Ann Berry, a professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences with University of Tennessee Extension, is the recipient of the 2022 Epsilon Sigma Phi Distinguished Service Ruby Award. The award recognizes outstanding leadership, innovative thinking and sustained exceptional performance across a lifetime of service in Extension.
Berry received the award during the 2022 ESP National Conference in Branson, Missouri, on September 27.
Berry is a professor, consumer economist specialist and assistant department head with UT Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences. She joined UT Extension in 2006 after spending more than 20 years with Louisiana State University Cooperative Extension. Her programming focuses on home ownership, credit education, personal finance training for high school teachers, workforce development and financial education for later life.
Carrie Castille, senior vice chancellor and senior vice president of the UT Institute of Agriculture, praised Berry for her commitment to Extension. “This award is a well-deserved recognition for Dr. Berry, whose life-long career with Extension has helped improve the lives of countless clientele needing assistance with issues related to consumer economics and finance,” she said.
Ashley Stokes, dean of UT Extension, agreed with that sentiment, adding, “Ann is a dedicated servant leader, and we are extremely proud of her contributions to the financial health of Tennesseans.”
“I am honored to be selected as the 2022 Ruby Award recipient,” says Berry. “I’ve been surrounded by a truly amazing community of Extension professionals throughout my 34-year career. They’ve allowed me the opportunity to collaborate, innovate and grow as both a leader and steward of Extension.”
Berry has been successful in sustaining external funding for consumer economics programs with more than $16 million in grants, contracts, endowments and gifts. With the sustainability of external funding, two additional consumer economics specialist positions continue to be funded. Since 2006, the statewide economic impact of consumer economics programs that has been infused into local, county and state economies totals more than $700 million.
Berry takes a team approach for both research projects and educational programs. She has worked with a diverse group of colleagues across UT and is committed to offering programming that appreciates diversity and inclusion in the workplace as well as programming for Extension clientele.
Nationally, Berry has served as president of ESP and secretary of the Joint Council of Extension Professionals. She was awarded the ESP Visionary Leadership Award in 2020 and is a graduate of LEAD21. She was the 2021 recipient of the Southern Region Excellence in Extension Award and the National Excellence in Extension Award presented by USDA NIFA and ECOP.
Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.