Louisiana Tech’s coordinator of early childhood and child development programs has been elected president-elect of the Southern Early Childhood Association.

Dr. Janie Humphries, a professor of family and child studies in the School of Human Ecology, will assume the post at the spring board of directors meeting that will be held in conjunction with the organization’s 60th annual conference in Myrtle Beach, S.C.


More than 18,000 people working in every aspect of child care and early childhood belong to SECA. “I am honored, surprised and pleased at being selected as president-elect,” Humphries said. “SECA is the voice for Southern children and their families. It is about their needs, concerns and wishes.”

Concerning her presidential goals and SECA’s role in society, Humphries said, “We need to be a stronger voice than we now are. Who knows Southern children and their families’ needs better than Southern teachers, care providers and agency workers? While we need to be expressing the needs, we also need to be working together to solve some of the problems.”

She will specifically aim toward building a strong base of members at the college level in each state, increasing the level of technology use by the organization’s officers and members, and augmenting communication between state affiliates.

“I would like for SECA to be a model of how to build and maintain a strong collaboration of organizations and agencies in the South working for young children and their families,” Humphries said. The group has a history of supporting diversity, inclusion and appropriate ways of meeting the developmental needs of children, long before those issues were popular, she said.

Humphries has previously served as president of the Louisiana Early Childhood Association, Louisiana’s representative on the SECA board and chairperson of SECA’s editorial committee. She has been a member in three different states – Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

Even with the word “Southern” in its title, SECA has members nationwide, but most of its members are in the three states where Humphries belonged, plus 10 others: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Humphries follows in the footsteps of former Louisiana Tech professor Dr. Jeanne Mack Gilley, who hired Humphries in 1987 while serving as dean of the College of Human Ecology. Gilley was the last Louisianian to serve as SECA president.

As president, Humphries will travel in the fall to state affiliate conferences and also act as a liaison to state affiliate presidents and other organizations. Additionally, she will be responsible for ensuring that both the responsibilities of the board and the organization are met. The president is the “public face” of SECA and represents the association to its members, according to the group’s current newsletter.

Humphries received her Ed.D. from Texas A & M-Commerce and served there as the director of the Model Learning Center in the College of Education. She also taught kindergarten in the Greenville (Texas) School District and the Noble, Okla., public schools.

For more information about SECA, go to http://www.southernearlychildhood.org/.

Written by Sallie Hollis