News for employees

MU Extension Insider
June 15, 2013


In the news

Upcoming events

Coming and going


MU Extension Insider is published on the first and 15th of the month by the MU Cooperative Media Group. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news

Training for disaster


Every year, tornadoes wreak havoc in the Midwest, stretching emergency services thin. MU Extension’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute helps first responders prepare for the many challenges they might face in the aftermath of natural disasters and other emergencies. Read more.


Jerry Valentine receives 2013 Ratchford Award


Jerry Valentine, MU professor emeritus of educational leadership and policy analysis, received the 2013 C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award at the University of Missouri System Awards Dinner, June 13 in Columbia. 

Valentine is a prominent expert in middle-level school leadership, focusing on the needs of educational leaders in grades five through nine. In his work with public school systems, Valentine brought applied research to developing processes to improve schools through teacher evaluation and leadership development systems.

“Dr. Valentine is a visionary far ahead of his time in intellect, commitment and professional expertise,” said Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of MU Extension, who presented the award.

Programs Valentine established while at MU, like the Middle Level Leadership Center, have had national and international impact, Ouart said. His redesign of the education specialist program at MU served as a statewide model for preparing Missouri’s school leaders.

Though recently retired from MU, he continues to reach out to school personnel across the state and nation, leading workshops for principals and teachers, and implementing school improvement initiatives across the Midwest.

The Ratchford Award recognizes a faculty member who personifies the creativity, vision and leadership exhibited by the late C. Brice Ratchford, who served as president of the University of Missouri System and dean of cooperative extension.

For more about the Ratchford Award, go to


Remembering Roger Mitchell

dean mitchell

Roger Mitchell, former MU dean of extension (1972-1975) and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (1983-1998), died on June 14 at the age of 80.

“Roger was a man I respected and admired,” writes Tom Payne, vice chancellor and CAFNR dean. “He blended dignity, charm, character and intelligence with a genuine concern for everyone he met. 
 His was a life devoted to making good things happen – from great concepts like the Bond Life Sciences Center to a helpful word to a person struggling with a problem. Roger moved the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources into the critical leadership role it has today. He saw that independent research in agriculture, animal science, life science, extension, sociology and other areas were inadequate by themselves for the challenges we face. Roger merged several disciplines into a cohesive and collaborative organization that is now helping solve our greatest issues.”

If you would like to honor Dean Mitchell with a gift to the CAFNR Roger L. and Joyce L. Mitchell Scholarship, go to

You can leave condolences for the Mitchell family by sending email to

Read more about Roger Mitchell in the CAFNR News feature story “Gentleman Dean” at


Call for UMEA award nominations

The UMEA Awards nomination forms for 2013 are available.  This is a great way to be recognized or to recognize one of your colleagues.  The awards will include funds to use for programming or professional development.  All nomination materials are due by Aug. 31.

Awards will be presented in three award categories:

Please take the time to nominate yourself or a colleague to be recognized at the Extension Fall Conference in October.  Nomination materials can be found on the UMEA website:

Award materials should be submitted electronically to Jennifer Schutter at


Civility, You, and Mizzou: Free online learning module

As part of the campuswide Show Me Respect campaign, the Chancellor's Diversity Initiative is offering a free, 15-20 minute, awareness-building online learning module for MU faculty and staff. The module is designed to provoke thought, provide information and tools, and generate some discussion about building a culture of civility in our individual units/departments as well as campuswide. You will be issued a printable certificate upon completion of the brief survey at the end. To get started, go to Contact with any questions.


Take advantage of 2013 summer perks

Did you know that MU Extension employees are eligible for discounts at Six Flags in St. Louis, Worlds of Fun in Kansas City and attractions at Branson’s Silver Dollar City? Learn how you can save money on summer family fun and more by visiting


Bouchard named state director of SBTDC


Christopher Bouchard has been named the state director of Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers, effective June 1.

Bouchard succeeds Max Summers, who has accepted a three-year assignment as a transition leader of program integration for SBTDC.

Bouchard had served as interim director of SBTDC since 2009. He has held positions with SBTDC since 1998, owned two small businesses and was an officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Under Bouchard’s direction, Missouri companies increased their sales by $986 million, invested $649.1 million and received $20.1 million in research awards, in addition to creating or retaining 14,734 jobs and starting 824 businesses.

Bouchard holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Missouri and an M.B.A. from Central Michigan University. He received the 2012 Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award and the Missouri Extension Industry Award in 1997.


Spirit Spark

by Janet LaFon, Team Spirit self-directed work team member

For the past year and a half, the Team Spirit self-directed work team has provided “Spirit Spark” as a way to highlight some of the good things happening in MU Extension and to share tips on ways, as our 4-H colleagues would say, “To Make the Best Better!” From suggesting office “insta-parties” to sharing ideas for creating team synergy, this team has tried to support and encourage our colleagues to work together to create positive, encouraging work environments.

With the establishment of the goal committees focusing on various areas of the MU Extension strategic plan, we have decided it is time to discontinue Team Spirit. We have enjoyed learning together and sharing with all of you. Team Spirit has included Julie Middleton, Susan Mills-Gray, Beverly Maltsberger, Jim Ronald, Clint Dougherty, Kathy Macomber, Sarah Traub, Lynda Zimmerman and Janet LaFon. Many thanks for their hard work and dedication to our organization.


Upcoming events

New St. Louis County Extension Center hosts June 26 open house

On June 26, 4:30-6:30 p.m., the MU Extension Center in St. Louis County will hold an open house and ribbon cutting for its new location at 10650 Gateway Blvd. in Creve Coeur.

Visitors can meet with faculty and learn about the programs and services they provide in St. Louis County related to nutrition and health, housing, horticulture, community development, youth development and labor education.

Special guests include MU Chancellor Brady Deaton; St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley; Associate Vice Provost and Associate Director of MU Extension Beverly Coberly and various MU Extension administrators; Creve Coeur Mayor Barry L. Glantz; members of the Creve Coeur/Olivette Chamber of Commerce; and Mizzou Alumni Association President Jim Gwinner.

Light refreshments, beverages and giveaways will be provided. Register at For more information, contact Janie Lewis at 314-400-2115 or


Eliot Battle documentary screening and discussion, June 27


The Boone County Chapter of the Mizzou Alumni Association and MU Extension will host a free screening and panel discussion of the 2012 documentary “Battle: Change From Within,” June 27 at the Reynolds Alumni Center on the MU campus.

The MU Extension-produced documentary chronicles the story of Columbia educator and civil rights pioneer Eliot Battle, who died last week at the age of 88. 

Battle had a pivotal role in desegregating schools, housing and the Columbia community. The 55-minute documentary tells his story through archival film footage, newspaper accounts, still photos, and interviews with former students, colleagues, community leaders, Battle’s children and Battle himself. 

The event begins at 5 p.m. with heavy hors d’oeuvres. The 6 p.m. screening will be followed by a reception and panel discussion featuring with the film’s directors, Juanamaria Cordones Cook, MU professor of Spanish; Michael Hicks, MU Cooperative Media Group film and TV producer; Julie Middleton, MU Extension director of organizational development; and Barbara Williamson, associate teaching professor in the MU College of Education.

Those planning to attend should register by June 21. To register or for more information, go to

“Battle: Change From Within'” has been a feature film at Columbia’s Ragtag Cinema, the Kansas City Film Festival, the San Diego Black Film Festival and the Offshoot Film Festival in northwestern Arkansas.  Honors include the Telly Award for Outstanding Documentary and Best Heartland Feature Documentary Award at the Kansas City Film Festival.


Fee-generation workshops set

Workshops have been scheduled to explain additional functions and updates to the Fee Generation Worksheet-Online Tool. Register through ISE for the following workshop dates:




2-3 p.m.


10-11 a.m.


2-3 p.m.


Other dates to remember

June 28-29: Council to Campus, Columbia.

July 17: Breimyer Seminar, Columbia.

Aug. 4-7: Missouri FilmFest 4-H, Branson.

Aug. 30: College Colors Day.

Oct. 1: NTT Training for Applicants 2, “Last Minute Tips with Questions and Answers.”

Oct. 28-30: Extension Fall Conference, Columbia.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Cary Creach, FNEP project director, WC Region.

Sam Lower, 4-H youth development specialist, Laclede County, WC Region.

Mark Porth, regional community arts specialist, Lexington, NW Region.



Congratulations to Kelsi Clifford, office support staff, Clark County, on the birth of a healthy baby boy on June 11. Baby Henry weighed in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces. 


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