UACES Facebook Community, Professional and Economic Development unit hosts extension Check In and Tune Up Event
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Community, Professional and Economic Development unit hosts extension Check In and Tune Up Event

by Dr. Lynn Wilson - November 20, 2023

Forty-five new employees came onboard the Extension Welcome Wagon at the Check In and Tune Up event held Nov. 8 at the Little Rock State Office, including some of CPED's newest staff members.

Associate Professor Steve Siegelin helped coordinate the new employee event while also participating in it as a recent hire. Program Associate Vanessa Lewis also helped coordinate the event. She was joined by other CPED staff including Lynn Wilson, Casey Hill, Nikki Dawson, Armenta Lockhart, Savannah George, Julie Robinson, Lisa Davis, Brandon Mathews, Aleya Hassan, Emily Smith, and Karey Collins (a participant). CPED Director Stacey McCullough also assisted.

What is Check In & Tune Up? 

Twice a year, this event welcomes new employees to extension. Participants engage in organic conversations, foster connections, and build relationships. Key leaders in the organization are introduced and give brief explanations of how their departments support extension’s mission.

Picture of new employee orientation participants in auditorium

Peer-2-Peer sessions are available so participants can meet, learn, and discuss their roles and responsibilities with extension peer professionals who can assist in acclimating them to their new positions.

CPED took new employees on a road tripCPED employees wearing bicycle helmets

McCullough, George, and Davis donned helmets to take new employees on a CPED "road trip."

On the road, participants visited CPED’s broad range of business, economic, community, educational, government and leadership enterprises.

These endeavors are part of CPED’s mission to strengthen the capacity of individuals, businesses, organizations and UADA to build inclusive and sustainable communities through research-based resources and processes. No one fell off their bikes. The path ran smooth and fast with I Love CPED stickers available to all.

Other activities during the day

Check In and Tune Up photo colllage


  • Extension Director Bob Scott welcomed new employees. Scott, who shared the purpose and mission of extension as part of the land-grant university and how we meet the needs of Arkansans by using reliable science-based information to help people improve their lives. He invited participants to share their names, positions, and something unique or interesting about themselves.
  • Lewis led a Heads and Tails icebreaker.
  • Twenty UA benefits vendors hosted information about their organizations – a record number.
  • Information Technology, Human Resources and Communications staff provided tips from the experts.
  • Participants evaluated the event by posting notes on sticky walls stating what they liked, what they would add or take away from the event and suggesting new names for the event.
  • Snacks, lunch, snacks, then door prizes wrapped up the day.

Overall participant evaluation indicated the event was a success.