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FYCS faculty are involved in various areas of extension and run multiple programs across the state of Florida.

FYCS faculty are involved in various areas of extension and run multiple programs across the state of Florida.

Name

Specialty

Dr. Catherine Campbell

Community Food Systems

My Extension responsibilities are focused on stress and mental health, and I am part of the Health and Wellness Priority Work Group. I maintain and support the Childcare Provider CEU program which allows county faculty to provide CEUs for childcare provider training. I have also developed Extension stress management programs for both adults and youth. In addition to mental health-related talks, much of my Extension work is related to grant funded projects, including disaster mental health trainings, agricultural mental health trainings, and how Extension can help rural veterans. 

 

Dr. Randy Cantrell

Housing & Community Development

Dr. Cantrell focuses his extension efforts on developing curricula so county faculty can assist home occupants in making financial decisions about their living environment. This typically takes on the form of learning to care for the dwelling they live in or are attempting to gain occupancy to live in. Sometimes, it starts by teaching them how to just obtain their first lease in the residential marketplace. Regardless, once they are in a residence, his programs teach home occupants how to successfully remain in them. This is accomplished via programs that teach maintenance, energy upgrades, aging-in-place upgrades, and nurturing and improving relationships among occupants residing within the dwelling. This basis for these notions enables home occupants a reasonable chance at striving to be responsible neighbors and community members. Holistically, these notions assist in maintaining property values and strengthening communities. The two programs that embody these notions are: 1) Homeflow, and 2) Making It On Your On 

Dr. David Diehl

Program Planning & Evaluation

 

Dr. Keith Diem

Extension

Dr. Diem has served in a variety of Extension roles in multiple states since 1982; including County Extension/4-H Youth Development Agent, County Extension Director, State Extension Specialist, District Extension Director, and Associate Dean for Extension/State Program Leader. He currently holds an 80 percent Extension appointment (20 percent Teaching) and provides leadership for Extension programming related to program planning & evaluation, and diversity, equity, and inclusion and has taught a variety of Extension audiences including Extension faculty/staff, volunteers, 4-H youth, and a variety of community organizations. Some recent examples of his Extension efforts have been teaching workshops at 4-H University for 4-H teens, seminars at National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP) and Joint Council for Extension Professionals (JCEP) conferences, statewide and district training for Extension faculty through Extension Symposia and in-service education, orientation of new Extension faculty through the Extension Faculty Development Academy, and development of and leading an IFAS-wide online professional development course, “Championing Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion.” He has also taught Extension programs in India and Brazil. 

Dr. Nicole Duffy

Nutrition

 

Dr. Jeneé Duncan

Prevention Science/Human Development

 

Name

Specialty

Dr. Catherine Campbell

Community Food Systems

My Extension responsibilities are focused on stress and mental health, and I am part of the Health and Wellness Priority Work Group. I maintain and support the Childcare Provider CEU program which allows county faculty to provide CEUs for childcare provider training. I have also developed Extension stress management programs for both adults and youth. In addition to mental health-related talks, much of my Extension work is related to grant funded projects, including disaster mental health trainings, agricultural mental health trainings, and how Extension can help rural veterans. 

 

Dr. Randy Cantrell

Housing & Community Development

Dr. Cantrell focuses his extension efforts on developing curricula so county faculty can assist home occupants in making financial decisions about their living environment. This typically takes on the form of learning to care for the dwelling they live in or are attempting to gain occupancy to live in. Sometimes, it starts by teaching them how to just obtain their first lease in the residential marketplace. Regardless, once they are in a residence, his programs teach home occupants how to successfully remain in them. This is accomplished via programs that teach maintenance, energy upgrades, aging-in-place upgrades, and nurturing and improving relationships among occupants residing within the dwelling. This basis for these notions enables home occupants a reasonable chance at striving to be responsible neighbors and community members. Holistically, these notions assist in maintaining property values and strengthening communities. The two programs that embody these notions are: 1) Homeflow, and 2) Making It On Your On 

Dr. David Diehl

Program Planning & Evaluation

 

Dr. Keith Diem

Extension

Dr. Diem has served in a variety of Extension roles in multiple states since 1982; including County Extension/4-H Youth Development Agent, County Extension Director, State Extension Specialist, District Extension Director, and Associate Dean for Extension/State Program Leader. He currently holds an 80 percent Extension appointment (20 percent Teaching) and provides leadership for Extension programming related to program planning & evaluation, and diversity, equity, and inclusion and has taught a variety of Extension audiences including Extension faculty/staff, volunteers, 4-H youth, and a variety of community organizations. Some recent examples of his Extension efforts have been teaching workshops at 4-H University for 4-H teens, seminars at National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP) and Joint Council for Extension Professionals (JCEP) conferences, statewide and district training for Extension faculty through Extension Symposia and in-service education, orientation of new Extension faculty through the Extension Faculty Development Academy, and development of and leading an IFAS-wide online professional development course, “Championing Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion.” He has also taught Extension programs in India and Brazil. 

Dr. Nicole Duffy

Nutrition

 

Dr. Jeneé Duncan

Prevention Science/Human Development

 

Dr. Martie Gillen

Dr. Gillen is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner and an Accredited Financial Counselor.  She has a 25% Extension appointment and provides leadership for Extension programming related to trauma informed care as well as family and consumer economics.  

Dr. Gillen offers in-service trainings for Extension staff and faculty on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), trauma and the brain, trauma and decision-making, and trauma informed approaches for working with adults and children including the use of TBRI. She also consults on existing Extension programs to apply a trauma informed lens by suggesting program adaptions as needed.  She offers educational programs to the public on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), building resiliency by increasing protective factors, brain development across the lifecycle, child development and parenting, trauma and decision-making over the lifecycle, and trauma informed classrooms for public and private schools and daycares.  She is currently working with a team of Extension educators to adapt TBRI for Extension programming that will be available for county faculty use. 

Her family and consumer economics Extension programming includes educating foster and adoptive families on the adoption tax credit and claiming a foster child as a dependent. As of 2021, this resulted in an estimated amount totaling over $100,000 in tax savings to Florida families. She also provides leadership to the Women and Money: Unique Issues Extension program with new modules released in 2021 focused on difficult financial times such as the pandemic. 

Dr. Gillen also leads the Military Family Learning Network Personal Finance concentration area.  The Personal Finance concentration area seeks to strengthen and build the financial management capability and education of Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) and Cooperative Extension educators who work with military service members and families.

 

Dr. Victor Harris

Victor William Harris, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at the University of Florida in the Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences. Dr. Harris is nationally recognized for his experience with empirically-informed program design, teaching methodologies, and curriculum enhancement. As a Certified Family Life Educator, he currently directs the multi-million-dollar SMART Couples Florida Project designed to help youth, singles, couples, parents, and co-parents better understand how to form and maintain strong, healthy, long-lasting relationships. Over 5,000 youth and adults have completed SMART Couples classes and thousands have enjoyed the over 130 trusted easy-to-read research-based blogs and articles on dating, engaged, married, remarried, divorced, parenting and coparenting topics found at www.smartcouples.org


 

Dr. Angie Lindsey

 

Dr. Martie Gillen

Dr. Gillen is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner and an Accredited Financial Counselor.  She has a 25% Extension appointment and provides leadership for Extension programming related to trauma informed care as well as family and consumer economics.  

Dr. Gillen offers in-service trainings for Extension staff and faculty on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), trauma and the brain, trauma and decision-making, and trauma informed approaches for working with adults and children including the use of TBRI. She also consults on existing Extension programs to apply a trauma informed lens by suggesting program adaptions as needed.  She offers educational programs to the public on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), building resiliency by increasing protective factors, brain development across the lifecycle, child development and parenting, trauma and decision-making over the lifecycle, and trauma informed classrooms for public and private schools and daycares.  She is currently working with a team of Extension educators to adapt TBRI for Extension programming that will be available for county faculty use. 

Her family and consumer economics Extension programming includes educating foster and adoptive families on the adoption tax credit and claiming a foster child as a dependent. As of 2021, this resulted in an estimated amount totaling over $100,000 in tax savings to Florida families. She also provides leadership to the Women and Money: Unique Issues Extension program with new modules released in 2021 focused on difficult financial times such as the pandemic. 

Dr. Gillen also leads the Military Family Learning Network Personal Finance concentration area.  The Personal Finance concentration area seeks to strengthen and build the financial management capability and education of Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) and Cooperative Extension educators who work with military service members and families.

 

Dr. Victor Harris

Victor William Harris, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at the University of Florida in the Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences. Dr. Harris is nationally recognized for his experience with empirically-informed program design, teaching methodologies, and curriculum enhancement. As a Certified Family Life Educator, he currently directs the multi-million-dollar SMART Couples Florida Project designed to help youth, singles, couples, parents, and co-parents better understand how to form and maintain strong, healthy, long-lasting relationships. Over 5,000 youth and adults have completed SMART Couples classes and thousands have enjoyed the over 130 trusted easy-to-read research-based blogs and articles on dating, engaged, married, remarried, divorced, parenting and coparenting topics found at www.smartcouples.org


 

Dr. Angie Lindsey

 

LaToya O'Neal

Health and Wellness

Dr. O’Neal is the statewide leader for Extension programs in chronic disease prevention and management. She is program director of the Rural HEALTH (Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyle Tools for Heart Health) and Let’s Walk, Florida! Programs. Rural HEALTH is a community-based, integrated research and extension program. County Extension educators provide targeted healthy lifestyle education and support community health strategies for diabetes prevention, diabetes management, and hypertension management among rural, low-income, and racial/ethnic minority families. The Let’s Walk, Florida! Program is a virtual educational program designed to help Floridians achieve and maintain health through physical activity. Participants connect with County Extension educators who help them meet their health and wellness goals. 

 

 

Dr. Dale Pracht

Youth Leadership

My primary responsibilities include (55% time) serving as State Extension Specialist in community based organizational systems for youth programs.  I use transformational leadership and experiential learning to facilitate collaboration and organizational change in youth programs in rural and urban communities.  I support faculty, staff, and volunteers throughout the state of Florida in UF/IFAS Extension.  I integrate action research into all programming efforts.  I currently serve as a Co-PI on two grants addressing youth issues in rural communities and a Multistate Hatch project evaluating retention of new 4-H members.  I also collaborate with Family and Consumer Sciences addressing food safety issues as have provided educational information on risk management for the 4-H Youth Development Program through an EDIS series.  In addition, I am collaborating with faculty to address retention efforts for 4-H Faculty across the state of Florida.  I serve on the Leadership and Citizenship Action Team for the Florida 4-H Youth Development program and I am currently a member of the Extension Roadmap steering committee as we plan future programming efforts for UF/IFAS Extension.  

Dr. Heidi Radunovich

Human Development

Human Development

My Extension responsibilities are focused on stress and mental health, and I am part of the Health and Wellness Priority Work Group. I maintain and support the Childcare Provider CEU program which allows county faculty to provide CEUs for childcare provider training. I have also developed Extension stress management programs for both adults and youth. In addition to mental health-related talks, much of my Extension work is related to grant funded projects, including disaster mental health trainings, agricultural mental health trainings, and how Extension can help rural veterans. 

Dr. Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar

Family & Consumer Economics

 

Dr. Karla Shelnutt

Human Nutrition

Dr. Shelnutt provides statewide leadership for her Extension program that addresses obesity prevention and healthy lifestyles through the lifecycle with a focus on families with low income. She serves as the Principal Investigator of the Family Nutrition Program (Florida’s SNAP-Education Program) and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, which teach low-resource families to make better food and physical activity choices. These programs also help support changes to policies, systems, and environments to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Dr. Shelnutt has developed curricula and Extension publications based on the most updated dietary guidance that are widely used throughout the state as part of her program.

LaToya O'Neal

Health and Wellness

Dr. O’Neal is the statewide leader for Extension programs in chronic disease prevention and management. She is program director of the Rural HEALTH (Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyle Tools for Heart Health) and Let’s Walk, Florida! Programs. Rural HEALTH is a community-based, integrated research and extension program. County Extension educators provide targeted healthy lifestyle education and support community health strategies for diabetes prevention, diabetes management, and hypertension management among rural, low-income, and racial/ethnic minority families. The Let’s Walk, Florida! Program is a virtual educational program designed to help Floridians achieve and maintain health through physical activity. Participants connect with County Extension educators who help them meet their health and wellness goals. 

 

 

Dr. Dale Pracht

Youth Leadership

My primary responsibilities include (55% time) serving as State Extension Specialist in community based organizational systems for youth programs.  I use transformational leadership and experiential learning to facilitate collaboration and organizational change in youth programs in rural and urban communities.  I support faculty, staff, and volunteers throughout the state of Florida in UF/IFAS Extension.  I integrate action research into all programming efforts.  I currently serve as a Co-PI on two grants addressing youth issues in rural communities and a Multistate Hatch project evaluating retention of new 4-H members.  I also collaborate with Family and Consumer Sciences addressing food safety issues as have provided educational information on risk management for the 4-H Youth Development Program through an EDIS series.  In addition, I am collaborating with faculty to address retention efforts for 4-H Faculty across the state of Florida.  I serve on the Leadership and Citizenship Action Team for the Florida 4-H Youth Development program and I am currently a member of the Extension Roadmap steering committee as we plan future programming efforts for UF/IFAS Extension.  

Dr. Heidi Radunovich

Human Development

Human Development

My Extension responsibilities are focused on stress and mental health, and I am part of the Health and Wellness Priority Work Group. I maintain and support the Childcare Provider CEU program which allows county faculty to provide CEUs for childcare provider training. I have also developed Extension stress management programs for both adults and youth. In addition to mental health-related talks, much of my Extension work is related to grant funded projects, including disaster mental health trainings, agricultural mental health trainings, and how Extension can help rural veterans. 

Dr. Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar

Family & Consumer Economics

 

Dr. Karla Shelnutt

Human Nutrition

Dr. Shelnutt provides statewide leadership for her Extension program that addresses obesity prevention and healthy lifestyles through the lifecycle with a focus on families with low income. She serves as the Principal Investigator of the Family Nutrition Program (Florida’s SNAP-Education Program) and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, which teach low-resource families to make better food and physical activity choices. These programs also help support changes to policies, systems, and environments to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Dr. Shelnutt has developed curricula and Extension publications based on the most updated dietary guidance that are widely used throughout the state as part of her program.

Dr. Amarat (Amy) Simonne

Food Safety & Quality

Dr. Simonne provides statewide leadership addressing food safety and quality issues to reduce foodborne illness risk and improve life quality through food safety training and education for professionals, volunteers, and consumers.  

Food Safety Certification and Training: Dr. Simonne provides technical expertise on the Food Protection Manager Certification (i.e., ServSafe®) and Food Handler Training (i.e., SafeStaff®) programs to help professionals meet state requirements to work in the food service industry and obtain a food permit to start a food business. These programs are based on the latest FDA Model Food Code.   

Home Food Processing and Cottage Foods: Improper home processing practices can increase the risk of foodborne illness and economic loss due to food spoilage. Dr. Simonne provides technical support (e.g., curricula, trainings, consultations) for Extension professionals and consumers who engage in home food processing and food preservation in Florida and beyond.  

Food Quality, Food Labelling and Regulation Issues: Dr. Simonne works with plant breeders, small producers, cottage food operators, and consumers to help them navigate and understand legal requirements.  

https://www.facebook.com/pg/FoodSafetyQualityProgram/about/  

 

Dr. Mickie Swisher

Sustainable Agriculture

My work involves combined research and extension activities and most of my research occurs on multidisciplinary teams of biological and social scientists. I play two roles on these teams. Our projects address the productivity, environmental impacts, and profitability of agricultural production with a focus on alternatives to conventional production techniques, crops, products and systems. I have major responsibility for many extension activities by these teams. Our current projects include a focus on emerging trends in local, national and global food distribution systems that offer opportunities for new approaches for direct-to-consumer sales and new entry points into large-scale mass market venues for Florida farmers. My second role focuses on strengthening the role of stakeholders in the scientific research process in order to produce innovations that can and will be adopted by end users, whether they be farmers, distributors, or consumers. I typically take responsibility for identifying the needs of potential beneficiaries of the research, incorporating stakeholder concerns and knowledge into research design and data collection during the life of the project, and ensuring guidance and oversight of the research through engaged, active advisory panels. I serve as the Director of the Center for Sustainable and Organic Food Systems (CSOFS). The Center’s mandate is to serve as a catalyst to bring together multi-disciplinary teams for research, teaching, and outreach that address critical challenges to the sustainability of food systems. I am also the state coordinator for the outreach or Extension component of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program. The primary role of the state coordinator is to support, enhance, and extend the impact of the research projects supported through SARE grants awarded in the state. 

Center for Sustainable & Organic Food Systems

Dr. Amarat (Amy) Simonne

Food Safety & Quality

Dr. Simonne provides statewide leadership addressing food safety and quality issues to reduce foodborne illness risk and improve life quality through food safety training and education for professionals, volunteers, and consumers.  

Food Safety Certification and Training: Dr. Simonne provides technical expertise on the Food Protection Manager Certification (i.e., ServSafe®) and Food Handler Training (i.e., SafeStaff®) programs to help professionals meet state requirements to work in the food service industry and obtain a food permit to start a food business. These programs are based on the latest FDA Model Food Code.   

Home Food Processing and Cottage Foods: Improper home processing practices can increase the risk of foodborne illness and economic loss due to food spoilage. Dr. Simonne provides technical support (e.g., curricula, trainings, consultations) for Extension professionals and consumers who engage in home food processing and food preservation in Florida and beyond.  

Food Quality, Food Labelling and Regulation Issues: Dr. Simonne works with plant breeders, small producers, cottage food operators, and consumers to help them navigate and understand legal requirements.  

https://www.facebook.com/pg/FoodSafetyQualityProgram/about/  

 

Dr. Mickie Swisher

Sustainable Agriculture

My work involves combined research and extension activities and most of my research occurs on multidisciplinary teams of biological and social scientists. I play two roles on these teams. Our projects address the productivity, environmental impacts, and profitability of agricultural production with a focus on alternatives to conventional production techniques, crops, products and systems. I have major responsibility for many extension activities by these teams. Our current projects include a focus on emerging trends in local, national and global food distribution systems that offer opportunities for new approaches for direct-to-consumer sales and new entry points into large-scale mass market venues for Florida farmers. My second role focuses on strengthening the role of stakeholders in the scientific research process in order to produce innovations that can and will be adopted by end users, whether they be farmers, distributors, or consumers. I typically take responsibility for identifying the needs of potential beneficiaries of the research, incorporating stakeholder concerns and knowledge into research design and data collection during the life of the project, and ensuring guidance and oversight of the research through engaged, active advisory panels. I serve as the Director of the Center for Sustainable and Organic Food Systems (CSOFS). The Center’s mandate is to serve as a catalyst to bring together multi-disciplinary teams for research, teaching, and outreach that address critical challenges to the sustainability of food systems. I am also the state coordinator for the outreach or Extension component of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program. The primary role of the state coordinator is to support, enhance, and extend the impact of the research projects supported through SARE grants awarded in the state. 

Center for Sustainable & Organic Food Systems