Author: Stacey Stearns

Dr. Jeantyl Norze Joins Extension as Evaluation Specialist

Jeantyl NorzeDr. Jeantyl Norze joined Extension as our Evaluation Specialist in January of 2022. “I am very excited to join the UConn CAHNR Extension and hopeful about my contributions to help advance the land grant mission of the university. CAHNR Extension has an amazing dynamic team who is knowledgeable and open to new ideas that help further improve the lives of the residents and communities in the state through better programming,” Dr. Norze says. He is looking forward to meeting everyone to learn more about their work and determine how he can best assist them.

Jeantyl Norze, is a Program Development and Evaluation Specialist who have authored and co-authored numerous publications in a variety of refereed national and international journals. Dr. Norze earned his DVM degree at the Universidad Agraria de La Habana (UNAH) and his master’s degree and Ph.D. degree at Louisiana Sate University where he worked as a graduate research student, post-doctoral fellow, and adjunct faculty. During his tenure at Louisiana State University, he was involved in several research and evaluation projects and taught several courses including leadership development, program development, and program evaluation to undergraduate students, graduate students, and extension educators.

Later, in 2019, Dr. Norze joined the University of Neva Reno Extension as the Program Evaluation Coordinator. In this role, he assisted Extension faculty and staff from a variety of departments including Horticulture, Health and Nutrition, Children, Youth, and Family, Natural Resources, and Economic Development with program evaluation, reporting, and needs assessments. He helped with strengthening the evaluation methods and designs, selecting and developing appropriate evaluation tools to gather credible evidence that demonstrates the contributions of each program. In addition, he participated in multiple evaluation and research projects including food insecurity among college students, educational and mental health needs among Nevadan youth, Tufts longitudinal 4-H study, HANRE needs assessment, and so forth.

He developed, in collaboration with his former colleagues, a needs assessment framework to guide statewide needs assessment efforts that seek to meet and understand the changing needs of the communities. He was also the principal investigator for a national research project sponsored by the Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research and the University of Nevada, Reno Extension that sought to examine career progression for urban extension professionals in the country.

Urban Agriculture Webinar – January 19th

hydroponic lettuce in a greenhouseJoin us on January 19th at 7 PM for a webinar on Urban Agriculture Opportunities in Connecticut. Dean Indrajeet Chaubey from the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, and Extension educators Jacqueline Kowalski and Jiff Martin are presenting along with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, USDA, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

Full details and registration are available at https://s.uconn.edu/urbanagwebinar

Job Openings with Extension and CAHNR

banner of Extension programs

We are hiring! Extension and the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources currently have several open positions. The list of positions is below, as well as the link to the job description and details on how to apply.

Snow Removal Tips

Photo and Article: West Virginia Extension

1360166144Stay safe from slips and strains by following these recommendations for safe and effective snow removal.

  • Shovel all sidewalks adjacent to your property to the bare pavement. This includes any sidewalks outside your fence lines and to the sides/rear of your property.
  • Clear a path at least 36 inches wide. This allows space wide enough for someone using wheelchair, walker or stroller.
  • Strategically pile snow. Don’t create new problems in the street or sidewalk when clearing your car or driveway.
  • Clear ramps at corners and crosswalks. These strategic spots are particularly dangerous and often overlooked.
  • Chop or melt all ice. Ice is the primary cause of falls; it’s not enough to simply remove the snow.
  • Keep street storm drains clear of snow and report clogged drains. The snow will melt, and effective drainage protects streets from icing over and developing potholes.
  • Clear snow around any fire hydrants near your house. Seconds count when a fire occurs and it’s critical for firefighters to find and access hydrants.
  • Shovel frequently. Don’t wait until the snow piles up. Shovel intermittently – after two (2) inches of snow has fallen – to maintain safe conditions and prevent injury when clearing snow and ice.

Be neighborly. Consider helping those who may have difficulty clearing their own sidewalks.

Important health and safety reminders when clearing snow and ice:

  • Stretch during and after working outside. Gently stretch your back, arms and legs to help prevent injury and muscle strain.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothes frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • Cover your mouth. Protect your lungs from extremely cold air by covering your mouth when outdoors.
  • Wear shoes with good soles. Falling is the most common injury when removing snow and ice.
  • Wear shoes with a good cleat tread and layers of absorbing socks.
  • Separate your hands on the shovel. By creating space between your hands, you can increase your leverage on the shovel.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back. Make sure your knees are bending and straightening to lift the shovel instead of leaning forward and straightening with the back.
  • Push the snow. It is easier and better for your back to push the snow rather than lift it. Never throw snow over your shoulders.
  • Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unfamiliar exercise, such as shoveling snow or pushing a car, can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.
  • Stay safe. Walk carefully on snowy and icy sidewalks. If using a snowblower, NEVER use your hands to unclog the machine.
  • Maintain an awareness of utilities when removing snow. Do not cover fire hydrants with snow when clearing sidewalks and driveways. Do not shovel snow into the street storm drains.

 

Offer to help individuals who may require special assistance. Seniors and people with disabilities can benefit from a thoughtful neighbor, and they often need extra help during snowy conditions.

Job Opening: 4-H Educator – Food and Agricultural Literacy

Extension is seeking applicants for a full-time (11-month), non-tenure track Assistant/Associate Extension Educator, primarily based at the Fairfield County Extension Office in Bethel, CT.  Extension Educators are community-based faculty who make a difference in communities by connecting community needs with university resources. Position level/rank will be commensurate with experience working with Extension.  The anticipated start date is January 2022.

The successful candidate shall create an active 4-H youth development program with a focus on STEM, food, and agricultural literacy.  The program of work shall meet critical needs in the heavily urban southwest region of the state and build the community knowledge base through a multidisciplinary, collaborative program especially in diverse, underserved communities. State and multi-state programming are also expected.  Work will be accomplished by utilizing innovative approaches to deliver timely, evidence-based solutions for participants to significantly increase youth and adult volunteers’ understanding of how food, agriculture, and STEM activities improve their communities. This position may work closely with Agri-Science programs to transition K-8 youth into high school agriculture/aquaculture science programs and other related workforce and career development programming such as MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences).  In addition to community-based learning, this position will extend the reach of UConn Extension by integrating distance-learning technology into program delivery through computer applications, web pages, electronic mailings, multimedia, and emerging technologies.  This 4-H Extension educator is a vital member of the UConn 4-H Youth Development Team and reports to the Head, Department of Extension.  For more information about the University of Connecticut 4-H Extension Program, see http://www.4-h.uconn.edu/

Read the full job description.

Funding Available for Connecticut Farmers

solid ground funding infographic
Farmers: If you are looking for a little help to get access to capital for your farm/market garden, or want some funds to contribute to conservation of natural resources, climate resilience, climate adaptation, or climate mitigation strategies OR help in increasing production and availability of CT Grown products UConn Extension’s Solid Ground program is making a stipend available to CT farmers in the sum of $500-$2000. Pretty great right? Just make sure you fill out the application by January 21st! Find out more info and apply HERE: https://newfarms.uconn.edu/solidgroundstipends/
Funding provided by USDA-NIFA-BFRDA Award #2020-70017-32733

Cooking with Marissa Cardona and Umekia Taylor

This is the time of year when we celebrate traditions with family and friends, and create new traditions. Marissa Perez Cardona and Umekia Taylor from our UConn Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program- EFNEP celebrated Hispanic Heritage and discussed Latin culinary traditions and how we can incorporate these vibrant flavors into our meals throughout the year. Watch the video and cook alongside them using the recipes at s.uconn.edu/cookingwithmarissa.

New Sea Grant Staff to Work on Climate Initiatives

three people standing in front of a jeep

If experience really is the best teacher, Deborah Abibou and Alicia Tyson have been to some of the prime places to learn about community resilience work.

Those include locations facing some of the biggest challenges from sea level rise, intensifying storms and other climate change effects: Puerto Rico, Louisiana, Peru and Costa Rica. Now, they’re ready to apply the knowledge they’ve gained toward helping Connecticut’s coastal communities with those same challenges. It’s a task they’re taking on with enthusiasm.

“I’m excited to get to work,” said Tyson.

“I’m really looking forward to diving in,” said Abibou.

The two joined the Connecticut Sea Grant staff on Nov. 19, filling new positions as sustainable and resilient community extension educators. Abibou will be based out of the New Haven County Extension Center in North Haven to focus mainly on coastal communities in the western half of the state. Tyson will work out of the UConn Avery Point campus in Groton to focus on the eastern half. Read more…

Job Opening: Educational Program Assistant

The University of Connecticut is seeking applicants for a full-time position as Educational Program Assistant 1. The ideal candidate is a dynamic and engaged individual with a strong interest in finding horticultural solutions and a passion for communicating with the public. This position has 80% effort in support of the Home and Garden Education Center (HGEC) and affiliated service laboratories, and 20% effort in support of communications for the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA). The HGEC is part of UConn Extension and this person will be the main point of contact for the Plant Diagnostic Lab, Turfgrass Disease Diagnostic Center, and the Soil Nutrient Analysis Lab. The selected candidate will join a team of exemplary staff and faculty members in the HGEC that strive to identify and educate the public and private entities on environmentally sustainable and economically feasible solutions for commercial and residential horticultural issues. The selected candidate would also be a member of and primary communications staff person for the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, which is recognized for service to Connecticut through graduate and undergraduate education, outstanding public outreach programs associated with formal extension and engaged scholarship, and nationally competitive research programs.