Extension Family and Consumer Sciences
Six Extension Family and Consumer Sciences faculty received a special invitation from Dr. Hugo Vilchis, Burrell College Professor and Associate Dean, to attend an international conference on chronic diseases. America's Network for Chronic Disease Surveillance and the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine hosted the conference in Las Cruces on November 9-11. This was the first USA-based conference for this international group. About 100 health professionals and medical students from Latin America, North America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia attended. The medical professionals were interested in Extension's ability to offer evidence-based educational programming to help individuals prevent or cope with chronic diseases.
NMSU Night at the Market – Dr. Sonja Koukel, Extension Health Specialist, and Haley Nohl, graduate assistant, represented the Extension Health & Wellness program at the Downtown Las Cruces for Halloween Market, October 26. One hundred youths were reached through an interactive poster display focused on poison prevention, Identifying candy from harmful products, such as over-the-counter medications. The poster was a great activity for the children to learn the difference – sometimes it was even hard for them to tell which was the medicine.
Karim Martinez, Family and Consumer Sciences agent and county director for Dona Ana County, received the Distinguished Service Award at the annual meeting of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences in Big Sky, Montana on September 15. This award is given to Extension faculty who have been members for at least 10 years for their leadership, outstanding programs, and personal and professional growth. Cydney Martin, Family and Consumer Sciences agent for Santa Fe County, received two regional awards – one for photography and one for radio podcasts.
Sonja Koukel, Extension Health Specialist, was featured in the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy's (ECOP) Monday Minute blog for her leadership of the national Health Literacy Action Team (http://ecopmondayminute.blogspot.com/2016/05/16.html). It is estimated that 9 out of 10 adults in the U.S. lack the skills to manage their health and prevent disease. The Health Literacy Action Team is working with Extension professionals across the country to raise awareness and make health literacy programming a priority.
Money Smart Week - Dr. Bryce Jorgensen, Extension Family Resource Management Specialist, and Karim Martinez, Director of Dona Ana County Extension, organized several activities and presentations during Money Smart Week. Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers at all income levels better manage their personal finances. They are featured accepting the proclamation for Money Smart Week with the City of Las Cruces.
National Health Outreach Conference – Dr. Sonja Koukel, Extension Health Specialist, gave a presentation on how health literacy impacts individual and public health. Koukel leads the national Health Literacy Action Team for the Cooperative Extension Service. Cassandra Vanderpool, diabetes coordinator, gave a presentation on a cooking school for people with diabetes in New Mexico. Lourdes Olivas, nutrition program coordinator, gave a presentation on using promotoras to teach people with diabetes how to increase their physical activity and eat healthier.
Fit Families Program Five children and their families (14 people in total) started a 12-week program in February to increase healthy eating and physical activity and reduce childhood obesity. Each class begins with a cooking lesson that ends in a tasty, nutritious family meal. The class is led by Lucinda Banegas-Carreon, Extension Associate in Nutrition. This is the first Fit Families class to be offered in Spanish in Las Cruces.
Master Food Preserver program Cindy Davies, county director and county home economist for Bernalillo County, started a 6-week Master Food Preserver class on Feb. 2 in Albuquerque with 12 community members. After completing the class series, the trained volunteers will assist with other food preservation activities in their county. Dr. Nancy Flores, Food Technology Specialist, developed the curriculum for the Master Food Preserver program in collaboration with Cindy Davies and Kelly Knight, county director and county home economist for Otero County.
Brindle Foundation Grant: The Southwest Region National Child Protection Center (SW-NCPC), led by Shelly Bucher, received a $10,000 grant from the New Mexico Brindle Foundation to support efforts in becoming a fully chartered state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. The SW-NCPC promotes the interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) to prepare future professionals in preventing and intervening in cases of child maltreatment, and provides ongoing training to current child protection professionals in the field.
USDA Grant: Nancy Flores, Extension Food Science and Technology Specialist, will be partnering with researchers from 5 other states to form the Mountain Sub-Region of the recently funded Western Regional Food Safety Training Center at Oregon State. They will develop curricula and provide training to help small and mid-sized farms and food processors prevent foodborne illnesses and comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Strategic Planning Retreat: The departments of Family and Consumer Sciences and Extension Family and Consumer Sciences held a strategic planning retreat for all faculty and staff. The retreat was led by Dr. Deborah Tippett, who is certified in Appreciative Inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry is a model for analysis, decision-making, and strategic change that was developed by faculty in the Department of Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University. The results of the retreat will be used in writing the self-studies for the program review of each department. http://aces.nmsu.edu/academics/FCS/
Diverse Workforce Grant: Nancy Flores, Extension Specialist in Food Science and Technology, was awarded a grant of $320,000 over four years from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at USDA. Her collaborators are Dr. Hongmei Luo and Dr. Jessica Houston in Chemical Engineering. The purpose of the grant is to provide Hispanic undergraduate and graduate students in food science and engineering with research experiences, professional development, and internships to develop a more diverse workforce at USDA.
Martin Steinman Endowed Chair in Food Science Technology: Nancy Flores was selected for the Martin Steinman Endowed Chair in Food Science Technology. The chair was established in memory of the owner of Border Foods in Deming. Dr. Flores will use the funds for applied research to benefit New Mexico food processors.
Dr. Esther Devall helped conduct a review of civil rights files in Hidalgo, Roosevelt, Curry, Quay, San Miguel, Mora, and Torrance counties. The files document the efforts of each county to include underrepresented groups in program planning, program delivery, and employment practices.
Dr. Nancy Flores and Dr. Efren Delgado conducted a 3-day course for 12 managers and supervisors of food processing operations. The course focused on critical issues that affect the production of acidified foods, and satisfied the requirements of FDA and USDA regulations.
Master Food Preserver Training: Carol Turner, Foods and Nutrition Specialist, Dr. Nancy Flores, Food Technology Specialist, and Cindy Davies, Bernalillo County Director and county home economist, provided a Master Food Preserver training to nine county home economists on March 26-27 in Las Cruces. The citizens of New Mexico have expressed a strong interest in canning, pressure canning, freezing, drying, and fermenting foods. After training in best practices and research-based food preservation, the county home economists will be able to train volunteers in their counties to assist them with providing educational programming to their county clientele.
National eXtension Webinar: Sonja Koukel, Community and Environmental Health Specialist, presented a national eXtension webinar entitled Extension for Health in New Mexico on March 30. Along with two other presenters from the University of New Mexico, she discussed Cooperative Extension's National Framework for Health and Wellness and the collaboration between NMSU and UNM to provide health information to the citizens of New Mexico. More than 70 people participated in the webinar.
Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop: Sonja Koukel, Community and Environmental Health Specialist, participated in a three-day Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop at NMSU on March 25-27. The workshop was the first activity involving members of the USDA Southwest Regional Hub for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change.
International Collaboration: Nancy Flores, Food Technology Specialist, hosted 18 students and faculty from the Institute of Technology (ITD) in Durango, Mexico from March 31-April 2. The purpose of the meeting is to foster international collaboration between NMSU and ITD for scholar and student exchanges, research internships, and dual credit programs and graduate certificates.