Sawer, an ‘outside the box’ thinker, inducted into National 4-H Hall of Fame

Este contenido ha sido traducido automáticamente. El servicio de Extensión de Oregon State University (OSU) no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Consulte la versión original en inglés para confirmar la información.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Barbara J. Sawer, whose leadership, program expertise and skills in program evaluation had a significant impact on improving and expanding the 4-H Youth Development program in Oregon and nationally, is the newest Oregon member of the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

Sawer was among 13 people who were inducted for their achievements and contributions to 4-H in a ceremony held Monday in Pittsburgh. Jim Rutledge, former state leader of the Oregon State University Extension 4-H Youth Development Program, accepted on Sawer’s behalf.

“4-H encourages you to learn new things, take risks and work to benefit others,” Sawer said. “4-H is good for the whole family.”

Sawer, who was inducted into the Oregon 4-H Hall of Fame in 2015, served as a 4-H state youth development specialist for OSU Extension from 1974-1995. The National Association of Extension 4-H Agents recognized Sawer with a distinguished service award in 1984 and national diversity award in 2001. She received the association’s 25-year award in 1993.

For the national diversity award, she was recognized as part of a team for outstanding effort and accomplishments in achieving and sustaining diversity in 4-H audiences. In addition to supporting and expanding many traditional 4-H programs, including volunteer leadership development, home cconomics curriculum, staff development, state fair and summer week, Sawer expanded and added value to the Oregon 4-H program for her “outside the box” thinking.

Sawer was an early leader in program evaluation within Oregon 4-H and nationally. Her 1984 book Evaluating for Accountability: A Practical Guide for the Inexperienced Evaluatorbecame the foundational reference for 4-H and Extension program evaluation. As a result, she was often requested to give evaluation presentations at national and international professional conferences and seminars.

Sawer introduced the concept of 4-H judges as teachers – providing constructive feedback and positive reinforcement – in a 1987 article in the Journal of Extension. Nearly 100% of participants in her presentations on this topic came away impressed. One wrote, “I’m a picky judge, but you made me see beyond the exhibit to the member’s experience.”

In the late 1980s Sawer co-led the Parents and Adolescents Can Talk (PACT) program as part of a statewide Youth at Risk Initiative in response to Oregon’s soaring rate of teen pregnancy. She secured grant funds for training, evaluation and materials for county program delivery. The program focused on helping parents learn to talk with their teens about sensitive issues like sex and sexuality and also to encourage abstinence or delay sexual activity.

Viewed as risky and a huge leap outside of the traditional 4-H program at the time, PACT proved popular and participants reported that it was very helpful in initiating and conducting these difficult and sensitive conversations.

Sawer was the project evaluator for the Oregon 4-H Latino Outreach Project and became the national 4-H expert in the design of culturally responsive approaches in evaluation with Latino audiences. By the seventh year of the project, OSU Extension 4-H reported a 400% increase in Latino enrollment. 4-H Tech Wizards, one component of the program, resulted in 95% of participants graduating from high school, nearly double the graduation rate of Latino students in Oregon at the time, and 70% pursued post-secondary education. Sawer presented on the project at multiple national conferences, helping many states fashion their outreach efforts, and was co-author of the capstone project publication.

Sawer grew up on a farm outside of Atwood, Kansas. She joined 4-H in the fourth grade and enjoyed writing and keeping 4-H records. She was elected the Driftwood Sunflower 4-H Club reporter, continuing in that position through high school. was an active 4-H recruiter, putting posters in local stores and being interviewed on the radio

As a 4-H member, Sawer had home economics projects, which she entered in the Rawlins County Fair and the Kansas State Fair, and regularly gave 4-H demonstrations. Her work culminated in several significant awards including Kansas 4-H Girl of the Year, State 4-H Achievement Winner and delegate to National 4-H Congress.

She attended Kansas State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree, and went on to earn a master’s from Montana State University and a doctorate from the University of British Columbia. She was an Extension information and communications specialist in Montana for five years and Washington for two years before joining the faculty at OSU.

Sawer was a significant supporter of and contributor to the Oregon 4-H Foundation. In Oregon, her community involvement included the American Red Cross and nonprofit fund development. She chaired the Linn-Benton Council on Youth Alcohol Abuse. She lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

“Barbara’s commendable career contributed greatly to the 4-H experience of thousands of youths in Oregon and across the nation,” said Lyla Houglum, former dean and director of OSU Extension. “Her work has contributed to the national and international body of knowledge that undergirds 4-H youth development programming to this day. Barbara has always believed that her responsibilities extend beyond 4-H to include the larger field of positive youth development, as well as to all of Extension.”

Houglum continued, “By sharing her work with others across the country through publications, conference workshops and individual consultations, she has improved educational experiences for 4-H youth wherever they reside.”

National 4-H Hall of Fame honorees are nominated by their home states, National 4-H Council, the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP), or the Division of Youth and 4-H, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The National 4-H Hall of Fame was established in 2002 as part of the Centennial Project of National Association of Extension 4-H Agents in partnership with National 4-H Council and National 4-H Headquarters at USDA.

¿Fue útil esta página?

¿Tienes una pregunta? Pregúntale a Extensión

“Pregúntale a Extensión” es una forma de obtener respuestas del Servicio de Extensión de Oregon State University. Contamos con expertos en familia y salud, desarrollo comunitario, alimentación y agricultura, temas costeros, silvicultura, programas para jóvenes y jardinería.