Written by Ricardo Perez, PROMISE Intern

 

Ricardo Perez
Ricardo Perez, OSU Open Campus 2016 PROMISE intern

I am Ricardo Perez and I am the 2016 PROMISE intern for Outreach and Engagement, Open Campus. I am entering my junior year here at Oregon State University studying Business Management with an option in International Business. After hearing about the large professional development growth the previous PROMISE interns had, I decided to apply to the program in hopes of obtaining the same skills.

Having the opportunity to be mentored by Jeff Sherman, the program leader for Open Campus, has been far from boring. Jeff gave me the tools necessary to evolve into a more competent individual in the business world. Through my experience, Jeff instructed me on programming logistics, how to use project management software, how to communicate with community partners and he gave me the freedom to create new projects.

I would also like to mention Hollie Conger. Hollie is in charge of marketing and communications for Open Campus. Hollie greatly influenced my experience and positively impacted my marketing skills. Through our work, Hollie showed me how to manage social media accounts, edit video, maintain the website and use Adobe Illustrator.

My experience as an intern would not have been the same if it were not for these individuals. Being able to intern for people who create an engaging and energizing environment made my time as an intern the best it could be. The support they gave me and the skills I acquired have truly impacted my professional development.

Ricardo Perez PROMISE workshop
Ricardo Perez with OSU Open Campus mentors Jeff Sherman and Hollie Conger

My main project was to organize the 2016 Roads Scholar Engagement Tour. The main goal for The Roads Scholar Tour is to invite newer faculty and employees who are new to engagement, to gain a sense for community engagement and to form relationships with colleagues who do similar work. This year’s tour is located in Central Oregon, with stops in Warm Springs, Redmond, and Bend. Having the opportunity to construct The Roads Scholar Tour and collaborate with so many members has enhanced my communication skills and prepared me for a career in business.

Along with planning The Roads Scholar Engagement Tour, I was involved in small projects for the Juntos program. Through this experience, I had the opportunity to work with Ana Gomez, the main coordinator for Juntos. Working with Ana made this experience so fun and exciting! Seeing someone who is so passionate in helping others really sparked my fascination with the program. Through my experience, I learned how Juntos works to empower families around education, is constructed to prevent youth from dropping out of high school and encourages families to work together to gain access to college. My main project for Juntos was planning the 2017 Family Day, an event where families have an opportunity to visit the OSU campus and learn more about the different resources available.

It is hard to believe that my journey as an intern is more than half way complete. My experience here at Outreach and Engagement, Open Campus has been one I will never forget. The amount of professional, as well as personal growth I developed is something I never thought would happen in a short 10 weeks.

I am honored to interact with people who truly enjoy positively impacting the Oregon community. I would like to give thanks to my mentors who have shown me the immense impact Outreach and Engagement has, as well as preparing me for the professional world. Jeff, Hollie, Ana, and Pam, thank you for all your hard work and for providing me the best experience possible at Outreach and Engagement.

Written by Emalee Rabinovitch, PROMISE Intern
OSU-ALUMNI-CLATSOP-COUNTY-FAIR-2016-11
PROMISE intern Emalee Rabinovitch (left) at the 2016 Clatsop County Fair with Benny the Beaver and a friend.

How do you touch the lives of the people that you meet?

This is a question I find myself asking pretty frequently. My whole life I have known that I wanted to enter a career field where I could continually touch the lives of those around me. So when I found an internship that did just that, I knew it would be a perfect fit for me.

My name is Emalee Rabinovitch and I am about to graduate from Oregon State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Public Health and Education. One of my final tasks here at OSU was to find an internship that aligned with the same values and outcomes as my degree. After doing a bit of searching, I came across the PROMISE Program.

The PROMISE Program is a 10-week internship experience that provides opportunities in state and local government agencies, as well as university programs for Oregon State University undergraduate students. These internships are intended to provide students a pathway to a professional career with an emphasis on helping underrepresented students.

After acceptance into the program, PROMISE coordinators set up a number of interviews for students to find an internship site that best understands their career aspirations and needs. On April 26, 2016, I received an email from one of the coordinators saying I received a joint offer from the Division of University Outreach and Engagement and OSU Extension Service Coast Region.

Before I knew it I was set up and ready to go in Ballard Extension Hall on campus.

My first week consisted of getting to know the new faces around me while diving head-first into what Extension was all about. My main project is to create a one-page, double-sided marketing tool template to inform readers about how Extension is influencing the lives of community members in Oregon’s counties.

The goal is to create a customizable marketing tool for each county and region to inform more people about the resources provided through their local Extension offices. Starting with Clatsop County, I visited the office in Astoria and met their very welcoming staff members saw the work they were doing. By visiting the county, I was able to see the impact these programs have on the members of the community and the positive changes being made.

20160628_PromiseCandids_HO-5970 - Copy
Emalee Rabinovitch (right), PROMISE intern, and Ann Marie Murphy (left), mentor, get to know one another during a PROMISE workshop.

The best way I can describe this overall journey is that it is an internship within an internship. I not only was provided with one learning experience through sessions with my PROMISE team, but I also was provided with an experience here at University Outreach and Engagement that allows me to grow as a professional and individual, as well as creating lasting workplace relationships.

This program is unique because it allowed me to gain not one, but several excellent mentors who helped me reach my goals and provided me with excellent resources for my future. One of the mentors I found myself looking to was Ann Murphy, communication and marketing manager for University Outreach and Engagement. I met Ann for the first time during my interview for the position back in April and could tell immediately she had a great sense of creativity and dedication.

Eric Dunker, Regional Administrator for the Coast Region, has been an outstanding mentor in this process as well. I admire Eric’s passion to get out there and be hands-on in order to give the communities what they need. I saw this in both Eric and Ann while getting to know them professionally and personally in these past 10 weeks. Both are extremely driven individuals who want to make a difference and educate people about what Extension Service has to offer. I feel very fortunate to have met these two and to have had the chance to be mentored by them. They taught me much more than they signed up for and provided me with excellent resources as I graduate and enter the “real world.”

After learning so much about the Division, it brought me back to asking: “How do you touch the lives of the people that you meet?” University Outreach and Engagement and Extension Service do this every day.

I never knew 10 weeks could go by so fast, but in my time being here I was able to see incredible staff members make positive changes in the communities and people they cared for. The programs offered are directly touching the lives of neighbors, friends, local business owners and many more, as well as letting local stakeholders be involved in the decision making process.

Each faculty member touches the lives of those they interact with and had a significant influence in making my time here great.  As I go on in my future endeavors, I hope to educate more people about Extension resources and how they can benefit everyone involved.

I may be just an intern, but after this experience I feel like I have the necessary tools in my toolbox to go out into society and touch the lives of those around me because of what I have learned from my time here at University Outreach and Engagement.

To learn more about the PROMISE program, click this link.

 

After months of work and input from more than 300 people within the Division of University Outreach and Engagement, the 2016-2021 Strategic Plan is written, packaged and will be delivered the week of August 8 to all locations within the Division. Next step? Prioritizing resources and areas of focus, identifying the measurable metrics of progress, and beginning the implementation phase.

This month’s First Monday Video introduces Jeff Sherman who is charged with coordinating the next phase of the plan.

 

Poster_11x17_2A team will be formed around each of the Division’s five goals. Would you like to add your voice to one of the teams? Contact Jeff.Serman@oregonstate.edu. We welcome – and encourage – your participation!

The next Quarterly Conversation on August 19, beginning at 9 a.m. in Kidder 202 (and also live-streamed) will talk more about the plan, in addition to a Q&A about the recent changes within the Division of University Outreach and Engagement and marketing initiatives underway.

Tune in to the August 19 Quarterly Conversation and ask the questions that are on your mind, or ask questions using the comment section of the O&E Blog.

Written by Ann Marie Murphy for the fall edition of O&E —

Harpist in Hopkins forestThe Hopkins Demonstration Forest is a 140-acre, privately-owned forest and operating tree farm where family woodland owners and the public can learn about forest management. The forest is operated by Forests Forever, Inc., a nonprofit organization with the mission “to promote science-based education to enhance understanding of and appreciation for the complexities and benefits of woodland management.”

 

Although the forest is in Oregon City and part of the Portland metropolitan area, it is still a challenge to attract new audiences and a larger cross-section of society to experience and learn from the forest’s example of sustainable forestry.

 

In response, Hopkins Forest of Arts was launched in 2013 as a collaboration between Forests Forever, Inc., Three Rivers Artists Guild, and Oregon State University Extension Service. The event, led by OSU Extension faculty with the help of volunteers from both the arts and forestry communities, brings together music, environmental interests and art that is created from, in or about the forest—all while offering educational experiences about forest management.

 

FoA Forest Hall Gallery 2014In 2014, OSU Extension Forester Glenn Ahrens engaged faculty and students from OSU’s College of Liberal Arts to participate in the Forest of Arts event. The collaboration resulted in a “Creative Forest” program in 2015 that inspired five OSU Liberal Arts faculty and 36 OSU art and music students to think creatively about the forest and its meanings to the communities, families and people who live in and are supported by forests. Results can be seen in this video: https://vimeo.com/146518978.

 

Find out more about the Hopkins Demonstration Forest: www.demonstrationforest.org

Food Preservation_Flckr
Photo: Flickr
Adapted from a news release written by Kym Pokorny, Extension and Experiment Station Communications–

It’s that time of year! The bounty of Oregon’s tempting produce is ripening and interest in food preservation remains strong.

 

OSU’s food preservation and safety hotline has opened for the season. Master Food Preservers, who have completed 40 hours of training, answer question ranging from how to avoid botulism to how to convert grandma’s recipe for pie filling to modern standards.

 

“The most important part of safe and healthy food preservation is finding current, tested instructions, and following them,” said Jeanne Brandt, Extension Master Food Preserver program coordinator. “Food preservation research is an ongoing process, so there are a lot of recent changes in canning recommendations and new equipment and products. Using the most current and research-based instructions will help ensure your products are safe, healthy and delicious.”

 

The toll-free hotline at 800-354-7319 runs until Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. When the hotline is closed, callers can leave a message. Additionally, many Extension offices offer free pressure gauge testing.

 

The hotline gets thousands of questions a year. Most commonly, people ask about preserving salsa, tomatoes and tuna. OSU Extension offers publications on each: Salsa Recipes for Canning, Canning Seafood and Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products.

 

For more information, go to the OSU Extension website on food preservation. OSU Extension’s Ask an Expert service also takes online questions about food preservation.

 

What’s your favorite food to preserve?

Written by Ann Marie Murphy –

 

Ask an Expert logoAsk an Expert, an internet-based service offered through OSU Extension Service, has helped to answer more than 20,000 inquiries.

 

The service was developed by eXtension in 2006 as a national online tool for all of Cooperative Extension and was launched in Oregon in March, 2011. Oregon is one of the top five most active users of the service.

 

Half of all inquiries come from people that are new to OSU Extension Service, making it an excellent tool for community engagement.

 

On average, 77 percent said their Ask an Expert question was very or critically important to them and 78 percent said the answer very much or completely answered their question. Questions range from “Should we eat expired tofu?“ to the more provocative “May I throw rocks at my husband to save our tree?

 

Answers to Ask an Expert questions also have the power to change lives: 65 percent said they changed their behavior as a result of the answer to their question.

 

How does it work? Ask an Expert questions are forwarded to a national databank. The system then automatically assigns the questions to experts in the state from which the question originated based on their listed expertise.

 

“A team of local Oregon Question Monitors jump in to assist in the digital process, putting people-powered networking skills into the loop,” said Jeff Hino, recently retired learning technology leader in Extension and Experiment Station Communications, and coordinator of OSU’s Ask an Expert. Monitors help guide the questions to the best experts, which include a stable of more than 130 OSU faculty experts and more than 30 master gardeners. Their goal is to get the question answered in less than 48 hours, the national service standard. “On average, Oregon is doing better than that,” said Hino.

 

Ask the Expert has a high profile on county Extension websites and a “Question of the Week” is regularly featured on OregonLive, The Oregonian’s online edition, and in the newspaper’s home and gardening section (approximately 60 percent of the questions are garden related).

 

Other interesting and intriguing questions include:

 

 

Thank you to all the experts that respond to Ask the Expert questions! And don’t forget, Ask the Expert is a resource if you need an answer to one of life’s pressing questions.

O&E First Monday Update July 2016

New marketing initiatives are underway in the Division. Hear about them in this month’s First Monday—which actually is being released on Tuesday—video. Benny the Beaver will be appearing at 31 county fairs to create awareness of OSU and support OSU Extension community engagement efforts. Benny, who is a very engaging beaver, met with Vice Provost Scott Reed and Lindsey Shirley, Associate Provost and Associate Director of OSU Extension.

Use the blog’s comment section to share your ideas on how we can reach more Oregonians through OSU Extension.

Thanks to Steven Ward and Lynn Ketchum from EESC who did this month’s video under the direction of Jill Wells. Promotional videos are being produced for use by each Extension office where Benny will appear (also Jill’s idea!).

Stay tuned for information about the recent changes in the Division.

In the meantime, learn more about the Division and its work and people with this month’s O&E Blog posts.

Adapted from a story written by Oregon Sea Grant, which will appear in the Fall 2016 edition of O&E—

 

Working Waterfronts map
Map of Coos Bay’s working waterfront

Are you heading to the Oregon Coast this summer? Have you driven the coast highway wondering where you can find fresh seafood, or want to know where the seafood came from, or even if it is in season? We might have just the thing for you!

 

Oregon Sea Grant and OSU Extension Service developed two apps for smartphones and tablets to appeal to tourists and seafood lovers. The goal is to bolster the state’s coastal economies.

 

The first app, Oregon’s Catch, identifies locations along the entire Oregon coast where people can buy fresh and frozen seafood caught by Oregon fishermen.

 

The second app, Oregon’s Working Waterfronts, offers a self-guided tour of waterfronts in Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston. Through video clips and photos, users get a behind-the-scenes look at local industries and infrastructure—including a lumber mill, seafood processor, Coast Guard cutter, shipyard and tuna troller—and the people who work in and on them.

 

“For tourists, I hope they learn something, stay a little longer, and have a greater appreciation for the Coos Bay area,” says Jamie Doyle, an Oregon Sea Grant specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service who was involved with development of the apps along with Mark Farley, Cyber Lab manager at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Oregon's Catch app cover

 

In addition to the app, Oregon Sea Grant produced a fold-out map of the same “stops.” The map will be available at local businesses and other attractions. The developers plan to add tours of other waterfronts in the future.

 

Both apps are free and available for Android and Apple devices. Search for Oregon’s Working Waterfronts and Oregon’s Catch (available at the end of July 2016).

 

Even if you’re not planning a trip to the south coast any time soon, Oregon Sea Grant produced a series of working waterfront videos: http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/oregons-working-waterfront-tour-series-online-videos

Reprint of Corvallis Gazette-Times article by James Day, June 22, 2016
Lindsey Shirley_Corvallis Gazette-Times_Anibal Ortiz
Photo of Lindsey Shirley by Anibal Ortiz, Corvallis Gazette-Times

Editor’s Note: Lindsey Shirley, new University Outreach and Engagement associate provost and associate director of OSU Extension Service received some front page attention in the Corvallis Gazette-Times. The article provides some insights into Lindsey’s way of thinking so I thought the article is worth sharing in its entirety.

Lindsey Shirley has perhaps one of the most far-reaching positions at Oregon State University.

As associate provost and associate director of the OSU Extension Service, Shirley runs the day-to-day operations of the service and works with outposts in all 36 Oregon counties. She succeeds Deborah Maddy, who retired this year.

One of her first orders of business since assuming the position June 1 is to visit all 36 counties. She will start with visits to the Portland metro area, Eastern Oregon and Central Oregon. She doesn’t have a sense yet of how long it will take, and it sounds like one of those enterprises that could turn into a bit of an adventure.

“The extension service is the front door of the university,” Shirley said. “It’s really important for me to spread the word about the benefits of the extension service. We have diverse offerings and programs and ways to communicate that information.”

Shirley also notes that she has to have a dual focus: understanding the breadth of the service’s programs and accomplishing group goals.

“I need to be combining information gathering with task-oriented advocacy on things that can be implemented,” she said. “I don’t want to take my first 100 days just information gathering.”

When you think OSU Extension Service, 4-H and other agricultural programs wind up top of the mind, but Shirley emphasizes that the service is much more than that and tailors its programs to the needs of people in those 36 counties. Shirley also noted that 4-H has a presence in all Oregon counties.

She offered a handout that identified the activities the [Extension] service is involved in, including energy, poverty, economic development, urban issues and human health.

“What activities are appropriate? What gets you the outputs and outcomes you want?” she said. “It could be a change of behavior that could help fight obesity — for adults and children.

“We need to look at the people in each county. What are the needs for this region?”

That’s why the visits are so critical. Although Shirley knows that some spots on the Extension Service map are much more conveniently reached by air, “you could also see it as a road trip, a way to see all the dots and what’s between the dots.”

Shirley came to OSU from Utah State University, where she initiated a bachelor’s program in outdoor product design.

“There are more than 1,000 companies in Utah that are involved in outdoor products,” she said, “and no career path. We worked on everything from materials to manufacturing, snowboard gear and apparel.”

Shirley grew up in Iowa, with two of her degrees being awarded from Iowa State University in her hometown of Ames. The strong extension programs and agricultural resources in the state definitely influenced her “life path,” she said.

And the life path of her family as well. Her parents have moved from Iowa to Portland, and her brother also left Iowa and is now working for the University of Oregon. Shirley previously had only brief experience traveling through Oregon but she felt “Oregon was a great place to live and work and this position gets me connected with people in Oregon.

“We continue to be pioneers.”

Written by Ann Marie Murphy —
Mayra Senator Merkley
Senator Jeff Merkley with YA4-H! Malheur County teen teacher, Myra.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley was impressed. So impressed, he bestowed an award on the Malheur County Youth Advocates for Health (YA4-H!) program.

 

Recognizing its impact, Senator Jeff Merkley selected and recognized the Malheur County YA4-H! Teens as Teachers program and presented them with a Community Commendation Flag at the town hall in Ontario, Ore., for their work in Malheur County.

 

YA4-H! is a statewide teen health ambassador program that began in Oregon in the fall of 2011 with the ultimate goal of leading positive health-related change in their communities. In the process, the teen ambassadors also learn healthy eating and active lifestyle behaviors.

 

Here’s a sample of the project’s contribution to Malheur county:

 

  • Since 2013, the teens have helped plan, plant, and harvest over 6,482 pounds of produce in partnership with the Four Rivers Community Garden for the Next Chapter Food Pantry. In 2015 the teens held ten education field trips for youth in the community garden.
  • They reached 500 youth in kindergarten through sixth grade with five hours of direct education related to physical activity, nutrition, plant science, and healthy living.
  • They worked with community partners such as Alameda Elementary School to host a Food Hero booth at a Fun Run.

 

“This project is an exceptional example of a true community partnership and the importance Extension plays in the community,” noted Barbara Brody, Family & Community Health and 4-H Youth Development, OSU Extension Service Malheur County. “Partners include: Ontario School District; Adult Volunteers/Advisors; Four Rivers Community Garden; St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church; 4-H Alumni; and the teens who are currently enrolled.”

 

The teens participating in the project have proof of their success: Evaluations show that over 90% of the youth that participated in the program delivered by the teens said they would stop drinking sugary drinks. They also tried new foods and learned how to grow their own foods. Another teen participant commented, “I have become more aware of my health by teaching the kids about nutrition and physical activity. I no longer drink soda!” Now that’s a result with the potential for lifelong impact.

 

Teens as teachers YA4H training 028
Studying to be a YA4-H! teen teacher.

To qualify as a YA4-H! teen teacher, teens make a substantial commitment in time – at least 10 hours of training is recommended as a minimum, but 30-40 hours of training is preferred – and  must be:

 

  • Between the ages of 15 – 17;
  • Motivated to learn about healthy eating and the benefits of an active lifestyle; and
  • Able to communicate the value of healthy eating and increased physical activity, and to help others make healthy choices.

 

YA4-H logoLearn more about the program here.

 

Sources: YA4-H! Youth Advocates for Health website, Mary Arnold on YA4-H!