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Showing posts from September, 2018

Celebrating Minnesota’s schools and farmers

By Stephanie Heim, associate program director in health and nutrition

October is National Farm to School Month! This is a time when University of Minnesota Extension and statewide partners recognize the importance of farm to school practices as a way to improve child nutrition, support local economies, and teach children about where food comes from.

Lessons from the Field to focus on infant and early childhood mental health

By Cari Michaels, Extension educator, Children, Youth & Family Consortium and Jessica Barnes, communications associate

On October 29, 2018, Extension's Children, Youth and Family Consortium will host Lessons from the Field to participants in sites throughout Minnesota. This will be part of the two-day “Minnesota Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Multidisciplinary Conference” held in collaboration with the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health – Infant and Early Childhood Division (MACMH-IEC) and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Early Education and Development (CEED). This event is intended for all professionals who work with young children and families.

Applied Research and Evaluation team welcomes Obafemi O. Ogunleye

By Cassandra Silveira, Extension educator, EFNEP

The Applied Research and Evaluation team welcomed a new member on September 24. In his graduate research assistant role, Obafemi O. Ogunleye will support EFNEP in continuing the development and use of the EFNEP food recall app.

Congratulations to our recently promoted colleagues

By Karen Shirer, associate dean, Extension Center for Family Development

Dean Durgan recently recognized four of our family development colleagues for successfully completing Extension’s academic promotion process. Congratulations to all!

Welcome Jolene Harris

By Stephanie Hakes, regional coordinator,  SNAP-Ed 

On August 20 the SNAP-Ed Northeast Region team welcomed Jolene Harris. Jolene is housed in the Cass County Extension office in Pine River. She will be working with community partners to make the healthy choice the easy choice and increase physical activity options in Cass County.

Jolene has a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health from Bemidji State University and has worked in the health and education field for the last 15 years. She has a passion for healthy living and we are excited to have her join our team to share that passion with others through her position as a SNAP- Ed Educator.

U of M community-campus liaisons directory

The Office for Public Engagement has launched an online directory of community-campus liaisons within the University of Minnesota system. Community-campus liaisons serve in connecting roles between various communities and the University. The directory is searchable by campus and college, as well as by issue and topic area. To be included in the directory, send an email to

Thank you Mina Blyly-Strauss — researcher and artist

Dear colleagues,

I am excited for Mina Blyly-Strauss to share some of her dissertation study results with us. Mina has been sharing her talents with Extension as part of the Children, Youth and Family Consortium (CYFC) for six years — two years as a graduate student volunteer then four years as a graduate research assistant. Soon-to-be Dr. Blyly-Strauss when she defends her dissertation at the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development (OLPD) in September, Mina is ready to launch the next phase of her career supporting children to thrive in the community. Though she is leaving Extension, the work she has been part of at CYFC will benefit scholars, professionals and families for many years.

Public health professional development event to feature Extension educators

By Kelly Kunkel, Extension educator — health and nutrition

Registration is now open for Minnesota Society for Public Health Education's (MN SOPHE) premier professional development event for public health education and promotion professionals. The intent of Inspiring Change: Unleashing the Power of Public Health Education is to give those working in health education/promotion and prevention encouragement and strategies to not only continue, but to thrive during unprecedented times of controversy and challenge.

I will be facilitating a panel discussion featuring Mary Krentz, Extension Educator, entitled —Why Does Hunger Matter? Exploring the Intersection Between Public Health Education And Food Insecurity In Minnesota.

Meet like-minded health professionals from across the state while listening to powerful speakers on current public health crises and solutions; a great chance to network with new colleagues and old friends. Free CHES credits and lunch included. Discounts for members …

Applied research and evaluation team welcomes new research assistant

By Anna Alba — executive office and administrative specialist

Mikayla Smith is a new graduate research assistant with the Applied Research and Evaluation team (ARE). She is attending the Humphrey School of Public Affairs to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Policy focusing on mass incarceration, specifically juvenile detention centers and education. Mikayla hopes to study both public and non-profit agencies that focus on judicial, criminal, and correctional fields to understand how they function and create best practices towards interrupting the pipelines that exist for youth/young adults in the United States.

Reflections on the American Indian Community of Practice

By Jennifer Garbow, Extension educator and associate Extension professor

University of Minnesota Extension established an American Indian Task Force (AITF) in 2006 to expand its work in Indian country through mutually beneficial community-University partnerships. The original three goals still hold true today:
Improve American Indian communities' access to and representation in the University; Provide staff development for Extension staff interested in working with American Indian populations;Develop, in partnership with American Indian communities, culturally appropriate programs using innovative approaches to achieve mutual goals.