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Wilen, Soule and Haviland among Distinguished Service Award winners

The Youth Retention Study Team won the Outstanding Research award. From left, John Borba, Chris Greer, Russ Hill, Mark Bell, Car Mun Kok, JoLynn Miller, Dorina Espinoza, Marianne Bird, Kendra Lewis, Claudia Diaz-Carrasco, and Wendy Powers.

Wendy Powers, associate vice president, announced the 2018 winners of the biennial Distinguished Service Awards on April 11 at the UC ANR Statewide Conference in Ontario.

Sponsored by UC ANR and Academic Assembly Council, the Distinguished Service Awards recognize service and academic excellence in UC Cooperative Extension over a significant period of time. Awards highlight the use of innovative methods and the integration of research, extension and leadership by UC ANR academics.

Awards were given for outstanding research, outstanding extension, outstanding new academic, outstanding team, and outstanding leader. Winners for each category are listed below.

Outstanding Research - Youth Retention Study Team

The Youth Retention Study examined the retention and drop-out rates (nearly 50 percent) of first year 4-H members. The team looked at re-enrollment trends over a seven-year period to understand the phenomena of why youth leave the 4-H program. While the focus of the study was on California, the team has engaged multiple states in this effort to document the national scope of this issue, and used the data to develop tools and strategies for addressing and extending that information through peer-reviewed articles, workshops and training. Two of the factors they found reducing retention were a lack of communication and the inability to understand and navigate the 4-H program. These findings led to development of a handbook for families to navigate the 4-H program and a Project Leader Checklist for implementing the 4-H project experience. 

The Youth Retention Study Team includes

  • JoLynn Miller, CE Advisor - UCCE Central Sierra Multi-County Partnership
  • Kendra Lewis, Academic Coordinator - UC ANR Statewide 4-H Program
  • Marianne Bird, CE Advisor - UCCE Capital Corridor MCP
  • John Borba, CE Advisor - UCCE Kern
  • Claudia Diaz-Carrasco, CE Advisor - UCCE Riverside and San Bernardino
  • Dorina Espinoza, CE Advisor - UCCE Humboldt and Del Norte
  • Russell Hill, CE Advisor - UCCE Merced, Mariposa and Madera
  • Car Mun Kok, CE Advisor - UCCE Lake and Mendocino
  • Sue Manglallan, CE Advisor - UCCE San Diego
  • Kali Trzesniewski, CE Specialist – UC Davis, Department of Human & Community Development

Outstanding Extension - David Haviland

David Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension entomology and integrated pest management advisor in Kern County, won the Outstanding Extension award.

David Haviland has been the UC Cooperative Extension entomology advisor in Kern County and affiliated IPM advisor with the UC IPM Program since 2002. He has developed an exemplary extension program to address the needs of clientele and support continued productivity in the third largest agricultural output county in the nation. Haviland's extension program is based on continuous needs assessment, applied local research to solve problems, collaboration with multiple partners, and extension programming focused on grower and pest control adviser adoption of improved pest management practices. Haviland uses his research outputs to drive his prodigious extension program. This includes 430 presentations to more than 32,000 people, primarily to farmers and pest control advisers. Haviland has developed a national and international reputation through publishing the results of his research in peer-reviewed scientific publications, and by giving national and international presentations.

Outstanding New Academic - Katherine Soule

Katherine Soule, UC Cooperative Extension director and youth, families and communities advisor in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, won the Outstanding New Academic award.

Katherine Soule has been the youth, families and communities advisor since 2013 and director of Cooperative Extension in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties since 2017. Soule has guided programming to increase diversity and reach of the 4-H Youth Development Program. She has more than doubled overall youth participation to more than 16,000 youth in the two counties and increased Latino youth participation by almost 500 percent in less than 4 years. In addition, Soule has built a multicultural, bilingual UC CalFresh staff that focuses on developing sustained engagement with partnering school districts, administrators, teachers, families and other community-based organizations. In the previous two years, the UC CalFresh staff provided nutrition education to more than 17,000 youth; more than 8,500 families and community members attended community events where they received nutrition education; led peer educators in the participation of 4,700 hours of programming and engaged more than 6,600 students in nutrition and physical activities education. The Statewide 4-H Director said, “Despite the large assignment, she has provided incredible leadership in both program areas in both counties.” In partnership with 4-H volunteers and the California 4-H Foundation, she has raised $300,000 annually from grants and gifts to support and advance 4-H programming in Santa Barbara County. This youth, families and communities program also serves as the model for program integration and growth.

Outstanding Leader - Cheryl Wilen

Cheryl Wilen, UC Cooperative Extension area integrated pest management advisor for San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties, won the Outstanding Leader award.

Cheryl Wilen is the area integrated pest management advisor for San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties. Throughout her 23-year career, Wilen's work has represented outstanding leadership through a continual focus on positive changes.  Wilen has been an effective leader in the Statewide IPM Program, ANR and the western region. In this role, she has provided significant input on CE advisor performance and advancement evaluations, represented IPM advisors to UC IPM leadership, and coordinated the annual extension planning meeting for IPM advisors and affiliated advisors. In addition to significant leadership in UC IPM, Wilen was the ANR Strategic Initiative Leader for Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases from 2014 to 2017. She led development of the strategic initiative goals and worked with Program Teams and Workgroups to address these goals. Wilen's leadership style is a direct reflection of her approach to research and extension. If she identifies an important unmet need, then she seeks to address it. Similarly, when she identifies a leadership need that she is capable of meeting, she steps up to help the organization move forward. Her leadership is consistently pragmatic and focused on results.

Outstanding Team - Dairy Quality Assurance Environmental Stewardship Program Team

The Dairy Quality Assurance Environmental Stewardship Program Team won the Outstanding Team award. From left, David Lewis, Greer, Bell, Deanne Meyer, Jeffery Stackhouse, Betsy Karle and Jennifer Heguy.

This team of CE specialists and CE advisors has provided outstanding service to California's dairy farmers as a partner in the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) through applied research, development of monitoring methods and tools, and implementation of educational programs to help dairy farmers comply with state water-quality law. The team developed the educational component of the “Environmental Stewardship Short Course,” delivering 377 short course workshops (750 classroom hours) throughout the state to date. They developed tools for producers including a lab manual for manure analysis, an e-learning module for sampling methods and an on-line decision support tool. These extension products were based on a prodigious research record including 15 peer-reviewed papers. The Dairy Quality Assurance Environmental Stewardship Program Team is an excellent example of UC ANR academics working together and with government and industry partners under the Sustainable Natural Environment Strategic Initiative. As a result of the team's work, the industry quickly reached a 95 percent compliance rate with water quality reporting requirements.

Dairy Quality Assurance Environmental Stewardship Program Team includes

  • Deanne Meyer, CE Specialist – UC Davis, Department of Human & Community Development
  • Betsy Karle, CE Advisor and UCCE Director– UCCE Glenn
  • Jennifer Heguy, CE Advisor – UCCE Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced
  • David Lewis, CE Advisor and UCCE Director – UCCE Marin and Napa
  • Jeffery Stackhouse, CE Advisor – UCCE Humboldt and Del Norte

 

 

UC ANR supporters give over $85,000 on #GivingTuesday

Thanks to everyone who participated, UC ANR's #GivingTuesday campaign was a tremendous success.

“We surpassed our goal of $60,000, raising $85,168,” said Mary Maffly Ciricillo, director of Annual Giving and Individual Gifts. “This is close to a 24 percent increase over last year's Giving Tuesday total of $68,322.”

As an added incentive to potential donors, ANR received over $37,000 in donations toward match challenge funds supporting all of UC ANR programs.

The California 4-H Foundation alone brought in over $32,000. Compared to 2016, there was a 250 percent increase in giving to UC ANR programs – including Master Gardeners, Master Food Preservers, IPM, the REC System, and county offices – totaling over $15,000.

The number of gifts received also rose, from 224 gifts in 2016 to 318 gifts this year. “We even received a gift designated to urban horticulture!” Ciricillo said.

In addition to raising money, the #GivingTuesday social media campaign helped raise the visibility of ANR programs. The Master Gardener Program team made a video of the unselfies posted on social media by their supporters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI_tVcNhBcQ.

“We appreciate everyone's cooperation in this fundraising effort and hope we can continue to build on our success for the next #GivingTuesday,” Ciricillo said. “These private funds will help us expand UC ANR's reach.”

Below is a list of funds donors selected to receive Giving Tuesday their gifts:

ANR - Master Gardener Annual Giving Fund

Alameda County Master Gardener Endowment Fund

Elkus Ranch Fund

San Mateo - 4-H Program - Various Donors

Statewide Master Gardener Endowment Fund

Sacramento County UCCE - Master Gardener Fund

Los Angeles County UCCE Fund

Orange County UCCE Fund

El Dorado County UCCE - Rangeland Fund

San Mateo/San Francisco UCCE - Master Gardener Fund

ANR - Giving Tuesday Match Fund

San Mateo County UCCE - MG Greenhouse

KREC - Kearney REC - Fund

SFREC - Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center Fund

Sonoma County UCCE - Citizen Science Projects

"urban horticulture"

Los Angeles County UCCE - Master Gardeners

LREC - Lindove Field Station

El Dorado County UCCE - Master Gardeners - Various Dnrs

San Mateo/SF UCCE - Master Food Preserver

Fresno County UCCE

4-H Undesignated

"REC System"

Riverside County UCCE - Master Gardeners

Sutter-Yuba Counties UCCE - Master Gardeners

Merced County UCCE - Master Gardener Fund

UC California Naturalist Program

Ventura County UCCE - Master Gardener Fund

HREC - Hopland REC - Fund

"Marin Master Gardeners Opportunity Fund"

IPM - Program Fund

4-H Foundation UC Donor Funds

DREC - Desert REC FARM SMART Fund

Merced County Agriculture Extension and Research Endowment

Alameda County UCCE - Master Gardeners

UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County

Orange County UCCE - Master Food Preserver Fund

Kern - 4-H Program - Various Donors

Colusa County UCCE - Master Gardener Program

Central Sierra - UCCE

Ventura County UCCE Fund

"Ventura County Master Gardeners"

San Joaquin County UCCE - Master Gardener Fund

ANR - California Naturalist Scholarship Fund

Statewide Program - Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences Program

ANR Informatics and GIS Fund

Nutrition Policy Institute General Fund

Plumas County UCCE - Project Learning Tree

ANR - Master Food Preservers Fund

California Institute for Water Resources

San Mateo County UCCE Fund

Santa Barbara County 4-H - Various Donors

Contra Costa County UCCE Fund

 

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 3:53 PM

See a sneak preview of UC ANR home page’s refreshed design

You are invited to review the new ucanr.edu design refresh.

Strategic Communications now has a Website Redesign Feedback survey that offers an opportunity for additional input. You'll find links to the proposed designs for desktop, tablet and smart phone. It shows the website interactions and a survey, where you can rate various elements of the website project and offer open-ended comments and ideas, at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=22172.

Please submit your feedback by Friday, Dec. 1.

Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 1:52 PM

Names in the News

Megan Marotta
Marotta joins UC ANR as program integration coordinator

Megan Marotta joined UC ANR Youth Families and Communities Statewide Program team as a program integration coordinator in July and is working with five statewide programs: Master Gardeners, Master Food Preservers, 4-H Youth Development, UC CalFresh and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Her position, which is new, provides an opportunity to capitalize on the partnerships and programming that already exist in each county.

Marotta brings more than 13 years of experience building partnerships in communities, the last 7 years as a program director for afterschool and summer programs in the Bay Area. She received a BA in psychology from Pepperdine University and a master's degree in organizational leadership from Chapman University.

Marotta is based at the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1225 and mrmarotta@ucanr.edu.

From left, Megan Phillippi of Montana State University, Nancy Shelstad and Tim Ewers of Idaho State University, Jeannette Rea-Keywood of Rutgers University, and Kendra Lewis and JoLynn Miller accepted the Excellence in Teamwork Award.

4-H team wins national teamwork award

A multi-state group formed to study 4-H youth retention received the Excellence in Teamwork Award from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NA4-HA). Kendra Lewis, 4-H academic coordinator for evaluation, and JoLynn Miller, 4-H youth development advisor for the Central Sierra Multi-county Partnership, accepted the award on Nov. 16 in Indianapolis at the NA4-HA Annual Conference.

The youth retention study is focused on understanding why youth and families join, drop out or stay in 4-H. By learning about these factors, youth recruitment and retention in 4-H can be improved. Being able to learn about these issues across states has been valuable as 4-H professionals create tools to help mitigate some of the issues learned from the study.

Since 2014, Lewis and Miller have been co-chairs of the group, which also includes UC Cooperative Extension 4-H advisors Marianne Bird, John Borba and Russell Hill, and specialist Kali Trzesniewski.

For California youth and families, the team has already created a New Family Handbook and a Project Leader Checklist to help leaders as they welcome new families. UC ANR is currently partnering with Cooperative Extension staff at University of Idaho, Rutgers University, University of Wyoming and Louisiana State University. 

The team won the California 4-H Association, Western Region of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, and National NAE4-HA awards for Excellence in Teamwork.

Blackburn and Lagura win NEAFCS research award

Mary Blackburn
Mary L. Blackburn, nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor, and MaryAnn A. Lagura, early childhood program coordinator, both of UC Cooperative Extension in Alameda County, won first place in the Program Excellence Through Research Award category for their “Preschool Wellness Policy Development,” both in the nation and in the western region in the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences Annual Awards Program.

MaryAnn Lagura
In 2017, about 67,000 children in Alameda County participated in California's Child and Adult Care Food Program - Child Care and Adult Care Components. Of that number, about 12,000 (17.93 percent) of these children were at 319 sites operating without wellness policies. The early childhood obesity prevention initiative, funded by the Alameda County Health Department – Nutrition Services, was launched in 2014 to develop wellness policies at 20 preschools with 1,074 children in five cities in Alameda County. Blackburn and Lagura provided guidance and support to develop, approve and adopt policies to promote healthy eating, physical activity, environmental changes and model healthy behaviors. They also evaluated the outcomes.

At the end of the 2017 school year, 18 sites had fully implemented policies. Twelve are entering a third year and six are in the second year of implementation – two sites lost funding. Preliminary evaluations of the overall outcomes found goal achievements by all sites exceeded the total number of priority goals sites selected for the first year by a ratio of 2:1.

The award was presented at the annual NEAFCS Awards Ceremony in Omaha, Neb., on Oct. 18 and 19. 

Gerry poses with former recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Front row, from left, are Nancy Hinkle, Gerry, and Dick Miller. Back row, from left, are Phil Kaufman, Chris Geden, Jerry Hogsette, Don Rutz, Dave Taylor, UC Riverside professor Brad Mullens and Wes Watson. Photo by Annie Rich

Gerry earns lifetime achievement award  

Alec Gerry, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and professor in the Department of Entomology at the UC Riverside, received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award in Veterinary Entomology. 

Gerry's outstanding contributions to animal health and productivity were recognized at the 61st Livestock Insect Workers Conference in Savannah, Ga., in June 2017. He serves as president of the Medical, Urban and Veterinary Entomology Section of the Entomological Society of America.

Last year Gerry was honored as a member of a multi-state research team for “S-1060: Fly Management in Animal Agriculture Systems and Impacts on Animal Health and Food Safety.” The 2016 Experiment Station Section Award for Excellence in Multi-State Research was given by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Cooperative Extension System and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU).

To learn more about Gerry's research, visit http://veterinaryentomology.ucr.edu.

Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 1:23 PM

UC ANR shares staff engagement survey results

Last spring, a sampling of non-represented UC ANR staff were asked to complete the biennial Staff Engagement Survey to gauge their impressions about working for the University. The Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA), in collaboration with Systemwide Human Resources' Employee Relations department, developed the survey with the company Willis Towers Watson. The 2017 survey follows similar surveys conducted in 2013 and 2015. The results have been tabulated, and the UC ANR Staff Assembly and UC ANR Human Resources are preparing to share the results broadly across the division.

All staff and academics are invited to take part in a webinar review of the survey results from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Dec. 13 (additional information and the webinar link will be e-mailed). Vice President Glenda Humiston, ANR Staff Assembly and ANR Human Resources will host a town hall meeting from 11 a.m. to 12 noon on Jan. 16 to discuss the results and ideas for improvement.  

“Reviewing the engagement survey results gives us the opportunity to have open conversations about how people feel about working at UC ANR, and identify ways we can improve,” said John Fox, ANR Human Resources executive director.

At the UC ANR Staff Assembly ambassadors' meeting in October, CUCSA delegates Jeannette Warnert and LeChé McGill presented a preview of the results in three areas that show opportunities for improvement: organizational change, performance management and wellness. After the presentation, the ambassadors broke into groups to suggest ways to improve staff impressions in these areas.

According to the survey, 34 percent of respondents had a favorable impression to the statement, "Generally, recent major organizational changes across the UC system have been planned well.” This is a 2 percentage-point increase from 2015.

The most popular suggestion from the ambassadors for improvement was including staff (particularly those affected by the changes) in the change process. The ambassadors also emphasized the importance of communication about changes, such as information about why changes are being made and how they will be implemented. They also stressed the importance of listening to staff and taking their input seriously.

In the area of performance management, 70 percent of staff surveyed responded favorably to the statement, “I think my performance on the job is evaluated fairly.” However, this was an 8 percentage point drop from the 2015 survey. A significant proportion, 67 percent, had favorable impressions about the statement, "I feel my personal contributions are recognized." A smaller group, 20 percent, responded favorably to "I feel my campus/location does a good job matching pay to performance."

The ambassadors felt strongly that performance management impressions could be improved by helping staff and supervisors develop a better understanding of the new employee-performance-appraisal report rating system. They suggested sharing details about the successes of staff who were rated "transformational," and providing training to staff on their role in the performance appraisal process.

Ambassadors also expressed a concern that there is an assumption among UC ANR managers that staff cannot be rated as "exceptional.”

The 2017 Staff Engagement Survey covered the topic of “wellness” for the first time. Sixty-one percent of UC ANR staff responded favorably to the statement, “My supervisor is supportive of my participation in health or wellness-related initiatives and programs offered at my campus/location.” A similar number, 60 percent, gave favorable responses to the statement, “My organization promotes an environment of physical, mental and social well-being.”

Ambassadors shared a number of ideas for improving this outcome, such as offering discounts for local health clubs/gyms, release time for exercise, exercise awards, structured wellness activities, and support for telecommuting.

For more information on the 2017 UC Staff Engagement Survey, see the UC ANR Staff Assembly website.

Posted on Monday, November 27, 2017 at 9:26 AM

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