University of Delaware Named Outstanding Institutional Team Winner

Dennis Calvin, chair, eXtension Governing Committee and Director, Penn State University Extension (left) presents the Be, Grow, Create Outstanding Institutional Team Award to (left to right) Michele Walfred, Adam Thomas, and Christy Mannering.
Dennis Calvin, chair, eXtension Governing Committee and Director, Penn State University Extension (left) presents the Be, Grow, Create Outstanding Institutional Team Award to (left to right) Michele Walfred, Adam Thomas, and Christy Mannering.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The University of Delaware Institutional Team has been honored by eXtension as a 2014 Be, Grow, Create Outstanding Institutional Team Award winner. The award was presented here at the National eXtension Conference/National Extension Directors & Administrators joint meeting, March 26.

“An Outstanding Institutional Team has demonstrated the planning, creativity, and commitment to making eXtension a ‘fit’ for its state and institution. An Outstanding team also helps eXtension know just what its state and institution brings to eXtension,” said Elbert Dickey, eXtension Executive Director.

The University of Delaware Team includes Carrie Murphy, Phillip Sylvester, Deborah Delaney, Kathleen Splane, Nancy Gainer, Adam Thomas, Christy Mannering, and Michelle Walfred.

“The University of Delaware team, with the help of eXtension leadership members, was able to grasp the multitude of resources available from eXtension. Through Adobe Connect poll pods and a Qualtrics online survey the team identified some immediate and short-term goals for eXtension implementation. They quickly met that first round of goals and the goals they’re considering now focus on social media development and online course development using Moodle,” said Terry Meisenbach, eXtension Communications and Marketing Leader.

Ask an Expert implementation was a major focus of the team’s work in the second year. Oregon State’s Jeff Hino worked with team enabling Delaware to borrow and personalize Oregon’s marketing concept and build on a video into its own Prezi presentation for the Delaware State Fair.

The team developed the implementation process and the timeframe for delivery. By the time they “rolled out” Ask an Expert at the Delaware State Fair, over 30 staff and volunteers had been trained to respond to questions, question wranglers were in place, and a web presence developed.

All Extension staff participated in Adobe Connect training about Ask an Expert prior to the fair. Since the roll out time period, the team continues to enhance Ask an Expert with a question of the week format and additional trainings as new staff come on board. At this year’s Delaware Extension Annual Conference, the Ask an Expert sub-committee members, were selected and received the Director’s Leadership award.

“Establishing new priorities is underway and the team needs to establish related implementation plans and time frames around these goals. So clearly, we are still learning and growing and creating, however we are no longer in a “pilot phase” of eXtension. We are not asking, should we be involved in eXtension…the team is asking, what are our next steps in involvement that will be most meaningful to the Extension program here,” noted the nomination for the award.