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Connect Extension Virtual Chat: Gamifying Food Labels

Virtual Chat

Click Here at 1 PM ET on November 12th to Join the Virtual Chat! Connect Extension Account Required to Participate. Cooperative Extension professionals can join Connect Extension here.

Each month, the eXtension Foundation will host a virtual chat here on Connect Extension, available to all Cooperative Extension professionals. The purpose of these short virtual chats is to highlight best practices and innovation throughout Cooperative Extension. Each session will be a different topic area.

Gamifying Food Labels

Food labels can confuse consumers in the grocery store. There are several types of food labels. Nutrition labels are an example of a food label required by regulatory agencies. Other labels are optional and added by the manufacturer or distributor. Food label examples include non-GMO, natural, and organic. A team at the University of Connecticut Extension is gamifying food labels to provide an interactive and fun way to educate consumers about different types of labels. This chat will include a discussion on food labels and gamification approaches to consumer education.

This conversation will be hosted by Jen Cushman, and moderated by Sharon Gray and Stacey Stearns.

To participate, Cooperative Extension professionals will need to have a Connect Extension account. To register your free Connect Extension account, click here.


Sharon Gray supervises the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in Hartford County for UConn Extension and conducts food and nutrition programming. She oversees a number of Community Nutrition and 4-H Grants. Sharon also handles food and nutrition questions from the public.

She is a registered dietitian and provides clinical counseling to patients at  CT Children’s Medical Center.  She earned her BS in Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University and Masters in Public Health at UC Berkeley.

Stacey Stearns is a Program Specialist focused on communications for UConn Extension, and formal and informal reporting. She works with several Extension program teams, including farm to community, Bug Week, GMOs and trails. Stacey earned her bachelor of science in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut and a master of science in Agricultural Education and Communication from the University of Florida.


Since joining the UConn Faculty in 2015, Jen Cushman has served in the role of Hartford County 4-H Extension Educator. She oversees the Hartford County 4-H Programs. In addition, she teaches youth and adults in a variety of program areas and she also coordinates the statewide 4-H dairy goat program. Jen is a graduate of UConn with a BS in Animal Science and Agriculture and Natural Resources. She also earned a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction and Sixth Year in Educational Leadership.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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