When Dr. Paula Tripp joined the College of Human Sciences to develop the family and consumer sciences education program at Oklahoma State University, she had a national reputation as a leader in the field. During its national leadership conference, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America recognized her efforts to build a degree option at OSU and increase the number of professionals in FACS Ed.
The FCCLA Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding contributions and continuing service by individuals whose primary responsibilities are directly related to the career and technical student organization that functions as an integral part of the FACS Ed curriculum and operates within the school system.
Oklahoma state FCCLA Adviser Denise Morris said Tripp’s efforts to recruit and educate FACS Ed students strengthen the profession.As a clinical professor in human development and family science, Tripp coordinates the degree option’s curriculum, teaching and student internships. She also works closely with high school FCCLA organizations in the state to recruit students to the FACS Ed program at OSU.
“Paula ensures that students in the FACS Ed major have the opportunity to hear about FCCLA in her classes and encourages them to evaluate student presentations during competitions,” Morris said. “She makes sure all FACS Ed student teachers are placed in schools that have a strong FCCLA chapter.”
Since coming to OSU a few years ago, student enrollment in FACS Ed has more than doubled and there have already been 14 graduates. One-hundred percent of those graduates are employed and were able to choose the position they wanted from a number of job opportunities.
Several of those students attended the FACS Ed Summer Academy for high school seniors Tripp has organized for the past four years. She includes FCCLA advisers as camp counselors during the academy.
Perkins-Tryon High School FCS teacher and FCCLA adviser Gaye Lynn Chaney, who has served as a counselor for the FCS Ed Academy, said Tripp’s efforts have inspired students to pursue careers in FACS Ed and FCCLA.
“I have witnessed the excitement and enthusiasm students have as they realized the impact they can have through a career in FACS Ed,” Chaney said of the high school students.
Chaney also praises the OSU student teachers she mentors in her classroom.
“The college students are the most prepared and knowledgeable students with whom I have worked,” Chaney said. “Their education is the reflection of the very prestigious FACS Ed program Dr. Tripp coordinates at OSU.”
Because of her passion, Tripp is ‘filling the pipeline’ with a new generation of students inspired to pursue careers in FACS Ed and FCCLA.