December 2020 // Volume 58 // Number 6 // Editorial // v58-6ed2
Farewell and December JOE Highlights
As JOE enters a new phase of its existence beginning in 2021, I will leave my position as editor in chief. In the Farewell section of this Editor’s Page, I anticipate JOE’s bright future and reflect on what my time with JOE has meant to me. In December JOE Highlights, I focus on the power and utility of JOE Ideas at Work and Tools of the Trade articles and spotlight some of the most important articles in the issue’s other sections.
In 2021, JOE will enter a new phase of its near-60-year existence. The journal's editorial structure will include an inaugural cadre of associate editors. These individuals enter the role with varied areas of expertise and years of Extension experience, but all share exuberance for ensuring the high quality of JOE content and providing guidance and direction to assist JOE authors in their scholarship pursuits. As well, going forward JOE will be under the auspices of Clemson University Press, where committed editorial and design professionals will manage its publication. With my tenure as editor in chief ending, I enthusiastically pass the JOE leadership baton to this collection of capable hands.
It has been my pleasure to shepherd JOE and serve JOE authors and readers for the last 5 years. My goals have always been to help JOE authors present their worthwhile scholarly contributions as effectively as possible, to ensure that JOE readers receive clear and coherent content consequential to their daily endeavors, and to elevate the standing of Extension by disseminating a high-quality editorial product reflective of the value of Extension work. Even though I have met only a few JOE authors, readers, and reviewers in person, I feel a strong kinship toward all JOE stakeholders.
As I depart, I want to express deep gratitude to a few special people who enriched my time as JOE editor. When I began in the role, University of Minnesota Extension's Eli Sagor, then cochair of the JOE editorial committee, provided indispensable guidance to his newbie charge. Over my tenure, this mantle was passed to Colorado State University Extension's Jan Carroll and then to Ohio State University Extension's Theresa Ferrari, both of whom were supremely supportive of my quest for excellence for JOE. Additionally, I want to acknowledge the other half of the equation of generating JOE six times a year: Ohio State University's Eric Owens, JOE's technical coordinator. The one and only with intimate knowledge of the journal's workings when I came on board, Eric has been an invaluable and dedicated partner.
Wishing all the best for JOE, I offer a fond farewell to everyone associated with the official refereed journal for Extension professionals!
December JOE Highlights
After compiling an issue of JOE, I contemplate the content and often detect themes among the articles, finding that each issue tends toward a character all its own. I use this exercise to present Editor's Page readers with a feel for what they will encounter in the issue. Despite thematic divergence from issue to issue, though, a constant I perceive is the importance of each JOE article category. In particular, I'm routinely impressed by Ideas at Work and Tools of the Trade entries. Although these articles can represent first efforts for those new to scholarly publishing, they just as frequently are written by tenured faculty and veteran authors. And in either case, they can provide some of JOE's most powerful and certainly most useful subject matter. To see what I mean, delve into the following such contributions herein: "Assessing Community Readiness to Engage in Diversity and Inclusion Efforts," "Farm-Based Programming for College Students Experiencing Food Insecurity," "Using Data Visualization to Demonstrate Outcomes—Examples From Ripple Effects Mapping," "Ten Steps for Establishing a Succession Plan Addressing Volunteer Disengagement," and the pandemic-pertinent "Remote: Office Not Required—A Book Review."
Of course, a focus on the Ideas at Work and Tools of the Trade sections should in no way detract from appreciation of JOE's other article categories. In this issue, as always, Commentary, Feature, and Research in Brief offerings address issues of both immediate and ongoing concern. For example, four particularly timely and important articles are the Commentary "Impact of COVID-19 on Missouri 4-H State Fair Participation and Implications for Youth Development Programs," the lead Feature "Extension Professionals' Information Use, Protective Behaviors, and Work-Life Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic," and the Research in Briefs "Assessing and Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic Nutrition and Wellness Impacts on Iowans" and "Navigating the Coronavirus Pandemic: Advice for Grandparents From Grandparents."
From the first word to the last across its five sections, this issue of JOE—as promised—expands readers' research and knowledge bases, advances the theory and practice of Extension, and addresses emerging and contemporary issues affecting Extension education.