Human Development and Family Sciences
The Catalyst
September 2020
Dear HDFS community,

Welcome back to the academic year after what was definitely a highly unusual summer. My thoughts are with everyone: I am aware that we have had a number of people affected on a personal level by COVID-19 and I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am. Others have coped with a variety of personal situations, always against the backdrop of the pandemic. In addition, we added to this mix the heightened tensions in our country around systemic racism. Despite all of these varied complexities, our faculty, staff and students persevered and in fact, kept everything going in a virtual world. I am truly grateful to be part of such a committed, thoughtful group of individuals!

Bahira Sherif Trask, HDFS dept chair
Faculty and Student Spotlights
This summer,16 HDFS faculty and staff met for a weekly book club led by HDFS associate professor Lynn Worden and DIEEC staff member Leah Leader to discuss readings related to race and racism. HDFS professor Barbara Settles facilitated the discussion the first week on readings about White privilege by Robin Diangelo. The rest of the summer, the group read Ibram X. Kendi's book How to be an Antiracist. We focused on learning more about race and racism to inform our teaching practice and content in addition to reflecting on how our own implicit biases impact our interactions with others. The supportive atmosphere led to lively debates and challenging discussions that we hope will continue throughout the year.
As she begins work on her dissertation, HDFS PhD student Gerilyn Slicker was awarded a Child Care Dissertation Grant from the federal Administration for Children and Families. Her project will be supervised by HDFS associate professor Jason Hustedt, and is titled Examining Provider Participation in the Child Care Subsidy System: A Mixed Methods Study. Gerilyn will survey child care providers across the State of Arkansas, and will also look at national trends in child care subsidy use, with data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education. Gerilyn is the third current HDFS student to receive this prestigious award - Jing Tang and Danielle Riser both received dissertation grants last year.
HDFS associate professor Valerie Earnshaw and her collaborators, Zachary Collier from the School of Education and Jon Cox from the Department of Art & Design, received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop and test an intervention to reduce stigma among clinicians towards patients at risk of and living with HIV in Malaysia. The three-year project is a collaboration with the University of Malaya. Students in Earnshaw's Stigma & Health Inequities Lab are currently working on Phase 1 of the project, a PhotoVoice assessment of patients' experiences of stigma in healthcare settings.

Valerie and her students have also developed a Sex, Drugs & Science Podcast: Valerie Earnshaw, Carly Hill, and the undergraduates of the Stigma & Health Inequities Lab released Season 1 of their new podcast this summer. Sex, Drugs & Science features interviews with scientists studying topics such as the opioid epidemic, harm reduction, sexual health, and HIV. Tune in to their Wrap Party Episode to hear about the undergraduates' experiences working on the podcast.
Congratulations to HDFS associate professor Ann Aviles on receiving the "H.O.M.E.S. Campaign Award" at the organization's recent Issue Campaigns' Spotlight of the Year Volunteer Recognition event. Each of Network Delaware’s supported issue campaigns can spotlight a “win” or policy victory, team member, or coordinator that
secured real improvements in the community and in people’s own lives. According to one of Ann's team members, "Ann has taken so much initiative and leadership in the housing fight. She is amazing and an awesome team member."
Please join me in congratulating HDFS professor Martha Buell! She was just awarded a very competitive ACF Grant Award for Secondary Analyses of Data on Early Care and Education. Her project is titled: Preventing Expulsion And Suspension through Policy Alignment and Cohesion (PEASPAC): Linkages between Federal Guidance, State CCDF Plans, State Child Care Licensing, QRIS, and State Pre-K Policies.
Xueli (Sherry) Qiu is a PhD student in the Human Development and Family Sciences program. Since 2015, she has been committed to promoting gender equality and bringing attention to the empowerment of women and adolescents. Her research interests include stigma, gender-based violence, women's studies, transnational relationships, and maternal health. She is also a young Chinese feminist activist, engaging in the Chinese feminism movement. Her goals for the future are to bridge the worlds of academia and activism and to be a feminist scholar. Sherry is the current TA for HDFS 201 and also is working in the virtual HDFS advisement center this year. A fun fact: she has became an excellent cook since she came to the US - living abroad has taught her lots of life skills!
Learning remotely can be challenging for some but the HDFS Advisement Center team has established a virtual advising model for fall 2020 to assist undergraduate students with course selection, goal setting, career planning and problem solving. Students can request advising appointments or speak with an advisor during designated drop-in times (Mondays/Wednesdays 10-11 AM and Tuesdays/Thursdays 1-2 PM). Whether you have questions about courses for winter session, planning for internships/grad school, adding a minor or need help with academic support services, the HDFS Advisement Center team is here to help. Read more.
Check out the new faculty and student podcast section on the HDFS website!
Important Dates
  • Race & Culture Virtual Seminar, Ms. Nadisha Downs, 10/12, 3:00 PM
  • Global Research Virtual Seminar, Dr. Riyo Kadota, Date TBD
  • Research Colloquium Virtual Seminar, Dr. Sarah Curtiss, 12/7, 3:00 PM
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