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New Chair on First Year at Georgia Southern

Johnson_CynthiaNow that she has completed her first year as the founding chair of the School of Human Ecology (SHE), Cynthia Johnson, Ph.D., said she only has words of praise for the department’s faculty and staff. Johnson arrived at Georgia Southern University last summer from East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., and has spent 15 years in administration.

“Getting to know the staff and faculty individually — their ideas, their goals, their aspirations, where they would like to take the department and learning about the history of the department — has been wonderful,” she said. “What I enjoy most is finding out the aspirations of faculty members, and helping them toaccomplish their goals.”

The College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS) created SHE in 2012 when it realigned six programs in the College, placing four of them – child and family development, interior design, fashion merchandising and apparel design and recreation into SHE.

The new chair said her priority is to make sure the department “offers rigorous programs so that it is nationally competitive and recognized nationally for the programs it offers.” As Johnson explained, “I am big on national recognitionand accreditation. I would really like to seefaculty members become president of national organizations and serve on professional boards and advisory councils.  National prominence benefits faculty, the department, and the College.”

Increasing the number of scholarships awarded to students and ensuring that some of the proposals by faculty are funded, are among some of her other goals. When it comes to challenges, Johnson said one of her biggest has been finding enough space to accommodate both faculty and staff in the department, and redefining space for students.

The students in the School of Human Ecology have made a big impression on Johnson who described them as well balanced and specialty driven. “They have extraordinary internship experiences by working with the best companies, businesses and agencies as interns. Some of these regional, national, and international enterprises turn around and hire them,” she said.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 125 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.

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