Monday Update: Work-life balance

October 12, 2020

The first COVID-19 related message I sent to extension staff, faculty, and council members was dated March 11. How time flies when you’re living through a pandemic! Back then we had just decided to change our annual conference to a virtual format and we hadn’t yet cancelled all in-person educational offerings. For seven months now we have been working remotely, closing and reopening offices to the public, providing education virtually, and dealing with everything else associated with this new or “next” normal, as some are calling it.

As I said in my first message and in many emails, phone calls, Zoom meetings, and Adobe Connect sessions since then, your health and wellbeing are my highest concern. So I want you to be aware of an opportunity for extension professionals nationwide – to help us take care of ourselves and each other. Life in a Pandemic: Finding Balance between Personal and Professional Lives is a four-week webinar series offered October 28 and November 4, 11, and 18 at 12 p.m. Central time. The webinars cover different aspects of work-life balance and are taught by extension professionals from Louisiana State University, University of Tennessee, and University of New Hampshire, as well as our own human sciences specialists Barbara Dunn Swanson and MacKenzie Johnson, who will discuss parenting in a pandemic. See the flyer for more information; to register go to

As the pandemic continues and we plan for recovery, please take care of yourself, so that you are able to help others.

Open for Iowa

The Open for Iowa committee posted clarification on food allowances from the county insurance provider, updated contact information to align with Iowa State University and the Public Health Team, and added a quarantine flowchart to screening for COVID-19 from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

About Cooperative Extension: Human Sciences

As a follow-up to their summer survey, the Open for Iowa committee has been sharing information about the roles of partners within Cooperative Extension. Human Sciences is a partner whose roots run deep in ISU Extension and Outreach — all the way back to the home economics institutes in the university’s early years and the first county home economists more than 100 years ago. Today our Human Sciences programs help Iowans become closer to family, raise healthy children, talk with their teens, improve relationships, enjoy a lifetime full of memories, save more money, live a healthy life, have access to trusted resources, and care for themselves and others. Learn more from Human Sciences’ calendar of events, program catalog, and addendum of online offerings.

More notes

  • Join Julie Hlas, advancement specialist, and Leah Feltz, social media specialist, for DYK? Building Your 2020 Stakeholder Report at 10 a.m., Friday, October 16, on Zoom, You’ll gain tips on using the 2020 stakeholder report toolkit to highlight the innovative ways you've impacted your community in an unpredictable year. There also will be time for Q & A.
  • The Integrated Crop Management Conference and this winter’s Crop Advantage Series are being replaced with CropsTV, a 10-week program that launches Dec. 1. Farmers and agribusiness professionals can interact with specialists, presenters, and panelists during live webinars, as well as view recorded programs on-demand to fit their schedule. Participants can select from over 30 topics from Iowa State faculty and staff as well as invited guest presenters. Learn more at
  • If you ever misplace one of my messages in your emailbox, you can check the Office of the Vice President website. My Monday Updates and other messages are archived on the site.

John D. Lawrence
Vice President for Extension and Outreach