Meet Wonjung Oh, Our Newest Faculty Member

We are pleased to introduce Dr. Wonjung Oh, who has joined the Texas Tech HDFS faculty this fall. Below the photo is a brief interview with Dr. Oh, to help readers get to know her…

wonjung oh

Tell us about yourself.

Before I joined faculty at Texas Tech University, I had been fortunate to work with wonderful scholars in Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Michigan as Postdoctoral Fellow. I earned my Ph.D in Human Development at the University of Maryland, College Park, along with a Graduate Certificate (doctoral minor) in Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation. I received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. You might have noticed a wide range of geographical locations (East and North of USA and Northeast Asia) that I spent my years. To complement the compliments, I have traveled to Hawaii (the very West of USA), Southeast Asia (Thailand), Europe, and Australia, not in chronological order. And, now I live in Texas.

What are your research interests?

My research interests are in social and emotional development in childhood and early adolescence, with a particular interest in risk and protective factors for adaptive and maladaptive behavior. I am especially interested in the study of the developmental transition periods in school and family environments focusing on the influence of child biosocial characteristics, parent, peer and contextual factors (culture, school climate) on the child’s psychosocial functioning.

In doing my research, I actively seek novel, innovative approaches to address applied research questions pertaining to children’s development and the processes by which child, family and peer factors facilitate children’s developmental outcomes.

What are you teaching in the Fall?

HDFS 6343 Quantitative Methods III in HDFS, a doctorate-level Multivariate Data Analysis course.

What kinds of things are you looking forward to at Texas Tech?

I look forward to continuing my program of research on affective and behavioral regulation, relationship processes (peer and family) and developmental processes across the transitional periods in school and family environments. Having experienced warmth, encouragement and support from the teachers and mentors who have taken an interest in my own work, I look forward to continued opportunities to bring this process full circle with my own students at Texas Tech University.

How are you adjusting to Lubbock thus far?

Well. I have learned the usefulness of “Hi y’all” in both singular and plural manners, and am enjoying TexMex cuisine. I also have gone to a couple concerts at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, which I enjoyed very much. Adjusting to the sunny weather in Texas from the Michigan weather is such a treat!

What do you like to do outside of school?

So many! Music – Listening to music, going to music concert, and playing music. Tasting and cooking. Traveling to the places with nature beauties, architectural wonders, fascinating markets & shops and, of course, the cuisine!

Categories: Faculty, Welcome

Lubbock Mayor Robertson Visits “Family in the Community” Class

Students in Dr. Shera Jackson’s HDFS 3322 course, “The Family in the Community,” got to hear about community development from a major player, none other than Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson, who visited on Wednesday, October 1. Robertson discussed his idea to extend Interstate 27 southward (and possibly also northward) to increase commerce and highway safety between Lubbock and other cities such as Midland and Odessa.

Though the discussion focused mostly on long-range infrastructure planning and political coalition-building, the mayor also addressed the impact his plans could have on families. One positive impact would be through the (estimated) increase in jobs associated with the project. Highway projects can sometimes have negative impacts on families if they displace established communities (click here for an example). However, Robertson was confident that, with limited exceptions, the towns through which the extended highway would run would be immune from construction-related disruptions.

Mayor Robertson also encouraged the students to vote in local elections, noting the role that city government plays in wide-ranging issues from water and electricity bills, to whether alcohol could be sold in city supermarkets and convenience stores.


mayor 1


In the photo below, Mayor Robertson, Dr. Jackson (center), and visitor Dr. Gail Bentley chat at the end of the class. Dr. Jackson and Dr. Bentley each received her Ph.D. in our department and the two have remained at Texas Tech as instructors.


mayor 2

Categories: Outreach, Teaching

Early Fall 2014 Briefs

A couple of items as the new academic year gets underway:

Dr. Dana Weiser’s research was featured in a recent Daily Toreador article.

Kim Corson, a 2011 Ph.D. recipient in our program, has a new position. She is Director of Educational Initiatives and Projects for Houston Public Media at the University of Houston. Before studying with us at Texas Tech, Kim worked at Chicago public broadcasting station WTTW, so her new role seems like a natural fit.

Categories: Faculty, Graduate-Degree Alumni, Outreach, Research

Retirement of Judy Fischer

The last time Texas Tech completed a semester without Judy Fischer on the HDFS faculty, Jimmy Carter was President of the United States, Walter Cronkite still anchored the CBS Evening News, and the first music album had yet to be released on compact disc.

Now, after 35 years with us (1979-2014), Judy has retired. Among her career milestones, Judy chaired the HDFS department from 1993-1999; was elected as a Fellow by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) in 2009; served as program chair of the 2013 NCFR conference; served many important roles with the Groves Conference on Marriage and Family; won Texas Tech’s President’s Academic Achievement Award (2007); and chaired countless students’ Master’s theses and doctoral dissertations.

On a more personal side, Judy always looked after new faculty members, whether it was making sure they had a place to go for Thanksgiving dinner if they were staying in town or inviting them to sample Lubbock’s folk/country music scene. She frequently made her home available to HDFS parties and celebrations (which we hope she’ll continue to do!).

2014-08-22 12.04.33Like any diligent scholar, Judy accumulated a lot of academic journals and research articles (both her own and others’) over the years. With the ready availability of electronic versions, however, such hard copies are no longer really necessary. Many people still prefer hard copies, though, so Judy made them available to anybody who wanted them, as seen in the next photo.

2014-08-22 12.00.48

Judy will still be around the department, analyzing data, writing up manuscripts, and guiding to completion some graduate students with whom she has long worked. In the hearts and minds of Judy’s colleagues and former students, of course, her ties to Texas Tech will always remain intact.

Anyone wishing to share their thoughts may do so via the comments feature.

Categories: Faculty | 1 Comment

Ph.D. Alum Cat Pause Returns to Promote New Book

Cat Pause (pronounce Paus-ay), a 2007 Ph.D. recipient in our program and since that time a Lecturer in Human Development and Fat Studies Researcher at Massey University in New Zealand, returned to Lubbock in July to discuss her new book (co-edited with Jackie Wykes and Samantha Murray) Queering Fat Embodiment. More than 20 people attended the event, including several Texas Tech HDFS faculty and grad students, faculty from other departments, Texas Tech staff, and members of the community. Pictured below (left to right) are Dr. Lynne Fallwell (History and Honors College), Dr. Elizabeth Sharp (HDFS), Cat, and Dr. Kristina Keyton. Dr. Sharp organized the gathering.

cat pause 1

Here’s another picture of Cat and Elizabeth.

cat pause 2
The page for the book can be accessed by clicking here, whereas the publisher has made Chapter 1 of the book availble  free online at this link for those interested in getting a preview. The Texas Tech library has added the book to its holdings, although it is checked out at the moment!


Dr. Keyton, who completed her Ph.D. with us in 2012 and remained on board to teach several classes, will begin as a full-time faculty member at South Plains College in the fall. We thank her for her service to the department and we will miss having her around the department (although she won’t be too far away).

Categories: Graduate-Degree Alumni, Research, Uncategorized

Summer 2014 Briefs

Dr. Jeff Wherry, who served on our HDFS faculty for six years before moving to become the founding director of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center Research Institute, is featured in this Dallas Morning News article.

Dr. Stephanie Shine, director of our Early Childhood training program for students who plan to teach children up through grade 6, has announced a welcoming event for EC majors. There will be a barbeque on Wednesday, September 3, from 6:00-7:30 pm in El Centro of the Human Sciences building.

The East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood program, with which Dr. Shine is also involved, is running a book-donation drive for children in the program. If interested, you can click on this link to be taken to a registry of children’s books for the drive at

Dr. Yvonne Caldera reports that Mary Sciaraffa, “my very first graduate student here at Tech back in the 90s,” has obtained tenure and promotion to Associate Professor at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Mary’s ULL faculty webpage is available by clicking here.

Categories: Faculty, Graduate-Degree Alumni, Teaching, Undergraduate Students

Ph.D. Alums Eng and Frederick Featured in NCFR Family Focus

The Summer 2014 issue of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Report is out, with article contributions by two of our Ph.D. alumni. Both articles appear in the Family Focus insert, which has the theme of Early Childhood in this issue. The contents of the issue are listed here, but full-text of the articles is available only to NCFR members.

Sothy Eng, a Professor of Practice at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, is co-author of the article “Home-based preschools in village communities: Lessons from field work in Cambodia,” with graduate students Anu Sachdev and Whitney Szmodis.

In addition, Helyne Frederick is co-author with two of her Eastern Kentucky University faculty colleagues, Carol Patrick and Lisa Gannoe, on the article “HOT tips for early learning.” In this case, HOT stands for Higher-Order Thinking.

Categories: Graduate-Degree Alumni, Research

Video of Michael Kimmel Talk

The Michael Kimmel talk was a big success, attracting an estimated 350 people (see posting immediately below for background information).  The talk was videotaped and can be viewed at this link. Access is restricted to those in the Texas Tech community (i.e., eRaider log-in is necessary). Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Sharp, graduate student Rebecca Oldham, and others for putting on such a great event!

kimmel sharp oldham

 (Photo of, left to right, Dr. Sharp, Dr. Kimmel, and Rebecca, added on May 28, 2014.)

Categories: Uncategorized

Gender Scholar Michael Kimmel to Speak

Stony Brook (NY) sociologist Michael Kimmel, author of the book Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men, will speak at Texas Tech in the evening of April 15. Our department is the lead sponsor, thanks to the work of Dr. Elizabeth Sharp and others. The key information for the event, as it appeared on TechAnnounce, is available here. (The MCOM building refers to Media and Communication, which is the very tall tower that formerly hosted the Rawls College of Business Administration; see campus map.)

Categories: Uncategorized

Welcome Back & News Briefs (Spring 2014)

We’re back in session for the Spring 2014 semester. We hope everyone had a nice holiday break. Here are a couple of brief news developments…

*Dr. Elizabeth Sharp was featured in the online publication Feminist Times (link; she is pictured at left in the photograph when the new page comes up). Dr. Sharp is now back at Texas Tech after completing a two-year visiting fellowship in England at Durham University’s School of Applied Social Science.

*Dr. Jeff Wherry was featured in the “Impact” newsletter of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (click here and then scroll to page 6).

Categories: Faculty, Research

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