Soyeon Shim Named Director of School of Family and Consumer Sciences

Susan McGinley
May 5, 2000


ECAT Science Writer

Soyeon Shim was named director of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences (SFCS, formerly Family and Consumer Resources) in April after serving as interim director beginning July 1, 1999.

SFCS is one of the largest units in the College of Agriculture, with a current enrollment of 700 undergraduate students and 50 graduate students. The school provides instructional, research, and extension programs within two divisions: Family Studies and Human Development (FSHD) and Retailing and Consumer Studies (RCS).

"Soyeon Shim has already demonstrated her leadership and management skills as interim director," says Gene Sander, vice provost and dean of the College of Agriculture. "We are fortunate to retain her permanently as director."

Shim began at the UA in 1990 as an associate professor in the Retailing and Consumer Studies (RCS) Division, and served as division chair from 1992 until 1999. She became full professor in 1995. Working in conjunction with the RCS faculty, Shim founded the Southwest Retail Center for Education and Research in 1993, which is devoted to combining the resources and expertise of the corporate retail industry and the University of Arizona.

A recipient of numerous research awards, Shim also received the University of Arizona Teaching Award in 1996. She has authored and co-authored more than 70 refereed journal articles in the retailing and consumer science field.

"My vision is to make the SFCS a compelling place where students can learn, faculty and staff can work and grow, and where our shareholders can engage in partnerships," Shim says. Many of the school's most successful programs are based on partnerships, including the recently established Institute for Family, Youth and Children, which collaborates with state and community organizations; and the Southwest Retail Center, which operates through a collaboration with many commercial retailers.

Shim would like to expand those partnerships to include even more collaborations within departments, across the College of Agriculture and the UA, and with state, national and international institutions and organizations. Although the SFCS has traditionally focused more on society-based issues, she sees a niche the school could fill that would unite it more closely with agricultural issues.

"As the trend continues toward consumer-driven, value-added production in commercial agriculture, our retailing program has the opportunity to establish itself as a leading unit for consumer studies, market trade, food retailing and agricultural business," Shim says. "At the same time, as the College of Agriculture seeks to address a wider range of family needs in both urban and rural areas, our extension/outreach programs throughout Arizona will continue to focus on strengthening families and promoting adolescent health and youth development, consumer education, and retail business development."

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