Author Archives: ttuhdfs

About ttuhdfs

This blog is operated by the Department of Human Development & Family Studies at Texas Tech University. Its purpose is to provide a constant source of news and information to our faculty, staff, and students (current , former, and prospective), and our friends in the HDFS field at large.

2017 End-of-Summer News

The August graduation, held on the 12th of the month, marked the end of summer school, and the start of the Fall semester is little over a week away. In this posting, we list the accomplishments of HDFS students, staff, and faculty since our last posting in late June.

Two of our graduate students received their Ph.D.’s at the August commencement: Cassandra Huey (wearing gold cord), shown with her adviser Dr. Yvonne Caldera (left photo) and Andrea Parker, shown with her adviser, Dr. Mike McCarty (right photo).

cassandra & andrea phd

Miriam Lieway and Cindy Martinez Garza received Master’s degrees at the same ceremony.

Dr. Sybil Hart’s research on sibling-rivalry was featured at inverse.com.

Finally, we have two items that were originally reported in the TTU College of Human Sciences’ “Internal Insights”:

“Instructor Stacy Johnson is awarded a grant from the Helen Jones Foundation for a project entitled ‘Creating Opportunities: Expanding Research and Training Environments for Faculty, Students and Community Professionals.’ This grant will be used to upgrade the equipment at the CDRC to be state-of-the-art for both observations and research endeavors.”

“Dr. Zhen Cong has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant entitled: ‘A multi-level dynamically coupled model for evaluating older adults’ vulnerability and resiliency to disasters.’”

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Categories: Faculty, Graduate Students, Staff

Late Spring/Early Summer 2017 Updates

Numerous HDFS faculty members and students achieved recognition over the past few months. They include:

  • Sylvia Niehuis was elected member-at-large to the governing board of the International Association for Relationship Research for a two-year term.
  • Drs. Niehuis and Jean Scott presented at the annual conference of the Groves Conference on Marriage and Family, held in early June in Charleston, South Carolina. The two are also on the group’s board (Dr. Scott as president and Dr. Niehuis as secretary). Helyne Frederick, a Ph.D. graduate of our program and a faculty member at Winthrop University, served as this year’s program chair. Other participants included Kim Corson, also a Ph.D. alumnus, now at Penn State-Behrend, and Professor Emerita Judy Fischer. Here is a link to the program.
  • Talking about Ph.D. graduates, we have four more! Drs. Janis Henderson and Ryan Tingey were hooded in the May ceremony, whereas Cassandra Huey and Andrea Parker recently completed their dissertation defenses (Andrea had also received a Research Support Award from the Graduate School). Miriam Lieway completed her Master’s defense. Other defenses were scheduled at “press time” and will be noted.
  • Dr. Stephanie Shine and Andrea Parker visited Ethiopia, where they spoke at a conference on early-childhood education.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo was selected as a TTU Integrated Scholar.
  • Cindy Bruington, Associate Director of the Child Development Research Center, received the Robbie McGrew Child Advocacy Memorial Award from the Early Learning Centers of Lubbock.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Sharp was recently appointed as the university’s Interim Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement. In addition, Dr. Sharp and her colleague from the TTU Dance program, Genevieve Durham-DeCesaro celebrated the release of their new book, Ordinary Wars: Doing Transdisciplinary Research with a signing at the campus bookstore.
  • Mitzi Ziegner will be the new Associate Department Chair in HDFS, replacing Dr. Sharp.
  • Sothy Eng, another Ph.D. alumnus of our program, was profiled in an article from Lehigh University (Pennsylvania), where he is on the faculty.
  • Two of our current Ph.D. students had journal articles come out: Jennifer (Harris) Chapman (with Dr. Sybil Hart; abstract) and Rebecca Oldham (with Drs. Dana Weiser and Elizabeth Sharp; abstract).
  • Drs. Weiser and Niehuis were mentioned in this College of Human Sciences newsletter article for their awards in the Come ‘N Go Seed Grant Program, which funds TTU faculty to visit with a colleague at another university and host that colleague.
  • Bachelor’s alum Whitney Squyres received an award for her work as a local educator.
Categories: Faculty, Graduate Students, Graduate-Degree Alumni, Research, Staff, Undergraduate Alumni

2017 SRCD Conference Comes to Texas Capital

Faculty and graduate students from our department didn’t have to leave the state, as the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development came to the capital city of Austin.

The first “roll of film” below shows three sets of authors standing by their respective posters: Yang Liu (gray outfit) with Dr. Wonjung Oh; Diane Wittie with Dr. Alan Reifman (the middle portion of their poster was cropped out in the interest of space); and Jennifer Harris Chapman (green jacket) with Dr. Oh and Jes Fyall Cardenas.

Slide1

In the next roll, the first picture shows Drs. Ann Mastergeorge (left) and Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo (center) from our department, along with their collaborator, Andrea Jackowski of the Federal University of Sao Paulo (Brazil). The next shot features (left to right) Jes, current student Holly Wright, and recent Ph.D. recipients Satabdi Samtani and Paulina Velez. Finally, the last photo shows instructor Mitzi Ziegner, Child Development Research Center director Stacy Johnson, Holly, Dr. Malinda Colwell, and Jes.

Slide2

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

Faculty and Student Awards, Spring 2017

Several HDFS faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates have won awards and recognitions of various kinds this spring.

Dr. Yoojin Chae was among this year’s recipients of the Chancellor’s Council Faculty Research Awards.

Dr. Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo has received a Fulbright Scholar award and will be studying in Brazil in Spring 2018. She has also been awarded the C.R. Hutchison (Associate) Professorship.

Dr. Elizabeth Sharp was promoted from associate to full professor.

HDFS graduate students took home top prizes in the Human Sciences category at the annual TTU Graduate Student Research Poster Competition. Jennifer (Harris) Chapman won first place, whereas Shima Hassan Zadeh and Mohsen Fouladi tied for second (see list of award recipients). A brief video overview of the Graduate School poster event is available here.

Ivette Noriega has become our first HDFS graduate-student Fulbright scholar. She will be studying in Medellin, Colombia.

Manju Chawla was awarded a TTU Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship.

Finally, Lorena Posadas-Zapata, an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Sylvia Niehuis’s “SMITTEN” Lab, has received the TTU Parents Association Student Academic Citizenship Award.

Categories: Faculty, Graduate Students, Research, Undergraduate Students

New Faculty Member Zhe Wang Joins Us Midway Through Academic Year

The HDFS department hired two new faculty members for the 2016-17 academic year. One, Monica Martin, joined us back in the fall. The other newcomer, Zhe Wang, found it a better fit with her studies to join us in January, which she did. In this posting, we learn a little about Dr. Wang through a Q-and-A.

zhe-wang

Tell us about yourself.

I was born in China and came to the U.S. in 2008. I got my Ph.D. in Psychology and M.S. in Statistics from Virginia Tech and did a 2-year postdoc at The Ohio State University. I joined the faculty of HDFS at TTU in spring 2017.

What are your research interests?

My work primarily examines the development of individual differences in socio-emotional outcomes, cognitive abilities, and educational attainments in children and young adolescents. My research incorporates genetic, physiological, and behavioral approaches, and examines how factors at these various levels interact with environmental context to produce diverse developmental trajectories. Another interest of mine is to study parenting, in particular how child behaviors shape various parenting practices.

What courses are you teaching in your first semester?

I am teaching Dynamics of Family Interaction this semester. It is a new course to me as I have never taken a similar course myself, so it is a learning opportunity for me as well.

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

I am really looking forward to starting my independent research program here at Tech. My first project (which I am really excited about) will explore the non-cognitive aspect of mathematics performance. This project will include some really novel design that I haven’t seen in the literature, so hopefully it will make an important contribution to the field! I am also very looking forward to building some new collaborations with scholars across campus to sparkle some new and exciting ideas! Finally, I am hoping to fully exploit my statistics background, potentially through teaching a quant course and developing a new course on behavioral genetics methodology.

How are you adjusting to Lubbock thus far?

Everything is going smoothly so far. I have explored a couple of Asian restaurants and liked most of them. I love Market Street, in particular their air-chilled chicken and well-grown plants!

What do you like to do outside of school?

I like watching documentaries, doing puzzles, eating good food, and listening to music. I am really hoping to adopt a pair of dogs soon so that playing with my dogs will become my favorite thing to do outside work then!

Categories: Faculty, Welcome

Fall 2016 End-of-Semester News & Holiday Greetings!

Graduation weekend, the symbolic ending point of a given semester, has just taken place for the Fall 2016 term. Friday night, December 16, the Texas Tech Graduate School Commencement was held. Four students received their Ph.D. in HDFS, as shown below in a group photo with the faculty members who “hooded” them (note the blue front collars of the students’ attire).

dec-2016-phd-grads-advisors

New Ph.D. recipients (all of whom are in the front row of the photo) are:

  • Anuradha Sastry (second from left), hooded by Dr. Elizabeth Trejos (first-row, leftmost). Congrats also to Dr. Sybil Hart, who was Anuradha’s dissertation chair, but was unable to attend.
  • Shu Yuan (third from left), hooded by her co-chair Dr. Dana Weiser (first-row, rightmost). Shu’s other co-chair was Dr. Miriam Mulsow (back-row, rightmost).
  • Dan Fang (fourth from left), hooded by Dr. Michael O’Boyle (back-row, middle).
  • Satabdi Samtani (second from right), hooded by her co-chairs Dr. Mulsow and Dr. Alan Reifman (back-row, leftmost).

Also within the Graduate School Commencement, Chinagorom Duru received her Master’s degree.

***

Late fall is also a busy time for professional conferences pertaining to HDFS, with the National Council on Family RelationsGerontological Society of America, and American Society of Criminology all meeting in November. The following photo shows Dr. Trejos (left) with three of her students at the ASC meeting.

asc-2016-2-2

Clockwise from Dr. Trejos are Phuong Le, Manju Chawla, and Sherley Bedore.

***

Happy Holidays from HDFS!

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

Lane Powell (1941-2016)

lane

Lane Powell, instructor, administrator, and champion of family-life education, has died of pancreatic cancer. With her bubbly personality and booming Southern-accented voice, she was an unforgettable figure.

Lane received her Ph.D. in 1984 at Texas Tech, with a dissertation entitled “Evaluation of a church-based sexuality program for adolescents.” This research was published a year later in the journal Family Relations, with committee-chair Steve Jorgensen as co-author  (Powell & Jorgensen, 1985). Lane then followed a sequence that would take her to Birmingham, Alabama, back to Lubbock, and then back to Birmingham.

In 2007, Lane received the Meritorious Service to Families Award from the National Council on Family Relations, the leading professional society in the family-studies discipline. The university’s article on Lane’s award captured much of her career:

Powell was honored for her work as department chair at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., where she developed the Human Development and Family Studies academic program and oversaw the construction of the Children’s Research and Development Center there from 1985-1999. Powell was also cited for her authorship of the first undergraduate textbook in Family Life Education and for her work as a group facilitator couple along with her husband [Bob] in the Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment for more than 25 years.

Now in her 10th year as a faculty member at Texas Tech, Powell continues to build on her work at Samford University. She has been an advisor to the Texas Tech Council on Family Relations, which has won awards as a student professional affiliate, for seven years and she is also the certification advisor for the Certified Family Life Educator Program and a career advising specialist.

During Lane’s second stint at Texas Tech (approximately 1999-2013), she taught courses in HDFS and served in an administrative role created specially for her by then-Department Chair Dean Busby, namely Assistant Department Chair to work with the HDFS Associate Chair.

As noted above, Lane and her husband Bob were active in marriage-enrichment education. Part of this involved leading workshops for couples. In addition, Lane and Bob were highly sought-after guests in HDFS courses. Dr. Sylvia Niehuis regularly invited Lane and Bob to speak in her course on Partnering: The Development of Intimate Relationships (HDFS 2322). Lane and Bob would discuss their own marriage, as well as offer insights on healthy marriages.

“The students loved them,” said Dr. Niehuis. “They adored them, and so did I.”

If one goes to the website of the local newspaper, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, and types “Lane Powell” (with quotation marks) into the search field, one will find 41 archived articles detailing her extensive educational contributions and community involvement. Lane and Bob were also ardent fans of Lady Raiders basketball.

Ultimately, Lane and Bob moved back to Birmingham in retirement, which included international travel, time spent with their children and grandchildren, and continued attendance by Lane at the annual NCFR conference (most recently in 2015 in Vancouver).

Lane and Bob’s daughter Sharon Powell, a Ph.D. recipient from the University of Minnesota, continues to carry the torch for family education and outreach.

Categories: Faculty, Outreach, Teaching

Awards and Honors to HDFS Faculty and Students (Early Fall 2016)

The Fall 2016 semester is only a few weeks old, but several faculty and students have already received professional awards and honors of various kinds:

  • Dr. Malinda Colwell and Child Development Research Center (CDRC) director Stacy Johnson were profiled in the university publication Texas Tech Today, for their work with other colleagues in the College of Human Sciences on improving the education of children in Malawi, Africa. The HDFS Blog first reported in 2013 on the efforts of Dr. Colwell and graduate student Holly Wright in Malawi.
  • Dr. Sylvia Niehuis has been invited to serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Family Theory & Review. This journal is one of the flagship publications of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR).
  • Rebecca Oldham has been selected as the College of Human Sciences’ Graduate Student of the Month for October 2016. A profile of Rebecca will appear on this archive of honorees on or around October 1.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Sharp will receive the NCFR’s 2016 Anselm Strauss Award for innovation in family qualitative research, at the organization’s annual meeting in November. Dr. Sharp is also the new associate department chair, replacing Dr. Alan Reifman, who served in the post for the past six years. The associate chair mainly oversees the HDFS undergraduate curriculum.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo is only days away from officially being inducted into the Texas Tech Teaching Academy (click here for brief profiles of incoming members). The Teaching Academy honors faculty on campus for their effectiveness, creativity, and commitment in the teaching domain.
  • Dr. Dana Weiser was quoted in Redbook magazine, in an article on the satisfaction of single women in their 30s.
Categories: Faculty, Graduate Students, Research, Staff, Teaching

Meet Monica Martin, Our Newest Faculty Member

The Texas Tech HDFS faculty is expanding by two members this year, Monica Martin and Zhe Wang. Monica has arrived and begun teaching for us in the Fall semester. Below, we introduce her via a brief Q&A. Zhe will not be joining us until January, so we’ll save her introduction until then.

Before arriving in Lubbock, Monica traveled to Europe over the summer, as shown in the following photo. “It is the town square of Delft, a city in the Netherlands. I went to a symposium in Amsterdam in June and spent a little bit of time exploring,” she said. The rest of the interview appears below the photo.

monica-martin

Tell us about yourself.

I was born in California, grew up in the Pacific Northwest and – until now — had always lived on the West Coast. Before coming to Texas Tech University, I worked as a research scientist on several National Institutes of Health funded studies at the Family Research Group in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of California, Davis.

What are your research interests?

My research examines the influence of economic disadvantage on the emotional and behavioral health of youth and families. I primarily study behavioral health involving problem behaviors that negatively influence health and well-being such as delinquency, antisocial behavior, and substance use and abuse. Much of my work examines the family processes through which economic hardship impacts families and individuals across time and multiple generations of family members.

What will you be teaching in the Fall?

HDFS 6363 (Advanced Topics in HD), a graduate seminar on poverty, risk and resilience.

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

I am looking forward to continuing my research program examining the ways in which economic disadvantage influences families and youth. I am also looking forward to collaborating with faculty and involving students in this and other research.

How are you adjusting to Lubbock thus far?

I am adjusting well. Summer in Lubbock is surprisingly similar to Sacramento, although I think the winters will take some getting used to. I have been enjoying the BBQ here and am looking forward to exploring Lubbock further.

What do you like to do outside of school?

I enjoy playing board games, reading mystery novels, spending time with my husband, and would like to travel more frequently.

Categories: Faculty, Welcome

Mid-Summer 2016 Updates

Paulina Velez-Gomez, who received her Ph.D. in the recent May graduation, was awarded second place in the social sciences in the TTU Graduate School’s Outstanding Dissertation competition. Dr. Nancy Bell, who is now retired after 42 years at the university, served as Paulina’s advisor.

The research of Dr. Malinda Colwell and her colleagues, evaluating the impact of the PBS children’s television show “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” has been featured in the university publication Texas Tech Today.

Jackie (Wiersma) Mosley, who received her Ph.D. with us in 2008, received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, this past spring.

Dr. Elizabeth Sharp is the new Associate Department Chair in HDFS. The Associate Chair mainly oversees the undegraduate curriculum. She replaces Dr. Alan Reifman, who held the position for the previous six years and will go back to being a “regular” professor.

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

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