News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Feb. 1, 2011


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 Alumni Association honors Schaefer, Hawkins with Geyer Public Service Awards

The Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) awarded the 2010 Geyer Public Service Awards to Missouri state Sen. Kurt Schaefer and Shelbina businessman Sam Hawkins for their efforts on supporting higher education public policy.

The MAA’s Legislative Network Committee annually presents the awards to one state-elected official and one citizen who exemplify the dedication and spirit of Henry S. Geyer. A former state representative, Geyer believed education was the key to progress and prosperity in Missouri and introduced a bill to establish the University of Missouri in 1839. 

“The 2010 Geyer Award recipients have made a tremendous impact on higher education in Missouri,” said Wally Pfeffer, chair of the MAA’s Legislative Network Committee. “Both of these recipients exemplify commitment to higher education and their efforts are very meaningful to the future of higher education in our state.”

Schaefer was elected to the Missouri Senate in 2008, representing the citizens of the 19th senatorial district. Schaefer has been a proponent of higher education in the state legislature and currently serves as chair of the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee.

Hawkins has been a small-business owner in Missouri for more than 30 years. Hawkins is known for his unwavering commitment to MU’s land-grant mission, serving on the MU Extension statewide council and educating state leaders on the needs of higher education. Hawkins has a deserved reputation for his ability to communicate with legislators, county commissioners and other interested parties about the value and importance of University of Missouri Extension programs.


Owens appointed UM interim president

Stephen J. Owens was appointed interim president by the board of curators Jan. 7, following the resignation of University of Missouri System President Gary D. Forsee.

Owens, who previously served as the university's general counsel, will provide interim leadership for the university system until the search for a new president concludes. During this transition, Owens will work closely with other university general officers, including chancellors of the four campuses, to continue pursuing the priorities and initiatives outlined by Forsee and approved by the curators.

Before coming to the university, Owens was engaged in private legal practice for 26 years with Kansas City law firm of Stinson Morrison Hecker, LLP. His practice emphasized business litigation, collegiate sports law, contracts and administrative law. Additionally, he served as the firm's hiring chairman; member of the firm's board of directors and its executive committee; and as chairman of the firm's business litigation division and its class action and complex litigation division. Prior to joining the firm, Owens served as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. William R. Collinson, U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Missouri.

Owens received his bachelor's degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his J.D. from the Wake Forest University School of Law.


Congratulation to Beverly Maltsberger

Earlier this month Karma Metzgar, Beverly Coberly and Michael Ouart presented a 35-year length of service award to Beverly Maltsberger, NW Region community development specialist.


Leuci recognized by Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Mary LeuciMary Simon Leuci, University of Missouri Extension community development program director and assistant dean in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, was honored recently for completing a two-year fellowship with the Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI), a top-tier leadership development program for academia, industry and government.

Leuci was one of 21 fellows recognized at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in Dallas.

“FSLI gave me a good grasp of the depth and breadth of issues involved in understanding our complex food, fuel and natural resources systems and how the University of Missouri plays a key role in addressing the future,” Leuci said. “I also gained new insights and tools as a leader in a land-grant university.”

Through a demanding curriculum that includes three executive-style residential sessions, executive coaching, mentoring and personal projects, the FSLI seeks to enhance personal leadership ability, develop skills and knowledge for organizational change, and broaden perspectives on integrated food systems.

Leuci is a co-founder of MU Extension’s Community Development Academy, which provides high-quality community development education through courses that explore ideas and develop practical skills for effectively involving and empowering local citizens and leaders in community-based efforts.

At MU, Leuci has actively contributed to the development of community planning and organizational processes, rural development and the improvement of rural health care, community economic development, community emergency management, fostering regional and community food systems and international community-development education opportunities.

FSLI, based at the University of North Carolina, is a program of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.


Please complete county newsletter and social media questionnaire

MU Extension's publishing, marketing and technology units have had various requests related to providing support for newsletters. To provide a better perspective on what would be most helpful statewide, please complete the questionnaire linked below if you haven’t completed it already. The survey will close Feb. 11.

“We would especially like to hear from faculty and staff who edit, write or produce newsletters or use blogs or social media to serve their clientele,” said George Laur, director, extension and agriculture information. “We will use the results to plan ways to help you more efficiently deliver information to your clientele while building support for MU Extension programs at all levels.” Should you have any questions about this questionnaire, contact George at

Take the survey here:


Video stories available

The Cooperative Media Group produces about 40 video news stories each year. CMG has posted many of the 2009-10 stories on the share drive where you can download to your iPhone.  You can also play the files on your laptop with QuickTime.  This is an opportunity to share extension stories with your stakeholders.

Download videos here: S:\UMSystem\Coop Media\Smart Phone Files.


Social Security changes

The Tax Relief Act of 2010 was signed into law Dec. 17 and went into effect Jan. 1. This act lowers the amount of Social Security taxes that employees must pay in 2011.  The Social Security rate went from 6.2 to 4.2 percent.  This amount shows as: Fed OASDI/EE” on your detailed earnings statement.  Since this is collected (deducted) from your check, the change will affect your net pay for 2011, allowing you to keep an additional 2percent. 

If you are paid monthly, you will see the change starting with your Jan. 31 check.

If you are paid biweekly, you will see the change starting with your Feb. 2 check.  In addition, a refund for the difference from your Jan. 5 and Jan. 19 checks will be applied to your Feb. 2 check.


Upcoming events

Don't forget to register for Legislative Day

The annual MU Alumni Alliance Legislative Day will be held on Thursday, Feb. 24, in Jefferson City. UMEA is proud to partner with the State Extension Council to coordinate MU Extension's participation in the event. Extension has set a goal of 500 participants for this year's event, so start visiting with extension council members and supporters to arrange their attendance.  Everyone may register at

An ISE, "The State Budget Picture and MU Extension's Focus on Jobs," will be held for faculty and staff.  ISE registration is through WebApps. If you have questions, please contact Bob McNary, UMEA's Legislative Day chair, at


 NEP spring seminars

The Nutrition and Exercise Physiology Spring Seminars series for 2011 has been finalized, according to Steve Ball, extension nutrition and exercise physiology specialist. The NEP seminars are held in Acuff Auditorium on Thursday afternoons, 4-5 p.m.

“The spring series includes a variety of pertinent and timely topics that should be of interest to both field and campus faculty,” says Ball. “We plan to have the following seminars recorded and made available online.”

Feb. 3 - The role of dietary protein on body composition and metabolic health throughout the life cycle

Feb. 24 - Diabetes Self-management:  Technology to Go

 March 3 - Functional Foods:  Are they nutritionally effective or just enriching food companies?

 March 10 - Brief Interventions to Increase Physical Activity among College Students

 April 7 - Nutrition and chronic diseases:  Current knowledge and future directions for research

April 21 - Obesity in the USA -Time for a Gut Check

A complete list of seminar topics is available online at


10th annual 4-H Day with the St. Louis Cardinals

University of Missouri Extension faculty and staff members are invited to join Missouri and Illinois 4-H members, parents, volunteers and alumni at the 10th annual 4-H Day with the Cardinals, Saturday, May 7. The Cardinals will be playing the Milwaukee Brewers in a 3:10 p.m. game.  Tickets for the game will be $24 each, which includes a specially designed T-shirt featuring the 4-H Clover on the back and the Cardinals emblem on the front.

4-H Day with the Cardinals participants will have the opportunity to participate in a parade around the Busch Stadium outfield.  Families can also take part in a raffle for great prizes including the autographed baseballs and tickets to Cardinals games.  Pre-game ceremonies will include a recitation of the 4-H pledge and ceremonial first pitches by an Illinois and Missouri 4-H member.

Ticket order forms are available  Ticket orders must be postmarked by March 28.  Tickets usually sell out before the order deadline so order early.  Staff who would like to be seated together must send their orders in the same envelope.

Contact Dave Hileman, 4-H youth development specialist, for more information.


Coming and going

It's a BOY!

Congratulations to Jessica Trussell, human development and family studies specialist in Livingston County, on the birth of Keaton Lee Trussell on Jan 27. Keaton was 8 pounds, 15 ounces and 20.5 inches. Mom is doing well.  “Thanks so much for all of the thoughts and prayers as we have been blessed with a healthy baby," Jessica says.

Cards can be sent to:

Jessica, Matt, Ian and Keaton Trussell
305 Hillcrest Street
Chillicothe, MO  64601


Welcome back

Welcome back, Soneeta Grogan, NE regional director, who returned from medical leave on Jan. 18. Don Nicholson has returned to his 4-H specialist position.  “Many thanks to Don for managing the day to day RD responsibilities while I was on leave,” said Grogan.


Please welcome

Jessica Hartman, extension associate, Ag Ext-Plant Sciences/CE.

Joanne Heisler¸ coordinator, Continuing Education.

Chris Merritt, nutrition and health education specialist, Warren County.

Bethany Schindler, nutrition and health education specialist, Phelps County.

Christeena Haynes, nutrition and health education specialist, Dallas County.

Jody LeMaster, extension program associate, Taney County.

Shatomi Luster, family financial education specialist, Jackson County.


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.