Half a Century of Service to Children

A Message from Chairperson, Dr. Ellen Carpenter,

It is said that retirement isn’t easy but it is something we all look forward to. Looking back to where you started in your professional teaching career and reviewing what you have accomplished and what didn’t make the success list can be a sobering experience. I began teaching in December 1966, at Bluff City High School (TN) and spent my last 23 years here at Appalachian. In all, I’ve enjoyed 50 wonderful years building relationships with university students, young children, families, and colleagues.

During my time at Appstate I have been in the same department but it has had three names: Home Economics, Family & Consumer Sciences, and Family & Child Studies. The one common thread through all of these years has been my relationship with the children, families, and staff of Lucy Brock Child Development Laboratory Program. I came to Appalachian as an Assistant Professor with a ¼ time release as Lucy Brock’s director. Our laboratory program began in the late 1930’s as a Nursery School when Miss Lucy Brock came as a faculty member to campus after a summer at Columbia University. She brought with her an idea of having an innovative early childhood laboratory program similar to the one at Columbia.

I was only the third director of the Lucy Brock Lab Program as I followed Mrs. Joyce Stines who had served as the director for 27 years when she retired. With this program I have served as director and five times as interim director, and for the last six years as department chair over the program. Lucy Brock provides a state-of-the-art innovative program for young children and for our Child Development students who can observe and work with dedicated professionals in the field.

The success of our FCS graduates as they work with children and families in their careers around the world is a bright spot in any university professor’s life, but is super special for me. I have an entire computer file of “first photo-graphs” of ultrasounds when they begin their families, and I keep up with many on Facebook. I’ve attended weddings and visited alumni in my travels. I enjoy their every professional success as they make a difference in the lives of children and families.

I have enjoyed my work experiences with students, faculty, staff, and administrators during my tenure at Appstate. I am stepping down as chair of FCS in December 2016. My last Appstate semester, Spring 2017, will be as the director of The Appstate Loft in New York City. From NYC, I will retire here in Boone with more time with my two adult children, my three grandchildren but with different opportunities of service and travel.

Published: Nov 17, 2016 2:53pm