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K-State Today

October 25, 2021

Two recognized as communicators of the year

Submitted by Linda Gilmore

The Communicator of the Year Award this year goes to two recipients: Diane Mack, Northeast Region 4-H specialist, and Matthew McKernan, Sedgwick County ornamental horticulture agent.

Mack recently retired from K-State Research and Extension after 35 years. This year her leadership through the development of updated Spark pages, Club Corner resources and 4-H Clover Classroom project challenges has positioned 4-H to have a positive impact on Kansas youth for many years to come. In addition, Mack is always ready to help bring the right person forward to talk about 4-H. Throughout her career with Kansas 4-H Youth Development, she has sought creative ways to reach youth and their families.

McKernan has been with K-State Research and Extension for six years. He has effectively used a variety of ways to present current, research-based information for the community, whether through Master Gardeners, the Sedgwick County Extension Arboretum, social media, or other means. He has developed strong media partnerships through regular interviews in the Wichita Eagle, on Wichita TV stations, and through his regular weekly TV segment on KWCH, as well as working on the Kansas Garden Hour. He has also provided clear, consistent information about hemp research at the John C. Pair Horticulture Center.

Both are commended for their enthusiasm, knowledge, leadership and innovation in reaching new audiences for K-State Research and Extension.

The award is presented annually by the K-State communications and agricultural education department members and the Kansas chapter of the Association for Communication Excellence, the international professional association for extension communicators.

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