Professor to Head National FACS Organization

By for CAES News
Bower, who also is a human development specialist with the UGA Cooperative Extension Service and interim chair of the CFD department, has spent nearly 30 years with the university. Among his many awards, he was named the 2003 Walter Barnard Hill Distinguished Public Service and Outreach Fellow, the highest award offered in Public Service and Outreach.

Bower, who is certified in family and consumer sciences by AAFCS, has been involved with the national organization for many years. He served as vice president for planning from 2002-2004, has chaired the AAFCS nominating committee, the resolutions committee, and served as president of the Georgia affiliate several years ago.

“Dr. Bower will make an excellent president of AAFCS,” according to FACS Dean Sharon Y. Nickols, who served in the position from July 2002- July 2003. “His long- time involvement with AAFCS reflects his commitment to ensuring that family and consumer sciences maintains its vitality at all levels.”

Throughout his career, Bower has developed a variety of programs designed to address the needs of children and families. For example, in the late 1970s he approached the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety with a plan to educate Georgians about the importance of safety seats and how to install them correctly. The program has dramatically reduced the trauma from car crashes, the leading killer of children.

In addition, the program has grown into the Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute, which has an annual budget of nearly $1 million and provides training and education throughout Georgia on a variety of safety programs, including the importance of seatbelts and a new program to help parents and teens learn what they need to do during the 40 hours of supervised driving time required by Georgia law.

Bower earned his undergraduate degree in family sociology from Denison University in 1974, his master’s in child and family development from the University of Arizona in 1975, and his doctorate in public administration from UGA in 1989. He is certified as a family life educator by the National Council on Family Relations.

“I’m looking forward to my term as president of AAFCS,” Bower said. “This is an organization that touches lives in so many ways. Whether it’s the researcher exploring child development, the FACS county Extension Service agent providing programs on home buying, or the high school teacher introducing students to the practical aspects of nutrition, AAFCS provides the essential support for all of our professionals to help families apply research to improve their lives.”

The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences is the only national forum where K-12 teachers, university educators and corporate managers collaborate to improve the quality of individual, family and community life. AAFCS has more than 10,000 members.

Denise Horton is a contracted writer for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Office of Global Programs.