Charlotte Olsen receives national extension career impact award
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Charlotte Shoup Olsen has received the 2014 Career Impact Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
The award honors state family life and human development specialists who have made significant contributions to Cooperative Extension program development, delivery and evaluation.
Olsen’s extension career started in Liberia, West Africa, where she was a Peace Corps home economics extension agent with a UNICEF-trained Liberian counterpart. She became the acting national home economics extension director with the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture.
Before joining Kansas State University in 1993 as a state specialist in human development, she was a 4-H youth development county agent in Colorado.
Olsen was recognized for her pioneering work in couple relationship extension education which evolved into the first online extension noncredit course. She was part of the USDA’s first national working group to advocate and create a synergy for couple’s relationship extension education that developed into a national model.
She is also an advocate for cultivating cultural competencies among extension professionals.
Among other prominent extension programs she has created for the Division of Family and Consumer Sciences in collaboration with others are Stepping Stones for Stepfamilies, Family Change, Helping Farm Families Succeed in Business and Women Managing the Farm. Recent programming efforts include a marriage curriculum co-authored specifically for Latino families.
Olsen received a Ph.D. from Kansas State University and is a certified family life educator through the National Council on Family Relations.