Featured Alumni from The College of Human Ecology


Nadia J. Payne, Family & Community Services (2006)

Why did you choose ECU?
ECU chose me. I immediately fell in love with the beautiful campus and rich array of academic programs available for students. 

What would you tell potential students who are considering your major?
Before choosing any major, make sure you evaluate your own values and beliefs. The only way that you will truly be successful in anything that you do, is to be passionate about it. FCS is not for the faint of heart. The College of Human Ecology equips FCS majors with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully lead families through life’s challenges.

What was your favorite class in your major?
My favorite course was Family Life Education, Trends and Issues and Child in the Family.

Tell us about your current job and any positions that lead you to where you are now.
As a child I was a Girl Scout and loved every minute of it. I am an active volunteer with Girl Scouts of America and also serve in other organizations such as, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Junior League of Atlanta, Urban League & The Georgia Child Care Association.  I work at the Atlanta Children’s Shelter and feel For almost 30 years ACS has helped families transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. We provide free childcare for our families while working with them to find employment and affordable rental housing. While attending our program each child will receive breakfast, lunch and 2 snacks. They will also receive free healthcare which is provided by a local community partner. We create a nurturing and safe environment for children to learn, play and grow.

What motivates you in your job, and how does your education at ECU relate to that?
The fact that God breaths life into my body is reason enough to serve. Knowing that the average age of a homeless child is 9 years old motivates me to continue to serve. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Family & Community Service and ECU’s motto “Servire” meaning “To Serve” go hand-in-hand. I am truly a Servant Leader and want nothing more than to leave my community better than the way that I found it.

What lessons did you learn at ECU that you think helped to shape your work or yourself?
I learned that in order to lead, you must first SERVE!

What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is seeing the look on a child’s face when they’ve learned something new, watching an infant who struggled with separation anxiety get excited to see her teachers, seeing the look on a mom’s face when she gets a job or the look on a dad’s face when he gets the keys to his families new home and can finally move out of the shelter! I love it!

Any words of wisdom to current students at ECU or particularly those in the College of Human Ecology (or your major)?
I know Piaget, Vygotsky and others might not be the most interesting to read about, but you need to be very familiar with their work in the Human Services field….trust me! Consider taking the coursework to become a CFLE (Certified Family Life Educator) it’s one of the best professional decisions I’ve made and that credential will serve you well. The College of Human Ecology is made up of some of the most dynamic professors I’ve met in my academic career. Being a Doctoral Student now at Clark Atlanta University,  I cannot wait to return to my Alma Mater and share my research and I would encourage you to do the same as you journey through life. Never forget about the Loyal…The Bold….The Purple….The Gold….our Dear Old ECU!!!  Arrrrrrggggh!!!


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