News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Nov. 10, 2015


In the news

Extension Summit award winners

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 message from Tom Henderson

This week’s resignations by the UM System president and MU chancellor provide an opportunity for MU Extension faculty and staff to reflect on and reaffirm a commitment to serve all Missourians. As difficult as it may be, we must confront the reality that the needed change and healing process for the university is connected to the imperfect society we live in.

MU Extension’s mission is to improve lives, communities and economies through relevant, reliable and responsive educational strategies. As such, it is clear that extension can play a valuable role in healing that goes beyond the MU campus.

As employees of the university, extension faculty and staff are called to honor a value system that embraces respect, responsibility, discovery, excellence and engagement. For these words to have tangible meaning, we will need to listen deeply in our communities and respond appropriately.

I am confident that MU Extension employees can make a difference and contribute to the healing process for not just MU, but the people of Missouri.

Below you will find a message sent by the MU provost and executive vice chancellor to staff. This message and similar messages from campus units have been sent in the interest of fostering listening, learning, support and healing.


Tom Henderson
Interim Vice Provost and Director of MU Extension


A message from Garnett S. Stokes, MU Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

The University of Missouri has experienced a very difficult time that has affected every member of the campus community, including the staff members who keep this institution running every day. Cultural change often begins on university campuses, and the process is not always easy. The healing starts now even as the hard work continues and intensifies on our campus.

Our students have and need the support of our staff as well as our faculty as the campus moves forward with the process of healing and as the work of cultural change continues. Support is also available to our students through MU Student Health and the MU Counseling Center.

Let us all continue to learn together. We know that many members of our staff have daily contact with our students and that you can be a part of helping our campus heal and improve and thrive. Whether or not you work directly with students, please know that we are grateful for your presence on our campus. The Office of the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative offers resources for staff and faculty who need assistance.

Our students have shown great courage in their efforts to bring change to our institution, and their hard work and the support of the MU community give me great hope for the future we will create together.


Garnett S. Stokes
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor


2015 Extension Summit

One of the highlights of the 2015 MU Extension Summit was an opportunity to recognize the achievements of the faculty, staff and supporters of MU Extension. See below for the complete list. If we missed anyone, please let us know and we will update accordingly.

High-resolution photos of award winners, speakers and conference events are available on the share drive at The Digital Library>Digital Images>Summit 2015.

Handouts from many of the sessions are available for download at

If you attended the Summit and haven’t yet completed an evaluation survey, please take a few minutes to offer your feedback.


Q&A with Tom Henderson

Tom Henderson, interim vice provost and director of MU Extension,  answers questions from attendees at the 2015 Extension Summit in October.


T&E follow-up for the MU Extension Summit

From the Extension Fiscal Administrative Management Team

Thanks to the employees who have already submitted their T&E travel reimbursement for the MU Extension Summit. We have already approved expense reports for more than half of the conference attendees! For those who haven’t submitted their expense reports yet, here are some T&E tips (PDF file) to speed up the travel reimbursement approval process. Remember, expense reports need to be submitted and approved within 60 days to avoid being subject to payroll taxes. If you need assistance with your expense report, please work with your department or region’s fiscal contact.


Mizzou Alternative Breaks


Students participating in Mizzou Alternative Breaks volunteer at a mobile food bank in Madison County on Saturday, Nov. 7. In partnership with MU Extension, Mizzou Alternative Breaks sends groups of Mizzou students on student-led service trips across the state for weekend service projects. MAB has a goal to work in all Missouri counties by 2020.


Osher at Mizzou recognized at national conference for Ferguson program

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at MU received national recognition recently for a series of educational programs on issues raised by the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

The program won a first-place WOW award at the Osher National Resource Center Conference in Charlotte, N.C. Read more.


Diversity highlight

As part of an initiative to encourage understanding of diversity throughout the university community, the MU Extension Insider will regularly call attention to religious holidays that individuals in communities may be observing in the coming weeks:

Nov. 11: Diwali (Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain), the Hindu festival of lights, is an extremely popular holiday for multiple religions throughout Southern Asia. Diwali extends over five days and celebrates the victory of good over evil.

Nov. 12: Birth of Bahá'u'lláh (Baha’i) celebrates the birthday of Bahá'u'lláh (1817-1892), one of the Baha’i faith’s most important figures.

Dec. 6-14: Hanukkah/Chanukah (Jewish), the Jewish festival of lights, begins at sundown and lasts for eight days, commemorating the Jewish struggle for religious freedom.

Dec. 20-Jan. 1, 2016: Winter solstice/Yule/Alban Arthan (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid) marks longest night of the year, followed by the sun’s “rebirth” and lengthening of days.

Dec. 25: Christmas (Roman Catholic, Protestant) commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jan. 1, 2016: Gantan-sai (Shinto) is the annual New Year festival of the Shinto religion.

Jan. 7, 2016: Christmas (Eastern Orthodox Christian) commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

For more information, go to


Insider reader contest


Celeste Tilley, right, office support assistant in Jackson County,  won last issue’s reader contest and is now the proud recipient of a Port Authority waterproof jacket.

This issue’s prize is a short-sleeve Harriton micro piqué polo shirt with a two-color embroidered logo. Made from moisture-wicking 100-percent polyester; available in white, black or gold.

Read this issue, fill out a crossword puzzle with questions based on this issue, and submit the completed crossword for your chance to win MU Extension apparel.


MEAFCS run-walk

From Sarah Traub, HDFS specialist, Cooper County

The first Missouri Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (MEAFCS) Sneakers at the Summit was a great success.  Almost 50 people came out that morning to participate in the 1-mile run/walk.  The dollars raised will support the MEAFCS president-elect’s attendance at two national conferences: the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) Leadership Conference in February and, in April, the Public Issues Leadership Development Conference in Washington D.C.

Due to all of the positive feedback from participants, MEAFCS hopes the run/walk can become a yearly occurrence.  Many walked the 1-mile, but we had some runners as well.  Medals were given to the first, second and third place male and females to cross the finish line.  The top female finishers: Jill Scheidt, third place; Leslie Bertsch, second place; and Megan Webb, first place.  The top male finishers were Vincent McKinney, third place; Anthony Ohmes, second place; and Stephen Jeanetta, first place. (Also pictured: Tiffany Williams-Cobleigh.)


Extension Summit award winners

DNR's Pauley receives Warren Land-Grant University Award


Each year since 1991 MU Extension has given the Gordon Warren Land-Grant University Award to an individual who “exemplifies the land-grant mission of the University of Missouri System and University Extension.” This year’s recipient was Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Pauley also delivered a keynote address at the opening luncheon.


MU Extension Faculty Performance Awards


The Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes a University of Missouri Extension faculty member for planning, conducting and evaluating one extension educational activity conducted in a given year.

This year’s recipient was Joe Koenen, agriculture business specialist in Putnam County. With a career that spans commodity booms and busts and a generational change in land ownership, Koenen has helped Missourians make better leasing decisions through educational programs such as his popular class, “Ins and Outs of Farm Leases.”


The Ronald J. Turner Global Education Award, to support international professional development experiences, went to Mary Simon Leuci, assistant dean at CAFNR and director of MU Extension’s Community Development Program.

Leuci has led, supported and fostered partnerships that created opportunities for faculty, staff, graduate students, volunteers and program participants to affect their communities through global learning. With financial support from this award, Leuci will be able to join colleagues and travel to South Africa to further her professional development and global education.


The Pat and Tom Buchanan Professional Development Award is given each year to a University of Missouri Extension faculty member to support professional development opportunities. This year’s winner is Pat Snodgrass, housing and environmental design specialist and CPD for Crawford and Maries counties. Snodgrass will use the $500 from the award to help fund her attendance at the 2016 national conference of the Housing Education and Research Association in Springfield, Ill.


The Vice Provost’s Award for Outstanding Achievement honoring off-campus faculty is presented to a University of Missouri or Lincoln University campus or regional faculty or a professional staff member in a multiyear outreach program.

This year’s award went to Patrick Byers, Greene County horticulture specialist. Byers has one of the most comprehensive horticulture programs in MU Extension. He oversees one of the state’s largest Master Gardener programs and is known statewide by commercial fruit and vegetable producers. His elderberry project brought international recognition to MU and has helped grow a new and expanding industry in Missouri.


The Vice Provost’s Award for Outstanding Achievement honoring on-campus faculty recognizes excellent performance by a University of Missouri or Lincoln University campus faculty or a professional staff member in a multiyear outreach program.

Bob Broz, state water quality specialist, was recognized this year for his many accomplishments, including an educational program designed to address the problem of the pesticide atrazine in runoff.

Stuart Simmons

The County Program Director Excellence Award recognizes distinguished performance and educational contributions to University of Missouri Extension and clientele by a county program director. This award has a $1,000 monetary stipend.

This year’s recipient, Georgia Stuart-Simmons, has fostered excellent working relationships with organizations and residents in Johnson County, including council members and county commissioners. Despite economic challenges in the county over the last decade, she was able to demonstrate the value of extension and grow the local budget.


The Extension Teamwork Award recognizes faculty who have collaborated on an interdisciplinary or cross-campus team to develop, implement and evaluate a specific educational response to a specific need. The team receives $5,000 to be used in support of the recognized program.

The 2015 winners were members of the interdisciplinary team that collaborated on a program to meet the growing need for child-care provider training in the EC Region. Over the last two years, 14 regional and state extension faculty held 65 trainings to reach more than 1,600 child-care providers.

Team members are:

  • Patricia Snodgrass, housing and environmental design specialist.
  • Rebecca Blocker, housing and environmental design specialist.
  • Vivian Anderson, family financial education specialist.
  • Emily Crowe, nutrition and health specialist.
  • Mary Schroepfer, nutrition and health specialist.
  • Lynda Zimmerman, nutrition and health specialist.
  • Chris Merritt, nutrition and health specialist.
  • Kathy Dothage, human development specialist.
  • James Quinn, horticulture specialist.
  • Dave Hileman, 4-H youth specialist.
  • Heather Conrow, livestock specialist.
  • Kandace Fisher-McLean, housing and environmental design specialist.
  • Michael Goldschmidt, state housing specialist.
  • Alesha Bardot, county office support.
  • Linda Linnebrink, county office support.


The Associated Industries of Missouri Extension Industry Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates leadership in providing educational programs that support the economic viability of Missouri firms.

The 2015 winner is business development specialist Chrystal Irons, who has recently moved from Taney County to Christian County. Over the past two fiscal years she has exceeded her economic impact goals. She also played an integral part in the development and deployment of the small-business curriculum for MU Extension’s Health Insurance Education Initiative.


The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Extension Business Award recognizes faculty and professional staff whose educational programming supports the economic viability of Missouri businesses.

This year’s award went to Sandra Marin, business development/international trade specialist for MU Extension’s Business Development Program.  Original from the nation of Colombia, Marin has used her understanding of complex market trends, international business and ever-changing export laws and regulations to bridge the gap between Missouri businesses and new export markets.

The Vice Provost’s Diversity Award recognizes individuals and groups providing leadership to diversity initiatives.

diversity team

The 2015 team award went to Bev Maltsberger and Merideth Berry for their work on the St. Joseph Binational Health Fair, which promotes health care, healthy lifestyles and preventative care among Hispanic and other new immigrants and refugees relocating to St. Joseph. Representing MU Extension, Maltsberger and Berry worked in collaboration with the Alianzas Project through the UMKC Institute for Human Development.


The individual award went to Karen Funkenbusch, state health and safety specialist. As director of the Missouri AgrAbility Project, Funkenbusch has worked to help farmers and ranchers with disabilities, women’s groups, youth, returning veterans, seasonal farmer workers, and underserved and socially disadvantaged small farm operators who want to begin or continue farming and ranching.


Missouri Association of Community and Economic Development Extension Professionals (MACEDEP)

Excellence in Community Development Award:  Kara Lubischer, community development specialist, St. Louis County

Excellence in Teamwork Award:  Sharon Gulick, Crystal Weber, Letitia Johnson, Shelley Bush-Rowe and Mary Hendrickson for the regional local foods workshops.


Missouri Farm Bureau Awards

Missouri Farm Bureau Federation Outstanding Specialist Agriculture Specialist: Jennifer Schutter, NE Region horticulture specialist and Adair County co-CPD.


Epsilon Sigma Phi awards

Outstanding Regional Extension Faculty (Woman): Janet LaFon

Outstanding Regional Extension Faculty (Man): Bob Kelly

Outstanding State Extension Faculty: Johanna Reed Adams

Early Career Service Award: Jenny Flatt

Mid-Career Service Award: Merideth Berry

Distinguished Service Award: Kathy Dothage

Administrative Leadership Award: Mark Stewart

Visionary Leadership Award: Van Ayers

Distinguished Team Award: St. Joseph Binational Health Fair – Bev Maltsberger, Merideth Berry, Gerardo Martinez

Meritorious Support Service Award: Janet Kelly


University of Missouri Extension Association awards

Rookies of the Year: Emily Crowe, Dana Joerling

Meritorious Service Awards: Pat Snodgrass, Kathy Bondy

Outstanding Program – First Place: Stephanie Milner and Phyllis Flanigan, “Learn by Doing”

Outstanding Program – Second Place: Merideth Berry, “Financial Literacy for Youth”

Outstanding Program – Third Place: Lala Kumar, “Horticulture Training for Youth”


Missouri Agricultural Extension Professionals (MAEP)

Achievement Award: Joni Harper

Distinguished Service Award:Wayne Flanary

Agriculture Leadership Awards: David Baker; Bob and Andy Jackson


Missouri Association of Extension 4-H Youth Workers (MAE4HYW)

Achievement In Service Award: Amanda Meek and Stephanie Schindler

Distinguished Service Award: Tracie Moore and Kay Sparks

Meritorious Service Award: Lynna Lawson

25-Year Award: Kathy Bondy


Dates to remember

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.

Nov. 18 10-11 a.m.
Dec. 17 2-3 p.m.


Other dates to remember

[Note: The Chancellor's Residence Open House originally scheduled for Dec. 1 has been canceled.]

June 8-10, 2016: Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors): Latinos in the Heartland, 15th annual conference, Columbia.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Heather Kruessel, youth program assistant, Chariton County, NE Region.

Lauren May, nutrition program associate, Buchanan County, NW Region.

Christina Miller, nutrition program associate, Saline County, NW Region.

Ashley Churchill, youth program associate, Buchanan County, NW Region.

Melanie Sheppard, youth program assistant, Andrew County, NW Region.



Wilma Jean Lower, 76, who worked for MU Extension for 39 years as an HES faculty member in the SW Region, passed away Nov. 2. She is survived by her husband, Fred Lower, and a sister, Wanda Jo Bumgarner. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Polk County 4-H, 110 E. Jefferson Ave., Bolivar MO 65613. Full obituary.


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.