News and Notes: September 4, 2020

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.

  1. Thoughts from the Director

    Hi friends...
    Labor Day is upon us and I know we are all looking forward to a well-deserved, long weekend. I hope you will step away from the computer and turn off your phones (I go off the grid until Tuesday beginning at noon today). I encourage you all to make time for the things that matter most to you these next few days and beyond. Nothing is more important than our health and wellness and our family and friends. This point hit incredibly close to home this last week as a close member of my family experienced significant levels of anxiety and depression and I needed to turn in and toward the family. We can miss things, even when we are close. Be mindful, pay attention to how those around you are dealing with life and stress right now, reach out to those close to you and to those for whom family may not be near. We are quick to discuss physical health and well-being, but often so hesitant to discuss mental health and its impact on ones’ lives. There are so many things impacting mental health right now, including the direct impact of the virus, economic concerns, isolation for many, fear of the unknown, and issues of social unrest and racial injustices affecting our country, our communities, and our homes. I know how hard you work to help others in communities handle difficult times and build skills that matter. I encourage you to reach out and look to others for support when you need it as well. I did that this last week for my family and will continue to learn about the resources at the university and to always make sure that each of you know that mental health matters and that you are surrounded by those that care. 

  2. COVID-19 Work Related Accommodations Process

    As we implement return to offices/campuses plans, it’s important to know that the university has established a COVID-19 Work Related Accommodations Process to ensure that faculty, staff, and graduate students have the necessary resources to work as safely as possible. Through a COVID-19 accommodation request, which is a secure intake process, individuals will be able to identify issues and concerns they may have, and indicate what needs and resources they feel are necessary to perform their job safely. As always, please reach out to your HR Consultant with any questions.  


  3. University COVID-19 Dashboard 

    The university has developed a data dashboard that will be updated weekly to inform the public about test results and other information about the university’s COVID-19 status. The student data includes both surveillance testing to continuously gauge the prevalence of COVID-19 in asymptomatic students and testing among students who sought tests because of symptoms or another reason. The data is being shared in a way that protects individuals’ medical and educational privacy — and will help inform university decision making related to on-campus operations, health and safety measures and more throughout the autumn semester. The dashboard includes data on: 

    • Ohio State test results
    • The number of students currently in on-campus isolation or quarantine housing 
    • The availability of personal protective equipment on campus
    • The status of enhanced cleaning measures on campus
    • Ohio’s statewide case count, for reference
    • The rate of transmission in the state
    • Statewide hospital capacity
  4. Contact Tracing Update

    We wanted to organize a few resources and notes about contact tracing. Information about tracing, isolation and quarantine can be found at here. A few key notes to keep in mind about contact tracing: 

    • The university has stood up its own contact tracing unit - Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team (CICTT) - to assist county health officials with student, staff and faculty-related tracing.
    • As the PDF tracing and exposure management document clearly outlines on pages 3 and 4, if you’ve learned of someone (student, staff or faculty) who possibly may have COVID-19 or have positively tested for COVID-19, you are not authorized to share that person’s health information. You should work Employee Health Service (EHS) and the CICTT. The PDF outlines contact information for those units. 

    • The PDF linked above outlines the process if you develop symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. 

    • If you are tested outside of Ohio State and test positive, faculty and staff need to notify Employee Health Services (EHS) by calling 614-366-3689. If you are tested at an Ohio State site, the Ohio State contact tracing team will be notified of the positive result. 

    • Related to the tracing conversation, if someone leaves a class, office or space feeling ill, we will act out of an abundance of caution and will temporarily shut down the space for next appropriate steps. For questions on what to do with a CFAES/OSU Extension space, please contact Seth (, 330-263-3665).

    If you have additional questions related to our statewide campuses, please reach out to our CFAES HR unit via Bryan Dodrill ( 

  5. Talking to Your Child About Wearing a Face Covering

    Are you wondering how to encourage your youth to wear a face-covering? Check out this video created by one of our own as one youth shares what has helped her, and how you as the guardian can support them through the transition of learning how to feel comfortable wearing their face covering. The video was recently highlighted by the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy. You can access the video here.

  6. Join the Ohio State Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for a #buckeyebreak

    The #buckeyebreak is a 30-minute virtual hang out with real-talk from you, your peers and EAP team members. Participate in chats about what is helping us all get through these days and learn how to deal with all that’s going on. This resource is available to benefits-eligible faculty, staff and dependents. Join us on Sept. 11, 18, and 25. Learn more and register here (Log in and search by date/keyword EAP workshop). 

  7. Farm Science Virtual Review (September 22-24)

    The Farm Science Review Education committee continues to work in preparation for the 2020 FSR show. Although the show will be virtual, we believe this may be the largest, single educational event for the Farm Science Review and possibly ANR Extension. We are extremely proud and thankful for everyone stepping up to the plate to make this happen. Keep up-to-date by visiting here

  8. 20 Perfect Stay-at-Home Projects

    The 20 Perfect Stay-at-Home Projects available through Ohio 4-H are scheduled to go offline on Oct. 1, the beginning of a new 4-H program year. Intended to support 4‑H members and families when county offices were closed suddenly last spring, the files have been accessed nearly 15,000 times. The idea starter My Stay-at-Home summer has been accessed 722 times. Both have served as resources for the national 4-H family, too. Many thanks to the Ohio Extension professionals and others who contribute as authors to these publications! 

  9. Uptick in Phishing Attacks

    As with the beginning of most school years, we have and will continue to see an increase in the number of electronic “phishing” attempts on students, faculty, and staff alike. Phishing scams are a form of “Social Engineering,” in which someone attempts to trick you into giving them your sensitive information – usernames and passwords, access to your computer, or even in some recent cases, false claims that attempt to extort money. Many of these scams are carried out through email, but also often come through text messages, regular voice calls, or social media. Messages can look as if they have come from a familiar institution or an individual that you trust.  

    A common theme of these messages is to play on your emotions, sometimes including disturbing or enticing information that provoke you to act. They may try to create a false sense of urgency by saying "your account will be deleted," "you are over your email storage space," or “we have compromising information of you.”  They often urge you to act immediately to "update" or "verify" your account information. Often, they will urge you to send money or cash a check as well. 

    Some things you can do: 

    • Always think before you act. Be wary of communications that implore you to do so immediately or warns of negative consequences if you do not act now. 

    • If it looks suspicious (even if you know the person or source), please contact the IT Service Desk for verification and advice before taking any action. 

    • Do not provide your login credentials or any personal information. The Ohio State University will NEVER ask for your account information by email or phone. 

    • If you receive a suspected phishing message, please use the "Report Phishing" button to report it so that the message can be stopped from possibly fooling someone else!  If you don't have access to the "Report Phishing" button, you can also forward the message to

  10. Security Reminder

    It is important to keep security in mind with less people occupying our buildings. Please keep offices and labs locked when working alone or leaving even for a brief period of time. For questions about buildings/safety contact:  

    • Building Coordinators 

    • Kent McGuire (Columbus and Statewide),,  
      614-292-0588 Office / 740-341-7589 Mobile 

    • Seth Walker (Wooster),, 330-263-3665 Office  

  11. Ohioline Update

    The Ohioline landing page has been reformatted in a small way that should make a big difference. With a more prominent search bar and tips for searching, it is easier now for clients to search for the information they want. New, peer-reviewed and accessible information is added regularly. Recent additions include Effective 4-H Club Meetings, Management Considerations for the Cribbing Horse, Double-Cropping Soybean Following Small Grains, Important Considerations of an Oil and Gas Lease, etc. 

  12. Rural Economic Development Innovation Plan

    Community Development professionals recently completed a rural economic development innovation plan for the Buckeye Hills (Noble, Monroe, Perry, Morgan, Washington, Hocking, Athens, and Meigs) region in southeast Ohio. The goal of the USDA grant funded project was to serve small businesses and enhance the region’s e-connectivity and digital inclusion efforts.  

    As a result of the plan, Community Development Educators will work with local communities to: 

    • focus on assisting Stage 0, 1, and 2 companies which provide 71,083 jobs in the region. 
    • focus on E-connectivity and broadband availability, as well as strategies to make progress in the digital skill and access to devices. 
  13. Anthropology Public Outreach Program/Slow Food Columbus (APOP+SFC) Autumn 2020 Lecture Series

    Slow Food Columbus is proud to once again co-host a lecture series with Ohio State's Anthropology Public Outreach Program (APOP). Inspired by Slow Food USA's Manifesto for Equity, Inclusion, and Justice, this series draws on the collective experiences of panelists, who will share how these themes are manifested in their work. Each event will take place on the third Tuesday of the month, beginning with our Equity event on Sept. 15, with each one on CarmenZoom from 6-7:15pm. The entire series is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required.  

    On Sept. 15, Whitney Gherman FCS Extension Educator Marion County join a panel of experts to discuss “Seeking Good, Clean, and Fair Food for All: Equity. Inclusion. Justice." More information at here.

  14. National Corn Yield Contest In-Service

    Please join the next ANR in-service with Linda Lambur from the National Corn Growers Association. Linda will be discussing the National Corn Yield Contest, and what is required as a supervisor for each yield check. As an Extension professional you are one of the few (if not only) people in your county that may supervise a yield check. This in-service will give you an overview of the contest (what it is used for, etc.) and how to properly conduct a yield check. Connection details are below, and please note the required password.  

    Topic: Corn Yield Contest Supervisor In-Service 

    Time: Sept. 9, 2020 at 1pm Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

    Join the Zoom Meeting here 

    Meeting ID: 949 2036 1914 

    Password: CORNYIELD 

  15. Respectful Dialogue Toolkit

    To achieve a fairer, more equitable and just society, conversations about race, inequity and difference are critical. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning, and University Libraries have created a respectful dialogue toolkit with strategies, webinars and events for engaging these meaningful conversations. 

    Read more here.

  16. OSU Wellness Resources

    Faculty and staff can use the Human Resources Keep Well website, the Chief Wellness Officer Health and Wellness page, and Your Plan For Health.   

    Additional resources:

    • The Ohio State Employee Assistance Program is an important component of Your Plan for Health. For benefits-eligible faculty, staff and their eligible family and household members, EAP provides tools and resources to help address mental health and emotional well-being.
    • The Ohio State: Wellness App is designed for students but offers tips and guidance useful for all members of our community. It is available for Android and iOS devices. 
  17. Back to School Resources for Families

    The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has developed a Back to School Resources for families. Please share with those in your communities or networks that may find this helpful. Available here.

  18. Virtual Mindfulness Series

    Patrice Powers-Barker, Kathy Tutt, and Shannon Carter will be teaching a virtual series on Mindful Wellness on Fridays in September from 10-11am. beginning 9/11. Please feel free to publicize this opportunity to your clientele or attend yourselves. 

    Register at by Sept. 9, 2020.