Research effort lands college best paper honor

A three-year research project that included extensive travels overseas has resulted in a big win for the college.

Jane Hegland

At the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences annual conference, held June 26, 2012, in Indianapolis, associate dean Jane Hegland and five co-authors from the University of North Carolina and Iowa State University received one of the 2011 best paper awards from the Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. Each year the journal presents awards to the best papers in the seven disciplines of family and consumer sciences. The awards are based on research papers that are published during the year in the journal. The best paper award presented to Hegland and her colleagues was in the apparel, textiles and merchandising division. The other discipline winners were in the categories of foods and nutrition, human development and family studies, personal finance and consumer economics, and technology and family studies. There were no winners selected in the disciplines of housing and family and consumer sciences education. The honor hit home for the college because the journal’s editor, Sharon DeVaney, is an SDSU graduate, earning both her bachelor’s degree (1961) and master’s degree (1969) in home economics education. DeVaney, who grew up on a farm near Clark, isn’t personally involved when it comes to selecting the winners. Rather, she “manages the awards process” with eight associate editors working with her to identify peer reviewers for the research papers that are submitted from university faculty all over the world. Once the reviewers submit their findings, DeVaney tabulates the results, notifies the winners and plans the annual conference. “I am pleased with all of the award-winning papers each year,” she says. “They represent quality research in family and consumer sciences.”

Sharon DeVaney

Overseas partnerships

“It was very exciting for us when we heard the news,” says Hegland, professor and head of the department of consumer sciences. “Part of our jobs as professors is to conduct research as a way of creating new knowledge. It’s very satisfying that we were recognized by the journal, which is a highly respected national publication.” The title of their paper was “Collaborative Development of Textile and Apparel Curriculum Designed to Foster Students’ Global Competence.” Says DeVaney, “It was a happy coincidence that one of the authors of a best paper for 2011 was also from SDSU. The research on globalizing the curriculum for textiles and merchandising students is truly on the cutting edge. Students

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everywhere will benefit from this research.” According to the authors, textile and apparel industry professionals must be capable of dealing with cultural differences and diverse perspectives on a multinational scale. Addressing the challenges involved in educating students for the global industry workforce, Hegland says the three-year research project was conducted through partnerships between faculty at three U.S. universities and five universities in Thailand, Australia and Russia. “Our research required extensive travel. The project was designed to create learning modules based on real-world industry issues to foster global competence among students in textile and apparel programs.”

Close ties to college

DeVaney, formerly Sharon Lohr, earned a doctorate in family resource management from The Ohio State University in 1993. She taught undergraduate courses in personal finance and graduate courses in consumer economics at Purdue University from 1993 until her

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retirement in 2008. Her late husband, James, a 1962 State graduate, was a career officer in the U.S. Air Force. “We moved frequently,” she says, citing three different bases in Germany and one in England. When he had assignments in Vietnam and Okinawa, she didn’t accompany him. Throughout his assignments, she taught in Dell Rapids, Oklahoma City, and the department of defense dependent schools in Germany, the Netherlands and England. She also taught at Rose State College in Midwest City, Okla. After her husband’s retirement and after DeVaney received her doctorate, they lived in West Lafayette, Ind., when she was on the faculty at Purdue. Currently living in Monument, Colo., DeVaney remains closely connected with the college. A member of the development council, she was named a distinguished alumnus in 2004. Since 2005, she has funded a scholarship each year for a student in the consumer affairs major.

Kyle Johnson

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