News for employees

MU Extension Insider
May 24, 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

Forums discuss campus, extension budgets

In case you missed it, a recording of L. Jo Turner and Callie Glascock’s May 13 presentation and Q&A on the MU Extension budget is available on YouTube. During the forum, Turner and Glascock discuss the budget outlook for FY 2017. All campus units, including extension, have received a 5 percent cut in funding.

A two-page FY17 Budget Overview for MU Extension (PDF) is also available.

Immediately preceding the forum on the extension budget, MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley, Provost Garnett Stokes and Vice Chancellor of Finance Rhonda Gibler hosted a similar session on the overall University of Missouri budget. A recording of that session is available, as well as a downloadable set of MU Budget Talking Points (PDF).


FLSA revisions will affect some extension employees

On May 18, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a major revision to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal law that sets requirements on minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping and other employment-related matters.

The announcement has raised lots of questions. As noted in a May 19 email from Kelly Stuck, UM Interim Vice President for Human Resources, the implementation of the new requirements for the Fair Labor Standards Act will take effect on Dec. 1. For more information, go to

MU Extension began planning for the potential impact of these changes last winter. However, until the final ruling was announced last week, the implementation plan could not be fully developed. In the next few weeks, you can expect to hear more about impact on MU Extension positions and titles that may be affected by this change.

You can listen to a discussion of that planning in a recording of the May 13 forum on the MU Extension budget at


Youth professionals gather for training in Columbia


Last week the MU Youth Development Academy attracted 25 individuals from around the state and nation to Columbia for five days of concentrated classes, workshops and exercises on managing and leading youth-oriented programs.

Among the attendees were youth professionals from Illinois, Idaho and Missouri. Other participants included community organization leaders, as well as graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of fields. Their common interests focused on learning more about helping young people develop their potential.

In addition to the 25 academy participants, pictured above are several MU Extension 4-H staff and faculty who conducted the various training sessions throughout the week. MU 4-H youth specialists Alison Copeland and Steve Henness organized the semi-annual continuing education event, which was conducted at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center on the MU campus.


Roberts, Decker to receive 2016 Provost Awards


Craig Roberts, professor and state forage specialist, was selected to receive the 2016 Donald W. Fancher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension and Continuing Education from the MU Office of the Provost. The award provides special recognition to faculty who have made outstanding contributions to MU’s extension and continuing education efforts.


Jared Decker, assistant professor and state beef specialist, will receive the 2016 Provost Award for Creative Extension Programming by New Faculty. The award recognizes faculty who have made exceptional accomplishments in their first four years in extension or continuing education.

Roberts and Decker will be officially recognized in the fall at the annual Faculty Awards Dinner. Both awards carry a $1,000 prize.


Changes in communications and marketing services

From Dennis Gagnon, director of communications and marketing

Unfortunately, recent funding reductions have required a reduction in communications and marketing personnel. Consequently, there will be a change in some services. Most noticeably, beginning June 15, our office will no longer have staff to actively seek out stories or develop radio and television packages as a routine service.

This does not mean that news activity will come to an end. In the coming weeks, we will release an electronic process for faculty and staff to submit information that editorial staff will use to develop stories. In some cases, this process may require additional effort on the part of those seeking news coverage for issues and programming, but it will make it possible to honor extension’s long-standing commitment to keeping the public informed.

In the interest of balancing needs and demand, the intent is to prioritize news work as follows:

-Immediate release of critical public information that directly affects the safety of people, livestock and property.

-Practical information that improves lives, communities, agriculture and businesses.

-Organizational announcements and event notices.

-Feature stories that demonstrate the value of MU Extension programming.

As we work through this process, more details and information on how to use this new process will be available soon.

I appreciate your patience and understanding as we strive to adjust to fiscal realities.


Russell is new Labor Education director


Robert Russell, labor education specialist in St. Louis County, will be the new director of MU Extension’s Labor Education Program, effective June 13.

Russell has a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Iowa. As a labor education specialist, Russell developed and delivered a variety of credit and noncredit courses, provided leadership to the program in the St. Louis area, and built and maintained relationships with labor organizations and representatives, community organizations, management representatives, and other stakeholders.

Before joining MU Extension in 2011, he worked as an organizer for the American Federation of Teachers in Wisconsin and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America in Iowa. Since 2014 he has also served as coordinator of the Labor Studies Program at UMSL.

He replaces Paul Rainsberger, who officially retired last year but has continued to direct the program on a part-time basis.


International Trade Center receives presidential award for export service

MU’s International Trade Center received the President’s “E” Award for significant contributions to the expansion of U.S. exports. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker presented the award May 16 at a ceremony in Washington, DC.

ITC is a partnership of MU Extension’s Business Development Program, the Missouri Small Business Development Centers and the Trulaske College of Business.

“The ‘E’ Awards committee was very impressed with the University of Missouri International Trade Center’s dedication to supporting Missouri businesses in understanding the export process and entering new international markets,” Secretary Pritzker wrote in a congratulatory letter. “The organization's collaboration with partners to achieve export promotion goals was also particularly notable.”

ITC promotes economic development and aids in international decision-making of Missouri businesses while providing MU students opportunities for experiential learning.

“The International Trade Center underscores our efforts in MU Extension by bridging the gap between academics and Missouri businesses,” said Steven Devlin, director of the Business Development Program. “This partnership is a prime example of how Extension serves the state of Missouri.”

Read more at Mizzou Business News.


Previously, I’ve shared tips on how to find your target audience and how to create effective marketing pieces. (Remember, if you’re too busy to create your own—and who isn’t? —there are lots of templates available that will save time and your sanity! Go to But none of that stuff will matter if we don’t properly identify who we are and why that is important.

What is the most unique thing about extension programming?

What sets the information we provide apart from the information found through a Google search?

The answer to both of these questions is that our information draws on the expertise of University of Missouri faculty and is rooted in research from MU and other land-grant institutions.

If you are not using the MU Extension logo on all of your marketing materials, you are missing opportunities to build credibility and recognition with people in your county. But it isn’t enough to just use the logo; you must make it noticeable. It can’t be lost among other logos or tucked away in a small corner.

It must be a focal point.

By making the logo more prominent on all of your materials, you will increase brand recognition, loyalty and credibility for your local office. In most instances, the MU Extension logo should be the only logo on your marketing materials. In the rare circumstance when a logo from an external organization needs to be included, the MU Extension logo should be the most prominent, with others smaller and in less prominent positions.

How to identify a county office 

One of extension’s strategic goals is to strengthen the awareness of MU Extension as the division of the university that carries out MU’s land-grant mission — bringing practical, research-based information to Missourians. Because of that, it is imperative that county offices are branded as part of the university, not as individual offices in each county.

The MU Extension logo should be the most prominent piece of the identification, with the county name as the secondary piece.

To make it easy, files for each county office have been created.

The correct way to identify your county office in writing or verbally is University of Missouri Extension in (your) County. Not (your) County Extension. Any time you miss the opportunity to advertise that you are part of the university, you are not taking full advantage of the most important thing about our programming. 

Following these guidelines is one of the easiest, most effective ways to build recognition and market your services.

Find high-resolution MU Extension and county identification logos at

What’s next?

Now, I’d like to hear from you. What marketing-related topic should we tackle next time? Send me an email at and let me know what questions I can answer in the next Insider. If your topic is chosen, you could win a fabulous prize!


Do it with style

The internet and the web become common


By DeeAnna Adkins, web coordinator, MU Extension communications and marketing

As our language evolves, sometimes words that were considered proper nouns become so often-used and well-known that style and grammar authorities decide they should be considered common nouns and lowercased.

Associated Press has recently decided to lowercase two terms it had previously uppercased, internet and web. An additional change makes some web-related terms that were previously two words into one word, including webpage and webfeed. Terms such as web browser and web address remain as two words, and website remains one word.

These terms have been updated in our MU Extension style guide. Because there will be many instances of these terms on our webpages and in print publications, we will update as pages and publications come up for review or reprinting. We suggest you do the same as you update and review your documents and webpages.

Find the house style guide at To find it through the website navigation, go to the “For faculty and staff” pages and look in the “Communications and marketing” section under “DIY communications” for the “Style and usage guide.”


Hats off to winners of Whitten Hall headwear contest


Last week saw unseasonably cool weather in Columbia and no heat in Whitten Hall. In the spirit of making lemonade when life gives you lemons, Interim Vice Provost and Director of Extension L. Jo Turner announced a hat contest for May 18. Winners received a Starbucks gift card, ideal for getting a hot cup of coffee on a chilly day.

The grand prize winner was Chris Marston, who was also celebrating her 25th year with MU. She secured her contest victory with an oversized stars-and-stripes-themed top hat.

The group prize went to the second-floor HR group. “There were many terrific groups, but creative use of pantyhose hats won the day,” wrote Turner in a congratulatory email.

Best individual per office group:

  • Joyce Conklin, Labor Education.
  • Clint McMillen, communications and marketing (103).
  • Sherry Howard, 109 group.
  • Curt Wohleber, communications and marketing (basement).

You can find snapshots of the groups on the “S” drive at /MUCampus/VPO/May Photos.


Call for MU Staff Advisory Council nominations

Would you like to serve on the MU Staff Advisory Council or know someone who would? If so, please nominate yourself or a colleague.

Nominees must be full-time (75 percent or above FTE) permanent, non-academic, non-hospital University of Missouri-Columbia staff who have completed one year of continuous employment with the university by the May 27 application deadline.

The elected council members will serve a three-year term beginning Sept. 1, 2016. To nominate yourself or a staff member, please complete the nomination form.

The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. Friday, May 27.

For more information on the MU Staff Advisory Council, please call 573-882-4269 or visit the council’s website.


Insider reader contest


Last issue’s winner was Elaine Anderson, 4-H youth specialist in Miller County. She won an MU Extension jacket.


Only three chances left to win MU Extension apparel! This issue’s prize is a black and gold Tri-Mountain polo shirt, short-sleeve with moisture-wicking and antimicrobial technology. To enter, complete this issue’s crossword puzzle by noon Friday, May 27.


Dates to remember

Schedule changes to fee-generation workshops

Additional workshops have been scheduled to provide instructions for using the Fee-generation Worksheet-Online Tool, while the June 16 and Aug. 18 sessions have been canceled.

The training is intended for anyone who is new to using the tool or anyone who feels they could benefit from a refresher. Sessions will be conducted via Adobe Connect. Register through WebApps for ISE 271 or send an email with your preferred session to Carol Heffner at Sessions that do not have at least four registrants will be canceled and registrants will be asked to choose an alternative date.


June 16


July 20

10-11 a.m.

Aug. 18


Sept. 21

10-11 a.m.

Oct. 13

2-3 p.m.

Nov. 16

10-11 a.m.

Dec. 15

2-3 p.m.


Diversity 101, interactive online training

Diversity 101, a free, four-week online class, is a highly interactive introduction to diversity, particularly as it pertains to working at MU. A core aspect of the course design is peer-to-peer learning through discussion boards in order to draw upon the rich and diverse experiences of colleagues across campus. Other aspects of the class include videos, reflection journal and self-guided activities. Register for the June 3-June 30 or July 8-Aug. 7 session at


Get a new lease on life! Register now for stress reduction classes

From UM System Internal Communications

Three decades of research show the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program ( is effective in helping you cope with job- or family-related stress, medical problems and anxiety/depression.

Tuesday offering
Orientation: May 31.
Classes: June 6-July 26.
Retreat: July 16.

Wednesday offering
Orientation: June 1.
Classes: June 8-July 27.
Retreat: July 16.

Cost: $40 for faculty/staff/retirees, which can cover you and your spouse/partner ($20 rebate if you attend seven of eight classes).

Eligible participants earn 100 points for the Wellness Incentive (


Change how you think about eating! Enroll in Eat for Life now

From UM System Internal Communications

Have a history of chronic dieting, or eating when stressed, bored or unhappy? Enroll in Eat for Life now. Create a healthier relationship to your food, mind and body.

In-person course starts June 1.

Online course starts June 3.

Cost: $50 for faculty/staff/family ($25 rebate with full participation); $180 for others.

More info:

Earn 100 points toward the 2016 Wellness Incentive, paying up to $450 (

Sponsoring department: Healthy for Life: T.E. Atkins Wellness Program for employees.


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.

May 29: Ascension of the Baha’ullah (Baha’i) commemorates the death of the founder of the Baha’i faith, who died May 29, 1892.

June 5-July 5 (begins at sundown): Ramadan (Islamic) is an occasion to focus on faith through fasting and prayer, and is one of the most important Muslim holidays.

June 11-13 (begins at sundown): Shavuot (Jewish), a holiday with significant work restrictions, commemorates receipt of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

June 21: Litha/Midsomer/Alban Hefin/Summer Solstice (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid) celebrates the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. One of the eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

July 4-5 (begins at sundown): Eid al-Fitr (Islamic), a holiday with significant work restriction, is the last day of Ramadan, marking the end of a month of fasting.

July 13-14 (begins at sundown): Tisha B’Av (Jewish) commemorates a series of Jewish tragedies, including the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem.

Aug. 1: Lammas / Lughnasadh (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid) celebrates the beginning of the harvest. One of the eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

Aug. 17: Raksha Bandhan (Hindu) falls in the holy month of Shravan; the origin and history of Rakhi can be dated back to the mythological Pouranik times.

For more information, go to


Other dates to remember

May 23-27: Staff Recognition Week.

June 1: Friends of Extension Quilt Day Camp, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Missouri Star Sewing Center, 114 N. Davis St., Hamilton. A $15 fee covers cost of catered lunch. RSVP by May 25 to or 573-884-8570.

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

June 15: Nomination deadline for County Clerical Staff Recognition Awards.

June 17-18: Council to Campus.

Oct. 25-27: MU Extension Summit.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Christine Casey, office support assistant III, MU Conference Office.

Jennifer Fortna, youth program assistant, Macon County, NE Region.



Gerald Snapp, associate director program/project operations, 4-H Youth Development.



Opal Brillhart, mother of Matt Brillhart, CPD in Jackson County, died May 15 in Lee’s Summit at the age of 81. Services were held May 19. Cards may be sent to 12000 Mar Bec Trail, Independence, MO 64052.


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.