Community

Job Opening – Project Outreach Coordinator in Northeast Connecticut

Job Opening – Project Outreach Coordinator in Northeast Connecticut

(Accepting applications until May 30, 2022)

UConn Extension is actively seeking to fill a part-time, six month position of Project Outreach Educator in Northeast Connecticut. This is an exciting opportunity for the right person who is versatile, responsive, and demonstrates an interest in local food and farms in Connecticut.

PLEASE DO NOT APPLY UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO WORK EVENINGS AND WEEKENDS.

The Project – With funding from USDA, UConn Extension is leading a project in Northeastern CT, Grown ConNECTed, that is focused on increasing sales and customers for farms producing locally grown food. The target region includes over 130 local farm and food retail businesses in 23 towns of Northeastern CT. The project is led by a Communications Coordinator and guided by an Advisory Board of farm businesses.

Summary of Primary Responsibilities – The Project Outreach Coordinator will deliver outreach across the 23-town region. Through outreach, there is a potential to tap into the social capital and networks that already exist in the region by engaging with town elected leaders, agriculture commissions, municipal employees, community-based projects, organizations and boards, as well as through tabling and making presentations about local food at community events. This approach will help build momentum for the regional marketing campaign, Grown ConNECTed.

Supervisor – Jiff Martin, UConn Extension Educator in Food Systems.

Work week – 20-30 hours per week with flexible hours. This position will require weekend and evening duties. Please do not apply if you are not available most weekends in the summer and fall. Some collaborative work (in the Vernon office) will be required, some focused work (at home) is expected, and some time traveling throughout the region for events, tabling, etc.

Candidates must provide their own transportation. The office is located at: Tolland County Extension Center, 24 Hyde Avenue, Vernon, CT 06066

Compensation – $25/hour. Timesheets are submitted every two weeks. This is a temporary, project-based position without benefits. There is an opportunity to renew the contract at least once after 6 months. This is a grant-funded position. Travel to events will be reimbursed at the federal mileage rate.

Duration – Position starts as soon as possible. Continuing or renewed employment in the following year is dependent on job performance.

Duties:

● Prepare, schedule, and implement presentations in targeted region about why and where to buy local food

● Table at farmers markets, agriculture/food events, as well as adjacent sector events (such as a health services fair or a festival where families are likely to attend) in targeted region to share communication materials, sign up residents for email, and build overall brand visibility in the region for consumers

● Distribution and delivery of marketing campaign materials to businesses, farms, town halls, farmers markets, food retailers etc in the region

● Help identify key events in the region that we should be participating in and complete registration and requirements for tabling

● Assist the Communications Coordinator in gathering content for digital and print communications, this includes updated info on farm locations, hours, products

● Provide critical input to the project team on what consumers are saying, what residents are looking for, and how town leaders are responding to the marketing campaign

Ideal Qualifications:

● Excellent time management and organization skills, including the ability to prioritize tasks while managing multiple activities and stay ahead of deadlines

● Strong presentation skills in group settings, both in-person and virtual

● Enjoys communicating with people from diverse backgrounds

● Is comfortable tabling in public settings, including setting up the display, being prepared to manage various weather conditions, maintaining engaging interaction with the public

● Familiar with region of Northeastern Connecticut; applicants from the region are strongly encouraged to apply

● Professional writing and email skills necessary to interact with public officials, business leaders, and other stakeholders

● Experience using social media, demonstrating an understanding for what works on different platforms

● Proven administrative skills, maintaining contact info, scheduling meetings, and managing Google Drive folders/docs

● Experience working with a project team, collaborative, or coalition that includes representatives of state agencies, municipalities, non-profits, and the private sector

● Works well independently as needed, good problem-solving skills

● Interested in the interconnected issues of food, health, nutrition, equity, and justice

● Must have own transportation

● Spanish speaking is a plus

● College degree preferred

To Apply – Send a resume and cover letter by May 20th to lauren.manuck@uconn.edu

The University of Connecticut is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer.

People of color, women, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and members of traditionally underrepresented populations are strongly encouraged to apply.

Long Island Sound teacher workshop planned for May 21

Come tour and learn about Copps Island Oyster Company, Sheffield Island Lighthouse, the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge and how to take your students on an interdisciplinary field trip that incorporates NGSS, history and science into an unforgettable educational experience for all grade levels.

Please see the flier attached here for details!

Date: May 21, 2022 – 9 a.m. – 3 pm. Registration required. Space is limited.

Workshop cost and registration:

Space is limited so it’s best to sign up ASAP. Complete the google form using the link below to register: https://forms.gle/QzoQ2iisk9UC5qsf8

Cost: $10 venmo or check – details will be sent once registration is completed. Payment must be made to reserve your spot for the workshop.

Goodie bags with supplies to run your own field trip will be given out at the end of the class and may include seines, nets and other fun stuff!

Questions? Please contact Eva Bartush:  BartushE@norwalkps.org

Post taken from CT Sea Grant

A Community of Farms in Northeastern Connecticut

little girl holding a sign that says fresh is best
Photo: Becca Toms

The UConn Extension Sustainable Food Systems program launched a new brand in Northeastern Connecticut to help connect residents in the region with farms and farmers providing products directly to consumers. This new brand “Grown ConNECTed: A Community of Farms in Northeastern Connecticut” consists of a new website (grownconNECTed.org) with multiple resources for finding farms that fit residents needs, social media channels on Facebook and Instagram, and providing resources and trainings for farmers to enable them to connect with more customers. 

The brand was chosen and created in partnership with farmers and community members in the region. The phrase and logo were chosen to indicate that there is more than just the labor that a farmer puts into the products they produce. There is a community they are connected with that supports them through not just buying their products, but creating relationships that make every meal—for the farmer and consumer, a little richer in it’s meaning (and flavor too!). 

Through the Grown ConNECTed campaign, you can find farmers markets, farms that have CSAs and Farm Stands, and also alternative locations like other retailers and restaurants that sell products from local farms. 

This program was made possible through a USDA Agriculture Marketing Services grant. Visit grownconNECTed.org  for more information.

Article by Becca Toms

Raising awareness to help sturgeon make a comeback in CT

UConn and Connecticut Sea Grant will unveil a sign at Hammonasset Beach State Park at 10 a.m.  on May 7 to raise awareness of conservation efforts for the endangered Atlantic sturgeon. The ceremony will take place at the beach house at Meigs Point.

The ancient and iconic Atlantic Sturgeon were once common in Connecticut waters. However, after overfishing, pollution, and habitat degradation the species is now endangered.

Fortunately, after ongoing research and conservation efforts there are signs the population is recovering and may be rediscovering its historic spawning grounds in the Connecticut River.

A new sign at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison will serve to educate others about the progress and goals of these conservation efforts and aid in this species’ recovery. Measures we can take include steps to take if sturgeon are accidentally caught while fishing, and to report sightings to CT DEEP. CT Sea Grant supported the work of UConn marine scientists in this project.

Joining CT Sea Grant staff at the event will be UConn scientists and CT DEEP fisheries staff who worked on the project; and CT DEEP Deputy Commission Mason Trumble.

    For more information, visit the project website.

    Link to pdf of sign in Spanish and English can be found here.

    Post taken from CT Sea Grant

    Community Promise Week – Thank You Volunteers!

    To celebrate our amazing volunteers, we are recognizing the work they’ve done. This April 24-30 is our #CommunityPromiseWeek, where we’ll be highlighting a few key leaders that make our programs possible. Thank you to Carol, Sandy, Ellen, Kim, Peg and Rich for all that you do! Stay tuned throughout the week as we highlight more of our volunteers.

    Carol LeBlanc Sandy Eggers

     

    Ellen PaineKim Osga

    Peg HallRick Page

    Food and Nutrition Classes at Home

    boy planting a seedling
    Photo: Heather Pease

    Hartford County’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) provided virtual nutrition education and cooking programs to limited resource adults and youth in 2021.

    We held the Cook and Chat virtual series for adults online. It included sessions on cooking basics, food safety, food budgeting, and nutrition topics over three to 12 lessons. Programs partners were agencies in Enfield, Plainville, New Britain, Hartford, and Bristol. They prepared easy, nutritious recipes from home and had a group discussion. Participants received the ingredient and equipment lists before each class. Participants also received incentives for completing the program surveys and dietary recalls. These included measuring cups, grocery bags, food thermometers, and cutting boards. The early evening programs were popular since participants could use the recipe for their meal.

    A virtual youth program in the summer focused on gardening, nutrition, cooking, and fitness. Human Resources Agency (HRA) in New Britain partnered with EFNEP. This was a workforce development project for youth entering ninth grade. This intensive program was 20 hours per week and held via Google classroom. Youth learned about health and nutrition careers while completing gardening and fitness activities.

    EFNEP Educators positively interacted with participants despite the challenges of completely virtual environments. Youth and adult participants were eager to learn about nutrition, food budgeting, and easy recipes. Adults felt comfortable cooking in their own homes. They were also more likely to replicate a recipe for their family at a later date. The incentives motivated participants. They stayed engaged in the lessons and completed our evaluation surveys and dietary recalls. In many ways, the EFNEP educators learned a great deal more about a family’s needs in this personal space. The pandemic created new challenges. EFNEP’s efforts evolved and continues serving limited resource youth and adults.

    Article by Sharon Gray, RD

    4-H Mentoring Continues Serving Youth 

    Antwon with his 4-H mentoring awardsYouth in Waterbury continued benefitting from the 4-H Mentoring project during the pandemic. The 4-H Mentoring Project is a prevention program where youth gain knowledge, build character, and develop life skills. It is a fun learning environment that helps them become self-directing, productive members of society.  

    Approximately 45 youth ages nine through 14 participate annually. Mentoring is a proven strategy for helping at-risk youth achieve a better future. They are more likely to succeed with the extra support of a caring, consistent adult mentor. 

    The program increases their interpersonal skills and strengthens family bonds through the 12-month mentoring program. The three project components, mentoring, 4-H activities, and family nights, all contribute to positive impacts.  

    The 4-H Mentoring Project provides youth and their families opportunities to broaden their horizons with positive involvement in all that UConn 4-H offers. It’s a win–win for both agencies we partner with, and for youth and their families. 

    By Edith Valiquette 

    Jacqueline Kowalski Hired as Urban Agriculture Educator

    Jacqueline KowalskiUrban agriculture in Connecticut is growing! Urban farms, community gardens, and innovative practices such as hydroponics are all a part of the urban agriculture landscape. To help meet the needs of the urban agriculture community, Jacqueline Kowalski recently joined the UConn Extension team. She is based at the Fairfield County Extension Center in Bethel.

    Identified as a land reuse strategy, community and economic development vehicle, and means to help address food insecurity, urban agriculture production has many benefits, including mitigating the effects of climate change. Climate change continues to affect all areas of food production including urban agriculture which could play a huge role to play in addressing food system stabilization.

    While she grew up in a rural community, her first professional position took her to St. Croix, Virgin Islands working for the University of the Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station where she developed her career-long passions of increasing specialty crop production and providing technical support to historically underserved farmers.  Jacqueline’s most recent work has been with Ohio State University Extension in Cleveland and Akron in the areas of beginning farmer education, seasonal high tunnel production, community garden leadership training, and volunteer management.

    The position at UConn appealed to her for many reasons which include the growing number of urban farmers and those interested in the benefits of urban agriculture, the increasing participation of BIPOC farmers engaging in the food system, and UConn’s commitment to partnering with urban communities and working toward undoing structural racism that prevented many from participating the food system.

    She will be offering a beginning urban farmer training program in collaboration with the Green Village Initiative starting in May 2022. For more information visit s.uconn.edu/urbanfarmingcourse.

    Prior to her work with Ohio State, she was the Director of Horticulture and Agronomy for the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture. She received her formal education from Michigan State University and the University of the Virgin Islands.

    Job: Educational Program Assistant – Part-Time in Fairfield Co.

    Search #: 496223Work type: Part-timeLocation: Fairfield County Extension CtrCategories: Academic Programs and Services

    JOB SUMMARY

    The UConn Extension Center located in Bethel, CT is seeking applications for a part-time Educational Program Assistant 1 position (50%).  This position is responsible for supporting and helping implement high-quality, comprehensive, Extension programming at different program sites throughout the region, with specific support to Urban Agriculture, EFNEP/Community Nutrition, Master Gardener, and 4-H programs. The Educational Program Assistant will report to the Center Coordinator to prioritize programmatic work assignments.

    DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

    1. Assists and provides support to Extension Educators working with programs which may include but not be limited to Urban Agriculture, EFNEP/ community nutrition, Master Gardener, and 4-H programs.
    2. Assists in developing educational programs, recruiting, explaining, and providing program information and processes to Extension volunteers and participants.
    3. Works with and helps develop and refine program databases using programs such as Excel and Access, as well as national and federal databases such as 4-H, Z-Suite, and WebNEERS to extrapolate relevant data sets, maintain program enrollments, membership, and volunteer records and provide program reports to the Extension educators as required.
    4. Maintains accurate records on each program and assembles databases and prepares statistical and/or historical reports for Extension educators/Program Coordinators based on program outcomes.
    5. Performs office support functions, in support of educational programs; processes paperwork, records, and files which may be computerized or confidential in nature.
    6. Supports Extension Educators/Program Coordinators in implementing and providing off-site educational activities in the community to improve practical understanding and accomplish program goals.
    7. Provides assistance in assembling, arranging, organizing, and dismantling program event and activity set-ups and arrangements at various locations and venues, i.e. classrooms, fairgrounds, community centers, etc.
    8. Supports media relations activities for various programs; works with others to write and edit program and promotional materials for hard and soft copy publications and social media platforms.
    9. Assists Extension Educators/Program Coordinators in assessing clients’ capacity to participate in programs and helping to incorporate related knowledge into program activities for greatest learning opportunities.
    10. Assists Extension Educators/Program Coordinators in developing and implementing programs to enhance learning and provide appropriate content-based experiences to accomplish program goals.
    11. Under supervision, provides educational training and conducts related support services on an ongoing basis, and assists in resolving problems in assigned area of responsibility.
    12. Assists with increasing community collaborations with partner groups.

    MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS 

    1. Bachelor’s degree in related field and up to one year of related experience or an Associate’s degree and two to three years of related experience; or four to five years of experience utilizing profession based standards in urban agriculture, community nutrition, gardening, 4-H or related fields.
    2. Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills and ability to work effectively with communication technologies and the media.
    3. Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite including Excel and Access and other database activities.
    4. Demonstrated sensitivity towards diverse youth, families, and volunteer clientele to be served.
    5. Must be detail-oriented. Demonstrated experience providing organizational support in a team environment including but not limited to filing, database management, and administrative processes.
    6. Must be able to regularly lift, carry, load, unload, and transport equipment, supplies, and/or program materials for educational events and workshops such as laptops, projectors, tables, chairs, displays, paper media, etc.
    7. Must be willing and able to work flexible and irregular hours, including occasional nights and weekends to help conduct programs at off-site locations.
    8. Must have reliable transportation to meet in-state travel requirements (mileage allowance provided).

    PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS 

    1. Knowledge and familiarity with the Cooperative Extension System.
    2. Demonstrated success in public relations utilizing electronic, social, and print media platforms.
    3. Experience working with large databases, and generating reports including 4-H online registration.
    4. Experience participating with collaborative community partnerships.
    5. Experience working with UConn administrative processes.
    6. Experience with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) technology.
    7. Multilingual – Spanish and English preferred

    Physical Requirements: Incumbents must possess the ability to perform the required duties set forth above.

    APPOINTMENT TERMS 

    This is a part-time (50%, 17.5 hours) position based in Bethel, CT. The annual salary will be prorated according to the percent of employment.

    TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

    Employment at the University of Connecticut is contingent upon the successful candidate’s compliance with the University’s Mandatory Workforce COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.  This Policy states that all workforce members are required to have or obtain a Covid-19 vaccination as a term and condition of employment at UConn, unless an exemption or deferral has been approved.

    Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.

    TO APPLY

    Please apply online at https://hr.uconn.edu/jobs, Staff Positions, Search #496223 to upload a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references.

    This job posting is scheduled to be removed at 11:55 p.m. Eastern time on May 1, 2022.

    All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp.

    The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.

    Advertised: Apr 01 2022 Eastern Daylight TimeApplications close: May 01 2022 Eastern Daylight Time