Extension Agent Hicks receives top national award

From Staff Reports

Nov 2, 2007 - Hopkins County Extension Agent Johanna Hicks has once again earned national honors for her service with Texas Cooperative Extension Service, this time receiving the highest award given at a national convention.

Staff Photo by Angela PItts

Johanna Hicks (right), Hopkins County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences, receives the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences’ Distinguished Service Award from member of the professional development committee of NEAFCS during the national convention held recently in Minnesota.

Hicks was presented the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences’ Distinguished Service Award during the 72nd Annual Session of NEAFCS in St. Paul, Minn.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes Extension educators for their leadership, education program efforts and professional development.

Hicks was cited for her primary program focus in health education, especially diabetes and nutrition education. She was lauded for her ability to reach thousands of citizens in Hopkins County and surrounding areas through a series of lessons, programs, newspaper columns, newsletters, exhibits and health fairs, which she has either hosted, participated in, prepared, distributed or helped organize.

She was also selected to receive the award based on her involvement in professional association through participation and leadership at the district, state and national levels. In the last two years, Hicks has received national recognition for “written news, educational curriculum package, and reaching diverse audiences with measurable results,” according to information provided by the NEAFCS Professional Development Committee.

In 2003, Hicks earned the Texas Extension Association of Family & Consumer Science Agent's 2003 Florence Hall Award in July for her project "Sew — A Needle Pulling Thread," then went on to be one of two FCS agents recognized by the National Extension Association as a Southern Regional Finalist at the Galaxy II Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. The next year, she earned the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Written News Column award. Her diabetes education program also took top honors in the Florence Hall award category at the Southern Regional meet.

Hicks was among more than 800 Extension educators at the annual NEAFCS conference, designed to honor Extension educators for their outstanding program accomplishments and to broaden their knowledge  through more than 70 educational seminars, exhibits and “48 Showcase of Excellence Displays.”

The theme for this year’s session was “Bridging Scholarship & Entrepreneurship.” The keynote addresses included “How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas” by journalist and author David Bornstein; "Deepening Extension’s Knowledge Base: Best Practices and High Quality Lessons Learned,” Dr. Michael Quinn Patton, St. Paul evaluator; and “Teaching Culture through Laughter,” Tou Ger Xiong of Minneapolis.

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