December 4, 2018
Edition Topics

  1. Message from Dr. Silvertooth
  2. Save the Date
  3. World Soil Day - December 5
  4. Congratulations - Ursula Schuch
  5. Division Task Force for Engagement
  6. Exploring LEGO Robotics
  7. Extension Awards Call for Nominations
  8. Toys for Tots
  9. WRRC Annual Conference
  10. Leadership Fellows Program

Message from the Associate Dean and Extension Director

For the past several years, the Extension Administration has consistently heard requests for funding to support new program initiatives.  Faculty and staff have developed many excellent ideas for new projects and initiatives, but we have not had the financial capacity to provide the funding.  We understand the needs and we have been working to develop a strategic investment pool.

Thus, we are initiating a 2018 Extension Strategic Initiative Program (ESIP).  Up to $500,000/program area are available.  These are temporary funds. Thus, they are one-time funds and this program does not provide permanent or long-term funding.

Fundamental aspects of this program include the following points:

      These funds will allow faculty/staff to develop new projects and initiatives.  

      Preferable projects will have clearly defined Extension program outputs such as effective stakeholder meetings targeting new or important issues, new publications, and the development of websites/phone apps or other creative educational products that facilitate Extension education efforts.  

      Preference will be given to team-oriented projects that involve faculty and staff from both county and academic/Experiment Station units.

     Applied research and capital equipment purchases are allowed, providing the research/equipment is tightly linked to programmatic output directed at stakeholders. 

 Funds can be used for technical salaries, ERE, supplies and travel.

     These funds are not for use in support of internal meetings (e.g., in-service trainings or working groups).  

     If funding is required to sustain the effort beyond one year, then a long-term funding plan will be needed to secure external funding.

Proposal are due 21 December 2018 and reviewed by the Extension Administration. Submit here

The Extension Administration may request additional input as part of the proposal review.

The request for proposals for the ESIP can found here.  

Celebrate World Soil Day - December 5!

World Soil Day is held annually on December 5th as a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources. The 2018 World Soil Day theme is Be the Solution to Soil Pollution.


The Arizona Nursery Association presented  the President's Award to Dr. Ursula Schuch, Extension Specialist and Professor - School of Plant Sciences.  Ursula was given the President's Award which was chosen by ANA President Les Shipley at the ANA event on November 29, 2018. He thanked Dr. Schuch for all her work and research that has been an asset to Arizona's green industry. 

Nominations Are Open to Participate in the Division Task Forces for Engagement

The 3 priority areas of opportunity to work on at the Division-level based on our 2018 Employee Engagement Results have been determined and an email was sent out to all employees on 11/16 soliciting nominations for task force participants

The 3 priority areas are:
   Training & Development
   Fairness & Transparency of Policies, Processes, and Procedures
   Leadership Coaching & Career Development
If you are passionate about the direction of our division and creating change in the organization you work in, nominate yourself!  If you are interested in participating, or know someone who would be a great addition to one of the task forces, please click here to get more information.

Exploring LEGO Robotics 

Students who participated in the STEM RISE Arizona summer program, funded by the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, engaged in a series of six, 3-hour sessions at the University of Arizona main campus to explore LEGO Robotics offered by the 4-H STEM Cooperative Extension Team; Scott Omo an undergraduate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering lead the LEGO Robotics curriculum, Kaitlyn Benally a Veterinary Science major in School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences lead the youth in the 4-H pledge, and Jasmine Lopez also a Veterinary Science major in ACBS and an AmeriCorps member coordinated the sessions; Daniela Cabrera Research Specialist/STEM program coordinator and Dr. Gerardo (Jerry) Lopez provided support. Eight students ages 10-17 learned how to assemble a robot with LEGOs and program them using an app installed into an iPad. Students learned to work in teams, sharing knowledge with each other and experiential learning throughout each session. On November 17, students showcased their skills to their families, such as a robot dance, navigating through a maze with different attached sensors and other assorted activities. Overall, students were able to take away new skills in programming and gain interest in a stem-related field. A phase two is planned for next semester. 

Call for Nominations

Each year we recognize our faculty, staff and strong contributors to CALS Extension with the Extension Faculty of the Year Award, the Outstanding Staff in Cooperative Extension Award, and the Extensionist of the Year Award. 

The Cooperative Extension Faculty of the Year award recipient will receive $1,000 and an award.  Click here for Extension Faculty of the Year Award criteria and nomination form.   – Submission deadline – February 4, 2019

The Outstanding Staff in Cooperative Extension award recipient will receive $500 and an award.  Click here for award nomination criteria.  – Submission deadline – February 4, 2019

The Extensionist of the Year award recognizes and honors a resident of the State of Arizona who has demonstrated extraordinary contributions, through UACE, to improving the lives of people in their community and state.  The award will be presented at an appropriate college-wide event.  Letters of nomination from UACE or non-UACE faculty and staff and/or peers should focus on the following criteria:  1) the nature and extent of the contribution provided by the individual (35%), 2) how this contribution has benefitted people in the community (15%) and the state (15%), 3) leadership qualities (25%), and 4) support for UACE (10%).  – Submission deadline – February 4

All awards will be presented at an appropriate Extension or CALS event.  Please read the criteria carefully, submitting only the materials noted.  Submit your nominations and support letters c/o Kristie Gallardo, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, PO Box 210036, Tucson, AZ, 85721 or  If you have any questions, contact Kristie (520.621.7145).

Toys for Tots

The Cooperative Extension office, Forbes 301, is hosting a drop-off box for the Toys For Tots program.  Please drop off your new, unwrapped toys by December 19.   

Register for the WRRC Annual Conference

February 1, 2019 
Black Canyon Conference Center, 9440 N. 25th Ave., Phoenix, AZ  85021

How do Arizona communities ensure that they have sufficient water to meet their future needs? This is the critical question being addressed at the upcoming UA Water Resources Research Center annual conference to be held on February 1st at the Black Canyon Conference Center in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Join us for informative presentations and lively conversation about how Arizona communities are addressing their water challenges through collaboration, conservation, market-based approaches, long-term planning, and more. One size does not fit all!  
Early Bird registration is open until December 21.  Full agenda posted here 

Leadership Fellows Program for Staff and Appointed Professionals

Year 2: Deadline Is Next Week.  Apply by December 14 
The Vice President for Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the second annual distinguished leadership development program for exceptional appointed professionals and classified staff.  Given that two-thirds of the employees in CALS are non-faculty, it is conspicuous that, until last year, there had been no formal program to support the transformational leadership and professional development of rising star APs and staff. 

This program requires a significant commitment from both the nominee and the mentor to develop future higher education leaders through stretch experiences, transformational professional development, and tailored mentoring.

Eligibility and submission packet materials can be found here.  Complete applications are due December 14, 2018.  Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.  Nominees and mentors will be notified in writing in early February 2019.

Nomination packets should be submitted electronically to this email address

Example Scenario: Wilma Wildcat desires to be a vital student advisor and leader in CALS and at the UA.  She identifies a mentor in Nancy Rodriguez-Lorta.  Together, they develop a detailed development plan including stretch projects where Wilma leads change efforts in advising within CALS.  The plan also identifies the need for Wilma to become a certified advisor, which requires $2,000 in course work and testing.  Nancy actively mentors Wilma in the achievement of her goal.  As an alumna of this program, Wilma will be expected to continue to give back to CALS through service on future Fellowship selection committees, leading future initiatives, consultation with senior leaders of the division, etc

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