Karen Poff

Senior Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences

Karen Poff has worked as an Extension Agent in the Northern Shenandoah Valley since 1987. She currently specializes in programming related to family financial management, housing, and consumer education, serving Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, and Warren counties.

  • Master of Public Administration, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, 1992.
  • Bachelor of Arts, Family and Consumer Studies: Resource Management; Minor in Industrial & Technical Communications, Radford University, Radford, Virginia, 1987.

Senior Extension Agent, Family and Community Sciences, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Northern Shenandoah Valley; provide leadership in planning, implementing, and evaluating research-based Extension educational programs for diverse audiences with primary emphasis on family financial education.  Employed with Virginia Cooperative Extension 1987 to present.

  • Promoted to Senior Extension Agent July 1, 1998.
  • Accredited Financial Counselor, 2007 to present.
  • Basic to Intermediate Foreclosure Prevention Certification, 2008.
  • Certified in Family and Consumer Sciences, 1987 to 2006.
  • Certified Family Life Educator, 2000 to 2004.
  • Supervise 50 volunteers working in the Northern Shenandoah Valley Financial Education Program. Volunteers teach financial management classes, mentor learning partners, conduct youth programs, and work in numerous support roles, 2014 to present.
  • Served as Unit Coordinator for the Virginia Cooperative Extension Shenandoah County Office. Responsible for fiscal management including state and local operating budgets, personnel management of unit support staff, developing teamwork among all unit staff members, and local government relations, 2003 to 2004 and 2008 to 2013.
  • Supervised Child Care Educator and Office Services Specialist implementing a Child Care Quality Initiative in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.  Responsible for recruitment, hiring, supervision, and performance evaluations, 1998 to 2006.
  • Supervised 30 volunteers working in a five-county parenting program.  Volunteers taught parenting courses for clients seeking to improve their parenting skills and worked in support roles for the program, 1996 to 2003.
  • National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, 1987 to present; Electronic Communications Committee (2004-2006).
  • Virginia Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, 1987 to present; Webmaster (2004 to present); Past-President (2004-2006); President (2002-2004); Vice-President for Professional Development (1996).
  • Forum for Family and Consumer Issues Editorial Board Member, 2002 to present.
  • National Council on Family Relations, 2000 to 2004.
  • Epsilon Sigma Phi (Extension Honorary Fraternity), 1995 to present.
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1995 to 2004.  
  • Virginia Extension Service Association, 1987 to present; President (2009-2010); President-Elect (2008-2009).
  • American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, 1984 to 2006; Public Affairs Committee Chairman (1992-1993).
  • Virginia Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, 1984 to 2006; Secretary (1992-1994).
  • Panel presentation, “Northern Shenandoah Valley Public Needs Assessment,” at the Virginia Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences and Community Initiatives Retreat, Roanoke, Virginia 2003.
  • Presented general session, “How Virginia Cooperative Extension Can Support Your Outreach Efforts,” at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Emergency Preparedness Community Outreach Conference in Richmond, Virginia, 2002.
  • Panel member on the “Enhancing Child Care in the Community—Collaborative Models” panel at the Virginia’s Community Resources Conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia, 1999.
  • “Living Well” (Statewide Family and Community Sciences and Food Nutrition and Health Newsletter) developed and distributed quarterly to over 13,000 families in Virginia, 2004 to 2013.  Edited inaugural issue, with editorship rotating among Extension Agents thereafter.  The newsletter has since transitioned to a statewide peer-reviewed publication with an Editorial Board.
  • “Life’s Seasons,” newsletter written and distributed quarterly to 630 households in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, 2000 to 2003.
  • Monthly radio programs and periodic television interviews about family and community sciences topics, 1995 to present.
  • Pocket Budget Guide, Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication Number 2901-7018, 2009.
  • “Childhood Aggression” article published in the professional reference book, The Encyclopedia of Parenting Theory and Research, 1999.

Child Care Quality Initiative Project, received a total of $545,682 from Virginia Departments of Social Services in five localities and the Virginia Child Care Resource and Referral Network from 1998-2006.

  • Virginia Cooperative Extension Program Excellence Award for Program Evaluation (Team Award), 2014.
  • National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences 3rd Place Award for Education Technology, 2009.
  • Epsilon Sigma Phi, Alpha Gamma Chapter, State Mid-Career Award, 2008.
  • National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Continued Excellence Award, 2004.