AMES, Iowa — Iowa’s Veterans, active-duty military and the professionals who serve them are invited to learn about educational opportunities from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and its partners.
“Building Awareness: The Military Community and ISU Extension and Outreach” will be offered May 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Sun Room at Iowa State’s Memorial Union on campus. The symposium is a statewide event and open to anyone interested, including the military community at Iowa State University, local Veterans groups, agencies and individuals who support the military community, county Veterans service officers, and ISU Extension and Outreach faculty, specialists and county staff.
“ISU Extension and Outreach engages Iowans through research‐based educational programs and extends the resources of Iowa State University across the state. Many of our programs would be beneficial to the military community,” said David Brown, a human sciences specialist in family life.
“We’re offering this symposium in partnership with professionals who serve the military community, both active duty as well as Veterans,” Brown said.
“Working together to leverage our resources in support of active military, Veterans and their families just makes sense,” said Malisa Rader, also a human sciences specialist in family life. “Our 99-county network of extension offices is available to support present and past service members and their loved ones.”
Jathan Chicoine, director of the Iowa State University Veterans Center, said, “We want to increase awareness and better link Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to our active military, student Veterans, National Guard and community Veteran populations and their families. There is excitement in creating the space for new relationships and awareness.”
Brett McLain, director of the Story County Office of Veterans Affairs, added, “I see a wealth of opportunities because so many are not aware of the educational offerings available through ISU Extension and Outreach. This is a chance to connect the dots between ISU Extension and Outreach and the military community.”
Symposium builds awareness, makes connections
Online registration for the May 8 symposium is available at http://bit.ly/buildingawareness12196. There is a $10 registration fee for community members, but the event is free to all ISU students. Parking is available in the Memorial Union parking garage and military community members will receive a free parking pass.
“Building Awareness: The Military Community and ISU Extension and Outreach” addresses the following objectives:
- Increase awareness of national Cooperative Extension efforts to serve the military community.
- Provide new knowledge on how to collaborate with the military community across Iowa.
- Provide ISU Extension and Outreach with direction on how to best connect with the military community.
The keynote speaker is Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, a professor of human development and family studies and director of the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University. Other guest speakers are Sarah Baughman, a professor at Virginia Tech and national project leader of the Military Families Learning Network; Brig. Gen. Shawn Ford of the Iowa Air National Guard; Tim Mullaney, a behavioral scientist for Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health Care System; and Lori Reynolds, a suicide prevention outreach and education specialist for Veterans Affairs. A local panel of professionals who work with the military community also will be available to answer participant questions.
“The intent is that the conversation does not end at the state symposium, but continues throughout the state at the regional and county level,” Rader said. “Looking down the road, we in ISU Extension and Outreach are committed to better understanding military culture, providing opportunities for people associated with the military to learn more about our educational offerings, and discovering potential ways to better collaborate to meet the educational needs of the military community.”
The symposium is funded by an Excellence in Extension Innovative Program grant. Sponsors include Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, ISU Extension and Outreach Story County, ISU Veterans Center and Story County Office of Veterans Affairs.
For more information or to ask questions, contact David Brown at 515-386-2138 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Keegan Costello