Human Sciences Specialists Receive 2020 NEAFCS Awards

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach receives national and regional recognition

October 16, 2020, 11:01 am | Donna Donald

AMES, Iowa – Several human sciences specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach received awards from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. The awards were presented during the 2020 NEAFCS Annual Session, held virtually on Sept. 14-16.

“These national and regional awards recognize our specialists’ exemplary efforts and their commitment to meeting the needs of individuals, families and communities,” said Debra Sellers, director of Human Sciences Extension and Outreach and an associate dean of ISU College of Human Sciences.

  • Nature Explore team.National First Place Environmental Education Award: Nurturing Nature Explorers in Northeast Iowa Project. ISU Extension and Outreach specialists named on the award were Cindy Thompson, coordinator of the project, and project advisers Donna Donald, field operations, and Lesia Oesterreich, state early childhood specialist. Other team members listed on the award included Julie Munkel, child care consultant representing Child Care Resource and Referral of Northeast Iowa; Rhonda Seibert, associate vice president of operations with Northeast East Iowa Community College; and Jenna Pollack, executive director for Clayton County Conservation. The project also was the First Place Central Region Winner.
  • Community Partnership Award, Second Place Central Region Winner: Mobile Community Teaching Kitchen. Jill Weber, human sciences specialist in nutrition and wellness. The award recognizes NEAFCS members for outstanding efforts in meeting the needs of families through collaboration with group, agencies and consumers.
  • Continued Excellence: Joy Rouse, human sciences specialist in family life. The award recognizes NEAFCS members who have previously received the NEAFCS Distinguished Service Award and continue to be actively involved in professional improvement programs, the promotion of professional development of others, and leadership.

Several human sciences specialists and faculty presented at the virtual 2020 NEAFCS Annual Session.

  • Poster session: Cindy Thompson, Nurturing Nature Explorers in Northeast Iowa.
  • Poster session: Sara Sprouse, 2019 Greenwood Frysinger Award Winner, Mentoring Experience.
  • Concurrent Session: David Brown and Elizabeth Stegemoller, A Journey Through Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Concurrent Session: Mackenzie Johnson, Mackenzie DeJong and Lori Hayungs, Research and Reality – Helping Parents Find, Value and Utilize Trustworthy Information (Science of Parenting).

The National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences educates and recognizes extension professionals who improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. NEAFCS provides education in areas including food preparation, food safety and nutrition; financial management; healthy lifestyles; home and work environment and safety; and relationship and parenting skills.


Photo caption: Participants from the first Nature Explore training event held in October 2018 at Northeast Iowa Community College. Four more full-day workshops, including nearly 100 early childhood and outdoor education professionals, have been held over the last few years. Photo by Julie Munkel.

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