Interim Dean Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker

Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker, a native of Warrenton, N.C., will be the first woman to serve in the role of dean of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Under her leadership as associate dean for research, a position she held since joining North Carolina A&T State University in 2009, the SAES continued to lead the university in research funding, bringing in approximately $21 million in fiscal year 2014-2015. Under her leadership, the school also established its Undergraduate Research Scholars Program in 2010. Hymon-Parker was appointed interim dean of the school effective July 20, 2015.

A nationally recognized leader in the field of family and consumer sciences, Hymon-Parker has served as chair or co-chair of 25 professional committees and organizations, and in many other leadership capacities for N.C. A&T and other organizations, both professional and civic, on the local, state and national levels. Most recently, she served on the national steering committee of the 125th Anniversary of the Second Morrill Act of 1890, which succeeded in raising national and Congressional awareness about the importance of the 1890 institutions to the land-grant mission. 

Hymon-Parker’s leadership acumen is widely recognized. She currently serves as chair-elect of the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), and will assume the chair position Oct 1, 2015. She also serves on APLU’s Policy Board of Directors of the Board on Agriculture Assembly Commission on Food, Environment and Renewable Resources. From 2012 -14, she chaired the 1890 Association of Research Directors, and served as director at large of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. 

Prior to joining N.C. A&T, Hymon-Parker spent 26 years rising through the ranks of academia at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, serving as professor and chair of the Department of Human Ecology, as well as associate research director for 1890 programs in the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences (SANS). Her granstmanship while at that university garnered more than $5.6 million, and her research activities focused on childhood obesity, rural entrepreneurship, quality of life issues for the rural elderly, and fashion retailing. 

Her professional development activities have been extensive, most recently including a two-year fellowship with the Food Systems Leadership Institute from 2010 – 12. During her 35-year career, Hymon-Parker has received numerous recognitions for her teaching, scholarship and leadership. In 2010, she was presented the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the organization’s highest award, which recognizes a member’s superior achievements in, and contributions to, the field of family and consumer sciences, as well as sustained association leadership at the state and national levels. 

Hymon-Parker has presented and served as invited keynote speaker at numerous professional conferences, is the author of three book chapters, and has published extensively in refereed and non-refereed publications on the topics of education, distance learning, leadership and undergraduate research. 

Hymon-Parker received her Ph.D. in education policy planning and administration from the University of Maryland College Park, her master’s in apparel design from Cornell University and her bachelor’s from North Carolina Central University, from which she received the Outstanding Alumni Award in 1997. She also holds a doctoral certificate in gerontology from the University of Maryland College Park. 

The University is undertaking a national search for the dean position, and expects to begin interviews in early spring, 2016 with the goal of announcing a permanent dean by July, 2016.