Loretta Prater, Ph.D. is an author and a retired professor and dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Southeast Missouri State University. She has a Master’s degree in counseling and a doctorate in child and family studies. As a social scientist interested in family dynamics over the life span, her research, national presentations, and publications focused on the well-being of children and families, including the topics of teenage pregnancy, health of older adults and caregiving, and issues related to police brutality. Over the years, she has received grant funding for numerous programs to enhance the educational status and health of residents in urban and rural communities. She has also served as a reviewer of grants for the federal government. Since coming to Missouri 16 years ago, she co-founded the Southeast Health on Wheels (S.H.O.W. Mobile), serving rural counties in the Bootheel, and was significantly involved in the establishment of the Autism Center in Cape Girardeau, MO. Dr. Prater has served on numerous boards in various communities and states. In Missouri, she has served as President of the Southeast Missouri Chapter of the United Way. In addition to the Community Advisory Council, she currently acts as a member of Missouri’s Family and Community Trust Board, which provides oversight for various non-profits serving rural and urban communities across the state.