UNH Cooperative Extension staff gathered together on Aug. 23 at Ellacoya State Park on Lake Winnipesaukee to celebrate another year of making life better in New Hampshire—and to have a little summer fun. Read on for a recap of this year’s staff recognition awards and learn more about Extension’s dedicated employees.
Performance Beyond Expectations Award: Sarah Grosvenor
Sarah helped lead the STEM Discovery Lab at UNH Manchester to a new level of planning and strategic focus. To do this, Sarah helped to write multiple grants (the majority of which received funding), developed new mission and vision statements and assisted in pulling together a large and diverse advisory board.
She helped hire and now supervises the STEM Discovery Lab’s lab coordinator, all while she continues to develop new and engaging STEM programming for a diverse and hard to reach urban youth community. It is mind boggling what she is able to get done due to her incredible motivation, initiative and organization.
Excellence in Civil Rights and Diversity Award: Michael Young
Mike played lead roles in several efforts related to civil rights and diversity, including the launch of the Civil Rights Toolbox, designing standard demographic collection processes and pilot, and bringing Universal Design for Learning to UNH Cooperative Extension.
This resulted in an exchange with another Extension program that included an intentional focus on reaching hard to reach and diverse audiences and rolling out guidelines for youth staff for working with youth with disabilities.
Program of Distinction Award: Gabriela Bradt
Gabby’s NH Green Crab Project is an excellent example of a comprehensive and integrative approach to developing markets, supporting of local commercial fishers and fisheries and raising public awareness and understanding about the economic and ecological tolls invasive species can have on particular fisheries and marine environments.
For her work with green crabs, Gabby has been involved in research, citizen science, working with local restaurants, and has been featured in numerous print, radio and television outlets.
Two recent high profile public events Gabby organized and helped chair include a green crab session at the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum (March 2018) and the first ever Green Crab Working Summit (June 2018) that brought together stakeholders from all over New England, California and Canada.
Early Response Award: George Hamilton
By being tremendously proactive, George helped ensure that New Hampshire and New England had a seat at the table during an important discussion on national agriculture policy.
When a series of listening sessions was proposed on the existing Federal Crop Insurance Apple policy, stakeholders from Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire implored the organizers to conduct a listening session in New England.
Within two days of the announcement, George arranged an Apple Crop Insurance Listening Session for New England and worked for a month to organize, publicize, and host the event.
The highly successful meeting took place at Extension’s Rockingham County office in Goffstown in March 2018 and featured more than 40 individuals, including apple growers from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York; crop insurance sales agents and Extension and USDA staff.
Innovation Award: Penny Whitman
Working with the Sullivan County Economic Development Committee, Penny used an Esri Story Map to provide a platform for the public to share their thoughts on their community to help create a countywide identity for a region which struggles to set itself apart from the rest of the state.
By allowing anyone to easily submit a location, a picture and some text, the Sullivan County story map helped create a list of community assets currently featured in a cool interactive map that can be used to provide opportunities for a deeper engagement with individuals and communities.
Penny has only just started working at Extension, and it is exciting to see her already adapt a recently-learned technology and apply it so effectively in her work.
Outstanding Contribution and Support Award: Lynn Harrison
During her 15-plus years of work at Extension, Lynn has provided exceptional support while making considerable positive impacts within Extension. Lynn was previously involved with an “office climate” group to help improve communications, policies and procedures that affect all staff in the county office.
More recently, Lynn developed a training plan for new administrative assistants in her office and designed a protocol for prioritizing and assigning tasks. She has also assisted in training other administrative assistants in learning to use new software, including SalesForce, Predictive Response and Destiny One.
Finally, Lynn is an active participant in the new Cultural Proficiency Task Force, where she has made a point of staying up to speed on all relevant postings and has greatly contributed to the important discussion with which this group is tasked.