The Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) has selected the N.C. Cooperative Extension Facilitation Team as one of two recipients for the JCEP Excellence in Teamwork Award and as a presenter for the 2015 JCEP Conference in Las Vegas. The Joint Council of Extension Professionals sponsors the Excellence in Teamwork award annually as a national honor to encourage and recognize successful Extension teams for their commitment in developing outstanding interdisciplinary sustaining programs.
Groups, associations, organizations and the public often require a facilitator’s assistance, from navigating a strategic or land use plan, to guiding a budget discussion, to helping manage discussions on crucial issues such as health and nutrition, or environmental and agricultural concerns. Cooperative Extension is in a position to respond to this need by enhancing facilitative behaviors and skills and the role of facilitators in working with groups.
N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Facilitation Team began its effort with a nine-day core team training in process management in 2010 and followed up with a series of three-day workshops focused on essentials in facilitation. More than 119 agents, county Extension directors and Extension specialists throughout the state participated in this training.
An immediate outcome of the program has been a number of facilitative efforts along the way including statewide work with the N.C. Institute of Emerging Issues. The vision was that those trained in process management skills would improve the way staff meetings are being conducted, improve engagement with their advisory councils and other core associations, and develop a core team of people interested in facilitating stakeholder processes at the county, cross-county and district, and state levels.
The JCEP Excellence in Teamwork Award was designed to say “thank you” to professionals who are willing to be innovative, who collaborate for a larger outcomes and who are willing to take risks — perceived or otherwise – and turn them into productive opportunities so that others can move forward. Research, knowledge and information delivery are only one part of an engagement system — the other part is building capacity – and the N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Facilitation Team serves as that bridge.
Members of the N.C. Cooperative Extension facilitation team are: Dr. Mary Lou Addor (program lead), Mary Arnaudin, Regina Bell, Eric Caldwell, Robert Furr, Sam Groce, Leigh Guth, Rob Hawk, Jamilla Hawkins, Craven Hudson, Lori Ivey, Robin Landsman, Rebecca Liverman, Cameron Lowe, Rachel Monteverdi, Nekeidra F. Morrison, Stephanie Mae Parker-Helmkamp, Donna Rewalt, Wallace Simmons and Spring Williams Byrd.