Follow by Email

Monday, December 14, 2015

Honoring Mary Jane Willis

Mary Jane Willis joins Delbert Foster, left, ECOP immediate past chair,
and Jay Akridge, APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly
Policy Board of Directors chair, at a November 2015
APLU Annual Meeting award ceremony in Indianapolis.
ECOP has lost a valued member, an exemplary partner, and a special friend. Mary Jane Willis, Associate Director, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, lost a valiant battle with cancer Saturday, December 5th. Mary Jane served on ECOP since 2010 and was recently tapped by the Northeast region to serve another four-year term. She provided significant national leadership through the ECOP Program Committee especially focusing on her passion for Extension urban programming. On November 15th, she was on hand at the APLU Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, as the photo shows, to accept a Regional Award for Excellence in Extension on behalf of Changlu Wang, Rutgers Extension Entomologist. Mary Jane’s middle name was Cooperative Extension. She working tirelessly for the national system and for the state of New Jersey to assure Extension programming was of highest quality, honored diversity, and showed quantifiable impacts.

ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware; Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Lou Swanson, Colorado State University; Nick Place, University of Florida, and Cathann Kress, Iowa State University
Extension Colleagues Named to APLU New Engagement Planning Team – ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware; Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Lou Swanson, Colorado State University; Nick Place, University of Florida, and Cathann Kress, Iowa State University, represent the Cooperative Extension Section of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly on a New Engagement Planning Team convened by APLU. The team will recommend a process for establishing and engaging APLU members and stakeholders in a Task Force on “The New Engagement” for public higher education. The eventual Task Force will be charged with envisioning a new, broadly inclusive definition for university engagement, and also charged with making recommendations for university actions to realize this vision. Co-chairs are Mark Hussey, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, and Roy Wilson, President, Wayne State University. Other planning team members represent the APLU Council on Engagement and Outreach (CEO), the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP), and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. 

News from Extension’s Federal Partner – USDA-NIFA has:
  1. Updated its Commodity Board webpage at http://nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards. The 2014 Farm Bill Commodity Boards provision allows eligible national and state commodity boards, and marketing orders to propose topics for research that they are willing to equally co-fund with NIFA. Such topics must relate to the established priority areas of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (AFRI) to be considered for inclusion in future AFRI Requests for Applications (RFAs). Direct questions to commodityboards@nifa.usda.gov.
  2. Established a Data Gateway to its datasets, 2002 to present, which can be used to help tell the story of what activities are funded by NIFA and the impact of that funding. Heat maps allow Gateway users to see the total amount of funding by state, and what grants make up the total for 2011 and 2015. Suggestions about this tool can be directed to electronic@nifa.usda.gov