National Awards and Recognition

Our faculty, staff, programs and universities are recognized for their excellence in and out of Great Plains IDEA.


Rochelle L. Dalla, professor in the youth development program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was awarded the Outstanding Professional Paper/Publication Award from the National Council on Family Relations in the families and health section.  This annual award recognizes outstanding professional achievement through recognition of professional, scholarly papers written by a member of the families and health section.  Scholarly papers are considered research, professional review, theoretical development or critique, or presentation of new methodology papers.


John Phillips, faculty member in the community development program of Great Plains IDEA was inducted into the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Hall of Fame.  The NIFA Hall of Fame recognizes exceptional contributions to NIFA's mission at the local, regional, national, or international level and those who have made a positive impact on humans.  Dr. Phillips is the executive director of First Americans Land Grant Consortium (FALCON) and the land-grant director at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC).

Barbara Stoecker, the Marilynn Thoma Chair in Human Environmental Sciences at Oklahoma State University, and a professor in the Great Plains IDEA Dietetics program, received the Distinguished Research Award from Kansas State University In October 2017.  This award recognizes a College of Human Ecology graduate's significant contributions to humanity, K-State and her profession through research.  To be considered for this award, the recipient must have demonstrated significant achievements in research in her chosen area.

Yan Ruth Xia, a professor from the University Nebraska-Lincoln, partner in the Great Plains IDEA Youth Development Program, received the 2017 Felix Berardo Scholarship Award for Mentoring from the National Council on Family Relations. This award recognizes an NCFR member for excellence in mentoring junior colleagues, graduate students or undergraduate students.  Outstanding mentoring goes beyond classroom teaching and includes the provision of support, guidance and opportunities for professional development.

Elaine Johannes, associate professor and extension specialist from Kansas State University in the Youth Development Program, has been recognized as the 2017 Communicator of the Year by the Kansas chapter of the Association for Communication Excellence.  The Communicator of the Year award is presented annually by communications and agricultural education department members and the Kansas chapter of the Association for Communication Excellence, the international professional association for extension communicators.

Abbey Nutsch, assistant professor of food safety and security at Kansas State University, partner in the Great Plains IDEA Food Safety and Defense Program, received the Outstanding Advisor Award from the K-State Global Campus.  This award is given to a K-State faculty or staff member demonstrating exceptional efforts in assisting and advising distance students.


Stephanie Rolley, department head at Kansas State University, partner in the Great Plains IDEA Community Development program, received the Outstanding Administrator Award from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture.