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Welcomes, Awards, Recognitions and Farewells

We are so thankful for our AHS family! Today, we would like to express proper gratitude by acknowledging the many achievements made by our phenomenally hardworking faculty and staff. We would also like to send proper goodbyes to our AHS colleagues, whose time has come to a close. We wish them all the best and can’t wait to see what they accomplish next. 


  • Sarah Williams joins the department as an FFA program associate.
  • Jerrel Bushel joins the department as a Diabetes Prevention program assistant for the Eat Smart, Move More, Prevent Diabetes/Weigh Less program.
  • Ellen Shumaker joins the department as an extension associate.

Awards and Recognition

  • Jodi Riedel, an AEE doctoral student, is part of a team awarded the “Team Spirit Award” at the 2021 Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Honor Awards program. The team received this award for their inclusion of multi-state and diversity of participants during COVID. See the award announcement for more information.
  • Congratulations to Josh Bledsoe for earning the Outstanding State Supervisor Award from the National Association of Supervisors of Agriculture Education. We are so fortunate to have Josh as a department member and as State Agricultural Education Leader/State FFA Advisor.
  • The NC 4-H Empowering Youth and Families Program (EYFP) won the Research Friend of Extension Award at this year’s N.C. Cooperative Extension conference. The Research Friend of Extension Award is given to employees who have demonstrated accomplishments above and beyond their regular programming efforts. See the award announcement for more information.
  • Congratulations to FFA program associate Sarah Williams who earned her M.Ed. in training and development from NC State.
  • The Oak Leadership Scholars Program, co-coordinated by AHS faculty members Jackie Bruce and Katherine McKee, has been awarded a space within Talley Student Center. Additional details to come.
  • Congratulations to Koralalage Jayaratne, who published an article on the challenges early-career youth development extension educators face. The article appears in the journal MDPI.
  • Wendy Warner was awarded a Rapid Design Express Grant for Fall 2021 and a Quality Matters Essential Standards Program Grant for Spring 2022 from DELTA.
  • Congratulations to Annie Hardison-Moody, who co-authored an article on how low-income families have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article appears in the journal Socius.
  • Virginia Kackley and Molly Vanhoy, both Oak Leadership Scholars and AHS undergraduate students, were awarded America Degrees at the 2021 National FFA Convention. MacKenna Clifton, Lizzie Foushee and Lisandra Mejia were also awarded their American Degrees.
  • Congratulations to Barbara Kirby, Travis Park, and Wendy J. Warner, who recently co-authored an article on the experiences of community college students within a college of agriculture baccalaureate access program. The article appears in the journal NACTA. 
  • Congratulations to Lisa Benavente, who was promoted to Expanded Food and Nutrition Education program coordinator.
  • Nassib Mugwanya, an AEE doctoral student, had the opportunity to sit on a panel during The World Food Prize Foundation conference. The panel’s focus was “Reconciling Agroecology and Biotechnology | U.S. State Department.”
  • Congratulations to Joy Morgan and Wendy Warner, who recently co-authored an article on the motivations and challenges of underrepresented students enrolled in a post-secondary agricultural education program. The article appears in the journal JAE.
  • Congratulations to Ben Chapman for being named AHS department head. We look forward to working with you to advance the department’s mission.


  • Debbie Stroud left NC State after 24 years of service as an area specialized agent in consumer and retail food safety. Thank you for all your years and service, and best wishes on your next step.
  • Carlos Balate, professor at High Polytechnic Institute of Gaza in Mozambique, completed his tenure as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar on November 30.
  • Mohammad Farouque completed his tenure as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar on November 29. We wish him all the best.
  • Ben Silliman is retiring from the AHS faculty on January 1 after 20 years at NC State. We send Silliman well wishes in his retirement and our thanks for his years of service and leadership.