Getting to Know SAFHS: Meet Dr. Janette R. Wheat

Janette Wheat Pic (3) - (Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society Picture - Fall 2013)The successes of the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences are largely due to its dedicated employees who are passionate about their work. Our “Getting to Know SAFHS” series highlights some of our talented faculty and staff and lets you know a little more about them.

What is your job role at UAPB?
I am the coordinator for the Human Development/Family Studies Program. Currently, I am an associate professor/Extension specialist III in Human Development and Family Studies within the Department of Human Sciences. I also serve as an academic advisor and a co-advisor for the Human Development and Family Studies Club. I teach, conduct research and serve on many university, departmental, school and professional associations, as well as state and national committees.

Where is your hometown?
My hometown is Forrest City, Arkansas.

Where did you go to college?
I went to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) to obtain my B.S. degree and a minor. Next, I received my Master of Education and Educational Specialist degrees with two minors at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama. Later, I matriculated to Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where I earned my Ph.D. degree with two minors.

What did you major in?
I majored in clothing and textiles and related arts with a minor in English education for my B.S. degree at UAPB. For my Master of Education and Educational Specialist degrees at Tuskegee University, I majored in home economics education with two minors in adult education and vocational education. While I was at Ohio State University, I obtained my Ph.D. degree in family and consumer sciences education with two minors in human development/family science and higher education administration.

What year did you graduate?
I graduated with my B.S. degree from UAPB in 1981. During 1983/1984, I graduated with my Master of Education and Educational Specialist degrees from Tuskegee University. Last, I graduated with my Ph.D. degree from The Ohio State University in 2003.

What do you like most about your job?
What I like most is that I get an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the students I teach. I am happy when I see the students that I have advised and/or have transferred to our department and majored in Human Development/Family Studies, finally receive diplomas in their hands despite some of the suffering or hardships some endured in their lives.

The next thing that I like about my job is that I enjoy working with my colleagues within my department. They are very nurturing, caring, family-oriented and supportive. I also enjoy supporting the football games, watching our M4 Band perform, listening to our international vesper choir, participating in our conferences, symposiums, assemblies and lectures, as well as taking part in other enriching collegiate experiences here at the University.

I love the courses that I teach. I especially enjoy teaching my Families Across Cultures course. My students and I sponsor an annual Multi-Cultural Festival to promote diversity, respect, unity and appreciation of other nationalities’ cultures, mores, traditions, cuisines, fashions, music, customs and ways of life.

Finally, I experience a sense of pride working at my undergraduate alma mater where I have an opportunity to give back to support the university’s mission, vision and goals, and to help prepare students for their careers to become productive citizens in a global society. UAPB has provided me with an education with a personal touch – a foundation that I have built my professional career upon. The University has also been a legacy for my family because my parents, brother, uncles, aunts and cousins all graduated with their undergraduate degrees from UAPB.

Describe your career before you came to UAPB.
Before I came to UAPB, I was working as an adjunct faculty member at East Arkansas Community College in Forrest City, Arkansas. Prior to working at East Arkansas Community College, I was a doctoral candidate working at The Ohio State University.

If you weren’t working at UAPB, what would your dream job be?
I am currently working in my dream job.

What are your hobbies outside of work?
My hobbies outside of work are reading fashion and heath/wellness magazines, listening to smooth jazz and old school R&B music and dancing. My guilty pleasure is watching talk shows (entertainment and health).

Do you have a favorite movie or book?
I have several favorite movies. My favorites are as follows: The Ten Commandments, Cinderella, It’s A Wonderful Life, Rush Hour, starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, and The Wizard of Oz. I also like inspirational books by Joel Osteen and reading books on leadership. One of my favorite books is Experiencing His Presence: The Threshing Floor Devotional by Juanita Bynum. I also enjoyed reading Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man by Steve Harvey.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?
If I could visit any place in the world, I would like to go to several places. I would travel to Hawaii, Greece, Trinidad, Barbados, Jamaica and the Virgin Islands. I also would like to visit captivating Mediterranean ports including, Rome, Florence/Pisa, Monte Carlo, St. Tropez, Monaco and Barcelona. The reason why I would want to go is to experience the glamor of the French Riviera, view the beautiful architecture of Florence and marvel at the cultural and historic treasures of these exotic sites. I also would like to experience some salsa dancing while visiting some of these luxurious locations.

What is one goal you’d like to accomplish during your lifetime?
One goal I would like to accomplish during my lifetime is to establish a multicultural resource center.

Who is your hero?
I have more than one hero. My heroes are my mother, father and brother.

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