Based on a submission for Vice Provost Award of Excellence

 

June 2016 Alternative Break program participants at Warm Springs, Oregon.
June 2016 Alternative Break program participants at Warm Springs, Oregon. Photo: Ashlei Edgemon.

Designed to meet various community needs, Alternative Break trips meet community needs while providing compelling learning and civic leadership development opportunities for students.

 

In June 2016, nine students and one staff member worked with the Warm Springs Extension Office and nine community partners on several environmental, cultural, and health and well-being projects during a week-long Warm Springs-based learning trip sponsored by OSU’s Center for Civic Engagement.

 

The students participated in community-based service learning to gain increased cultural understanding and intercultural connections, complete projects that met community-identified needs, and explore policy issues impacting the Warm Springs community. In total, the group contributed 78 service hours and participated in 176 educational hours. Projects included assisting in landscaping work, invasive species removal, and grass planting.

 

June 2016 Alternative Break program participants at Warm Springs, Oregon.
Photo: Julianna Cooper

“I have formed new relationships with incredible people, have been inspired to be more independent, walked away with knowledge about life on reservations, and a commitment to make a positive influence in my community.” Student quote

 

Through educational sessions, community events and direct service work, the group explored cultural programming and events, tribal policy and governance, community services and resources, education, healthcare, and hydroelectric energy that all impact the cultural preservation and celebration and health and well-being of the Warm Springs area.

 

“The trip reinforced my desire to work in public health and brought to light more public health disparities than I was aware of prior to embarking on the trip. [It also] increased my awareness of the health needs of tribal communities.” Student quote

 

June 2016 Alternative Break program participants at Warm Springs, Oregon.
Clearing ground and planting grass seed at the Museum at Warm Springs. Photo: Julianna Cooper.

Educational sessions covered a wide range of topics related to tribal life, challenges, and solutions. The group discovered various factors impacting community health and well-being in Warm Springs by exploring elements of food sourcing, tribal ceremonies, community and cultural activities, and outdoor recreation.  The group visited extensively with faculty and staff at the Warm Springs Extension Office to learn about the services and programs put on by OSU Extension for the community and the role of OSU Extension in the Warm Springs community.

 

“I’ve been impacted immensely by this trip. I always knew I wanted to do community work no matter what field I ended up in, but seeing it with my own eyes really solidified my future plans for a career in activism.” Student quote

 

Students also learned about Native traditions, customs, the history of the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Pauite tribes and the Treaty of 1855 through their conversations with tribal members and visiting the Museum at Warm Springs. By spending time with tribal members, trip participants explored and learned about the tribal customs and issues impacting tribal communities today through personal narrative and story sharing.

 

OSU units, tribal government agencies, and local nonprofits are all a part of this program to co-create environments for students to learn about social issues and contribute to addressing community needs each year. Partnerships are foundational to this program, the content is cross-disciplinary (public health, ethnic studies, environmental science, education), and the result is transformational learning for OSU students.

 

June 2016 Alternative Break program participants at Warm Springs, Oregon.
Photo: Julianna Cooper.

“I am amazed, intrigued, and humbled. I will forever hope to continue to grow and open my mind in the way I did on this trip.” Student quote

 

Community Partners

 

Creating the Alternative Break program relies on community and staff partnerships to co-create experiences that are rewarding for the students and valued by the Warm Springs:

 

  • Carol Leone, Executive Director, Museum at Warm Springs
  • Tamera Moody, Education Coordinator, Museum at Warm Springs
  • Kacey Conyers, Community Health Dietitian, Warm Springs Health & Wellness Center
  • Alyssa Macy, Chief Operations Manager, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
  • Jefferson Greene, Director of Youth Development, Warm Springs Culture & Heritage
  • Jim Manion, General Manager, Warm Springs Power & Water Enterprises
  • Ken Kippley, Tribal Police Officer, Warm Springs Police Department
  • Frank Smith (Footer), Elder, Tribal member
  • Emily Bowling, Assistant Director of Student Leadership & Involvement, Oregon State University
  • Rosanna Sanders, OFNEP Nutrition Education Program Assistant , OSU
  • Beth Ann Beamer, County Leader at Warm Springs Extension, Family & Community Health Coordinator, OSU

 

The Warm Springs Student Alternative Break Program will receive a Vice Provost Award of Excellence on April 17, 2017.

Based on a blog post by Hayden Bush

 

Editor’s note: Powerful partnerships are growing across Oregon’s landscape and the Partners for Rural Innovation Center is a prime example. Collaborations are focused on building community vitality in Tillamook County by supporting “innovation, entrepreneurship, job readiness and post-secondary degree attainment for citizens of Tillamook county. It is a shared commitment and investment in long-term economic vitality and the educational needs of Tillamook County.” (Source: Tillamook Bay Community College) As Scott Reed, vice provost for University Outreach and Engagement and director OSU Extension Service, says: True partnerships create what cannot be done otherwise. The opening of the facility will be celebrated March 6, 2017.

The Third Street corridor of Tillamook has a different landscape, thanks to an exciting partnership of community groups.  The Partners for Rural Innovation Center is an 11,000 square foot, multi-use facility housing OSU Open Campus, OSU Extension Service, Tillamook Bay Community College’s Agriculture and Natural Resources degree program, the Small Business Development Center, Tillamook County Economic Development Center, and the Visit Tillamook Coast tourism team.

The project was funded by a matching bond from the Oregon state legislature, a variety of grants, and local community donations.

The Partners for Rural Innovation Center will help small businesses in Tillamook County thrive by fostering a more deliberate team effort between the Small Business Development Center, OSU Open Campus, and OSU Extension. Business owners who are seeking technical advice and assistance with growth opportunities, and help with agronomic and production practices will be able to find answers and support in one location.

Central to serving citizens will be a large classroom space for students in 4-H youth programs, community education, and post-secondary learning. Additionally, the space will serve as a community convening space for after-hours activities. The facility boasts a computer lab designed to assist students completing distance education though OSU.  The Open Campus education coordinator mentors citizens striving to further their education.  In addition, the Juntos program offers new and unique opportunities to serve our county’s Latino population.

Read more about OSU Open Campus  the by visiting the Open Campus blog and website.

Scott Reed, OSU Division of Outreach and EngagementVideo and photo credit: Jill Wells

Working in partnership with communities is essential to the mission and goals of University Outreach and Engagement. So essential, in fact, that three of the Division’s five strategic goals mention community. A prize awaits the first person to correctly identify and post them in the comments below. But more than that, what are new ways to engage our communities that we should begin planning for in the next legislative biennium? Scott wants your ideas.

Adapted by Ann Marie Murphy

 

cc-graduation
Left to right: OSU President Ed Ray, Umatilla County Commissioner Bill Elfering and Association of Oregon Counties Executive Director Mike McArthur. Photo was taken at the 2013 County College graduation ceremony that took place at the AOC annual conference.

The Oregon State University Extension Service, in partnership with the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC), once again has put together a series of courses to assist Oregon’s commissioners, judges and other elected officials in learning the ins and outs of county government.

County College is a bi-annual continuing education opportunity for county commissioners and other county elected officials. Beginning in 2006, OSU Extension and the Association of Oregon Counties have designed the program to help newly elected and experienced county officials successfully navigate government systems, issues and programs.

Developed at the request of commissioners wanting a comprehensive curriculum dealing with county issues, the course is voluntary and participants receive a certification of completion. The practical outcomes are a better understanding of the responsibilities and legal obligations of elected officials, professional development, increased effectiveness as a leader, and building a network of experts.

County College consists of 18 instructional blocks, each four hours long. At least fifteen blocks must be completed over the course of a year to receive certification. Each session focuses on a different aspect important to the success of county government. Subjects range from the structure of county government, government ethics law, managing and avoiding risks, leadership and management, human services, public safety, county finance and community development to learning about how counties work in partnership with the OSU Extension Service to better serve residents.

The first three-day session will be held at Oregon State University beginning January 19-21. Five additional sessions will to be held throughout the year tentatively scheduled for Salem, Yamhill County and Wasco County.

Written by Ann Marie Murphy

 

seed-to-supper
Photo by Lynn Ketchum

Many OSU Extension programs expand community capacity to help address a critical local or statewide need. A prime example of this is the Seed to Supper program, a partnership between OSU Extension and the Oregon Food Bank.

 

The poverty rate in Oregon – 16.2% – remains above the national average and more than 600,000 Oregonians lived below the poverty line, an official definition that some believe is outdated and underestimates what it takes to truly make ends meet. Personally, I can’t imagine a family of four making ends meet with a household income of $24,230. According to a 2015 Oregon Center for Public Policy fact sheet, poverty is higher than in the 2007–2009 Great Recession. Children and communities of color are more likely to live in poverty.

 

The goal of Seed to Supper is increased food security of low-income audiences by providing training in beginning vegetable gardening. In other words, helping people learn to grow their own food to stretch limited budgets and increase access to healthy, low-cost foods.

 

Seed to Supper is a series of five or six free vegetable gardening classes offered in English and Spanish and taught by Extension-trained Master Gardeners or those with a strong horticultural background. The number of people attending Seed to Supper classes is well on its way to reaching 1,000. Course topics include garden site and soil development, garden planning, planting, garden care, harvesting, and container gardening. Participants learn where to get free and reduced-cost soil, compost, seeds, starts, trellis materials, mulch, tools, garden space and OSU Extension gardening publications.

 

Seed to Supper classes must be offered free of charge to all participants and program guidelines indicate classes should be hosted by community-based agencies that serve primarily a low-income audience.

 

s2s-web-page-banner_2-525x149Started in Linn and Benton counties, the program has expanded around the state and most recently was adopted by Yamhill County. Survey data from the first cohort indicates that 92% reported a reduction in their food bill and an 80% increase in consumption of vegetables. Having developed a garden in a 12-by-12-foot community garden plot, I know how empowering it is – accompanied by a great sense of satisfaction – to create a meal from the fruits (so to speak) of my labor.

 

“I absolutely loved this class! It is such an amazing resource . . . It gave me confidence and know-how to really give a vegetable garden a go for the first time and I plan to continue it.”

 

“Almost every meal has had food from our garden.”

 

“My granddaughter and I now do some gardening together . . .”

 

“[Seed to Supper] gives people a sense of control over their food sources.”

 

Have you grown your own fruits and vegetables?

Written by Ann Marie Murphy —
spark-reception_deans_header-1
Leaders of the units supporting SPARK, including University Outreach and Engagement, Colleges of Science, Education, Liberal Arts, Honors College and the OSU Library and Press.

Outreach and engagement work connects the university with communities to find ways to address wicked problems. By their nature, wicked problems are not easily solved. Making progress requires innovative thinking and different ways of looking at an issue. Many perspectives are necessary. Because people learn in different ways, conveying to stakeholders and community the work that needs to be done and the desired outcome in relevant and meaningful ways requires creativity and open minds.

“There is no one approach to solve the urgent problems of today and tomorrow. They demand the inspiration and genius of multiple disciplines and multiple perspectives. Collaboration across the arts and science directly advances [OSU’s] strategic goal to create transformative learning experiences for all Oregonians” (OSU SPARK initiative website).

University Outreach and Engagement is one of six units – along with the Colleges of Science, Education, Liberal Arts, Honors College, and the OSU Library and Press – supporting SPARK, a year-long collaborative initiative to celebrate arts and science. “Through SPARK, OSU hopes to elevate the relationship between the arts and science, their critical interplay with each other, and the rich partnerships and collaborations that make it possible.” Charles Robinson, who has a joint appointment with University Outreach and Engagement, College of Liberal Arts and Graduate School, is leading the SPARK initiative.

An approach to increase success with wicked problems might be “design thinking.” Ask, imagine, design, create, evaluate, refine, and share is the model. Sound familiar? This is art and science at work.  Watch this engaging design thinking video (below) created by OSU’s College of Education. Even though the video is focused on helping teachers help students be successful in the classroom, the approach is applicable in many aspects of outreach and engagement work. It is 17 minutes well spent.

Have you used design thinking in your outreach and engagement work? Do you think the design thinking model would work with community problem solving? Share your comments below.

See photos of SPARKS opening reception here.

Written by Ann Marie Murphy

ad_league-or-cities_sponsorship_ad_080416An Outreach and Engagement partnership is being built one step at a time with the League of Oregon Cities (LOC). LOC is a governmental entity formed by an intergovernmental agreement by Oregon’s incorporated cities (a direct quote from the LOC website).  Founded in 1925, LOC works with its member cities to help local government better serve the citizens of Oregon. Introduced to LOC by Vince Adams and Lena Etuk through their work on the Rural Communities Explorer, Scott Reed, Lindsey Shirley and Patrick Proden, metro region administrator, continue to deepen the relationship.

 

The results so far? Sponsorship of the League of Oregon Cities’ 2016 conference and an article in the October 2016 issue of Local Focus, their monthly magazine. The issue focused on how universities – Oregon State University, Portland State University and University of Oregon – are helping Oregon cities. Proden and Maureen Quinn, Extension Family and Community Health Program, attended the late-September conference on behalf of University Outreach and Engagement, both indicating it was well worth their time to attend.

 

osuarticle-oct2016localfocusedited_page_1_outline The article, titled “OSU Extension Service: Helping Communities Envision and Create a Better Future,” was collaboratively written with Patrick Proden. It was an exercise in squeezing the substantial, 100-year story of Extension and its impact in Oregon into a mere 1,500 meaningful words (plus a few pictures and a graphic).

 

Read the story here: osuarticle-oct2016localfocusedited. Reprints of the article are available by contacting Jill Wells (jill.wells@oregonstate.edu). Or, here’s a link to the magazine if you have an interest in reading about PSU and UofO.

 

Help us hone the outreach and engagement story. Tell us how it can be improved by commenting below.

Written by Charles Robinson, University Outreach and Engagement special initiatives, including Extension Reconsidered and Engagement Academy

 

IMG_1688Art has the ability to connect people, share knowledge and experiences, and serve communities. Teaching art at a land grant university means getting off campus, experiencing the landscape and connecting with Oregonians. And that is especially true for students participating in the Creative Coast as part of ART 406-Community Arts Studio.

 

In 2014 and 2015, Community Arts Studio students and others headed to the forest. In 2015 and 2016, ART 406 headed to the Oregon coast to take part in the State of the Coast conference and learn about the Marine Studies Initiative.

 

Creative Coast students from the OSU Art, Music and Theater programs visited Cape Perpetua over two Saturdays in the 2016 Spring term as part of the joint partnership between the College of Liberal Arts and the Division of University Outreach and Engagement. Engagement with Oregon’s people and landscape is a guiding principle of the College of Liberal Arts, and art is a powerful means to realize that educational and social purpose.

 

13120028_10153347952102126_6875238460301234320_oOn the first Saturday, students learned the cultural history of Cape Perpetua from local historian Joanna Kittel. They also heard the poignant and tragic real-life story of Amanda, as told by Don “Doc” Slyter of Coos Bay, an elder of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indian Tribes. Amanda was a blind first-nations woman who was forced to walk over the rocky terrain of Cape Perpetua on her way to the sub-Alsea reservation at Yachats, where she later died. Mr. Slyter played a moving musical piece on his flute for the students, titled “Amanda.”

 

OSU Extension Service partners at Cape Perpetua and the U.S. Forest Service Rangers also aided students with their research by taking the students on natural history tours of the Cape Perpetua area. The tours enhanced the students’ understanding of the relationship the forest has to the ocean and allowed them to explore the tide pools.

 

Art student Auna Godinez responded to the story of Amanda and recreated part of the walk by walking 1.5 miles in bare feet to the Cape Perpetua lookout. Back on campus, she planned to create a painting of Doc Slyter playing his flute combined with a dream-like narrative-image of the story of Amanda.

 

Creative_Coast_ (5)Likewise, student Hanna Gallagher also responded to Doc’s story about the forced movement of the first nations people. She chose to respond by researching Native American basket weaving and, during her second visit to the coast, wove a basket from stalks of grass.

 

Video artists Courtney Kaneshiro, Courtney Mullis and Victoria Rivoire worked on a collaborative video project using editing techniques to weave together images of the ocean tide pools with images from the forest. They also created a unique soundscape to accompany the video.

 

Students in Anna Fidler’s foundation arts class chose to work with sea water to create dye-effects on fabric. Back on campus, they planned to add a crochet element to the artwork.

 

Creative_Coast_(14)Reaching beyond the boundaries of the Corvallis campus provides vital inspiration for novel ways to integrate Oregon landscapes into student creative and community projects, and to provide guided access and practice for building the collaborative relationships so crucial to community work.

 

As Scott Reed, Vice Provost of University Outreach and Engagement points out with an observation by Marcel Proust, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” The Creative Coast and courses like Community Arts Studio offer students an opportunity to see with new eyes and share their inspiration with others.

By Kym Pokorny
maker club sailboad
Members of the OSU Extension 4-H Maker’s club, along with staff from Wind and Oar Boat School, launch the sailboat the students made by hand.

In a small conference room at Portland Community College’s Southeast campus, a dozen middle school students turned a pile of wood into a 12-foot sailboat.

The feat was accomplished by members of the Oregon State University Extension Service’s Makers 4-H club, which was formed in 2014 to give kids in Southeast Portland a chance to participate in an after-school program in an area where few existed.

The students built the boat under the tutelage of staff from partner Wind & Oar Boat School. In the process, they put new skills to work helping to design and engineer the boat. Construction started in September 2015 and wrapped up in January. The boat was launched Aug. 13 at Willamette Sailing Club.

“Each week they got to explore nautical terminology, buoyancy, lofting, angular design and marine architecture,” said Stacey Sowders, Extension 4-H outreach coordinator. “We intended to give them new experiences, which we expected to increase their self-confidence.”

Raxlee Rax, who is about to start his freshman year at Franklin High School, said it worked for him. “I really think this program has boosted my confidence toward building something or designing something or making something happen. And I think it will spill over into other parts of my life.”

maker club sailboat
After spending two months building a sailboat as an after-school project with the OSU Extension’s Makers 4-H club, it was a thrill for Josue Corono-Solis to launch it.

Typically, extracurricular programs are held at school sites. Because the Makers 4-H club is on the PCC campus, it can pull students from several middle schools in the area, allowing them to connect with new kids and adults. Being on campus also increases their chance of going to college, according to Sowders.

“Bringing someone in to talk about their college and career experiences to the kids is one thing,” she said. “But if they get to walk on a college campus they can see themselves there.”

Dani IV, a 14-year-old who participated in the boat-building project, said she’s more prepared for college now and appreciates that much of what she learned will help guide her to schools that have good programs in science, technology, engineering and math. Someday she’d like to be an engineer.

Most of the kids in the Makers club don’t have access to STEM-oriented activities, said Tanya Kindrachuk, Extension club coordinator and a former 4-H member. She’s watched the middle-school students respond with enthusiasm to the boat-building project as well as one designing a computer game.

“I feel like they’re having a blast or they wouldn’t show up, and pretty much all the kids show up every time,” she said. “If I had this when I was in middle school, I would have loved it. I’m having a blast now at 20 years old.”

Parents and siblings also get to experience some of the fun. During the Friday sessions, they come to see the latest developments and ask questions. It’s a time for the kids to connect with family, proudly showcase the work they’re doing and show off their new skills, Kindrachuck said.

For this school year, Sowders is considering a Makers club activity involving computers and programming. For now, Sowders is still assessing the impact of the boat-building project.

“The biggest success was when Dani’s mom told me she bought Dani a bookcase and asked her if she wanted help putting it together. And Dani said, ‘No, I know how to do this and I’ve used all these tools,’ Sowders said.

“I wanted the kids to learn new skills, but even more to learn how to meet challenges,” she added. “I don’t care if they remember how to build a boat, but I want them to go away feeling empowered to meet challenges.

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