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College re-connects with Home Economics roots

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Nearly 80 graduates of the former College of Home Economics met at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland on Sept. 29 in the first of a series of outreach events to Home Ec alumni.

Dean Tammy Bray led the group on a journey from the college’s early beginnings to accreditation and where the college is headed in the future.

She began in 2001, when the director of Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute convinced her to apply for the position of dean. From there, she discussed the change in the college’s structure, starting when the College of Home Economics merged with the College of Health and Human Performance to become the College of Health and Human Sciences, which she inherited in 2002 when she was named dean.

She walked alumni through additional internal changes to the college structure, as well as three versions of OSU’s strategic plan, the creation of the Division of Health Sciences, which she leads as divisional dean, and the evolution of the college as one focused on public health.

She also shared increases in fundraising and faculty hires and introduced four faculty members who carry on the spirit of Home Economics in their teaching, research and outreach today.

Emily Ho, professor and endowed director of the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health, shared before-and-after photos of the kitchens in Milam Hall and how the center encourages healthy eating in a variety of ways, including campus cooking classes, the GridIron Chef Contest and the Healthy Communities Outreach project.

Norm Hord, the Celia Strickland and G. Kenneth Austin III endowed professor and co-director of the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, also addressed nutrition education and research, including the Dietetic Internship program at OSU.

Megan McClelland, the Katherine E. Smith endowed professor in child development, spoke about her work in school readiness, and Assistant Professor Sam Logan shared information on Go Baby Go, a national program that provides modified ride-on cards to children birth to age 3 who experience limited mobility.

Dean Bray fielded questions, including the most popular question: “What happened to Design and Human Environment?” (It’s in the College of Business.). She also shared that she is stepping down once a new dean is in place following a national search.

“You are are our roots,” she told alumnae. “You are our past and also part of our future. We are stronger because of you.”

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