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Extension Master Gardner Program Asst. | Office Assistant IV

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 738583
Work type: Extension, Support Staff
Pay Grade: 10
Major Administrative Unit / College: Michigan State University Extension
Department: Extension Agriculture And Agribusiness 10058940
Sub Area: CT- Clerical Tech.
Salary: 20.82
Location: Clinton, East Lansing, Eaton, In State, Ingham, Jackson, Livingston, Shiawassee
Categories: Administrative/Business/Professional, Agriculture, Education/Training, Financial/Accounting, Office/Clerical Support, Human Resources, Advising/Counseling, Clerical Technical- CT, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union

Working/Functional Title

Extension Master Gardner Program Asst.

Position Summary

Michigan State University Extension is committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive organization, which requires all staff to contribute towards a vision for success. Diversity, equity and inclusion are central to our work, regardless of title or position within the organization. This means that all staff at MSU Extension are dedicated to the following: 

  • We work together to ensure that programming is delivered to diverse audiences, produces equitable impacts for all participants, and demonstrates partnership and inclusion for all groups.
  • We embrace that it is everyone’s job to create a culture that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
  • We ensure that every team member is prepared with the skills and resources to contribute to our welcoming and inclusive culture.
  • We foster inclusion by recognizing and valuing diverse perspectives, skills, experiences, and work to create equal access to programming for communities.
  • We commit to continuous learning for diversity, equity, and cultural competency, in order to achieve inclusive excellence.
  • We understand that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential elements to our work and are vital to the organizational culture and programmatic success of MSU Extension.
  • We embrace a culture of understanding, coaching and feedback towards achieving a vision of success for the entire organization and its staff.
  • Together we will achieve success and we commit to these goals in our work, continued education, and ongoing efforts.


    Coordinates and initiates a wide range of clerical activities in order to support administrators and to facilitate the functioning of the department or unit. Compiles, verifies, processes and/or analyzes complex and/or specialized department information/data; independently renders decisions, interprets information; apprises customers of appropriate actions in order to facilitate the functioning of the department or unit.

    In this role, you will serve as a primary point of contact for the MSU Extension Master Gardener® (EMG) Program. You will communicate directly with MSU Extension Master Gardener® volunteers, MSU staff and the public, to address questions, share program-related resources, and facilitate volunteer administrative procedures. This includes monitoring the MSU EMG email inbox.

    You will oversee an extensive electronic database with records of approximately 2800 volunteers and will work with local staff to keep database records current and compliant. In addition, you will provide basic customization of the program’s volunteer database (currently called Volunteer Central) to improve its efficiency and ease of use, including assessing future development needs. In collaboration with the EMG State Leader, you will create administrative forms and database instructions for volunteers and staff. You will also be responsible for monitoring important volunteer details, such as volunteer projects, hours, education, and recognition.

    In this role, you will develop and distribute materials to volunteers that pertain to the requirements for becoming and remaining certified as an MSU EMG, including annual recertification, volunteer and education hour entry, and volunteer screening. You will assist volunteers with the MSU Extension Volunteer Screening Process (VSP) in collaboration with other MSU Extension volunteer management staff, and you will work with the State Leader and other staff to address special requests/circumstances related to program requirements. When needed, you will create, package, and distribute hard-copy program materials to volunteers.

    In collaboration with the State EMG Leader, you will assist in the implementation of new EMG Trainings, including scheduling, advertising, monitoring registrants, and processing payments/refunds. You will assist the State EMG Leader in planning and organizing meetings and events that deliver EMG program information and education to Consumer Horticulture Team Members, Training  Coordinators, Volunteer Ambassadors, and the volunteers themselves. You will be responsible for tabulating data and preparing reports of program statistics used by the State EMG Coordinator, MSU Extension leadership, national partners, and local staff. You will assist the State EMG Leader in the marketing and promotion of the Extension Master Gardener® Program and its volunteers across various venues, including the MSU Extension website and social media. Lastly, you will attend meetings and trainings pertinent to the work described above.

    Office location for this position is negotiable. However, there will be space available to work from the MSU Campus in East Lansing, Michigan.

    This position is a full-time, end-dated appointment, renewable annually based upon continued funding.
  • Receives, collects and processes complex and diverse information and independently renders decisions in order to contribute to information bases or request specific actions or to provide information for administrators, faculty, staff and external agencies.
  • Prepares and/or assists in developing and compiling analytical reports.
  • Interacts with University personnel, students, external agencies and the public, in order to verify information and make judgments in order to ensure that records and resultant actions are correct.
  • Schedules appointments and maintains unit administrator(s) calendar(s); maintains files and records applicable to the office, including travel.
  • Facilitates, prepares, and distributes agenda materials and records minutes for regular and special meetings for unit administrators.
  • Assists in preparing administrative reports; independently gathers data and information from a variety of sources and performs research as necessary to screen and relay sensitive information to administrators.
  • Completes a wide range of computer tasks, including correspondence, reports, tables, agreements and other documentation.
  • Types, edits and proofreads correspondence, letters, proposals and other materials.
  • Interprets and summarizes materials in order to keep the administrators, faculty and staff informed of pertinent events and information.
  • Interprets university policies and administrative procedures in response to inquiries and initiates necessary action.
  • Prepares meeting rooms and audio-visual and other technology related needs.
  • Attends meetings with and on behalf of administrators in order to acquire and disseminate information.
  • Interprets terms and conditions of documents or agreements pertaining to expenditure of funds.
  • Orders and maintains inventory of office and program supplies in order to facilitate the functioning of the department or section.
  • Maintains and reconciles the bookkeeping records for multiple departments and/or programs in order to assist with budget planning, grant proposals and forecasting.
  • Researches and collects data in order to assist in the preparation of grants, proposals and departmental reports.
  • Completes project work independently in order to facilitate the functioning of the Michigan Sea Grant college program.
  • Performs duties normally associated with an Office Assistant III and Accounting Clerk II in order to assist in accomplishing the goals of the office or unit.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills

  • Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired in the first two or three years in college, technical school or a related field.
  • One to three years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in maintaining account ledgers, departmental operations, employment, or in performing tasks related to the area of employment.
  • Experience in word processing, editing and composing correspondence, and maintaining spreadsheets and/or databases. 
  • Or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Other skills and/or physical abilities required to perform duties of the position.
  • The position requires or will require, prior to the completion of the probationary period, knowledge of basic personal computer terminology and operations, and the ability to use e-mail and the Internet.

Desired Qualifications

  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Experience and proven ability working productively with a team in-person and remotely with program staff throughout the state.
  • Fluency in reading, writing and speaking in a language other than English is strongly desired - Spanish preferred.
  • Self-motivated with demonstrated ability to work independently in an office environment.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment while adhering to aggressive deadlines.
  • Familiarity and experience working through various applications, such as Office365, CANR Events Management System, dotCMS, Qualtrics, Desire2Learn (D2L) and Zoom.
  • Access to reliable transportation during working hours is required to perform duties of the position.
  • Ability to lift and carry educational materials, equipment, etc. up to 25 lbs.
  • Able to demonstrate sensitivity, knowledge, and use of appropriate approaches, skills and techniques, which reflect an understanding and awareness of social, cultural and economic diversity of the target population.
  • Understanding of and ability to implement Civil Rights principles and compliance standards.
  • Knowledge of and experience with database design and management.
  • Knowledge of and experience with website design and maintenance.
  • Previous experience working with volunteers and/or for an organization that services communities.
  • Basic knowledge of horticulture, gardening or a related field.
  • Experience interacting with a variety of clients in a service-oriented manner.
  • Other skills and or physical abilities required to perform duties of the position.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Application Materials

  • Current resume/CV.
  • Cover letter.
  • Four (4) professional references including at least two (2) prior or current supervisors.

Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Work Hours

Generally 40 hours Monday through Friday, with some nights and weekends needed.

Description of End Date

This is a limited-term position funded for one year from date of hire, with possible extension contingent upon funding renewal.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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