Dr. M. Evelyn Fields Among Recipients of the Best Paper Award at AAFCS Conference

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dr. M. Evelyn Fields, associate professor of early childhood education/child development and president of the faculty senate at SC State University, was among a team of eight researchers from six universities who received a Best Paper Award for family and consumer science education for 2010. The award was presented at the 102nd Annual Conference of the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) in Phoenix, Ariz. on June 25.

The authors were Kimberley E. Davis, Linda Johnson, Penny A. Ralston, M. Evelyn Fields, Iris Young-Clark, Valerie Colyard, Vivian Fluellen and Mattie R. Rasco. The universities that they represent are: Clark Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University, Florida State University, SC State University, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Alcorn State University.

The award was presented by Dr. Sharon DeVaney, editor of the Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal. The criteria for the award were: the topic was original, the research design and methodology demonstrated high standards, and the article had the potential to make a lasting contribution to theory and/or practice in family and consumer sciences. The article was published in the September issue of the Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal, Volume 39, Issue 1, pages 107-118.

The title of the article was: "Perceptions, Experiences, and Use of Resources as Selected HBCU Students Transition to Graduate and Professional Roles in Family and Consumer Sciences." The sample included 23 students from three Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Prior to the research, the students had been selected for Science Prep, a program that exposes students to graduate education and research in family and consumer sciences. Analysis of focus group data resulted in five themes: relationships, professional experiences, information resources, financial resources and enablers and barriers.

The Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal publishes original research in the areas of food and nutrition; child and family studies; family and consumer science education;  personal finance and consumer economics; housing, equipment and design; apparel, textiles and merchandising and professional issues. 

Founded in 1909, the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) is the only national not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that provides leadership and support to family and consumer science students and professionals across multiple practice settings.  The membership consists of educators, researchers and administrators; Cooperative Extension educators and other professionals in business and industry, not-for-profit organizations and government.

Fields is the current president of the South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children (SCAEYC) and the principal investigator of the 1890 research project, The Effectiveness of Community Action Research and Professional Development Activities on the Classroom Roles and Partnership of Rural Pre-Service and In-service Teachers.  Additionally, Fields was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Blacks in Higher Education and elected the president of the South Carolina American Association University Professors Council. Fields received her Master of Education and Ph.D degrees in early childhood education from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.  She has extensively published and presented nationally in her niche area of culturally relevant teaching.  Fields is currently co-authoring a book entitled “Empowering Homeless Families with Young Children” for Springer Publishers.  She is also a member of the National Black Child Development Association, the Association for Childhood Education International, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the American Association of University Professors.