National and state awards recognize local work

On September 18 Arlington Family and Consumer Sciences agent Jennifer Abel accepted the national Extension Housing Outreach award at the conference of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences in Lexington, KY. This award recognizes the work of the Arlington Energy Masters program, a partnership between Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) and Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment that began in 2011. The goal of the program is to improve the energy efficiency in low-income apartments. Teams of trained volunteers conduct energy- and water-saving retrofits. In the past three years they have made these improvements in 404 units in Arlington.

NEAFCS poster and award

Jennifer Abel shares information about the Arlington Energy Masters Program at the NEAFCS conference in Lexington, KY.

Volunteers have installed 2,463 compact fluorescent light bulbs, 5,136 outlet and switch plate gaskets, 493 faucet aerators, 221 low-flow showerheads, 272 toilet tummies, and given out 240 power strips. These improvements are saving an estimated 75,267 kilowatt hours of energy 4,551,890 gallons of water each year.

In October 25 people will get trained as new Energy Masters volunteers. Plans are in place to expand the program into Alexandria in the summer of 2015. To learn more about this program, contact Jennifer Abel:


This summer Nutrition Outreach Instructor Megan Mauer (based in VCE’s Alexandria office) was honored with the state Family Nutrition Program team award. Megan trains volunteers in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, Spotsylvania, and Stafford to conduct nutrition education programs in schools and recreation centers. The other team members recognized with the award are Program Assistant Ellen Matthis; Master Food Volunteers Kim Frey, Casandra Lawson, Sara Knopp, Ruth Schulman, Cindy Palmerino, and Susanne Gonzalez; Extension Agents Jennifer Abel, Reggie Morris, Nancy Stegon, Katie Strong, and Alyssa Walden; and District Director Cyndi Marston.

Megan is leaving VCE as of September 26th to pursue her dream of becoming a Registered Dietitian. She has made tremendous contributions to nutrition education during her two years here and will be sorely missed.




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