Teaching

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.

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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

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

Award to Dr. Sylvia Niehuis

Dr. Sylvia Niehuis was among only five recipients on the entire Texas Tech campus of the 2015 Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa Faculty Recognition Award. According to the award notification, “This is a student nominated award based on the outstanding qualities of the faculty in and out of the classroom.” Dr. Niehuis received the award at a reception on November 12 in the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. In the following photo, Maria Maza (left) presents the award to Dr. Niehuis. (Maria and Jessica Corder oversaw the award-nomination process.)

sylvia award

Categories: Faculty, Teaching

Early Fall (2015) Briefs

Here are a few brief items as we settle into another academic year:

  • Dr. Jacki Fitzpatrick was among three recipients of the Lawrence Schovanec Teaching Development Scholarship, out of 17 candidates. The award, honoring the current TTU provost (chief academic officer), provides funding for faculty members to attend a teaching-oriented conference.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Sharp will be giving a webinar on September 30, as part of the National Council on Family Relations’ (NCFR) series on qualitative analysis. Her presentation is entitled “Foregrounding Space and Affect in Qualitative Data Collection — Walking Interviews and Emotion Mapping.”  Further information is available at this link.
  • Dr. Sybil Hart has a new monograph out, entitled Jealousy in Infants: Laboratory Research on Differential Treatment (link).
Categories: Faculty, Research, Teaching

First Graduate of Online Youth Development Master’s Program

Our department has long participated in the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GP-IDEA), a consortium of 13 universities (on the Human Sciences side). Students select a home university among the available schools, but can take online courses at any university in the group. Different GP-IDEA programs offer Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees, and graduate certificates (see list of programs).

Dr. Jean Scott, who has spearheaded our department’s involvement with the Alliance, reports that, “Brittany Selph will be an August 2015 graduate — our first GP-IDEA master’s with concentration in Youth Development.” The following photo shows, from left to right, Dr. Scott, Brittany, and Dr. Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, Texas Tech’s faculty representative in the Youth Development program.

GP IDEA Youth Devt

Dr. Scott’s area is the Gerontology program.

Categories: Graduate Students, Teaching

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

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 Amazon.com.

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

Fall 2013 Mid-Semester Briefs

Several HDFS faculty members and graduate students presented their research projects and teaching ideas before various audiences during the first half of the Fall 2013 semester:

  • Dr. Jacki Fitzpatrick, a TTU Teaching Academy member, shared some of her innovative instructional techniques at the university’s annual Faculty Academic Contributions Exhibit (FACE) and at the annual Engagement Scholarship conference, a national meeting that Texas Tech hosted this year.
  • Dr. Sylvia Niehuis presented a paper (co-authored with TTU colleague Dr. Alan Reifman and Florida State’s Dr. Christine “Coco” Readdick) at the German Pairfam (Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics) conference in Munich. The Pairfam is a large, longitudinal data set that is available for scholars worldwide to conduct analyses. The PowerPoint slideshow from the talk (in PDF form) is available through the conference program.
  • Two HDFS doctoral students were scholarship winners at the Texas Tech Graduate School’s annual Arts and Humanities Graduate Student Research Conference: Timothy Oblad ($125) and Rachel Engler ($100).
Categories: Faculty, Graduate Students, Research, Teaching

Spring and Summer Accomplishments (2013)

As we get ready to begin the Fall 2013 semester, here are some faculty and student accomplishments to report:

  • Master’s student Rebecca Oldham won an award at the 12th annual Texas Tech Graduate School Research Poster Competition last spring.
  • Doctoral student Paulina Velez Gomez is featured among the Texas Tech Graduate School’s student profiles. Paulina presented at a conference in her home country of Colombia during the summer.
  • Doctoral student Satabdi Samtani has been selected for the TEACH Program, a one-year program of mentoring and workshops geared toward TTU grad students who hope eventually to teach at the university level.
  • Professor Jeff Wherry has been elected to the Teaching Academy, an honor society for Texas Tech faculty who have shown skill in the classroom and commitment to the university’s teaching mission. Jeff and the other new electees will be inducted into the Teaching Academy at a ceremony during the Fall semester.

 

Categories: Faculty, Graduate Students, Research, Teaching

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