2021 NEAFCS National Award Winners

Click here to access a list of all of the 2021 Winners as a PDF.
Click here to access Press Releases for 2021 Award Winners.

communications awards

Educational Publication: 

1st Place National Winner - Jennifer Shukaitis & Team, New Jersey
"School Food Waste Reduction Toolkit"
Toolkit created by FCHS educators that provides practical tips to reduce food waste in school cafeterias.
Team Members: Sara Elnakib
National Winner Application

2nd Place National WinnerMaren Wright Voss & Team, Utah
"Educational Publication Reduces Opioid Risks by Meeting Public Need for Pain Management Education"
High opioid prescribing rates and unrealistic pain management expectations lead to long-term use of opioids as a primary pain management strategy.  Preventative pain management education has helped address these risks.
Team Members: Timothy Keady, Gabriela Murza, Rachel Myrer, Mateja Sovoie-Roskos, and Ashley Yaugher 

3rd Place National Winner - Kristen Brown Johnson & Team, Tennessee
"Grow It, Eat It"
Fruits and vegetables are key components of healthful eating patterns but limited access to healthful and affordable foods makes healthful eating a challenge, especially for limited income individuals and families. The Grow It, Eat It publication series was designed to help Tennessee SNAP-Ed and EFNEP eligible audiences grow and prepare produce in home or community gardens. To reach both English- and Spanish-speaking clientele, the Grow It, Eat It series is available in English and Spanish.
Team Members: Janie Burney, Natalie Bumgarner, Lisa Fuller, Chris Sneed, Egla Lopez, and Johnna Ferguson

Internet Education Technology: 

1st Place National Winner - Jackie Amende & Team, Idaho
"Idaho's Online Dining with Diabetes Program"
The Idaho Online Dining with Diabetes program was designed in response to the pandemic. To align with original in-person format, it is a structured 4-week program hosted on the Google Classroom platform.
Team Members: Julie Buck
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Katie Collum & Team, Arkansas
"At Home with UAEX FCS Virtual Learning Project Blog"
Arkansas Extension Agents virtual learning project reached clients during COVID19 pandemic & beyond.  At Home with UAEX project has positively impacted clients, FCS Agents, and Extension visibility.
Team Members: Katie Frizzell, Olivia Green, Pamela Luker, Torrie Smith, Becky Bridges, Amy Cole, Karen Watts DeCicco, and Kristena Merritt

3rd Place National Winner - Brianna Routh & Team, Montana
"Montana Food Preservation 101"
To meet the growing demand for food preservation, Agents and a Specialist created an online series to train people in seven methods of food preservation and is accessible on demand.
Team Members: Janell Barber, Katrin Finch, Katelyn Andersen, Alice Burchak, Wendy Becker, Holly Miner, and Lorelyn Mayr


1st Place National Winner - Schancey Chapman, Tennessee
"FCE Newsletter"
To address FCE members on a quarterly basis to keep them informed on upcoming events, general information, UT Extension's upcoming educational programs, and emerging issues that pertain to older adults.
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Vanessa Santiago & Team, Virginia
"Buzz, Body & Bites Newsletter"
This newsletter is an Extension resource for older adults. The goal is to create a sense of community and to provide education on current issues, healthy recipes, exercises, and puzzles.
Team Members: Carlin Rafie and Pegi Wright

3rd Place National Winner - Kristy Spalding, Oklahoma
"Family & Consumer Science Newsletter"
The FCS Newsletter is a major way of communicating valuable information during this unprecedent time with individuals on general health and wellness, mental health, gerontology, financial literacy, healthy homes, etc.

Radio or Podcast: 

1st Place National Winner - Amanda Christensen, Utah
"'Smart Money Tips' Radio Program"
To address the need for timely, personal finance education for Utahans, I authored weekly, one-minute, "Smart Money Tip" radio segments for Utah Public Radio on behalf of USU Extension.
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Z. Tennille Short & Team, Tennessee
"Bringing It Home with Sarah & Tennille: A Podcast About Home & Family"
Two Agents produce a weekly podcast that educates the masses on a variety of FCS topics with their conversational- and sometimes humorous- delivery.
Team Members: Sarah Poole

3rd Place National Winner - Jocelin Villarreal & Team, Texas
"FABLOW AgriLife Podcast: Episode 27 - Tips to Prevent Heatstroke in Hot Cars"
FABLOW AgriLife is a multi-county collaboration between the Family and Community Health (FCH) Agents of Frio, Atascosa, Bandera & Wilson County. This is their 3rd year creating episodes for their podcast.
Team Members: Druann Benavides, Jessica E. Faubion, and Nicole Demmer


1st Place National Winner - Joanne Lyford & Team, Oregon
"Asynchronous (Recorded Video) Lesson Series for school aged youth during the pandemic"
COVID curtailed in-person youth nutrition education in Portland schools. With schoolteachers input, a MyPlate video lesson series was delivered digitally October-December 2020.   Students viewed lessons and completed activities all remotely.
Team Members: Shara Anslo, Rachel Dillard. Lauren Tobey, Rebecca Marson, Jennifer Morris, and Stephanie Russell
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Diane Smith & Team, Washington
"Farm to Families CSA: Providing SNAP Clients Affordable Access to Local Produce and Food Education Through Community Partnerships"
WSU Skagit Extension provided preparation ideas and recipes to showcase the local produce. To bring the recipes to life, 36 video recipes were created, and 12 cooking demos were filmed.
Team Members: Amber Philips, SandG Productions, Chef Gill Rodriquez, Lyn Highet, Adrienne Carter, Henry Gardner, and Lizette Flores

3rd Place National Winner
- Nichole Huff & Team, Kentucky
"USE LESS, SPEND WI$E Challenge"
The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected families’ resources, finances, and relationships. The Kentucky Cooperative Extension USE LESS, SPEND WI$E Challenge offered interdisciplinary video programming for family resource management across these areas.
Team Members: Kelly May, Jennifer Hunter, Mindy McCulley, Janet Johnson, David Weisenhorn, Natalie Jones, Courtney Luecking, Heather Norman-Burgdolf, and Jean Najor

Written Media: 

1st Place National Winner - Leigh Anne Aaron, Georgia
"Irritated by your mask?"
Combat skin issues while wearing a mask" was published in multiple media outlets to provide tips on caring for your skin due to mask irritation.
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Julie Garden-Robinson, North Dakota
"Prairie Fare Weekly Column"
"Prairie Fare" is a weekly NDSU Extension column covering nutrition, food safety and health. In its 24th year, it reaches a potential weekly audience of 500,000 in several Midwestern states.

3rd Place National Winner - Ashley Yaugher & Team, Utah
"HEART Utah State Magazine article, "A Tale of Two Crises: Opioid Use Disorder and COVID-19" 
The HEART Initiatives Utah State Magazine article, "A Tale of Two Crises: Opioid Use Disorder and COVID-19" distributed important evidence-based information about these two crises throughout the state.
Team Members: Timothy Keady, Gabriela Murza, Rachel Myrer, Mateja Savoie-Roskos, and Maren Wright Voss

community partnership award

1st Place National Winner - Bethany Bachmann & Team, Missouri
"At-Home Activity Packets"
The At-Home Activity Packets were designed to keep youth engaged and learning during a time frame when virtual education was not being provided after schools closed due to COVID-19.
Team Members: Donna Aufdenberg, Dianna Koenig, and Angela Jung
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Evelyn Whitmer & Team, Arizona
"Moving the needle on health by Building Healthy Communities!!!"
Learn simple ways to change health outcomes with existing programs. Learn to partnership with communities through collective impact and the social determinants of health with policy, systems, and environmental changes.
Team Members: Michele Walsh, Christy Stuth, Rhegan Derfus, Peter Hooper 4-H, Ashley Wright,  Charlotte Taylor, Liza Quinones, Sepp Spritsma, Cheyenne MacMasters, Damien Segal, Rachel Leih, Deirdre Avery, Madeleine deBlois, Violeta Dominguez, Rachel Gildersleeve, Kara Haberstock-Tanoue, Cynthia Aspengren, Andrea Bernal, Elisabeth Tyndall, Maria Molina, and Josh Sherman

3rd Place National Winner - Alexis Roberts & Team, Georgia
"Revitalizing a Farmers Market to Enhance Access to Locally Grown Produce"
Through community collaboration, Bartow County Extension revitalized the local farmers market to meet the food access and economic needs of Bartow County families.
Team Members: Paul Pugliese, Regina Shaw, and Angelica Bridges

Dean Don Felker Family Resource Management Award

The Dean Don Felker Family Resource Management Award is sponsored by the Indiana Affiliate and is given to FCS Educators who have developed an outstanding program on some aspect of family financial management which includes budgeting, credit management, savings, etc. 

National Winner - Nichole Huff & Team, Kentucky
"USE LESS, SPEND WI$E Challenge"
The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected families' resources, finances, and relationships. The Kentucky Cooperative Extension USE LESS, SPEND WI$E Challenge offered innovative, interdisciplinary programming for family resource management across these areas.
Team Members: Kelly May, Jennifer Hunter, Mindy McCulley, Janet Johnson, David Weisenhorn, Natalie Jones, Courtney Luecking, Heather Norman-Burgdolf, and Jean Najor
National Winner Application

Early Childhood Child Care Training Award

1st Place National Winner - Kara Lynch & Team, Michigan
"Safe Food = Healthy Kids"
Safe Food=Healthy Kids is a comprehensive food safety course for childcare providers.  This program combines direct education with technology to minimize foodborne illness in children, a high-risk population.
Team Members: Laurie Messing and Lisa Treiber
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Leigh Anne Aaron, Georgia
"Early Childhood Education Trainings are Essential"
Ongoing education of child care providers is one important way to increase child care quality in Georgia. Child care providers with more education and training provide better-quality learning experiences.

3rd Place National Winner - Lynn Avery Blankenship & Team, Kentucky
“Learn the Signs. Act Early.”
A two continuing education unit, live and interactive virtual training was provided to Head Start and Child Care Staff, in a 10 County area, to familiarize them with how to access and utilize the Centers for Disease Control Learn the Signs Act Early Child Development tracking resources in their programs and how to share appropriately, with parents of enrolled children.
Team Members: Christine Hausman

Educational Curriculum Package Award

1st Place National Winner - Kelly May & Team, Kentucky
"Recovering Your Finances Educational Curriculum"
Recovering Your Finances builds financial capability for individuals in recovery from substance use disorder. This new curriculum enables recovery centers and community partners to reduce relapse by building financial skills.
Team Members: Alex Elswick, Katherine Jury, Nichole Huff, Omolola Adedokun, Bruce Ross, Jennifer Hunter, Alison Davis, Melody Nall, and Mercedes Maness
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - YaeBin Kim & Team, Nevada
"Let's Discover STEM Program"
Let's Discover STEM curriculum focuses on STEM enhancement and parent engagement for families with preschoolers and kindergarteners. The program insists of a seven-week series of hands-on, interactive parent-child workshops in which families with children 3 to 6 years old are exposed to and engage in a variety of fundamental STEM activities.
Team Members: Daniel Weigel and Bill Evans

3rd Place National Winner - Deanna East & Team, Michigan
"Cooking For One"
Cooking for One was developed in response to the Flint water crisis addressing an identified gap with single adults to receive nutrition education to help mitigate the absorption of lead.
Team Members: Lindsey Pung-Terry

Environmental Education Award

1st Place National Winner - Angie York, Kentucky
"Environmentally Friendly Tablescapes"
In an effort to minimize the amount of waste put into landfills from home remodeling, a lesson was taught addressing the issues of using sustainable materials for redecoration and remodeling.
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Sara Elnakib & Team, New Jersey
"Rutgers Cooperative Extension Food Waste Education Program"
The objective of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension- Food Waste education program is to educate foodservice workers, and students about the environmental, health, and economic impact of wasting food.
Team Members: Jennifer Shukaitis, Amy Rowe, Cecelia Diaz, Marycarmen Kunicki, and Marissa Staffen

3rd Place National Winner - Susan Moore & Team, Georgia
"The FIND Method"
The FIND curriculum was developed to help participants improve personal well-being and create a safer home environment by reducing clutter and maintaining a clutter-free life.
Team Members: Laura Smith, Pamela Turner, and Diane Bales

Excellence in Multi State Collaboration AWARD

1st Place National Winner - Wendy Lynch & Team, Florida
"Multi-State Team Provides Online Family and Consumer Sciences Professional Development Before and During the Pandemic"
A multi-state team provided online professional development in nutrition and wellness for Extension professionals on diet trends, primary prevention of cognitive decline and dementia, anti-inflammatory diets and microbiota and diet.
Team Members: Wendy J. Dahl, Julie B. England, Kendra Zamojski, Julie Garden-Robinson, and Carlin Rafie
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Jami Dellifield & Team, Ohio
"Your Thoughts Matter: A Multi-State Approach to Youth Mental Health Education"
Your Thoughts Matter is a program that can empower youth to talk openly about issues around mental health, reduce stigma and take action to be a part of the solution.
Team Members: Amanda Raines, Courtney Cuthbertson, Susan Sloop, Karla Belzer, Alcha Corban, Patricia McGlaughlin, Cheri Burchan, and Kea Norril-Aitch

3rd Place National Winner - Linda Reddish & Team, Nebraska
"A Multi-State Collaboration to Support Young Children's Coping with Storybooks: Expanding the Read for Resilience Program"
A multi-state collaboration between Nebraska and Pennsylvania to expand Read for Resilience, a program supporting caregivers how to use of children's literature in an interactive way to heal. Using training workshops offered by Nebraska Extension's The Learning Child (TLC) combined with the development of online modules disseminated through Penn State Extension's Better Kid Care (BKC) the team's storybook guides has been accessed in 31 states and 5 countries.
Team Members: Holly Hatton Bowers, Amy Rose Napoli, Kathleen Lodl, Christine Anthony, Benjamin Lewis Bayly, Katherine Cason, Claudia Mincemoyer, Lynn DeVries, Jaci Foged, Lisa Poppe, LaDonna Werth, Lee Sherry, Jackie Steffen, Tasha Wulf, Karen Wedding, and Carrie Gottschalk

Excellence in Teamwork AWARD

1st Place National Winner - Heather Janney & Team, Florida
"Victory2020 Garden Community Team"
The Victory2020 Garden Community was developed as a multi-generational program with the expertise from multiple UF/IFAS Extension counties and program areas to address needs.
Team Members: Halie Corbitt, LuAnn Duncan, Chandler Mulvaney, Emma Cannon, Geralyn Sachs, Erin Harlow, Maxine Hunter, Tiare Silvasy, Amanda Marek, Wendy Wilber, and Mark Bailey
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Alexis Roberts & Team, Georgia
"Fulton Fresh Kids: Addressing Food Insecurity, Nutrition, and STEM Education during a Pandemic"
Fulton Fresh is playing a pivotal role in addressing chronic disease and food insecurity in youth by providing access to free produce, coupled with healthy living, STEM, and agriculture education.
Team Members: Laurie Murrah-Hanson and Melissa Mattee Murphy

3rd Place National Winner - Sara Elnakib & Team, New Jersey
"Food Waste Education Program"
The objective of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension- FoodWaste Team program is to minimize wasted school food through the education of foodservice workers, and students about the environmental, nutritional, and economic impact of foodwaste.
Team Members: Jennifer Shukaitis, Amy Rowe, Cecelia Diaz, Marycarmen Kunicki, and Marissa Staffen

Extension Disaster Education AWARD

1st Place National Winner - Glenda Hyde & Team, Oregon
"Preparing for the Cascadia Subduction Zone Event"
Glenda Hyde, Lynette Black and team members secured a NIFA Special Needs Competitive Grant to help Oregonians become aware and prepared for the Magnitude 9.0 Cascadia earthquake and resulting tsunami.
Team Members: Lynette Black, Lauren Kraemer, Patrick Corcoran, Marc Braverman, and Alan Dennis
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - April Martin & Team, Tennessee
"Activating Volunteers for Statewide COVID-19 Pandemic Response to Address Shortage of Cloth Face Masks"
Extension is known for facilitating local networks and having the capacity to organize and mobilize volunteers. These assets, critically important in crises and emergency situations, were drawn on to support Tennessee's response to health care worker and community needs early in the coronavirus pandemic. Using local networks, we rapidly activated a statewide volunteer workforce to address potential shortages of cloth face masks before federal agencies recommended their widespread public use.
Team Members: Shelly Barnes and Lisa Washburn


The NEAFCS Educator of the Year Award recognizes a professional Extension FCS Educator who is conducting outstanding educational programs that demonstrate impact on families and who has continued professional development activities and involvement. 

Melinda Hill's goal in serving is to assist individuals with information to make a difference in their lives. Her journey has been nothing short of amazing.
National Winner Application


Extension Housing Outreach AWARD

The Extension Housing Outreach Award is sponsored by Montana State University Extension and Housing Education & Research Association which recognizes programming that enhances housing outreach to communities and special needs families.

National Winner - Michael Elonge, Maryland
"Housing Eviction Prevention Education"
This program teaches financial education to Public Housing and Transitional Housing residents and provides professional development seminars to front-line human services staff from public and private human service agencies.
National Winner Application

National Winner - Michelle Parrot, Tennessee
"First Time Homebuyers Workshops seen as Essential"
Housing Education is a very important topic for my county clientele. With our increasing local demand on housing, it is essential that people are educated on the homebuying process though our First Time Homebuyers' Workshops.
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Nelly Nelson & Team, Florida
"Homeflow: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Families and Homes"
Homeflow is a series of research-based modules designed to simplify the home living situation.  It is about how the home "flows" together as a unit comprising a dwelling, its occupants, and the property and community in which it’s Homeflow explores the relationships between the health of the home and its occupants, communications between home occupants, home maintenance and operation, energy and functional efficiency, and home safety routines and practices.
Team Members: Johanna Gomez, Jenny Aviles Rodriguez, Jennifer Hagen, and Randall Cantrell 

Family Health and Wellness AWARD

1st Place National Winner - Susan Moore & Team, Georgia
"Healthy Georgia Wellness Program"
The Healthy Georgia Wellness is a grab and go curriculum designed to improve participants' physical, cognitive, emotional well-being, so that they can lead healthier, happier, and less stressful lives.
Team Members: Rachel Stewart, Becky Collins, Georgeanne Cook, Laura Smith, Terri Black, Jackie Ogden, Carrie Vanderver, Marnie Dekle, Lisa Jordan, Rachel Hubbard, Denise Everson, Alison Berg, Pamela Turner, Elizabeth Andress, Diane Bales, Joan Koonce, Michael Rupured, and Kisha Faulk
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Sondra Ganus Thorne, Tennessee
"Mental Health in a Pandemic"
Sondra Thorne created the Mental Health in a Pandemic program to encompass the areas of depression, domestic violence, suicide, and mindfulness in a way that was personal and relevant.

3rd Place National Winner - Tamara Warren & Team, Alabama
"CHAMPION Shaping Your Health"

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) Urban Health and Nutrition team implemented the CHAMPION Shaping Your Health Series to Alabama's senior citizens.  This program was designed to help individuals obtain, understand, communicate and process health information and services to take charge of their health.  The team is hard working and dedicated to serve the senior citizens in the urban areas of Alabama.

Team Members: Juana Christian, Nkenge Hyter, Megan Lester, Darlene Minniefield, Monica Townser, Kristen Cambell, Shanetria Brown, and Pamela Jude

Florence Hall AWARD

The Florence Hall Award recognizes members who have been alert in recognizing emerging issues or new concerns and interests of families or individuals and have planned and implemented programs which address these issues utilizing others in their communities.

1st Place National Winner - Ashley Yaugher & Team, Utah
"HEART Initiative Addresses Opioid Crisis"
The USU Extension HEART Initiative provides collaborative, evidence-based information to communities to address the opioid crisis and pressing public health concerns. HEART focuses on emerging concerns of families throughout Utah.
Team Members: Timothy Keady, Gabriela Murza, Rachel Myrer, Mateja Savoie-Roskos, and Maren Wright Voss
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Elizabeth Lexau & Team, Wisconsin
"The Literacy Link - Serving Justice-Involved Families"
The Literacy Link works with local justice systems to strengthens literacy and family relationships for children of incarcerated parents, an often-overlooked population impacted by the justice system.
Team Members: Mary Huser, Mary Campbell-Wood, Bev Baker, Pam Wedig-Kirsch, Heidi Ungrodt, Ciara Walker-Morgan, Lindsay Weymouth, Brook Berg, Tracy Henegar, Elizabeth Shaver, Nancy Schultz, and Emily Quandt

3rd Place National Winner - JoAnn Vann & Team, Arkansas
"At Home with UAEX FCS Virtual Learning Project"
Arkansas Extension Agents virtual learning project reached clients during COVID19 pandemic & beyond.  At Home with UAEX project has positively impacted clients, FCS Agents, and Extension visibility.
Team Members: Amy Monk, Heather Jackson, Carla Due, Jean Ince, MaLinda Mathis, Julian Carpenter, Trudy McManus, Anna Goff, Katie Cullum, Kristal Draper, Millie Collins, Mary Jane Cody, Rachel Chaney, Lauren McGarrh, Joy West, Shea Wilson, Crystal Johnson, Amy Cole, Kristena Merritt, Becky Bridges, Kim Rowe, Katie Frizzell, Olivia Green, Pamela Luker, Torrie Smith, Michelle Carter, Diane Clement, Alison Crane, Lindsey Rucker, Susan Thomason, Terrie James, Samantha Horn, Bethany Bailey, Tonya McKenzie, Laura Warren, Megan Wells, Kris Boulton, Debbie Miller, Kylie Harris, Tristin Bolton, Krista Quinn, Mary Beth Groce, Casey Jarding, Charla Hammonds, Shawnee Tichenor, Anna Harlan, Laura Robertson, Heather Reed, Mary Ann Kizer, Tori Copeland, Jane Newton, Valerie Turner, and Ashley Foster

food safety AWARD

1st Place National Winner - Angie York & Team, Kentucky
"The Power of your Pantry"
Offered during the onset of the pandemic,  "The Power of your Pantry" series highlighted ways to create nutritious meals using items on-hand in your kitchen, refrigerator, and pantry.
Team Members: Jill Harris and Cecelia Hostilo
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Heather Winn & Team, Oklahoma
"Dehydrating Foods and Cooking with Herbs and Spices"
This program gave participants the ability to turn an ordinary meal into an extraordinary meal by providing them the resources needed to safely preserve herbs and by using them instead of less healthy choices in meal preparation for their families.
Team Members: Janis Risley


3rd Place National WinnerMary Beth Hornbeck & Team, Georgia
"Kids in the Kitchen Virtual Cooking Club"
Kids in the Kitchen Virtual Cooking Club is a hands-on, virtual program that teaches youth and their families nutrition, food safety, and cooking skills to increase self-efficacy in the kitchen.
Team Members: Zoe Soltanmammedova and Siew Guan Lee

Greenwood Frysinger AWARD

The Greenwood Frysinger Award is presented to someone who has been a member for 5 years or less and has had an opportunity to expand their professional network through an outstanding mentor/mentee experience.

National Winner - Andrea Nikolai, Florida with Wendy Lynch as a Great Mentor
Andrea Nikolai has been fortunate to have gotten a mentor who has helped her grow not only in her career but as a person.
National Winner Application

Human Development/Family Relationships AWARD

1st Place National Winner - Elizabeth Lexau & Team, Wisconsin
"The Literacy Link"
The Literacy Link partnered with jails, family agencies, and public and tribal libraries to connect children and parents in justice-involved families through literacy-rich experiences and environments.
Team Members: Mary Huser, Mary Campbell-Wood, Bev Baker, Pam Wedig-Kirsch, Heidi Ungrodt, Ciara Walker-Morgan, Lindsay Weymouth, Brook Berg, Tracy Henegar, Elizabeth Shaver, Nancy Schultz, and Emily Quandt
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Kelly Faith Burgess & Team, Kentucky
"Keys to Embracing Aging at Home: Weekly Challenge Program"
The Keys to Embracing Aging Weekly Challenge program provided senior adults lessons on health and optimal aging through a 12-week newsletter program accompanied by daily, at-home learning reinforcement activities.
Team Members: Debbie Messenger


3rd Place National Winner - Linda Reddish & Team, Nebraska
"A Beautiful Day Virtual childhood Play Space Connecting with Children and Families During the Pandemic"
A Beautiful Day is a virtual early childhood space designed to connect with children and families in Nebraska and across the world utilizing social media and online platforms. The space fosters learning and play, and supports caregivers experiencing physical distancing. A Beautiful Day has over 100+ video activities and resources!
Team Members: Amy Napoli, Anne Holz, Brandy VanDeWalle, Chris Kiewra, Donnia Behrends, Erin Kampbell, Helen Raikes, Holly Hatton Bowers, Jaci Foged, Jackie Guzman, Jenny Leeper-Miller, Jody Green, Joe John, Julia Torquati, Kathleen Lodl, Kelley Jefferson, Kelly Buchheister, Kelly Jefferson, Kim Wellsandt, LaDonna Werth, Leanne Manning, Lee Sherry, Linda Reddish, Lisa Poppe, Lynn DeVries, Marjorie Kostelnik, Miki Montgomery, Tasha Wulf, and the Ruth Staples Early Childhood Laboratory Early Childhood Care and Education Professionals


Innovation in Programming AWARD

The Innovation in Programming Award recognizes innovation and accomplishment in the design and implementation of an FCS program.  This award is sponsored by the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP).

1st Place National Winner - Bradley Averill, Georgia
"Driveway Walk-a-Weigh: A Socially Distanced In-Person Program During COVID-19"
Driveway Walk-a-Weigh provided program participants with a socially distanced, safe learning environment to enhance nutrition and wellness education and to inspire the establishment of regular physical activity.
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Nicole McGeehan & Team, Pennsylvania
"Virtual Home Food Preservation Webinars with Engaging Live Demonstrations"
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn State Extension educators developed an innovative series of webinars with live demonstrations as an alternative format for delivering home food preservation lectures and workshops.
Team Members: Brenna Butler, Mary Alice Gettings, Andy Hirneisen, Lynn James, Cindy Javor, Sharon McDonald, Stacy Reed, Elaine Smith, Mandel Smith, Karly Warner, and Martha Zepp

3rd Place National Winner - Sara Croymans & Team, Minnesota
"Family Resiliency Webinars"
University of Minnesota Center for Family Development Extension Educators adapted in-person family resiliency education to meet the unique needs of individuals and families amid the COVID-19 pandemic through virtual programming.
Team Members: Samantha Roth, Lori Hendrickson, Rebecca Hagen Jokela, Mary Schroeder, Kelly Kunkel, and Joyce Serido

Innovative Youth Development Programming AWARD

1st Place National Winner - Jenni Klufa & Team, Oklahoma
"Virtual Farm to You"
The pandemic brought our interactive and educational Farm to You travelling exhibit to a halt. Recognizing the new normal future impact, we developed Virtual Farm to You: an engaging virtual exhibit.
Team Members: Becky Brown
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Joyce Serido & Team, Minnesota
"Making Money Matter for Marginalized Youth"
Youth know how to spend money -  but can they manage it? This activity-based community-informed program promotes an understanding of the connection between spending money and healthy choices.
Team Members: Rebecca Hagen Jokela and Sarah Butler

3rd Place National Winner
- Julie Garden-Robinson & Team, North Dakota
"On the Move Cooking and Baking Schools Go Virtual"
Youth participants in virtual and face-to-face On the Move to Better Health Cooking and Baking Schools have improved knowledge and skills in nutrition, food safety and life skills.
Team Members: Lu Morehouse, Kari Helgoe, Molly Soeby, Deb Lee, Christina Rittenbach, Danielle Dinger, Vanessa Hoines, Ronda Grippentrog, Marcia Hellandsaas, Courtney Hoikkala, Susan Milender, Ellen Bjelland, Rita Ussatis

Marketing Package AWARD

1st Place National Winner - Diane Reinhold & Team, Illinois
"Fill Your Pantry: Home Food Preservation Marketing Campaign"
Illinois Extension educators reached 1.8 million with their marketing efforts for the Fill Your Pantry: Home Food Preservation webinar series and 31 Days of Home Food Preservation social media campaign.
Team Members: Kristin Bogdonas, Susan Glassman, Caitlin Mellendorf, Lisa Peterson, Jenna Smith, and Mary Liz Wright
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Lauren Kraemer & Team, Oregon
"Oregon State University Extension Team Launches High Speed Hand Washing Campaign Targeting Parents and Caregivers of Young Children during COVID-19 Pandemic"
Extension faculty adapted existing High Speed Hand Washing (HSHW) resources with COVID-19 prevention in mind. We rolled-out a statewide marketing campaign to share these and other resources with parents and childcare providers across Oregon and beyond and reached over 50,000 people.
Team Members: Glenda Hyde, Ann Marie Murphy, Greg Aronoff, Lauren Tobey, Joyce Senior, Shauna Tominey, Katie Ahern, Barbara Brody, Olivia Davis, Tina Dodge, Mandy Hatfield, Cheryl Kirk, Maureen Quinn-Lores, Jenny Rudolph, Stephanie Russell, and Breann Vandenberg

3rd Place National Winner - Mindy McCulley & Team, Kentucky
"Handwashing with Wally Cat"
Handwashing is critically important to healthy living.  As the first effects of the global pandemic became clear, UK FCS Extension recognized the need for proper handwashing instruction for everyone.
Team Members: Natalie Jones, Abby Hunter, Rusty Manseau, Jennifer Hunter, and Brian Volland

Mary W. Wells Memorial Diversity AWARD

The Mary W. Wells Memorial Diversity Award recognizes outstanding efforts and accomplishments of individual and/or teams in diversity and pluralism for any Extension FCS program or activity, including staff development, advisory councils, programs, etc.

1st Place National Winner - Renee Koenig & Team, Wisconsin
"The Aging Mastery Program Alleviates Ageism"
Extension Educators, Koenig and Schilling have successfully implemented the Aging Mastery Program resulting in a viable intervention to support older individuals, improve their well-being and reduce ageism.
Team Members: Mary Ann Schilling
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Surine Greenway & Team, Idaho
"Idaho's Coming Together for Racial Understanding"
Idaho's Coming Together for Racial Understanding program increases awareness and understanding of race and ethnicity relations, improving participants' ability to reach and equitably serve diverse audiences throughout the state.
Team Members: Jackie Amende, Andrew Bingham, Nic Usabel, and Sendy Martinez

3rd Place National Winner - Ivelisse Colon & Team, North Carolina
"Information Everyone Can Understand"
During the pandemic, Ivelisse joined efforts with county organizations and agencies providing food safety information that was translated into seven languages, to inform and educate Orange County's diverse community.
Team Members: Immigrant & Refugee COVID-19 Community Partners, DSS Team, OC Health Department Communications Team, and OC COVID-19 Housing Program

Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program AWARD

The National Winner is Dorothy Nuckols & Team, Maryland
"Maryland Master Money Mentors"
The Maryland Master Money Mentor Volunteer Program is for individuals who wish to sharpen their own financial skills and empower others to build strong financial foundations, financial capacity, and stability.
Team Members: Jesse Ketterman, Catherine Sorenson, Michael Elonge, Priscilla Graves, Crystal Terhune, and Patricia Horton-Maynard
National Winner Application

Past Presidents’ New Professional AWARD

The Past Presidents’ New Professional Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments of NEAFCS members within the first three years from date of original employment with Cooperative Extension Service.

Aurora Calvillo Buffington, Nevada is a Public Health Nutrition Specialist at the University of Nevada Reno, Extension who has distinguished herself as an outstanding new professional focused on community food literacy.
National Winner Application

Program Excellence Through Research AWARD

1st Place National Winner - Rhea Bentley & Team, Georgia
"Barriers that Prevent Program Participants from Completing Expanded Foods and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) Food Talk Sessions"
University of Georgia EFNEP Supervisors did a qualitative study with EFNEP clients to access barriers that prevent participants from participating and completing the EFNEP Food Talk sessions.
Team Members: Ines Beltran, LaZavia Grier, Kimberly Howell, La Keshia Levi, Susan Moore, and Cindee Sweda
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Kylie Rymanowicz & Team, Michigan
"Parenting in a Pandemic Research Study"
A qualitative study with participants of a parenting webinar exploring the impact of COVID-19 on parenting, the experience of taking a webinar during a pandemic and its impact on parenting.
Team Members: Kendra Moyses

3rd Place National Winner - Lindsey Erin Breunig-Rodriguez & Team, Texas
"A Cross-Sectional Study of Handwashing Behaviors, Beliefs, and Barriers among Texans"
A cross sectional survey was designed to learn about an individual's handwashing behaviors, beliefs, and barriers. Results will be used to strengthen existing curricula and help develop new handwashing curricula.
Team Members: Andrea Haubner, Mark Faries, Miquela Smith, and Yineli Carreon

School Wellness AWARD

1st Place National Winner - Katie Ahern & Team, Oregon
"Be Physically Active 2Day!"
The Balanced Energy Physical Activity 2.0 Toolkit is a research-based physical activity resource developed to support obesity prevention efforts in low-income elementary school settings by two 5-minute physical activity breaks a day.
Team Members: Kathy Gunter, Barbara Brody, Lauren Kraemer, Mandy Hatfield, Carly Kristofik, Tina Dodge, Cheryl Kirk, Maureen Quinn-Lores, Robin Maille, Jenny Rudolph, Joanne Lyford, and Thomas Packebush
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Shannon Klisch & Team, California
"Supporting Schools as Hubs of Health for Student Wellness and Thriving"
The comprehensive, schools as hubs of health program delivery model incorporates classroom education, youth engagement, staff training, school garden support, lunchroom environment changes, and parent engagement in support of healthy and thriving school communities.
Team Members: Rosa Vargas, Miguel Diaz, Emily Dimond, Kelly Hong, Melissa LaFreniere, Abbi Marrs, Betsy Plascencia, and Katherine Soule

3rd Place National Winner
- Brenda Miller & Team, Oklahoma
"Taking Steps to Curb Obesity"
The High Obesity Prevention (HOP) Team worked with The Westville Schools in Adair County, Oklahoma to use a Policy System and Environmental (PSE) approach, to make sustainable changes in the community. The Extension HOP team worked with the Town of Westville to adopt and pass a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Resolution, establishing the first step in creating a sustainable environment for its community.
Team Members: Jessie Garcia, Rachel Buford, Lacey Wallace, Deana Hildebrand, and Janice Hermann


1st Place National Winner - Rhonda Peters, North Carolina
"LIFT for a Better Life"
Targeting inactive senior adults, the LIFT program teaches skills to help seniors make improvements in their nutrition, strength, balance and flexibiity in a fun and interactive group setting.
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Jenni Klufa & Team, Oklahoma
"KIK It Up!"
KIK It Up! is a summer and after school program for kids ages 6-15 years. This program encourages kids to make their own healthy snacks and exercise more.
Team Members: Candance Gabel, Diana Romano, Jennie Till, Becky Brown, and Patricia DeBow

3rd Place National Winner - Stephanie Diehl & Team, Virginia
"Teen Cuisine @ Home: A Remote Cooking Program for Teens from Limited-Resource Families during the COVID-19 Pandemic"
Adapted Teen Cuisine curriculum allowed Virginia SNAP-Ed, FCS, 4-H Agents and SNAP-Ed/EFNEP Program Assistants to reach teens from limited-resource families. Remote programming included food preparation/nutrition education and provided cooking/recipe kits.
Team Members: Tonya Price, Elena Serrano, Sarah Misyak, Gina Moore Kindred, Johanna Hahn, and Anne Carter Carrington

Social Media Education AWARD

1st Place National Winner - Jocelin Villarreal & Team, Texas
"Using Social Media for Programming- 'Walk N Talk' Rethink Your Drink!"
FABLOW AgriLife is a multi-county collaboration between the Family and Community Health (FCH) Agents of Frio, Atascosa, Bandera & Wilson County.  This is their 1st year using social media for programming.
Team Members: Druann Benavides, Jessica Faubion, and Nicole Demmer
National Winner Application

2nd Place National Winner - Carrie Shrier & Team, Michigan
"MiStronger Family Extension Extras Social Media Campaign"
The social media campaign targeted families with children experiencing disruption in their lives due to the pandemic. Peak views of the daily themed tips was nearly 80,000 indicating wide reach.
Team Members: Courtney Aldrich, Danielle Melching, Michelle Neff, Kylie Rymanowicz, Vivian Washington, and Kevin Zoromski

3rd Place National Winner - Nichole Huff & Team, Kentucky
"USE LESS, SPEND WI$E Challenge"
The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected resources, finances, and relationships. The Kentucky Cooperative Extension USE LESS, SPEND WI$E Challenge offered interdisciplinary social media programming for family resource management across these areas.
Team Members: 
Kelly May, Jennifer Hunter, Mindy McCulley, Janet Johnson, David Weisenhorn, Natalie Jones, Courtney Luecking, Heather Norman-Burgdolf, and Jean Najor

continued excellence award

The Continued Excellence Award recognizes active involvement in professional improvement programs, promotion of professional development, and leadership. They must have been a member for at least 12 years, attended 3 or more Annual Sessions and received the NEAFCS Distinguished Service Award prior to the year in which they achieve Continued Excellence. 


Diane Clement - It is an honor to bring factual, life-enhancing, sometimes life-changing, Extension programs to people of all ages from all backgrounds within my county and the state of Arkansas.

Shea Wilson - Shea Wilson continues to provide new and innovative opportunities for clients, serve as an Agent mentor and a leader in her county and state, and demonstrate commitment to professional development.


Angela Hinkle - Angela Hinkle continues to provide excellent Family and Consumer Sciences programming and educational efforts to the professional and community audiences she serves.

Brenda Lee Marty-Jimenez
- Brenda Marty-Jimenez has worked with UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County since 2002. Brenda specializes in educating seniors, adults, and youth to increase their nutrition, health & food safety knowledge and skills. 


Kisha Faulk - Spanning 15 years, she was an FCS agent and now a Program Development Coordinator for 39 counties. Most notably, she co-designed the FCS Common Measures Evaluation used in several states.


Andrea Wood - In her county, Andrea initiates and motivates all ages to live healthy. An active community is a healthy community. Through a variety of programs Extension remains relevant, timely and effective.


Melissa Goodman - Melissa's professional development goals have been focused on leadership growth, the development of innovative programming skills, and staying abreast of family and consumer sciences' discipline throughout her extension career.


Cathy Agan - Cathy Agan is a Nutrition Agent with the LSU AgCenter.  She has participated in numerous professional development opportunities through the years and is involved in providing learning opportunities for others. 

North Carolina

Renay Knapp - Renay Knapp has been a Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent in for 27 ½ years.  She received the Distinguished Service Award in 2015 in Sulphar Springs Virginia. 

North Dakota

Julie Garden-Robinson - Julie Garden-Robinson is a professor and food and nutrition specialist at North Dakota State University, where she develops and delivers programs in nutrition, food safety and health. 


Christine Kendle - Christine Kendle has notably served NEAFCS as her affiliate president and co-chair for the Program Committee. Chris’s primary programming areas include nutrition, food safety, food preservation, and wellness.  

Michelle Treber - Michelle Treber served 4 years as the Annalist for Ohio. Professional development activities include aging, nutrition, social media, finance, and mindfulness. Lifelong learning has been a focus in her career. 


Kathy Lyn Enyart – Kathy joined Oklahoma Extension in 2004. She loves to learn and believes professional development is an opportunity to gain knowledge, improve skills, build networks, stay up-to-date and grow professionally. 


Glenda Hyde - Glenda Hyde is an Associate Professor of Practice at Oregon State University Extension. Her main project areas include Home Food Safety and Preservation, Disaster Preparedness and Accidental Injury Prevention. 


Shelly Barnes - Shelly Barnes is a community Extension educator with 15 years of experience in Wilson County, Tennessee. She has dedicated her career to helping others grow professionally and meeting clients needs. 

Rachel Erwin - Continued Excellence Award Lauderdale County, TN. Member of NEAFCS for seventeen years. 

Hilda Lytle - Hilda Lytle focuses on health and nutrition programs.  She teaches certified exercise classes and coordinates wellness community challenges. Nutrition efforts focus on healthy choices based on MyPlate recommendations. 


Melanie Jewkes - During her career, Melanie received more than $7 million in grants to support her focus of teaching healthy lifestyles and well-being in affordable and sustainable ways throughout Salt Lake City. 


Jane Henderson - Jane Henderson is proud to represent Family and Consumer Sciences while serving her community. Her body of work represents a commitment to service in elevating others through professional development opportunities. 

West Virginia

Cheryl Kaczor - Cheryl has an MS degree in Health Promotion. She believes that to be a good educator and extension agent one must remain a learner.  She has a strong professional development agenda including workshops in child development, food safety, healthy relationships, substance misuse and how it effects children and families.  She provides continuing education to professionals in her community. Cheryl works with childcare workers and professionals in various community organizations.

Distinguished Service Award

To receive the Distinguished Service Award an individual must have been a member of NEAFCS for 10 years or more and attended at least 2 Annual Sessions.  The award recognizes Extension FCS Educators for leadership, outstanding programs, and personal & professional growth.


Janet Johnson - Janet teaches such that clients understand the information presented so that it will help them do their jobs better, prosper in their endeavors, and improve their overall life.


Michelle Carter - As a Food Preservation Agent Specialist, Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise to insure that all program participants follow all safety guidelines while preserving food. 


Carla Farrand - Carla Farrand is an 11 year Family and Consumer Science educator.  She has assisted Colorado with translating food preservation, food safety and cottage foods trainings into Spanish. 


Heather Janney - Heather Janney has served Extension professionally since 2006. She uses multi-disciplinary programming to reach youth, adults, and colleagues with a focus on emotional wellness to better their lives.

Melanie Taylor - Melanie Taylor is the FCS agent in Bay County, Florida. As Bay County recovers from the devastation of Hurricane Michael, her focus areas are mental health, finances and healthy lifestyles. 


Katie McFarland - Katie Hoffman-McFarland serves her community and focuses on needs by teaching food safety, health and nutrition and family life development topics to youth and adults. 


Molly Hoag - Working with community partners and coalition work has been instrumental in Molly's programming success.  Local partners communicate local needs and provide programming outlets for her health and wellness programs. 


Jodi Drake - Jodi Drake has been an Extension Educator for Pratt County Extension for 13 years.  She specializes in teaching health and nutrition lessons in the schools and enjoys being a part of the local health coalition. 


Matti Cornelius - From teaching high school students to sew on buttons, to providing non-traditional programming during a pandemic, Matti enjoys making an impact on others through research based education.

Mindy McCulley – The valuable work that FCS Extension completes each year deserves to be recognized.  In my professional role, I work every day to ensure that our story is told in a way that anyone can access.

Shannon Smith - Driven by community based needs, great effort has been made to educate the citizens in Bracken County in regards to health, family, finances, communication and nutrition.  Programs are designed for to enhance the lives of local citizens and their families. 


Priscilla Graves - Priscilla has dedicated 13 years as an Extension FCS Educator to serving and collaborating with individuals, families and communities to positively impact and empower them to make positive financial decisions. 


Kayla Colgrove - Kayla Colgrove is an Extension Educator and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Nebraska Extension. She delivers nutrition and physical activity programs, maintains food.unl.edu, and manages a statewide grant. 


YaeBin Kim - As an Extension Specialist in Parenting Education I strive to expand parenting education programs for families with young children within our diverse and under-served populations. I have developed and implemented several parenting education program focusing on diverse topics. 

North Carolina

Toi Nichelle Degree - As an innovator of change, I often lead Rowan county to address major issues in critical areas such as health/wellness and nutrition.

Sonya Graves Patterson - I have spent my Extension career providing programs that advocate for better quality of life by empowering people to be voices for change where they live, work, play, and pray. 


Jacqueline Wilkins - Jacqueline Wilkins has 25+ years bringing awareness to the value and return on investment for FCS prevention education and is a tireless advocate for building FCS capacity in Ohio and nationally. 


Jessica Lea Riggin - Jessica Riggin has been a member of NEAFCS since 2009. She has worked in the areas of diabetes education and financial management education for adults and youth. 


Amanda Hatfield - Mandy Hatfield is a Senior Instructor serving Douglas County, Oregon where she works to cultivate programming related to fostering healthy food choices and increased physical activity through community partnerships. 


Felice Acker - Felice Acker has spent 11 years helping her rural county learn about food preservation and nutrition, her coworkers about technology, and challenging herself to try new things.

Wendy Hazzard - Wendy has worked with community leaders to bring new and innovated program like Mental Health First Aid and Food Handlers program to local school districts in Wheeler County. 


Stacey MacArthur - Dr. MacArthur has secured over $2 million in grant funding and published 87 curricula in her roles of volunteer development and health & wellness as a statewide specialist in Utah.

West Virginia

Terrill Peck - I am an Associate professor with West Virginia University Extension service for 15 years. Working in my community to provide relationship education training, food safety, leadership, team building and general nutrition education. I have served in leadership roles with our local head start and rural healthcare collaboration.  Service is an important aspect of my role with extension and my own personal mission to help others.