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




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 21, 2003 - The appointment of Dr. Loretta Prater, dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Southeast Missouri State University, to the Governor's Commission on the Special Health, Psychological and Social Needs of Minority Older Individuals, was confirmed this week by the Missouri Senate.

Prater was appointed to the Commission by Missouri Gov. Bob Holden.

Prater is a past recipient of the Horace Traylor Minority Leadership Award and the African-American Women of Influence given by the Girls Club of Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Governor's Commission on Special Health, Psychological and Social Needs of Minority Older Individuals studies certain needs of the state's minority older adults and makes recommendations for program improvements and services to the governor and key legislators. Prater replaces Elaine Aber, who resigned.

Before coming to Southeast, Prater served as a professor and department chair of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. for five years. She is a former coordinator of the Master's in Gerontology Program at Eastern Illinois University and has been a presenter and session host at the Illinois Governor's Conference on Aging and Human Services.

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 has presented workshops on the needs of the elderly, and she has presented a workshop at a meeting of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education in Pittsburgh, Pa. She also has served as a faculty member for the Multi-Disciplinary Certificate Program in Geriatrics for Non-Physicians and is a co-developer and coordinator of an Intergenerational Elderhostel Summer Program for grandparents and grandchildren. Prater is the author of a grant which was funded by the Retirement Research Foundation to purchase vans for the Peace Meal Senior Nutrition Program.

Prater has served on the Tennessee Governor's Task Force on Health Issues Affecting the Black Community. She has also served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Education and for the Council for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services' First Step Project. She has served as 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, and the Council of Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Prater has authored numerous publications and grants and has lectured extensively on a variety of subjects, including 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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