From the Department Head
From Department Head Julie Braungart-Rieker
Greetings from sunny Fort Collins and Colorado State University’s beautiful campus – I hope this newsletter finds you well!
This spring has offered us even more hope as we slowly start re-emerging from the pandemic. Vaccinations are more widely available and show promising effects in combating the spread of COVID-19. We have also been informed that our Fall 2021 courses will almost all return to a face-to-face, in-person format, which students, parents, and faculty are welcoming with open arms!
Looking forward to the rest of the year is important, and so is looking back. I have come to appreciate the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and CSU even more than when I first started here last July.
We have accomplished so many great things this year, with the spirit of supporting each other and our students. We welcomed a new communications coordinator, Lauren Brigandi, who has jumped right in with great ideas for sharing our impressive work with others. We started a Grants Incubation Support Team in which faculty who are experienced in obtaining grants help those who are newer to the process of planning large projects and writing competitive grant applications to help fund their research. We also started a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Team, which includes faculty, staff, graduate students, and an undergraduate student. They worked hard this year, reviewing current practices and materials and offered excellent suggestions for providing an open, welcoming, and inclusive environment for everyone in our department.
This year, our students and faculty won prestigious awards; research continued to flourish; our clinics found success in offering their services through telehealth, which can now be an option for families moving forward; and the Early Childhood Center stayed a step ahead of global issues, including the pandemic and how best to talk to children about racism and violence. I am proud of our department’s many accomplishments and commitment to doing great work.
I look forward to the upcoming year and, to someday soon, seeing many of you in person again.
Lauren Shomaker, associate professor in HDFS, receives recognition as a Monfort Professor. Monfort Professorship is among CSU’s highest honors and is awarded to faculty who are considered to be rising stars in their fields.
While COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on many sectors of society, the leaders of a therapy center at Colorado State University say the move to serving clients remotely last year has had some benefits that will be long-lasting.
Alumna creates network of private practitioners who support maternal, infant, and early childhood mental health services
Hannah Saunders Wurster (M.S., ’16; Ph.D. ’18) co-founded The Willow Collective, a network of private practitioners who support maternal, infant, and early childhood mental health services in Northern Colorado.
R’ron Fisher graduates with a pre-health professions concentration and plans to become a public health educator or a teacher.
Leah Young finds success throughout her undergraduate experience from a desire and passion to support others.
HDFS graduate student receives recognition during the second annual Research Day, which took place virtually to celebrate the outstanding research and creative scholarship in the College.
CSU researcher explores a novel way to accurately measure changes in cognition within aging populations
Many studies have been done on how to improve or maintain cognitive ability in aging adults, and now a Colorado State University researcher is exploring a novel way to accurately measure changes in cognition within that population.
CSU researchers develop tool to measure community capacity for resilience and successful disaster response
Why do some communities have better outcomes for citizens when faced with disasters and challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic? CSU researchers have developed a way to measure and quantify a community’s democratic resources to respond called the Civic Capacity Index.
Last March, a campus normally humming with students shoulder-to-shoulder in labs, studios, classrooms and dining halls, went into sleep mode when nearly all campus operations moved to virtual settings where possible.
Connecting With the Community
Prevention Extension Cast
Watch the latest installment of the Prevention Research Center’s series of interviews with nationally recognized experts: Aging and Engaging in the Time of COVID-19: The importance of engaging older adults during the pandemic.
Low-cost therapy in uncertain times
As we are all impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19, the Center for Family and Couple Therapy wants to remind you that we are providing low-cost individual, couple, and family online video therapy sessions during daytime and evening hours to fit your schedule.
In 2020, everything from work, to school, to important life events was disrupted by COVID-19, and the ECC was no exception. See how the ECC weathered the shutdown and continues to respond to the pandemic.
Colorado State University researchers are recruiting additional participants for a study on text-based counseling for young adults with marijuana use problems.
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