News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Feb. 10, 2015


In the news

Dates to remember

Coming and going


MU Extension Insider is published on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month by MU Extension Communications and Marketing. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news

A new kind of love: Living apart together

Does absence make the heart grow fonder?

"Extension on the Go" podcast by Debbie Johnson. Episode 123: Living Apart, Together
A growing number of adults are in committed relationships but live apart, says extension gerontology specialist Jacquelyn Benson. Read more.


Jefferson City event honors 19 BDP clients


State Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, presents a legislative resolution to MU Extension Business Development Program client John Smallwood, center, Feb. 4 at the Capitol. Smallwood, owner of STI Technology Solutions in Jefferson City, is a client of BDP specialist Chris Thompson, right. The presentation was part of a ceremony honoring 19 BDP clients from around the state for excellence in business. This year’s honorees included firms in construction, logistics, cybersecurity, architecture, telecommunications, recycling, manufacturing, food distribution and agriculture.


Train your mind to lead

From Vera Massey, NE Region nutrition and health education specialist

We are all leaders.  Yes, every one of us is a leader.  That’s because a leader is anyone who is in a position to influence another person.  So each of us is leading in many aspects of our lives: with our extension work, with our family, with our community.  As leaders, we want to make a difference for those around us and for ourselves.

So how’s your “leading” going these days?  

Being an effective leader isn’t easy.  With all the stress and ongoing distractions in our lives, we can find ourselves unable to focus and overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.  This can lead us down the path to worrying, judging, blaming, gossiping and other negative reactions.  We often operate on autopilot and can end up in a mindless, unconscious mode of living and leading. 

One of the keys to effective leadership is being mindful.  Mindfulness helps train the mind to notice the way things are without being hijacked by your thoughts and feelings.  Think of mindfulness as strength training for the brain.  Research has shown that incorporating mindfulness skills into our daily lives can improve awareness and focus, optimize effectiveness and decision-making, improve creativity and allow us to better manage stress. 

Over the past several months, a small team—Vera Massey, nutrition and health education specialist, NE Region; Nellie Lamers, family financial education specialist, SW Region; and Linda Rellergert, nutrition and health education specialist, Urban Region—has been exploring mindful leadership and ways to share information and resources on this topic with others.  In the coming months you will see more about articles about mindful leadership in the Insider.


Where is my W-2?

From Diane Dews, extension payroll and benefits specialist

There are two ways that your W-2 can be delivered.  The first is through myHR.  If you consented in myHR to access your W-2 electronically before Dec. 31, 2014, you now have access to print your W-2 in myHR at  (Path: Main Menu > Self Service > Payroll and Compensation > View Your W2 Form).  If you did not consent, the W-2 has been mailed to you, and you should receive that by Feb. 14.  If you do not receive the W-2 in the mail, reprints will not be issued.  Instead, after March 2 all employees will have access to their W-2 through myHR.

Former employees have the same options.   Those who do not know their user ID and/or password can ask the help desk to reset that.  The help desk phone number is 573-882-5000.

All employees have access to the electronic W-2 after March 2, regardless of their decision to consent or not.  Employees are encouraged to consent to have the W-2 available electronically for future years.  There are several advantages to this.  First, employees have much quicker access to their W-2.  Second, the W-2 is more secure in a password/vault-protected environment than in an unattended mailbox.

Happy filing!


Program Integration news

Educational Attainment team presents update

Facilitator Melissa Bess and fellow members of the Educational Attainment thematic team presented an update to the Program Integration Committee on Feb. 2. The team discussed current and ongoing projects, which include a Legislative Day ISE; updates on the mobile website; updates on the mini-law school; and updates on online learning. A recording of the Adobe Connect meeting is available.

Thematic teams seek new members

Global Food Systems

The Global Food Systems thematic team has openings for two enthusiastic individuals who want to make a difference.

A desire to address organizational change is a must.  The team is seeking members with skills and knowledge in communications and/or marketing, production agriculture and consumer markets, as well as interests in agriculture and food.  For more information, contact Crystal Weber at 816-407-3497 or

Health Systems

The Health Systems team is seeking candidates interested in becoming team members. The team would prefer someone in the area of family finance and/or business at this time, but will consider all candidates.

Tentative time commitment: monthly team meetings, typically 90 minutes long, via Adobe Connect, Lync or phone, and quarterly face-to-face meetings at various locations across the state.

If you are interested, please send your resume, vitae or dossier to Linda Morgan, Health Systems team facilitator, at or Dexter FNEP office, 1723 West Business Highway 60, Suite 3, Dexter, MO 63841.


Get your free screening

Take 20 minutes out of your day to check your health. A health screening helps you understand your risk for conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Plus, as part of the 2015 Wellness Incentive, it helps eligible faculty and staff earn $450 in their paycheck!*

You can schedule a health screening with your health care provider or sign up for a free on-campus health screening. Sign up by logging into the Wellness Portal, hosted by Cerner.

All university faculty and staff are welcome. More details are available on the biometric health screening Web page, including a list of dates and locations on your campus, as well as other screening options if you don't want to get one on campus. Biometric health screening information is stored in a third-party data system maintained by Cerner Corp. and protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Read the Notice of Privacy Practices for details.

*Any university faculty and staff member may participate in incentive activities, but only those employees who pay premiums for a University of Missouri medical insurance plan can earn the $450. Incentive earnings are taxed.


RDs, PDs, CEDs meet with eXtension director

Elbert Dickey, eXtension interim executive director, met with MU Extension program directors, regional directors and continuing education directors Feb. 10 to talk about eXtension’s new direction. A recording will be uploaded for faculty and staff to view. Check back later today for the link.


Linville accepted into Food Systems Leadership Institute

LinvilleIna Metzger Linville, 4-H state program director, has been accepted into the Food Systems Leadership Institute, a top-tier leadership development program for academia, industry and government.

During the two-year program, Linville will work with expert instructors, leadership development coaches and a mentor, as well as meet with leaders of universities and university systems, political leaders and others. The program combines leadership theory with practical experience, often in the context of food systems and higher education.

 “We live in a global society and it will nice to challenge myself over the next two years to explore how we can connect youth to careers in food and fiber in the global economy,” Linville said.

Read more.


Nominations sought for 2015 Ratchford Memorial Fellowship

Members of the university community are invited to submit nominations for the 2015 C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship. Nominations are due March 2.

The $5,000 award is given annually at a meeting of the UM Board of Curators to a university faculty member who makes significant contributions to the land-grant mission in extension, international education or agricultural economics programming. The winner of the 2014 award was Dave Patterson, state beef extension specialist and professor of animal science, in recognition of his effective leadership in extending university resources to the community.

For more information and a complete list of former winners, many from MU Extension, visit


eEVR is coming

The semiannual electronic Effort Verification Report (eEVR) process is quickly approaching, says Amy Rosson, MU Extension grants and contracts coordinator.

EVRs are certifications used by the university to document effort for employees paid directly by a grant, have salary committed as cost share on a grant, or are paid from federal appropriation funds. EVR forms for July 1-Dec. 31, 2014, will be emailed to employees on the morning of Feb. 11.

“At this time, we anticipate the completed eEVRs will need to be certified by Feb. 25,” says Rosson. “The actual deadline will be communicated when the eEVR email is distributed.”

Your efforts to get these reports returned promptly are appreciated. Questions about eEVR certifications can be sent to in the administrative management office.


Dates to remember

Community development training this March

Join the Community Development Program’s Community Development Academy, March 23-27. These intensive five-day courses enhance your ability to work effectively with a wide array of community issues. Take for professional development (CEUs), three hours undergraduate credit, graduate credit or noncredit. Graduate students can work toward a Certificate in Community Process.

Course 1: Building Communities from the Grassroots (7341/4341) and Course 2: Empowering Communities for the Future (7342/4342) will be held at The Elms in Excelsior Springs. Register at


Retiree listening tour

Are you retiring soon? Representatives from UM Human Resources are traveling across the state in February and March on a listening tour to hear from current and soon-to-be retirees about their medical insurance.

Meetings, which will be conducted by Betsy Rodriguez, vice president of human resources, and Kelley Stuck, associate vice president of human resources, will last about an hour. To keep things conversational, space will be limited at each meeting, so please reserve a spot in advance.

To find and register for a meeting near you, go to


Fee-generation workshops

Workshops have been scheduled to explain additional functions and updates to the Fee-generation Worksheet-Online Tool. Register through ISE up to one week before the workshop. Sessions that do not have at least four registrants will be canceled and registrants will be asked to choose an alternative date.

Feb. 19 2-3 p.m.
March 18 10-11 a.m.
April 16 2-3 p.m.
May 20 10-11 a.m.
June 18 2-3 p.m.
July 16 10-11 a.m.
Aug. 20 2-3 p.m.


Other dates to remember

Feb.-May: In-person Title IX reporter training. For more information, see the schedule of on-campus and regional trainings and the registration form.

Feb. 11, noon-12:45 p.m.: ESP Global Connections webinar. Crystal Weber, “From the Velvet Revolution to the Silk Road: Food and agriculture as a tool of international understanding.” To attend, register in WebApps.

Feb. 25: Legislative Day. Register for Legislative Day ISE by Feb. 18 through WebApps.

March 1: Nomination deadline for Quarterly Teamwork Award.

March 2: Nomination deadline for Ratchford Memorial Fellowship.

March 23-27: Community Development Academy. Registration deadline is March 16.

March 31: Revised deadline for completing mandatory online trainings Harassment: What It Is and How to Stop It and Mandated Reporter Training. If you have any issues accessing or viewing either of the courses, please contact the Human Resources Service Center at 573-884-6996 (or toll-free at 855-524-0002) or email

April 1: Deadline for next round of extension fellowship applications.


Coming and Going


LaFern Schoen, mother of Teresa Meier, Cape Girardeau County office support staff, passed away Jan. 24. If you would like to send a card to Teresa and her husband, Stephen, their address is 2146 County Road 330, Jackson, MO  63755.

Michael Gasparovic, brother of Joy Millard, interim assistant vice provost for extension, passed away Feb 2. In lieu of flowers, a donation for St. Anthony’s Hospice, 10010 Kennerly Road, St. Louis, MO 63128, would be appreciated for the excellent care he was given. If you would like to send a card to Joy’s home, her address is 4610 Connery Court, Columbia, MO 65203.

Bill Brown, brother of Lisa Bland, SE Region administrative associate, passed away Feb. 2. Cards can be sent to Lisa and Donnie Bland at P.O. Box 156, Portageville, MO  63873.

Frank Simkins, husband of Verna Simkins, Newton County office secretary, passed away Feb. 6.  Cards may be sent to Verna at 715 Boyd St., Neosho, MO 64850.


If you have items to include in future issues, please send them to Karen Dickey, Curt Wohleber or Phil Leslie in MU Extension Communications and Marketing. If you have questions, contact Dennis Gagnon, director.