News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Feb. 23, 2016


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

4-H Legislative Academy

4-H'ers at Missouri Supreme Court

Delegates to the Missouri 4-H Legislative Academy with Justice Mary Rhodes Russell of the Missouri Supreme Court (standing at center).

A dozen 4-H youth, ages 15-19, traveled to Jefferson City as delegates to the 4-H Legislative Academy, Feb. 15-17. Sen. Brian Munzlinger, legislative host of the 2016 Academy, explained how bills move through the legislative process to become law. Rep. Mike Kelley led delegates on an evening tour of the Capitol. Delegates shadowed lawmakers in meetings, hearings and sessions. The group toured the Missouri Supreme Court and met Justice Mary Rhodes Russell. The group also met with attorneys, state agency leaders and agricultural commodity group leaders, among others, and visited the offices of Secretary of State Jason Kander, State Treasurer Clint Zweifel and Gov. Jay Nixon.


Online training available for myVITA ‘Activities’

From Mark Stillwell, project administrator - operations

The Feb. 11 myVITA “Activities” ISE was a clear success. Almost 40 regional faculty participated in the training. Below are links to recordings of the 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. trainings. 

10:30 a.m.:

1 p.m.: 

MyVITA “Profile” went live Dec. 1, 2015, and “Activities” went live in January. We have developed a “myVITA for MU Extension faculty” resource page to help faculty learn to use myVITA:

The direct link to myVITA is

Regional and program directors have set the minimum expectations for regional faculty, who are to complete the “Profile” and “Activities” for the period April 1, 2015, through April 1, 2016, for current information, and through April 1, 2017, for planned activities. The following information in myVITA should be completed by April 10, 2016:

 MyVITA “Profiles”

  • Check prepopulated
  • Honors and awards
  • Professional memberships 

MyVITA  “Activities”

  • Other activities related to teaching
  • Scholarly contributions and creative activities
  • Any local grants for which they are PI
  • Service to profession
  • University committees
  • Professional development and continuing education
  • Future goals and plans


Important fiscal detail: business purpose!

From Shelly DeJaynes, Fiscal Administrative Management

One of the most overlooked details that your fiscal person wants to know is: what was the business purpose?  I can tell you that in my time in extension, I have seen a lot more than just paper and pens purchased!  Fishing hooks, apples, fire extinguishers, business meals, needle and thread—the list goes on.  Your fiscal person can’t know or assume what the business purpose is, and they must have it in order to do their job.  So the next time you are making a purchase, entering in a T&E expense report or anything else like that, please keep in mind that it will make someone’s job a lot easier if you include a clear and complete business purpose.  Thanks in advance for your help!


Insider reader contest

Lynda Zimmerman

Lynda Zimmerman, EC Region associate extension professional and nutrition specialist, won last issue’s reader contest and has received a Port Authority waterproof jacket.  

This issue’s prize is an MU Extension women’s Port Authority cardigan, in either heather gray or black, with a two-color embroidered logo. Complete this issue’s puzzle by noon Friday, Feb. 26, for a chance to win.



‘State of Mizzou’ follow-up

MU Marketing and Communications has released a follow-up to its December report, “The State of Mizzou.” The new report, “The State of Mizzou II: Ten Ways Tigers are Committing to Mizzou,” offers a useful perspective and may answer questions you or your constituents may have.


MU Extension offers incentive-eligible classes

The following MU Extension classes are now enrolling on all UM campuses. Find one that’s right for you and earn Wellness Incentive points. 

Taking Care of You

Are you feeling stressed? Learning to manage life’s challenges in a healthy way allows you to take better care of yourself and your overall health. Your instructor will guide you through eight interactive sessions that are based on positive psychology, with an emphasis on mindfulness.

Wellness Incentive Points: 50 points upon successful completion of the course.

Cost: $50 

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Are you caring for a relative or friend? Powerful Tools for Caregivers is an educational program designed to help you take care of yourself while caring for others. You will benefit from this class whether you are helping a parent, spouse or friend who lives at home, in a nursing home or across the country. This class series meets once a week for six weeks.

Wellness Incentive Points: 50 points upon successful completion of the course.

Cost: $50 

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Do you interact regularly with young people? Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach caring adults how to help an adolescent who is experiencing a mental health or addiction challenge or is in crisis. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a five-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.

Wellness Incentive Points: 50 points upon successful completion of the course.

Cost: $50

Visit to register.

Questions? For more information, please contact

Wellness Incentive points awarded upon successful completion of course. Points are awarded by the 15th of the month following the month the course was completed. Contact for questions.


Dates to remember

Legislative Day is March 2

UM System Legislative Day, March 2, is an opportunity for faculty, staff, retirees, volunteers and extension councils from across the state to thank legislators for past support and encourage their continued support by sharing examples of how the UM System, its campuses and MU Extension improve the lives of Missouri’s citizens.

Legislative Day also presents an opportunity for faculty and staff to share rides with county stakeholders, commissioners and volunteers as they head into our state capital to advocate for the university and MU Extension. It’s a great chance to not only save costs by sharing rides, but also to have the time to share with them about extension and our programming. And while they are busy at the Capitol, we have you covered at an in-service education (ISE) planned for MU employees. You can register this year on the same site as the Legislative Day registration instead of going through WebApps.

When registering, extension faculty and staff should enter “MU Extension,” not “University of Missouri,” as their organization.

Questions? Contact Tracy Feller, director of extension constituent relations, at 573-882-4134 or


Community development training this spring with CDA

Join the Community Development Academy, March 28-April 1. From MU Extension’s Community Development Program, these intensive, hands-on, five-day courses enhance your ability to work effectively with a wide array of community issues. Take for professional development (CEUs), 3 hours undergraduate credit, graduate credit or noncredit. Graduate students can work toward a Certificate in Community Process.

CDA Course 1: Building Communities From the Grassroots (7341/4341) and Course 2: Empowering Communities for the Future (7342/4342) will be held at the Mercy Center in St. Louis during MU spring break. For more information and registration, go to


Retiree insurance forums

If you have questions or comments about proposed changes to future retiree insurance benefits for faculty and staff, you may want to participate in one of the in-person or online open forums scheduled for February and March. 

In-person forums have been scheduled for all four UM System campuses. Visit for a schedule. 

MU Extension HR will hold three Adobe Connect sessions with representatives from campus HR, MU Finance and the Total Rewards Advisory Committee (TRAC):

  • Feb. 26, 8-9:30 a.m.
  • Feb. 29, 2:30-4 p.m.
  • March 15, 2-4 p.m.

To access the sessions, go to

You can learn more about the recommendations at

The recommendations, if approved by the UM Board of Curators, would not affect current retirees. Depending on age and length of service with the UM System, current employees may be eligible for the existing retirement insurance program or a fixed annual subsidy to purchase coverage. Employees with less than five years of service on Dec. 31, 2017, would not be eligible for retiree insurance. 

In a Jan. 29 video message, interim UM President Michael Middleton said that no decisions on the retiree insurance program would be made until the university community has had an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.


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.

March 16 10-11 a.m.
April 21 2-3 p.m.
May 18 10-11 a.m.
June 16 2-3 p.m.
July 20 10-11 a.m.
Aug. 18 2-3 p.m.


Religious holidays

The communities we serve are home to individuals from a variety of cultural and religious traditions. The following is a list of religious holidays that individuals in your community may observe in the coming weeks.

March 20: Palm Sunday (Roman Catholic, Protestant) commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

March 23-24: Purim (Jewish) commemorates the time when the Jews were living in Persia and saved by a woman named Esther.

March 25: Good Friday (Roman Catholic, Protestant) commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.

March 27: Easter (Roman Catholic, Protestant) is the annual commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

April 13: Vaisakhi (Sikh) is the Sikh new year and harvest festival.

April 22-30: Passover (Jewish) is the weeklong observance commemorating the freedom and exodus of the Israelites from Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II.

April 24: Palm Sunday (Eastern Orthodox Christian) commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

April 29: Good Friday (Eastern Orthodox Christian) commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.

May 1: Easter (Eastern Orthodox Christian) is the annual commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

May 1: Beltane (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid) celebrates the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year. One of the eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

May 4-5: Yom HaSho’ah (Jewish), which begins at sundown, is a day to remember the lives and names of Jewish victims and activists of the Holocaust.

For more information, go to


Other dates to remember

Feb. 23: Let’s Talk About Race series from the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative.

Feb. 26-27: Universities Fighting World Hunger 2016 Summit, MU campus.

Feb. 26 (noon): Deadline for Provost’s Award for Creative Extension Programming by New Faculty submissions.

Feb. 26 (noon): Deadline for The Donald W. Fancher Provost Award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension and Continuing Education submissions.

Feb. 26: Retirement reception for Julie Middleton, former director of organizational development for MU Extension, 3-5 p.m. at the Clinton Club at Mizzou Arena. RSVP to Janice Perkins at or 573-882-6114.

March 1 (noon): Deadline for C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship nominations.

March 2: Legislative Day.

March 1 (5 p.m.): Deadline for J.W. Burch Agricultural Extension Award nominations.

March 28-April 1: Community Development Academy, St. Louis.

May 21: 4-H Day with the Cardinals. Ticket orders must be postmarked by April 11.

June 8-10: Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors): Latinos in the Heartland, 15th annual conference, Columbia.

Oct. 25-27: MU Extension Summit.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Deanna Shoup, family financial education specialist, Clark County, NE Region.

Julie Meek, nutrition program associate, Clinton/Caldwell counties, NW Region.

Correction: Kristi Baker, 4-H youth development specialist, Wayne County, SE Region.



Kathleen Bondy, extension professional and 4-H youth specialist/CPD, Lafayette County, NW Region.



Karl Wickstrom, agricultural agent in Webster County (1948-50) and county agent (1951-52), died Feb. 19 at age 99. Graveside services will be this Thursday, Feb. 25, at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Springfield. More information.


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.