Texas A&M AgriLife

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Superior Service Award

The Superior Service Awards recognize Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service faculty and staff
members who provide outstanding performance in Extension education or other outstanding service
to the organization and to Texans.


Michelle Allen (2)

Ms. Michelle Allen

Ms. Michelle Allen, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Austin County

An Extension professional in Austin County for 22 years, Ms. Allen has been an FCS agent for the past 10 years. A strong advocate for health, wellness, and disease prevention and management, she helps people make lifestyle changes that lead to better health. For the past five years, she and her advisory board have coordinated the Walk Across Texas program in Bellville ISD. In 2014, 942 students and their families logged 65,856 miles, increasing their activity by 49.3%. In 2013, Ms. Allen received BISD’s Partners in Education Award. She used the Friend to Friend program to increase the number of women receiving the American Cancer Society’s recommended screenings for breast and cervical cancer. She also trained health care professionals to help her implement the Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes program in Austin County and started a worksite wellness program for county employees.


Ms. Rachel Bauer

Ms. Rachel Bauer, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bastrop County

An Extension educator who has gone beyond the call of duty for 21 years in Comal, Hays, Caldwell, and Bastrop Counties, Ms. Bauer has helped county residents through three major disasters over the past seven years: devastating cattle and agricultural losses during the severe drought of 2008–2009; the Bastrop County Complex Fire, the state’s costliest and most destructive in its history, in 2011; and one of the state’s largest vesicular stomatitis outbreaks in horses and cattle in 2014. In addition to interpreting research findings and coordinating relief efforts, she has continued to deliver exceptional programming in beef production, soil and hay testing, feral hog management, horticulture, water issues, Master Naturalist training, 4-H livestock and leadership projects, and “ag in the classroom” education that has reached almost 2,000 public school students in the past five years.

Lonnie Jenschke (2)

Mr. Lonnie Jenschke

Mr. Lonnie Jenschke, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, formerly Childress County

A dedicated Extension educator and leader for the past 17 years, Mr. Jenschke also served in Brown and Motley Counties. Over the past 10 years in Childress County he conducted successful programs in 4-H, cotton and other field crops, youth development, and volunteer management. He holds several certifications, including 4-H shotgun instructor, artificial insemination technician, and noncommercial pesticide applicator. Agriculture is a major source of income in the county, and yet the number of family farms has been declining. In response, Mr. Jenschke helped put together school programs to teach elementary students about the dairy industry, cotton and wheat production, beef cattle, water, wildlife, and agricultural products. He has also worked with the Youth Board to help educate high school students on issues such as leadership, social media, teen health, and texting and driving.

Terrie Looney

Ms. Terrie Looney

Ms. Terrie Looney, CEA–Coastal and Marine Resources, Jefferson and Chambers Counties

Ms. Looney holds a dual appointment with AgriLife Extension and the Texas Sea Grant College Program, and she serves with distinction in one urban (Jefferson) and one rural (Chambers) county. She maintains two offices with the corresponding budgets, support staff and reporting requirements, which are adapted to either urban areas with complex county procedures or to rural areas with very informal procedures. In her role as an Extension agent, Ms. Looney participates in joint efforts on programs including 4-H Youth Development, Better Living for Texans, and Emergency Management. On the Sea Grant side, she carries out the agency’s mission to improve the understanding, wise use, and stewardship of Texas’s coastal and marine resources. Over the past five years, she has delivered over 770 high-quality educational sessions to serve approximately 20,000 people.

Shea Nebgen

Ms. Shea Nebgen

Ms. Shea Nebgen, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Gillespie County

Ms. Nebgen maintains strong county programs in food safety, health and wellness, child safety, and childcare education. For example, she began the Food Protection Management program in 2002. Within the past five years she has added a food handler’s program to help retail food employees obtain certification. Hundreds of food handlers have been taught and passed the course. She has also conducted health education programs such as Walk Across Texas, Balance Food and Play, and “Witness the Fitness” education in schools. In addition, Ms. Nebgen assists parents with child safety seat education as a certified National Child Passenger Safety Technician. She has actively participated in and served as a leader on many Extension committees; she was the second vice president of the Texas Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences in 2011–2012.

Rebel Royall (2)

Mr. Rebel Royall

Mr. Rebel Royall, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Glasscock County

Mr. Royall has a 21-year record of exemplary programs with clear, measurable results. His work has helped communities benefit economically and improve their quality of life. For example, he worked with other AgriLife Extension agents to implement an array of programs for the cotton industry in West Texas. The vast majority of producers there now follow Extension recommendations to select cotton varieties, determine fertilizer rates, use pesticides appropriately, and use crop rotation. In 2013, the estimated economic benefit for these growers was an additional $15.40 per acre. He has also helped improve rangeland management and livestock production in Glasscock County. Each participating ranch operation is estimated to reap a benefit of nearly $45,000. In addition, he has significantly advanced agricultural literacy through his numerous youth programming efforts.



Jim Kamas

Mr. Jim Kamas

Mr. Jim Kamas, Assistant Professor and Extension Horticulture Specialist

Mr. Kamas’s perseverance to help save vineyards from Pierce’s disease (PD) is said to have changed the face of the Texas grape industry. He began researching the disease in 2007 as outreach coordinator for the Texas Pierce’s Disease Research and Education Program. He won more than $1.2 million in grants to work on control strategies, including disease-resistant varieties and rootstocks. His studies allowed him to co-write and edit the Pierce’s Disease Overview and Management Guide, the definitive word on managing PD for growers east of the Rockies. In late 2014, his book Growing Grapes in Texas was published by the Texas A&M University Press. Dr. Kamas has given 90+ educational seminars and is co-author of the newsletter PD Notes. In 2010, he was appointed coordinator of AgriLife Extension’s Viticulture and Fruit Lab in Fredericksburg. He also wrote the Texas Peach Handbook.

Toby Lepley

Dr. Toby Lepley

Dr. Toby Lepley, Associate Professor and Extension 4-H Youth Development Specialist

Dr. Lepley’s passionate dedication to helping young people be their best and his innovative approach to programs have made him a popular 4-H leader both in Texas and at the national level. Since One Day 4-H began in 2009, he has led this statewide day of community service that has reached 2 million citizens and involved more than 57,000 youth and adults. He currently coordinates new initiatives to help with workforce and career development for youth, plays a large role in the Texas 4-H Congress, leads the Photography Project, and coordinates 4-H Day at the Capitol. He has led the 4-H Scholarship Program for the past 10 years, initiated the Technology Team in 2004, led adoption of 4-H Connect, and is technical advisor for the National 4-H Congress Design Team, handling all social media. He also coordinates the Texas 4-H Volunteer Conference and its recognition program, Salute to Excellence.



Bev Kellner

Ms. Bev Kellner

Ms. Bev Kellner, Program Specialist–Passenger Safety Program Manager, Family Development and Resource Management

Ms. Kellner has been employed by AgriLife Extension since 1996 and has been in her current position since 2004. Her grant support from the Texas Department of Transportation and State Farm exceeds $5 million. She oversees 12 safety team members for the four grants she currently manages. These grants include a project to increase seat belt use, child passenger restraint use, and safe driving practices. In addition, she develops educational resources, events, and programs for Extension agents, safety instructors and officials, childcare providers, parents, and the public. Her efforts have been recognized through several awards, including the National Child Passenger Safety Instructor of the Year Award in 2013. Her grant acquisition and program development skills have upheld AgriLife Extension as a reliable and effective provider of safety education across Texas.



Rick Peterson

Dr. Rick Peterson

Dr. Rick Peterson, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist–Parenting, Family Development and Resource Management

Dr. Peterson has established new directions in innovative programming for children and adults with disabilities and special needs. More than 11% of Texans are living with a disability; those with a disability represent the nation’s fastest-growing marginalized group and at-risk population. Dr. Peterson has assembled a team of skilled professionals to provide education and programs for diverse audiences that include special needs children, at-risk parents, foster/kinship parents, and veterans and agricultural producers with disabilities. He and his team help provide these audiences with opportunities to access education, resources, and networks to improve their lives. Dr. Peterson has acquired over $4.76 million to support this work. His efforts have addressed the needs of Texans and have expanded the agency’s understanding of diversity.



Roy Walston

Mr. Roy Walston

Mr. Roy Walston, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kerr County

A CEA in Kerr County since 2003, Mr. Walston has worked extensively with volunteers in the Hill Country Master Gardener and Kerr County 4-H programs, spending countless hours and traveling many miles, long after his official workday was over. He works with Master Gardeners from six counties, planning activities that teach thousands about gardening and have provided over $12,000 in college scholarships to horticulture students since 2012. He helped build a new greenhouse, worked on a rain barrel project, and planned a demonstration garden. He helps with Kerr County 4-H’s Wild Game Dinner and is a leader for the Shooting Sports program. He helped secure funding for the Youth Livestock Project Center in Kerr County and has helped train 150 youth since 2010 in 4-H wool, mohair, and other judging contests. In 2013, the county wool judging team won its tenth national title.



Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)–Harris County

The Harris County EFNEP unit delivers effective nutrition education to limited-resource families and youth while fostering behavior change related to diet, food safety, food resource management, and physical activity. In 2013, the unit enrolled nearly 4,000 diverse, limited-resource families in nutrition education classes. The vast majority of participants reported positive changes in diet, improved food management practices (such as planning meals in advance), better nutrition practices (such as using food labels to make food choices), and improved food safety practices upon completion of the program. The program also provided fun nutrition lessons to limited-resource youth as part of after-school activities and summer programs. Most students improved their ability to choose healthy foods and to prepare simple, nutritious, affordable food.



Beef Production Boot Camp for Retailers, Department of Animal Science

  • Dr. Jason Cleere, Associate Professor and Extension Beef Cattle Specialist
  • Dr. Ron Gill, Professor, Extension Livestock Specialist, and Associate Department Head
  • Dr. Davey Griffin, Professor and Extension Meats Specialist
  • Dr. Dan Hale, Professor and Extension Meats Specialist
  • Dr. Rick Machen, Professor and Extension Livestock Specialist

Additional team members

  • Mr. Charlie Bradbury, Nolan Ryan Beef
  • Mr. Russell Woodward, Texas Beef Council

This team established two-day camps beginning in 2011 to teach Kroger Company meat market managers about pre- and postharvest beef production so they can in turn educate their customers and increase sales. They learned about how beef is raised, “from farm to fork”; production and harvesting, with live demonstrations of animal health practices and low-stress cattle handling; carcass grading, with hands-on experience; and the different types of beef, such as grass fed, grain fed, grass finished, natural, and organic. The camps conclude with a blind taste test using Kroger beef products supplied by team member Nolan Ryan Beef. To date, 11 boot camps have trained 307 managers; 98% said they would feel comfortable talking to customers about beef production, products, and safety. Following this model, trainings are being developed for other meats and an additional grocery company.

Community Transformation: Working on Wellness (WOW) in Starr County

  • Dr. Jenna Anding, Professor, Extension Nutrition Specialist and Associate Head, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences
  • Mr. Vit Kaspar, Extension Assistant, Starr County
  • Ms. Alice Kirk, Extension Program Specialist–Child Health, Family Development and Resource Management
  • Mr. Michael Lopez, Extension Health Program Specialist, Family Development and Resource Management
  • Mr. Omar Montemayor, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Starr County
  • Ms. Yolanda Morado, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Starr County
  • Dr. Carol A. Rice, Regents Fellow, Professor and Extension Health Specialist, and Program Leader, Family Development and Resource Management
  • Dr. Jamie Rae Walker, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences

Additional team member

  • Dr. Catherine Cubbin, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin

Starr County, in the South Texas Rio Grande Valley, is one of the poorest counties in Texas. Almost 40% of residents live in poverty and lack health insurance. Two-thirds of adults and 15% of preschoolers are overweight; more than 20% of residents have type 2 diabetes. These data call for a way to improve the health outlook for the county’s residents. The interdisciplinary Working on Wellness team collected data to show that most of the county was a food desert with little access to recreational facilities. With the help of dedicated community members, the project has created 14 school/community gardens, improved or created seven recreational facilities, established two greenhouses, organized a mobile farmer’s market, and rallied community support. An assessment has shown that the county has undergone positive and sustainable environmental changes.

District 8 Holiday Classic

  • Mr. Mark Arnold, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ellis County
  • Mr. Mike Berry, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Comanche County
  • Mr. Ryan Collett, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hill County
  • Ms. Emily Cooper, CEA–4-H Youth Development, Erath County
  • Mr. Zach T. Davis, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Johnson County
  • Ms. Chelsea Dorward, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, formerly Hamilton County
  • Ms. Kristen Greer, CEA–4-H Youth Development, Johnson County
  • Mr. David Groschke, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Limestone County
  • Mr. Micah Holcombe, CEA–4-H Youth Development, Bell County
  • Ms. Laura Huebinger, 4-H Program Specialist
  • Dr. Donald Kelm, District Extension Administrator
  • Dr. Shane McLellan, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, McLennan County
  • Ms. Amber Moore, Program Assistant, Robertson County
  • Ms. Sheryl Raley, CEA–4-H Youth Development, Hill County
  • Mr. Edward Schneider, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Robertson County
  • Mr. Pasquale Swaner, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Coryell County
  • Mr. Marty Vahlenkamp, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hood County
  • Mr. Ron Woolley, Regional Program Leader
  • Mr. Lyle Zoeller, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bell County

Additional team member

  • Ms. Cathy Wood, Treasurer

The Holiday Classic began in Hearne in 1991 as a hands-on educational event for youth, families, and volunteers involved in 4-H and FFA livestock projects. In 2007 it was offered throughout District 8 in place of the 4-H Progress Show. Now held in Belton, it is a two-day program in a show setting that teaches young exhibitors and their families about the economics, health and nutrition, showmanship, character, and ethics of raising their beef cattle, lambs, swine, and meat goats. The program is unique because it is completely free to the families, with all expenses paid by local sponsors. Total attendance in 2013 was 2,477, with 800 youth attending the sessions. The Holiday Classic has been called one of the most educationally impactful programs in Extension’s history. It offers the best youth livestock educational clinic available in the world and sets the bar for all such programs.

Mini-Pride Foster Parent Education Program

  • Ms. Tanica Bell, Administrative Assistant, Tarrant County
  • Ms. Carrie Brazeal, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Collin County
  • Dr. Margaret Jover, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Denton County
  • Ms. Angel Neu, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Cooke County
  • Mr. Jeff Owens, Maintenance Worker, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas
  • Dr. Rick Peterson, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist–Parenting, Family Development and Resource Management
  • Ms. Marian Ross, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Tarrant County
  • Ms. Joyce White, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Grayson County
  • Ms. Patti Wunneburger, Administrative Assistant, Family Development and Resource Management

The Mini-Pride Parent Education Project Team has helped the Texas Department of Family Protective Services serve a growing population of children placed in court-ordered protective custody of relatives, and it has fulfilled an urgent need for qualified staff to teach parenting education classes. The Mini-Pride program teaches foster families the importance of protecting and nurturing children, meeting children’s developmental needs, addressing their developmental delays, and supporting relationships between children and their families. Having reached a diverse audience that had not been exposed to Extension programs, the team members work hard to show respect for each participant’s unique situation and beliefs. The program has educated 908 caregivers and has affected more than 1,700 children since its inception in 2010.

Texas GROW! EAT! GO! (TGEG) County Implementation Team

  • Ms. Norma Davila, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Nueces County
  • Ms. Sonja Davis, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Harris County
  • Ms. Gloria Fernandez-VanZante, Extension Associate–EFNEP, Nueces County
  • Ms. Meredith Henry, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Walker County
  • Ms. Rusty Hohlt, Extension Program Specialist (formerly Nueces County)
  • Mr. Reggie Lepley, CEA–Agriculture and Natural Resources, Walker County
  • Ms. Audry Lucia, Nutrition Education Associate, Nueces County
  • Ms. Tamra McGaughy, CEA–4-H Youth Development, Dallas County
  • Ms. Lexie McGrane, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Dallas County
  • Ms. Tonya McKenzie, EA–EFNEP, Harris County
  • Ms. Ashley Moore, CEP EA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Harris County
  • Ms. Sheryl Nolen, CEA–Urban Youth Development, Harris County
  • Dr. Jeff Raska, TGEG Project Specialist, Dallas County
  • Ms. Stephanie Salinas, CEP EA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Nueces County
  • Ms. Kristy Titzman, CEA–4-H Youth Development, Walker County
  • Ms. Elizabeth Trejo, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Harris County
  • Ms. Gail Warren, TGEG Project Specialist, Walker County

Additional team members

  • Ms. Laurie Combe, RN, Klein ISD Health Services Coordinator
  • Ms. Jennifer DeHoog, Dallas ISD Nutrition Specialist
  • Ms. Margaret Lopez, Dallas ISD Director of Nutrition
  • Ms. Marjetta Spriggs, Huntsville ISD Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction
  • Mr. Richard Torres, Corpus Christi ISD Health and Physical Education Specialist

This four-county team of Extension and school district health experts came together to help prevent childhood obesity. By implementing Junior Master Gardeners and Walk Across Texas, the team helped start school gardens and nutrition and fitness programs, beginning in 2012. They recruited 80 classes of third-graders in 16 Title 1 schools, working with 82 teachers. They also engaged Extension and other volunteers to help build and plant gardens and conduct vegetable tasting and recipe demonstrations. And they reached out to families through many other health-promoting Extension programs, like Dinner Tonight and Fuel Up to Play 60. As a result, students began to prefer water over sodas and juices, wanted to eat healthy vegetable snacks, and increased their daily exercise. The communities benefited as families gardened and exercised together and meal practices became healthier.

Texas School Integrated Pest Management Program

  • Dr. Blake Bennett, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist–Management
  • Ms. Wizzie Brown, Extension Program Specialist, Travis County
  • Ms. Janet A. Hurley, Extension Program Specialist, Entomology
  • Ms. Molly Keck, Extension Program Specialist, Entomology
  • Dr. Michael Merchant, Professor and Extension Urban Entomologist
  • Dr. Paul R. Nester, Extension Program Specialist, Entomology
  • Dr. Don Renchie, Associate Professor and Extension Program Leader, Agricultural and Environmental Safety

Additional team members

  • Ms. Alva “AJ” Clinton, Springtown ISD Maintenance Director and School IPM Coordinator
  • Mr. Paul Duerre, Killeen ISD Environmental Specialist and School IPM Coordinator
  • Mr. Tom Ohm, Frisco ISD IPM Coordinator

To protect children’s health, Texas requires that integrated pest management (IPM) techniques be used to combat pests in and around school buildings. The state also mandates that each school designate an IPM coordinator who must attend training courses on IPM principles and state regulations. The Texas School Integrated Pest Management Program conducts this required training and more. Since 2001, the team has provided training or direct assistance to over 600 school districts and nearly a thousand school employees. In addition, the team hosts a website, publishes a monthly newsletter, and creates other materials to educate schools about pest management. The website receives over 13,000 unique visitors each year, and the newsletter reaches 1,560 email subscribers each month. The team has acquired $1.3 million in competitive grants to fund its programs.




Mr. Marvin Ensor

Mr. Marvin Ensor, Regional Program Leader–Agriculture and Natural Resources/4-H Youth Development, West Region

Praised as one of the most influential and visionary leaders in AgriLife Extension, Mr. Ensor has been in his current role for 11 years. He thinks creatively, establishes win-win partnerships, and keeps Extension’s mission relevant to everyday people. Over the past five years, his innovations have enhanced programs in livestock production, wildlife management, and cropping systems. His planning is evident in the annual Professional Development Catalog, offering both face-to-face and distance trainings for CEAs. He was the first regional program director to initiate development of regional evaluation instruments, and he designed a website to host result demonstrations and applied research reports for agents. He helped develop the 4-H Livestock Mentor Training Model now used statewide to train volunteers, and he led development of the statewide 4-H Livestock 101 course for new agents.



Alicia Bradley

Ms. Alicia Bradley

Ms. Alicia Bradley, Nutrition Education Associate, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, Harris County

For the past 27 years, Ms. Bradley has provided nutrition education classes throughout Harris County communities, using her bilingual ability to address diverse audiences. She enrolled over 1,000 families in EFNEP in 2011–13 and succeeded in increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and dairy foods among class participants. She has implemented a number of programs by helping recruit for 4-H groups, working with food pantries, volunteering for food distribution, organizing health screenings, translating materials into Spanish, and training and mentoring her fellow EFNEP staff members. She developed a recipe book for elementary students’ families and designed a series of food safety flyers as a resource guide for her classes. Described as energetic and vivacious, she often gets class participants up to dance and stretch as she stresses the importance of exercise.

Ms. Susan Caraway, Texas 4-H Youth Development Secretary, Harris County

Harris County’s 4-H secretary for 17 years, Ms. Caraway supports about 18 County Extension Agents, 4-H’ers and their families, and agricultural science teachers. She makes phone calls; drafts letters and emails; and designs fliers, the quarterly newsletter, and annual reports. She also helps with the planning, marketing, implementation, evaluation, and interpretation of Extension educational programs. She is known throughout the county as the point of contact for “all things 4-H,” including 4-H Connect, charters, volunteer screenings, and member enrollment. She also manages registration for county, district, and state 4-H contests and projects, keeps track of tag orders for 4-H agents and ag science teachers, and is the point of contact for the Harris County Fair Board and Kids Expo to make sure all paperwork and requirements are met. Her patience and availability are legendary in the county.

Janet Case

Ms. Janet Case

Ms. Janet Case, District Office Manager, District 3

An employee of AgriLife Extension for 17 years, Ms. Case took on her present role in 2009. She leads a highly effective district office staff team. She has been an innovative, productive, and reliable staff leader. She quickly decided to create and maintain a website that has greatly assisted county Extension agents and county offices. Agents can now quickly submit required reports, review upcoming events and due dates, and obtain forms. Ms. Case has also created training to help Extension agents and staff manage effective county web pages, and she conducts online training sessions on office management for county staff. She has created a comprehensive digital orientation packet for new agents, which helps them to feel welcome and to excel in their jobs. Above all, she strives to help others succeed in their work.

Sue Ferguson (2)

Ms. Sue Ferguson

Ms. Sue Ferguson, Assistant to the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program Director

Ms. Ferguson has served the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program Office for more than 30 years. As the 4-H Youth Development Program has grown and evolved, she has remained a constant, steady presence in the organization. In addition to her duties as assistant to the state leader for the Texas 4-H Program, she currently serves as the unit budget coordinator, the office building coordinator, and the unit’s only full-time office assistant. Since 2011, she has been helping oversee the process for chartering more than 2,400 4-H clubs in Texas. She has reviewed extensive documentation from all the clubs, making it possible for each club to attain non-profit status. She has also trained all other staff members on how to review club charters. Her work ethic, commitment to 4-H, and passion for the youth of Texas shines through in everything she does.



Nancy Granovski

Ms. Nancy Granovsky

Ms. Nancy Granovsky, Regents Fellow, Professor and Family Economics Specialist–Family Development and Resource Management

For over 36 years, Ms. Granovsky has helped people learn about personal and family economic security. She has brought national and global recognition to AgriLife Extension throughout her career. An Extension educator and Certified Financial Planner, she is a prolific speaker and produces educational curricula for diverse audiences, including young couples, home-based business owners, military families, and students. Most recently she directed Wi$eUp, a project that improves the financial savvy of Generation X and Y women. An early adopter of computers, she developed the Family Spending Planner software. She was a think-tank member for the Kellogg/AgriLife Extension project Una Vida Mejor (For a Better Life) and served on the national Financial Security in Later Life team. Her international work includes helping women and families develop small farms and businesses. She has been on the Texas A&M System Employee Benefits Advisory Committee since 1993.

Connie Sheppard

Dr. Connie Sheppard

Dr. Connie Sheppard, CEA–Family and Consumer Sciences, Bexar County

Dr. Sheppard has been with AgriLife Extension for more than 30 years and has been in her current role since 2003. She has developed and supported community coalitions and task forces on issues ranging from child abuse prevention to health, literacy, food safety, nutrition, and academic success. To give just one example, she has been the primary Extension contact behind the preschool-through-college Learn and Share Program. The program works to increase parents’ involvement in children’s education and addresses the child-parent-schoolcommunity progression. Dr. Sheppard has also been a Better Living for Texans coordinator and supervisor since 2004. She holds numerous professional certifications as well as a doctorate in Educational Human Resource Development and a master’s degree in Adult and Extension Education from Texas A&M University.

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