Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Professional and student members of the Arkansas Affiliate of the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (ArAFCS) held their yearly state meeting at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) with Dr. Janette Wheat, UAPB associate professor, serving as conference chair recently. They elected officers, presented awards, earned professional development units, networked, renewed professional acquaintances and toured facilities.
The theme “Moving Our Profession Forward through Advocacy, Technology, Research and Diverse Connections” allowed leeway for the home economists (family and consumer scientists) and students to explore and address issues affecting everyone. Topics included: nutrition; obesity; breastfeeding; Early Head Start; sustainability trends in fibers, textiles and apparel; and the rise of the fashion industry in China.
Kay Dutram, UAPB assistant professor and director of the nutrition and dietetics program, reminded everyone that “time spent learning something is never wasted.” She said that weight and obesity are not only a U.S. problem but a worldwide one with 2.1 billion people overweight. After a discussion on breastfeeding, gears changed to fashion.
UAPB fashion instructor Yunru Shen discussed the fashion industry in China including how in a short period of time it went from one of unisex, utilitarian garments to haute couture centers of fashion. Another aspect of the fashion industry was provided by Dr. Kaye Crippen, UAPB associate professor, who discussed sustainability. She said that some companies are hiring sustainability personnel who deal with greener ways to produce fashion to recycling and reusing the fibers and fabrics.
Dr. Marilyn Bailey, head of the UAPB Child Development Center, discussed the importance of early learning experiences for babies and toddlers. She also told of the process involved in obtaining grant funding of the Early Head Start Initiative.
Also part of the state meeting was a breast cancer awareness seminar, motivational speakers, tours to the UAPB value-added food product laboratory and the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, and a business meeting. Dr. Mary M. Warnock was recognized as the 2016 American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Distinguished Service Award Recipient.
Dr. Wheat will take over as state president of the Arkansas affiliate on June 1; she will be followed by president-elect Teki Hunt Winston, UAPB director of 4-H programs and SAFHS recruitment.