OSU Extension at 2023 NUEL-NC Conference

Thursday, June 29th, 2023

OSU Extension Employees Attend and Present at the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) North Central Region ConferenceNUEL NC Banner

Six Ohio State University employees recently attended and presented at the 2023 North Central Region Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. The goal of the conference was to offer facilitated purposeful interaction to allow participants to learn and connect with other urban Extension professionals. During breakout sessions, facilitators introduced issues and engaged with the audience in authentic participatory experiences to share ideas and identify solutions.

The following are take-aways from those in attendance.

Solomon Garner’s Reflection

What I enjoyed about the regional NUEL conference is that allowed for intentional connections and supportive relationships to develop. Because it’s smaller than the national NUEL conference, there’s a bit more opportunity to connect with Extension peers through presentations and engagement.Solomon Garner with his visual session notes

Self-care is a topic that is often discussed in Extension yet becomes the forgotten step-child, and there’s no room or changes to the system that allows for self-care to fully exist. At this conference, self-care was a session and not only were we able to talk about self-care and share tips amongst each other, we were provided with resources to encourage engagement with self-care. 

Julie Fox’s Reflection

In addition to the formal and informal experiences I enjoyed with Ohio State colleagues at the conference, I also attended the NUEL Steering Committee meeting earlier that week. Visiting with this leadership group provided opportunities to continue aligning Ohio with national priorities and innovating together to advance the strategic importance and long-term value of urban Extension.

Tim McDermott’s ReflectionTim McDermott at a podium with a screen PowerPoint screen behind him.

At the conference I enjoyed meeting new people. I sat at tables with strangers each time and met new people from Purdue and Illinois. I really enjoyed the luncheon speaker on day one. We both use storytelling a great deal in our jobs, and I learned from her a couple of ways to improve my storytelling to engage my stakeholders.

Megan Arnold’s Reflection

I really enjoyed being with colleagues solely focused on urban Extension and sharing ideas about how we can serve under-represented populations in urban communities. An impactful takeaway for me was that we can champion both urban Extension and more traditional Extension programming simultaneously – it is not a zero sum game where focus on one takes away from the other. I also really enjoyed presenting with Patrice, Julie, and Solomon about the future of Urban Extension. We had a great group of engaged participants who were willing to think outside the box with us.

Patrice Powers-Barker’s Reflection

Both the keynote speakers, Dr. Danielle Y. Hairston Green (University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension) on Leaping and Soaring: The Impact of a Single Story and Dr. Quentin Tylor, director of Michigan State Extension on Leaning into Your Purpose used their time to share about personal and professional adversity and success. Extension Professionals from University of Illinois Extension lead participants through a sample of exercises in Putting “Self” Back into Self-Care.

In additional to the introspective conference angle, there was time to network and excellent sessions on outreach, determining the best analytical frameworks for our work, how to best partner with outside organizations and inspiring ignite talks on fun programming. Dr Tylor describes Extension as a special place that takes on the fabric of the community. This conference offered me time to reflect on the fabric of my urban community and to learn from others in neighboring states.

OSU Extension Presentations

The presentations offered by Ohio colleagues were Megan Arnold and Patrice Powers-Barker, Leaning the Lingo: What “Social Determinants of Health” Mean for OSU Extension; Tim McDermott, Maximizing Urban Engagement by Telling Our Story Through Partnership Marketing; and Julie Fox, Megan Arnold, Patrice Powers-Barker, and Solomon Garner, Urban Extension Unscripted, using deliberate improv as a tool for innovation and problem solving.

Want to Know More?

If you would like to learn more about any of the OSU Extension topics presented, please contact the presenters. Vic Fresh from OSU Extension was also in attendance. Complete NUEL-NC Conference information can be found here.