Nykole Vance

CHEROKEE COUNTY – There's a new face at the AgriLife Extension office in Rusk: Nykole Vance, who began her new position Dec. 1 as the Cherokee County Extension agent for family and community health.

“I’m so excited to be here in Cherokee County and have my focus be here,” said the Bullard resident, who holds a bachelor's degree in health and kinesiology from UT Tyler and a master's degree in health education from Texas A&M University.

Vance is a clinical exercise physiologist and certified heath education specialist who has served as the outreach health education coordinator for UT Health at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, as well a residency training program coordinator at University of Texas Health Center.

As “ a huge advocate for health and nutrition,” Vance said she feels her previous experience places her in a prime position to serve Cherokee County residents.

“East Texas is known to be one of the most obese areas in Texas, and I hope to put my resources to greater use to help lower those rates,” she said. “Extension has many great and FREE programs to make Texas healthier; we've just got to get them out there.”

Vance will primarily be working with youth and adults, providing a variety of programs in areas dealing with health and nutrition, culinary arts, clothing and textiles, and consumer decision-making projects.

“I hope to bring a new and fresh outlook to community health, and implement fun and heathy programs throughout the county,” she said.

Vance and her husband Richard, a Smith County prosecutor, are parents to an 11-month-old son, Riggins.

“We enjoy being with our family and watching college football games,” she said.

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