Undergraduate Students

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

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

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.

mm fair ttu

career expo blurred

Categories: Faculty, Graduate Students, Research, Undergraduate Students

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

More Awards to HDFS Faculty and Students

The department has received several additional awards recently, beyond the ones announced in March. The latest recipients include:

  • Dr. Stephanie Shine and her colleagues in Texas Tech’s Early Head Start program, who received a large grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to team up with the Lil’ Precious Steps daycare center and serve additional children in East Lubbock. It’s one little precious step for our community, one giant leap for child-development programming!
  • Dr. Jacki Fitzpatrick, who was honored as a “Raider Who Rocks” in the area of Academic Integrity.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, recognized for “Professing Excellence” by University Student Housing.
  • Two students, Marisol Alonzo and  Grace Mihalyov, who won awards at the annual TTU Undergraduate Research Conference. As shown in the program, Marisol worked with researchers in the College of Education’s Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research on the study “Evaluating the Television Show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood as a Video-Based Model to Teach Social Skills to Children with Autism,” whereas Grace’s project was entitled, “The Effects of Code-Switching on Preposition Stranding in Spanish-English Bilinguals.”
  • One of our students has won the Helen DeVitt Jones Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award. Check here for the awardees’ names to be made public.
Categories: Faculty, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students

HDFS Faculty and Students Recognized on Multiple Fronts

HDFS faculty and students have been earning recognition on the Texas Tech campus in many areas:

  • Ph.D. student Paulina Velez-Gomez was featured in Texas Tech Today‘s “Student Spotlight” on March 5 (article link). The article discusses Paulina’s plan to return to her home country of Colombia after finishing her degree and use the knowledge gained here at Texas Tech to help communities back home.
  • Another of our Ph.D. students has earned a dissertation fellowship from the TTU Graduate School. Once the Grad School publicly reports the winners (which we expect to happen soon), we will disclose the HDFS student’s name.
  • HDFS undergraduate Gilde Flores was also featured in Texas Tech Today (February 26). While the main article focuses on his musical career outside of school, there is a sidebar column to the right of the article in which he discusses his time in the HDFS program. Flores lists the following people as his favorite instructors: Mitzi Ziegner, Yvonne Caldera, Shera Jackson, Jeffrey Wherry, Ronda Eade, and Alan Korinek.
  • Judy Fischer, whose retirement was covered here, has officially been granted Emeritus Professor status by the TTU Board of Regents.
  • Also as part of the Regents’ agenda, they granted Dr. Michael O’Boyle a Faculty Development Leave for the Fall 2015 semester. During this time, he will “visit the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC) for one semester, during which time we will analyze a myriad of behavioral and neuroimaging data on the neuroscience of creativity… Also, he will develop future collaborative studies between UNMHSC/MIND Research Network and the Texas Tech Neuroimaging Institute (TTNI).”
Categories: Faculty, Graduate Students, Outreach, Research, 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.

camden yards 1

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

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

HDFS Involvement with East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood

Several faculty and students from the HDFS department will be working on a large, multi-organization project called the East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood (ELPN), which has received a total of $24.5 million in federal funding over a five-year period.

Promise Neighborhoods are a relatively new federal program from the U.S. Department of Education. According to the Promise Neighborhood website:

The vision of the program is that all children and youth growing up in Promise Neighborhoods have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career. The purpose of Promise Neighborhoods is to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth in our most distressed communities, and to transform those communities…

Interestingly, most of the recipients of Promise Neighborhood funding are in large cities such as Boston, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Lubbock thus stands out as a small-city recipient.

According to an article in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, “East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood is a collaboration of the Lubbock Independent School District, Texas Tech, the Tech Health Sciences Center and multiple community partners, including Covenant Health System, South Plains Food Bank, United Supermarkets and United Way of Lubbock.”

Dr. Scott Ridley, the Dean of the TTU College of Education, was the lead author of the grant proposal, as described in this university news release. In addition to Education and HDFS, other Texas Tech colleges and departments participating in ELPN include Nutritional Sciences; Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences; Visual and Performing Arts; and Nursing (from the Health Sciences Center).

ELPN personnel have also set up their own local website for the project. As shown on this part of the website, the project will provide services and conduct evaluation research in many areas of life. These areas (with associated HDFS faculty listed in parentheses) include: Early Learning and Literacy (Dr. Mike McCarty, Associate Professor, and Dr. Stephanie Shine, Early Childhood Program Director); Family, Community, and Adult Education (Dr. Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, Associate Professor); Health and Wellness; and College and Career Readiness.

A detailed report on the ELPN project from the U.S. Department of Education is available here. This report lists Dr. Michael O’Boyle, HDFS Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Human Sciences,  as heading up the Early Learning Services portion of the ELPN project.

Dr. Shine, along with our graduate students Tobi Ruwase, Viviana Gomez, and Andrea Parker, recently attended a Juneteenth celebration here in town to publicize the ELPN and seek families willing to participate in the various programs. Following are some pictures from the event (on which you may click to enlarge). In the first photo, Tobi (left) stands by the ELPN information booth.

elpn juneteenth 3

These next photos show Viviana jumping right into the early-literacy training, reading with area kids.

On a related note, undergraduate Colleen Williams  won first place in the Human Sciences division of Texas Tech’s annual Undergraduate Research Conference in May (see photo below). Her poster, entitled “Parent and Teacher Attitudes at Early Head Start,” drew from another of our department’s community-enrichment programs. Colleen worked with Dr. Shine, Dr. Yvonne Caldera, and grad student Debbie Neckles.

elpn poster

Categories: Faculty, Graduate Students, Outreach, Research, Undergraduate Students

December 2012 HDFS Bachelor’s Graduates Excel

An article in today’s Lubbock Avalanche Journal, the local newspaper, previews this weekend’s graduation ceremonies (link). The listing of “highest ranking December graduates for each college” shows that the six top grads in the College of Human Sciences all studied within the Human Development and Family Studies Department (either in the “regular” HDFS major or Early Childhood education). These students are as follows (with their hometowns):

  • Dawn Marie Abbot, HDFS, Whitehouse;
  • Meagan Lee Blair, HDFS, Pharr;
  • Rachel Rene Burden, EC, Lubbock;
  • Sara Elizabeth Moffett, EC, Houston;
  • Kaitlyn Michelle Pinkerton, EC, Midland; and
  • Olivia Diane Segulja, EC, Midland (also the College banner-bearer)

Congratulations to these students and all of our other graduates!

Categories: Undergraduate Students

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