Professor presents research on student nutrition and classroom performance
Dr. Cindy Waters' education students are reaping the benefits of her summer stipend opportunity already, and more will benefit during the spring semester. The UIU associate professor of education attended and presented at the 104th American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences annual meeting and exposition held in Indianapolis, Ind., in June.
Keynote speakers for the event included Dr. Gary Bradt, who spoke on finding opportunities with every change, and Cassandra McConnell, who touched on the importance of teaching financial education. Bradt's presentation, "The Ring in the Rubble: Dig Through Change and Find Your Next Golden Opportunity," encouraged education professionals to find the opportunity in a time of chaos and lead others to it. McConnell's presentation, "Financial Education: The GPS to Navigate Financial Markets," dealt with the connection between the National Strategy for Financial Literacy, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's role to encourage consumers to make informed financial decisions, and the importance of encouraging consumers to use their financial knowledge when navigating financial markets.
In addition to the keynote speakers, there were 12 educational sessions, which Waters said were exceptional, "The research presentations provided updated information on new techniques and theories, and the expo's vendor displays were much more engaging and educational this year-many connected with educational or 'super-sessions' (longer than the standard educational sessions), and they were not there to simply promote products and materials, but to demonstrate ways to integrate ideas into the classroom.
"I rely on these sessions to update content knowledge that I use specifically in my courses - Child, Family Health & Nutrition; Human Growth and Development; Intro to Early Childhood Education; Curriculum & Methods of Early Childhood Education; and Administration and Supervision of Early Childhood Programs. I have already integrated and shared content from this conference with the first three courses and will do the same with the others this spring."
The AAFCS annual meeting is the "mecca" for Family and Consumer Sciences professionals, according to Waters, as it provides valuable information from all areas of FCS - financial management, nutrition, wellness, family and personal relationships, child development, foods, textiles and fashion, home interior and design, etc.
"I certainly appreciate the opportunity that the summer stipend affords so that I may attend this type of professional gathering," said Waters. "The chance to present at that level is an honor, but the information gleaned from the conference that I can bring back and utilize in my classes is the most important facet of this meeting. Much of the content is applicable to my courses, specifically Human Growth & Development, Nutrition, & the three early childhood courses. It is refreshing to pick up new teaching ideas, content, and trends to integrate into my existing course content."