News for employees, June 15, 2009

Turner receives 2009 Ratchford fellowship

UM President Gary Forsee talks with Marci Jennings, MI state equine specialist, during a recent visit to MU's South Farm.
Ron Turner

Ron Turner, executive vice president emeritus and former extension director, received the 2009 C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship. UM President Gary Forsee presented the award June 4 in Kansas City.

The Ratchford award, named for the late UM president emeritus who once served as dean of extension, honors a university faculty member for contributions to the land-grant mission in outreach, international education or agricultural economics programming

Turner, who is a senior fellow in the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs, led extension from 1993 to 2005. In addition, he held several positions at UM-St. Louis and the system level.

Mary Ratchford Douglass, Brice Ratchford’s daughter, wrote: "I am confident Ron is an exemplary choice for recipient. Mother and daddy both respected and admired Ron for his commitment, expertise and depth of caring on behalf of the university, and mostly his life-long toil on behalf of the people of Missouri and the underprivileged around the world."

Among Turner’s most notable achievements are the university system’s South Africa Exchange Project, the St. Louis Storytelling Festival, extension’s Telecenter Network, and numerous partnerships between extension and other agencies.

Turner received numerous honors and awards during his tenure at the university, including MU’s Martin Luther King Award, a presidential citation from the Alliance of Alumni Associations, the Missouri Farmers' Union Leadership Award and a legislative citation from the Missouri House of Representatives. He has been cited in articles and books, and has been invited to present at forums, associations and conferences.

Jackson County moves to downtown Blue Springs

Local officials from Blue Springs Mayor to the Chamber to Commerce, along with MU representatives turned out for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Jackson County extension office. Michael Hicks photo/Cooperative Media Group
Local officials from Blue Springs Mayor to the Chamber to Commerce, along with MU representatives turned out for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Jackson County extension office. Michael Hicks photo/Cooperative Media Group

It may not be permanent, but it’s home for now. MU Extension cut the ribbon June 2 on a new office in downtown Blue Springs.

“I’d like to thank the Blue Springs community for all their effort into making this happen, and also the city of Blue Springs and Mayor (Carson) Ross,” Regional Director Albert Black said. “It’s a different experience on Main Street, but we’re looking forward to it.”

“I’m very proud to welcome MU Extension to their new, temporary location,” Ross said. “This is so important because it’s bigger than Blue Springs. It’s for the region and the entire state of Missouri.”

The new location is temporary until the city of Blue Springs opens its Missouri Innovation Park. As the anchor tenant, MU will occupy 20 acres of the 500-acre science and business park south of Interstate 70.

MU’s innovation center will be the hub for regional activities, including extension programming, alumni relations, fundraising and research collaborations with emphasis on animal health and comparative medicine research.

“We are pulling together a group of campus stakeholders that we forsee being involved in the facility,” said Tom Henderson, assistant to the provost for economic development. “In the next three to six months, that working group will develop a plan for MU’s use of the facility.

Henderson said that although MU was a partner in the project, the university is not making any capital investment. “We will cover operational costs of the building we use, and the working group is also charged with developing a plan for the financing of those day-to-day operations.”

For now, the extension office on Main Street solidifies the university’s presence in the community. “It’s the citizens’ connection to the university,” said Cynthia Zluticky, Jackson County program director.

Veterinarian Jimi Cook and Vegas

MU researchers examine potential arthritis biomarkers in dogs' synovial fluid

Osteoarthritis is commonly diagnosed in the late and irreversible stages, when treatment can only be expected to decrease pain and slow progression of disease. University of Missouri researchers are investigating potential biomarkers in dogs, which could lead to early detection in animals and humans. Read more  …

eXtension hosts meeting on expert task force study

eXtension will host an online meeting June 25 to discuss the findings and decisions of a study on its ask-the-expert service. Kevin Gamble, eXtension associate director, will lead the meeting, which begins at 3 p.m.

Earlier this year, eXtension formed a task force to assess user perceptions and expectations of the services. During the hour-long session, participants can learn about the challenges and opportunities for serving online audiences.

No registration is required. Participants should access the Web meeting room five minutes before the start time.

• Type your first name, last name and institution; click “Enter Room"

• Enter your call-back number at the prompt. Your phone automatically will be dialed and connected to the conference audio system.

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