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Ohio State University Extension


News and Notes: August 2, 2021

OUR VISION: Ohioans have the knowledge and resources they need to actively engage in creating conditions in which they thrive.

OUR MISSION: We create opportunities for people to explore how science-based knowledge can improve social, economic and environmental conditions.

In This Issue:
  1. Thoughts from the Director

    Hi friends...
    It’s hard to believe that we are already moving into August! It seems like this year is going faster than just about any other I can remember. I want to take a moment and thank you for the various efforts you are making as we transition even more fully toward being physically in the statewide offices with expanded office hours open to the public, returning to more in-person programming, and attempting to identify and support more options for flexibility so everyone has a chance to both incorporate work/life balance as well as meet the needs of the unit and community. I recognize it is a bit of a dance at times, especially as peak programming occurs for various program areas across the year and there are still important considerations regarding accommodation factors such as childcare access, local fall school approaches by district, and health concerns for those with immune system issues. I have been extremely proud of the way we have all been working together to meet these continuing needs during the ongoing pandemic, as well as approaching our commitment to the stakeholders and organization we serve. You are all to be applauded!

    I know that we have not put the issues related to COVID-19 in the review mirror yet and have many challenges remaining as we move forward and are intentional in how we envision and implement our co-created future for Extension. I am excited about the forthcoming listening sessions (see details below), our re-engagement of our state-level internal and external Extension advisory councils, and our follow-up on our Return-to-Office (RtO) survey as we continue to address culture and work/life balance. I hope that you will sign up for some of the additional opportunities for sharing your perspectives and your ideas for creating a future that remains bright for our employees, our partners, and our communities during our strategic-futuring initiative. An organization is successful when it gets it right for those it serves – the employees and the customers. You all have proven year after year and decade after decade that we attract and hire the best and we give the best of ourselves in service to the mission. Let’s keep working together to accomplish what distinguishes us as we plan our future and design support for our Extension professionals and Ohioans.

    Thank you for all you do!

  2. Saying Thanks Again for Your Work on Behalf of OSU Extension

    Employee Appreciation

    Repeating my message from Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week last week – thank you for all you do each and every day to make OSU Extension such a gem of the college and university. Your dedication to serving Ohioans by bringing the science-based knowledge to bear to co-create solutions that truly improve lives is priceless and greatly valued. I know I speak for our Extension cabinet and Dean Kress when I extend our appreciation for the work that you do, your commitment to the land-grant mission, and your dedication to our communities. Thank you!

    You can also show appreciation for your colleagues by sending personalized messages and virtual cards on the Kindness at Ohio State website

    Employee Appreciation graphic
  3. Strategic Alignment Activities and Opportunities for Engagement

    Listening Sessions (Sign up): We will be hosting our statewide listening sessions in August and September to seek broad stakeholder input (internal and external participants) as we continue our strategic futuring for OSU Extension. 

    There will be three online listening sessions for Extension professionals (faculty, staff, and students). I hope you will choose one of these to attend and provide your valuable perspective. Note: Registration is limited, so sign-up soon!

    We will also be hosting additional listening sessions with the state advisory councils (Extension Internal Advisory Council, State Extension Advisory Council, and Extension Partnership Advisory Council) in September.

    There will be an opportunity for volunteers (MGV, 4-H, and 4-H Foundation) to participate in separate listening sessions in August or September (dates to be determined).

    We would also like to have listening sessions offered locally through existing late summer or early fall Extension Advisory Committee meetings. We will provide some standard questions that can be incorporated into your agendas to ascertain local feedback. These questions will be made available with scripts and instructions in the next two weeks

    Key Stakeholder Conversations (1:1): We also will be hosting a number of key stakeholder conversations in August and September. We anticipate performing approximately 200 relaxed engagement conversations with a variety of existing partners (i.e., community, industry, commodity, alumni, funders, etc.). Stay tuned for more on this effort in the coming weeks.

    Extension Internal Advisory Council (EIAC): The Extension Internal Advisory Council (EIAC) was formulated and met for the first time last week. The council is made up of representatives from all professional positions in Extension, our three CFAES campuses (Columbus, Wooster, and statewide campuses), various geographic locations across the state, all four program areas (ANR, CD, FCS, 4-H), and student representation. The purpose of the council is to provide input to the associate dean and director of OSU Extension to achieve the mission of Extension. The council members' responsibilities include serving as an advisory sounding board, acting a liaison between Extension internal partners and the office of the associate dean and director, OSU Extension, and being an ambassador and advocate for the mission of Extension.  The council meets three to four times/year and will have a rotation of one-year to three-year terms. Current members of the EIAC are listed in this PDF.

  4. Ohio State Vaccine Reporting Now Required by Aug. 5

    Ohio State has changed the employee guidelines for reporting vaccination status to a requirement versus a recommendation, per an update from President Johnson on July 27. That update included: “While our vaccination rate is now more than 70%, we know there are vaccinated individuals who are not counted in our total because they haven’t reported their status. … To make informed decisions related to COVID-19 and further enable contact tracing, we are requiring everyone to report whether or not they have been vaccinated by Thursday, Aug. 5. Your personal health information will not be shared publicly or directly with instructors, managers, or leaders.” 

    Note: According to current university feedback, there are no repercussions for those who choose not to report their vaccination status. The university is setting the expectation that all students, faculty, and staff will report their status as a health measure. The belief is that individuals will understand the seriousness of the issue and choose to comply and provide the information. If you have any questions or concerns related to this announcement, forward them to Jeff McCutcheon ( so he can follow up as appropriate. Whenever there is additional guidance available, we will pass it along to our Extension professionals.  

  5. Tour Tuesdays with Knowledge Exchange – Next Event is Tomorrow, Aug. 3

    The CFAES Knowledge Exchange has developed a limited series of virtual research experience tours for Extension professionals starting in late July. These tours will share CFAES research right where it’s happening. The next tour will learn about urban agriculture at Waterman Lab/Franklin County office of Extension (Aug. 3), and the bee labs on Waterman and CFAES Wooster (Aug. 10). The first tour was at the Wilbur A. Gould Food Industries Center. Learn more at the Knowledge Exchange website

  6. Meet and Greet Opportunity With Our Partners in CFAES Advancement

    As things open up around the state and traveling ramps up, our partners in Extension fundraising and Advancement, Pablo Villa and Trish Raridan Preston, are traveling around the state and would love to stop in your local office, say hello, and learn more about the funding challenges you face and how they can be effective partners with you. Their contact information is listed below, as well as the areas they each are responsible for within the college. Look for a connection this fall, as they may reach out if they are in your area; and you are welcome to reach out to them any time as well. 

    Pablo Villa Pablo Villa is responsible for major gift fundraising for CFAES with a special emphasis on OSU Extension, Ohio 4-H, and CFAES Wooster Campus. He works with alumni, donors, and friends in the eastern half of Ohio; and he specifically partners with areas 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, and 24. Pablo participated in Ashtabula County 4-H while growing up. He can be reached at or 614-247-7344. 
    Trish Raridan Preston is responsible for major gift fundraising for CFAES with a special emphasis on OSU Extension, Ohio 4-H, and OSU South Centers. She works with alumni, donors and friends in the western half of Ohio; and she specifically partners with areas 1, 2, 3, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 21, and 22. Trish will be offering zoom meet and greets as well. She is also a 4-H mom and volunteer in Fairfield County. She can be reached at or 614-292-2957. 

    Trish Raridan Preston















  7. Engagement Opportunities with CFAES Advancement for Key Extension Partners

    CFAES Advancement also has an array of different engagement opportunities available for prospective donors to Ohio State University Extension. Starting with some initial fall activities with Farm Science Review and Ohio State football, please let us know if you have community members, volunteers, or local alumni who may be interested in supporting OSU Extension at the state or local level. Please contact your area Advancement Liaison (see their contact information in the previous article) to learn more or suggest partners. 

  8. Cross-Disciplinary Opportunity: GRO Ideation Workshop Competition – Round 3 Proposal Information Sessions on Aug. 3

    For principal investigator faculty and staff – a proposal information will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 3 from 11:30am-12:30pm. Register to attend via Zoom, although the session will be recorded. The Ideation Workshops program involves four, 90-minute workshops facilitated by the Research Development Office. Team members will engage with one another to: build consensus and shared vocabulary on key components of an interdisciplinary or convergent research question; generate and prioritize new ideas or approaches to address the question; draft positioning strategies for potential external sponsors; draft a collaboration agreement that defines shared goals, roles and responsibilities among team members, and methods for communication and conflict resolution; and produce an action plan with major milestones for 90 days, 6 months, and 1-2 years toward submission of a proposal for external funding within 12-24 months. Teams should be comprised of three to five PO-eligible core leaders representing at least three distinct disciplines from two colleges; and interested teams are required to email their intent to apply to by Aug. 25. Complete details can be found online

  9. Oct. 1 Summit on Extension in Ohio’s Urban Communities – Register Now

    Each year, OSU Extension hosts an annual urban summit to highlight and address the unique work done throughout Ohio's metro areas. The summit is open to all interested Extension professionals who believe in or want to better understand the Extension mission in the urban context. Register by Sept. 13 for this summit to be held in Toledo. Registration is $20 for OSU Extension professionals. For more information, visit

  10. Ohio JCEP Professional Development Award Applications due Sept. 1

    Reminder that the next round of Ohio JCEP professional development awards are due Sept. 1. All full members of Ohio JCEP are eligible to apply for these awards. Don’t miss out on support of your next professional development opportunity! Details and links to applications are posted at Please note we are in the process of transitioning the names of these from Ohio JCEP PD scholarships to Ohio JCEP PD awards. 

  11. Extension Email Builder Module Now Available

    -as first shared by Cheryl Buck, Extension communication manager, with the Ext-county-staff listserv in mid-June 
    Email sent from any unit within The Ohio State University should properly reflect the university’s brand. The use of branded templates ensures all emails are cohesive, consistent, and accessible. As such, recipients will immediately recognize a message from the university upon opening. 

    You should already be using appropriate Ohio State branding for all of your email messages, especially if you are adding graphic elements to the messages. The original university-branded templates are posted online at However, we know that building HTML emails can be challenging. CFAES has created an email builder application with several easy-to-use assets for creating emails; AND our web team has created a shared Extension Email Builder website to which all Extension personnel can request access. 

    Note: The Email Builder has also been installed on the state website, the Learning and Organizational Development unit site, Operations unit site, and the program area state-level sites. Staff members in those units who have access to edit their Drupal website now also have access to the email builder without needing to use the shared website. 

    Important: This builder does not send the emails for you. The builder assembles HTML for you using Drupal interface to add in ‘modules’ like those listed on the university brand site. After you have created the email, you can preview the email in a web browser and/or copy/download the html to use with your contact list in Outlook, MailChimp, or other approved distribution method. 

    The web team has built in all of the current university “modules,” and you can see a listing of those at the university brand site. The team also has created a sample email that has an instance of every module in it: New modules will be added over time; and the web team welcomes feedback about content you might regularly send that doesn’t easily fit in the existing templates. However, the process of adding options to the builder is not immediate. For any email you are producing in-the-moment, you will either need to make your content work within the existing templates or modify the generated html elsewhere on your own. 

    Documentation for how to use the email builder can be found in this online PDF. The documentation is also available once you are logged into the site. Bonnie Scranton, CFAES technical trainer, can provide training for the email builder upon request. ( 

    For reference, if you are not located in an OSU Extension unit (but are reading this message), the CFAES email builder module is available for college users at

    To access the Extension Email Builder (EEB) site: You will need to request a log-on to access the EEB module. Use the Web Request form on the CFAES Marketing and Communications website, or email the IT helpdesk to get a log on. The request form is at: Once you have a log-on for the EEB (, you will have access to the modules and components that allow for template flexibility, so you can add and remove elements to meet your specific messaging needs while staying on brand. If you have any questions, contact the IT helpdesk at

  12. July Fiscal Update

    Refer to the July Fiscal Update shared via the all-Extension listserv on July 30 for full details about the following information. Several links to new job aids, news articles, and information to make note of are included. For example: The Expense Reports Notes on What to Include overview is a short list to help ensure your expense report entries will be approved and processed. Also, use the Find Status of Invoices in Workday job aid to check the status of an invoice: has it been received/uploaded, has it been paid, when paid, paid via check or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT); check out the View Supplier Invoice job aid. 

  13. CFAES Faculty Advisory Council Participants Recognized

    -per Greg Davis, assistant dean and associate chair, OSU Extension 
    It is that time of year when our Extension representatives to the CFAES Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) end and/or begin their terms. The Council is comprised of faculty representing all CFAES units; and our department has four representatives: one each for east, west, central, and state-level input. Please join me in recognizing Travis West (Extension’s Central rep) for three years of dedicated service, which ended June 30. Susan Zies was recently elected to replace Travis, effective July 1. Congratulations, Susan! 

    Department faculty who will continue to serve are Ed Lentz (West rep.), Eric Barrett (East rep.), and Dianne Shoemaker (state rep). These faculty represent the Department of Extension on the Faculty Advisory Council, and they inform department faculty meeting agendas and meeting dates. Feel free to connect with our reps on faculty matters of concern at the college and departmental level. To learn more about the Council, contact any of our representatives or visit the Faculty and Staff Affairs website

  14. NACDEP Conference – Spring 2021 Recognition

    During the 2021 virtual conference for the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP), Brian Raison and Joe Lucente received national awards. Brian, field specialist in organizational and community leadership development, received the NACDEP Individual Excellence in Community Development Work for creating videos about Moving Online: Helping Extension and CD Practitioners Engage Audiences. Joe, educator focusing community development, received the ANREP (Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals) Gold Award for his work on the website: Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail. 

    In addition, several OSU Extension colleagues presented posters: Gwynn Stewart and Nancy Bowen (Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI) Planning Effort Supports 8-county Region in Southeast Ohio); Meghan Thoreau (How the Pandemic is Forcing Women out of the Workforce and How Extension’s Workforce Development Programs Can Respond); Brooke Beam and James Morris (Southern Ohio Farm Show: Extension Education Through Television and Digital Media); Brian Raison (Our Future Online: Improving Practice for Engaging Audiences); and Kyle White (Sparking Entrepreneurship: What would you do with $100,000? Check out Small Business Innovation Research Grants through USDA). More information about NACDEP is available online at

  15. Thank You to Marlee Stollar – Director’s Office Graduate Student Associate, Summer 2021

    -per Cheryl Buck, Extension communication manager
    Many thanks to Marlee Stollar, who worked as a graduate student associate in the director’s office this summer, while also completing an internship with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. She has worked for Extension for several years through her roles as the Community Development student assistant and a past student associate in the director’s office. 
    Marlee Stollar and her supervisor, Cheryl Buck, at the Chadwick Arboretum.

    Marlee has assisted with several communication projects over the past couple of months, including updating and posting FAQs and other info on our COVID-19 resources pages; archiving online all 2020 issues of News and Notes; developing several 2021 issues of News and Notes and a related style guide; compiling land-grant history background materials for public use soon; and preparing some items for Farm Science Review. You will also see her other work as soon as we are able to post online some new documents and instructions. This includes some new Zoom backgrounds, a job aid for the Extension Personnel Directory, marketing campaign materials and resources, Extension success story curation, and tweaks to the infographics (and instructions) that she designed and developed for Extension last summer. 

    Marlee graduated from The Ohio State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in agricultural communication and a double minor in agribusiness and professional writing. She is now a second-year master’s student with an agricultural communication specialization. Her research areas are agricultural communication, food nonprofit organizations, and consumer food and nutrition knowledge. In the future, Marlee would like to manage communications for a nonprofit organization focusing on food and nutrition education and food access. 

  16. MS Office Short Courses Now Available

    The Business Training and Educational Services office via CFAES Wooster is offering several online MS Office courses in late August and September. The topics include several levels of Excel, basic Word, Access, and advanced Outlook use. The cost is $85 per course. The courses will be offered via Zoom, from 9am-noon on Aug. 26, as well as Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30. You can review the course outlines here, and you can register online

    MS Courses graphic


  17. Access LinkedIn for Career Development Skills

    Learn new skills that are important to help advance your career. Staff can apply to access a free LinkedIn Learning License, provided by Human Resources and the University Staff Advisory Committee. With on-demand learning, you have 24/7 unlimited access to more than 5,000 video tutorials covering business, creative and technology topics. Courses on a wide variety of subjects are available on-demand. Learn more on the Gateway to Learning website

  18. Team Culture Panel Discussion on Managing Hybrid/Remote Teams: Session Four – Aug. 5 @ 12-1pm

    Hybrid teams are comprised of a mix of employees where some are in the same work location as their manager and/or teammates while others work at a different location on/off campus. This is not a new practice for the university, and it continues to evolve to meet the needs and expectations of current and future employees. This panel discussion brings together managers who have successfully led hybrid teams over the years to share their experiences on building a high-performing team; communication best practices; maintaining an engaged, inclusive, and trusting team culture; and limiting ingroup/outgroup occurrences. Register online for the session on Aug. 5 from noon-1pm.

    By the end of this session managers will have insights for managing a hybrid work team; learn recommended approaches for effective communication; understand the importance of setting appropriate expectations; and hear first-hand accounts and advice on building a high performing team based on trust, cultivating teamconnection, and ensuring equity and inclusion in all team practices and processes.

    Moderator: Marilyn Bury Rice, Director, Lhota Office of Alumni Career Management


    • Jacqueline Kirby Wilkins, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Director, Ohio State University Extension, Chair, Department of Extension, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
    • Lindsay Heil, MBOE, RHIA, LSSBB, Associate Director, Student Life Student Health Services
    • Max Treboni, Director of Service Operations, Office of the Chief Information Officer
  19. Healthy Habits Getting Back to Better Series: What do you need?

    Join the Employee Assistance Program for a 30-minute workshop on Aug. 10 from 11:30am-noon to identify your needs in the transition back to non-quarantine work life and develop some approaches to help with the adjustment. Plus learn a healthy habit you can incorporate into your work day with Virgin Pulse! Register for the webinar here.

  20. Buckeye Wellness Leadership Award

    Does your manager or supervisor support health and wellness in your department or college? If they are a role model for health and wellness, you can earn 100 Your Plan for Health points by nominating them for a Buckeye Wellness Leadership Award. Awards will be presented at the 2021 State of Health and Wellness on Sept. 27 (via Zoom). Nominations should take less than 10 minutes to complete. It is due by Aug. 20, and you can register here.