Number CXLVII The Newsletter of Epsilon Sigma Phi January 2019

Happy New Year!

Did Epsilon Sigma Phi make it on your resolution list? I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but ESP is on my 2019 collection of goals in a few spots, but way above and more well defined than the nebulous "get organized" and "exercise more" dreams of mine. I hope we're on your list of resolutions so that as you engage more with the organization and fellow members, you get gifts of professionalism, fellowship, and networking that last all year long. There are a few resolutions waiting for you in this edition if you need some ideas - teach a national webinar, invest in others, go to Washington, and apply for scholarships.

As for retrospection, 2018 was a great year for ESP. Even though we said goodbye to an incredible Executive Director, our new team is already doing great work for all of us and I'm just as proud to have worked with Bob and Jeana as I am to serve you alongside Greg and Becky. President Beth Claypoole led us through some challenges in ways that kept the board focused on how our decisions impact and benefit members. The national meeting in Kansas was one of those member benefits with a huge home state contingent and big achievements for a small college town. If you missed a national conference recently, there are some amazing ones coming up, so make plans for Colorado this fall. One other major benefit to members is the cadre of professional development opportunities, scholarships, grants, recognition, awards, and stipends offered by ESP. Because of the strong support from members like you who give to the endowment that is set up specifically for that, our chapters and members received $24,847.72 in direct financial support for professional activities. Rita Wood from the New Jersey/Alpha Xi Chapter gave the board some extra work to do when she made a major investment in Extension professionals for generations to come through her giving to the endowment that triggered a named award which is going through the organization process now and will be ready for applications next year.

And as for futuring, I'm looking forward to 2019 for so many reasons. There are and will be even more new opportunities that are available for members because of how we're all doing on the endowment campaign and how your leaders are looking for ways to fulfill our mission of being The Extension Professional's Organization. We have an Olympic conference gearing up for October in Colorado Springs where Olympians and Extension Titans alike will share how they reach "Peak Performance" and how we can, too. Our organization is due for a new strategic plan this year, so I can't wait to see where that takes us and how you contribute, too.

Even if it isn't specifically on your resolution list, please reach out to Greg, Becky, or me with any feedback or ideas on how to better serve you, your chapter, and our Profession.

Mark Blevins, National ESP President


Be A Shining Extension Star
Nancy Crago, Professional Development Committee

The National ESP Professional Development Committee is offering some opportunities for ESP members to shine a light on their talents and successes by submitting a proposal to conduct a professional development webinar and/or presentation at the National ESP Conference in Colorado Springs, CO, October 14 - 17, 2019.

ESP will host up to two 60 minute National Webinars in Spring 2019. Topics are emerging technology/tools that will assist Extension with programming or reaching new audiences (i.e. social media, smart phones, new presentation technology beyond PowerPoint, language translations, tools to reach diverse audiences, etc.) Share your skills in these topics by submitting a proposal by February 6, 2019.

Another way to let your star shine is to submit a proposal for a presentation at the 2019 ESP National Conference. ESP offers a variety of opportunities for presenting, including concurrent session, poster session, lightning session, and new this year, a 15 minute research presentation. This year, ESP has identified four tracts for concurrent session presentations. Proposals for the ESP National Conference are due March 15, 2019.

For both webinars and national conference presentations, the lead presenter must be a current member of ESP to submit a proposal. Complete details including proposal requirements, scoring criteria, and application forms for webinars and national conference presentations are on the website: epsilonsigmaphi.wildapricot.org. This year, be a shining star for ESP!

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Call for National Conference Presentations
Due March 15, 2019

Presentation Proposals 2019

Call for 2019 National ESP Webinar Proposals
Due February 6, 2019


Visit the ESP Webinar Homepage to submit a proposal and to view past webinars.

Growing Support for Professional Development
Margaret Viebrock and David Ross, Members, National Resource Development and Management Committee

When you believe in Epsilon Sigma Phi you make a personal decision to be involved. Making a monetary contribution year after year is a personal commitment and steadfast loyalty. It is supporting your profession and professional organization in doing its part in training the current and next generation of Extension faculty and staff. It is more than just personally receiving benefits of membership but supporting the future.

State chapters are encouraged to support this educational effort by establishing their own resource development and management chair and committee to fund raise for its own programs. Be sure to support the national Development Fund so it can continue to support your Chapter members. A local chapter can challenge its members to donate or raise funds with a portion of the funds designed for national projects. Income from the Development Fund is a significant part of our national annual budget and it needs to continue to grow.

The National Resource Development and Management (RDM) Committee encourages state chapters to review what the chapter and its members have given and to recognize the benefits the chapter has received in grants and scholarships. The "Endowment Contributions and Payouts August 2018"  document located on the Development page of the website provides information on the chapter's involvment.  Then the RDM challenges the local chapter to take on a fundraiser or a member challenge to raise funds.

Many chapters are recognized in our Key Level Recognition program and can be seen in “Donor Contribution Levels as of August 2018” on the Development page of the website. Currently one chapter is at the Gold Key level of $5,000 or more, fourteen chapters are at the Silver Key Level of $1,000 or more, and six chapters are at the Bronze Key Level of $250 or more. Make a plan to take your chapter to the next Key Level recognition. 

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You can Donate online using the Donate button located at the top of the Homepage

PILD: Enhancing your Leadership Capacity
Travis West, National Public Issues Committee Chair & North Central Region Vice-President

The Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference will be held in Arlington, VA from April 14-17, 2019. Extension professionals are known for their attention to emerging issues and providing unbiased, research based information to clientele on such issues. Residents look to us for the ability to provide multiple views and sources of information so they can make their own educated opinions about current issues. PILD is an engaging conference that prepares Extension professionals to conduct valuable work in their communities and provides tools for understanding emerging issues. The PILD Committee has a variety of sessions to build your “toolbox” including keynotes on “Innovation through Lean Experimentation” and “Building the Knowledge, Skills and Networks needed to Effectively Engage in Public Discourse” along with a panel discussion including NIFA National Program Leaders. Wednesday of the conference gives you the opportunity to spend time on the hill and meet with staffers while engaging in dialogue around emerging issues for Extension and Land Grant systems. Make sure PILD is in your professional development plans for 2019, an opportunity to increase the skills and “tools” we can provide those that are most important, our clientele. Registration will open early January on the JCEP website and early-bird registration will end March 22.

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ESP Redinger Administrative Leader Scholarship Applications Due May 1st
Patricia Dawson, Scholarships, Grants & Recognition Committee

The ESP Redinger Administrative Leader Scholarship, was established to promote continued professional development for eligible members to attend the ESP National Conference. Up to four scholarships of $500 each are awarded annually to outstanding administrators/leaders based on accomplishments. Eligible recipients include ESP members whose dues are paid for the current year (by February 1) and who are first-time attendees at the National ESP Conference. Examples of eligible recipients include those in an Extension administrative/leadership role at the county, regional, state or national level including program leaders, administrators, directors, regional directors, county directors and staff chairs. The online application requires a statement of support from the Chapter President and the Director of Extension and is due May 1st.

Oregon State University Extension Ag Program Leader, Sam Angima was a first time attendee to the 2018 conference in Kansas. Sam shared the following:

“I really liked the setup of the conference...not too large and not too small. The selection of speakers was great and the speakers were cognizant to our needs rather than just a general public by focusing on how best we can grow personally and professionally as well as provide better Extension programs. I also appreciated how organized the event was and that the event kept to the schedule. I am definitely encouraged to attend future ESP conferences and will apply to present as well”

Dr. Angima received the 2018 Administrative Leadership Award and also served as a presenter for the session titled “Innovative Approaches to Programming Under Reduced State and Federal Funding.”

Please encourage those in leadership roles to apply for the conference scholarship no later than May 1. Applications are accepted online through the ESP website at Scholarships/Awards. Need help? Please contact any of the national SGR committee members, your regional VP, chair of your chapter recognition committee or our ESP National Executive Director if you have any questions.

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How to reach Millennials
Sandra McKinnon, Membership, Recruitment and Retention Committee

Recently, our committee discussed how to reach our younger colleagues. We’d like to have them to become a member of ESP. So I was asked to do a little research. Just like humans prefer different modes of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic), millennials have preferences in ways of communicating.

Millennials, born in the 1980’s and 1990’s, are currently 19-38 years old

Gen Xrs are 39-53 years old, born between 1965-1980

Baby Boomers are 54-71 years old, born between 1946-1964

· Millennials are the majority of the workforce but remember, not the entirety.

· They tend to have an aversion to the phone. They find calls disruptive and intrusive. It is best to schedule a call with them, then avoid small talk.

· 72% prefer texts for immediate topics.

· There is no universal type of app to use (SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

· They will do email. It allows them time to think and reply. Many look at emails at night and weekends.

· If you write an email –

  • Be short and to the point, not long and complicated
  • Be friendly, not stuffy or too professional; avoid “core competencies” kind of wording
  • Be clear about what action they need to take. Consider the message as a how-to or a recipe.
  • Make the message fun, engaging and absorbing
  • Use visuals – video, infographics, photos

Notes from your National Office

Stay connected with deadlines and important items by visiting the newly, re-designed ESP Homepage.

Don't forget that February 1 is the deadline for paying your 2019 membership dues.


This newsletter is a publication of Epsilon Sigma Phi, Inc. - The Extension Professionals' Organization

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