Anderson University students often develop more than just friendships on campus. They develop a family away from home. For family science majors and minors, this experience can be found through the recently formed Family Science Student Association (FSSA).
“In a way this association is like family," said FSSA president and senior family science major Michelle Willhelm. "It is bringing the family science majors and minors together to listen to speakers, serve others, gather for social events, and even help prepare each other for life after college.” [Photo on left: Lolly Bargerstock-Oyler, assistant professor of social work; student Mary McDonough; Amy Hoagland, administrative assistant in sociology; student Jeeyoung Wolfe; student Lauren Cantrell; and Dr. Leroy Quashie, assistant professor of family science and director of the Family Science Program.]
The FSSA had been discussed for a few years, but this is the first official year as a club on campus. “Past senior family science majors have always said they needed some kind of association to be identified with,” said Willhelm.
At the end of the 2011 spring semester, family science students nominated and voted for officers. Michelle Willhelm serves as president, along with vice president Stephanie Cleary, secretary Tyler Rush, and treasurer Andry Rakotomalala. Officers are required to be family science majors.
The club created a mission statement they believe reflects the goal “to provide opportunities for professional development, to promote scholarship, leadership, and mutual support to members.”
FSSA officers primarily oversee member-led committees, which let the students make the club their own. The committees are given specific responsibilities, such as fundraising, service events, social events, and guest speakers.
Willhelm plans to take part in national events through the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences. She believes after this building year the club will become more involved with the national office. The AAFCS offers students to attend conferences that will allow them to network with professionals in the industry.
Rakatomala, a junior family science major, wants to help the club reach its full potential. “Next year I want the FSSA to be more recognized as an official organization," he said. "I want it to grow to a point that any family science major or minor can come and get all their questions answered.”
— Matt Dougherty is a senior from Breese, Ill., majoring in communication arts and marketing. Dougherty is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.