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.

First Monday Update with Scott Reed September 2016

The first Monday – actually Tuesday – video features Scott talking about innovation. How do you bring innovation into your work? And what might need to drop off your plate in order to deliver innovative solutions to the people of Oregon? Share your comments and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a book from one of Scott’s favorite authors mentioned in the video.

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 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.