Marilyn Simmons, president of the National Extension Professionals Organization of the Alpha Zeta Chapter, Epsilon Sigma Phi in Texas and Texas A&M University, announced that Karan A. Heffelfinger, Pecos County, Texas AgriLife Family and Consumer Sciences Agent was selected for their Texas Early Career Service Award.

Simmons cited some of Mrs. Heffelfinger's accomplishments since beginning her employment with Texas A&M and Pecos County as establishing a county Inter-Agency Advisory Board and FCS Advisory Board, establishing a county Health Fair with over 600 attendees, assisting with the development of the Rio Grande Basin Initiative Water Conservation program, assisting with a 4-H After School Program in the community, and establishing a county 4-H, Agriculture and FCS Awards and Recognition Dinner. She also developed a club managers training program and assisted with the 4-H Scholarship program that has netted over $160,000 in two years. In addition, Heffelfinger publishes a monthly Newsletter, writes a weekly column in two different local newspapers and publishes a web site with information.

Dr. Simmons states in her announcement that as one reads Karan's programming accomplishment, one thinks it is a career summary of a successful veteran. She goes on to say that this new extension employee sets the mark high for anyone to follow. One can understand why she is an asset to Texas A&M and Pecos County where she is devoted to her community and is accepted by all ethnic groups, providing answers to their problems. Her presence in newspaper articles, newsletters, the world wide web, on the local radio, through informational bulletins and on various professional organizations has made her a Family Consumer Science expert in the county and the Lone Star state of Texas. Texans are pleased she has returned home and the entire Texas AgriLife Extension program has benefited from her professionalism.

Heffelfinger was also recognized earlier with the state of Texas Alpha Zeta Chapter, Epsilon Sigma Phi Award. the Western Region of Texas High Performance Recognition Award, the District 6 Meritorious Service Award, the Epsilon Sigma Phi Service certificate, and the Texas Family and Consumer Sciences Early Career Award.

She is a retired Family and Consumer Sciences teacher from the Panther Valley School District where she taught Family and Consumer Sciences for over 28 years. She now resides in Ft. Stockton, Texas with her husband Elmer W. Heffelfinger. They have a son Matthew who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.