Human Development and Family Studies

HDFS Newsletter Sept 3 2013

HDFS Updates Curriculum
Esther Leerkes: Double Kudos
Susan Calkins Receives Grants
Andrea Hunter on NPR Station WFDD
Richard Faldowski: Farewell and Best Wishes
Congratulations to New Mom: Dr. Chris Proulx
Fall 2013 Speakers

HDFS Updates Curriculum

New for the 2013-2014 academic year, the Department has made a significant change in its undergraduate curriculum. The "Birth through Kindergarten" and "Early Care and Education" concentrations will remain in place. The "Child and Adolescent Development in the Family" and "Family Studies" have been merged into a single concentration called "Child, Youth and Family Development". The new concentration will allow students to take many of the same courses they could under either of the previous concentrations, but it encourages a more integrated approach to HDFS and will give students more flexibility in the timing of when they take courses. The flexibility of the new concentration should make it easier for students to complete their degree requirements in a timely manner.

Esther Leerkes: Double Kudos

Esther Leerkes received new funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) for the project "Biological and Behavioral Predictors of Early School Success". Although children's success or failure in the early school years is an important predictor of a range of developmental outcomes, we know very little about how trajectories of low versus high achievement are produced. This award will fund Esther's novel longitudinal biobehavioral study of a diverse sample of 350 children from age 4 to first grade, using a multi-method approach to study trajectories of emotional and cognitive processes and the emergence of academic skills competence at the transition to school. Esther believes that by understanding the emergence of learning engagement and how it is affected by both child and environmental factors as well as the interaction between them, we can develop more effective intervention approaches to increase academic achievement and support children's adjustment."

Esther has also received and accept a highly prestigious invitation from the National Institutes of Health's Center for Scientific Review to be a member of the Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention Study Section through June 2019. Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. Study sections review grant applications submitted to the NIH , make recommendations on these applications to the appropriate NIH national advisory council or board, and survey the status of research i their fields of science.



Susan Calkins Receives Grants

Susan Calkins has received a continuation of funding from the US DHHS NIH National Institute of Mental Health for the project "Developmental Trajectories of Early Behavior Problems." This project will be an adolescent follow-up of 447 boys and girls who participated in Susan's research as children. Susan comments that "By extending our biobehavioral model to incorporate cortical functioning and specific dimensions of psychopathology and risky behaviors, this longitudinal sample is uniquely suited to study the role of self-regulation in psychosocial adaptation and functioning in adolescent boys and girls." Susan has also received new funding from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State for the project "Psychobiology of Cognitive Development."

 



Andrea Hunter on NPR Station WFDD

Andrea Hunter recently did a radio essay for NPR's WFDD radio station. She eloquently gave a mother's reaction to the George Zimmerman (Trayvon Martin) verdict. To listen, go tohttp://wfdd.org/post/triad-mother-reacts-zimmerman-verdict



Richard Faldowski: Farewell and Best Wishes

The Department wishes to thank Dr. Richard Faldowski for his six years of service as one of our faculty members. We congratulate him and offer all best wishes on his appointment as an Associate Professor in the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill's Department of Allied Health Sciences.

 


Congratulations to New Mom: Dr. Chris Proulx

Chris Proulx (PhD, 2006), who is now on faculty at the University of Missouri, and husband Jamie celebrated the August arrival of their second child -- a big healthy boy.




Fall 2013 Speakers
HDFS Speakers (Fridays, Stone 186)
September 20th, 12:15pm: Rated License program, speaker TBA, Stone 186
October 4th, 12pm: Jessica Dollar, Ph.D. Stone 186
November 1st, 12pm: Esther Leerkes, Ph.D. Stone 186
December 6th, 12pm: Jon Tudge, Ph.D. Stone 186
Gerontology Lunch and Learn Speakers (11:45 am, Wednesdays, Edwards Lounge, Stone)
October 2, Dr. Jennifer Etnier "Move it or Lose it: Evidence for the Cognitive Benefits of Exercise:
November 13, Steve Fleming, (CEO of Well Spring Retirement Community) Topic: Administrative Leadership of Retirement Communities plus Educational and Research Collaborative Opportunities with the Well Spring Retirement Community