Distinguished Service Awards

The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) was established by the American Home Economics Association (AHEA) Foundation in 1979 as a living tribute to members of AHEA (now AAFCS) to recognize superior achievements in family and consumer sciences, outstanding contributions to the family and consumer sciences profession, and sustained association leadership at both state and national levels. A list of prior recipients can be found here.

DSA Honorary Fund and Book of Letters Reminder
Honor our DSA recipients Joanne S. Cavis, CFCS-Retired and Lois Lewis, CFCS, CPFFE by donating to the 2024 DSA Honorary Fund today. The Fund supports AAFCS strategic priorities: Advocacy and Collaboration; Education and Recognition; and Research and Innovation. You can make your gift on the AAFCS website by clicking on the membership drop down, and clicking on Distinguished Service Awards or click here.

Congratulate our 2024 DSA recipients by sending in your congratulatory letters and notes to awards@aafcs.org or mail them to the office (1410 King Street, 2nd Floor, Alexandria, VA 22314) by May 10. 

Joanne S. Cavis, CFCS - Retired - Georgia

Lois Lewis, CFCS, CPFFE - Minnesota

Joanne was grounded in the sciences by a home economist mother and chemical engineer father. Raised in Baltimore and Philadelphia, she was the oldest of five children, married her high school sweetheart, has a son and daughter and six grandchildren. Joanne majored in Home Economics, with a concentration in textiles and clothing at the University of Delaware. Her career began in retail, textile licensing and adult education in the northeast. A move to Columbus, Georgia, center of southeastern textiles, offered opportunities to connect with other home economists and contribute to her community through volunteer work. In 1980, Joanne joined the University of Georgia Extension Service which resulted in a 30-plus year career addressing critical community issues and leadership in professional organizations. Accomplishments earned her Senior Public Service Associate faculty rank, equivalent to academic full professor. In retirement, Joanne continues to work with professional organizations at state, national and international levels.

Lois Lewis is a retired professional whose career includes being a County Extension Educator for six years, and teaching high school Family & Consumer Sciences for 30+ years. She has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Over the years, Lois built her FCS program into a fulltime position, and implemented a successful ProStart culinary program. She has received many awards, including the 2012 AAFCS National Teacher of the Year, the 2014 Minnesota ProStart Educator of Excellence, and the 2018 Minnesota Rural Education Association Educator of Excellence. She was a Minnesota Teacher Induction Program mentor and an Educators Abroad University Supervisor, and has also had multiple leadership roles in the Minnesota Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (including President) and in AAFCS, most notably as Elementary, Secondary and Adult Education Community leader and a Council for Certification member

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Award Application will open Summer of 2024
Guidelines are subject to change