News for employees

MU Extension Insider
September 15, 2010


In the news

Upcoming events

Coming and going


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

In the news

Career ladder update


Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of extension, and Julie Middleton, director of organizational development, provide a video update on the status of appointment, reappointment and promotion of non-tenure-track (NTT) academic faculty, available online at mms://

For more information, see


MU scientists create a healthier soybean oil

Trans fat could be a thing of the past in soybean oil. Soybeans developed by University of Missouri researchers hold promise to reduce unhealthy fatty acids in soybean oil, which comprises more than 70 percent of the food oil used in the U.S.

Video news story

Radio news story

Print news story


New electronic family disaster plan form available

MU Extension has developed an electronic template to guide families through the process of developing a comprehensive disaster plan. The template, available for free download at, can be filled out electronically or by hand, said Eric Evans, MU Extension state specialist for emergency management.

"This plan outlines what each family member should do during an emergency and identifies safe places inside and outside the home," he said. A complete disaster plan will include information about each family member, household pets, insurance and finances, medications, vehicles, and the home and its contents.

"The plan lets you have in one place all the information you might need to gather if you are impacted by disaster," he said. "Typically, people have this information but it is spread all over the house, and at the time of a disaster family members might not be thinking clearly."

Families should keep one copy of the disaster plan with the supply kit and another copy off-site with a trusted friend or at a place of work. "It is essential to have paper copies of the plan because electric and wireless services may be disrupted during an emergency," he said. Families should review their disaster plan annually and update as necessary.

"MU Extension is proud to offer this tool to help families prepare for emergencies and disasters," Evans said.   "Please distribute either or both of the URLs to your friends, colleagues and partner organizations.  Feel free to link as well!"

MU Extension emergency management resources:

Family Disaster Plan:


Cultural Diversity Committee recognized

“The Cultural Diversity Committee in St. Joseph was presented the Partnership Award Sept. 2 at the Building Bridges reception and awards event,” reports Beverly Maltsberger, community development specialist. UMKC Alianzas and MU Extension are two of more than 25 members of the Cultural Diversity Committee.

The Cultural Diversity Committee was organized in 2004 when Triumph Foods was looking to establish a plant in St. Joseph. Several social service and education agencies recognized the need to learn about the culture of Spanish-speaking immigrants, their unmet needs and what other areas of the country were doing.

The committee is still working hard to help Spanish-speaking immigrants settle into life in the United States.

Here-Aquí magazine sponsored the event and recognized one individual leader and one partner in the community.  The reception was held at Missouri Western State University.

Maltsberger accepted the award on behalf of the Cultural Diversity Committee and will be interviewed by Here-Aquí for a feature article in the magazine.

The evening included food, music, traditional Mexican dancers and ended with salsa dancing.


Pollution prevention program identifies savings


Engineering student Nick Lang collects data from air dryers for a study in energy efficiency for a manufacturing company.

Students in the MU College of Engineering's Pollution Prevention Internship Program have helped Missouri companies identify almost $2 million in savings since the program launched in 2008.

"The program allows engineering students to apply knowledge, interest and past experience to solve real environmental problems for Missouri companies,” says Mary A. Myers, College of Engineering continuing education director. During a 10-week paid internship, students work on location to collect data, research solutions, calculate savings, evaluate options and present recommendations to the companies.

In its first year, summer interns identified more than $261,000 in annual savings by reducing energy and waste in three Missouri companies. Last year two companies hired six interns to perform extensive energy audits in multiple facilities. These audits generated another $223,000 of annual savings.

During the summer of 2010, nine interns from MU, UMKC and MS&T worked with 10 Missouri companies. Preliminary calculations indicate an additional $610,500 in annual savings.

“In its short history, this program has engineered nearly $1.84 million in total savings for Missouri companies, proving that pollution prevention is good business,” Myers said.

MU Extension's Environmental Assistance Center and the College of Engineering are working to convert parts of the Pollution Prevention training into applied “green engineering" courses that can be offered online.


MU FRTI hazmat mobile classroom dedicated

A new training vehicle will enhance the capability of the MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute to offer hazardous materials training.

"With the amount of chemicals in our daily lives, hazardous material incidents certainly have become a prominent type of call that fire departments receive," said David Hedrick, MU FRTI director. "Whether it is an overturned fuel tanker, a chemical release in a plant or manufacturing facility, chemicals that react in the home environment, or weapons of mass destruction, firefighters need to be prepared to protect the citizens they serve."

MU FRTI unveiled the vehicle Sept. 9 and gave a short demonstration in front of Whitten Hall on the MU campus. The trailer – which formerly was used for U.S. Marine Corps recruiting – was acquired with the help of the Missouri Department of Conservation through a federal surplus property program. MU FRTI retrofitted and equipped the vehicle for future training.

Vice Provost and Director of Extension Michael Ouart joined MU FRTI officials, Mike Hoffman of MDC, State Fire Marshall Randy Cole and others to dedicate the vehicle.


Upcoming events

2010 UMEA Galaxy Conference registration deadline is Sept. 24

It’s not too late to register for the 2010 UMEA Galaxy Conference, Oct. 5-6 at the Windermere Conference Center in Roach, Mo., says Marsha Alexander, 2010 Galaxy Conference chair. The registration form is available on the UMEA website.

This year’s conference theme is “Making a Difference for a Stronger Missouri.” The Galaxy Conference is a time for professional development, networking and association meetings. There is no registration fee for attending Galaxy but attendees are responsible for room costs and transportation.

UM President Gary Forsee will address conference attendees on Oct. 6. MU Extension administrators Michael Ouart and Beverly Coberly will provide an administrative update.

Jim Lindquist, assistant director of extension field operations at Kansas State University, will serve as the banquet keynote speaker. His presentation, "Making a Difference," will discuss life experiences and how extension professionals affect those they reach with their educational programs. 

This year’s professional development sessions will focus on technology, animal welfare, program evaluation, customer service and the forthcoming non-tenure-track faculty career ladder.

There will also be a health fair, silent auction and lots of fun for everyone who attends. Please make plans to attend this event. Registration must be received by Sept. 24.


Nutrition and exercise physiology seminars available online


“For the past two years HES Extension has made a concerted effort to videotape seminars that occur on the MU campus,” says Candance Gabel, HES assistant program director. “By posting the videos on our professional development Web page, they are easily accessible to regional HES faculty. This process enhances educational opportunities without the expense of additional time and travel.”

Selected nutrition and exercise physiology seminars will be available as video streams this fall. The first seminar was by Nicolas Stettler, University of Pennsylvania, on "Evidences for Programming of Obesity in Humans Before Age Two Years," available at mms://

A complete list of seminar topic is available at


Coming and going

Please welcome

Christina George, administrative assistant, Ag Extension-Social Sciences.

Lindsey Campbell, audio/visual assistant, Poplar Bluff TCRC.



Elaine Rogers, continuing education coordinator, Health Professions Extension Continuing Education.


If you have items to include in future issues, please send them to Karen Dickey or Curt Wohleber in the Cooperative Media Group. If you have questions, contact Mark Stillwell, CMG interim director.