- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
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Katherine Webb-Martinez, director of Program Planning and Evaluation, received an award on Oct. 13 from the Extension Education Evaluation Topical Interest Group at the American Evaluation Association's conference held in Indianapolis.
The Mary Nell Greenwood Extension Evaluation award was given to Webb-Martinez in recognition of her administrative leadership toward outstanding organizational, policy and resource contributions to extension evaluation.
The following are excerpts from letters supporting her award nomination:
“Today, ANR is a national leader in outcomes assessment and reporting. The single person most responsible for the dramatic turnaround is Katherine. When others despaired of finding solutions, she dug into the problem and slowly began to change the organization's culture, practices, and capacity.”
“For extension professionals such as myself who aren't classically trained in extension program evaluation, her efforts in building the evaluation capacity of UC ANR academics and program staff have helped us tell our stories and successfully meet the merit and promotion criteria.”
“You often hear about Extension being the best kept secret. At UC ANR, Katherine's leadership has helped change this narrative both at the state and local county level.”
“Her work in evaluation, reporting and program planning is highly sought after by Extension directors in other Western Region states. Her work in leading a team to produce high-quality public- and stakeholder-facing reports of UCCE's successes demonstrates far more than the ability to gather and synthesize information.”
UC ANR 4-H's Vera M. Bullard, Brenda Vales and Gemma Miner received awards at the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Oct. 12.
Bullard, regional 4-H program coordinator for the Central Sierra, was presented the National Distinguished Service Award for California. The award recognizes the achievements of members who have served more than seven years in Extension 4-H Youth Development programs. She is passionate about civic engagement, public speaking, inclusion, accessibility and volunteer development. She currently chairs the Statewide Public Speaking and Communications Advisory Committee and serves on the Civic Engagement Advisory Committee.
“She's an amazing staff member, very dedicated to the 4-H program,” said Sue Mosbacher, UC Master Food Preserver Program coordinator. “In addition to her role in 4-H, Vera is also a Master Food Preserver volunteer and coordinates the online basics classes for the Amador/Calaveras program.”
Brenda Vales, 4-H community education specialist for Contra Costa County, received the Achievement in Service Award, which recognizes the achievements of members who have served between three and seven years. Vales has supported the local and statewide 4-H program for six years, specializing in finance, record keeping and presentations. She uses her experience to foster life skills in 4-H youth.
Gemma Miner, 4-H academic coordinator for volunteer engagement, was part of a Western Region team that received both a state and national award in the Excellence in Peer Professional Development Specialty Award Division.
Each year, the California 4-H Association selects members to receive awards at the national conference hosted by the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals.
The Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Awards honor 40 outstanding individuals making their marks in the industry. George Zhuang, UC Cooperative Extension viticulture farm advisor in Fresno County has been selected for the class of 2023. Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News annually choose 40 individuals working in the fruit and vegetable industry who they deem to be the next generation of leaders.
Zhuang started working as a UCCE viticulture farm advisor for Fresno County in January 2015. As a viticulture advisor, he conducts applied research on rootstock selection, vineyard water management, mechanization and disease management, as well as updates growers on university research results and current vineyard management issues. He holds a master's degree in horticulture science from Michigan State University and a bachelor s degree in viticulture and enology from China Agricultural University.
See the other 39 people chosen at https://fruitgrowersnews.com/40under40/?oly_enc_id=.
TIME lists Luna UCR avocado among top 'groundbreaking' inventions
Luna UCR avocado is one of TIME's "200 'groundbreaking' inventions. The list, which debuted this year, includes inventions that “are changing how we live, work, play and think about what's possible,” TIME wrote.
The variety is the result of a University of California avocado tree breeding program that started at UCLA just over 80 years ago, was transferred to UCR in the 1950s, and continues today. The patent will credit as inventors Mary Lu Arpaia, a UC Cooperative Extension horticulturist based at UC Riverside, and her colleague Eric Focht, a UCR staff research associate in the Botany and Plant Sciences Department in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Other credited co-inventors are former UCR scientists Gray Martin, the late David Stottlemyer, and the late B.O. “Bob” Bergh, according to a story by UCR's David Danelski.
Read more about Luna UCR avocado's development at New avocado proves tasty, safer to harvest at UC ANR Research and Extension Centers.
Brinkley wins California American Planning Association Award of Excellence
Catherine Brinkley, UC Davis professor and Center for Regional Change director, and her team received the California American Planning Association award for academic excellence for Plansearch.caes.ucdavis.edu: A Search Engine for California's General Plans.
Want to know what the 482 cities and 58 counties in California are planning to build? Check out the award-winning search engine to find general plans for California cities and counties.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
UC ANR Day at the Capitol was held on March 26, 2019, to update California legislators and legislative staff on UC ANR's research and outreach projects. Vice President Glenda Humiston and a UC ANR delegation discussed a wide variety of topics during the legislative visits, including wildfire and forest health, water quality, youth development, nutrition and climate adaptation.
Every year, representatives from each UC campus gather in Sacramento for UC Day at the Capitol to educate lawmakers about the importance of research and higher education and their contributions to California's economy and progress. Although UC ANR participates in the annual Ag Day at the Capitol, this was the first UC ANR Day at the Capitol.
ANR's Global Food Initiative fellow Maci Mueller set up appointments with the policymakers and coordinated the UC ANR delegation to explain the value of investment in UC ANR research and outreach.
The UC ANR delegation consisted of two teams led by Humiston and Wendy Powers, associate vice president. The teams included Faith Kearns, California Institute for Water Resources academic coordinator; Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, UC Cooperative Extension small farms advisor for Fresno and Tulare counties; Tracy Schohr, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resource advisor for Plumas, Sierra and Butte counties; Alena Pacheco, 4-H community education specialist in Fresno County; Bailey Butler, Oroville 4-H member; and El Dorado County 4-H Ambassadors Emily Ferrell, Josie Rothman and Isabella Veffredo, who were accompanied by El Dorado County 4-H program representatives Vera Bullard and Denise Veffredo.
“As a team, we were able to connect with every member or staffer that we met,” Powers wrote in her ANR Adventures blog. “Sometimes it was around the 4-H program, and what the program has done for our impressive team members, sometimes it was around fire or water, and other staffers or members were particularly interested in moringa. Either way, the goal was to make a connection so that each visit left an impression.”
“UC ANR Day was a terrific opportunity for 4-H members to practice their communication skills and get involved in advocacy at the state level,” Mueller said.
Oroville 4-H member Bailey described for legislators and their staff how she worked from Nov. 8 when the Camp Fire broke out until after Christmas with UC Cooperative Extension advisor Tracy Schohr and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine staff to care for 1,200 evacuated livestock and to train others to assist. Emily, a 4-H Ambassador in El Dorado County, said her 4-H experience with STEM activities and leadership training helped her get into the university of her choice – UC Santa Barbara.
Greeted warmly by each office, the teams shared examples of work being done by UC ANR in their districts, offered them assistance and thanked the legislators for their support. They left a copy of the UC ANR Snapshot, UC ANR map and overview, a 4-H fact sheet and UC at a Glance.
Legislators praised the 4-H members and UC ANR staff for the work they do for Californians.
“I look forward to making UC ANR Day at the Capitol an annual event,” Humiston said. “Telling people about the value of ANR's work is not only part of our mission, it is essential in educating others about all that we accomplish with the resources we have.”
A fact sheet showing the effects of shrinking public investment in the University of California and agricultural research can be downloaded at https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/files/302896.pdf.