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October 27, 2003

Extension awards given to consumer and family sciences educators

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Four Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service educators were presented awards in consumer and family sciences on Tuesday (10/21) during the annual Purdue Extension professional development conference on the West Lafayette campus. The awards were sponsored by the Indiana Extension Educators Association.

• Vickie Hadley, of Allen County, was honored with the Consumer and Family Sciences Junior Award for her work with families wanting to save money and reduce debt. In the first two years of the program, 15 households participated, and one visually impaired trainee received training by audiotape. By the end of the three-year program, participants reduced their total debt be almost $29,000.

• Norma Butler, of Bartholomew County, was awarded the Consumer and Family Sciences Senior Award for teaching on the importance of nutrition. She taught wellness programs throughout Southeastern Indiana and to 235 participants at the Home and Family Conference at Purdue about the importance of eating a variety of foods, serving sizes and being physically active.

• Judi Merkel, of Wells County, received the Consumer and Family Sciences Innovator Award for starting Circle of Hope, a breast cancer awareness program. She works with the patient services coordinator at the Bluffton Regional Medical Center to increase awareness of risk factors, treatment options and the importance of cancer screenings. The importance of friendship in the time of crisis also was part of the program, which reached 210 women. More than 80 percent of the participants pledged to have a mammogram in the next year.

• Nancy King, of Hancock County, received the Consumer and Family Sciences Career Award for 25 years of involvement in Extension. She conducted various programs at the county and state levels focusing on foods and nutrition, and each was creative, audience appropriate and accurate. She also was involved with Leadership Hancock County and Youth Leadership Hancock County. These programs allowed adults and youth to gain communication and leadership skills. King also secured funding for various programs.

Writer: Michelle Betz, (765) 494-8402,

Source: David Petritz, (765) 494-8489,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,
Agriculture News Page

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Publication-quality photographs of the Extension award winners will be available today (Monday, 10/27) at

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page