Page 1

December 2012

Issue 2

In The Know


Brittany Trotter Coordinator SU Chair Erik Scearce Editor First Vice Chair Kate Black Writer Chair-Elect Sherry Rooks Writer Second Vice Chair Amanpreet Kaur Writer Vice Chair of Outreach & Service Ale O’Beachain Writer Secretary Sophy Mott Staff Liaison Jenny Schroeder Director-at-Large

Everything ’s B igger in T exas

Brittany Trotter Chair

What does sweet tea, country music, exciting excursions, southern comfort foods, and Family and Consumer Sciences have in common? Why, the 2013 Annual Conference! As the saying goes, “everything’s bigger in Texas!” The 2013 AAFCS conference is no exception! From June 26-29, Family and Consumer Sciences students, educators, and professionals will meet in Houston, TX for the 104th Annual Conference & Expo. Although June seems far away when many of us are simply trying to finish up the semester and survive our final exams, it is never too early to begin planning for this event. Begin budgeting and fundraising for the conference with fellow students within your affiliate, or utilize our Facebook page to network with other Student Unit members and find a potential conference roommate. Frequently check the AAFCS website for updates regarding early registration rates. Browse websites for attractions within the Houston area. And as always, know that you can rely on the Student Unit offer team to provide

suggestions and answer your questions to assist in making your conference experience a success! Because many of us are “broke college students” you may find that fundraising could be beneficial. You could ask the professionals within your state affiliate for donations or to help sponsor students attending the conference. You could host a bake sale, an auction, a car wash, or seek donations from local business owners. And, if you are a college junior who is also a first time conference attendee, you could apply by March 15 for the $500 Betsy Norum Student Subsidy sponsored by the AAFCS Community of Partners in Home and Community. We hope that you will attend the Annual Conference this year as AAFCS and the Student Unit prepares to go big in Texas! Interesting sessions that educate about the future of Family and Consumer Sciences, networking opportunities with professionals from various FACS related career fields, an exciting travel opportunity, giving back through community service with fellow students, and experiencing leadership in a fun way await you in Houston. So mark your calendars and get ready to go big, dream big, network big, build a big future, and share in a big and exciting experience with AAFCS!

Visit us online at:

Find us on FACEBOOK!

Follow us @AAFCS_SU

P romoting AAFCS Kate Black Chair-Elect To those who are reading this, we appreciate your involvement in AAFCS and the student unit, but we ask for your help. Too few of the students involved in the professions related to Family and Consumer Sciences are taking advantage of the knowledge, experiences, and resources available through AAFCS. The only way we can change this is through YOU. Each of us needs to work to promote membership and involvement in AAFCS to our fellow students and professionals. Personally, I find it fairly simple to bring up my AAFCS experiences when talking with students and other professionals. Mention that you went to Indy over the summer to present your research, learned new things, had fun, or whatever else you took away from the conference. If you were unable to attend



E veryday L ife

conference last summer but want to go this summer, explain to people that you get to visit Houston in the middle of the summer to further your professional development. While you’re at conference, pick up some souvenirs that can spark conversation. Maybe you grabbed a ton of free stuff from the expo and gained lots of new ideas that you can implement, don’t be shy about telling people in your classes, “oh, I learned this from AAFCS summer conference.” Last conference I picked up an adorable purse and now I tell everyone that I got it in Indy, which leads to the inevitable discussion of why I was in Indy in the first place. If each of us is willing to put a little effort and thought into promoting AAFCS in our everyday conversations and experiences I feel certain that we can raise the number of students and professionals participating with us in AAFCS. Will you take the challenge?


Importance, Value, and Finding Opportunities... Ale O’beachain Secretary We often hear that it is important to engage in professional development as students. But why is it important and how can we do it? Professional development allows you to gain new knowledge and skills that will help you improve your performance in the profession. It helps you grow not only as a professional, but also as an individual. There are many ways in which you can start your professional development. One of the easiest ones is by attending the upcoming AAFCS 104th annual conference & expo. Conferences provide you the opportunity to learn more about the fields in a profession. They also offer mentorship opportunities and networking opportunities that sometimes can even lead to finding a job. Another way is by becoming an active citizen in your community. It exposes you to different career environments. Volunteering helps you learn and implement new skills in real life situations. It can help you improve your interpersonal skills, and understand other personality types. It also helps you experience responsibility and commitment to a job.

In addition, becoming a leader in groups or an officer in associations is also a great way to start your professional development. Associations provide you the ability to gain and practice leadership skills. You also learn to manage time, administrate money, enhance your communication skills, and work well with diverse groups of people among many other things. Start your professional development today by making plans to attend the 2012 AAFCS conference in Houston, TX. Get involved in the Student Unit “Share our Strength: No Kid Hungry” national service project and other programs in your communities. Become a leader in one of your university student organizations or a group in your community. Serve as an officer or committee member at the local, state, or national level in an association. Don’t forget that you can also receive guidance to begin your professional development through the AAFCS Mentoring and Networking Program. To learn more about it, please visit the Membership/mentoring.asp website.

From a Professional... Erik J. Scearce First Vice Chair Every day students’ interact with professors from their department whether that be through classes, meetings, or other related work. These professors are a student’s greatest resource, expecially when it comes to professional developement and opportunities. They have a wealth of knowledge and experiance that are invaluable. I have asked Dr. Tina Kruger, a professor at Indiana State University, to provide insight on a few different questions. But first, Tina Kruger received her PhD in Gerontology from the University of Kentucky in 2011 and took on her current position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Health Sciences at Indiana State University where she is developing a gerontology program. Her research interests include cognitive aging, health behaviors, and pedagogy (primarily incorporating engaged learning opportunities into gerontology and other courses).  Dr. Kruger teaches several courses in the Department of Applied Health Sciences, including many required and elective courses for Human Development and Family Studies and Family and Consumer Sciences majors/minors. Continue reading on page 3 for Dr. Kruger professional advice.


Photo provided by: Dr. Tina Kruger

How do you feel college students can best network with professionals?

College campuses provide many opportunities for students to network with professions, including job fairs, community engagement projects, and professional development workshops. In addition to taking advantage of these opportunities, students can network by contacting professionals in positions related to students’ interest and requesting an “informational interview.” During an informational interview a student can ask a professional about his or her position and simultaneously make a good impression on the professional by demonstrating preparedness for the interview and interest in the type of position the professional holds.  The goal of such interviews is not to get a job but to learn about a job, yet many people end up seeking and receiving a position in a place where they have done an informational interview.

What can college students do to prepare themselves to enter the professional setting?

Written and oral communication skills are some of the most important abilities students can develop to prepare themselves for entering the workforce. From the first email or telephone contact inquiring about a position to sharing information clearly and effectively during an interview to performing the tasks required by a position, good communication is vital. It doesn’t matter how much you know or how many relevant experiences you’ve had, if you can’t tell others about it, you won’t do well in a professional setting. Students should take any opportunity to practice communicating (papers for classes, in-class presentations, sending out invitations to a student organization event, etc.) as a chance to prepare for their careers.

What do you feel are some of the biggest roadblocks facing individuals in the career world?

The current state of the economy, while improving, still makes getting a job difficult. Anything students can do to develop their résumés and set themselves apart in a stack of applications will help them succeed in the career world.  Maintaining a high GPA is important, but participating in student organizations and taking on leadership roles helps build even stronger résumés. Furthermore, the more students can do to figure out the path they truly want to be on, the more focused they can be in their efforts to prepare themselves for and attain a satisfying career.  Internships, practicums, and informational interviews can all help narrow a student’s focus and help him or her identify the best path to accomplishing career objectives.

What do you feel is the outlook for careers in FCS and related fields?

Family-related concerns and issues surrounding the development, marketing, and consumption of goods remain top priorities in this country and around the world. While some careers in FCS and related fields are shrinking, others are growing, and new jobs are being created on an almost daily basis.  Many of the careers that students will have in the future do not even exist right now.  Keeping up on developments and changes in careers in FCS and related fields (through participating in relevant student and professional organizations, networking with professionals in the field, and keeping current on job search websites) will help students ensure that they are adequately prepared to take on those positions upon completing their degree.


Amanpreet Kaur Vice Chair of Outreach & Service Thanksgiving, Diwali, World AIDS Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Festivus, St. Stephen’s Day, New Year’s, Martin Luther King Junior’s Day, East Asian New Year, and Valentines’ Day are examples of designated days that are a part of the holiday season spanning from November to February. Interestingly enough, these holidays Amanpreet Kaur advocacy, and tend to focus on giving, family, service, Viceseason Chairis ofrich with official and togetherness. This winter informal holidays and fills Outreach it itself with&a Service plethora of related community service and outreach projects. Iowa State University’s Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies (ISU FCEDS) Club hosted a Bead For Life party in late November. The ISU FCEDS Club sold jewelry that was handcrafted by Ugandan women. Proceeds from the event will go back to empowering the women of Uganda. For more information on how you can host your own Bead For Life party, please visit http:// If you have stories of other successful service or outreach projects, please feel free to contact me at or post your story on the AAFCS Student Unit Facebook Group Page groups/SUofAAFCS/.

The AAFCS Student Unit (SU) proudly unveiled the first of two service projects to raise $1,000 to combat childhood hunger. The SU has partnered with Share Our Strength, a national non-profit organization focused on ending childhood hunger in the United States through its No Kid Hungry Campaign. AAFCS members are encouraged to donate to the Annual Fund by December 31, 2012. For every donation of $25 or more, $1 will go to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign. To donate, visit As of November 19, 2012, the Student Unit has raised over $450 towards its goal of $1,000. For more ideas on how you, your school chapters, and state affiliates can raise money for Share Our Strength, please visit Be sure to let me know how much money your event raised for Share Our Strength, so we can announce updates! One of the evenings during the AAFCS Conference in late June 2013 will be reserved as an evening of service, sponsored by the AAFCS SU. The AAFCS SU is looking for leads on non-profit organizations based Houston, Texas. If you have any suggestions on what we should do, feel free to contact me at

Students and Professionals

Lending a Hand



Chapter Spotlight

Ball State University

The Ball State University Student Unit focuses on content knowledge, service, and fundraising throughout the year to advocate for Family and Consumer Sciences Education. During the fall semester members of the Ball State Student Unit attended the Indiana ACTE conference, where members attended sessions about connecting the Photo provided by: Ball State University community and classroom, FCS curriculum, and the RISE Evaluation. After the conference this information was brought back and distributed to other FCS Education students to utilize in the future. Another project members have been working on is our annual craft sale. Members showcase their fashion skills to produce scarves, jewelry, and other craft items to sell on Ball State’s campus. The money raised from the sale helps us complete our service projects and aids members with registration fees for conferences. Service is a large part of the Ball State student unit. This is the first year that we have offered several service opportunities for members to participate in, as opposed to one large service project. Our student unit has partnered with Ball State’s Student Voluntary Services to provide members with opportunities such as helping with a local back to school haunted house, leaf raking event, and other opportunities in the future. We will also be participating in the Indiana Student Unit state project, collecting items for Riley Children’s hospital, to be donated at Spring Conference. One of our most popular service projects is teaming up with the IT department to create a mock assembly line for local kindergarten students. These kindergarten students come in and go through an assembly line to create a birdhouse or another product themselves, with the help of our members. This event will be held in the spring. Photo provided by: Ball State University


Purdue University Purdue’s Student Unit of AAFCS has been very active in the community this year. In the spring semester we made pajamas pants and donated them to the Salvation Army, volunteered in Boiler Blast cleaning up the Lafayette community, sold healthy trail mix at Purdue’s Spring Fest, and held a District C meeting about Textbook Adoption. In the past semester we have collected and donated school supplies for Operation Classroom, video conferenced with the National Teacher of the Year, and volunteered at Natalie’s Dog Shelter walking dogs. At the AAFCS National Conference over the summer, we received the Award of Excellence. This was a very exciting time for our student unit! Our 2012 officers will be going out of office in December, and we will be introducing our 2013 officers in a few short weeks! We are looking forward to the New Year with new officers that have fresh ideas!

The AAFCS Student Unit wants to wish you all

Happpy Holidays and a

Happy New Year! As we look toward the end of this year, and the start of a new one, the AAFCS SU officers have each written a note of encouragement for members. This year has almost come to an end, and it is time to celebrate everything we have accomplished. We are proud to say that the Student Unit was able to achieve great things with the help of all of you. We hope that you were able to achieve all your goals for this year as well. A new year is just around the corner and it is time to make a new year’s resolution once again. Some of us might get discouraged when we weren’t able to accomplish everything we wanted during the year, but don’t give up. Some things simply take more time, work, and dedication to accomplish them. But at the end, your efforts and waiting are very well worth it. Whatever your new year’s resolution might be, we know you can accomplish it. Best Wishes and Happy New Year from the Student Unit!

~Ale O’beachain~


This semester flew by, as I took another eighteen credits. I was building community during my last semester as a Community/Residential Advisor. When December rolls around, I will embark on my last semester as a college student. I will be moving out of the residence hall into an apartment. I will switch from taking classes to being a student teacher. From March to May, I will be teaching Economics at Sampoerna Academy, a high school leadership academy in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. I will be fusing Housing Policy, Family Studies, and Personal Finance into my lessons. I am super excited about this experience and will blog from abroad to fellow Student Unit members. I encourage all Student Unit members to consider traveling. I would like to see you there and share my travel bug at the 2013 AAFCS Annual Conference will be in Houston, Texas in June.

~Amanpreet Kaur~

As the holidays approach and 2012 draws to a close and 2013 looms in the distance, I find myself full of hope. As I began my senior year at the University of Georgia in August I was filled with nervous excitement. I was nervous simply because I knew that in a matter of months I would be facing the adult world and leaving behind the comfort of college and school that I have known the majority of my life. I was excited, however, to see where the doors of life would open next. I recently received an internship through the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences to work as a Legislative Aide at the Georgia State Capitol in January. I am excited to begin this new journey, knowing that it would not have been possible without Family and Consumer Sciences. Although the world and the economy can often put despair upon us, Family and Consumer Sciences can bring hope to the future. The FACS body of knowledge teaches us to make wise financial choices, to develop a healthy lifestyle, to build strong families and support systems, to place a focus on educational development, and allows us to find success in our futures. If you allow FACS to impact your life, you will find that it makes a lasting impression as it strives to make the world stronger. In a time where educational funding is at a threat and a weakening economy makes jobs difficult to find, remind yourself that FACS can build a better future! As J.R.R. Tolkien said, “there is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for” I want to urge you to fight for Family and Consumer Sciences! FACS can bring so much good to our lives and the lives of those around us. So no matter how dim the world may seem, no matter how nervous you may be as you plan for your future, remember to keep up the hope, allow FACS to bring good things to your life, and let your passion for FACS make the world shine brighter like the flames of the Betty Lamp!

~Brittney Trotter~



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