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

This month we celebrate the achievements of our students and the faculty and staff who support them. Student Success is a pillar of the University of Delaware and HDFS exemplifies this mission in a multitude of ways. We have award winning faculty who love mentoring students throughout their studies and our undergraduate and graduate students go on to do great things that are changing the world! Congratulations!

Bahira Sherif Trask, HDFS department chair
Faculty & Student Spotlights
HDFS professor, Michael Ferrari, believes effective teaching requires us to know our students and connect with them as best we can. His work in the field is clinical in nature and It requires him to learn what he can about the individual he is there to serve: their history, life path, passions and direction. With this model, he feels he can actually attempt to be effective. In the classroom, he sometimes has the opportunity to do the same - particularly when students come in for help - it gives them the opportunity to connect and success induction can occur. Small gains can lead to larger gains.
HDFS associate professor, Jennifer Gallo-Fox, (pictured left with HDFS department chair, Bahira Sherif Trask) was awarded the 2018 CEHD Excellence in Teaching award last fall. Jen's courses are all grounded in foundational knowledge of the field, child development, working with families and knowledge for teaching. According to Jen, " I love the fact that as a part of my work I prepare educators and leaders in the field who will have an impact on our community and society. I seek to navigate the space b etween theory and practice - working with students to connect new information to their own learning and experiences while also creating opportunities to implement and test ideas with children in classroom settings."
The Stigma and Health Inequities Lab includes undergraduate and graduate students who work HDFS assistant professor, Valerie Earnshaw (pictured right with some of her student researchers) on research that explores how stigma undermines health outcomes and what can be done to protect individuals from stigma. Goals of the lab are to: (1) engage in research on stigma and health inequities, (2) train students in research, and (3) disseminate research findings to general audiences. This semester, they are building an intervention to help people decide whether and how to disclose that they are in recovery from a substance use disorder to others.
HDFS associate professor, Jason Hustedt, (pictured left) works with several undergraduate research assistants each year, in his role as research director for the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood.  For most students, this is their first research experience, and the goal is to learn more about how research might be part of their future careers. As research assistants, they gain hands-on experience in applied early childhood research, supporting projects like New Directions Early Head Start.  The students work together with professional research staff, graduate students, and faculty. In their work, they learn about confidentiality requirements, participate in data entry, conduct translation and transcription, and help with the preparation of reports and research papers.
Lynn Worden, HDFS associate professor and undergraduate coordinator, oversees academic advisement for all undergrads in the three majors: Early Childhood Education, Human Services, and Human Relations Administration. Lynn, along with our colleague Danielle Dolan, make it a priority to ensure that all students get the academic advice and guidance they need to graduate on time. Lynn feels it is her privilege to meet many of our students while they are in high school or before they transfer to UD from another institution. In Lynn's words, "I love watching their progress until they are awarded their BS degrees several years later, sometimes, I’m even fortunate enough to be the one to read their names at our college Convocation!"
Danielle Dolan, HDFS academic advisor, has been involved with the Human Relations Administration major since its inception, helping to design the major to meet the growing student interest in human resources and workplace dynamics. Not only has she helped to establish the curriculum for the major and to propose an Honors Degree for it, she has assisted with student recruitment for the program, making connections with local organizations for internship opportunities and advising the current students, who just this past spring formed the Human Resources Student Chapter RSO on campus.
Human Relations Administration major and first generation college student, Saray Lopez, served as the 2019 Twilight Induction student speaker. Saray used this opportunity to encourage the new Blue Hens to make use of all UD has to offer, to seek out help when needed and to engage fully in campus life.

HDFS doctoral student, Christina Woodson, recently attended the 2019 Black Doctoral Conference in Newark, New Jersey. HDFS sponsored her to attend to further support her professional development and help her to build relationships within the field. According to Christina, "The conference was an amazing and unique experience and provided me the opportunity to network with several other scholars, build connections for mentor-ship, and affirmed that I'm exactly where i need to be to continue to pursue my graduate degree successfully."
Alumni in the News
We wish Rebecca Vitelli HDFS ECE '14, a big congratulations for being selected as the 2020 Delaware Teacher of the Year!

According to HDFS undergraduate coordinator and associate professor, Lynn Worden, "That Rebecca Vitelli was named Teacher of the Year the first year she was eligible is not surprising. As an undergrad at UD she earned an Honors degree with Distinction and completed nine credits of graduate work along with her BS degree, while graduating a semester early. This award is given to teacher candidates who demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions of experienced teachers. Rebecca has been one of my most memorable students because of her ability to excel both as a student and as a teacher. I have no doubt that she deserves to be recognized as Teacher of the Year." Read full article.
Destiny Brown HMSV '17, recently served on a speaker panel about social work graduate studies, at a department hosted event. Destiny credits her experience as an HDFS student for preparing her tremendously well for her current experience as an MSW and ML student at the University of Pennsylvania. She was surrounded by an extremely supportive faculty and staff that helped her to push her boundaries, work hard, and set high goals. According to Destiny, " This support made my transition to graduate level work an extremely smooth process. Right now I am finishing up my second year in the MSW program, starting the Master in Law program and completing my field placement at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. It is definitely hard work, but the HDFS coursework and internship experience laid a foundation of skills for me which I have been able to build upon and attribute to my current success."
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