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