News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Dec. 1, 2010


In the news

Upcoming events

Coming and going


MU Extension Insider is published on the first and 15th of the month. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news

MU scientists develop faster salmonella test

Food scientists at the University of Missouri have created a faster and more accurate test to identify salmonella-contaminated poultry and eggs. Kent Faddis reports.

Learn more in the news release from Roger Meissen.


Learning how plants protect themselves from disease

Plants and disease organisms are locked in an ever-escalating arms race. Winners thrive, losers struggle. Plants have an immune system that responds to disease by creating resistance proteins. Think of them as little soldiers that mobilize to repel invaders. Sometimes, however, a plant's immune system can overreact. Thanks to a University of Missouri researcher, we are one step closer to understanding how plants regulate their immune system. Debbie Johnson reports.

See also: related news release.


Mike Alden and team visit NE extension centers


From left to right: Brad Ekwerekwu, MU Athletics; Jon Dwiggins, Macon County commissioner; Chris Shoemaker, business development specialist; Russ Grant, extension council treasurer; Drew Belt, Macon County commissioner; Lindsey Hunter, MU Athletics; Carla Grant, extension council member; Jane Hunter, human development specialist; Stan Grant, extension council member; Melinda Masten, extension council chair; Cinda Burton, Macon County secretary; and Mike Alden, director of MU Athletics

Mike Alden,  Josh Murray  and two former MU athletes, Brad Ekwerekwu (football) and Lindsey Hunter (volleyball), stopped by the Macon County Extension Center on Monday, reports Jane Hunter

"They met with several MU supporters including county commissioners, extension council members, Chris Shoemaker and myself," she said. " It was a great visit!  Their purpose was to visit county extension centers, thank us for our support of the university and share the latest on the athletics programs at MU." 

They also visited extension offices in Memphis, Edina, Shelbyville and Paris.

"Mizzou fans are far and wide and Macon County has its fair share!" Hunter added. "It’s wonderful being part of a great team!"


Update your address

It’s getting close to the end of the tax year and all employees should verify or update their addresses at This will help ensure correct delivery of W-2 forms next January. Addresses should be updated no later than Dec. 31.

The "HOME" address is where W-2 forms will be mailed unless a "MAILING" address is provided. For example, if a student provides the following addresses, the W-2 will be sent to the Kansas address.

123 Providence 123 Quivira
Columbia, MO Overland Park, KS

Reprints of W-2s cannot be processed until the middle of February (a date determined by the UM System payroll office). Reminding employees to update their address will help reduce the need for reprints.


National Council on Family Relations award

David Schramm, assistant professor and state specialist for Human Environmental Sciences, received the 2010 Early Career Achievement Award from the National Council on Family Relations. This highly competitive national award honors a cooperative extension state specialist in family life and human development who has made a significant impact in the field within the first seven years of his or her career. Schramm’s areas of research include remarriages and stepfamilies, relationship and marriage education, transition to marriage and newlywed years, and economic consequences of divorce.


OSEDA participates in Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure


Pictured left to right in front row: Diana Hammond, Cindi Kelly, Billy Moore, John Blodgett.
Back row: Sharon Schattgen, Faustine Williams, Matt Kelly, Amber Moodle Dyer, Bill Elder and Fred Raithel. Not pictured: Kim Keller. John Hagar donated his time as photographer

On a rainy Sunday morning, members of the Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis (OSEDA) participated in the Susan G. Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure. They were racing to support co-worker Susan Tharp, who is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Tharp said, "The support I have received from OSEDA has been extraordinary and it means a great deal to me." Money raised will go for education, screening and assistance.


Morgan County 4-H receives donation

Mary Anne Patten, 4-H youth specialist in Morgan and Moniteau counties, is excited to report that the Morgan County 4-H program has received another $10,000 donation from the Albers Kuhn Family Foundation.  This gift will provide scholarships for members to attend 4-H camp and other state events that provide quality leadership and learning experiences. This contribution will also help furnish kits for the robotics project and fund additional Kids in the Kitchen programs. Other programs and events are being planned to benefit Morgan County 4-H members.


PowerPoint pointers

Winter meeting season often calls for a big usage of slides. Before showing your slides in public, preview them in private, suggests Duane Dailey, former MU Extension visual aids specialist. Looking at PowerPoint slides on a computer screen can mislead. Set up a projector and review slides in a "typical" meeting room. (The typical room will have some lights on.)

Stand in the back of the classroom and read content off the screen.  Are you having trouble reading the visuals? Try cutting verbiage and using larger type. That is a useful first step. Make key points large enough to be read by the old guy who didn’t bring his glasses to the meeting.

A first clue of a poor PowerPoint presentation is the need to turn your back on the audience and read out loud the message off the screen for those who can’t read slides.

Make the take-home message concise enough for the audience to remember until they get home and apply it. That’s education.


Upcoming events

2011 Winter Fire School, Feb. 4-6

The University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute's (MU FRTI) Winter Fire School is the premier annual fire service event and plays host to the largest gathering of emergency professionals in Missouri. Covering the issues and challenges that are critical to all emergency services, Winter Fire School provides in-depth workshops and courses for individuals in their profession.

The Winter Fire School's world-class exhibition will be held at the Holiday Inn Select Expo Center. More than 100 exhibits of the latest emergency-response products, services, technologies and solutions will be on display. Get your questions answered by professionals on apparatus, turnout gear, extrication tools and much more.

Focus on webcasting
MU FRTI will be offering three online webcasts. These workshops are available both online and in person. If you are unable to travel to the MU campus for the 30th annual Winter Fire School, you can still participate in these learning opportunities from home.

Online workshops are just one more way you can extend your training and expand your knowledge at Winter Fire School.  If you have a high-speed Internet connection and Windows Media Player, you will be able to participate in these workshops online.

To access the 2011 Winter Fire School online, go to the MU FRTI website and select the "Fire School" link. From there you will be able to view the entire brochure online or download a PDF copy.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Ann Marie Amrhein, administrative assistant, statewide administration.

Sandra Williford, nutrition program associate, SE family nutrition program.

Rachel Martin, nutrition program assistant, SE family nutrition program.

Sukanya Dutta-White, editorial assistant II, Center for Independent Study/CE.

Deborah Haskamp, administrative assistant, conference office/CE.

Don Nicholson, 4-H youth development specialist, Marion County, was appointed interim regional director, effective Nov. 19, for the Northeast Region. Don will oversee the day-to-day operations of the region while Soneeta Grogan, NE regional director, is home recovering from surgery.    Don’s leadership efforts and his programmatic experiences in MU Extension were factors used to identify him for this role. Don’s willingness to accept this short-term appointment is greatly appreciated.


Saying goodbye

Dolores Shearon, director of marketing, is leaving MU after more than 23 years of service, including 12 1/2 years with MU Extension. Her last day will be Dec. 15. All are invited to a farewell reception 2–4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 10 in 203 Whitten Hall.


Our sympathy goes to:

Joan Hickman, retired 4-H youth specialist, and former MU curator Ed Turner, whose mother, Nellie Mable Turner, passed away on Nov. 16.

Becky Tipton, Sullivan County youth program assistant, whose stepfather passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 17.

The family of Laurel Anderson, retired MU Extension agronomist/weed specialist, who passed away Nov. 24.

Rob Mize, TV and film producer, Cooperative Media Group, whose stepmother, Barbara Mize of Valdosta, Ga., passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 18.


Get well soon

Leanne Spengler, human development specialist based in Pike County, will be away from work and undergoing treatment for the next few weeks.  Cards and letters can be sent to P.O. Box 43, Bowling Green, Mo. 63334.


If you have items to include in future issues, please send them to Karen Dickey or Curt Wohleber in the Cooperative Media Group. If you have questions, contact Mark Stillwell, CMG interim director.