrition and making their food dollars stretch further. SNAP-Ed educators also help participants learn how to be physically active.

New SNAP-Ed educator to serve Mower, Freeborn counties

Thelma Garcia joined University of Minnesota Extension March 5 as a SNAP-Ed educator, based at Extension's Mower County office in Austin. She will serve both Mower and Freeborn counties.

FD in the news

Here’s a monthly roundup of regional media coverage on the work of Family Development staff and partners.

Crookston Farmers Market awarded Power of Produce grant through U of M Extension
Crookston Times

The Crookston Farmers Market has been awarded a University of Minnesota Extension Power of Produce (PoP) Club grant. PoP Clubs give children money to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets. SNAP-Ed Educator Megan Hruby is quoted in the article, which notes that 10 Minnesota farmers markets received a PoP grant in 2017.

Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign
Marshall Independent

United Community Action Partnership’s food shelves in Marshall and other south-central Minnesota communities are participating in the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign. United Community Action partners with Extension’s SNAP-Ed program to offer a variety of healthy eating lifestyle classes to its clients, including I CAN Prevent Diabetes (ICANPD). A recently completed ICANPD class in Marshall saw 18 …