April 2019

Table of Contents

President's Message 

Extension Leadership Conference – JCEP Reflections

Public Affairs Updates

What’s Happening with Member Resources

Member Surveys Guide YOUR Professional Development

Southern Region Update

Updates from the Journal of NEAFCS

85th Anniversary – Oh, The Places We’ve Been!

Diverse Annual Session Pre-Conferences Offer Lifelong Learning for the Ages

Meet the Executive Board: Eastern Regional Director

Important Dates

PILD Conference
April 14-17, 2019
Arlington, VA

Webinar: Cooking Under Pressure Train-the-Trainer
May 20, 2019

Nat'l Urban Extension Conference
May 20-23, 2019
Seattle, WA

NEAFCS 2019 Annual Session
Sept. 30 - Oct. 3, 2019
Hershey, PA

NEAFCS 2020 Annual Session
September 14-17, 2020
Snowbird Resort, UT


Download the 2019 NEAFCS Annual Session App today!

Home Baking Association - NEW Baking Food Safety Resources!

Click the image above to visit the Home Baking Association's Baking Food Safety 101 micro-site for great new resources for Extension and SNAP-Ed Educators!



President's Message - Celebrating Family and Consumer Sciences Volunteers
Karen Munden (VA), President 

When I ask people what is special about April, most people would say making sure our taxes are completed by April 15th; some may say Easter; and many of our Cooperative Extension colleagues would say it’s time for the Public Issues Leadership Development Conference (PILD) sponsored by the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP).  Well through some research, I learned that April is also National Volunteer Month and April 4-13 is National Volunteer Week.  As we think about all the work we do in our communities, many of us rely on the assistance of volunteers to help with the marketing of our programs, securing resources and funding, and helping to locate facilities to host programs.  We also rely on volunteers to assist with the administrative operations and delivery of our programs as well as sharing their expertise to enhance programming.  Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) volunteers are all individuals who contribute to the success of our programming without pay and are dedicated to helping build strong communities and families through the work of Family and Consumer Sciences.  Thus, some of us may even say we could not effectively conduct our FCS business without the support of volunteers.  So, as we celebrate our 85th Anniversary, let’s take time during this month to celebrate our unsung volunteer heroes.  Special recognition does not have to be elaborate. Say thank you with a Thank You card; a small token from your university, county or state; or even a certificate of dedicated service.  I encourage you to share how you celebrated your volunteers on NEAFCS’s Facebook page and use the #NationalVolunteerMonth.  Lastly, Thanks for all you do!

Please remember to look for the Hershey Kiss in this newsletter for your chance to be entered into the drawing for a FREE Annual Session Registration. Email me the location at [email protected] and please put Kiss in the subject line.  The first three people who email me, their names will go into the drawing. Good Luck!  Congratulations to March’s winners Rebecca Stackhouse, Cristin Sprenger, Donna Donald, Jay Christiansen, and Atina Rozhon. 

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Extension Leadership Conference - JCEP Reflections
Roxie Price (GA), President-Elect

The 2019 Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) Extension Leadership Conference (ELC) in San Antonio was a success! If you were unable to attend in February this year, I highly encourage you to plan for 2020. Twenty-six registration scholarships were offered to NEAFCS members to help offset the cost of the conference. Below are a few quotes taken from the recipients’ reflection paragraphs. All reflection paragraphs are available on the NEAFCS website (click here).

The opportunity to visit and share with co-workers from around the nation was a highlight of the conference.  I enjoyed the smaller size of the conference with all the educational opportunities that focused on gaining/growing leadership skills.  What a great conference.  I will be recommending it to co-workers and plan to attend again in the future.
--Shana Withee, Oregon

I received tips and strategies from the concurrent sessions that I could take back and implement in my county.  Several sessions on workplace culture, for example, offered new ideas for cultivating positive daily work environments.  It was also helpful to hear from NIFA and ECOP representatives to gain a system-wide perspective related to emerging issues, expanding collaboration for greater impact, and communicating with a unified voice to promote the value of Extension across all disciplines.
--Tracy Davis, North Carolina

After the fast-paced two-day conference, I left the San Antonio area with more confidence in my own abilities to lead my fellow association members and guide them in their own Extension careers. The future of the Extension system is bright!
--Melanie Thomas, Florida

The best part of the JCEP experience was getting to know my fellow peers and learning about what programs worked for them. The poster presentations were especially interesting. I enjoyed seeing new and familiar faces. The meetings with my fellow NEAFCS representatives was especially enlightening because I could see the goals that we, as a group, are trying to attain.
--Cydney Martin, New Mexico

I was able to develop professionally as a leader within my Association while growing personally as a member of my community as well. I left the Joint Council of Extension Professionals conference with a clear plan of how to implement what I learned in my own county.
--Brittany Martin, Texas

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Public Affairs Updates
Julie Garden-Robinson (ND), Vice President of Public Affairs & PILD Planning Team Member

The Public Affairs committees have been very busy, and I thank them for their work on behalf of the organization.

•    Our impact statement content editors were very timely in editing this year’s impact statements, so we could finish the editing/design process in time for release at the Public Issues Leadership Development conference. Thanks again to our editors: Julie Buck, Karen Ensle, Shauna Henley, Sonya McDaniel, Mary Liz Wright, Rebecca Stackhouse, Brittany Martin, Felice Acker, Daniel Remley, Julie Cascio, Lila Karki, and Glenda Hyde.

•    Due to a large number of impact submissions (which was great news!), this year we added two new categories: Disaster education and SnapEd/EFNEP efforts related to childhood obesity. We plan to create some infographics using the content from the impact statements. Be sure you are interacting with the NEAFCS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/NEAFCS/.

•    Be watching for the PILD reflections from our scholarship recipients in future newsletters.  We awarded 20 ($300) scholarships to help defray expenses, and we congratulate those members. President Karen Munden and I will be hosting a meeting with NEAFCS members and working on some “elevator speeches” based on our impacts. I look forward to meeting those of you who are attending PILD!

•    We just wrapped up Living Well Month promotions, so I hope you saw the Facebook graphics the national NEAFCS office created for us. For more ideas, check out the Living Well Home Page at neafcs.org.  If you tried something new and want to share it with other NEAFCS members, please email it to me for sharing on our website.

Thanks to everyone for your efforts in promoting the mission of NEAFCS! 

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What's Happening with Member Resources
Cindy Schlenker Davies (NM), Vice President for Member Resources

The Exhibit Committee has been busy making phone calls and sending emails to potential exhibitors at the Annual Session in Hershey.  If any of you have thoughts or good leads for potential exhibitors, we would love to hear about them.  The more exhibitors the more exciting our exhibit hall is! Remember there is a finder’s fee if you bring in a new exhibitor.

Our First Timers event is going to be fun and informative.  If you are going to be attending the Annual Session in Hershey for the first time please plan on attending this event, it is just for you! This year,  the event will be a lunch on Monday, September 30th from 11:45 AM to 1:15 PM, just before the Opening Session.

If you are a lifetime member planning to attend the Annual Session, we are looking forward to seeing you at the event for our cherished life members.

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Member Surveys Guide YOUR Professional Development
Jayne McBurney (NC), Vice President for Professional Development

Based on member surveys, one of the main reasons NEAFCS members attend our Annual Meeting is to gain ideas and resources for programs that can be replicated in their state or county.    If you are looking for interesting and successful programs, our 2019 Annual Session in Hershey, PA will not disappoint!

This year we received 141 proposals (95 concurrent session proposals and 46 Showcase of Excellence proposals) for presentation. The acceptance rate of these proposals was 49.5% for the concurrent sessions and 58.7% for the Showcase of Excellence proposals. Those who have submitted proposals should have received notification of the results during the first week of April.  

Another result of member feedback is that we have changed the time of the Ignite and World Café Sessions to provide valuable Professional Development throughout the conference.  You can find the Annual Session Agenda Overview on the website with other Annual Session information to help you plan for attendance.

The Professional Development Committee has worked many long hours to coordinate review, schedule sessions, and communicate with all who have submitted proposals. Thank you to our Co-Chairs, Marcia Parcell, Indiana and Candace Heer, Ohio for their service to NEAFCS!

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Southern Region Update
Dianne Gertson (TX), Southern Region Director

Kentucky – submitted by Amanda Dame

•    Our affiliate has focused on marketing FCS Extension, which resulted in more awareness of the FCS Extension and opens new opportunities for partnerships with other colleges within the University of Kentucky, Furthermore, our public affairs officer has promoted sharing our story on a National level with reports and success stories from Kentucky. This year our association increased membership that had declined over the past two years.

•    UK Extension is facing an issue with funding on the State level with the University of Kentucky due to new leadership. Although we have made progress in marketing FCS Extension we want to continue to educate on a local and state level what FCS Extension is and the services we provide.

Texas – submitted by Felice Acker

•    2019 will be a legislative year for Texas, we are optimistic but always cautious when it comes to funding for extension.  We are hopeful that extension will be fully funded for another two years and with two main initiatives being funded.  One of them being the Healthy Texas Initiative which would impact Family and Consumer Sciences programming in our state.  

•    We currently also have an interim director who will lead us into the legislative session, in 2019 we should have a new director at some time in the year. 

•    We also have multiple vacancies in the area of FCS which still poses a challenge to hire people with a degree that fits into our field.

Alabama – submitted by Heidi Tilenius

•    In FY18, all 29 SNAP-Ed educators in Alabama achieved national certification through the National Nutrition Certification Program (NNCP). The NNCP is a nationally recognized online certification program for nutrition educators available through Utah State University SNAP-Ed. By working through 13 modules on topics such as basic nutrition across the lifespan, nutrient metabolism, menu planning, food safety and the art of teaching, Alabama Extension SNAP-Ed educators enhanced their knowledge and skills related to teaching and applying evidence-based nutrition concepts that can improve the lives of Alabamians. Submitted by - Katie Funderburk, Nutrition and Evaluation Coordinator, ACES

•    We have leadership under Dr. Jennifer Wells-Marshall, who has streamlined program offerings and is having agents certified in programs such as the Diabetes Education Empowerment Program and a Homebuyer Basics program offered through HUD. This has brought new energy into the HSE program area and given the agents focused direction.

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Updates from the Journal of NEAFCS
Dana Wright (WV), Journal of NEAFCS, Co-Editor

The editorial committee has been working diligently to prepare for the production of the 2019 Journal of NEAFCS. To improve member’s experience, we have added some features that we think will improve authors experience with the journal. One particular feature that is new this year is that all articles will be submitted for consideration through an online process. We look forward to learning about the innovative and useful knowledge that you have discovered through your work. If you have been procrastinating about submitting an article, there is still time to submit your article this year for consideration to be published!  Details on how to submit an article can be found in the Journal of NEAFCS link under Member Resources. The deadline for article submissions is Monday, April 15, 2019.

During the planning session at Annual Conference last year, a matriarch member of the editorial committee expressed the desire for the committee to restart the mentorship program. The goal of the program is to provide newer, inexperienced members with knowledge and guidance throughout the authorship process. For more information on this opportunity, or to sign up to be a mentor, contact Dana Wright at [email protected].

The editorial committee aims to provide Family Consumer Science professionals with valuable, cutting edge information that allows them to provide a superior level of service within local communities. Without your contributions, our goal could not be achieved, and I personally thank you. 

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85th Anniversary - Oh, the Places We've Been!

Carol Chandler (OH), 85th Anniversary Celebration Committee

NEAFCS Annual Session not only provides opportunities for professional development, awards and networking, but it also gives members an opportunity to travel to a variety of destinations across the country. Let’s take a look back at 85 years of Annual Sessions and the places we’ve been.

The first Annual Session of the National Home Demonstration Agents Association took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1933 at the Schroeder Hotel under the leadership of Anna Searl from Illinois. We returned to Milwaukee for another Annual Session in 1970.

From that first meeting in Wisconsin, we traveled to New York City in 1934 and Chicago in 1935. Our Annual Session has revisited the state of New York three times but in three different cities – New York City, Buffalo, and Liberty. The most frequently visited location has been Chicago, Illinois. Eighteen Annual Sessions have taken place in Chicago, with the most recent being in 1990. In 85 years, Annual Session has journeyed to 38 states and the District of Columbia. Looking at where we have been from another perspective, the presidents of our organization have come from 33 different states.

The 1945 Annual Session was the first that included a meeting theme. Today’s Vision – Tomorrow’s Action set the tone for that meeting and there has been a theme at each Annual Session since. To see an overview of past Annual Sessions, the president that presided at each, and our meeting themes, go to About NEAFCS at the top of the webpage. Click on Historical Archives in the drop down box, then scroll down and click on Past Presidents Directory.

It is exciting to think about the locations of future Annual Sessions! Will you be part of helping NEAFCS continue to create memories as we reflect on the places we’ve been and anticipate the places we’ll go?


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Diverse Annual Session Pre-Conferences Offer Lifelong Learning for the Ages
Denyse Variano (NY) and Theresa Mayhew (NY); Annual Session Planning Committee

As NEAFCS Professionals working with increasingly diverse audiences, we are excited to offer three, three-hour-long pre-conferences in Hershey that are sure to expand your program repertoire, while also providing the newest research and curricula to assist you in your everyday work. 

Intergenerational Adventures – Enriching the Work of the Family and Consumer Sciences is an engaging exploratory of practical and effective programming designed to enrich the lives of individuals across the life span, strengthen family support systems, and contribute to cohesive, caring communities. Dr. Matt Kaplan, Professor and Extension Specialist for Intergenerational Programs and Aging at The Pennsylvania State University, will be joined by four Extension co-presenters to provide an introduction to intergenerational work in Extension with an emphasis on FCS oriented programs; the needs of the increasing kinship family population, highlighting replicable program strategies and curriculum (PASTA - Parenting the Second Time Around); a program designed to enhance family communication about food and improve family eating habits through teamwork (FRIDGE - Food Related Intergenerational Discussion Group Experiences), and a program bringing youth and elders together to share wisdom and dissolve age-related stereotypes (BCLT - Building a Community Legacy Together).  

Financial Action Steps and Milestones for Different Ages and Stages of Life continues across the life span theme. Generations vary in key ways based on their formative experiences. FCS educators teach clientele at different ages and stages of the financial life cycle and represent various generational cohorts themselves. This workshop will describe three financial life stages (wealth protection, wealth accumulation, and wealth distribution), and address generational touchstones and differences in money management practices by generation. It will also include recommended financial action steps and milestones for those at different stages of life, and useful financial resources. Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management and Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University, will guide participants as they take part in ten interactive, hands-on learning activities that will benefit them both personally and in their work with clients with the knowledge and resources they will gain. 

Lastly, The Potential Health Benefits of Cocoa and Chocolate:  What Does the Research Say? will look at how cocoa and chocolate are produced, the important phytochemicals and nutrients in both, and a summary of studies to date on the potential mitigation of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, and type II diabetes. An emphasis will be placed on balancing the potential health benefits of cocoa and chocolate with the added calories from fat and sugar that chocolate brings to the diet. This session will be led by Joshua D. Lambert, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Penn State University. He holds an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Penn State and a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Arizona. He will be joined by members of the Hotel Hershey Pastry Team whom will feature two desserts that will be discussed, finished and plated into serving portions. Their Sweets Demo will revolve around chocolate at different levels from the sweet to bittersweet.

So, start thinking about which one of these engaging and educational pre-conferences you’ll want to sign up for now and you’ll be that much ahead of the game when registration opens later this spring! 

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Meet the Executive Board: Eastern Region Director
Sharon McDonald (PA)

I am so excited that the NEAFCS Annual Session is being held in my home state of Pennsylvania during my tenure as Eastern Region Director!

I have been with Penn State Extension for 19 years, starting as a Nutrition, Health and Food Safety Educator based in Blair County but covering about six counties. My programs focused on diabetes, osteoporosis prevention, healthy eating, retail and consumer food safety which included home food preservation and a stint as an EFNEP Supervisor. About 3 years ago, I took a position based on campus as a Senior Extension Educator/Food Safety Specialist, still providing educational programs on food safety and home food preservation as well as serving as program team leader for our Food Safety & Quality team.

I am also a registered dietitian and before my life with Extension, I worked in the healthcare setting, hospitals, and nursing homes, in various positions from a clinical dietitian, community educator to director of nutrition services.

My BS degree is in nutrition from Penn State and I obtained my MEd from Penn State in education during my tenure with Extension. I will never forget when I asked my elementary school age daughters at the time if they would be willing to “help out a little more around the house since Mommy would have to study” my youngest daughter very firmly replied “no!”

My husband and I have two grown daughters, one son-in-law, one grandson who will soon be one year old and Charlie, our 12- year Labrador retriever who runs the show. In my spare time, I like to garden, read and am trying to learn how to crochet.

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