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Central Oregon OSU Extension faculty earn national recognition

Katie Ahern and Glenda Hyde of OSU Extension Service
OSU Extension Service
Katie Ahern and Glenda Hyde of OSU Extension Service

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Local faculty produced and contributed to outstanding projects that were recognized at the highest professional level. Out of 632 awards applications from 38 states, Oregon State University Extension faculty and team members took home three national first-place awards and several top recognitions from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, is the professional organization for Family and Community Health faculty.

Katie Ahern, Senior Instructor from OSU Extension serving Crook and Deschutes counties and her team were honored recently at the NEAFCS 87th annual session, “Great Depths, Greater Impact." She led a team of 12 nutrition and wellness educators that received the First Place National and First Place Western Region NEAFCS School Wellness Award at the virtual conference held Nov. 2-5.

In receiving the award, Ahern, of Bend, and her statewide team were recognized for the BE Physically Active 2Day (BEPA 2.0) program that aids in reducing youth obesity rates by providing activities and portable equipment for classroom brain breaks, and before or after school activities.

The NEAFCS School Wellness Award recognizes outstanding school-based programs to promote and improve physical, emotional, and/or social wellness of students, staff or families of students in the school community. The use of partnerships or collaborations, evidence of program impact and sustainability are part of the evaluation criteria. Programs may include nutrition, fitness, garden-based nutrition education, health, character education, self-esteem, farm-to-school and more.

Glenda Hyde, Associate Professor of Practice from OSU Extension serving Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson and Wheeler counties led a team of faculty and specialists representing Family Community Health, Oregon Sea Grant and 4-H and Extension Communications experts that received the First Place National and First Place Western Region NEAFCS Disaster Education Award at the virtual conference.

In receiving the award, Hyde, of Sisters, and her team were recognized for securing a National Institute of Food and Agriculture Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grant to help Oregonians become aware and prepared for the Cascadia earthquake and resulting tsunami through an online learning system.

The project, Preparing for the Cascadia Subduction Zone Event with free learning modules, interactive virtual reality sessions and supporting materials in English and Spanish can be found at The NEAFCS Disaster Education Award was established in 2019 to recognize outstanding Extension Family and Consumer Sciences programs. The Extension programs demonstrate effective performance and significant results.

Additionally, Hyde was honored with the NEAFCS Continued Excellence Award. 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.

Ahern and Hyde are also members of the team that received the Second Place National and First Place Western Region NEAFCS Marketing Package Award. In receiving the award, the team led by Lauren Kraemer, Associate Professor of Practice serving Hood River and Wasco counties was recognized for launching a media campaign promoting High Speed Hand Washing, which targeted parents and caregivers of young children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources promoted include posters, a training video and lesson tips. They can be viewed or downloaded, free at

The NEAFCS Marketing Package Award recognizes NEAFCS members for outstanding marketing efforts addressing concerns and needs of children, families or communities. It is presented for the development of an outstanding marketing package promoting a class, program or pertinent Family and Consumer Sciences issues.

Dr. Julie Garden-Robinson, Professor and Extension Specialist at North Dakota State University and NEAFCS Vice President for Awards, stated, “The commitment of these honorees to meet the needs of individuals, families and communities is exemplary.”

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