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Forum brings Extension employees to campus

October 29, 2012

An annual rite of fall in northern Colorado is nearly upon us - Extension Forum.

Each year, several hundred Extension employees, from locations around Colorado, come to campus for four days of meetings, networking and seminars. This year, Forum will be held Nov. 5-8.

As an outreach arm of CSU, Extension work helps Colorado communities by providing relevant research information, locally-based educational programs and community and youth programs that facilitate local economic development efforts.

For over a century Extension outreach efforts throughout the state have been helping citizens make informed choices by providing the latest research-based information to Coloradans from all walks of life. Extension offices are located in 60 Colorado counties, and programs are designed to serve current and future needs of Coloradans by providing the information and programs that safeguard health, increase livelihood and enhance well-being. This year marks the 100 year anniversary of Extension in Colorado. The first office opened in Logan County on Oct. 1, 1912.

Colleges involved

Five of CSU’s eight colleges have Extension roles, which includes 13 different departments. The Extension staff is made up of off-campus agents and specialists, plus over 10,000 volunteers.

And Forum provides a chance to bring both on - and-off-campus Extension employees together.

 “Forum is the perfect setting to recognize our off-campus peers, plan programming for the upcoming year, share our successes, network with campus colleagues, and provide a valuable professional development opportunity for employees,” said Lou Swanson, vice president of the Office of Engagement.

Extension employees during a 2011 Forum break-out session.Forum schedule

An awards banquet will be held Monday, Nov. 5. Highlighting the banquet will be awards for distinguished service, team and diversity efforts.

An administrative update will be provided on Tuesday, Nov. 6, followed by a service milestone luncheon. New employees to Extension will also be recognized at the luncheon.

Barbara Chamberlain, Extension instructional design and education media specialist at New Mexico State University will highlight the offerings Wednesday, Nov. 7. Chamberlain, who directs the Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State where she researches games preferences as well as new trends in computer games for education, will present a session titled, “You’re Pushing My Buttons: How Technology is Changing the Way our Clientele Work, Think and Play”.

A panel discussion on Thursday, Nov. 8 will focus on lessons learned by Extension in response to recent Colorado disasters. A resource fair is also planned for Nov. 8.

In addition, 30 break-out sessions will be held during Forum and include topics such as social media, community development, nutrition and health promotion, environmental horticulture, 4-H youth development, and water resources.

“Each year Forum is an opportunity for our campus community to meet and learn from their colleagues who work and represent CSU throughout Colorado,” Swanson said. “Our county and regional staff engages Colorado citizens along the Front Range metropolitan corridor as well as the eastern plains and the west slope rural communities. These are the off-campus CSU employees who give life to our land-grant heritage every day throughout Colorado.”


Presentations and break-out sessions will be held in various rooms in the Lory Student Center.