CD Wire - February 1, 2021

Mission Statement:

Ohio State University Extension Community Development
helps communities enhance their well-being.
OSU Extension Community Development

AD Update:

-David Civittolo, Interim Assistant Director

Zoom Fatigue

In one of my earlier notes, I shared tips to help with Zoom fatigue. Hopefully, they helped. Since we all have been zooming since March, I thought I would share some additional tips that have helped me.

  • Throw your computer out the window-No, just kidding. But, if the scheduled Zoom only has a couple of participants, it is possible to use your telephone to transact your business? If so, go for a walk or just get moving.
  • Instead of a one-hour Zoom, schedule it for 45 minutes and use the remaining 15 minutes to recharge.
  • Change locations: Do you work in the same workspace every day? If so, try moving to another room for your next Zoom meeting.
  • Turn off the camera and exercise. We all have been on Zooms with many participants. Is it possible to turn off your camera and do some exercises? How about a 30-second plank, 20 push-ups, or 25 squats?
  • Are we meeting to meet? Evaluate the meeting request to determine if it is completely necessary to attend.

We all know that if we do not have our health, nothing else really matters. Make your heath a priority. I would love to hear from you about what you are doing to survive Zoom fatigue.


Recently the Ohio NACDEP leadership reviewed applications and are happy to announce the following winners:

  • Excellence in Community Development Work - Individual: Brian Raison for Moving Online: Helping Extension & CD Practitioners Engage Audiences
  • Cross-Program - Team: Brooke Beam for Southern Ohio Farm Show (Team: Brooke Beam, James Morris, Gigi Neal, Aaron Wilson, Dave Apsley, Richard Purdin)
  • Educational Materials - Individual: Brian Raison for Leadership Briefs
  • Educational Technology - Team: Brooke Beam for Virtual Field Demonstrations (Team: Brooke Beam, Elizabeth Hawkins, Andrew Klopfenstein, Scott Shearer, John Fulton)
  • Innovation and Creativity - Individual: Gwynn Stewart for Appalachian Byway of Ohio
  • Excellence in Teamwork: Brian Raison for Moving Online: 2020 NACDEP National Conference (Team: Brian Raison, NACDEP Online Conference Planning Team, University of New Hampshire Conference Committee, NACDEP Board of Directors)
  • Distinguished Career Award: Joe Lucente (moves on as recipient of the 2020 Raymond A. Schindler Excellence in Extension CD Award)

The winners will now proceed to submit their applications to National NACDEP for consideration of regional and national awards.

Send in Your VITA Annual Reports

As a reminder from our monthly update last Thursday, county CD professionals were asked to send their 2020 VITA Annual Reports to Sandy ( We will use some of the data to report impact for the CD program area.

Meet Jill Bartolotta, Extension Educator, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Jill joined Ohio Sea Grant/Extension in 2015 and typically works with clientele in the 11 counties that abut Lake Erie. That is a great fit for Jill, as she loves outdoor activities, in particular paddleboarding on Lake Erie. Currently, her research interests involve working with students, teachers, and coastal residents to help them understand why water is our greatest resource and what we can do to protect Lake Erie. Jill also has an interest in plastic pollution and its impacts on the lake.

If you would like to learn more about Jill’s work and/or perhaps partner on a project, please do not hesitate to reach out to her.

Have a great week and remember: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller


CD Professional FEATURE:

Getting to know Jill Bartolotta,
Extension educator,
Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Jill Bartolotta, Extension educator, Ohio Sea Grant College Program
Located at:

OSU Extension - Lake County
105 Main Street, Suite B402
Painesville, OH 44077

Program focus / Areas of expertise:
  • Lake Erie
  • Plastic pollution
  • Zero waste
  • Paddling and boating safety
  • Aquatic invasive species
  • Curriculum development 
About Jill:

I was hired by Extension in summer of 2015, so I am going on six years! At the time I was living in New Hampshire but was ready to move back home to Ohio. I grew up in Northeast Ohio and spent my summers out on the lake kayaking. So it was time to leave the salt and head back to the freshwater. The position with Ohio Sea Grant was perfect for me because it blended my love for science and education and was located in my hometown. Daily I work with students, teachers, and coastal residents to understand why water is our greatest resource and what we can do as an individual and community to protect one of Ohio’s greatest treasures, Lake Erie.

When not out on the water or at the beach for work, I am usually there anyways for fun! One of my favorite activities is paddleboarding. I will spend most summer evenings paddling on the lake to watch the sunset. I also rescued a dog several years ago and she has become the love of my life! We spend lots of time hiking, chasing squirrels (her not me), going to the beach to play, and cuddling on rainy days.

Jill's Work:

My favorite programs are ones where I get to bring people to Lake Erie through beach cleanups or paddling programs. I enjoy these experiential learning programs because it really helps people understand the issue and makes them more willing to change their behaviors to better protect the natural environment. Also any day spent outside on the lake is a good day. I also really enjoy the one week a year I get to go hang out at Cedar Point educating students about Lake Erie as part of their Math and Science Week. Unfortunately I don’t ride the roller coasters, but I am a huge fan of the train. Ha-ha!

My favorite project I am working on right now, with my colleague Sue Bixler, is reducing the use of plastics used in restaurants on Put-in-Bay. Currently, we are working with the Boardwalk Family of Restaurants. They have been so supportive of the project and are dedicated to using less plastic. Over the past two years we have seen them change their business model and behaviors to move away from single-use plastics. It warms my heart to see our work making a difference.

You can reach Jill at or 440-350-2267.
Our next feature will spotlight Nicole Wright,
Extension educator,
Aquaculture and LEARN coordinator,
Ohio Sea Grant College Program.



ACEL to Extension - Sessions February 4 and 18:

ACEL to Extension Please join the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership for their series ACEL to Extension.

This series is offered directly for Extension personnel by ACEL faculty. For more information, visit Below is the list of remaining topics, with direct links to registration. You must register for each session individually. Each session will start at 9 a.m. and last approximately 60 minutes.

Introduction to Tableau for Data Visualization Workshop - February 4:

Tableau is a data visualization program that offers both quick and flexible methods of visualizing data in a variety of ways, including through interactive dashboards. Learn about the different types of Tableau, how you can access the program (for free), and how to use it to create engaging visualizations. The hands-on workshop will be February 4 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. via Zoom. Space is limited. Read more.

Mental Health First Aid Training - 1st Class February 5:

Mental Health First Aid The Ohio State University Mental Health Awareness Team members are pleased to bring you Mental Health First Aid® training in a blended format in partnership with the Ohio State University Farm and Rural Health Task Force with funding from the USDA FRSAN grant.

Mental Health First Aid® is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues. This course is open to anyone within our communities, but the February 5 training will take an agriculture and rural focus.  Please share with your community partners. Click here to find out more about the training.  

Seats are still open in the February 5 class. The class will be held via zoom from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with appropriate breaks scheduled. This course will have a two-hour online component prior that must be completed before the virtual class. You will receive this link to the pre-course material at least one week prior to the class.  

Please register by sending an email to Jami Dellifield ( Class size is limited to 20 participants. You will receive Zoom room information no later than February 2. This class is “first come, first served.”

There are also classes with the farm and rural focus available on March 5, April 2, May 7, and June 4. You can register for those by emailing Jami as well. 

Mental Health First Aid ® certification is valued at $170 but is being offered at no charge with funding from the USDA FRSAN grant.
This is very timely and important information to share. If you are interested in scheduling an adult or youth Mental Health First Aid course for your community, your staff, or your professional organization, please reach out for more information. There is a team of nationally certified instructors who will be happy to work with you.

Inaugural Sustainability Institute Energy Symposium - February 10-11:

Sustainability Institute Energy Symposium 2021 The Sustainability Institute invites you to its inaugural energy symposium, Energy Transition and Decarbonization, on February 10 and 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. 

The monumental challenges in the needed energy transition, interdisciplinary research at Ohio State to advance sustainability energy, and steps the university is taking to address climate change will be explored. Keynote speakers include Robert Socolow, professor emeritus at Princeton; Scott Tinker, professor at the University of Texas at Austin; and Michael Webber, chief scientist and technology officer at ENGIE. Read more.

Spring 2021 SENR Seminar Series - Next Session February 11:

SENR Spring 2021 Seminar Series The School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) seminar series kicked off on January 28 and runs through April 15.

The series features talks on ecosystem and health with speakers presenting on the implications of climate change for psychosocial well-being, the role of nature in health and how environmental policy affects ecological behaviors, and what it means to work on social change at the intersection of activist/artist/academic.

The next session, Implications of climate change for psychological wellbeing, will be held February 11, from 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. Click here for complete information, including schedule, Zoom links, and flyer.

Strengthening Legacy Cities - 2nd Event February 12:

Strengthening Legacy Cities The second event in a series on Strengthening Legacy Cities will be an online webinar on February 12 from 12 to 1 p.m., with guest speaker Alan Mallach.

Legacy cities such as Cleveland, Youngstown, and Akron, (Ohio), Buffalo (New York), Leipzig (Germany) and Manchester (UK) face major challenges in the 21st century economy, including loss of economic base, aging infrastructure, social polarization, and continued sprawl despite population stabilization. Ohio’s legacy cities have many highly sought features such as dense, walkable centers, abundant and affordable housing and infrastructure, and closely-knit communities and skilled workers from their industrial past and immigration history. How can legacy cities leverage these assets to restore their economic vitality while promoting socially just and sustainable communities? 

Click here for complete information and to register.

NACDEP Webinar Wednesdays - Next is February 17:

National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) There are three sessions left in the Webinar Wednesday Series for 2020-2021 presented by the NACDEP Member Services Committee.

Each of the following webinars will take place on the third Wednesday of each month at 3 p.m. ET.

  • February 17: “Communicating our Message to Stakeholders” Lead presenter: Kenzie Johnston, OSU Extension
  • March 17: “Seizing Opportunities for Community Readiness” Lead presenter: Eric Walcott, Michigan State University
  • April 21: “Agritourism Success Factors for Entrepreneurship and Community Development” Lead presenter: Lisa Chase, University of Vermont

Additional details, including the full list of presenters and the Zoom link, will be shared via NACDEP email blasts leading up to each scheduled session.

These webinars are one part of an effort to add value to the NACDEP membership. The Member Services Committee is looking at continuing this series in 2021-2022. If you have ideas for future webinars or would like to present, please contact Michael Dougherty (, the committee chair. 

CFAES offers Sessions of Interest to the Research Community:

CFAES Research Professional Development Opportunities The CFAES Office for Research & Graduate Education offers sessions throughout the year and compiles other opportunities, offered through various internal and external sources, that may be of interest to the research community. View a full list of events here.
  • February 25 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. - Purchasing on Sponsored Programs (Deadline to register is February 11.)
    Differences and similarities of purchasing on sponsored programs vs. general funds, basic rules and regulations, human subjects/petty cash, field work.

Sustainability Video Series starts February 1:

Sustainability Video Series 2021 Starting today February 1, the Extension Sustainability team is releasing a series of short 2 to 3-minute videos focusing on helping people live more sustainably within their homes and communities.

Videos will promote simple everyday actions people can take to conserve energy, reduce waste, and save money. They will send an e-mail notifying you when a new video is being released. 
These videos will be posted on the OSU Extension Facebook page on a bi-weekly basis. Please share these on your personal or professional pages as you see appropriate.
The first video, released February 1, focuses on reducing single use plastic in your kitchen.



CFAES Spirit of the Land-Grant Award - Nominations due February 19:

Nominations are now open for the 2021 CFAES Spirit of the Land-Grant Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual who supports, exemplifies, or creates opportunities that embody the land grant mission. The award celebrates the connection between our CFAES values and our land-grant DNA. Nominees should have a clear record of supporting, exemplifying, or creating opportunities around one or more of the following land-grant DNA areas: Translational Research, Collaboration and Engagement, Students as Co-creators, Lifespan Learning, and Future Perspective.

The award is open to CFAES faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, and external partners (including partners across campus and outside of the university). Nominations are due February 19, 2021. Click here for more information and the nomination form.

Grants for On-farm Research in Sustainable Agriculture - Proposals due March 1:

The Agroecosystems Management Program of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences requests research proposals for on-farm research by teams of Ohio State researchers and Ohio farmers. Grants are available annually through the Paul C. and Edna H. Warner Endowment Fund for Sustainable Agriculture. The proposal deadline is March 1. Read more.



Next Director's Video Update - February 17:

The next Director’s Video Update will be held on Wednesday, February 17, at 9 a.m. Registration is required by Monday, February 15, if possible.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with log-in information.

The update will be recorded for those who cannot join the live presentation.

Save these dates: Future Director’s Video Updates will be held on April 14, May 19, June 30, August 18, October 6, November 17, and December 15. All video updates will be held at 9 a.m. A registration link will be forwarded two to three weeks prior to each update.

If you have a disability and have questions about accessibility or wish to request accommodations for this activity, you can request assistance here

State of the University Address - February 18:

State of the University address February 18, 2021 President Kristina M. Johnson cordially invites you to the 2021 State of the University Address to be delivered virtually in conjunction with the University Senate meeting on Thursday, February 18, at 4 p.m.

 Please RSVP for viewing instructions.

New Digital Accessibility Tools Online:

Imagine how difficult it would be to do your job if you were no longer able to use your mouse. Users with very different levels of motion, vision, neurological, and auditory abilities visit our websites every day. Digital Accessibility Services has launched a new website that provides you with the resources you need to ensure all users can access Ohio State’s digital content. Read more.

Articles/Publications of Interest:

CFAES Research News (February 2021)

Twine Line (Winter/Spring 2021)

The Drop (NCRWN eNewsletter January 2021)

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