NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Dr. Nancy Shepherd, assistant professor in Stephen F. Austin State University’s School of Human Sciences, received the 2020 Leader of the Year Award from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Texas Affiliate.
The award, which was presented online during the AAFCS-TX board meeting earlier this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, honors family and consumer sciences professionals who have made significant contributions to the field through their involvement with AAFCS.
Shepherd was nominated for the award because of her achievements as a family and consumer sciences professional during the past 40 years, 13 of which she spent serving in Texas.
“It is a great honor to be nominated by my colleagues and friends who embraced me as one of their own when I moved to Texas,” Shepherd said. “I've been active with AAFCS since my undergrad years, which led to opportunities to work with national and international leaders who encouraged me to seek leadership positions.”
Shepherd has worked hard to pass on leadership skills to her students.
“I am inspired to encourage students to seek leadership positions as I believe good leaders help take people to a place they might not go by themselves,” she said.
Shepherd has served as coordinator of SFA’s family and consumer sciences program and as director of SFA’s Center for Economic Education, both part of the School of Human Sciences in the James I. Perkins College of Education.
“We are so proud that Dr. Shepherd has earned this award,” said Dr. Chay Runnels, professor in the School of Human Sciences. “To be honored by one’s peers is a big accomplishment, and we are pleased that Dr. Shepherd has received this recognition.”
President of the National Association of Teacher Educators for Family and Consumer Sciences, Shepherd has served as a state senator and national membership chair for AAFCS.
She has held several AAFCS-TX offices, including president, vice president of academic affairs, vice president of member relations and head of the Centennial Conference Committee.
“I particularly enjoyed my work with the national membership committee and the Texas vision team, which completed and published a study looking at the sustainability of the organization,” Shepherd said.
This award also recognizes Shepherd’s work advising and mentoring family and consumer sciences students and bringing together teachers, administrators and counselors to promote a seamless path for students in FCS careers. For example, Shepherd recently served on a national webinar panel that hosted more than 300 participants to examine how the field of family and consumer sciences is contributing during the COVID-19 crisis.
Nancy Granovsky, former president of the International Federation of Home Economics, congratulated Shepherd on her award.
“You have accomplished so much in your career and have been such a stellar thinker within our profession,” Granovsky said. “This is a well-deserved honor.”