Guiding tourism for success

John Lawrence’s message from May 20, 2019

With a trained tour guide, a community tourism attraction has a better chance for success. That’s why some of our Community and Economic Development staff used Excellence in Extension funding to develop a new curriculum. With their Herb Howell Creative and Innovative Program Grant, Diane Van Wyngarden, Himar Hernández, Jane Goeken, Abigail Gaffey, Steve Adams and Victor Oyervides created Professional Guide Training and Certification. The new program is the first of its kind in Iowa: It is designed for staff and volunteers who lead guided programs at community tourism attractions, such as museums, parks, conservation areas, historic sites, nature centers and agritourism venues. Did you know?

  • The one-day Guide Training workshop features interactive methods and techniques for creating and delivering dynamic guided programs, with a focus on guiding adult visitors.
  • Everyone who completes the workshop has the option to receive Professional Guide Certification from Iowa State University for an additional fee. Certification is completed at the individual’s workplace or tourism location.
  • In April, 85 people attended the first Guide Training workshop. The next statewide workshop is June 13 in Mason City and is open to the public. The fee is $10 per person and includes the course workbook, workshop activities, lunch and refreshments. This low fee is made possible through the team’s additional funding partnership with Iowa Economic Development Authority/Iowa Tourism Office and the Central Iowa Tourism Region.
  • This month Diane has conducted certification sessions with the Iowa Arboretum near Madrid, the Iowa Railroad History Museum in Boone, the Octagon Center for the Arts in Ames, the Ames Chamber of Commerce, the Mahanay Bell Tower and Thomas Jefferson Gardens of Greene County in Jefferson, the State Theatre in Washington, the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City, and the Botanical Center and Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines.

Tourism guidance is one of the ways our CED unit strengthens communities and their local economies. All Iowans benefit when local people join together to make their communities better places to live and work. For more information or to pre-register (by June 5) for the June workshop, contact Diane Van Wyngarden at dvw@iastate.edu.

Tuition Assistance Program

ISU Extension and Outreach is a knowledge-based organization and our people are our greatest asset. The Vice President for Extension and Outreach Tuition Assistance Program is designed to help our people move forward with their extension careers. The program will reimburse tuition costs up to one-half of 4 credits per term, once each term (Fall, Spring and Summer) – up to one-half of 12 credits per year. County-paid and ISU-paid extension employees may apply for the program, whether taking credit courses from Iowa State, a community college, a private institution or other accredited public institution. Check the Professional Development website for eligibility and participation requirements, and other information.

Internal Communications: Update

During our leadership team retreat on May 31, we will focus on prioritizing the recommendations from the Internal Communications Task Force. I counted 25 recommendations in the executive summary. We need to set priorities so we can begin taking action.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Natural resources stewardship for all

John Lawrence’s message from March 18, 2019

In ISU Extension and Outreach, we have a program area focused on Agriculture and Natural Resources. However, taking care of our natural resources is not reserved for ANR alone; this work belongs to all of us. That’s why we all are invited to Natural Resources Stewardship Professional Development Day on Wednesday, May 1, at the ISU Alumni Center in Ames. This training and networking event will bring together extension professionals from across Iowa and a variety of program areas and disciplines to talk and learn about natural resource issues, educational needs and programming opportunities. Did you know?

  • This event is a chance to immerse yourself in natural resource conservation, including water quality, forest stewardship, outdoor recreation, reducing waste and healthy eating, and monarch butterfly conservation.
  • The program will feature speakers from Iowa State, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and local water quality experts.
  • During hands-on field trips you can explore agriculture water quality and research at Bear Creek, forest and wildlife management at Ledges State Park, or water quality and urban conservation at the new City of Ames Water Treatment Plant and Summerbrook Park in Ankeny.
  • Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and the Renewable Resources Extension Act are covering all facility, meal and materials costs for this professional development opportunity. Be sure to pre-register before midnight, April 26. If you have questions, please contact one of the organizers: Adam Janke (ajanke@iastate.edu), Ann Staudt (astaudt@iastate.edu) or Jamie Benning (benning@iastate.edu).

To preview some of the programs and topic areas on display at this event, see these examples of ISU Extension and Outreach programming on natural resources issues: Iowa Learning Farms; Monarchs on the Move; Master Conservationist Program; Nature Explore – Connecting Kids with Nature; and Water Rocks!

Goodbye … and welcome

In February, we said goodbye to the following individuals who left ISU Extension and Outreach:

  • Kayla Emery, Clayton County K-12 outreach coordinator.
  • Robbyn Duchow, Johnson County program manager, Big Brothers Big Sisters.
  • John Sjolinder, Cerro Gordo County executive director.

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Brenda Fuller, Buchanan County office assistant.
  • Alisha Davidson, Lee County office assistant.
  • Devan Cress, Jones County youth coordinator.
  • Mandi De La Cruz, Buena Vista County program assistant.
  • Peggy Schilling, Clayton County K-12 outreach coordinator.
  • Diane Wisniewski, program coordinator II, Agriculture and Natural Resources.
  • James Wisniewski, program coordinator II, Agriculture and Natural Resources.
  • Sean Nelson, program coordinator III, Vice President for Extension and Outreach/Office of Equal Opportunity.
  • Judith Dittmar, extension program specialist III, Human Sciences.

More notes

  • Applications now are being accepted for our 4-H state program leader position. Please see the job announcement and encourage people to apply. We’re seeking a new leader for 4-H to continue building on the growth and success of our youth development program. We are strengthening our clubs, curriculum and volunteers, and actively recruiting new participants. We are committed to being inclusive and welcoming, and to fulfilling the national 4-H goal of having members, volunteers and staff who reflect Iowa’s population. 4-H connects with almost 1 in 5 Iowa K-12 students. (Want the numbers for your county? Download 4-H Data for Decision Makers.)
  • Whether we’re dealing with flooding, drought or other severe weather, remember that disaster recovery resources are always available on the ISU Extension and Outreach website (from the “Learn More About …” tab). As you help Iowans deal with flooding issues this spring, please take care of yourselves, too.
  • During our recent trip to Washington, D.C., our CARET delegates shared this 2019 report with Iowa’s congressional delegation to advocate on behalf of Iowa State’s land-grant programs.
  • We need judges for the State Science and Technology Fair, March 28-29 in Ames. You can help make this event a great experience for the 700 young research students who are expected to participate.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

We believe in NELD

John Lawrence’s message from Jan. 28, 2019

From now through September, Jennifer Bentley, Himar Hernandez and Courtney Long will be representing ISU Extension and Outreach in the 2019 National Extension Leadership Development program. Jennifer is a dairy field specialist, Himar is assistant director for Community and Economic Development, and Courtney is local foods program coordinator with CED. By the time you read this message, they will be in Chicago for the first of four NELD seminars, where they’ll be taking a close look at their own role as a leader. University of Minnesota Extension heads the delivery of the NELD Program in the North Central Region this year, as it has since 2011. Did you know?

  • NELD provides the opportunity for extension professionals to learn, apply and reflect on new effective leadership, organizational collaboration, and change concepts and strategies.
  • NELD programming consists of four sessions, including one international cultural immersion experience. In April, the participants will head to Costa Rica for “Entering the Realm of the Other.”
  • In July they’ll head to Washington, D.C., for “Leading in a Shared Power World.” Then in September they’ll be in the Twin Cities area “Integrating Leadership for Change.”

NELD’s mission is to build leaders in Cooperative Extension at all levels and provide them with the vision, courage, and tools to lead in a changing world. Participants are selected because of their proven track record of programmatic or administrative success. The program helps the individuals who participate, but the greater benefit is to our Cooperative Extension System nationwide. NELD builds the leadership capacity of our extension professionals; increases the understanding of extension work at local, state, national and international levels; and strengthens the national Cooperative Extension network. That’s why we believe in NELD.

Transition for EIT
Mike Mauton has been named manager of Extension Information Technology and will begin transitioning into his new duties immediately. Current manager Deb Coates, who is beginning phased retirement, will continue working halftime until September 2019. During the next seven months, Deb will be mentoring Mike as he assumes many of the administrative duties that come with the post.

Mike earned his undergraduate degree in management information systems and history, secondary teaching license, and MBA from Iowa State. He first worked for ISU Extension and Outreach as a student on the computer support hotline. After teaching junior high in Cedar Falls, he returned to Extension IT. He has served as a support specialist, hotline supervisor, network administrator, systems administrator, infrastructure team lead and part-time department manager. We welcome Mike to his new role and are excited about this transition for our outstanding Extension IT staff.

More notes

  • There’s still time to register for Annual Conference, set for Feb. 28. Room blocks are being held at three Ames hotels; reserve your room by Feb. 7 to get the conference rate.
  • The Structured for Success committee met Jan. 22. Check the website for a video report and notes from the meeting.
  • The Iowa Extension Council Association and 4-H Legislative Day is Feb. 13. Council members and senior 4-H members will meet with legislators, tour the World Food Prize building, network with one another and participate in educational activities. The registration deadline is Feb. 1.
  • Poverty and Food Needs profiles are available by county from the Iowa Community Indicators Program website. The profiles (dated June 2018) provide county-level information related to poverty, participation in food and nutrition assistance programs, and other food-related health and economic measures. For more information, contact Kim Greder, kgreder@iastate.edu, or Liesl Eathington, leathing@iastate.edu.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Becoming eAccessible

John Lawrence’s message from Sept. 10, 2018

When we design for all, we increase our chances of justice for all. You might remember that statement from my January message regarding digital universal design compliance. A key component of this effort is professional development in eAccessibility, because we all need to learn how to make our digital materials accessible. We want all Iowans, including those who have visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities, to be able to easily navigate and understand our websites, mobile apps and electronic documents. Did you know?

  • Professional development opportunities related to eAccessibility are designed to educate extension employees on the workflow process necessary to create digitally accessible documents.
  • An upcoming workshop, “Creating Accessible Digital Documents” walks participants through a new process when working in Microsoft Office. This includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher and Outlook. Participants also experience using an electronic screen reader. This hands-on workshop will be offered face-to-face at locations across the state beginning in October and continuing through spring 2019. You can register for the workshops at http://bit.ly/cadd11008.
  • Extension staff who submit InDesign publications to the Extension Store meet regularly for eAccessibility updates and in October may participate in professional development workshops specific to their digital design needs.
  • Two P&S staff have been hired to help remediate existing publications on the store. John Robnett, who began working half-time in August, is focusing on remediating PDFs for 4-H and CED. Ron Nelson will start full-time Sept. 13 and focus on remediating ANR publications. Human Sciences is taking another approach to handle existing publications.
  • Watch this video from Ross Wilburn, our diversity adviser, to learn more about ISU Extension and Outreach’s commitment to accessibility.

For more information on our eAccessibility initiative, contact Robin Ertz in Professional Development, Kristi Elmore in Extension IT or Chris Johnsen with the Extension Store.

More notes

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

An odyssey of logistics

John Lawrence’s message from May 22, 2018

When people hear the word “odyssey,” some may remember an ancient Greek poem while others look forward to a modern minivan. However, for more than 8,500 competitors coming to Ames this week, only one odyssey matters: the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. These young people have worked in teams all year solving open-ended problems that have more than one solution. Now they will present their creative solutions as they compete with other teams from throughout the U.S. and more than 20 other countries. Did you know?

  • About 850 teams of students will participate in the 2018 World Finals, called the largest creative problem-solving program in the world. This international educational program is designed for students from kindergarten through college. I’ll welcome them, their coaches, judges and spectators (more than 15,000 people all told) to Iowa State during the opening ceremony in Hilton Coliseum Wednesday night.
  • In addition to competition, this odyssey includes daily creativity festivals, NASA educational activities, a parade and awards.
  • The May 23-26 event is the 39th World Finals and this is the 10th time that Iowa State University and the Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau have hosted the competition. The local organizing committee includes more than 30 people, representing staff from the bureau and across campus.
  • There’s a reason this international event keeps coming back to Ames. The Iowa State/Ames partnership and our Conference Planning and Management team handle the logistics and make sure it all runs smoothly. They find appropriate campus locations for three days of simultaneous competitions in five categories, each with three or four age divisions. They coordinate transportation, housing, dining and options for other things these visitors can do while in town. They also deal with health and safety concerns.

An odyssey can involve aimless wandering and hardship. However, it also can be a fun-filled adventure packed with notable experiences. That’s what Conference Planning and Management creates, not only for Odyssey of the Mind, but also for every other competition, conference, workshop, meeting and event that the team handles throughout the year.

One more thing: I participated in the Navigating Difference workshop series last week. I highly recommend this learning opportunity for anyone who wants to better understand others with a different world view. That may involve differences in thought, age, race, culture or other dimensions of diversity. Our strategic plan identifies reaching all Iowans and particularly underserved communities with ISU Extension and Outreach programming. Navigating Difference helps improve our cultural competency by meeting us where we are and preparing us to be better listeners, communicators and educators. Professional Development will offer the workshop series again in June (Adair County) and in the fall (in Marshall, Sioux and Delaware counties). Register online. For more information, contact Gayle Coon, our Navigating Difference program coordinator, at gcoon@iastate.edu.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Building our capacity

John Lawrence’s message from March 5, 2018

In ISU Extension and Outreach, we focus on building capacity in our clients and communities, and rightly so. As R.K. Bliss says in his extension history book, “Helping people to help themselves and working with people rather than for people are good slogans to remember in extension work.” However, we also need to focus on ourselves. I think even R.K. would agree that there is good reason to build the capacity of our organization: Our people are our greatest asset and we must invest in them.

Did you know? Capacity building helps an organization deliver on its mission over time, according to the National Council of Nonprofits, a resource and advocate for charitable nonprofits in the U.S. However, capacity building isn’t a one-time effort for short-term effectiveness, the council states. Instead, it is a strategy for continuous improvement. By building their own capacity, organizations can develop the competencies and skills they need to become sustainable – so they can continue to have a positive impact on the people and communities they serve.

ISU Extension and Outreach is a learning organization. We know we have to keep developing and honing our skills and abilities so we can continue to address Iowans’ changing needs. If we truly intend to build a strong Iowa, as we claim in our mission statement, we have to be ready, willing and able to do the work. The second goal in our 2017-2022 Extension and Outreach Strategic Plan is to build capacity for council members, faculty, staff and volunteers. It’s an appropriate goal because:

  • We believe in taking care of our own. We are committed to ongoing professional development for our council members, faculty, staff and volunteers.
  • We also want to encourage Iowans to join our ranks – whether as employees or council members, or in other volunteer roles.
  • And since none of us will be here forever, one of the crops we need to cultivate is the next generation of extension professionals.

ISU Extension and Outreach has a bright future. We are a dynamic organization of dedicated people who love the work they do. Our success isn’t based on any one individual, but rather, on what we can accomplish together. As our Annual Conference theme states, we are greater than me. And WE are Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

A few more notes

  • Make sure to review the March program update from the leadership team.
  • During ISU Day at the Capitol, we shared stories of Iowa State’s value and impact. Watch the video.
  • At last year’s Annual Conference, we kicked off the “GIVE mine to EIE” campaign for Excellence in Extension. By the end of 2017, we had raised more than $8,000. Our goal is to reach $12,000 by April 2018. You can contribute online any time. You also can donate at our 2018 Annual Conference and receive a “GIVE mine to EIE” button. Together we can reach the goal and support Excellence in Extension – another way we build our capacity.
  • Since March 12-16 is Iowa State’s spring break, you won’t get a message from me next Monday. Also, I will be away from the office for a few days recovering from surgery. Nothing major, in at 6 a.m. and out by 1 p.m., but a while to recover. Sometimes growing older isn’t much fun, but it beats the alternative. I’ll be back in your emailbox on Monday, March 19.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Interim Vice President for Extension and Outreach

And justice – and design – for all

John Lawrence’s message from Jan. 29, 2018

Check the fine print on ISU Extension and Outreach educational materials and you’ll find a nondiscrimination statement (also known as the justice statement). We include it because it’s required by federal regulation, but more important, we want our clients to know we’re committed to equal opportunity and equal access to our programs and activities. However, a statement in fine print is only a small first step. Now ISU Extension and Outreach is taking a giant leap forward to make sure our digital documents are available and accessible to all. Our clients may or may not have visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities; so we want to make sure our digital materials can be easily navigated and understood by everyone. And we’re committing $111,000 to the effort. Did you know?

  • Our learners are diverse. They vary in capabilities, needs and aspirations. Universal design considers their needs, respects their contributions and includes as many people as possible. Digital resources that incorporate universal design can be used by a wide spectrum of potential online visitors, rather than only by an ideal (and nonexistent) average user.
  • Extension Information Technology, Professional Development and Advancement are creating professional development opportunities to help staff learn how to make their digital documents accessible, whether they are sharing their documents on the Extension Store, on websites or via email. The team is working on a variety of formats, such as webinars, face-to-face and self-guided courses – because we’re not average users, either.
  • First, the team will work with staff who submit publications to the store in InDesign. Second, they’ll be hiring students to help remediate existing publications on the store. Third, they’ll help educate web content editors on Microsoft Office products and the accessibility needs related to the software. Finally, they’ll offer professional development to all ISU Extension and Outreach staff.
  • For more information on this Digital Universal Design Compliance Project, contact Robin Brekke in Professional Development, Kristi Elmore in Extension IT or Chris Johnsen with the Extension Store.

Our accessibility efforts aren’t limited to digital documents. We’re also working to improve the accessibility of our videos and webpages, as well as web conferences, live streaming events and online courses. Because when we design for all, we increase our chances of justice for all.

A couple more notes

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Interim Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Other duties as assigned

John Lawrence’s message from Oct. 23, 2017

About 100 office professionals representing all areas of ISU Extension and Outreach and from throughout the state will be coming to Ames later this week for the Office Professionals Conference. We are pleased to offer them this professional development opportunity.

“Office professional” must be one of the most far-ranging job categories we have in ISU Extension and Outreach. Did you know?

  • According to Human Resources Coordinator Kaela Black, job titles within the category include office assistant, office manager, bookkeeper and administrative assistant. You’ll also find secretaries, administrative specialists, account clerks and others.
  • Currently 147 county paid employees work in an office professional role throughout the state. Another 27 employees serve as office professionals on campus.
  • An office professional’s responsibilities may include answering client questions on the phone or face to face and maintaining payroll information and fiscal and other records. On any given day, these staff members may order supplies, organize volunteers, update databases or certify manure or pesticide applicators. Their work even may include occasional heavy lifting – of files, books, stacking chairs, meeting room tables and whatever else might need to be moved. (Then the rest of us expect them to know where everything is!)

And of course, office professionals have “other duties as assigned” as they work together with everyone else in the office to make sure that the people they serve have access to Iowa State’s research and resources. They are often the first contact between the public and ISU Extension and Outreach. We appreciate their skills, their professionalism and their commitment to Iowans. We can’t be a 99 county campus without them.

A couple more notes

  • We also appreciate our first cohort of mentors who took part in continuing professional development last week. While it is everyone’s responsibility to make our organization a rewarding and enjoyable place to work, these mentors will be guiding our new colleagues and helping them launch successful careers. They are committed to ensuring our culture continues in the next generation of ISU Extension and Outreach. Our second cohort of mentors will begin their training in our next Mentor Academy, Nov. 28-29.
  • The Epsilon Sigma Phi Annual Meeting is Oct. 26, 9-11 a.m. via Adobe Connect. ESP focuses on fostering excellence in the Cooperative Extension System and developing extension professionals. Annual ESP members have voting privileges, but all extension staff members are invited to attend and learn more about the organization.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Interim Vice President for Extension and Outreach

 

4-H, office professionals and ISUCEP

John Lawrence’s message from June 26, 2017

Iowa State is interviewing candidates for the Associate Provost of Academic Programs. Think of it as the leader of undergraduate curriculum and success. Much of the discussion with the candidates is about how to embed soft skills development into the undergraduate experience. Although our Cyclones are strong in their disciplines and well-versed in technology, they may be weak in communication skills. They may choose to text – even if the recipient is across the hall – or struggle to make eye contact, carry on a conversation or talk on the phone. If only these students had been in 4-H!

This week nearly 800 teenagers will converge on campus for the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference. They’ll be here for three days of speakers, dancing, workshops, community service learning and a banquet. Yes, they’ll be having fun, but they’ll be learning too, likely far more than they realize. Did you know?

  • Brenda Allen’s research with youth who participated in the 2014 conference showed that the conference enhances current 4-H’ers’ skills and experiences as they become involved beyond the local club or county. Youth increased their leadership, citizenship, communication and learning skills whether they were new to 4-H or an advanced member.
  • The conference also serves as an entry point into 4-H for youth who haven’t been involved in our programs.
  • In addition, Brenda’s research showed that the conference provides an unbiased educational opportunity for all of Iowa’s youth regardless of gender, residence or membership in 4-H.

These results didn’t happen by accident. Our 4-H Youth Development staff and the teens on the Iowa 4-H State Council are very intentional when planning the conference each year. As Iowa 4-H focuses on reversing the brain drain, improving college and career readiness, and closing the educational achievement and opportunity gap, the Iowa 4-H Conference is an effective way to address the learning needs of Iowa’s young people.

About Professional Development

In addition to professional skills in our youth program, we also address the learning needs of our own faculty, staff and councils. We have invested in our Professional Development unit, which is listening to needs and offering learning opportunities across the state and online. For example, the ISU Extension and Outreach Office Professionals Conference is scheduled for Oct. 26, 2017, on campus in Ames. We are pleased to offer this professional development opportunity for office professionals in all areas of ISU Extension and Outreach. We encourage county extension councils and their staff to support their office professionals’ participation in the conference.

In other professional development news, the Iowa State University Council of Extension Professionals board voted to dissolve the association. They made the decision because of changes in ISU Extension and Outreach that have occurred in the years since ISUCEP was established, including the creation of our Professional Development unit; modifications in staffing patterns within our organization; and regional and multi-region meetings that include professional development, social activities and informal networking. We thank the board and all those who have supported ISUCEP efforts to foster professional development among ISU Extension and Outreach faculty and staff.

One more thing: Lyn Brodersen Cochran has been named the next president of Scott Community College in the Quad Cities. Lyn has served as assistant vice president for organizational development with ISU Extension and Outreach since 2013 and helped launch our Professional Development unit. Her last day with Iowa State will be July 7. She will begin her new position Aug. 1. Congratulations, Lyn!

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Interim Vice President for Extension and Outreach

New staff, mentoring and CED

John Lawrence’s Monday Message from May 1, 2017

Well, these few weeks of “acting” are over. It seems the Iowa State powers that be haven’t changed their minds, because I’m “interim” now. And that’s OK. I’ve always seen myself as a utility infielder for ISU Extension and Outreach. Whatever job needs to be done, I try to step up and help. I enjoy the opportunity to work with great faculty, staff and councils. And it’s truly an honor to help shape our next generation of extension professionals. I’m looking forward to New Staff Orientation on Thursday.

Did you know?

  • After our 2011 leadership summit, we started paying closer attention to how we introduce new staff to ISU Extension and Outreach. We formalized orientation and created an onboarding checklist for everyone – campus, field and county.
  • We now conduct New Staff Orientation twice a year, in spring and fall.
  • We’ll welcome 32 staff during New Staff Orientation on May 4.
  • It’s a full agenda with overviews on our structure, program areas, advancement, conference planning and management, the Iowa Extension Council Association, and respect in the workplace.

Another essential part of bringing new staff up to speed in our organization is mentoring – how we experienced extension professionals welcome, coach and shepherd our new colleagues. Having an engaged mentor can make a real difference in the success of a new hire and ultimately our organization. Without an engaged mentor we run the risk of the “tragedy of the commons”: It is everyone’s responsibility, therefore someone else will take care of it. Wrong. While it is everyone’s responsibility to make ISU Extension and Outreach a rewarding and enjoyable place to work, it is the mentors’ responsibility to shepherd our new colleagues through our system and culture, and to help them launch a successful career. The Mentor Academy led by our Professional Development unit equips our folks to be good mentors and to build great colleagues.

I also have an update on the Community and Economic Development director search: The search committee has named a finalist for the position of Associate or Full Professor – Director of ISU Extension and Outreach Program to Communities and Economic Development; Associate Director of the Institute for Design Research and Outreach; and Director of Design Extension. That candidate is Gary D. Taylor, current interim director for CED and an associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Community and Regional Planning. You can learn about his interests and qualifications for the position during a public forum May 15 at 2:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Gold Room. You also can participate via webinar. Information about Gary’s background is available on our Human Resources website.

Our people are our greatest asset and, as with any valuable asset, we must invest in them. Whether you are new staff or more seasoned, I hope that you all are proud of what you do, that you are supported in a way that you can do your job effectively, and that you are valued and appreciated by the people you work with and those you serve. Together we help Iowans identify needs, seek opportunities and achieve their fullest potential. We are the trusted source of unbiased information to help Iowans make better decisions to improve their lives and their communities for a strong Iowa. We are Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Interim Vice President for Extension and Outreach

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