Teen parenting program earns Extension's Hancook Award

November 8, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.  - The Purdue Cooperative Extension Specialists Association has given its top award to a new program that helps pregnant and parenting adolescents by strengthening teen families.

The Hancook Award, recognizing Extension educators and specialists who jointly develop programs focusing on families, was presented Thursday (Nov. 8) during a luncheon at the annual Purdue Extension Professional Development Conference.

The Purdue Pregnancy and Parenting Education of Adolescents Through Extension (PPEATE) program was funded by a grant from the Indiana State Department of Health to respond to a high rate of teen pregnancy in Indiana. Long-term goals are to reduce repeat pregnancies, reduce high school dropout rates and improve birth outcomes.  

"Participation in the PPEATE program interventions proved to have a positive impact on program participants by addressing many of the issues that may contribute to their decision or opportunity to have a child, as it simultaneously prepares them for parenting," Laura Palmer, College of Health and Human Sciences Extension specialist, wrote in a nominating letter. 

The program is completing its first year of operation. It will continue in five counties served during its pilot year - Clinton, Grant, Lake, Montgomery and Vanderburgh - and add Dearborn, Fayette and Lawrence counties in its second year. 

Team members are Laura Palmer, Health and Human Sciences Extension specialist; Susan Tharp, HHS educator, and Esmeralda Cruz, program assistant, of Clinton County; Joy Dugan, HHS educator, Montgomery County; Allison Goshorn, HHS educator, LaPorte County; Susan Plassmeier, HHS educator, Vanderburgh County; Jan Reed, Extension director, Lake County; Vicki Shafer, program assistant, Grant County; Dreama (Dee) Love, human development Extension specialist; Aryn Dotterer, assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies;  Chuck Calahan, assistant director of global faculty development, Center for Instructional Excellence; Hannah Martin, HHS Extension operations specialist; Cheryl Jones, HHS Extension block party specialist; Russ Query, HHS Extension Web application developer; and Carol McGrew, communications consultant, and Russ Merzdorf, senior graphic designer, Department of Agricultural Communication.

The award is named in honor of Ann Hancook, a Purdue Extension program leader who died in 1993. Sponsors are the Indiana Extension Educators Association, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialists Association and the Alpha Lambda chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, the Extension honor society.

Other awards presented by the Extension Specialists Association are:

 * Team Award: Imprelis Herbicide Injury Response Team. Members of the team are Aaron Patton from the Department of Agronomy; Tom Creswell, Gail Ruhl, Anna Meier, Amy Deitrich and Chris Speers of the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory; Janna Beckerman of the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology; Stephen Weller of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture; Cliff Sadof of the Department of Entomology; David Scott, Joe Becovitz, George Saxton, Jay Kelley, Kevin Neal, Andy Roth, Scott Farris, Kevin Gibson, Beth Carter, Matt Pearson, Trish Waller, Tom Smith, Joni Herman, Ed White, Ping Wan, Jason Kong, Janming Lei, Natalie Wilson and Doug Felix of the Office of the Indiana State Chemist; and Kevin Leigh Smith and Keith Robinson of the Department of Agricultural Communication.

* Special Award: Chad Martin of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

* Early Career Award: Tamilee Nennich of the Department of Animal Sciences.

* Mid-Career Award: Kwamena Quagrainie of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

* Career Award: Linda Mason of the Department of Entomology.

Among other awards announced at the event, Epsilon Sigma Phi presented its Distinguished Service Awards to Susan Neher of Howard County and Mike Ferree of Bartholomew County.

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, robins89@purdue.edu

Source: Paul Ebner, 765-494-4820, pebner@purdue.edu

Note to journalists: Photos of the award recipients will be available at http://www.ag.purdue.edu/extension/awards/

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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