Human Development and Family Sciences
The Catalyst
April 2019
Dear HDFS community,

This month we highlight graduate education in HDFS. Our graduate coordinator, Dr. Bridgette Johnson shares her thoughts about the program and we introduce several of our innovative, hard working PhD, MS and MA students. I wish everyone a productive and hopefully stress-free end of the semester!

Bahira Sherif Trask, HDFS department chair
Faculty & Student Spotlights
HDFS assistant professor, Bridgette Johnson, finds her new role as grad coordinator, fulfilling in many ways. In her own words, “In addition to learning about our wonderful, interdisciplinary program and working with colleagues on the committee, I enjoy seeing the development of our students. It is quite rewarding to see our students grow as young professionals and researchers. From my vantage point, I see them from the applicant stage through to graduation so I get a sense of who they are at the beginning of their program and see the change overtime.”

According to Bridgette, the HDFS graduate program has a unique strength in that master's students are able to interact with the doctoral students, taking some of their coursework together, giving them opportunities to foster good working relationships with one another. Bridgette extends the following message to our students, "You are doing a great job, getting a graduate degree is hard and it should be, but in the end, it will be worth it for your families, yourselves, your field of study, and ultimately our society as a whole."
Libby Heiks, current HDFS MA student, decided, after completing her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, to begin this newly created graduate program in Early Childhood Development and Programming. In Libby's own words, "I was confident that continuing my education at UD would help me grow as a preprofessional leader in the field, and as a student. As I near graduation, and start applying to teaching positions, I feel lucky that I could sustain relationships here that I made during undergrad, and meet many new mentors and guides who challenged my beliefs and understanding of Early Childhood Education. " 
Delaney O'Beirne is a student in the 4 + 1 program in the HDFS department. She received her Bachelor's degree in Human Services with a concentration in Administration and Family Policy this past February. She will be receiving her Master's degree in Human Services Leadership. Her research interests include family, adolescents and the associations between substance use and mental health. According to Delaney, "There are many interconnected relationships within these different areas and it is important to research and understand these associations. Through research, I aim to create new findings within the field in order to make a difference in lives that are affected by substance abuse."
Imani Lawson is a first year master’s student in the HDFS program whose concentration lies in early childhood research.This month, Imani presented at the 8 th annual Making A Difference Conference for Delaware's early childhood professionals. Her presentation highlighted the importance of respect for infants and toddlers and shed light on infant and toddler mental health awareness and prevention. Imani is also a recipient of the University of Delaware Women of Promise award.

Imani currently serves families with young children in Wilmington through her assistantship with New Directions Early Head Start (NDEHS).
Christ ina Woodson is an HDFS doctoral student and a research assistant at New Directions Early Head Start (NDEHS). Christina recently presented at the Society for Research in Child Development’s (SRCD) national conference. Her research interests include at-risk youth, discrimination and psychological well-being, with an emphasis on intervention.

As a transformative researcher, she is passionate about child-welfare and intends on interacting with educators, parents, and other practitioners directly.
Upcoming Events
Marvin B. Sussman Award Ceremony
April 26th, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
The Gallery, Perkins Student Center

Global Research Series
April 26th, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Ewing Room, Perkins Student Center

50th Anniversary of Teaching Celebration for Dr. Barbara Settles
April 26th, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
The Gallery, Perkins Student Center

CEHD Celebration of Excellence
May 3rd, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Clayton Hall

Lab School 85th Anniversary Celebration
June 5th, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Star Tower Audion
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