Happy New Year’s (2018) & Review of Fall ’17

Happy New Year’s from the Texas Tech HDFS department! The Spring 2018 semester will be starting in a few weeks. Until then, we invite you to review some departmental highlights from the Fall 2017 term…

dec 2017 phds

The symbolic marking of a semester’s end is, of course, the university graduation ceremonies. Three graduate students received their Ph.D. degrees. Dr. Yvonne Caldera (front right) was advisor to two of the students, Yang Liu (front left) and Debbie Neckles (front center). During the ceremony, the advisor places the blue hood over the student’s head, onto their neck and shoulders. With two students to hood, Dr. Caldera had a “double-header” on her hands! 🙂 Also, Katie Gerst (back right) was hooded by her advisor, Dr. Alan Reifman (very back).

Three graduate students received Master’s degrees: Amy Cox, Jessica Howell, and Kathryn Williams. The latter two received their degrees via the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GP IDEA), with an emphasis in Youth Development. Through GP IDEA, students select a “home” university among participating institutions, but can take online courses from any of the schools.

As part of the undergraduate commencement activities, Lorena Posadas was the banner bearer for the College of Human Sciences. Lorena worked as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Sylvia Niehuis’s SMITTEN Lab, which studies dating, courtship, and newlywed relationships.

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Two undergraduate students, either majoring in HDFS or having significant ties to the department, won Human Sciences Student of the Month awards: Celeste Conroy (December), and Maya Takano (November, also an undergrad researcher in the SMITTEN Lab).

HDFS business manager Nic Trugillo was the College’s November awardee as Staff Member of the Month.

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Dr. Ann Mastergeorge’s eye-tracking research, which seeks markers of autism risk in children, was profiled in Texas Tech Today. Jessica Blume, a graduate student working on parent-child behavioral interventions within the project, was also interviewed.

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Ph.D. student Jes Cardenas was accepted into the Teaching Mentorship Program sponsored by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). In addition, Jes joined Dr. Wonjung Oh in giving the morning keynote address at the Texas “First 3 Years” conference in September in Dallas.

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As originally reported in the College’s “Internal Insights” newsletter:

Members of the Ethiopian delegation to Texas Tech from Jigjiga University (JJU) in the Somali region of Ethiopia, visited the Child Development Research Center (CDRC) to learn about preschool education in the United States and gave a presentation to the college on December 5. Jigjiga University is currently working with the Early Childhood program to explore areas in research and education collaborations.

Photos from the Ethiopian delegation’s visit are available here and here.

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Lastly, we have a belated item from last spring. Dr. Mike McCarty (right) was honored at the Texas Tech athletics department’s “TechSPY” awards (like ESPN’s ESPY awards) as a “favorite professor” by basketball player Devon Thomas (center). Thomas was the top graduating senior in terms of GPA on the team.

mccarty & devon thomas

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

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