News for employees, Oct. 15, 2008


Still time to register for annual conference


MU Extension faculty have a little more time to register for annual conference and to make lodging arrangements. The deadline has been extended a few days beyond Oct. 15. In this video, Bev Coberly, off-campus operations director, and Marcia Shannon, conference chair, discuss the agenda for the conference which is scheduled for Oct. 28 to 30 at Stony Creek Inn and the MU campus.

MU Extension faculty have a little more time to register for annual conference and to make lodging arrangements. The deadline has been extended a few days beyond Oct. 15.

In this video, Bev Coberly, off-campus operations director, and Marcia Shannon, conference chair, discuss the agenda for the conference which is scheduled for Oct. 28 to 30 at Stoney Creek Inn and the MU campus.

 

Quarterly Teamwork Award Winners

Cape staff organizes candidate forum

Earlier this year, faculty, staff and council members in Cape Girardeau County hosted public forum for citizens to learn about the candidates for county commission and the 158th District for the Missouri House of Representatives.

Some 115 citizens turned out for the event, which featured all 13 candidates running in the primary election. The event was featured on the front page of the Southeast Missourian and KFVS-TV did a live interview before the event began.

The local team worked with the League of Women Voters to organize the event. In addition, 15 extension volunteers also helped during the event. Teen 4-H members also assisted, serving as greeters and questing runners.

This high-visibility event had the added benefit of increasing awareness of MU Extension with new audiences and demonstrated the strength of the local extension program to community leaders.

The effort garnered MU Extension’s quarterly teamwork award, which was presented to Gerald Bryan, agronomy specialist and CPD; Richard Proffer, business development specialist; Roger Eakins, livestock specialist; Donna Taake, 4-H youth specialist; Maryann Garvey, secretary; Ruth Timberlake, secretary; Mary Gosche, human development specialist; Teresa Meier, secretary; and Sharon Tuschhoff, 4-H program assistant.

Nominations for the next Quarterly Teamwork Award are due Dec. 1.

Day coordinates extension’s energy education efforts

Don Day

Don Day is leading MU Extension’s efforts to develop a coordinated energy education program.

“Our goal is to develop a multidisciplinary energy program that will address the diverse energy needs and issues impacting all Missourians,” Day said. “We would like to establish a team to provide leadership for the development, implementation and evaluation of the MU Extension energy program.”

Day, who has been working half-time since Sept. 1, is reviewing current energy programs and publications to determine if they need to be revised and used in today’s programming. Other tasks include developing lists of what other states are doing and other agencies working in energy education

Day also is starting an inventory of energy-related research at MU and other universities, as well as looking at future research areas.

“I would appreciate ideas any of you have on the direction energy educational programming should be taking,” he said. “This is a very important topic, and we need to move forward to help the citizens of this state be ready for solutions to energy concerns of the future. It is our hope that everyone employed in extension will have an energy component in their programming, and that extension energy programming will be highlighted so the public and our stakeholders know what we are doing.”

Be Healthy for Life

University program benefits available statewide

On campus or off, extension faculty and staff can participate in the University of Missouri’s employee wellness program. Healthy for Life programs at any campus are open to University employees. In addition, Healthy for Life has statewide programs to encourage lifestyle changes that improve health and well-being.

For $15, employees can enroll in the Million Step Program. Participants receive a pedometer and logbook. Once they reach one million steps and submit their completed logbook, participants will receive a T-shirt and their money back.

Benefit-eligible employees receive a 25 percent reimbursement for enrolling in Weight Watchers and attending for three months or more. The reimbursement applies to at-work and local meetings, as well as the online program.

“We are in the process of developing programs that can be applied statewide,” said Melissa Willet, communications assistant for the T.E. Atkins Wellness Program.

Healthy for Life

Kudos

Beverly Maltsberger

Beverly Maltsberger, NW community development specialist, received the first MERIL Rural Disabilities Service Award for her work with the agency and its clients. Midland Empire Resources for Independent Living provide advocacy, information, referral and skills training to individuals with disabilities in a nine-county area. In future years, the award will be called the “Beverly Maltsberger Rural Disabilities Service Award.”

 

Marsha Alexander

Marsha Alexander, WC housing and environmental design specialist, presented two sessions of “Smart Lighting Strategies for Your Home” at the Universal Design Summit III: Creating Livable Homes and Communities, Sept. 12-23, at Saint Louis University. The conference was supported by AARP, the Missouri Housing Development Commission, R.L. Mace Universal Design Institute, Starkloff Disability Institute, Washington University and Saint Louis University. The audiences included architects, interior designers, builders, remodelers, occupational and physical therapists, students, faculty and staff from independent living centers and area agencies on aging.

Stand up to obesity

We’re told…regularly…that 30-minutes of physical activity… on most days …is an important part of staying healthy. A study… from the University of Missouri …indicates that the simple act of standing could also improve your health…increase your metabolism…and help in the battle against obesity.

We’re told regularly that 30-minutes of physical activity on most days is an important part of staying healthy.  A study from the University of Missouri indicates that the simple act of standing could also improve your health, increase your metabolism and help in the battle against obesity as Debbie Johnson explains in this report...

Minimum wage increases Jan. 1

Effective Jan. 1, the state minimum hourly wage rate will increase to $7.05. Employees must be paid at or above this new minimum wage beginning on Jan. 1.

As in the past, the University of Missouri plans to programmatically implement changes to bring employees paid less than $7.05 an hour to the new rate.

UM updates meal reimbursement policy

The University of Missouri’s policy on meal reimbursement has been updated to reflect IRS guidelines.

The “overtime meal” policy allows employees to be reimbursed on a non-taxable basis if day travel extends the work day beyond their normal work schedule.

Employees may be reimbursed while traveling without an overnight stay only for the meal that became necessary as part of the extended workday, typically dinner.

Employees must be in travel status or traveling outside of their assigned area.

University policy states that reimbursement must not be a regular occurrence. MU Extension employees must have a supervisor determine whether the work day has been extended and therefore the employee would be eligible for reimbursement.

Meal reimbursement for an extended work day while in travel status will become taxable income if reimbursement occurs more than occasionally.

The old policy of traveling for 12 hours or more no longer applies.

 

MU Extension Insider is published on the 1st and 15th of each month for MU Extension faculty and staff. Send comments to Editor, Eileen Yager.