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April 28, 2020

Iowa State University Diversity and Inclusion COVID-19 Resources

During this unprecedented time, we recognize that Iowa State University’s campus footprint has increasingly expanded into digital and virtual environments. The campus community should be aware that climate considerations continue to extend into all spaces where our members engage. Therefore, we ask that everyone be vigilant to uphold our Principles of Community despite our physical and social distancing. The University’s commitment and methods to respond to reports of campus climate incidents remain in place during COVID-19. Find professional development opportunities online

April 24, 2020

The events of the past few weeks have ushered in a deep sense of uncertainty. In the face of these fears, fostering a sense of safety and belonging starts with supporting each other. A great way to promote inclusion and support from afar is virtual team building!

Now that the majority Iowa State University Extension and Outreach employees are working remotely, they rarely get the opportunity to causally interact with their coworkers and managers like they would in a “regular” office.

While virtual teams have so many positive effects on production and work-life balance, they make organizations lose that “water cooler chat” that is so crucial to employee satisfaction and retention. Teams lose that opportunity to casually bump into each other and talk about things unrelated to work such as their home life, pop culture, and interests.

Some may think these interactions mean nothing, they are just useless small talk, but they actually impact team performance a great deal! When teams feel closer together and included, morale goes up, happiness goes up, and in turn, production goes up.

We all seem to be participating in video conferencing meetings with our teams. For remote teams, having an activity during a meeting that allows the team to take a few minutes to bond and focus on something other than work can help facilitate relationships and trust with their coworkers that they do not otherwise have the opportunity to see each other face-to-face. Find a variety of ideas and think about how you might foster inclusion and fun with virtual team building!

eLearning Resources

Iowa State University Diversity and Inclusion COVID-19 Resources

During this unprecedented time, we recognize that Iowa State University’s campus footprint has increasingly expanded into digital and virtual environments. The campus community should be aware that climate considerations continue to extend into all spaces where our members engage. Therefore, we ask that everyone be vigilant to uphold our Principles of Community despite our physical and social distancing. The University’s commitment and methods to respond to reports of campus climate incidents remain in place during COVID-19. Find professional development opportunities online

The events of the past few weeks have ushered in a deep sense of uncertainty. In the face of these fears, fostering a sense of safety and belonging starts with supporting each other. A great way to promote inclusion and support from afar is virtual team building!

Now that the majority Iowa State University Extension and Outreach employees are working remotely, they rarely get the opportunity to causally interact with their coworkers and managers like they would in a “regular” office.

While virtual teams have so many positive effects on production and work-life balance, they make organizations lose that “water cooler chat” that is so crucial to employee satisfaction and retention. Teams lose that opportunity to casually bump into each other and talk about things unrelated to work such as their home life, pop culture, and interests.

Some may think these interactions mean nothing, they are just useless small talk, but they actually impact team performance a great deal! When teams feel closer together and included, morale goes up, happiness goes up, and in turn, production goes up.

We all seem to be participating in video conferencing meetings with our teams. For remote teams, having an activity during a meeting that allows the team to take a few minutes to bond and focus on something other than work can help facilitate relationships and trust with their coworkers that they do not otherwise have the opportunity to see each other face-to-face. Find a variety of ideas and think about how you might foster inclusion and fun with virtual team building!

For resources to use during the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the 

Finding Answers Now page.

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The EDEN Professional Development committee hosts monthly webinars that provide disaster-related education and training opportunities for Extension professionals. These webinars are open to all Extension professionals regardless of affiliation with EDEN. Join the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) for this month's professional development webinar entitled Emergency Preparedness for Cultural Heritage Collections. This webinar will provide an overview of preservation concepts and the emergency preparedness cycle as they apply to cultural heritage collections. The presenter will teach the use of risk assessment as a tool for preparedness and provide resources for disaster prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. A digital handout listing these resources will be included. There is no charge for this webinar.

In Beyond the Basics and Advanced Features learn about polling, downloadable file options, recording, layering and much more.

Topics include: Joining, scheduling, and hosting a Webex meeting, navigating the meeting window, Canvas LTI integration overview. This webinar was also offered March 26 and March 27.

Topics include: joining, navigating, scheduling, inviting others, host controls, recordings, and Q&A.

Learn how to login, create a meeting room, use existing meeting rooms, conduct a webinar or meeting. 

An *introduction* to Connect, Zoom, and Webex will be given. You will learn which technology is best suited for what purpose.

Consider these online learning resources for your personal and professional development. Remember to visit with your supervisor prior to beginning a professional development opportunity. 

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About Us

The Professional Development Unit directly supports Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s strategic plan, aligning the professional skills of our people with the needs of our organization. We conceptualize, design and present development opportunities that will motivate, challenge, strengthen and enlighten county and campus-paid staff, faculty and elected council officials.

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Download the Professional Development Signature Programs Marketing Flyer

Signature Programs

Crucial Conversations - What is Crucial Conversations? It’s a course teaching skills for creating a positive environment for dialogue. A crucial conversation is a discussion where the stakes are high, opinions vary and emotions are strong. These conversations, when handled poorly, lead to negative results.

Navigating Difference Cultural Competency - The Navigating Difference series is designed to assist professionals in expanding their skills in working with diverse audiences. The curriculum consists of five modules developed by Washington State University Extension staffspecifically for extension professionals.

Everything DiSC Workplace, DiSC Management, Conflict Management and Work of Leaders - Everything DiSC Workplace is a full-day workshop offered to improve communication in the workplace by discovering your DiSC style, understanding the styles of others and how different styles can affect the workplace.

Emotional Intelligence: A Pathway to Self-Understanding and Improved Leadership - Emotional Intelligence refers to a distinct combination of emotional, social skills and competencies that influence our overall capability to cope effectively with the demands and pressures of work and life. This workshop utilizes an instrument that provides an intuitive framework to address questions at an individual, team, and organizational level. 

A flyer is available online and for download.