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ISU staff host snack day at CSRU Central Office

Iowa State University (ISU) trainers hosted a snack day at Child Support Recovery Unit’s Central Office to show appreciation for continuing the training partnership. All snacks at snack day represented ISU with cardinal and gold!

Paternity Affidavit Outreach Coordinator receives Master’s of Science degree

Abby Stanek (pictured), the Paternity Affidavit Program Outreach Coordinator, received her Masters of Science in Agricultural Education from Iowa State University in June 2017. Stanek’s creative component focused on developing a six-lesson curriculum and iPad app for C6 BioFarm, a game suite designed to educate youth about the importance of renewable energy.

“My goal throughout the creation of C6 BioFarm was to create a product that youth and educators were interested in using, which would lead to more interest in joining the agriculture and bioenergy industries,” explained Stanek. “I hope that the app is a successful tool in educating youth about the agriculture and bioenergy industries, as well as making C6 BioFarm more marketable to educators, who are interested in integrating technology into their classrooms.”

In addition to working for CWRTP, Stanek was a graduate assistant at ISU for a year while pursuing her Masters degree. “Creating C6 BioFarm and pursuing my Masters have helped me to learn the best practices for program planning. Though my degree was through the lens of agriculture, all of the information I learned related to program planning will be useful in my future career,” noted Stanek.

More than 3,000 youth and 350 adults participated in C6 BioFarm activities, including playing C6 BioFarm, between 2012 and 2016, according to Stanek.

C6 BioFarm is available on the Apple app store.

Learn more about C6 BioFarm and its sponsors, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, CenUSA BioEnergy, and Iowa NSF EPSCoR.

Current Openings

Instructional Development Coordinator

Instructional Development Specialist

Program Coordinator I

Iowa’s prisoner reentry simulation highlighted by OCSE

The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) recently highlighted the prisoner reentry simulation, coordinated and organized by the Child Welfare Research and Training Project (CWRTP) through the ISU-CSRU partnership. Iowa State University (ISU) Trainers Jay Grey and Martha Stewart worked closely with CSRU staff to execute the events, which took place in March and April 2017.

Read more about the simulation on page two!

PIAL Outreach Coordinator receives Master’s of Science degree

Jo Ann Lee (pictured), the PIAL Outreach Coordinator, received her Master’s of Science degree in Leadership Development from Drake University in May 2017. Lee’s capstone project was titled, “Resiliency: It’s Within YOU.”

The basis for this project was to create a presentation for youth ages thirteen to eighteen to begin to understand what it means to grow up with adverse childhood hood experiences (ACEs) and how not to let those experiences in childhood define the future. Public health research efforts show a strong correlation between developmental interruptions from adverse childhood experiences and the healing properties of building resiliency.

“I believe that if we equip youth with an understanding of what has happened in the past does not have to define the future coupled with building resiliency within themselves; we are preparing them to envision a future with greater possibilities.” By exploring this research and through the lens of my experiences with ACEs, I approached my capstone with a personal sense of what would’ve helped me along the way.” explained Lee. Lee utilized ISU’s Tuition Reimbursement Program to complete her degree.

Learn more about Drake’s Leadership Development degree, the Tuition Reimbursement Program, and PIAL.

ISU Trainer receives Master’s of Art degree

Bethany Burdt (pictured), ISU Technical Writer and Trainer, received her Master’s degree in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication from Iowa State University in May 2017. Burdt’s creative component was titled, “The birth of ApplyAcademia,” which attempts to bridge the gap between instructional designers and the field of academia.

“Obtaining my Master’s, and this program specifically, enabled me to explore and further refine my passion for online learning,” explained Burdt. Burdt utilized ISU’s Tuition Reimbursement Program to complete her degree.

Learn more about Iowa State University’s Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication degree and the Tuition Reimbursement Program. You can also read Burdt’s blog, Apply Academia, to learn about how learning methods and development can be connected with instructional design in practice.

Staff support Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Child Welfare Research and Training Project Staff (pictured) showed their support for the initiative through wearing blue on Friday, April 7, 2017.

Learn more about Americorps Partnering to Protect Children.

Child Support Recovery Unit staff experience Prisoner Reentry Simulation

CSRU staff prepare for their simulated life of entering society after being in prison.

Putting yourself in another person’s shoes is an important aspect of providing support to individuals. Iowa’s Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU) staff members were able to don a new pair of shoes through the Prisoner Reentry Simulation, coordinated and delivered by the Child Welfare Research and Training Project (CWRTP) through the ISU-CSRU partnership.

Iowa State University (ISU) Trainers Jay Grey and Martha Stewart worked closely with CSRU staff to plan and execute the event, which allowed individuals to experience the real-life difficulties and frustrations of entering society after being in prison. Some of these complications included gaining transportation, finding a job, jail time, drug testing, probation officer visits, and getting all of the required tasks done in the necessary time period.

The simulation, held at the Mid-Iowa Council, Boy Scouts of America Fred Maytag II Scout Center, was offered six times, to accommodate the schedules of CSRU staff located around the state of Iowa. The simulation part of the training took place over one hour, in which four weeks were simulated.

CWRTP staff, undergraduate, and graduate students assisted in running areas of the simulation.

CSRU staff also learned about issues related to prisoners reentering society from Katrina Carter, from the Department of Corrections (DOC) perspective.  CSRU staff discussed how CSRU and the DOC can collaborate to successfully reintegrate prisoners into society. Finally, staff learned about best practices for working with incarcerated child support customers. The goal of the entire experience is that CSRU staff gain awareness and knowledge that can be taken back to their office and used when working with prisoners reentering society.

The simulation involved other CWRTP staff, undergraduate, and graduate students, who assisted in running different simulation areas (pictured). These spaces included a supercenter, pawn shop, housing, employment office, probation officer, and more.

ISU Trainer Grant Nason (aka Angel in the simulation) handled the pawn shop transactions.CSRU employees apply for identification from ISU Trainer Tyler Stricker, who managed the identification station.Aaron Fultz, CWRTP legal team member, and Katie Riley, CWRTP graduate student, supervised the individuals and situations sent to court during the simulation.

ISU Trainer selected for CYtation Award

Paula Burns, ISU Trainer, receives CYtation award from Provost Jonathan Wickert

Paula Burns, ISU Technical Writer and Trainer, was honored by the Professional and Scientific Council, as she was selected to receive the CYtation Award. The award honors individuals who performed “above the call of duty, and/or doing something extraordinarily well, or acting in such a way as to make a very real difference in the institution.”

Burns has been involved in a variety of projects in the Child Welfare Research and Training Project (CWRTP). The service she provides to DHS field staff embodies the ISU mission of “sharing knowledge beyond the campus borders.” Paula has worked on a couple of major training projects for the CSRU contract, including TOBI and MAPPS, both have received many accolades. Paula is a member of the Professional and Scientific Council Professional Development Conference Sub-Committee. She also leads the Child Support Training Partnership Committee.  From the nomination letter, “Her leadership has helped solidify important collaborations that will ultimately lead to higher quality training for state workers.”

Congratulations Paula! We appreciate all that you do for Iowa State University and CWRTP.

Paula Burns (second row, far left), ISU Trainer, pictured with other CYtation award winners (Learn more).

CWRTP student employee honored for outstanding work

Courtney Mull (pictured) is an undergraduate student employee at the Child Welfare Research and Training Project. Her main duties include presenting PIAL’s teen pregnancy prevention modules in 7th-12th grade classrooms across the state, as well as, present and/or exhibit at conferences, attend regular PIAL meetings, assists with the social media campaigns and collaborates on special events. Mull is a senior in elementary education at Iowa State University.

Mull was recently honored as a nominee for Iowa State’s Student Employee of the Year award. Students are nominated based on their reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and unique contributions.

Jo Ann Lee (pictured with Mull), PIAL’s outreach coordinator, decided to nominate Mull because, “Courtney has been a valuable addition to the PIAL team this year. Her diligent work to create the publication of PIAL’s alignment with FCS standards that may vastly increase the opportunity to reach more students across the state of Iowa.  But, also, her authentic and intentional pursuit of making a difference in the lives of the students she and her fellow team members interact with.”

Congratulations, Courtney! PIAL and CWRTP are lucky to have you as a student employee!