Several outstanding University of Wyoming Extension educators were recently recognized for their service and creativity at a UW professional development conference held in Laramie last month.
Newer Employee Award Presented to Johnson County 4-H Educator
Bryce McKensie has had a clear impact on his county as the Johnson County 4-H/Youth Development Coordinator for the past three and a half years. Due to his efforts, a third of all eligible youth participated in the Johnson County 4-H program this year.
He has expanded opportunities for youth to get involved with 4-H and increased community support for 4-H in his county. He started a community farm for youth who live in Buffalo and partnered with the local school district to start a shooting club at Buffalo High School.
The Newer Employee Award recognizes an employee who has worked for UW Extension for less than six years. Senior associate director of UW Extension Mandy Marney says, “Bryce is an asset to Johnson County and to Wyoming Extension and is very deserving of the Newer Employee Recognition.”
Food, Fun, 4-H Program Wins Creative Excellence Recognition Award
The 2023 Creative Excellence Recognition Award goes to UW Extension educators Kellie Chichester of Niobrara County, Joddee Jacobsen of Natrona County, Erin Persche of Weston County, and Mary Louise Wood of Park County for their Food, Fun, 4-H Program.
This innovative program is designed to get kids all over Wyoming preparing homecooked meals, trying new foods, and having fun with their families. The educators put together a list of recipes and materials for each month, and utensil kits are directly mailed to families. Those participating also have access to monthly YouTube videos in which the educators present the materials for each month. Chichester, Jacobsen, Persche, and Wood adapted the idea from an Oklahoma State Extension program to fit Wyoming needs.
Martin Receives Jim DeBree Excellence in Extension Award
The Jim DeBree Excellence in Extension Award recognizes an extension employee who has worked for UW Extension for at least five years and has demonstrated a high level of professional performance and development. Mary Martin, Teton County community vitality and health educator, has far exceeded that standard.
Martin began working for Teton County Extension in 1975. Over her career, Martin has remained dedicated to her community and her profession and has contributed to a huge variety of projects. This fall, she won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wyoming Business Report for her innovative community development and educational programs.
Marney says, “Mary Martin exemplifies the Jim DeBree Excellence in Extension Award, UW Extension’s highest honor, for her outstanding performance, leadership, and professionalism.”