Felks elected president of S.C. chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

FelksMembers of the South Carolina chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP), a national organization for Cooperative Extension professionals, recently elected SC State University’s Stephanie Felks to serve as their president.

Stephanie Felks, senior extension director of 4-H and Youth Development, is president of the Alpha Phi chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, a national organization for Cooperative Extension professionals.

Felks is the senior extension director of 4-H and Youth Development in the 1890 Research & Extension Program at SC State. In this role, she coordinates and conducts trainings for child care professionals across the state , oversees one of 1890 Extension’s efforts to educate the state’s public school students on personal finance management and works with the Family Life Programs to offer a summer science and nutrition camp for youngsters. 

“I am honored to work on behalf my colleagues, and I look forward to furthering our mission of fostering excellence in the Extension System and developing the Extension profession and the Extension professional,” says Felks.

Alpha Phi, the South Carolina chapter of ESP, is comprised of members who represent the Cooperative Extension programs at SC State and Clemson universities, the state’s two land-grant institutions. Nationally, the organization has 44 chapters operating with over 3,200 Extension professionals who maintain annual membership.

According to Felks, the organization offers numerous advantages to Extension professionals, with most of the benefits centering on professional development activities and programs. Members in the organization facilitate professional development opportunities by sponsoring national and regional conferences, reward excellence in performance among Extension professionals and foster leadership development through mentoring Extension professionals in the philosophy and professional practice of Extension education.

“Many of my colleagues do phenomenal work, work that helps transform the lives of their respective clients,” says Felks, who hopes to draw more regional and national recognition to the exceptional work of Alpha Phi members by encouraging them to apply for awards the organization grants to outstanding members. 

Since joining ESP in 2002, Felks has held other leadership roles in the chapter, including 1890 director and vice president. Her willingness to remain active and serve as a leader, demonstrates her commitment to enhancing the Cooperative Extension System, notes 1890 Extension Administrator Delbert T. Foster, who also credits Felks for rallying 1890 Extension agents to join and participate in the organization.

“The opportunities that organizations like Epsilon Sigma Phi provide to 1890 Extension are invaluable. The professional development programs and activities, the networking between institutions and the sharing of Cooperative Extension practices better prepare 1890 Extension professionals to serve as the change agents who are needed to help improve the lives of our clientele,” said Foster.

In addition to Felks and Foster, 1890 Extension professionals who hold Epsilon Sigma Phi membership are: Ishmel Washington, Hampton Cluster senior extension director; Cornelius Hamilton, Hampton Cluster extension agent; Louis Whitesides, adult leadership and community development senior extension director; Edoe Agbodjan, small farm assistance and outreach program senior extension director; Monica Fields, family life programs senior extension director; Adolphus Johnson, adult leadership and community development extension agent; Murray Nesmith, Marlboro Cluster extension agent, Mary McInnis-Ward, Marlboro Cluster senior extension director; Boyd Owens, Anderson Cluster senior extension director; Darryl Johnson, Williamsburg Cluster senior extension director; Merylin Jackson, Northeastern Corridor of Orangeburg Community Development Corporation executive director; and Demier Richardson, community education senior extension director.

For more details on Epsilon Sigma Phi, visit the ESP Web site at espnational.org.