Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker, associate dean for research in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at North Carolina A&T State University, was elected chair of the Association of Research Directors during the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities in Denver, Colo. in November.

The Association of Research Directors is a federation of 18 land-grant universities primarily in the Southeast that coordinates research initiatives among its members. Hymon-Parker will serve as chair for two years, starting in January 2013.

A 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 other organizations, both professional and civic. She has also been recognized numerous times throughout her career for excellence in teaching, advising, and for her work in distance education. In 2010, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), the professional association’s highest honor. Her research interests include employment and industry trends in fashion retailing, rural entrepreneurship and childhood obesity. Hymon-Parker received her Ph.D. in education policy planning and administration from the University of Maryland; her master’s in apparel design from Cornell University, and her bachelor’s in home economics from North Carolina Central University in Durham.

In addition to family and consumer sciences, a field that includes food and nutritional sciences, child development, and fashion, the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at N.C. A&T also has programs in animal sciences, agriscience education, landscape architecture, biological engineering, natural resources, business and economics