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Extension Update – April 7, 2016   arrow

On Behalf of JoAnn Powell:

This is a long update, please read through to the end. Great information to be found.

2015 County Commissioner Satisfaction Survey Report

The 2015 summary report is in. The President’s Office approved the report and noted that this year’s results are impressive. You, and your work with the counties, are the reasons that these scores are so high. This report has been posted on the VP Engagement website. County commissioners have just received the report. Congratulations to you, each of your staff, and your volunteers.

Search Update

CSU Extension Assistant Director Finance. Interviews will be held May 9 followed by an open reception from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in University Square. You are invited to attend and meet the candidates. Candidates include: Cliff Choury, Annette, Foster, Kristen Sanborn, Jana Smilanich-Rose. A special thanks to our search committee: Tim Aston, Jessi Fuentes, Dennis Kaan, Cliff Schulenberg (College of Agricultural Sciences), and JoAnn Powell (chair).

Assistant Vice President for Engagement and Deputy Director of CSU Extension – Lou Swanson

The attached Assistant Vice President for Engagement (Asst. VPE) position is Dr. James Pritchett’s former position within the Office of Engagement. But, the position description is not identical. For me, there are three qualitative changes. First, there is much less emphasis on food systems. The recent hire of Dr. Becca Jablonski, who is a Food Systems Extension Economist in DARE, gives Extension a highly focused Extension Specialist in this area. Becca’s appointment is 70% Extension, and, more importantly, she is committed to Extension and engagement to her marrow. Therefore, the revised Asst. VPE position, while maintaining food systems as an important area, does not expect the same amount of emphasis. Second, there is an expectation that the Asst. VPE will take on a greater role, representing the Director, with the PRU discussions and implementation. Third, I have added the title of Deputy Director. James’s innovations and energy, and belief in and commitment to Extension, created for me, evidence that the Asst. VPE should represent the Director of Extension and be a partner with the Director, the Regional Directors, and the State Office Directors and you in advancing CSU Extension’s missions and goals.

But, I need to emphasize that the Asst. VPE is first and foremost an Office of Engagement (OE) appointment with equal attention to the other OE divisions and our international program initiatives. While a portion of the salary comes from Extension, the great majority comes from the OE budget.

It is important for the search process to be inclusive of each division within OE. With the addition of the Deputy Director title it is particularly important for you to be involved. One way you can be of immediate assistance to the search committee is to contact people you feel might be interested as well as sending nominations and referrals to the search committee. I expect that the search committee will provide updates on their decisions as appropriate and will provide opportunities for candidates to meet with Extension staff in person and by video; you will also be asked to provide your input on the candidates. Finally, as all of you know well, I am only the ‘Hiring Authority.’ The search process is completely the responsibility of the search committee. So please work with Dr. Waskom and the committee. Please advise them on the best ways to engage you.

This is a very important hire for the Office of Engagement and its divisions, and particularly for CSU Extension.

Assistant Vice President for Engagement and Deputy Director of CSU Extension – The Search Committee

On behalf of the Search Committee (Reagan Waskom, chair; James Pritchett; JoAnn Powell; Mike Palmquist; Kathay Rennels; with Bridget Julian serving as the OEO Coordinator): The position of Assistant Vice President for Engagement/Deputy Director of Extension is posted at; please see the attached flyer for more information.

The full consideration date is April 24, 2016. We hope that you will refer qualified individuals, and look for information regarding opportunities to meet the candidates as the search moves forward.

This is a national search.


Kaye Kasza, was presented the Citizen of the Year Award by the Bent County Chamber of Commerce in March.

Marilyn “Akwe” Durant-Starnes, recently retired from the Denver County Extension office. Akwe has served as an EFNEP educator in Denver for 10 years. She had an amazing career at Denver Extension where she started new partnerships, developed nutrition programming, brought in new audiences, and mentored new SNAP-Ed/EFNEP educators. Best wishes, Akwe!

Marilyn Akwe Durant-Starnes

Jacki Paone, was recently honored as a Public Health Champion by the Jefferson County Public Health Department for her work to supportJacki Paone receiving award local food access. Jacki was recognized for her commitment to build and sustain partnerships across a variety of departments and agencies, and her energy and enthusiasm aligning resources at CSU Extension to support local food access. Her work has moved food systems work in Jefferson County to a new level. She and JoAnn are pictured with Commissioner Casey Tighe and County Manager Ralph Schell.

Best Wishes

…to Lannae RussellLannea Russell (center with flowers), Extension coordinator, in Denver County. She advanced Tech Wizards by creating partnerships in new schools and launched the refugee youth program in Denver. Best wishes! Pictured w/Denver staff members: Robert, Adam, Rusty, Erin, , Ken, and Merrill.

Colorado Master Gardeners Celebrate – Mary Small

It’s hard to believe the Colorado Master Gardener program is celebrating its’ 40th anniversary in Colorado this year!

Through the decades, volunteers have extended the reach of CSU Extension in local communities by providing timely, research-based horticultural education to their communities. From small beginnings, the program has grown to include 34 counties and 1,372 volunteers, whose time was valued at $1,391,189 in 2015.

Educational activities they support expand the reach of local Extension offices, and include: teaching public classes, responding to public phone calls and emails, staffing booths at farmer’s markets and other events, youth gardening, maintaining public research and demonstration gardens, writing blogs and developing videos.

CSU Extension is grateful for their outreach, enthusiasm and creativity that have been a hallmark of the program all these years.

Office of Engagement Announcement – Bridget Julian

We are pleased to welcome Martha Bender to the Office of Engagement as of Monday, April 4. Martha will be Kathay’s executive assistant, and will also provide office administrative support and supervise student workstudy positions. She comes to us from the College of Engineering, and I’m sure she will enjoy getting to know any of you whom she has not already met.

Impact Statement Reporting for Extension Professionals – Joanne Littlefield

Last fall, eXtension added the Impact Statement Reporting Course to its Professional Development portfolio of courses for Extension professionals.

The course was created by a nationwide team of land grant university educators and trainers on impact report writing (including Joanne Littlefield), in collaboration with the Office of Professional and Continuing Education at Oregon State University. The content is specifically tailored to the needs of Extension professionals, and provides a wealth of examples, resources, readings and assessments to support you as you apply the concepts and skills. Requiring approximately 80 minutes to complete, all at one time or across modules, this course is available any time to help you as you are writing reports,  or can serve as a refresher as reporting deadlines approach.

As employees of an eXtension member institution, the course is free; the course fee for employees of non-member institutions is $80 per person. Once you’ve completed the course, you’ll send your write-ups to Joanne for use in our impact reporting initiative as well as inclusion in a national database.

Veterinary Teaching Hospital Open House

Colorado State University’s veterinary students and the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital invite you and your friends to attend our annual Open House! The event will run all day Saturday, April 16; it is free and open to the public. This is a great chance to tour the largest veterinary hospital in Colorado and to share the joys of animal care. We’re offering a number of useful presentations, with special offerings for students interested in attending veterinary school. You’ll also find: the Wendy Woo Band performing live, food trucks, a petting zoo, and CAM the Ram. For more information, visit our website or email We hope to see you there!

Rainwater Bill Passed

Great news! Rain barrel legislation (HB 16-1005) passed both the House and Senate, and is on its way to Hickenlooper’s desk, where we hope it will be signed into law. This legislation, which will go into effect on August 10, will allow collection of up to 110 gallons of rainwater for ‘outdoor purposes.’ Here’s the actual text of the bill:

More information can be found at:

CSU Extension Collaborates on “Vegetable University”

CSU Extension staff recently collaborated with the non-profit Re:Vision to bring a 2-day “Vegetable University” to a group of 14 Promotoras or “Garden Leaders.” These men and women from local neighborhoods received specialized training to mentor a network of families in backyard food production. Currently, Promotoras work with 400 gardeners in culturally diverse, low income communities in Denver and Jefferson counties. Many, if not all, of the gardens are located in food deserts where diverse, healthy food choices are scarce.

CSU Extension staff Dr. Tamla Blunt (campus), Carol O’Meara (Boulder County) and Mary Small (Jefferson County) along with Dr. Jean Reeder, retired soil scientist (ARS), taught a two-day vegetable troubleshooting workshop for the Promotoras so they can take science-based knowledge back into their community of gardeners. The workshop was delivered bilingually, with handouts and PowerPoint presentations in both English and Spanish. Live translation of lectures was provided by Re:Vision-funded translators (Community Language Cooperative). PowerPoints and handouts were translated by Dr. Jorge Ibarra of CSU’s Department of BioAgricultural Sciences and Pest Management.

vegetable university