Graduate-Degree Alumni

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.

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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.

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

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).

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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.

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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.

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

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Happy Holidays from HDFS!

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

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

HDFS Faculty, Grad Students, and Undergrads Receive Honors (Spring 2016)

2016 TTU awards convoc

The Spring 2016 semester is now over, except for a few more days of final exams. It’s been a very rewarding semester, as numerous HDFS faculty members and students have received various forms of accolades and recognition. Here’s a list:

FACULTY

As shown in the above photos, Drs. Sybil Hart (left) and Jacki Fitzpatrick (right) received awards at the annual TTU Faculty Honors Convocation on April 21. Interim President John Opperman is shown presenting the awards. Dr. Hart received the Barnie E. Rushing, Jr., Faculty Distinguished Research Award (Social Science, Humanities, and Creative Arts division), whereas Dr. Fitzpatrick was the College of Human Sciences’ recipient of the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

The newly named “Nancy J. Bell Graduate Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Award” honors Dr. Bell, upon her retirement after 42 years at Texas Tech. The award will be given to a TTU faculty member every year.

Also recognized for her work with students was Dr. Sylvia Niehuis, winner of the  Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from the Center for Active Learning and Undergraduate Engagement (CALUE).

Dr. Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo was featured in the Texas Tech Today online newsletter in regard to her sex-education curriculum (also featuring graduate student Nancy Trevino Schafer).

Dr. Yvonne Caldera was also recognized in Texas Tech Today for her book, Mexican American Children and Families. Dr. Caldera was co-editor of the book and contributed three chapters to it.

Dr. Michael O’Boyle and Dr. Trejos will be conducting fMRI brain scans of youth exposed to violence in Colombia, based on a research grant from that country. The two will be collaborating with Drs. Mauricio Barrera and Lilliana Calderon, who have been visiting at Texas Tech this semester.

Dr. Dana Weiser received the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) Innovative Teaching Award. Dr. Weiser’s award was based on projects in her graduate human-sexuality course, in which graduate students developed and distributed information on practicing safe and consensual sex. SPSSI’s list of winners of this award (to which the 2016 results should soon be added) is available here, whereas a Daily Toreador article on Dr. Weiser’s class activity is available here.

GRADUATE STUDENTS

Several students took home prizes at the annual Graduate Research Poster CompetitionRebecca Oldham, first-place, and Ivette Noriega, runner-up, in the Families & Relationships category; and Manju Chawla, runner-up in the Investigating Behavior & Control category.

Rebecca Oldham also received the  Helen Devitt Jones Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award.

Undergraduate students elected to Texas Tech’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society, are asked to name influential professors/instructors in students’ academic and intellectual development. HDFS graduate instructor Desiree Walisky was among those recognized by student inductees.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

At the Center for Active Learning and Undergraduate Engagement (CALUE) Undergraduate Research Conference, two students from Dr. Niehuis’s lab, Kristen Ginste and Orlando Parales, were recognized as Top Poster Presenters in the Social Sciences. Kristen also won Honorable Mention for Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher overall. Benjamin Finlayson, who worked with Dr. Elizabeth Sharp, received a Top Poster Presenter award in the Humanities.

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

NCFR 2015 in Vancouver

vancouver skyline

Several Texas Tech HDFS faculty and graduate students ventured up to the Great Northwest — Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, specifically — for the annual conference of the National Conference on Family Relations (NCFR) in mid-November. The distant mountains were clouded over and it rained much of the time, but there was no figurative dampening of people’s spirit!

One of the highlights for the Texas Tech group was Dr. Elizabeth Sharp’s receipt of the  Alexis J. Walker  Award for Mid-Career Achievement in Feminist Family Studies, captured in this linked photo from the official NCFR website. Elizabeth is shown in the following montage with (clockwise from upper-left) Dr. Shannon Weaver (a graduate-school colleague of Elizabeth’s at Missouri); Andrea Roets Swenson (a former TTU graduate student); a visitor to our department’s table at the universities’ reception; and Dr. Anisa Zvonkovic (a former faculty colleague at Texas Tech).

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Dean Linda Hoover of Texas Tech’s College of Human Sciences (right, shown with Dr. Jean Scott) traveled to Vancouver to host a reception in honor of Elizabeth’s award.

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The upper-left photograph in the next montage shows (left to right)  HDFS graduate students Rebecca Oldham, Ivette Noriega, and Jennifer Lindsey, and Dr. Dana Weiser. The lower-right photo shows Andrea, two Ph.D. recipients from our program, Jeremy Boden and Jennifer Rojas-McWhinney (both seated), and a visitor.

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Our new HDFS department chairperson, Ann Mastergeorge (left) chats with, among others, Elizabeth’s graduate advisor, Larry Ganong (right), from Missouri.

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Finally, we have a group shot with Ivette, Rebecca, Dr. Sharp, Jennifer, Satabdi Samtani (grad student), and Dr. Weiser.

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On various people’s shirts and lapels, an orange button may be seen with the expression “E#.” In musical terminology, this would represent “E Sharp,” thus serving as a nickname for Elizabeth. In actuality, there is no such musical note as “E#,” but why let that detract from a great nickname?

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

Oblad Defends Dissertation for Ph.D., Moves to New Faculty Job

Tim Oblad-Dissertation

Tim Oblad recently defended his dissertation research project to receive his Ph.D. He has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Human Development in the Department of Human Sciences at Texas A&M-Kingsville. The school is located way down in South Texas. We wish Tim the best in this new endeavor!

Categories: Graduate-Degree Alumni, Research

HDFS and Media

We have three brief items, all within the theme of “HDFS and Media.”

  • One story is about using the tools of child-development research to study media presentations for children. Dr. Malinda Colwell, who is part of a Texas Tech faculty consortium studying the impact of the public broadcasting cartoon show “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” on young children’s “cognitive, emotional, and psychological development,” presented earlier this week at the national PBS conference in Austin, Texas. Dr. Colwell’s former grad student, Kim Corson, Ph.D., who works at the University of Houston’s PBS station, was also on hand. Kim tweeted this photo of her (right) with Malinda.
  • The second story is about having students use media in the college classroom. To help students in her undergraduate Gender Development course prepare for their final exam, Dr. Elizabeth Sharp had small groups of students create short videos that reviewed key concepts within a given course topic. Two YouTube videos, voted as the best by students in the two sections of Gender Development, are available here and here.
  • Finally, another of our Ph.D. alumni, Lehigh University Professor of Practice Sothy Eng, has begun writing a column for the Huffington Post. Sothy writes about historical and contemporary issues in his native country of Cambodia. His author page, with links to his articles, is available here.
Categories: Faculty, Graduate-Degree Alumni, Outreach, Undergraduate Students

Texas Tech at the 2014 NCFR Conference

This year’s National Council on Family Relations conference was held in Baltimore, Maryland this past weekend, with the headquarters hotel just a baseball throw away from the Orioles’ Camden Yards ballpark.

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Numerous Texas Tech HDFS faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and alumni presented their research (see conference program). Below are pictures from the conference (thanks to Sylvia Niehuis). You may click on the photos to enlarge them.

sothy, erin, & jacki

jacki stands by poster

Erin Kostina‐Ritchey (a newly minted Ph.D.) and faculty member Dr. Jacki Fitzpatrick presented a poster entitled, “Literary Portrayals: Adoptive Families’ Causal Attribution for Adopting.” In the left-hand photo directly above, Erin (center) and Jacki (right) are joined by Ph.D. alumnus Sothy Eng, now a faculty member at Lehigh University.

wendy, stephanie, & ivette

wendy, ivette, & rebecca

Another Texas Tech presentation was in the form of a roundtable session, in which Dr. Niehuis’s lab group, consisting of faculty members, graduate students, and undergrads, discussed “Mentoring Undergraduate Research in the Social Sciences.” Authors of the presentation were Rebecca Oldham (grad student, at right in right-hand photo), Ivette Noriega (grad student, at right in left-hand photo and center of right-hand photo), Hannah Baird (grad student), Sylvia Niehuis (faculty), Wendy Wood (undergrad, at left in both photos), and Molly Ireland (faculty, Psychological Sciences). Undergraduate Stephanie Michelle Ortiz (left-hand picture, center), a participant in the Tech Council on Family Relations, also joined in.

miriam & shera

Finally, Drs. Miriam Mulsow (left) and Shera Jackson enjoy an informal chat. Dr. Mulsow directs our graduate program, whereas Dr. Jackson supervises the undergraduate Tech CFR group.

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

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

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