AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Alpha Mu Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, the honor society of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, recently honored four “Friends of Extension.” Geode Forestry, Inc., Swedesburg, BankIowa, Cici Mueller and Jayne Lupkes were recognized during the Epsilon Sigma Phi 2017 awards ceremony March 26.
Geode Forestry, Inc.
Geode Forestry, Inc., located in Swedesburg, is an Iowa and Iowa State University success. Bob Petrzelka, an Iowa State graduate, was hired by Geode Resource Conservation and Development to create a forestry consulting business for southeast Iowa and has grown the business into a successful rural Iowa company. After purchasing the business in 2001, Bob hired a second forester, Gretchen Cline.
Since 1989, Geode Forestry, Inc. has worked with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in planning and carrying out forestry programs. Petrzelka represents Iowa State as president of the Council for Agricultural Research Extension and Teaching, advocating for education and partnerships at the national level.
BankIowa demonstrates a commitment to giving back to the communities as a longtime partner of ISU Extension and Outreach programs. BankIowa supports training for landowners on farm lease management, , which increases the viability of a family farm. BankIowa supports 4-H programs in many ways, including volunteering on committees and at county fairs.
For over fifteen years, Cici Mueller has exemplified the role of volunteer for ISU Extension and Outreach in Allamakee County and northeast Iowa. She volunteers with the Iowa Master Gardener’s and Clover Kids programs, created a 4-H garden club, mentored 4-H youth on wellness initiatives in school-based clubs, and judges at local county fairs. Her dedication has led to profound impacts in her community. The 4-H garden club harvested over 5,000 pounds of produce that was sold to the school and featured on the school lunch menu. She coordinates a Seattle based program, Food Empowerment Education and Sustainability Team, across the region, inspiring youth to get creative in the kitchen and try new things in new ways.
Jayne Lupkes started her journey with ISU Extension and Outreach in her youth as a 4-H member. She was a 4-H volunteer when her children were 4-H members which led to an interest in serving on and being elected to the county extension council and the state extension council board. Lupkes firmly believes the role of ISU Extension and Outreach is essential to bettering the lives of Iowans.
The Epsilon Sigma Phi also recognized extension professionals for their meritorious service during their annual awards ceremony.
- Regional Director Rich Wrage received the Distinguished Service Award. Wrage has served in several leadership roles within the honor society. He works effectively with county extension councils, county employees, and provides creative and innovative programs.
- Carol LaFaver received the Mid-Career Award. LaFaver has served as an extension professional since 2002 in two states and is recognized for excellence in programming for her work as a county agent. Currently, she serves as a regional director for eight southern Iowa counties working with county staff, ISU Extension and Outreach specialists, council members, and multiple committees at the state level.
- Receiving the Distinguished Team Award was the food safety team comprised of ISU Extension and Outreach Human Sciences specialists in nutrition and wellness. Team members include Cindy Baumgartner, Nancy Clark, Barbara Fuller, Katherine Knobbe, Mary Krisco, Sara Sprouse, Patricia Steiner, Vera Stokes, Renee Sweers, Holly VanHeel, Rachel Wall, and Jill Weber. Also on the team is Cathy Strohbehn, hospitality management nutrition and wellness specialist. These specialists in the College of Human Sciences provide a valuable service for food establishments across Iowa by offering ServSafe™, a required food safety certification course developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The team oversees and delivers the certification for food service establishments on food safety. Last year 2,400 Iowans took the ServSafe® certification.
- Receiving the Diversity Multicultural Team award for Juntos Para Una Mejor Eucación (Together for a Better Education). Members include Kim Greder, ISU associate professor, and Human Sciences family life specialists; Michelle Maynes, extension educator; Himar Hernandez, assistant director for Community and Economic Development; Rosa Gonzalez, Human Sciences specialist, family life; and Human Sciences specialists, family finance Mary Weinand, Sandra McKinnon, Phyllis Zalenski, Lori Hayungs, and David Brown. Across Iowa, local community school districts, organizations and volunteers are collaborating with ISU Extension and Outreach to bring Juntos to their communities. Results indicate that Juntos is making a difference for Latino youth and their families.
Since 1928, the Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Mu Chapter has been an honor society representing extension professionals at Iowa State University. Their goals are to maintain high professional standards, foster professional relationships and sustain morale and prestige of the extension service.
Bob Petrzelka of Geode Forestry, Inc. accepts the ISU Extension and Outreach Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Mu Chapter state Friends of Extension award. Also pictured are David Brown (left) and Cathann Kress.
Lucretia Mangrich accepts ISU Extension and Outreach Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Mu Chapter Friends of Extension on behalf of BankIowa. Also pictured are David Brown (left) and Cathann Kress.
Cici Mueller accepts the ISU Extension and Outreach Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Mu Chapter Friends of Extension award. Also pictured are David Brown (left) and Cathann Kress.
Jayne Lupkes accepts the ISU Extension and Outreach Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Mu Chapter Friends of Extension award. Also pictured are David Brown (left) and Cathann Kress.
Rich Wrage, regional director for ISU Extension and Outreach, received Distinguished Service Recognition from Epsilon Sigma Phi. Also pictured are Dr. David Brown, president of ISU Extension and Outreach Epsilon Sigma Phi Chapter, and Dr. Cathann Kress, Vice President of Extension and Outreach.
Carol LaFaver, regional director for ISU Extension and Outreach, received Mid-Career Recognition from Epsilon Sigma Phi. Also pictured are David Brown, president of ISU Extension and Outreach Epsilon Sigma Phi Chapter, and Cathann Kress, Vice President of Extension and Outreach.
Members of the ISU Extension Outreach Juntos Para Una Mejor Eucación receive the Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Mu Chapter Multicultural Team Award. Pictured left to right: David Brown, Kim Greder, Sandra McKinnon, Rosa Gonzalez, Michelle Maynes, Mary Weinand, Lori Hayungs, Cathann Kress.
Members of the ISU Extension Outreach food safety team receive the Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Mu Chapter Distinguished Team Award. Front row: Barb Fuller, Cathy Strohbehn, Katie Knobbe, Patty Steiner, Cathann Kress, Holly Van Heel. Back row: Vera Stokes, Rachel Wall, Nancy Clark, Sara Sprouse, Cindy Baumgartner.