What is Chi Epsilon Sigma?

By: Lee Ann Johnson, Past President, Ohio State Chi Epsilon Sigma

“An organization should motivate employees, train them, care for them and make winners of them.” Chi Epsilon Sigma works with Extension to achieve that goal.

Dorothy Rex, an Ohio State University Extension support staff emeriti was Ohio’s first president of Chi Epsilon Sigma. She was instrumental in doing the background work for developing the first Extension support staff organization.

Dorothy worked in a county office with an agent who was an officer in Epsilon Sigma Phi (the National Honorary Extension Fraternity for agents). She realized that a similar organization for support staff would be a benefit to their morale as well.

Dorothy first approached her county chair with the idea and was given strong support and direction. She also made the appropriate contacts with the administrative staff on the state level in Ohio and received their initial approval. With this encouragement, Chi Epsilon Sigma was soon realized.

 Lee Ann Johnson traveled to Kentucky in 1998 to assist us in the formation of the Gamma Chapter. She traveled back to Kentucky in 1999 to help with the installation of our first set of officers and attended our first official support staff conference in 2000 where she was inducted as our first honorary member.

Since the initial formation of this organization, it has been the desire to develop organizations in other states. 

At this time, Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Louisiana also have CES chapters. Each chapter operates slightly different.

Arkansas, Beta Chapter, when first formed, held yearly support staff conferences. With budget restraints, they now hold their annual meeting in conjunction with the support staff in-service training or a date selected by the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. They are still committed to Chi Epsilon Sigma and how it boosts their morale. They have continued to grow, in spite of their hardships and that shows us true commitment.

Kentucky, Gamma Chapter, has a yearly support staff conference. Their chapter is responsible for the planning of their conference and is attended by CES members only. Through their annual membership, they sponsor a community service project. 

West Virginia, Delta Chapter, was installed in 2001, and they hit the ground running. However, budget restraints limit their activites, but they are still committed to Chi Epsilon Sigma's growth.

Louisiana Epsilon Chapter was formed in 2003. Their chapter is committed to community service and sponsor a service project every year.  They continue to hold an annual meeting.

I hope this information provides some details about the basic structure of our organization and how we continue to grow. If you would like to have additional information or assistance in forming a chapter in your state, do not hesitate to contact any of our chapters.

An article was also published in the Journal of Extension, Tools of the Trade section in 1999 regarding CES. You can find this article athttp://www.joe.org/joe/1999october/tt3.html