Research

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

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. 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

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

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

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

Film Series and Colloquium Talks (Spring 2016)

A film series now in its third semester and a brand-new program of colloquium speakers highlight this semester’s cultural and research activities for the HDFS department and the larger community.

The Sexism in Cinema series, which “considers how sexism is embedded, endorsed, and/or challenged in the cinema,” features a monthly film screening followed by discussion. Admission is only $3 for each film. The series is sponsored by several TTU programs and among the co-organizers are HDFS faculty members Dr. Elizabeth Sharp and Dr. Dana Weiser. Click here for the Spring 2016 schedule and further details.

The colloquium marks the first time in recent decades (if not, ever) that HDFS has put together a slate of speakers entirely from outside our department. Speakers, with the titles and dates of their talks, are listed in the flyer below. The talks will be held in Human Sciences Room 102 from 3:30-5:00 on the listed dates.

colloq flyer

The colloquium series was organized by a committee consisting of Dr. Sharp, Dr. Jacki Fitzpatrick, and graduate student Miriam Lieway.

Categories: Faculty, Graduate Students, Outreach, Research

HDFS Faculty’s Recent Grant Receipt

Several Texas Tech HDFS faculty members (shown in bold below) have recently been awarded research grants to conduct their studies. These awards are from both internal (Texas Tech) and external (federal-government and private-foundation) sources.

  • Michael Escamilla (Principal Investigator), Michael O’Boyle (co-PI) & Hugo Sandoval. “Assessment of biomarkers for youth at risk for Bipolar Disorder (Type 1) using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI),” funded by the TTU Presidential Collaborative Research Grants Program.
  • Sylvia Niehuis (PI) & Ireland, M. (Co-PI). “A language-style-matching X person model of engagement/disengagement in spouses’ courtship interviews,” funded by the TTU Scholarship Catalyst Program.
  • Alan Reifman (PI) & Sylvia Niehuis (co-PI). “Analyzing fMRI data from studies of romantic relationships,” funded by the TTU Scholarship Catalyst Program.
  • Yoojin Chae (PI). “The roles of authenticity and attachment in children’s attention and memory,” funded by the Amini Foundation for the Study of Affects.
  • Elizabeth Trejos (PI), Ann Mastergeorge (co-PI) & Andrea Jackowski. “Incidence and effects of toxic stress on neurodevelopmental, cognitive and socioemotional outcomes in children and adolescents: A cross-national comparative collaboration,” funded by the Sao Paulo Researchers in International Collaboration (SPRINT, Brasil).
  • Melissa Barnett (PI), Ann Mastergeorge (co-PI) & Christine Cutshaw. “Child care factors that influence parental engagement: Understanding longitudinal pathways to children’s school readiness,” funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.
Categories: Faculty, Research

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

Fall 2015 Mid-Semester Notes

  • Several people from our department participated in the recent Society for the Study of Human Development conference in Austin, Texas. SSHD is a relatively small association that, in contrast to the many organizations in our field that concentrate on specific age groups (e.g., infancy, childhood, adolescence, old age), features studies on any part of the lifespan. The following photo shows two of our graduate students who attended, Paulina Velez and John Purcell (right), visiting with Tufts University professor, Richard Lerner, a prominent scholar in areas such as applied developmental science and child and adolescent temperament. Presentations from Texas Tech faculty and students are listed in the conference program.

SSHD 2015

  • It was announced that Dr. Elizabeth Sharp will receive the Alexis J. Walker Award for Mid-Career Achievement in Feminist Family Studies at next month’s annual meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, in Vancouver. As always, we’ll have extensive coverage of the NCFR conference, including Dr. Sharp’s award.
  • Each October, we have three opportunities to reach out to current and prospective Texas Tech undergraduates about majoring or minoring in HDFS. These opportunities come at the South Plains Career Expo for area high school students; the Texas Tech Preview for prospective students and their families; and the Majors and Minors (M & M) Fair for students already attending Texas Tech, who are either undecided on a field of study or are considering a switch. These events are now complete. For the first time, we had an Outreach Committee of faculty and instructors who staffed our table at these events: Mitzi Ziegner (committee chair), Dr. Alan Reifman (associate department chair), Dr. Stephanie Shine (Early Childhood program director), and Drs. Zhen Cong, Miriam Mulsow, and Dana Weiser. In the first photo below, Drs. Reifman and Cong stand in front of our new HDFS banner at yesterday’s M & M Fair. The second photo shows a little game we created for the 2014 Career Expo, in which statistics from the New York Times (“How Many Households Are Like Yours?“) were used to make cards showing different family structures and students were invited to guess how common each family form was in the U.S.

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career expo blurred

Categories: Faculty, Graduate Students, Research, Undergraduate Students

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