Feature Friday: Individuals that Impact

By AAFCS Team posted 02-16-2024 04:13 PM


AAFCS celebrates Black History Month with this week's Feature Friday recognizing two exceptional FCS Professionals who are making an impact! 

Julia R. Miller-Arline 

Julia R. Miller-Arline is an educator, administrator, mentor, researcher, author, and advocate for equal rights in education. Her interests in education were inspired by significant members of her family whose professional careers were in elementary and secondary education. Dr. Miller-Arline’s career in education began as a home economics teacher in junior high school, and then progressed to high school teacher, to higher education, to full professor, to dean and dean emeritus, at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. She has focused her work in the human sciences and other disciplines on administration, management, instruction (face-to-face and online), research, and outreach on the local, national, and international levels. Her expertise and experiences were demonstrated over more than 50 years while working in Virginia, Maryland, and Michigan, and as a visiting scholar in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi, on agricultural research projects with a focus on women in development and nutrition education.

In her efforts to bring African American individuals, families, and communities to the forefront of human sciences education, research, and outreach, Dr. Miller-Arline made her presence known on various boards and committees directly and indirectly related to the human sciences. Dr. Miller-Arline has always felt that one of her greatest accomplishments was her role as a founding member of the National Coalition for Black Development in Home Economics, which later became the National Coalition for Black Development in Family and Consumer Sciences. This organization was created out of a need to fill a void in recognizing and recording the myriad contributions of individuals of African descent to the family and consumer sciences profession, the nation, and the world.

Excerpts taken from:

Jackson, V. P., & Holland, J. M. (2022). Julia R. Miller Arline: A legacy builder. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 114(2), 54-56. doi:

Dr. Gladys Gary Vaughn

A recognized expert in family and social science, Gladys Gary Vaughn has forged a 50-year career in helping people improve the quality of their lives. "I've always believed in social justice. It is a deeply held belief of mine," she told Contemporary Black Biography (CBB). To that end, she has spoken before Congress and on talk shows. She has published scholarly papers, appeared at international seminars, and been quoted in The New York Times. More importantly, her expertise has guided policies and programs that have positively affected thousands throughout the world.

During Dr. Vaughn's two decades with the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), she contributed extensively to the organization, holding positions in fundraising, research, program development, international planning, and grant writing. After retiring from the AAFCS in 1995, Dr. Vaughn focused her efforts on the Odyssey Group, a family and consumer science consultancy she founded in 1994. The firm provided curriculum creation, grant writing, proposal development, and leadership training.

Dr. Vaughn has served as a member and provided leadership to several national organizations including The Links Foundation, Inc., National Consumers League, Black Patriots Foundation, Home Economics Association for Africa, Mission Center, and American Baptist Churches of the South. She was also one of the founding members of the National Coalition for Black Development in Family and Consumer Sciences (NCBDFS). Dr. Vaughn has built a reputation as a scholar in FCS especially as related to African American and Hispanic Communities

Dr. Vaughn has received numerous awards including Family and Consumer Sciences, Distinguished Service Award, The Coalition for Black Development in Home Economics, and Outstanding Service Award.  Currently, Dr. Vaughn works at the US Department of Agriculture where she serves as Chief in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.

Taken from: Gladys Gary Vaughn Biography (n.d.).