Newsletter Summer 2019

NACDEP Newsletter


Summer  Edition



Summer Newsletter

Colleagues:  Greetings and welcome to the post conference newsletter.  It was great hearing all the reports from Asheville.  NACDEP is such a great organization because of its membership.  Whether contributing to the newsletter, the conferences, committee and regional work, it all pays off.  I am just proud to be a part of it.

Technology changes, and we have to change with it.  When I first became editor in 2011, the vast majority of you read the newsletter on your laptop or desktop.  But now many of you wish to read it on your phone. 

So we are initiating an effort to change the publication type so that the newsletter is more compatible with telephone versions of wi-fi.  We will keep you posted on that.
In the meantime, enjoy the newsletter and have a great summer.

Thomas W. Blaine, PhD
Newsletter Editor

Sweet 16

Submitted by NACDEP President, Susan Kelly


Our NACDEP founders met at Galaxy Conference Salt Lake City to gather input and form our organization sixteen years ago. Today, like a typical sixteen year old, NACDEP is fearless, invincible, sometimes a little sloppy and full of potential! What an exciting time to be a NACDEP member!

It was wonderful to see so many of you in Asheville and on behalf of the North Carolina team THANK YOU for spending your precious professional development funds at our conference. We hope you feel more connected, enlightened and excited about the future of community development extension and your role in it.

84 people attended the NACDEP Conference as a first-timer! If you are new to NACDEP and reading your first newsletter, welcome and stay tuned for a year of revelations and exciting new ideas! We have many new members joining us with backgrounds in industry and other extension disciplines.

As our membership reaches an all-time high, our profession is starting to pay attention to this rebellious teenager and wondering, "what is community development extension anyway?".  This is a great time for each of us to review an article by one of our founding members, Dr. Lionel "Bo" Beaulieu along with Dr. Sam Cordes published in 2014 in The Journal of Extension, Extension Community Development: Building Strong, Vibrant Communities. The link is here:


Submitted by Michael Dougherty

NACDEP honored the accomplishments of individuals and teams at its awards banquet on June 10 during the annual conference in Asheville, N.C. The biggest honors went to the Distinguished National Service Award winner and the pair of Distinguished Career Awards winners.

Incoming NACDEP President Susan Kelly of North Carolina Extension received the Distinguished National Service Award.

Meanwhile, Lori Garkovich, recently retired from the University of Kentucky, and Becky Nesbitt of Ohio State University each received Distinguished Career Awards.

The other honorees were as follows:

  • Melissa Hamilton and Lori Wahl of the University of Idaho Extension received the JCEP Creative Excellence Award - and $250 prize from JCEP - for their "Know the Land, Save the Land - Place-based Apparel Design."

  • The program "Coming Together for Racial Understanding," led by Southern Rural Development Center and featuring people from across the country, won the Diversity Team award.

  • The "2018 Ballot Issues Education" from University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension won the Excellence in Teamwork Award.

  • Meghan Thoreau of Ohio State University Extension won the Education Technology Individual Award for the "Scholastic High School Drone Racing League Program."

  • The program "Using Crowd¿Sourced Photos of Special Places to Map Community Assets" from the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension won the Educational Technology Team Award.

  • Megan Patent-Nygren of the University of Nebraska Extension won the Educational Materials Individual Award for "Basic Temporary Traffic Control Certification."

  • The Educational Materials Team Award went to the "Arkansas Property Tax Education Program" from the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension.

  • Katie Hoffman from the University of Idaho won the Excellence in Community Development Individual Award for the "Early Education Summit."

  • The Excellence in Community Development Team Award went to the "New Commissioner School" from Michigan State University Extension.

  • Brooke Beam of Ohio State University Extension received the Cross Program Individual Award for her "Virtual Reality Programming."

  • "Shining a Light on Agricultural Solar Energy Development" from Michigan State University captured the Cross Program Team Award.

  • Brian Whitacre from Oklahoma State University won the Innovation and Creativity individual Award for the "Rural Library Hotspot Lending Program."

  • The Innovation and Creativity Team Award went to "Applying Economic Impact Analysis to Evaluation of Leadership Education" from the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality.

The Importance of Being Part of a Team

Submitted by Anne Johnson, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach

One of the joys that I have always found with my work is being part of a team. I learned how important this was to me early on in my working life when I was a surgical technologist in the operating room on an open-heart team. The team was small, and we were responsible for all the open-heart surgical procedures being done at this particular hospital. It was a very busy program and the team worked together many, many hours at a time. The amazing thing about this heart team was when we would have a patient coming into the operating room as an emergency and we had very little time to get set up, we each knew our role and we went into action...and, just like Nike, we did it.

I remember one time, I suddenly realized that nobody was talking in the room because we were all doing our specific duties to get ready for the emergency procedure. We were each able to focus and function efficiently for the task at hand - literally, to save someone's life.
As I think back on this experience spanning 10 years, I realize that this had a tremendous impact on how I perform as a team member. Working in isolation is not a good scenario for me. I find great joy and satisfaction in being a part of a team.
So, what makes a well-functioning team, you might ask? Every member on the team knows their responsibilities and is accountable for their actions. They also look out for one another to make sure that if one member of the team is struggling or feeling overwhelmed, the others are there to lend a helping hand or at minimum, support by asking, "How can I help?". The phrase "that's not my job" does not enter into the vocabulary of a well-functioning team. I have been on both kinds of teams: those that are well-functioning and one that was completely dysfunctional (fortunately, these have been few in my career). However, I will say, the latter is no fun.

One of the best ways to identify the strengths of team members and ensure that they are working in the areas where they excel is to have each member take the CliftonStrengths® assessment, which is offered by the Gallup organization. Over 22 million people have taken this assessment and identified their strengths - what it is that they do best. In other words, they discover what they love to do and what brings them great joy and satisfaction.

As I think back on working on the open-heart team, I now realize that my Responsibility #2 of my Top 5) and my Arranger (#3) are being utilized on a daily basis. Also, my Belief (#5) was being fulfilled as I felt I was doing something that was truly making a difference. So, in retrospect, I now see that in that role I was able to work in three of my Top 5 strengths, which is why I found the work so rewarding.
CliftonStrengths can be used to develop a team and have them performing at their very best. Gallup-certified strengths' coaches must go through comprehensive training as well as take a certification exam. This certification must be renewed every two years. CliftonStrengths is a lifelong journey which one can apply personally as well as professionally.

If you are interested in learning more about the CliftonStrengths' assessment and how it might help you and your team, please call the Albert Enterprise Center at The Ohio State University. We thrive on working with teams to build upon their strengths and improve performance.

NACDEP: Meaningful Moments and Unexpected Reflection

Submitted by Alice Hutzel-Bateson, Communications-Marketing Coordinator, Alber Enterprise Center, The Ohio State University

As a newbie to NACDEP conferences, I was unsure of what to expect out of it.  My career in CD is just under 3 years old, however, my professional higher education career spans nearly 20 years, and that all certainly feeds into my perspective of NACDEP.

Being a staff member within OSU Extension's Community Development team and part of The Ohio State University, I came seeking other Buckeyes with whom to connect and share stories, brainstorm and commiserate about challenges.  What I did not expect was the open dialogue with other CD'ers from universities across the country, and thoughtful reflection on my own life's journey in the context of racial diversity.
Meaningful moments came when, during the welcome reception for example, I had an opportunity to chat about life and family with a colleague from Ohio State.  Who knew we would need to travel to Asheville, North Carolina for that to happen?

On Tuesday of the conference, June 11th, our opening session involved a facilitated conversation around racial diversity and inclusion among the NACDEP organization and within our own institutions.  It's a sensitive topic, and one that has garnered much national and local attention recently, due in part to the frequency of hate crimes and racial violence.  Each conference attendee comes from a different part of the country, with unique, diverse backgrounds and cultural experiences.  However, as I looked around the room of 200+, we were an overwhelmingly White group of people.
The facilitator asked us to consider when in our lives we each realized that racial inequity exists, and that White privilege is a thing. I pondered this for a time and listened as conversations started earnestly around the table and the room. Two women at my table were from Florida, and they talked about the large percentage of Hispanic people in their region and how their office has made changes to accommodate the diverse languages.  As we dug deeper into these questions about race, and many of us focused a bit more on Black and White issues, personal stories began to come out.  Around the table...and soon it was my turn.  I shared that I had grown up in a very white rural area on a farm with one African American family living down the road. 

However, I also shared that my life trajectory changed when I went to Ohio University in Athens and met an African American man from Mansfield, Ohio, fell in love and later got married.  I noticed the group listening intently, so I continued.

A pivotal moment for me was when my dark-skinned husband told me about a scenario that happened to him when he was just 8 years old, in 1967.  He was denied entrance to a swimming pool and was referred to by the staff using the "N" word ignoring the fact that he had a right be there as much as the red-headed kid next to him and, he had the required 25 cents. His dad sued the city since they managed the (public) swimming pool - and he won the case. I had no idea that kind of thing happened at all, except in the deep south a long time ago.  I could only imagine the feelings that would stir and the scars that would leave on a child so young, so ready to play with friends and enjoy the pool on a hot summer day.

So, I also shared with my tablemates that when my beautiful, biracial daughter was 3 years old, the cashier at a north-central Ohio restaurant asked me directly if this little girl was my daughter - naturally.  "Did you have her?" was the question. I was floored, angry, and caught off guard.  Needless to say - that was another pivotal moment in my understanding of racial differences, prejudices, and ignorance; it even shed light on my own lack of awareness of race.  I had been somewhat naïve up to this point...not always aware of how others perceive skin color. And I appreciated the discussion at this NACDEP session, as we were all thrown into talking about an uncomfortable subject.

A woman from University of Wisconsin at my table asked a question or 2 about my experiences.  Later, we connected and talked about a workshop that she had facilitated - her work sounds like it would be beneficial in my role, as the Center provides customized training for businesses.  We chatted about the morning's conversation, and she called me "courageous."  To this day, I'm not sure if she was referring to my life itself or the fact that I shared those stories, but it doesn't matter.  Meaningful moments happened during NACDEP, and I came away reflecting on my life and on the many ways in which we humans are the same.

Rich Past, Vibrant Future: NACDEP Conference coming to Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 2020

Submitted by Charlie French
The NACDEP conference comes to Portsmouth, New Hampshire May 31 - June 3, 2020, following a fantastic 2019 conference in Asheville, North Carolina.

The 2020 conference will be held at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel. University of New Hampshire Extension is working with regional partners to plan an exciting conference that will highlight the region's rich history and penchant for innovation.

Portsmouth, which lies at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, is a popular visitor destination, offering nearly 100 restaurants and a hopping downtown with music, arts, and events. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Portsmouth one of a "Dozen Distinctive Destinations" and USA Today rated it one of the country's top-three small-town food scenes.

Mobile workshops and pre-conference tours will highlight Mount Washington in the heart of the White Mountains, New England's fishing heritage, local arts and culture, recreational activities on the Atlantic, colonial Strawbery Banke, and the pristine coastline of neighboring Maine. Foodies can explore Portsmouth's farm-to-table and net to napkin connections.

Check out this video to experience a taste of Portsmouth's downtown charms.

To learn more about NACDEP 2020, contact NACDEP 2020 Conference Co-chair Charlie French. Charlie is program leader for Community and Economic Development with UNH Cooperative Extension ([email protected]).

Submitted by Brent Elrod
Writing this from the hotel room in Phoenix, having just wrapped the western region Community Prosperity Summit. This is the third of four regional Summits, each designed to build the local capacity of underserved groups seeking to promote economic development across rural America. USDA's Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE) entered into a cooperative agreement with the Southern Rural Development Center to organize and convene these meetings, aligned with the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. Hats off to Rachel Welborn and Russ Garner for their herculean efforts.

Equally impressive - the facilitation skills of the NACDEP members leading the breakouts, including Stacey McCullough, Crystal Tyler-Mackey, and Jamie Rae Walker on Phoenix. Part of the joy of my role here at USDA is getting to see the community & economic development extension pros in action. Next week we head to Atlanta where others will be showing off their talents for a Southern region audience.

The Phoenix trip came right on the heels of NACDEP Asheville, where I attended fascinating workshop presentations and heard about others' work during networking breaks. It's nothing short of amazing what you are accomplishing in your counties and states, and collectively as an Association. Our North Carolina hosts set a high bar for future sites to exceed. By the looks of the New Hampshire welcome video, the Northeast Region is up to the challenge! Let's all block May 31 - June 3 on our calendars to meet up in Portsmouth.

With the changing of the guard at the annual Board meeting, we can reflect once more on David Civittolo's steady hand and warm heart as chair this past year as we look forward expectantly to Susan Kelly's wielding the gavel going forward. Commit to helping her and the association out - join a committee and help grow your profession. And next time you communicate with Ricky Atkins, thank him and wife Jody for all they do behind the scenes to keep things flowing smoothly.

As I shared with attendees at the regional meeting, plans to relocate NIFA and ERS continue to move forward. We learned on 13 June that Kansas City, MO was chosen as the new temporary site location. Staff intending to make the move are required to report by the end of September 2019. A decision on a final site, either in Kansas City, KS or KC, MO is to come later.

Thanks for all the positive thoughts and well wishes as NIFA charts this new course. What gives me comfort during the associated upheaval is that you and the programs you lead and deliver are the true difference makers at the local and state levels. That doesn't change no matter where NIFA is housed. Keep leading the charge on behalf of research and extension. You're damn good at what you do. And pretty darn nice while doing it.

NACDEP | PO Box 866 Blairsville, GA. 30512 | 706-400-0081