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Showing posts from November, 2018

Part 1. Looking back

Karen Shirer, associate dean

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” (Charles Dickens, The Tale of Two Cities, 1859).

These words both capture the place I find myself today and define my work career as I reflect on it. I am finding this in-between time— when I am still working but also fast approaching retirement — a time for looking back and reflecting on the story of my “work” career. I put the word “work” in quotes because like most of us work played a primary role in my growth and development, and is deeply intertwined with other aspects of my life — marriage, children, hobbies and interests, etc.

Guatemala partnership continues to flourish

Silvia Alvarez de Davila, Extension educator

Our work in partnership with University of San Carlos of Guatemala continues as part of our agreement signed in 2016 with the support of Dean Durgan. One of the aims of this partnership is to build the capacity of faculty and students working with families and youth in professional practice before graduation. This practice, called Professional Supervised Exercise (EPS in Spanish), is a mandatory internship for students. EPS is engagement in a community to assess needs, develop projects and partnerships with local organizations to promote wellbeing. The faculty and students do this with support from San Carlos University Extension which has the same mission as our land grant University here in Minnesota.

The students spend one semester in communities in need, and with families and youth that face many challenges and risks from poverty and marginalization. We shared with the faculty the way we work with families and youth. We also talked abou…

Congratulations Jennifer!

Michael Brott, communications manager

Jennifer Garbow, Extension educator in family resiliency, received the Thrivent Personal Finance Community Educator Award at Econfest an annual event hosted by the Minnesota Council on Economic Education. Way to go Jennifer!

Grab a cup and join in on December 14

Emily Becher, research associate



The next Coffee with Coffey is December 14 at 10 a.m. Based on feedback from the last session, we are keeping with the current format of having members of the leadership team respond to previously submitted questions. After the webinar, a survey will be sent out and you can anonymously provide feedback and submit questions and suggestions for future Coffee with Coffey sessions.

Celebrating 50 years of EFNEP

By Cassie Silveira, Extension educator in health and nutrition and state coordinator for EFNEP

Earlier this fall, my children’s grandparents celebrated their 50th or Golden Anniversary. Several thoughts occurred to me. “FIFTY YEARS! That’s a lot of time together. I wonder how they have changed. I wonder what has endured over time.” “How do you celebrate a 50th Anniversary? A big party, hopefully, with friends and family.”

Congratulations Trish Olson!

Karen Shirer, associate dean

On Friday it was announced that Trish Olson will be the new Associate dean for Family Development, effective at the end of December. Trish brings many qualities into the position — her years of service in Extension, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and devotion to helping Minnesota’s families thrive just to name a few. Over the next six weeks, we will be working together to ensure a smooth transition.


Please join me in congratulating Trish!

Hello from Trish Hello,

I am honored to be selected to be your new Associate Dean.

In the next few weeks, I will be reaching out to connect with everyone in our center. Please look for a calendar invite for a google hangout or a visit to your office. I also welcome invitations to events or team meetings to attend, please let me know.

I look forward to this new phase in my Extension journey — serving Minnesota residents through supporting and leading the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Developme…

Welcome to your new role Erin

Trina Adler, program leader

A big welcome to Erin Ostrowski into a new role as Anoka SHIP Educator! Many of you know Erin as a seasoned SNAP-Ed educator serving the twin cities metro area. Erin has been in that role since 2014, and has worked with a variety of audiences and partners. She has served instrumental roles on several teams, including the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Committee and ELL Curriculum Development team. Prior to her work with SNAP-Ed, Erin supported the Cooking Matters program as an assistant program coordinator. Erin draws experience and skills not only from her professional career but also from her volunteer work in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Ghana, Africa. Please offer your congratulations and support to Erin in her new role, which includes connecting Extension’s stellar resources to opportunities in Anoka County. And if you want to grab a cup of coffee with her to offer your congratulations, you may want to know that she claims she plays a “mean game of cribbage.” S…

Let us share your good work!

Michael Brott, communications manager

We are in a season of gratitude, and I want to take this time to thank all of you for the amazing work you do with and on behalf of Minnesota’s families.

As you know, Family Matters serves as both an internal and external publication about the great work of FD and related interesting content. I am keenly interested in the work you do and what is happening in your area of the state. Thinking ahead to the close of this year and launching into 2019, please let me know if you are interested in contributing to Family Matters.