Fun with alumni

Wendy Powers and a man talk to a woman seated at a table. Others sit on the background.

CAHNRS has great alumni! This is no surprise. It was so much fun to spend some time with graduates from the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s! We had a couple master gardener volunteers in the group and many attendees were 4-H’ers!

We had a great turnout from a number of department chairs and faculty as well as students and staff. Ensminger Pavilion was lively with conversation from the minute the event started (earlier than scheduled, as it turns out our grads like to be early for events, even on Saturday mornings) until it was time to move to the next item on the agenda. It was great to meet more of our alumni and this has me thinking about how we can engage with more recent graduates rather than waiting until they have been out of college almost 40 years. I know I was more active in reunion weekends my first decade out of Cornell University than I have been since.

We have another faculty member serving in a national leadership role! Congratulations to Brittany Cooper, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development, who will serve as the president for the Society for Prevention Research beginning in July!

I spent some time over the weekend reviewing a document to help early career faculty understand expectations and plan for career progression. We are seeking feedback from a group of faculty and plan to have the document ready in time for New Faculty Orientation in August. We will also share the document during a fall training for early career faculty. Next up is developing a training geared toward planning for and conveying program impact. Hopefully, we can pull this off in September. The summer already seems to be flying by.

This week, I head to the west side of the state for a Board of Natural Resources meeting, followed by a visit with the Washington Farm Bureau leadership team.

This weekend marks the third of four Master Gardener Program 50th anniversary celebrations and a chance to meet more of the volunteers who are so important to our community programs and presence. This time, the celebration is at the Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center (TFREC).

Also on Saturday is a farm bill listening session hosted by Sen. Cantwell and Sen. Stabenow of Michigan, and a TFREC visit by the senators to learn about the importance of the research conducted there (the development of the Cosmic Crisp® apple, for example) and the need for research infrastructure. No doubt this will be a busy week for the master gardener and TFREC teams. Good thing the days continue to get longer!