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Thoughts to Ponder

Issue 5/13/04

Jo Britt-Rankin, M.S., Ph.D., Associate Dean, University of Missouri Extension  britt-rankinj@missouri.edu

Good afternoon . . .

I wanted to share a few items with you before you all join us next week in Columbia. I do hope next week we see the sun shine as all of you arrive. The past few days have been gray and overcast, but that is to change this weekend.

Spring is Upon Us . . .
It is warming each day and the flowers are blooming. We have had moisture here in central Missouri so everything is a lush green. I do enjoy this time of year. It is a time of renewal and hopefully each of you have had time to renew your spring spirit. I am currently looking ahead to next week's Annual Conference and the opportunity to see each of you. It is very busy here in preparation for all of the events. Let me share some of what you will be enjoying next week.

Annual Conference . . .
By now, each of you should have received your confirmation to Annual Conference. We will all gather Tuesday morning at Hearnes. Jo Turner is chairing this year's event and she is really excited. She has all of us on the committee getting energized and wants this event to be exciting and new. Be prepared for a very different annual conference than we have had in the past. Jo has shaken things us and I think we have lots to look forward to. Tom Henderson will address the faculty at this time.

Tuesday afternoon at 2 we will gather at the Jesse Wrench Auditorium in Memorial Union for our HES Awards ceremony. Many of you will be honored for the outstanding work you have been doing. However, I will guarantee you that no one will leave empty handed. At this session you will also receive a detailed agenda for the HES portion of the conference.

Tuesday evening we will gather again at Hearnes. Dinner will be served from 5:30-6:45. It will be an informal affair with several "themed" stations around the room. You are encouraged to visit the various stations and try different foods. At 7:00, President Floyd will address the group followed by cake and ice cream celebrating the 90th birthday of Extension.

Wednesday we will be in our PIEs all day followed by dinners within our departments that evening. I know your dinner hosts and PIE presenters are rapidly preparing.

Thursday morning we will gather in Jesse Wrench Auditorium again to hear two great presentations about how to energize our programs. Jana Hawley, TAM Extension, and Sinara O'Donnell will be our speakers. After the presentations, we will adjourn to Jesse Hall for the closing awards presentation and to hear Provost Deaton speak. At the closing of the event, we will have lunch on your own and association meetings.

Tuesday when you arrive at Memorial Union you will receive a detailed agenda for the HES track. We have lots of fun things planned so come prepared to enjoy a great 3 days.

I would also ask that you take time to thank everyone who has helped in the planning of this event. Two people that I wish to recognize from HES are Sue Andrews and Vicki Foley. They have been my detail people on this event and I cannot thank them enough.

Transition News. . .
We are always in a state of change. Since January 1, Extension has been in transition and moving forward. I want to tell you that I feel HES is poising itself for the future and our future is bright. I have been thankful for the great support Tom has given our program. I have met with him frequently in the recent months and shared with him what our program is doing statewide. I will share more of that with you on Tuesday.

As a part of transition, I am happy to announce that we have approval to rename Nutrition Specialists to Nutrition & Health Education Specialists. This is actually returning to a formerly used title, but it is felt to be more descriptive of the job they are currently doing. This change will be occurring soon and so you may begin using the new title now. Thanks go to Rhonda Gibler for assisting in this process.

HES has filled one of the four positions advertised recently. We have an internal transfer to Barton County. The positions in Scotland, Camden, and Nodaway remain open and Nancy Flood is working with me and each RD to explore new options for recruiting persons to these positions.

As for campus positions, we have no open searches at this time, but I am pleased to announce that we have been approved to hire Sandra Huston, CFE Assistant Professor and State Specialist for a two-month summer appointment for 2004. Sandra came to us in August 2003 and we are very excited that we could offer Sandra a summer appointment for 2004. We felt this was an important appointment to continue some of the program activities that have been on-going.

More to Come . . .
I know there are many other items that I could share, but I do want to keep some of the items for next week. I do hope you are excited about coming to Annual Conference. We have not held such an event for 3 years and I feel it is good to see it return. I look forward to seeing each of you soon.

 

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