Award Recipients

2019 Distinguished Service Award Honorees

Show Your Support!

gift to the DSA Honorary Fund will have an immediate impact on AAFCS. 
Donors will be recognized in the Annual Honor Roll of Donors, and in the Book of Letters presented to each awardee at the Annual Conference; please make your gift by April 30, 2019, to ensure acknowledgement in printed materials.
Give online, by phone at 800-424-8080, or mail your gift.  

Make plans to attend the milestone 110th Annual Conference & Expo in St. Louis, Missouri, June 23-26, 2019, where each of these outstanding AAFCS members will be presented with the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) at the Awards Dinner: Celebrating the STARS of AAFCS. This ticketed event is on Tuesday, June 25th from 7:30-9:30pm.

Submit a letter in honor of your colleague, friend, or mentor by May 25, 2019, for inclusion in the keepsake Book of Letters presented to each DSA recipient at the Annual Conference. Letters should be unfolded and mailed in an 8.5 x 11 envelope to "AAFCS DSA" at 400 N. Columbus St., Ste. 202, Alexandria, VA 22314, or emailed to with "DSA Letter" in the subject line.

About our Honorees

Dr. Valerie L. Giddings, CFCS
Chairperson of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, North Carolina A&T State University (NC A&T) has more than 35 years of teaching and administrative experiences in higher education including positions as chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at North Carolina A&T State University, Associate Vice Chancellor for Lifelong Learning at Winston-Salem State University and Associate Dean and Extension Specialist in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech. She was nominated by AAFCS members of the National Coalition of Black Development in Family & Consumer Sciences. 

Margaret Viebrock, CFCS, CNWE, is County Director, Washington State University – Douglas & Chelan Counties. Amongst many qualities, Margaret is well-known for her outstanding educational programs. Her Women, Farms & Food project is a “flag-ship” program that meets the needs of women farmers in five states and helps them manage their farming risks. She has been actively engaged in developing Family and Consumer Sciences programs to improve the lives of individuals and families since 1970. She was instrumental in initiating the national testing to elevate the CFCS credentialing process and has consistently lead the way in defining and standardizing operating procedures with many association committees. She was nominated by the Washington Affiliate of AAFCS.

Dr. Janelle Walter is a Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences at Baylor University. She's long been a dedicated scholar and has made a significant contribution to the profession in the educational arena and beyond. She's served as a president, counselor, treasurer, VP membership for the AAFCS-Texas Affiliate. As a result, she was rewarded with Professional of the Year, National Leader Award, Leader for the Year Award, and Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her interest in childhood obesity and working with professionals in the area of Child Development and Family Studies led to research proposing a macro and micro level interaction involving the individual child, the family and the community, a perfect example of the academic but practical interaction of these components. She was nominated by a group of Texas Affiliate members and colleagues.

Sally J. Yahnke recently retired as Associate Professor, College of Education, Kansas State University (KSU), and served as the Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Educator for more than forty years at KSU. Throughout her career, Yahnke focused her research on preparing quality teachers to meet the needs of students’ in today’s classrooms. Recently, Yahnke has been involved in the AAFCS “Say Yes to FCS” initiative to recruit and retain quality Family and Consumer Sciences teachers. Yahnke is the recipient of honors that include the College of Education Service Award; Kansas Outstanding Career and Technical Educator of the Year; and was honored by AAFCS as a Leader and Legend in 2016. She was nominated by the Kansas Affiliate of AAFCS.

2018 Recipients

Distinguished Service Award (DSA) Jan S. Bowers, CFCS of New York
Gay Nell McGinnis, CFCS-Retired of Texas
National Teacher of the Year (TOY) Jenny Watson, CFCS of North  Carolina

Merit Finalists:
Camelle Kinney of Nebraska  
Karen Roberts of Virginia
New Achiever Award Ashley Emma Nelson of Minnesota
Sarah Jill Puddy of Wisconsin
Leader Award Alyson L. McIntyre-Reiger, CFCS of Indiana
Deborah Sullivan of Ohio
Marilyn Swiontek, CFCS of Wisconsin
Wiley Berger Award for Volunteer Service June Thomas, CFCS of Georgia

Looking for prior years? Email

2018 Recipients

Jewell Taylor Undergraduate Scholarship Kennedy Navis of University of Wisconsin Stout
Jewell Taylor Graduate Fellowship Dawn Michaelson of Auburn University
International Flemmie D. Kittrell Graduate Fellowship Shanting Chen of University of Texas-Austin
Excellence in Extension Grant Joan Koonce, CPFFE of University of Georgia
Centennial Scholars Research Grant Karen K. Melton and Nicole McAninch of Baylor University
Chalkley-Fenn Public Policy Award Gayla Randel, CFCS of Kansas