Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 20, 2002 - Dr. Loretta Prater, currently associate professor in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill., has been named dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Southeast Missouri State University.

The announcement was made today during a closed session meeting of the Board of Regents. Prater will begin her new duties at Southeast Aug. 5.

“We are fortunate to attract a new dean with Dr. Prater’s record of success,” said Provost Jane Stephens. “Her strong foundation in understanding interdisciplinary programs and functioning within units comprised of diverse disciplines will serve us well.”

A committee chaired by Dr. Nancy Blattner, academic associate in the Provost’s office, conducted the searches. The search committee that included a faculty representative from each department, a staff representative, a graduate student and a community representative recommended Prater.

With Prater’s appointment, Dr. Michael Parker, who has been serving as interim dean, will serve as associate dean of the College of Health and Human Services, and will continue to serve as chair of the Department of Social Work. Parker became interim dean when Dean Paul Keys resigned in October 2000. “We appreciate Dr. Parker’s outstanding service to the University during the past two years,” Stephens said.

Before accepting the position with Southeast, Prater served as an associate professor and department chair of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at

Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. for four years. Prior to her position at Eastern Illinois University, she spent seven years as an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Prater began her career in 1978 as a home economics and science teacher in Tennessee, and has 10 years experience as a secondary school teacher.

Prater has served on the Coles County Coalition Against Domestic Violence Board, and has been a member of Big Brothers - Big Sisters Inc. of Chattanooga, the Governor’s Alliance for a Drug Free Tennessee, and the Tennessee Governor’s Task Force on Health Issues Affecting the Black Community. She has also served as a consultant for the United States Department of Education.

She is currently a consultant for the Council for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services’ First Step Project, and a member of the Illinois Council on Family Relations executive committee, the American Gerontological Society, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, the National Council of Family Relations, the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Illinois Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Council of Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences, the National Association for the Education of the Young Child, the Academic Technology Advisory Committee of Eastern Illinois University, the Professional Development Committee of the Coles County Workforce Opportunities Resource Consortium, and the African-American Heritage Month Committee.

Prater has authored numerous publications and grants and has lectured extensively on a variety of subjects, including drug abuse, African-American topics, family relations, and gerontology, on a regional and national level. She also has received numerous awards throughout the course of her career.

Prater holds a doctoral degree in human ecology, with a minor in educational leadership, from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She holds a master of education degree in counseling and a bachelor of science degree in secondary education from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, and has a vocational certification in home economics from the University of Georgia-Athens. She also completed coursework in secondary education at Spelman College of Atlanta.


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