2022 Spring Newsletter


NACDEP Newsletter


Spring Edition


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NACDEP Spring 2022 Newsletter

NACDEP Colleagues:  Greetings and welcome to the spring 2022 issue of the NACDEP newsletter.  We are now on a short countdown until the conference in Indianapolis in June.  As a reminder, I will personally be there from Sunday afternoon June 5th until the afternoon of Wednesday the 8th.  Don’t be shy about speaking to me, introducing yourself, giving me feedback and/or suggestions about the newsletter.  I would like to meet as many of you as possible.  I am also making a presentation if you would like to see me in action, but the sessions are concurrent. This always makes for difficult choices because all the presentations I have ever seen at NACDEP conferences are worthwhile.

I would like to give a special shout-out to our President, Melinda Grismer, as this will be her final newsletter as President of NACDEP.  It has been a true pleasure to work with Melinda. She deserves a lot of kudos for her contributions to the organization.  Be sure to check out her President’s Column below.

And of course, check out the entire newsletter.  We have some interesting and somewhat novel items here.  See you in Indy!


Thomas W. Blaine, PhD
Ohio State University Extension
NACDEP Newsletter Editor


President's Column

Welcome All!

Submitted by Melinda Grismer, NACDEP President

Dear Friends,

Our 2022 in-person NACDEP conference is just around the corner! From Sunday, June 5, through Wednesday, June 8, we will be making connections at every crossroad in Indianapolis!

As if the 75 concurrent presentations, poster sessions and workshops, keynote and capnote speakers weren’t enough reasons to attend, there’s more!

You won’t want to miss the networking opportunities – including the opening jazz reception, the NACDEP awards reception and the Latin Dance reception – or the chances to connect over breakfast, at the nourishment hub or during lunches at Market Table!

Our mobile workshops will feature something of interest to everyone with its primary focus on community development – from history to arts & culture to outdoor adventures – and give you the opportunity to enter the winning snapshot for a prize during the tour of your choice.

Our sponsors and exhibitors – like our partner organizations Community Development Society (CDS) and the Journal of Extension (JOE) – will be displaying professional development and technological possibilities you’ll want to consider.

And, best of all, you’ll meet brand-new NACDEP members – including those from our 1890 and 1994 land-grant colleges and universities – with whom you can compare programming, share ideas and gain perspective.

I hope you’re making – or have already made – plans to join us. If not, you can do so now by visiting the NACDEP website conference landing page: https://nacdep.memberclicks.net/2022-nacdep-conference. Can’t wait to see you there!


Join Your Association on Social Media

Submitted by Gwynn Stewart, MS - Ohio State University Extension

NACDEP is an organization dedicated to improving the visibility, coordination, professional status and resource base of community and economic development Extension programs and professionals. As a member-led and driven organization, primary to helping meet this mission is the NACDEP Communications Committee (Comm Comm).

The NACDEP Communications Committee wants members and others to better understand the Association’s use of social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and online platforms (such as YouTube) in communicating and reaching out on pertinent topics and events.

The Comm Comm team is responsible for a variety of activities including coordination of the NACDEP platforms and social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn). In addition, Comm Comm works in partnership with the Marketing and Membership committees, as well as the Annual Conference marketing committee to integrate promotion efforts.

To fully implement Comm Comm tactical strategy efforts, members find a need for greater flow of information from individual members and organizations.

You can help us by:

We love it when you provide photos or other images that represent the work you do for Extension in Community Vitality or Development through these channels.

Sharing your upcoming events, job opportunities and more is easy. If you are a member, you can simply post to the LinkedIn channel directly. If you follow on Facebook, you can also post directly.

If you’re on Twitter, be sure to like or retweet to share the news. For Annual Conference, we encourage you to share and post ideas, photos, etc. and use #NACDEP2022!

The beauty of NACDEP is the engagement that allows for partnerships, sharing of best practices, research and more! We invite you to like, follow, share, invite and learn through NACDEP Social media tools!

Questions? Contact Jaime Menon ([email protected]), Extension State Leader for Community Vitality & Co-Coordinator of Kansas PRIDE, Jan Steen ([email protected]) Community Vitality and Co-Coordinator of Kansas PRIDE, both of at Kansas State University or Gwynn Stewart, Community Development Educator IV at Ohio State University Extension – [email protected].


Reminder: NACDEP YouTube Channel

Submitted by Jan Steen

Don’t forget to subscribe to NACDEP’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6jgLtvNTItp0ucgmrw4XPA). Conference highlights will be posted there as soon as they are available so you can relive great moments or catch up on things you might have missed!



Register for #NACDEP22 Conference

Submitted by Kristi Whitacre, Purdue Extension

We can’t wait to see you all “creating connections at every crossroad” at the 2022 NACDEP conference from Sunday, June 5, through Wednesday, June 8, in Indianapolis.

Click Here to Register Today  

The conference rate is $545 for members and $635 for non-members. The NACDEP group room rate for the Alexander Hotel is $179 per night. Book at this link: https://book.passkey.com/go/NACDEPConference

Before you register, review the selection of pre-conference workshops, post-conference workshops, and Concurrent Session presentations to decide which you would like to attend. The conference uses the Oxford Abstracts Platform, accessible here: https://virtual.oxfordabstracts.com/#/event/2658/program

Here are some tips for navigating the conference platform to help you find what interests you most:

  • There are options on the top left to view the full conference schedule as a calendar, as well as lists by title, subject category, and type/order.

  • Click on any of the session items to view the description – click again to view the abstract

  • You can bookmark items in any of the views to mark your favorites

Keynote speaker Big Car will present “Town Squares Can Be Anywhere: Connecting Community in Public Places” an interactive session to talk about the role of active, engaging, welcoming, and art-filled public spaces in supporting inclusive and sustainable community building and community development. We’ll look at what it takes to make public places successful and beneficial to nearby residents and visitors alike. And they’ll share how the keys to success aren’t always about spending lots of money.

Our conference host, Purdue University Cooperative Extension, and our NACDEP conference committee have put together an agenda prioritizing networking so we can easily make new connections with those who cross our path during the event. We thank the planning team and the many proposal reviewers for their hard work.

We thank our 2022 NACDEP Sponsors: NIFA, Purdue Extension Community Development, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Purdue Center for Regional Development, University of Minnesota, Southern Rural Development Center, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, Western Rural Development Center, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, IMPLAN, REMI, American Income Life Insurance.

Be sure to visit our website for more information and follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss out on our conference updates.


Newcomers Session at the NACDEP Conference

Submitted by Michael Dougherty ([email protected])
Chair, Member Services Committee

Going to the NACDEP Conference?

Is it your first time in-person at NACDEP? (Or first time in many years?)

Want to learn more about the organization?

If you said YES to these of these questions, come by the CityWay Gallery at The Alexander on Sunday at 4 p.m. for the Newcomer’s Session and Hang-Out.

(This is after the pre-conference workshops and before the opening reception.)

The session will start with several committee members talking about why they joined the association and what is has meant in their careers.  After that, there will be a group discussion on what newer members hope to get out of NACDEP.

After the “formal” program, there will be plenty of time for people to hang out and get acquainted. 

So come out on the session and start your conference experience by meeting people and learning about the organization!


Silent Auction Items: Shop Small

Submitted by Rebekka Dudensing, NACDEP President Elect

  • Registered for the Indy Conference

  • Travel booked.


As you make your Indy travel plans, don’t forget to pack an item for the NACDEP Auction. Our auction proceeds fund the endowment to support scholarships to help members participate in future conferences.

We recommend shopping small—both small local businesses at home or in Indy and small packages. We will not provide shipping options so most items should fit in carry-on luggage. Items that represent either our host city or state or your home state are always popular. Examples include small games; arts, crafts, or jewelry; books by local authors or from your university press.

If you have questions about the silent auction, please contact Rebekka Dudensing at [email protected]


New Extension Creative Placemaking Toolkit Published

Submitted By Jayoung Koo, University of Kentucky

The Arts Engagement and Placemaking team at the University of Kentucky launched the SPARK! Extension Creative Placemaking Toolkit, a project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and in partnership with NACDEP. Creative placemaking is a multifaceted approach to improving a community or leading community change oftentimes by animating spaces and bringing diverse people together through arts and cultural strategies. Ten contributing authors from the Department of Landscape Architecture, Arts Extension, and Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) selected activities based on programming and projects that have been delivered in Kentucky.

With over 15 years of extension programming experience, the team members analyzed existing data and developed activities that can support and expand creative placemaking through Extension programming from Kentucky that can be applied nationally.

The toolkit provides thirteen activities that Extension professionals can use to integrate creative placemaking efforts in extension programming.
The activities were created to provide Extension educators with a working knowledge of arts and placemaking activities. SPARK! activities can be effectively replicable by local arts organizations and volunteers when they collaborate with broader communities with relevant skills and talent. The activities can be offered alone or in sequence with other activities shared in the toolkit as part of creative placemaking endeavors in communities. 

The toolkit is available at https://cedik.ca.uky.edu/spark and is also available through the National Registry of Cooperative Extension Program & Assets by searching through https://registry.extension.org/tables/210738947796171

If you have questions about the toolkit please reach out to Associate Extension Professor Jayoung Koo ([email protected]) or Arts Extension Program Leader Melissa Bond ([email protected]) at the University of Kentucky.

Help Preserve NACDEP's History

Submitted by Stacey McCullough, NACDEP Historian

This year marks 20 years since discussions in earnest began about forming a national organization for Cooperative Extension professionals working in the areas of community and economic development. Officially incorporated in 2005, NACDEP is dedicated to improving the visibility, coordination, professional status and resource base of community and economic development Extension programs and professionals.

As Historian, my job is to archive NACDEP’s history, including significant milestones, events, individuals and moments, so future generations can share in the knowledge of who we are and where we have been. To do so, I need your help. Specifically, I’m looking for:

  • Photos from conferences, webinars, board or committee meetings and other NACDEP or NACDEP-affiliated events (include year and caption or brief description of the event)

  • Your story or quote about your first NACDEP memory or most memorable experience

  • The name of a NACDEP member who had a positive impact on you and why

  • Other artifacts of historical significance

Items from any year in NACDEP’s history are welcome, but we are particularly in need of photos for 2005-2011. Please upload your files to: https://uada.app.box.com/f/d60af7bfe088414191e1dc0fd5d2e492.

If you have any questions or want to help with this effort in other ways, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]. I’m looking forward to seeing what you have to share – THANK YOU!