News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Dec. 23, 2014


In the news

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

Tiptoe through the history of mistletoe


Hanging mistletoe is a holiday tradition around the world. But have you ever wondered why we steal a kiss because we’re standing under some shrubbery? MU Extension radio producer Debbie Johnson and horticulturist David Trinklein discuss mistletoe facts and folklore in this audio news story.

Read more.



Health screening options

Do you want to cross Tier 1 of the 2015 Wellness Incentive off your to-do list?  Do you have only the health screening left to go? You don’t have to wait! There are many ways you can complete your biometric health screening right now. Visit a Mizzou Quick Care Clinic in a Columbia-area Hy-Vee or visit your health care provider; you can use results from your annual physical from May 1, 2014, through April 30, 2015.  Lastly, you can complete a free Home Access kit. Order yours by calling 1-866-352-4372. All of these options are free (unless you add more tests or procedures to your doctor’s visit). Learn more at


Changes to gift card policy

Need a gift card to aid you in your programming needs?  The university has an updated policy  that changes how gift cards can be purchased.  The award, gifts and prizes policy has also been updated accordingly.  Here are the highlights.

  • The gift cards must be purchased thru ePro, which automatically puts the purchase into the approval process thru Accounting. 
  • If the gift cards that you need are not available thru ePro, the Supply Chain CRM (Teresa Vest) can pre-approve that these gift cards be purchased with a university purchasing card.  Accounting’s approval, which must happen before the purchase, should be kept with the purchasing card statement.  The purchasing card cannot be used for last-minute gift card purchases. 
  • Gift cards require special handling since the IRS views them the same as cash.  Accounting will follow up before June 30 for the customers the gift cards were given to.
  • Gift cards can only be purchased for approved programs and, if using grant funds, will need IRB approval.

Please let your fiscal contact know if you are needing to start the process to acquire gift cards and allow extra time for processing. 


Dates to remember

Register for Eat for Life course

Improve your relationship with your food and your body: Two classes in Eat for Life—an innovative approach to weight management—run weekly from Jan. 20-April 7 and Jan. 21-April 8 in Columbia. Online classes also are available Jan. 30-April 3.

For more information, watch informational videos or find more details online. Register at

This course can earn first-time participants 100 points toward the newly expanded 2015 Wellness Incentive—which will pay eligible employees up to $450 for taking steps to live a healthier life. Learn more at


Register for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course

Do you have chronic illness, pain, anxiety or depression? Learn new ways of responding to the stresses of life with skill and creativity in this eight-week program. Classes provide information about relating to stress, effective communication and wellness tips, as well as instruction in mindfulness (sitting meditation, body scan, yoga and walking meditation). Mindfulness-based stress reduction complements the medical management of a wide variety of mental and physical health challenges.

This course can earn eligible employees 100 points toward the newly expanded 2015 Wellness Incentive, which will pay you up to $450 for taking steps to live a healthier life.

Classes are available in Columbia and St. Louis for the spring semester:

Orientation: Wednesday, Jan. 21, 5:30 p.m.
Classes: Wednesdays, Jan. 28-March 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Retreat: Saturday, Feb. 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $40 for faculty, staff and retirees. Includes classes, a manual, DVD and CD; $20 rebate if you attend seven of eight classes. Spouses or partners can join with you free of charge if they use the same materials.
Contact: Lynn Rossy, instructor for the course, at

St. Louis
Orientation: Thursday, Jan. 22, 5:15 p.m.
Classes: Thursdays, Jan. 29 – Mar. 19, 5:15-7:15 p.m.
Retreat: TBA
Cost: $40 for faculty, staff and retirees. Includes all classes, a manual, DVD and CD; $20 rebate if you attend seven of eight classes; $180 for community members (limited availability). Spouses or partners can join with you free of charge if they use the same materials.
Contact: Bridget Rolens, instructor for the course, at


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.

Jan. 22 2-3 p.m.
Feb. 19 2-3 p.m.
March 18 10-11 a.m.
April 16 2-3 p.m.
May 20 10-11 a.m.
June 18 2-3 p.m.
July 16 10-11 a.m.
Aug. 20 2-3 p.m.


Other dates to remember

Dec. 31: Deadline for completing UM information security training. Visit to access the online training modules.

Jan. 1: Deadline for next quarterly round of MU Extension Fellowships. To apply, download the application form and email the completed form to

Jan. 12-16, 2015: Youth Development Academy: Raising the Potential of Professionals, Columbia.

Jan. 14, 2015, noon-12:45 p.m.: ESP Global Connections Webinar. Jackie Rasmussen, “So Kiwis Can Fly? Insights into New Zealand and NELD Experience in Mexico.” To attend, register in WebApps.

January-April 2015: Eat for Life in-person and online classes. For additional information, watch informational videos or find more details online.

Jan. 30: Deadline for completing mandatory online trainings Harassment: What It Is and How to Stop It and Mandated Reporter Training. If you have any issues accessing or viewing either of the courses, please contact the Human Resources Service Center at 573-884-6996 (or toll-free at 855-524-0002) or email


Coming and going


Daryl Jerome Hobbs, 80, passed away Dec. 16.  The founding director of MU Extension’s Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis, Hobbs was a distinguished, respected sociologist who worked to empower rural communities throughout the world. Private family services were held immediately and will be followed by a public celebration of his life at a later date. For more about his life and legacy, go to

John Beaman, father-in-law of administrative associate Darlene Beaman, passed away Dec. 16 in Boonville at the age of 86. Cards may be sent to Darlene and Mitch Beaman at 1390 Country Road 209, Fayette, MO 65248.


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.