Extension Connection with Dean Hannah Carter
On the first Monday of every month, Dean Hannah Carter will host a statewide conversation via Zoom video conferencing for faculty and staff in order to share information, introduce people or ideas to the organization, keep folks up-to-date on University or state initiatives, and answer questions about the organization. These conversations will be recorded and available to watch here if you cannot participate during the time and date scheduled. If you have a topic or someone that you would like to hear from for a future Extension Connection, please let Hannah, firstname.lastname@example.org, know.
For the May 2021 Extension Connection, Dean Carter takes a look back at the changes over the past year two years — particularly 2020 — and celebrates her second anniversary as our Dean; reviews April highlights and looks ahead to what May holds (including another trip around the sun); puts out a call for volunteers to serve on the Roadmap Steering Committee; shared significant UMS Covid-19 updates and made time for Q&A.
In this month’s Connections, Dean Carter acknowledges March was a long and full month, with the successful all-organization conference and work of the roadmap committees definite highlights; announces creation of the new Joyce Weaver Citizenship Washington Focus Scholarship fund on behalf of Waldo County youth; shares positive news on the FY22 budget and new positions that will go forward, a new monthly series for Extension staff and potential collaborators to share what they’re doing, a new PLT, our new internship program, and a new professional development opportunity.
Looking ahead to April, we expect updated COVID-19 guidelines for travel and summer programming soon; a continued focus on ongoing DEI work by UMS and universities; continued work on the structure of the ELT and the Business Dean search; and a new UM-UMM task force. This session closes with time for questions and a reminder to find ways to add more fun.
In this month’s Connection, Dean Carter reviews February — “for the shortest month, it was a LOT” — acknowledges the anniversary of the sea change brought about by the pandemic’s arrival, one that continues, and reminds us to continue with patience and self-care; and takes a look at March, with a bright spot in mid-March from the upcoming all-organization virtual meeting March 16-18.
For the February 2021 Extension Connection, Dean Carter takes a brief look back at January – a very busy month locally and nationally – and gives a quick update on current COVID testing protocols both on- and off-campus. Dean Carter spends the majority of this session reviewing the recent Extension budget hearing, sharing data from her presentation, the strong case she made for ‘the centrality of Extension’ and how we can build on our solid presence.
In this first session of Extension Connection in 2021, Dean Carter reviews the wins from December 2020 – and there were many; reminds us as we begin a new year to maintain focus on well-being, flexibility, and buckets of grace; Covid-19 updates; an overview of January, including an Extension internship committee and four faculty positions (1 current position, 3 new) that are either funded or contingent on funding, all collaborations with other UMaine units; and a look at some broader goals and focus areas.
In this last session of Extension Connection for 2020, Dean Carter is joined by special guests President Ferrini-Mundy and Provost Volin who share their perspectives of the past nine months and answer questions. Also joining was Aroostook 4-H professional Mari Glatter, who shared a presentation about her new temporary role of Instructional Designer for Extension. She’ll be joining the Extension Communications and Marketing Team during her six-month position.
In this UMaine Extension Town Hall, Dean Carter reviews results from the recent return-to-work survey; discusses UMaine COVID-19 protocols, how Extension specifically responds and is impacted in light of increasing cases; reminds us all about self-care, the importance of keeping ourselves and each other safe; and opens the floor for questions, primarily focused on practicing COVID-19 safety and clear communication with colleagues before, during, and after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Hannah opened the November 9 session of Extension Connection mentioning her awe and wonder at the unseasonably mild weather and temperatures after having snow, strong winds, and a power outage the week before; commented, briefly, on Election Day (week) results and impact; and extended a warm welcome to four new UMaine Extension employees.
Other topics of discussion:
- COVID Updates
- Reminders and Follow-ups
- DEI work
- Recap of October
- The Future
It’s National 4-H Week and Hannah began the October 5 session of Extension Connection with a shout-out to 4-H and UMaine Extension’s amazing 4-H staff! In 2019, over 16,000 youth participated in the Maine 4-H program and over 1,500 volunteers provided positive learning experiences.
Other topics of discussion:
- COVID updates, including new COVID-19 photo protocols
- Green Screen DIY
- Organizational Survey and Changes
The special guest at the September 14 session of Extension Connection: Lieutenant Bob Norman, University of Maine Police Department, who joined us to discuss Phase III COVID-19 Testing.
Hannah continued, after her guest’s departure, with announcements of upcoming events:
- Town Hall with the Vice President for Research: Join us for a virtual, live Research Q&A event on Monday, September 21, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. It is highly recommended that you review our informational videos and submit your questions ahead of the Q&A session on our website.
- Book Discussion: “How to Be an Antiracist” is a 2019 non-fiction book by American author and historian Ibram X. Kendi. Please complete and submit the form, “How to Be Antiracist” Book Discussion Meeting Time Preferences on the “How to Be Antiracist” Book Discussion page to register for one of the cohort discussions.
Other Topics of Discussion:
- UMS Policy on Participating in Political Campaigns and Restrictions on Partisan Political Activity
- University of Maine COVID-19 Updates
- Organizational Survey
In this session of Extension Connection, Dean Carter welcomed a special guest, our new Provost, John Volin, who joined the discussion for 10 minutes to introduce himself and answer a few questions.
The rest of the session was devoted to discussion of re-opening and re-starting:
- Online training for employees returning to a UMS campus
- UMaine Extension’s internal website on Plugged In which will provide our Level II plans, checklists for programs, a FAQ page and other information
- Projected dates for re-opening of UMaine Extension offices, programs and units
- Utilizing the “Health Advisory System” that was just announced for Maine schools in regards to making decisions around closing offices or in-person programming
- Universal testing
- Contact tracing
- Continuing required use of the in-state travel form.
Hannah stresses: “Communication is so important!” As we communicate with everyone, please be sure you are keeping those in your offices, programs, units updated as well.
Do you have questions or concerns about returning? Please discuss with your supervisor or PA or contact Fran Sulinski, Assistant Director, UMaine Extension, email@example.com. You may also contact the Office of Human Resources, University of Maine.
Links from today’s session:
- Return to Campus Training in UMS Academy
- Together for Maine website
- Return to Campus
- Part I: Physical Health and Safety, Maine Department of Education Coronavirus Update
Hannah’s full PowerPoint presentation: Extension Connections, August 3, 2020 (PowerPoint)
In this session of Extension Connection, Dean Carter answers questions about safely returning to work, hiring, and budgets.
Links from today’s session:
- Economic Recovery Committee
- Staff Survey: Defining Extension’s Tomorrow
- UMS and UMaine Links:
- “Together for Maine” Safe Return and Learning Principles (PDF)
- Short YouTube video about the Scientific Advisory Board that is advising administrators,
- New UMS website that contains information about our return and where new information will be posted
- “Return to Work” Training Guide and other materials; all employees are expected to go through the training prior to returning to their office!
- The UMaine Safe Return website
This month’s “Extension Connection” began with a few moments of silence and reflection upon the events and news of the past week.
From Hannah’s colleague at Penn State: “Extension is about building communities. It is about improving the lives of all people. It is about raising the tides of opportunity that all boats may rise with it. Our programs, our resources, and our people must be used to promote capacity building. We must promote hope. We must promote change. We can’t stand idle when the clarion call has gone out. Let us rise to the challenge and lift all segments of our society, all people of our great state.”
And Hannah asked: “What can we do to ensure that Extension is a welcoming place to work, that our programs engage all and that when changes are needed in the communities we serve, that we are part of the solution? Let us be the light to help extinguish hate and inequality.”
The discussion continued: 1) Extension Book Club; 2) UMaine Extension promotional video, “UMaine Extension is…” (YouTube) ; 3) Looking Back at May; 4) Organizational Survey; 5) Define Tomorrow Ideas; 6) Budgets; 7) “Starting Safely;” 8) In-person programs; and 9) Information Into the Process.
Looking ahead to June: Guidance coming out today from the System Extension committee on “Starting Safely” — please email Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate; Organizational Survey This Week, Town Hall to follow; Hannah Reminds Us: Remember, it’s still ok to take a summer vacation — start making plans!; and Maine’s Economic Recovery Committee.
In this session of Extension Connection, Hannah discusses the activities and meetings she’s attended this past month, the impact that COVID-19 has had on the University of Maine System, and UMaine Extension over the past six weeks, the budget and what our work-life might look like going forward.
A question and answer period was provided at the end of the session.
(Note: There were several stops/freezes at the beginning of the recording – internet connection related – however, the recording continues, with a few brief stop/freeze interruptions, for the remainder of the recording.)
In this session of Extension Connection, Hannah discusses the past month, March activities (before and after remote work began) and most importantly, the impact that COVID-19 has had on the University of Maine System and UMaine Extension.
- Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, President of the University of Maine (UMaine), and its regional campus the University of Maine at Machias (UMM), joined the session at 3:15 p.m. to discuss the University’s dynamic, responsive approach to the pandemic.
- Fran Sulinski, Assistant Director (and Human Resources), joined the session shortly after Dr. Ferrini-Mundy to discuss the Chancellor’s recent communication regarding new leave and furlough options for Extension staff and answer any questions regarding these options.
A question and answer period was provided at the end of the session.
(Note: There were several stops/freezes in the recording – internet connection related – however, the recording continues in a few seconds.)
In this third session of 2020, Hannah discussed her February activities:
- Maine County Commissioners Executive Committee Meeting
- Video Shoots Underway
- UMaine Budget Meetings
- Wild Maine Blueberry Conference
- Natural and Working Land (NWL) Committee Meeting
- AgCOM Meeting; IEP Meeting at Wichita State University
- High School Basketball (Tourney Time!).
Upcoming in March:
- Natural and Working Lands (NWL) Sub-Committee and Stakeholder Meetings
- IEP Work; BOA Meeting in Augusta
- Maine Grain Conference
- Maine Garden Day; JOE Board Meeting in TN
- Extension Showcase at Laughingstock Farm
- Maine Ag Day in the Legislature
“March is a month of expectation.” — Emily Dickinson
- Year of the County
- “Office Hours”
- Lots of Things to Celebrate
- Revenue Generation Committee
- Strategic Planning/Future of Extension Committee
- COVID19 (Corona Virus)
- “Lunch and Learn” Book Club
Guest for March: John Jemison, Extension Professor – Soil and Water Quality, discussed the ‘State of Hemp’ here in Maine and answered participant’s questions.
In this second session of 2020 (rescheduled from February 3, due to illness), Hannah discussed her January activities:
- Maine Ag Trades Show
- Maine Potato Conference
- Annual AGOM Meeting
- Maine Climate Council
- UMaine Extension Internal Newsletter: will now be arriving in your inbox within a week of the Extension Connection session. A recording of each month’s Extension Connection session will be included in the monthly internal newsletter rather than a separate email.
- UMaine Printing Services and the University Bookstore: what services they offer, what they can do for us at UMaine Extension
- “Year of the County”
- Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP)
- Maine’s Economic Development Strategy: a survey to be circulated in March
On remaining focused and moving forward towards goals, avoiding distractions, Hannah provided the quote:
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” ― Winston S. Churchill, 1874-1965
February’s guest was Fran Sulinski, Assistant Director, UMaine Extension. She discussed her role within Extension: human resources, staff development, mandatory compliance training, and an upcoming Innovation Engineering Workshop with Jason Bolton.
January 6, 2020
Kicking off 2020 in this seventh Extension Connection session, Hannah shared this quote:
Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one. – Brad Paisley
- December at a Glance
- FY21 Budget
- Some things to put on your radar screens:
- “Year of the County”
- Moving forward as an organization
- Governor’s Economic Development Plan
Do you have a question about 2020? If so, email Hannah, email@example.com by January 31!
- Chris Boynton, Director, Office of Research Administration, Manager for Fiscal Services
Contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207.581.1472
- Kate Walters, Proposal Manager, Office of Research Administration
Contact Kate at email@example.com or 207.581.3016
The next Extension Connection will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. Hannah’s guest that day will be Fran Sulinski, Assistant Director of UMaine Extension.
December 2, 2019
In her conversation, the sixth Extension Connection “Being Grateful,” Hannah discussed:
- November at a Glance
- Take-Aways from the Two-Day All Organizational Conference on November 13 and 14
- FY21 Budget Situation and What Does This Mean for Extension?
- Extension Innovation and Revenue Generation
Hannah would like to convene a small group to look at revenue generation. If interested, please email Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org
The next Extension Connection will take place on January 6 at 3:00 p.m.
November 4, 2019
In her conversation, the fifth Extension Connection, Hannah discussed her October activities, what’s ahead in November and beyond.
Hannah’s guest this month was Kate Yerxa, Associate Extension Professor and EFNEP Coordinator, who discussed the EFNEP program and 50th Anniversary of the EFNEP Program.
The next Extension Connection will take place on December 2 at 3:00 p.m. Fran Sulinski, Assistant Director of Cooperative Extension will be Hannah’s guest.
If you have suggestions for future conversations, please send an email to Angela Hart, email@example.com with your ideas:
- Should we share it with external audiences?
One of Hannah’s priorities is working to increase communication within the organization and this is just one way of doing so. Stay tuned for others and please try to join the conversations!
October 7, 2019
In her conversation, the fourth Extension Connection, Hannah discussed her September activities, what’s ahead in October and beyond.
Hannah’s guest this month was Saul Allen from the Office of Research Development. Saul joined Hannah to talk about the Grand Challenge Initiative and connecting with the ORD. Saul’s contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org and 207.581.1589.
Hannah also spoke of LEAD21. If any Extension staff have an interest in administration one day, would like to build your network of future land grant leaders or are just interested in your own leadership development, please consider applying.
Lisa Phelps has sent out an email, a call for video proposals — think about your video needs and submit your ideas! Please complete the Cooperative Extension Internal Video Request Survey and submit by October 25. Contact Lisa Phelps at email@example.com or 207.356.3851 with questions or for more information.
The next Extension Connection will take place on November 4 at 3:00 p.m.; Kate Yerxa, Associate Extension Professor and EFNEP Coordinator will be Hannah’s guest and will be discussing the 50th Anniversary of the EFNEP Program.
September 9, 2019
(Due to technical difficulties, Hannah’s third Extension Connection was not recorded.)
In her conversation, Hannah talked about her August activities, what’s ahead in September and beyond, and UMaine’s budget realignment and what it means for UMaine Extension.
Hannah’s guest this month was Ryder Scott, State Director of 4-H Camps and Learning Centers. Ryder spoke about UMaine’s four 4-H Camps and Learning Centers, the 4-H Center Network’s goals for the future, and how to support the Centers.
- Download and view Ryder’s PowerPoint presentation
- Download and view the Camps’ (2015) Staffing Flowchart (PDF)
The next Extension Connection will take place on October 7 at 3:00 p.m.; Jason Charland, R&D Plan Implementation Director, will be Hannah’s guest.
August 5, 2019
In this second conversation of the series, Hannah discusses her first three months on the job, where she has visited, what she has learned, and some initial reactions. Dennis Harrington, Assistant Director, and Financial Administrator of UMaine Extension, led a discussion on the budget. There was time allotted at the end of the meeting for questions from participants. If you have suggestions for future conversations — topics you would like to be addressed, people you would like to hear from — please email her with your ideas. One of Hannah’s priorities is working to increase communication within the organization and this is just one way of doing so. Stay tuned for others and please try to join the conversations!
The next Extension Connection will take place on September 9 (as September 2 is Labor Day) at 3:00 p.m.
July 1, 2019
In this first conversation, Hannah discusses her first two months on the job, where she has visited, what she has learned, and some initial reactions. If you have suggestions for future conversations — topics you would like to be addressed, people you would like to hear from — please email her with your ideas. One of Hannah’s priorities is working to increase communication within the organization and this is just one way of doing so. Stay tuned for others and please try to join the conversations!