KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Whether you’re a high-schooler or an adult, you may have benefited from financial-literacy education programs developed by Ann Allgood Berry, a professor with University of Tennessee Extension Family and Consumer Sciences. Berry’s expertise in identifying financial education needs has been instrumental in delivering timely information to a vast number of Tennesseans over the years. As a result of her impactful work, Berry has received the 15th Annual Excellence in Education Award from the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP).
Presented by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, and the Association of Public Land-grant Universities, during the APLU’s annual conference, the National Excellence in Extension Award is given annually to one Cooperative Extension professional who excels at programming, provides visionary leadership and makes a positive impact on those they serve. Cooperative Extension programs are presented in all 50 states and five U.S. territories. Berry was recognized for her innovative programming to increase consumer economic literacy and stability, among her other significant career impacts in financial education.
“Ann is proactive in her approach to meet the local needs of agents while building the leadership and reputation of our work with state and national leaders,” said Ashley Stokes, dean of UT Extension. “She is a respected authority in financial management, and she is a respected leader of her Extension peers,” said Stokes.
Berry joined UT Extension in 2006 after spending more than 20 years with Louisiana State University Cooperative Extension. Since joining UT, Berry and her team of agents have conducted 124 teacher workshops and personal finance instruction and have reached more than 1.2 million high school students. While these are impressive figures, the estimated financial impact for all of the team’s consumer economics programming, including teacher training, exceeds $297.2 million since 2006.
“She is an outstanding example of the excellence in Extension scholarship through her consistent multi-level approach to build best practices for consumer economics and housing. Ann has an innovative approach to training agents, industry professionals, teachers, families, and citizens through virtual and face to face direct education,” said Stokes.
Berry takes a team approach for both research projects and educational programs. She has worked with a diverse group of colleagues across UT, including, Retail, Tourism and Hospitality Management, the College of Nursing and the Institute for Public Service. In addition, she is committed to offering programming that appreciates diversity and inclusion in the workplace as well as programming for Extension clientele.
“Ann is known across the nation as a collaborative expert who brings a great deal of knowledge and commitment to remain current, be adaptive and promote inclusivity,” said Stokes.
Nationally, Berry has served as president of Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) and secretary of the Joint Council of Extension Professionals. She was awarded the ESP 2020 Visionary Leadership Award. Berry is a graduate of LEAD21.
This is second time a UT Extension faculty member has received this award. In 2019 Matthew Devereaux, a human development specialist in Family and Consumer Sciences, was recognized in part for his research on child and adolescent development, especially social and emotional development throughout the school year.
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