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Cummings Wins Outstanding University Educator for 1999

LAS CRUCES - Merrilyn Cummings, professor of family and consumer sciences at New Mexico State University, recently received the 1999 Outstanding University Educator Award from the Education and Technology Division of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS).

The national award, one of only two given each year, will be presented at the national meeting June 26 in Seattle, Wash. AAFCS is the national professional organization for the field of family and consumer sciences. It was formed in 1909.

Nominees were evaluated on their teaching effectiveness as teacher-educators for family and consumer sciences, as well as for their advising, recruitment, service and research activities.

"I've been a teacher-educator for 25 years training teachers," Cummings said. "I'm really proud to have been recognized for my contributions to the education field."

She teaches a wide range of family and consumer science education classes including curriculum development, methods of teaching and evaluation of students. Cummings also supervises student teachers in family and consumer sciences.

Cummings was nominated by Sonja Koukel, NMSU's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Outstanding Home Economics Student for 1999.

"No one else is more deserving of this award," Koukel said. "Dr. Cummings works hard, is giving and her door is always open. She has been very much a part of my academic career."

Cummings also has received the Gamma Sigma Delta Distinguished Graduate Teaching/Advisement Award, Texas Tech University President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and NMSU's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award.

Cummings received her bachelor's degree in family and consumer science education from the University of Connecticut. She earned a master's degree and her doctorate in family and consumer science education from Cornell University.

Cummings is the first NMSU professor to receive this award. She will give a presentation about the highlights of her career during her acceptance of the award in Seattle.