UW Extension Educators Recognized by Professional Associations

Several University of Wyoming Extension educators recently received state and national honors from professional associations in their disciplines. These outstanding staff members were recognized at a UW Extension professional development conference held in Laramie last month.

Hill Named WACAA Outstanding Educator

Three people with pale skin in fancy clothing. Left to right, a tall, stocky man with short gray hair and a handlebar mustache. A stocky, balding man holding up an award. He is wearing a brown suit jacket and tie, a white shirt with UW on the lapel, and jeans with a large belt buckle. A shorter woman with styled short brown hair.
Hudson Hill wins the WACAA Outstanding Educator Award. L-R: Kelly Crane, Hudson Hill, Pepper Jo Six.

The Wyoming Association of County Agricultural Agents (WACAA) recognized Hudson Hill as this year’s outstanding educator. This award goes to someone who has taken leadership in the program, tackled challenging issues with innovative educational methods, and made significant improvements to the state of Wyoming.

“In his 21 years, Hudson has served the group with a long-time perspective and has been very supportive of others in leadership roles,” says a nominator. In 2022, Hill even set up a training to address the specific needs and questions of new employees. Through his mentorship, other employees have stepped up in state and national agricultural agent associations.

Hill is always willing to share both knowledge and hands-on experience with other educators and producers. He has worked with other state organizations and developed programs to meet the needs of all kinds of clientele, from large producers to hobbyists.

4-H Educators Recognized for Service, Creative Programming

Kellynne Doyle, Converse County 4-H educator, was recognized as Rookie of the Year by the Wyoming Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (WAE4-HYDP). This award goes to someone with less than three years of service who makes significant professional contributions and is involved in their community.

Several UW Extension employees were recognized at a National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP) conference held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this October. The Achievement in Service, Distinguished Service, and Meritorious Service Awards recognize employees who have been members of NAE4-HDP for 3-7 years, 7-14 years, and 15 or more years, respectively. Each of these awards honor NAE4-HYDP members who are leaders in their communities and create innovative youth programming.

In 2023, Emily Haver of Carbon County won the Achievement in Service Award, Albany County educator Kellie Chichester won the Distinguished Service award, and Mary Louise Wood of Albany County won the Meritorious Service Award.

Sara Fleenor, Crook County 4-H educator and WAE4-HA president, received a Feature Story Special Award from the NAE4-HYDP for her story about the Heart of Gold Livestock Show peer mentoring program. This program, which she designed, gives Crook County youth in special education programs opportunities to interact with livestock and youth who raise these animals.

Platte County 4-H educator Stacy Buchholz was honored with the NAE4-HYDP Excellence in Peer Professional Development Award for a multi-state professional development opportunity that she co-chaired. The event focused on bolstering networks, skills, and dedication.

“UW Extension is fortunate to have such a talented group of 4-H youth development educators who are dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives Wyoming youth,” says Mandy Marney, senior associate director of UW Extension. “The diversity in awards won at this year’s NAE4-HYDP Conference illustrates the impact educators are making in their communities.”

Five headshots of women. Left to right, a woman with long brown hair and tan skin wearing a scarf. A woman with brown hair in a bun and pale skin with glasses wearing a gray cardigan over a white shirt. A woman with short spiky gray hair, pale skin, and glasses, wearing a bright red patterned shirt. A woman with blonde hair in a bun, a nose ring, and pale skin wearing a blue shirt. A woman with shoulder-length brown hair with blonde highlights and pale skin wearing a red shirt with flower patterns and red lipstick.
Winners of National 4-H Association Awards. L-R, Emily Haver, Kellie Chichester, Mary Louise Wood, Sara Fleenor, Stacy Buchholz.

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