News for employees

MU Extension Insider
January 1, 2012


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

Comforting kids one case at a time

In the midst of the holiday season, the spirit of giving is all around. Nine-year-old Averee Hooper decided to make her season of giving a yearlong project, using her sewing skills to help kids with cancer. Video produced by Kent Faddis.

Printed story written by Shannon Yokely.


Spirit Spark!

Hello Extension Family and welcome to "Spirit Spark!" Spirit Spark is the brainchild of self-directed-work-team Team Spirit and will highlight some of the many positive happenings throughout MU Extension. Team Spirit is a diverse group representing nearly every discipline in MU Extension and ranges from seasoned specialists on down to the rookie. The mission of Team Spirit is "To strive toward establishing an organization where employees are valued, recognized, have flexibility and work in a positive encouraging environment."

So what do you do that creates a positive work environment? The Buchanan County office is home to the "insta-party." At random, someone from the office will bring in a sweet treat and everyone in the office gathers in the conference room to catch up on what's going on with their colleagues both personally and professionally. If your office does something fun and creative to liven up your workplace, or come together as a group to help out in your community, we want your stories. Spirit Spark won't always be about fun and games. We hope to stimulate intelligent discussions to assist in professional growth too. Look for more information about the Quarterly Colleague Connection in next month's column!

We at Team Spirit look forward to bringing you monthly stories of fun, inspiring intelligent conversations, and relevant information that will be of benefit to all Extension personnel.

Send your Spirit Spark Story ideas to the e-mail group "MU EXT TeamSpirit".


Mach elected NC Regional Director for NAE4-HA

Margaret “Meg” Sage Mach, 4-H youth specialist in Jackson County, was elected as the North Central Regional Director for National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA).  Mach will serve on the NAE4-HA Board for the next two years as a link between the membership and the National Board.

Meg has been a member of NAE4-HA for 11 years. She has been actively engaged in state and national professional associations throughout her seven year extension career.  She has just completed a two year term as chair of the Urban Programming Taskforce. 


Use your best writing on e-mail subject lines

Writing tip from Duane Dailey

Make your e-mail subject lines the catchiest and most informative few words you write. For most, the subject lines are abused and not well used.

For many readers, the subject may be the only thing they read of your hoped-for communications.

Make those few words pay off. Strive to entice people to click your message first. You compete for attention.

Think of subject lines as story headlines. Give needed information. Use of standing label heads allows people to assume they know what you sent in this message: The same old boring stuff.

Instead of writing “Staff meeting,” include the news: “Staff meeting changed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.” Or a startling: “Staff meeting cut to half an hour.”

If the message grows with back-and-forth responses, change the subject line when subject matter changes. After three or four volleys, an addendum may be needed.

An editor I know uses “Hello” on too many messages. That’s no help later in trying to find the e-mail with the new story deadline.

Ask yourself: What are the key words in this e-mail? Then work them into the subject line.

Bonus tip: Use caution in hitting “reply all.”


Upcoming events

Winter Fire School Highlights Response to Joplin Tornado

The local response to the deadliest tornado to hit the United States since 1947 is one of the topics at the MU FTRI 2012 Winter Fire School Feb. 10-12, 2012.

The 2011 Joplin Tornado was a devastating EF-5, multiple-vortex tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, late in the afternoon of Sunday, May 22, 2011. It was part of a larger late May tornado outbreak sequence and reached a maximum width in excess of 1 mile during its path through the southern part of the city. It rapidly intensified and tracked eastward across the city. It ranks as one of Missouri's and America's deadliest tornadoes and is likely to be the costliest. It is also only the second F-5 or EF-5 tornado in Missouri history dating back to 1950.

The presentation will be available as a webcast! Click Here. Please share this information with your local CEMP teams.


Apply now: 2012 Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Awards

Nominations are being accepted through February 3, 2012 for the 2012 Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Awards.

These awards will be presented during the annual Staff Recognition Awards Ceremony on Monday, May 14, 2012.

Please take a few minutes to nominate one of the many deserving staff here at the University of Missouri for one of these prestigious awards. A total of seven awards will be presented:

Please visit the Staff Advisory Council's website where you will find links to each nomination form with the award description and detailed qualifications for each award. Please call the Council office at 882-4269 for additional information or to have hard copies mailed to you. Volunteers will be needed to assist with the award selection process - if interested, please email no later than February 3rd, 2012.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Joyce Pyles, administrative assistant, Reynolds County.

Stephanie Schindler, 4-H youth specialist, St. Francois County.

Holly Records, master gardener horticulturist educator, St. Louis County.

Randi Williams, office support staff III, SW-Family Nutrition Program.

Wyatt Miller, administrative professional, SW-Agricluture Natural Resources.



Charles Pace, computing support staff, SC-TCRC-Salem



Holly Baxley, office manager, Worth County resigned.


New arrivals

Congratulations to Kelly Younger, NPA in Shannon County for the birth of her twins Weston Isaac, 5 lb. 15 oz. and Hadley Jo, 4 lb. 12 oz.   Grandmother Camelia Younger, county program director, Texas and Shannon Counties is bursting with pride.



Our sympathy goes to:

Jeff Barber’s whose father, Ray Barber, passed away on Monday, December 26 in Champaign-Urbana, IL.  Cards may be sent to Jeff and Anissa Barber and family at 746 S. Weller, Springfield, MO 65802.


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.