Emily DeWitt, Alex Elswick, Sarah Hanks, and Natalie Jones

In recent months, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension has welcomed two new members to our state staff and announced transitions for two members of the staff. We are excited to have these individuals in new positions serving Kentucky.

Emily DeWitt – Senior Extension Associate – CDC High Obesity Project

Emily DeWitt is a Registered Dietitian who joined the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension as a Senior Extension Associate on Jan. 1. Emily is working with the CDC High Obesity Program project focusing on outreach, engagement, reporting, and evaluation.

Emily earned her bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from the University of Kentucky and went on to earn a master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Systems. She also earned the Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice Certificate from Cornell University. The Kentucky native has a background in community nutrition and has worked with both rural and urban food-insecure communities.

Emily is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Kentucky Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Bluegrass Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. She also serves on the board of the Bluegrass Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

Alex Elswick – Extension Specialist for Substance Use Prevention and Recovery

Alex Elswick began working as Extension Specialist for Substance Use Prevention and Recovery on Jan. 1, 2019. He is also a doctoral student in the Department of Family Sciences.

Alex came to the University of Kentucky in 2015 after receiving his bachelor’s degree in history from Centre College. He subsequently earned his master’s in family sciences with an emphasis in couple and family therapy at UK.

Alex’s background includes a cross-section of experience working as a psychotherapist, a teaching assistant, and a community activist. He is also the co-founder of a nonprofit organization that advocates for people in recovery from substance-use disorders. His research agenda focuses on recovery from substance use disorders.

Sarah Lovett Hanks – Senior Extension Associate for Family and Consumer Sciences

Sarah Lovett Hanks joined the FCS Extension team in October 2018 as a Senior Extension Associate. Sarah’s primary job duties are to provide support to the overall FCS Extension program, as well as support the Promoting Healthy Homes and Communities FCS Initiative. 

Prior to starting this position, Sarah spent three years at Michigan State University as an Assistant Outreach Coordinator for the Kellogg Biological Station Long Term Ecological Research project and state assistant for MSU Extension SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research Education). Sarah was an Extension Associate in the Department of Agricultural Economics at UK from 2009 to 2015. During that time, she worked with beginning farmers, farm transitions, and Kentucky Extension SARE.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Kentucky.

Natalie Jones - Extension Specialist for Family Health

Natalie Jones transitioned to the Family Health Extension Specialist position Oct.1, 2018.  In this role, she provides support for county extension agents in improving the quality of individual and family health through education. She will plan, develop, implement, and evaluate research-based family health extension programs such as health literacy, physical activity, and chronic disease prevention. Natalie showed commitment to health extension programming by stepping in during the position’s vacancy.

Natalie earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Transylvania University and her master’s degree of public health in health behavior from the University of Kentucky. She then earned a graduate certificate in global health from Africa University in Zimbabwe. Natalie’s commitment to physical fitness keeps her involved in half marathons, triathlons, CrossFit and yoga.

Natalie joined FCS Extension in May 2016 as the program coordinator for physical activity. She has worked with Get Moving Kentucky, The Mind-Body Connection, Truth and Consequences: The Choice is Yours, and several other programs. Her physical activity programing developments are based on evidence-based research, as well as marketing to execute behavior change and cultural competency.

Author: Alyssa Simms
Terms: FCS