Becoming a Leader: What FCS Taught You (and Me)

About the Module

This webinar presentation explores the invaluable leadership skills and knowledge gained through the study, practice, and work in the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) discipline. Drawing on personal experiences, the presenter will share how FCS provides a solid foundation for leadership roles and how a FCS background enhances leadership capacity. The presentation highlights real-life FCS examples and practical strategies for becoming a successful leader, regardless of the setting or context.

As a result of attending this sessions, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the connection between Family and Consumer Sciences and leadership development;
  2. Identify core FCS skills that contribute to effective leadership;
  3. Explore real-life examples of how FCS skills and knowledge translate into leadership success; and
  4. Acquire practical strategies for applying FCS principles in leadership roles outside the field.

Resources Available to AAFCS Members Only

Members: To view and access the resources for the module, you must be logged in to your MyAAFCS account.

Resources for this professional development module include the following:

AAFCS Members: To see the "View Recording" button and the Module Resources, you MUST be logged in to your MyAAFCS account.

Correlations to Standards

The resources provided for this VPD Module correlate with the:  

FCS Body of Knowledge

  • Capacity Building
  • Resource Development and Sustainability

Family and Consumer Sciences National Standards 3.0

  • 1.0 Career, Community & Family Connections
  • 13.0 Interpersonal Relationships

National Standards for Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences

  • Career, Community & Family Connections
  • Professionalism

Meet the Presenter

Dr. Cara Simmons

 Dr. Cara Simmons began working in the field of family and consumer sciences in 2014 when she became director of the Student Success and Advising Center (SSAC) at the University of Georgia (UGA) in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) until her recent appointment to director of the UGA Division of Academic Enhancement in March 2023.

 In the SSAC, Dr. Simmons provided leadership to prospective student recruitment, new student orientation, academic advising, internships, fellowships, retention, budgeting, fundraising, career development, instruction, student involvement and leadership, experiential learning, student programming, diversity, and support services initiatives such as Bulldog Basics. In her current role, she leads various student success focused initiatives.

 In FACS, she served as an adjunct faculty member, assistant to the dean for leadership development and diversity, and is a graduate faculty member in the UGA Mary Frances Early College of Education.

 She transformed the teaching and instruction of FACS 2000, Introduction to Family and Consumer Sciences, that introduces the discipline and Body of Knowledge to undergraduate students. The course transformation is featured in the 2022-2023 Virtual Professional Development webinar series.

An active member of the Georgia affiliate, Dr. Simmons has served as President, President-Elect, Student Unit Advisor, Counselor, on the Nominating Committee, and Chair of the inaugural Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. In 2023, she received the Georgia affiliate Leader Award which recognizes Family and Consumer Sciences professionals who have made significant contributions to the field through their involvement in AAFCS. She is also engaged at the national level serving on the Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committee, participating in workshops, webinars, and meetings, and attending and presenting at annual conferences. 

Dr. Simmons is a three-time alumna of the University of Georgia