- Author: Wendy Powers
Last week flew by. Tu, David, and I spent a day at the South Coast REC talking about a new building project and envisioning a new educational center that could draw in the local community and serve as a central spot at the REC for researchers to convene and brainstorm. Then we spent the next day at Desert REC doing the same. The excitement of constructing a new facility was evident in both Jairo and Stacy. Let's all help them harness that enthusiasm to push through the hassles that come with construction. Both RECs are in need of the facilities and their programs will grow as a result.
The Orange County Farm Bureau (OCFB) has agreed to support a 5-year gift proposal at SCREC and UCCE Orange County in the amount of $690,000 paid out over a period of five-years (pledge), commencing in April 2023 and concluding in April 2027. A large portion of the funds are current-use funds to support the GROW program at SCREC. The balance of funds supports the Forever 4-H endowment in Orange County and the local 4-H program. Congratulations to Darren and team, Scott Brayton, and Mary Ciricillo for the work on securing this gift!
Anne Iaccopucci and Katherine Soule are busy these days preparing for a 4-H Academy on Youth Mental Health coming up May 10 - 12. Their colleagues from around the country have made special note of their contributions. Congratulations also go out to JoLynn for her garden project work with a local juvenile detention facility that became a feature story for My Motherlode. Way to go JoLynn!
I returned to the Oakland office last week, for the first time since February 2020. We moved up a floor – part of the fire drill fitness plan, I suspect. It was a great feeling to be back in that building. I was a bit surprised to see how many people on the street were still wearing masks. Better safe than sorry. I elected to avoid the BART and bear the traffic instead. It was a long drive home. It seems the roads are full again. I believe my trip to Davis on Friday was perhaps the heaviest traffic I have ever seen at 5 AM and then again at 5 PM. I don't know what to make of this.
Merit and promotion packages are almost complete with first review. Following, I go back and read supervisor comments, external reviewer comments, and internal reviewer comments from ad hoc reviewers and the Peer Review Committee. I always learn more about the work and impact of UC ANR as I read through the packages. The number of packages with strong impact statements continues to grow; particularly from some of our recent hires!
Word is out of my pending departure. A tremendously difficult decision to make as I don't feel that my work here is done. The change is a growth opportunity, one I couldn't pass by. In the meantime, there are many more ANR Adventures to be had.