Martha PerkinsThe School of Human Environmental Sciences congratulates Martha Perkins, Bath County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS), for receiving the prestigious American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Excellence in Extension Award. 

The award honors outstanding programs that enable people to improve their lives and communities via learning partnerships that put knowledge to work in FCS programs.  Recipients must have a record of achievement in Extension programming for adults and/or youth, and be a member of AAFCS.

Martha received the award for her work with the Mental Healthiness in Aging Initiative (MHAI).  The MHAI project is a program designed to help promote a healthy state of mind in aging adults in Kentucky.  According to Deborah Murray, Associate Director of Health Education through Extension Leadership, the project "was a multifaceted social marketing-informed communication campaign designed to promote community awareness of mental health in relation to aging." 

Martha has served as a county Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences for the last 32 years, 31 of which were spent in Rowan County. She transferred to Bath County in October of 2009.   Martha received her Bachelor's degree in Textiles, Clothing and Merchandising from University of Kentucky in 1976 and her Masters in Vocational Home Economics Education in 1994. Martha is married and has one daughter who is in the Dietetics program at UK.

While Martha is very deserving of this award she was quick to share credit with family, friends, and coworkers. "I was very honored to receive this award from AAFCS and to be recognized by my peers in the FCS profession for the work I contributed to the MHAI Project," said Perkins,  "I also appreciate Debbie Murray (Associate Director of HEEL) giving me the opportunity to take a leadership role in this initiative."

When asked about Martha, only good things were heard from friends and colleagues.

Director of the School of Human Environmental Sciences, Dr. Ann Vail, said that Martha "is an exceptional leader who took on this MHAI project in an effort to bring unique and cutting edge programming to Eastern Kentucky. We appreciate her leadership on this initiative. It is an honor for all of FCS agents that Martha's leadership was recognized with this award."

Debbie Murray stated that, "It is quite an honor for Extension to have an agent receive the AAFCS Excellence in Extension Award, and the Health Education through Extension Leadership program is excited that the honor went to Martha Perkins for her involvement in the Mental Health and Aging Initiative. Martha is an outstanding agent who made such a contribution to the success of this initiative." 

Magoffin Country Extension Agent for FCS and Kentucky Association for Family and Consumer Sciences Past-President, Brooke Jenkins, had this to say of Martha, "She is a very deserving professional whose commitment to AAFCS has made a positive contribution to our organization."

"Martha is a dedicated Extension professional very deserving of recognition and is a positive role model for colleagues in KAFCS," shared Kim Henken, KAFCS Treasurer and Assistant to the Director, UK School of Human and Environmental Sciences.

The winner of the award receives an engraved plaque and a $2,500 honorarium, and up to $1,000 of support for one year of AAFCS membership and participation in the AAFCS Annual Conference and Exposition.