May 18, 2012



Professor named Afterschool Champion

By Jane P. Marshall

Elaine Johannes, associate professor of family studies and human services, was named an Afterschool Champion for her contributions to the professional development of youth workers across Kansas, the nation and the globe. Her award included a Wheaties box with her photo on it.

The Afterschool Alliance named eight state champions from around the country. They were honored at the “Breakfast of Champions,” a gala recent event in Washington, D.C., featuring actor Kevin Sorbo and Project Exploration co-founders Paul Sereno and Gabrielle Lyon.

Nominated by the Kansas Enrichment Network, Johannes specializes in youth development, healthy lifestyles and community capacity-building. She teaches youth development classes to improve the skills of youth development staff and strengthen the afterschool programs in which they work. The classes are available online and reach national and international audiences. 

She has directed two $2.5 million efforts to use afterschool programs to prevent young people from engaging in risky behaviors and has written several afterschool curricula and teaching guides, as well as journal articles and reports on afterschool and youth development.

The professor is on the board of the Manhattan Boys and Girls Club, the executive committee of the Kansas Enrichment Network and the Kansas Military Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee. She also works with the Kansas Dropout Prevention Initiative and is chair of the Kansas Positive Youth Development team.

“We are proud of Professor Johannes and the work she does to instill professionalism and expertise in our students,” said Virginia Moxley, dean of the College of Human Ecology. “Her deep commitments to strengthening military families, to giving youth a voice in society and to promote healthy teens exemplify the mission of the college.”

“Dr. Elaine Johannes is an asset to her community, the university, the state of Kansas and others nationally and internationally,” said Marcia Dvorak, director of the Kansas Enrichment Network.

The “Breakfast of Champions” is part of the 11th annual Afterschool for All Challenge, sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance, which brings together hundreds of parents, educators, children, program directors and advocates from around the country for a series of events and meetings with members of Congress.

The alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs.