Word from the chair

June 9, 2010

Although every year most of us say we have been very busy, I believe the 2009-2010 year has been one of the most fast-paced years I have ever experienced. At the August 2009 faculty retreat, the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences faculty set the tone by supporting three new departmental initiatives to pursue.

One key initiative was to pursue an accredited, supervised practice program by the Council on Accreditation of Dietetics Education (CADE) or dietetics internship. The first step was to gain approval from the University to create a dietetics internship director position and to submit material to CADE to determine if we would meet criteria to be an eligible candidate. Amanda Newell, MS, R.D., was hired in October 2009 and began immediately to write a self-study document with much assistance from Dr. Jeannette Davidson, DPD (didactic program in dietetics) director. After receiving a positive response, the department prepared for a site visit in early March by a CADE team. The team will determine whether or not we can begin the dietetics internship this fall. Currently we are awaiting a final decision by the CADE full board sometime this summer, but we fully expect we will host our first dietetic internship class this August.

While the pursuit of the internship initiative was proceeding, the department successfully developed six new graduate courses (five of which will become part of the dietetics internship graduate certificate). Although one graduate topics course has been available in the department for several years, graduate offerings have now gone from one course to seven courses. Assuming the dietetic internship is approved by CADE; the department beginning fall semester will offer two graduate courses: FCS 605, Advanced Food Service Systems and FCS 640, Research Methods in Family and Consumer Sciences. In spring 2011 dietetics interns will enroll in FCS 607, Clinical Dietetics and FCS 688, Research in Dietetics. In summer 2011, the last graduate course in the internship will be FCS 606, Nutrition and Wellness. Currently, graduate courses are only available to the 10 students accepted into the dietetics internship and the accompanying graduate certificate.

An additional undergraduate course was developed and successfully passed through University curriculum committees that will be offered for the first time in fall 2010. A wedding planner, serving as an adjunct faculty member, will teach FCS 270 Special Event Planning. Students enrolled in this course currently include majors in family and consumer sciences, but it also includes students majoring in business and in communications.

Although these initiatives and teaching full classes in a growing department are enough to keep most faculty busy, the department is exploring offering a new hospitality major. An expert from an accredited hospitality program at a land grant university spent two days on Bradley’s campus and in late January submitted a positive feasibility study for a hospitality major at Bradley. Should the University choose to pursue this new major, the FCS faculty will have another busy year in 2010-2011 developing new courses and curriculum appropriate to a successful hospitality major in FCS. Two FCS faculty members, Dr. Kendra Brandes and Dr. Nina Collins, have also been involved in an ad hoc committee exploring the introduction of entrepreneurship in courses across the University and specifically in core FCS classes so our students will have some entrepreneurial skills upon graduation.
Besides all of these initiatives, faculty stayed busy teaching, advising, and pursuing scholarly activities. For a relatively small department with a healthy enrollment, I think the list of peer-reviewed articles, written by FCS faculty and found elsewhere in this newsletter, is one of which we can all be proud.

Dr. Martha Dallmeyer continued to supervise students in dietetics and in foods, nutrition, and wellness as they managed the successful Lydia’s Lounge in the renovated University Hall cafeteria. This late night food service offering has been very successful on Bradley’s campus operating on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. Lydia’s Lounge, thanks to the creativity and superior management skills by Dr. Dallmeyer and her FCS students, is becoming one of the “cool” places to be on weekends at Bradley.

Dr. Nina Collins