CHS Faculty Receives 2023 Rossmann Manatt Faculty Development Award

By Ethan Stoetzer

The College of Human Sciences (CHS) and the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) is pleased to announce Associate Professor and Food and Health Extension and Outreach State Specialist Dr. Sarah Francis is the recipient of the 2023 Rossmann Manatt Faculty Development Award.

Annually awarded to a faculty member in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and CHS (alternating annually), the Rossmann Manatt Faculty Development Award is designed to recognize a tenured faculty member who has demonstrated an exceptional level of creativity and productivity in scholarship, teaching, and service and who shows great promise of continuing such achievement. The honor includes a $10,000 award to be used on research throughout the fiscal year. 

Since joining FSHN faculty in 2009, Francis has become a leader in research and innovation, executing several Iowa State Extension projects to improve the lives of older adults. Her tenure at Iowa State includes extensive experience participating in evaluating and assessing the short- and/or long-term impacts and outcomes of nutrition, food safety, and wellness programs. Her accomplishments include being named Lura M. Lovell Faculty Fellow (2019) and the Jane Armstrong Endowed Chair of Food Science and Human Nutrition (2022).

“It is such an honor to receive the Rossmann Manatt Faculty Development Award,” Francis said. “I want to thank my colleagues who nominated me, the selection committee, and the generous donors, Jack and Marty Rossmann and Kathy Manatt. My Extension mission is to engage, excite, and empower adults to prioritize their health, one behavior change at a time. This award will support this mission by providing Latinx community members in Iowa with a research-based, culturally relevant food and health newsletter.”

Francis intends for the monetary award to be spent building out the monthly Words on Wellness (WOW) newsletter. Produced through Iowa State Extension, WOW is a food and health education resource that reaches nearly 15,000 Iowans, annually. The WOW will expand from a newsletter to a multi-faceted educational offering including a new face-to-face program, WOW-Live, and coordinated social media messaging. The Rossmann Manatt Award will provide the support necessary to develop a much needed quarterly Spanish-language, and culturally relevant Food and Health newsletter.

As a Nutrition Extension State Specialist, Francis’ goal is to develop community-based nutrition programs and materials that produce measurable behavioral changes. She has received and managed over $2.9 million in grant funding for community and educational projects, including the current projects: Wellness and Independence through Nutrition (WIN): Food Assistance Outreach and the National Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging: A partnership with Iowa and the Administration for Community Living (ACL).

Previous award winners can be found here:

By Ethan Stoetzer