The “times they are a changing” for eXtension’s Military Families Learning Network (MFLN)! The next few months will see a change in leadership, a change of venue, and a shifting of roles within the MFLN.
Sarah Baughman, currently eXtension Evaluation and Research Leader, has been named as the project leader for the Military Families Learning Network project. She will begin her appointment on July 1, 2014. Sarah served as the MFLN evaluation leader when the project started.
“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to lead the Military Families Learning Network. It is exciting to return to MFLN and to be able to lead the good work this project has begun,” said Baughman.
Kyle Kostelecky, current project leader for MFLN, has accepted a position as the founding director of the new Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education at the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana (http://woundedvetcenter.ahs.illinois.edu/). His appointment will begin July 1, 2014. “The Center will provide services in the areas of health and life skills, career and employment, individual and family counseling, rehabilitation, and housing assistance including residential suites at the Center itself for those most severely disabled student veterans. What a fantastic fit for the MFLN and the University of Illinois,” said Kostelecky.
The Military Families Learning Network Project will be transitioned from the University of Nebraska to the University of Illinois and will have its headquarters as a part of the Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education.
“I am very excited to bring the Military Families Learning Network into this new Center. It just makes a lot of sense and our colleagues at the Department of Defense and USDA/NIFA are thrilled with this opportunity and with Sarah’s appointment as project leader,” said Kostelecky.
Karen Jeannette, who has worked as the professional development leader for MFLN, will transition into a greater role working as a social media strategist for the project. She will assume more responsibility in this area following Anne Adrian’s 50% appointment as Associate Director of eXtension.
“Karen’s transition to social media strategist will take advantage of her long time interest in working with social media as well as her history with both eXtension and the MFLN. We are excited for this new opportunity for her and our project,” said Adrian.
The MFLN currently is working with four concentration areas: Personal Finance, Family Development, Military Caregiving, and Network Literacy. Four additional emphasis areas of Community Capacity Building, Wellness and Nutrition, Transition (support for families), and Special Needs (early intervention support for families with special needs) are part of anticipated expanded programming contingent on future funding.
“The Military Families Learning Network has been a shining star in eXtension and within Cooperative Extension. It has brought great attention to the benefits that Cooperative Extension can bring to any audience and especially one that is so important to Americans today: our military families. This change in leadership and venue should continue to strengthen this project and the support we have from the Department of Defense and USDA/NIFA are positive changes for a positive future for this project,” said Elbert Dickey, eXtension Director.