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Carolyn Bird


Family Resource Management Specialist


512 Brickhaven Drive 210N


Area(s) of Expertise

  • Financial Management Literacy and Competence
  • Economic Well-Being of the Family
  • Intersection of Social and Economic Decision Making
  • Military Families and Community


Dr. Bird conducts applied research with a focus on the community and family interconnections. She is the state principal investigator and past Vice Chair of Funding on Rural Families Speak About Health (NC1171), a national longitudinal research project investigating connections between health, economic well-being, and community. She is a member of the graduate faculty and teaches in her department’s masters degree program. Dr. Bird is currently serving as Chair for the North Carolina Association of Cooperative Extension Specialists (NCACES) and serves as Senator on the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate. Her national leadership positions include the Executive Board of eXtension’s Financial Security for All Community of Practice. She is a member of eXtension’s Creating Healthy Communities Community of Practice. Dr. Bird’s international collaborations include cross-cultural studies with colleagues in Turkey. Her invited talks include keynotes for the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education and at the First International Congress of the Family and Consumer Sciences, Belek-Antalya, Turkey. Her awards include the Dean Don Felker Financial Management National Award (2010); the Dean Don Felker Financial Management Regional Award (2010); and the Outstanding Extension Program Team Award (2010).

Programs and Initiatives

  • The More in My Basket (Principal Investigator) program is a grant project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is conducted in partnership with the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The focus of the More in My Basket program is to inform older adults, and all other audiences, about the advantages of enrolling in Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits (i.e., food stamps,EBT cards) and the enrollment process itself. A key component of this program is to address incorrect or outdated information about FNS. Importantly, MIMB demonstrates how FNS benefits, at any dollar amount, can help purchase more and healthier foods, and free up budgeted grocery dollars for other expenses. USDA studies show that $5 of benefits generates $9 of economic activity in the local community.
  • Steps To Health (Co-Investigator) program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is conducted in partnership with the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Steps To Health is the umbrella for multiple programs targeting specific audiences. Dr. Bird provides leadership to the food resource management content for Better Food Better Health, a family-based program originally developed for Latino families and Better Choices, an older adult education program.

Contributing Websites

Selected Publications


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