CD Wire - May 18, 2020

Mission Statement:
Ohio State University Extension
Community Development
helps communities enhance
their well-being.

AD Update:

-David Civittolo, Interim Assistant Director

NACDEP Conference

2020 NACDEP Conference As you know, the 2020 NACDEP Conference scheduled to be held in New Hampshire is transitioning to a virtual conference. The final schedule and registration details can be found here. The conference program can be viewed here.

I want to recognize our colleagues that will be presenting:

  • Eric Romich: Utility-Scale Solar Energy Production: Preparing Extension to Meet the Challenge (Concurrent session)
  • Cindy Bond: Building a Bridge to Solve Issues (Concurrent session)
  • Amanda Osborne and Courtney Woelfl: WIC Perks: Expanding Nutrition Incentives Beyond SNAP Eligibility (Poster presentation)
  • Brian Raison and others: Coming Together to Promote Racial Understanding: Findings undergird need for race dialogue in Extension (Poster presentation)
  • Gwynn Stewart, Christine Gelley, and Erika Lyon: Ohio State University Extension Energy Outreach (Poster presentation)
  • Gwynn Stewart and Godwin Apaliyah: Community and Economic Development Impacts of Rural Public Transportation in Ohio (Poster Presentation)

We also are proud to announce that some of our colleagues have been recognized with national awards.

National Winners:

  • Joe Lucente: Educational Technology Award: Individual; Lake Erie Shipwreck Research Project

  • Amanda Osborne: Cross-Program Award: Team; WIC Perks

  • Eric Romich: Educational Materials Award: Team; Farmland Owner's Guide to Solar Leasing

National Runners-Up:

  • Greg Davis: Distinguished Career Award: Individual

  • Brian Raison: Innovation and Creativity Award: Individual; Rethinking Strategic Planning: Realignment/Mission

  • Meghan Thoreau: Cross-Program Award: Individual; Elementary STEM Club & Career Exploration Program

Meet Eric Romich, Field Specialist and Associate Professor

Do you have clientele that may be interested in learning how solar energy can save them money on their utilities? Then you will want to get to know how Eric can help them achieve their goals.

Have a great week and remember: “Strength shows, not only in the ability to persist, but the ability to start over.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald  


CD Professional FEATURE:

Getting to know Eric Romich,
associate professor &
extension field specialist,
energy development

Eric Romich
Located at:

OSU Extension - Wyandot County
109 S. Sandusky Ave. (Room 16)
Upper Sandusky, OH 43351

Program focus:
  • Distributed (Behind-the-Meter) Solar Development

  • Utility-Scale Solar Energy Development

  • Solar Leasing

  • Peak Demand Energy Management in Agriculture

  • Renewable Energy Policy

About Eric:

I began my career with OSU Extension in November 2008 as a Community Development Educator in the Wyandot County Extension Office. As a native to Wyandot County, I was truly blessed to serve the community that I grew up in creating so many wonderful memories and relationships. As a CD Educator in Wyandot County, my work focused on local and regional economic development and community planning while I served as the director of the Wyandot County Office of Economic Development and the Wyandot County Regional Planning Commission.

Following the passage of Ohio’s renewable energy portfolio standards, the Wyandot County Commissioners were approached by a renewable energy developer to gauge their level of interest in developing a solar farm at the county airport. My background in renewable energy began in 2009 when I served on the county leadership team that facilitated the development of the PSEG Wyandot Solar project, which became Ohio’s first utility-scale solar project. Upon commencement, the 85 acre, 12-megawatt project was the largest solar field in Ohio and consisted of 159,200 solar panels.

In general, I enjoy staying busy. I cherish spending time with my family, coaching youth basketball and baseball, home renovation projects, woodworking, golfing, and fishing.

Eric's Work:

In February 2012, I was hired to work in a newly created statewide position as a Field Specialist focused on energy education. As a statewide Extension Field Specialist for Energy Education, I work closely with faculty and staff from various program areas and departments to conduct research, develop extension programs, and teach in communities throughout the state.

My current programs are focused on peak demand management in agriculture, on-farm solar energy system design and financial analysis, utility scale solar development, solar leasing considerations, and strategies for co-locating utility scale solar and agricultural production. My educational programs are designed to guide informed decision making on energy development, facilitate local conflict resolution, and enhance the overall environmental and economic quality of life for Ohioans.

I have also served as the program leader for the Energize Ohio Signature Program since 2012 and currently serve as the Past Chair of the National Extension Energy Initiative.

You can reach Eric at or 419-294-4931.
Our next feature will spotlight 
Darlene Lukshin, program specialist,
Washington County



LOD Offerings for the Week of May 18:

LOD This week's training by OSU Extension Learning and Organizational Development is titled "Program Evaluation Bootcamp." All sessions will run from 1 to 2 p.m.

Evaluation matters in our work because it is about getting information to people for decision-making. It helps us make sure that we are clear about our program purpose and the information that is needed. We will start the week with talking about why evaluation matters and then move into building skills in Qualtrics to gather information, and then explore some great success stories.

The session objectives include the following:

  • Deepen understanding of why evaluation matters in your work
  • Develop competencies in Qualtrics
  • Explore success stories that energize our future efforts

Registration is not required for any of these sessions. Simply show up and engage. Sessions will be recorded. Read more

Our own Brian Raison will be presenting the Friday, May 22, session entitled "Sharing Impact through Storytelling and Data: Not Mutually Exclusive." Numbers matter. Funders and partners require quantified results. But if we give meaning to our metrics, we can convey actual impacts, and we can better show how our work positively affects lives.

Byrd Center 5 in 30 Flash Talks begin May 18:

Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Learn about the Byrd Center’s most current and exciting research through fast and informal virtual talks presented by Byrd Center PIs, postdocs, and graduate students.

Register to join us May 18, June 1, and June 15 at 11 a.m. for flash talks, question and answer sessions, and virtual lunch breakout rooms. Everyone is welcome to attend via Zoom. Read more.

Note: Aaron Wilson, Research Scientist, will speak on June 15 re: A collection of Ohio-related weather and climate projects.

Navigating the Tourism Industry in Your State - May 21:

NET On May 21 at 3 p.m., the National Extension Tourism Design Team (NET) will be hosting a webinar focused on the current tourism situation and how Extension will be able to play a role in helping our tourism communities respond. 

Learn about the various roles and responsibilities of state associations, agencies, and partner segments involved in tourism, and how to collaborate, or serve as an important resource, to these constituent groups. Read more. Register.

Understanding Physicians’ Referrals of Older Adults to Extension Health Programs - June 5:

NCRAN On June 5 at 11 a.m., the North Central Region Aging Network will be hosting a webinar titled "Understanding Physicians’ Referrals of Older Adults to Extension Health Programs."

In the webinar, Michigan State University Model of Health Extension will be introduced, which focuses on increasing primary care referrals to and enrollment in Extension-led health programs. Join the live webinar here

Kick it up a Notch: Next Level Management - Online Series:

CFAES Wooster Campus Business Training & Educational Services is offering special Ohio State only pricing for their new Kick it up a Notch: Next Level Management Online Professional Development series. The classes, originally priced at $98 each, are now only $78 each for Ohio State employees. All six courses can be purchased at a cost of $450 (a $530 value). 

Self-paced online courses include the following:

  • Communication: Connect Through Conversations*
  • Coaching: Move People Forward
  • Building and Sustaining Trust
  • Delegating with Purpose
  • Resolving Workplace Conflict
  • Driving Change

* prerequisite for ALL other courses

Read more. Register. For more information contact Zac Burkey (

Policy Brief - Episode 4, Economic Impact of COVID-19:

Policy Brief Policy Brief is a podcast and video series of informed conversations with policymakers, influencers, and public sector professionals by the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

Episode 4 is hosted by Glenn College Professor Ned Hill and discusses the economic impact of COVID-19 in Ohio and the U.S. Read more.



Interim Director's May 5 Video Update:

The link to the OSU Extension interim director’s video update of May 5 is now available here. (Access password: 4M*.*450) The audio transcript is posted with the recording, and the slides can be found here.

COVID-19 Faculty/Staff Experience Survey:

Oval Because the COVID-19 crisis has had such an impact on faculty and staff, The Ohio State University Archives would like to capture stories and experiences of faculty and staff during this historical period.

Complete this questionnaire to help gather stories and opinions. Someday we will want to look back on this to figure out how individuals reacted, coped, and adapted to this unprecedented event.

CarmenCanvas Updates for Summer 2020:

Thumbs up Summer semester may look a bit different this year, but CarmenCanvas is still upgrading and innovating to improve the online teaching and learning experience. Find out what is new in the LMS and get a quick refresher on the typical start-of-term happenings. Read more.

Volunteer to Help Ohio 4-H Professionals Evaluate Youth Special Interest Projects:

4-H logo As Ohio’s county 4-H programs adjust to current telecommuting directives and changes from agricultural societies, there is a huge need for volunteers for special interest 4-H project evaluation.

In response, Ohio 4-H would like to encourage colleagues in CFAES to register as volunteer project judges, especially in the categories that relate to their skills and/or areas of expertise. Faculty, staff, and even graduate students represent a fantastic audience to help Ohio 4-H in this unique situation because of both their familiarity and access to Zoom and other digital applications and their knowledge in the content areas covered by 4-H projects. In most cases, to evaluate a project, all one will need is access to a computer and internet and a willingness to develop the leaders of tomorrow! All other resources, details, and instructions for evaluating projects will be provided by the county 4-H professional.

Interested in volunteering? Register. The registration form asks for appropriate contact information and lists the 4-H project areas (excluding livestock) judged at county fairs and the Ohio State Fair. Please indicate the areas you are willing to judge. The information will then be shared with Ohio 4-H professionals. Questions? Contact Cassie (

Activities and Programs with Minors Policy Updated to cover Online Delivery of Programs:

The university’s policy pertaining to Activities and Programs with Minor Participants has been updated effective May 12. The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) initiated interim policy revisions to provide guidance for activities and programs at Ohio State that are using virtual delivery, a circumstance previously not covered by the policy. Additional guidance on best practices for virtual programs will be forthcoming. Read more.

Workday Timeline Update:

The Enterprise Project schedule has been updated to reflect a six-month Workday timeline extension. Workday HR and Payroll will go live on January 3, 2021. Workday Finance and Supply Chain will go live on January 7, 2021. The university’s Workday Student timeline remains unchanged, with implementation planned to begin in summer 2023. An overview of these dates and other important information is available on the Enterprise Project website.

Ohio State Offers Free Anti-Virus and Security Tools for Personal Devices:

Cybersecurity for you Employees want to protect their personal computers and devices, particularly if they are using them to perform work tasks.

Avoid paying out-of-pocket. Ohio State offers opportunities to earn free anti-virus and security tools for personal use through the Cybersecurity for You (C4U) awareness platform. As you earn rewards, learn how to protect yourself while working from home. Share with co-workers. Read more.

Food System Vulnerabilities and COVID-19 Needs:

CFAES logo The Lean on your Land Grant COVID-19 Food System Task Force has convened to mobilize a rapid, coordinated, and evidence-based process to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the issues it is creating in our food system, and to make Ohio and CFAES better prepared for the next crisis.

The situation on the ground is rapidly changing, and we seek your help in identifying specific food system vulnerabilities and needs you are seeing during this crisis so that we can help leverage our internal CFAES resources and external partnerships to inform and support decision makers and all Ohioans.

As members of our three campuses–Columbus, Wooster and our 88 county offices–you each bring important knowledge from both your local community and your area of expertise about what is happening in our food system right now. 

Complete this survey now and/or whenever additional needs emerge that you would like to share with us. The survey link will remain open. 

The Task Force in collaboration with the Knowledge Exchange has established a process for reviewing survey responses weekly and developing an action plan to respond to current and emerging food system issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Articles/Publications of Interest:


New CFAES groups assist Ohio food producers, consumers during pandemic

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