Three UF/IFAS Extension agents earn national recognition

Mary Keith award1Betsy extension award

Extension awards Adrian Hunsberger1

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Three veteran University of Florida Extension agents have earned national recognition for outstanding leadership, diversity and international service.

Epsilon Sigma Phi, a national honorary fraternity that encourages professional development for the nation’s Extension agents, recognized Mary Keith, Mary E. “Betsy” Crisp and Adrian Hunsberger at its annual conference in Indianapolis in October.

Keith, Crisp and Hunsberger have worked for UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, collectively, for about 50 years.

Keith, a UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension agent for 12 years, who specializes in food, nutrition and health, won the 2014 Distinguished Service Award. The honor pays tribute to an Extension professional who has consistently shown leadership and excellence in programming planning, delivery, evaluation or administration.

She specializes in diet, ingredients and recipe modifications for health, nutrition for preschool children.

Crisp, a Pasco County Extension agent in family and consumer sciences for 26 years, won the 2014 national Diversity/Multicultural Individual Award. This honor recognizes her accomplishments in developing, achieving and sustaining diversity in Extension programs or audiences.

Crisp’s Extension programs reach almost 8,000 residents each year in areas such as food, nutrition, health and safety, according to her award nomination. Crisp developed a program called “Diversity in the Eyes of Children,” which encourages teachers to be good role models and to help students and parents understand and appreciate other cultures.

Hunsberger, a horticulture Extension agent in Miami-Dade County for 15 years, won the fraternity’s International Service Award. Among her accomplishments, Hunsberger has taught UF/IFAS Extension programs in Costa Rica.

This marks the fifth straight year a member of the Florida Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi has won this award.

Dan Culbert, an Okeechobee County Extension agent and the newly elected southern regional vice president of Epsilon Sigma Phi, praised Hunsberger, Crisp and Keith.

“I am proud of the accomplishments of Adrian, Betsy and Mary, having worked with all of them for many years,” Culbert said.

All were honored with chapter recognition at the fall 2013 state Extension Professional Association’s conference. Their names were then sent to the Southern states conference for consideration as a national winner for 2014. The awards were announced at the 2014 National Epsilon Sigma Phi conference.

Florida’s chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi consists of 231 active and retired Extension faculty from the University of Florida and Florida A&M.


Writer: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303,

Dan Culbert, 863-763-7469,

Cutline: UF/IFAS Extension agents, from top left, Mary Keith, Betsy Crisp, top right and Adrian Hunsberger (center of photo, in green shirt) won honors at the annual meeting of Epsilon Sigma Phi, the national Extension fraternity, for leadership, diversity and international programs.

Courtesy: Dan Culbert, UF/IFAS



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Posted: October 29, 2014

Category: UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, Work & Life
Tags: Awards, Epsilon Sigma Phi

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