Human Development and Family Studies Newsletter | Fall 2022 Recap

The Human Development and Family Studies newsletter publishes twice per year, in January and June.

From Department Head Julie Braungart-Rieker

Julie Braungart-Rieker
Department Head Julie Braungart-Rieker

Happy 2023 to our HDFS family! As I reflect on the last semester, I see growth at its finest.

We had growth with our programs and degrees, renaming and revising one of our concentrations to “Leadership and Advocacy.” This concentration focuses on equity and inclusion to promote the optimal development of individuals and families. A new online M.S. degree and graduate certificate were also added to address the need for practitioners trained in prevention science, specifically in rural Colorado. The Master of Prevention Science Practice as well as the Prevention Program Planning and Evaluation online certificate help students develop skills to plan and implement evidence-based prevention programs that make a lasting, positive difference within the community.

The department grew in numbers of employees in Fall semester 2022 with the addition of Hiba Abdeljalil, an academic success coordinator for our undergraduate students. Hiba came to us from the CSU Department of University Housing and Dining as a residence director. We are lucky to have them with us!

And lastly, on the topic of growth, we grew our focus and efforts for diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. Thanks to Dr. Gloria Luong, we now have a mini grant to pilot a program designed to recruit students from historically underrepresented backgrounds into graduate programs. I’m excited to see this come to fruition! Also, we have a newly formed DEIJ committee for the department, which includes individuals from across the board, including undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and staff. This committee will champion for all voices.

As we head into 2023, I feel very positive about the direction the department is going. We have a lot of exciting things in the works, and we are grateful to have you along for all the big, and the small, milestones we have accomplished and will continue to accomplish in the new year.

Wishing you a wonderful year!

Department Highlights

Alder Hall

Introducing our new online prevention science M.S. degree and certificate

After years in the making, a new Colorado State University Online master’s degree and graduate certificate in prevention science have started with a semester of success in the books.

Young man in a wheelchair holding onto the reins of a horse

CSU team supports workforce development for people with disabilities

Three Colorado State University entities are teaming up to create a program for neurodiverse job seekers in the STEM and agriculture industries – and a grant from Larimer County will help get this novel project up and running.

Project JUSTIS group photo

CTRAC funds expand trauma-informed practice in juvenile justice system

Colorado State University’s Trauma and Resilience Assessment Center has created a community of support for these youth – and has secured a federal grant of up to $1.6 million over four years to continue its impactful work.

Faculty Achievements

Christine Fruhauf profile photo

Christine Fruhauf honored for outstanding teaching in gerontology

Christine Fruhauf’s dedication to teaching, research, and engagement in the field of gerontology at Colorado State University has earned several accolades and now, she is being honored at the national level.

Zeynep Biringen with kids

Zeynep Biringen retires with emerita status after 25 years at CSU

After 25 years as a faculty member in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Zeynep Biringen is retiring from Colorado State University with the distinction of professor emerita.

Nathaniel Riggs profile photo

Nathaniel Riggs writes piece on battle against opioid addiction; ‘prevention is a necessary weapon alongside treatment’

The nation’s opioid crisis continues to overwhelm Colorado communities. Deaths due to opioid overdose have reached historic highs devastating nearly 1,000 Colorado families in 2020 alone.

New CSU faculty members

A cohort of seven CSU faculty are the first of a new initiative to help faculty influence public policy

A cohort of seven Colorado State University faculty members are the first of a new initiative by the Office of the Vice President for Research to help faculty influence public policy.

Student Success

Ana Lucia profile photo

Outstanding graduate from Guatemala finds success through involvement, passion, and dedication

“I quite honestly do not know how I managed to be here today,” said Ana Lucia Samayoa Ramos, a first-generation college student graduating from Colorado State University’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies. “I had so many odds against me, but I did it.”

Jessy Jiao profile picture

Graduate student, Jessy Jiao, goes above and beyond while earning her doctorate

Jessy Jiao’s journey to her doctoral degree has been filled with ups and down, and now, she is recognized as an outstanding graduate student for the College of Health and Human Sciences due to her unwavering perseverance to obtaining her doctorate.

Samantha Patrick profile image

Samantha Patrick finds passion for helping youth through Campus Connections

Giving back to the community is both a privilege and a responsibility – Human Development and Family Studies senior Samantha Patrick knows this well. Patrick is gaining valuable experience with the department’s Campus Connections program, paving pathways for youth in need.

Our Community

Prevention Extension Cast

Watch recent recordings of the Prevention Research Center interview series featuring nationally recognized experts, hosted by professor and PRC executive director, Nathaniel Riggs.

CHHS Research Day Photo

CHHS Research Day

We welcome alumni and community partners to serve as poster session judges at the College of Health and Human Sciences Research Day 2023, taking place on March 6 in the Lory Student Center Ballroom. If you would like to volunteer, please sign up to be a judge by February 21.

Brittany Anderson with her family

Alumna Brittany Anderson on graduating from law school with honors

Born and raised in Colorado, Brittany Anderson (’18) dreamed of one day studying the law. Today, she’s putting her CSU education and legal training to good use.

Savannah Thomas profile photo

Alumna Savannah Thomas on career, Peace Corps, and Harvard grad degree

After graduating from Colorado State University in 2016 with a major in human development and family studies and a minor in Spanish, Savannah Thomas was a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda teaching elementary English until 2018.

Campus Connections group sitting on a couch and talking

Campus Connections youth mentoring program sees positive growth

Since 2009, Colorado State University’s Campus Connections youth mentoring program in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies has built positive relationships and a supportive community among local youth and undergraduate students.

Podcast Spotlights

HDFS researchers shared insights with the College of Health and Human Sciences podcast, Health and Human Science Matters. Listen with the links below.

HHSM Deborah Filder profile image

Positive development, family legacy, and prevention science

Dr. Deborah “Debbie” Fidler sits down with Matt and Avery to discuss her research in studying neurodiversity and intellectual disabilities – specifically the cognitive phenotype associated with Down syndrome – and her passion for serving the community.

Gloria Luong HHSM profile image

Stress research, climbing, and how stress changes as we age

Dr. Gloria Luong from CSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies discusses her research on stressor-health links and how emotion regulation and coping capacities may modify these links across the lifespan; and her path to becoming a professor.

Mental health in teens, mindfulness, and self-compassion

Reagan Miller, a Ph.D. student in CSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies, talks with hosts Matt Hickey and Avery Martin about being one of the inaugural Dean’s Fellows of the College and her research on mindfulness to help adolescents cope with stress and trauma.

Manfred Diehl HHSM profile image

Research on healthy aging, the arts, and the importance of mentorship

Dr. Diehl discusses his research in CSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies, his international journey through higher education, and the importance of being a mentor.


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