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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


FCS Resilient: Adapt, Change, Embrace

- Friday, October 30, 2020
All FCS Conference Program

The All-FCS Conference was this week. The virtual event focused on resilience and by all indications from the 200+ participants, the event was a huge success. I had a chance to be a panelist in the closing session along with Lori Myers, senior director, American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) and Erik Porfeli, professor and chair, department of Human Sciences in the College of Education and Human Ecology.

The focus of the panel was adapting, changing and collaborating. We talked about looming issues and how to engage one another and stakeholders in pursuit of a brighter future. Three different perspectives converged in the panel discussion. And as in most discussions, it didn’t take long to uncover ideas and beliefs we had in common. Here are a few highlights:

  1. The future of our profession is largely up to us. How can we come together to identify what we want to create or strengthen what we are about? What resources do we have to assist us? What resources do we need? When do we get started?
  2. We need to remember our work is a marathon (not a sprint). Can we discipline ourselves to avoid the ‘noise’ and take care of ourselves? Can we focus on a game plan that is ‘friendly’ to existing teammates and potential new partners? Can we commit to doing better at telling our story?
  3. All that is shiny and new is not always better. How can we be more intentional about recognizing and honoring the good work done by colleagues who have come before us? Can we get better practiced at reminding ourselves (and others) about the value that we bring?
  4. No matter the position we hold, each of us is provided opportunities to lead. Can we recognize when our leadership is needed and muster the courage to step up? What do we have to do to develop the confidence to step up when we sense it is time?

T McCoy showcased her moderator skills and wrapped up the two-day event with tons of energy. It was encouraging to see such enthusiasm for our work and optimism for the future, even after all the weirdness that is 2020. And, like the individuals and communities that we serve, and the larger organization of which we are a part, I was once again reminded that we understand what it takes to endure.

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