Carol A. Rice, Ph.D., R.N.
Walk Across Texas! Project Director
Extension Program Leader for Family Development and
Professor and Extension Health Specialist
Carol Rice is a Professor and Extension Health Specialist. Her specialty is community health and wellness education. Working with a team of Extension educators, she developed a physical activity program, Walk Across Texas. This eight-week program, now implemented yearly in over 100 Texas counties with leadership from county Extension educators, helps Texans significantly increase their level of physical activity. She has also worked with Mary Bielamowicz, Ph.D., a registered dietitian, to develop a diabetes education program, Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes. This 9-topic, 5-session program is now being implemented in over 70 Texas counties. County Extension educators team with local health care providers to deliver the 5 sessions aimed at helping people with type 2 diabetes learn the necessary skills to manage their disease. Both programs include an extensive training program for Extension educators and on-line data collection to assess outcomes.
Dr. Rice’s past experience includes a variety of clinical positions with a community focus and 21 years teaching undergraduate and graduate nursing at several schools within the University of Texas System.
Since coming to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in 1995, she has worked to support and extend health education conducted by county Extension agents. She serves as project director for Early Detection and Cancer Awareness for Rural Texans and Reducing Tobacco Use by Youth in Rural Communities.
Dr. Rice received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin. She has a Master’s Degree from the University of California at San Francisco and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. All of her degrees are in nursing.
Alice Kirk, MPH
Walk Across Texas! Project Manager
Extension Program Specialist, Child Health and Wellness
Alice Kirk joined the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Family Development and Resource Management (FDRM) unit in September 2005. Alice, a former 4-H’er, began her professional career with Texas Extension in 1998 as a Better Living for Texans (BLT) Assistant in Brazos County where she did outstanding work with the Puente de Salud/Bridge to Health program. Prior to joining FDRM, Alice served five years in the Food and Nutrition unit as the state program coordinator for the BLT, Food Stamp Nutrition Education program.
Alice’s educational background includes a B.S. degree in Health from Texas A&M University and a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree, with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Health, from the School of Rural Public Health, The Texas A&M University System.
As the new Child Health and Wellness Specialist, Alice focuses much of her effort in the areas of childhood overweight and increasing physical activity among children and their families. She is also one of the primary contacts and supporters of the Walk Across Texas program. Alice has a strong community education background and is collaborating with other specialists, agents, schools, and state agencies to support the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s strategic plan to address childhood overweight and increase physical activity among youth.
Alice is a member of the Society for Nutrition Education (SNE); American Public Health Association (APHA); and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).
Michael Lopez, B.S., MUP
Walk Across Texas! Program Support
Michael Lopez, MUP, joined the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Family Development and Resource Management (FDRM) unit in May 2011. As an Extension Program Specialist, Michael focuses much of his effort supporting two AgriLife Extension projects – Texas Grow! Eat! Go! and Walk Across Texas. His main role is to manage the projects and priorities to enhance implementation of the community and school grants. For the Texas Grow! Eat! Go! project, Michael participates in program planning and evaluation of Walk Across Texas, a research-based outcome program for children and adults. He also provides support and facilitates trainings and communication between program leaders and participants.
Michael’s educational background includes a B.S. degree in Biomedical Sciences and a Master of Urban Planning (MUP) degree, with a concentration in Active Living and Healthy Communities, both coming from Texas A&M University. He also earned a certificate in Environmental Health Management.
Michael is a member of the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) and the American Planning Association (APA).