In this week’s issue:

URSA Engage Program

Last year, four Extension faculty committed to mentoring students in the URSA Engage Program. For example, Wiley Thompson (Regional Director, OSU Extension Service) worked with an URSA Engage student who explored health care in Oregon’s rural communities. Barbara Brody (Assistant Professor of Practice) worked with an URSA Engage student who evaluated the impact and results of community poverty simulations and the impact of community change. We would love to have more Extension faculty to mentor early-career undergraduate students this school year!

Do you have a question that you don’t know the answer to? Do you need to collect data or information to answer that question? Bingo! A major goal of the program is for students to learn basic research skills (e.g. designing surveys, writing literature reviews, navigating IRB, synthesizing data, analyzing data, drawing conclusions, writing reports/grants, collaborating, etc.).

The mentor summary submission form can be accessed at this link (see “Step 1”) with a deadline of October 19th.

While this might seem like a natural fit to many of you, others may be thinking – but I don’t do research! While you may not consider your position to be centered in research, you likely have research components integral to your units that students could help with (and benefit from!), such as needs assessments and program evaluation. Students can connect to and support your existing program work as well.

If you have any questions about the URSA Engage Program or would like to brainstorm potential project ideas, please let us know! We’d love to connect.

Quarterly Conversation

The August Quarterly Conversation is now available for viewing. Topics of the conversation include the following (numbers denote where you will find the segment on the video):

  • Welcome and recognition (0:00) – Anita Azarenko acknowledged the recertification of Oregon Sea Grant and Lincoln County Extension building a coalition to inform Latino and indigenous communities about COVID-19. Three individuals and a team were recognized with Director’s Coins.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice: Our commitments, resources and tools (9:24) – Anita, Ana Lu Fonseca and Elsa Curtis
  • OSU Budget Update (39:20) – Sherm Bloomer
  • Government Relations (55:25) – Katie Fast
  • Update: Extension Annual Conference and Leadership Development Program (1:25:10) – Amanda Bielenberg

A PDF of the Presentation Slides, details of the Director’s Coin presentations are available for download. Look for follow-up to the questions in the Quarterly Conversation Chat that we didn’t have time to address in a future ConnEXTion.

Director’s Coin Recipients

Director Coin Recipients for the fiscal year 2019, Congratulations to you all!

Ann Harris, Angela Robb, Juan Medina, Elissa Wells, Lindsay Davis, Elizabeth McGovern, Elizabeth Records, Alisha Atha, Diane Ostrom, Steve Mote, Roberta Lundeberg, Kaylyn Hymes, Carolyn Ashton, Andrea Leao, Melanie McCabe, Susie Bussler, Alisha Atha, Sarah Neuschwander, Becka Jenkins, Candi Bothum, Tammy Olds, Megan Deane McKenna, John Buzzard, Tiffany Gillis, Wayne Jardine, Wiley Thompson, Melanie McCabe, Josh Davalos, Carly Kristofik, Abby Lewis, Kelly Noack, Heidy Castillo, Elli Korthuis, Amanda Gladics, Samantha Clayburn, Ashley Thompson, Elsa Curtis, Lauren Kraemer, Kym Hamann, Grace Corry, Candi Bothum, Kelsey (KJ) Knight, Heather N Lilienthal

New Additions to OSU Extension Catalog

EM 9294, Omnivorous Leaftier A ubiquitous and often minor pest of small grains and other seed crops of Western Oregon
Navneet Kaur, Leonard Coop, Jessica Green, Bill Gerth, Nicole P. Anderson, Glenn Fisher
New. The omnivorous leaftier has a wide host range and is known to cause damage to species from more than 20 plant families. Native parasitoid wasps manage this pest in natural and cropland settings. The first appearance of this insect in Oregon was noted in 1929 on strawberries and Dutch bulbous iris plantations near Portland. Soon, it was reported in Washington and California feeding on strawberry and flax grown for seed, respectively.

PNW 668, Integrated Management of Downy Brome in Winter Wheat
Drew J. Lyon, Andrew G. Hulting, Judit Barroso, Joan M. Campbell
Revised. Learn about integrated weed management (IWM) strategies to control downy brome, also known as cheatgrass—a major weed management problem in winter wheat.

Open Campus Showcase Video Recording

Last Thursday, August 20, the Open Campus team showcased their various different programs. If you missed it, here is the link to the video recording of their presentation.

Professional Development Resources

Please check out the upcoming statewide professional development sessions, plenty of interesting sessions, past, present and future here.
Sessions for this week are:

Wednesday, August 26 @ 11:00 am: Envision Extension

Friday, August 28 @ 10:30 am: Ask Anita: A bi-monthly connection opportunity

Navigator Digital Strategy Update

You can add links to other people’s good resources on the Extension website. How you do it may be different than you are used to, but the value of adding links to useful resources is still the same. Learn more in this week’s blog post about the opportunities to add visibility through partner links, and the efficient content management system that helps avoid broken links.

Diversity Highlights

Please contact with any questions, and if you have suggestions for Diversity Highlights content.

Statewide Events & Resources Webinar: How to raise kids to be actively anti-racist
Tuesday Aug. 25, 9 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Parents tend to avoid conversations about race with their children. Too often, parents don’t fully understand it themselves, so they struggle to talk about it with their kids. Jennifer Harvey, award-winning author, educator and activist, will offer guidance on how to have constructive, age-appropriate discussions with children about race and racism. This live webinar – the second in a special series on talking to children about racial issues – will be hosted by CEO Tim Allen and will include a Q&A session. (OSU employees have access to for freeRegister Today.

Accessibility Basics for the Web: Learn how to make websites accessible to people with disabilities. We’ll also discuss the OSU policy on Information Technology Accessibility. All are welcome; employees with website responsibilities are encouraged if they have not attended yet. Register for a session, offered Aug. 25.

2020 University Day Keynote registration now open!

Register for the virtual keynote session, The Empowered University: Shared Leadership in Challenging Times, with Freeman Hrabowski, President of University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 10-11:30 a.m. For more info, contact Mealoha McFadden at or 541-231-2585, or visit the website:

DEI In the News

Creating Antiracist Spaces Where Black Students Can Breathe and Thrive (Diverse Edu)
In order to succeed and thrive, Black students need vocal and committed antiracist educators who are intentionally creating antiracist spaces for them. The time for faculty to do this work is now because Black students on our campuses are not okay.

Portland Community College annouces new criminal justice scholarship (Oregonian)
She wondered what she could do to build better police forces, finding ways to have them mirror the communities they serve. That led to a new scholarship created for students of color interested in pursuing criminal justice as a major at Portland Community College.

Extension in the News

Lincoln County Reaches Out To Mam Speakers As Part Of Fight Against Virus


Beatriz Botello of Oregon State University’s Lincoln County Extension helped organize the effort. She said some material for Mam speakers already existed, but it was in a different dialect than what was spoken locally.

A huckleberry by any other name: The story behind Westerners’ favorite wild berries


“Huckleberries are not technically huckleberries,” said Bernadine Strik, a professor of horticulture and a berry crops specialist at Oregon State University. “Common names can be misleading.”

Agricultural workers line up for free masks and sanitizer


“We’re really close to the [agriculture] community… and we’re happy to help anyway we can,” said Vicki Campbell with OSU Extension Service.

What to know as FDA resumes produce safety inspections

Capital Press

“I understand how hard this (rule) is. But farmers are ingenious — the best engineers of problem-solving on earth — and we’re here to help, too,” said Joy Waite-Cusic, food safety associate professor at Oregon State University.

Let there be light: The rise of high-tech farming and the light revolution

Capital Press

Lloyd Nackley, an assistant professor at Oregon State University’s Nursery Crops Research Facility, told the Capital Press he sees “enormous potential for urban food production” in greenhouses with artificial lighting.

Douglas County 4-H to offer September Science Series for children 9-19

The News-Review

Youth ages 9-19 will be able to participate in a series of science workshops throughout September, courtesy of Oregon State University Extension Services of Douglas County’s 4-H Positive Youth Development program.

Discovery Garden is a labor of love

The News-Review

Julie Stanbery, Master Gardener of 29 years and President of the Master Gardeners Association, said, “It’s a labor of love.”

Firefighters Exposed to More Potentially Harmful Chemicals than Previously Thought

OHS Online

A study led by Oregon State University found that firefighters might be exposed to more harmful chemicals than previously thought while on-duty as compared to off-duty.

Garden Plots: Spent roses, understanding compost

St. Helens Chronicle

A column by Chip Bubl.

Extension Spotlight: Fall Gardening in Douglas County

The News-Review

A column by Steve Renquist.

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