Project helps expectant parents transition

photo of expectant coupleThe Emotional Attachment Lab at Colorado State University is looking for participants for its latest research project: Love Now, Success Later. In the project, researchers will be examining the effectiveness of a workshop series that teaches mindfulness and emotional availability skills for expecting parents during the last trimester. The purpose of this research study is to see if an emotional availability and mindfulness intervention will improve couple functioning, individual well-being, and infant outcomes. All study participants will be compensated and entered in a drawing for self-care and baby-care gifts. Participation in the study is completely voluntary. The next round of interventions will be held on Friday evenings from March 27 through April 17. To learn more about the project or see if you are eligible, email amanda.hall@colostate.edu. Check out the project website, lovenowsuccesslater.yolasite.com, or its Facebook page at facebook.com/emotionalattachment.

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Tips for rekindling your romance on Valentine's Day

Written by Amy Quinn and CK Kemp As we draw closer to Valentine's Day, couples often evaluate the passion in their relationships. We all lead busy lives and passion can sometimes fall to the wayside. Here are some ideas for taking your romance up a notch. The following tips include ideas in the Fort Collins area, but you can apply them to wherever you happen to live! photo of a couple1.) Use humor to bring you and your partner closer together. John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, stated, "A wonderful thing about true laughter is that it just destroys any kind of system of dividing people." Humor is more than just laughing and having a good time; when couples use humor in their relationship, it can lower tension and help repair the relationship from those daily small arguments and issues that can build up over time. Catch a funny movie at the Lyric Cinema, play some putt-putt golf at Fort Fun, or take advantage of the board games at Equinox or another local brewery. 2.) Next, get serious! Even when we spend a lot of time together, we may still feel emotionally distant from our partners. We talk about our likes, dislikes, hopes, and dreams in the early stages of our relationships, but we often don't have these same conversations further down the road. John Gottman, the foremost researcher on relationships, suggests that we build "love maps" of our loved ones lives about all the little details that make our partners "tick." So set aside time away from your kids and/or work and build up your love maps of each other. Ask each other questions like: What is your favorite way to spend an evening? What is your favorite getaway place? What are some of the important events coming up in your life and how do you feel about them? What are some of your favorite ways to work out? Who is one of your major rivals or "enemies"? What would you consider your ideal job? What is one of your favorite novels/movies? 3.) Break a sweat together! We all know that exercise provides the brain with increased endorphins which often results in feelings happier overall. So why not experience these feelings with your partner? Another positive aspect of exercising is that you often do not need to spend any money in order to increase those endorphins. Get outside and walk around City Park or take an evening walk around Old Town. Take a yoga class together at Old Town Yoga or hit the gym and grab two treadmills next to each other. Dust the winter grime off of those bikes and hit the Spring Creek Trail this weekend. 4.) Take a trip down memory lane. Where did you go on your first date? Where were you when you first said "I love you"? What are some local landmarks that have special meaning for you and your partner? Plan a surprise outing for your partner, taking him/her to one or more of these places. When you get there, spend some time reminiscing together about the reasons you were initially attracted to each other and about the ways that your love continues to grow. Try and remember as much as you can about these memories - what were you wearing? What was the weather like? What was that funny joke your partner said that made you laugh? Have fun and enjoy one another's company. By Amy Quinn, M.S., and CK Kemp, M.S., graduates of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program and students in the Applied Developmental Science Ph.D. Program in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Colorado State University's Center for Family & Couple Therapy is affiliated with the MFT Program, and provides high-quality therapy services to families, couples, individuals, adolescents, and children. The CFCT offers services to all members of the Larimer County community, as well as to students, faculty, and staff on campus. For more information, see www.cfct.chhs.colostate.edu.

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Campus Corps lands grant to evaluate youth mentoring model

Story by Chance Johnson CSU’s Campus Corps youth mentoring program has received nearly $600,000 in funding from the William T. Grant Foundation to study the effectiveness of its distinctive approach to improving the lives of at-risk youth. [caption id="attachment_10573" align="alignright" width="300"]photo of mentor and mentee A Campus Corps mentor, right, works with her youth mentee during a homework help session.[/caption] Shelley Haddock, associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and Kimberly Henry, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, and colleagues will study one of the key components of the Campus Corps mentoring program: Mentor Families. Campus Corps is a structured therapeutic mentoring program that matches trained CSU undergraduate student mentors with adolescents from Larimer County who are at risk for problem behaviors. The adolescents may struggle with delinquency, substance abuse, poverty, mental health problems, or family/social difficulties. Since 2010, more than 1,265 youth have received mentoring through the program, and preliminary evidence suggests that the program is effective at improving outcomes for participants. One youth mentee stated, “As the weeks went by, and I was staying clean and everything, I was like, I’m not such a bad person, maybe I have more of a purpose in life than just doing drugs.” Mentors benefit too The positive outcome of the program is not exclusive to the mentees, but also to the mentors. “I was ready to drop out of college before joining Campus Corps,” one student mentor said, “and now, because of my time spent with the youth, I am excited about the possibility of pursuing an education degree.” Henry explained how the new study will test a key component of Campus Corps: the Mentor Family. “There is a base dyad (a group of two people) that consists of the mentor and mentee, this is akin to many mentoring programs across the country,” she said. “In Campus Corps, these dyads are embedded in what we call a Mentor Family.” Four mentor-mentee dyads make up a Mentor Family. This leads to the primary research question: Does embedding mentor-mentee pairs in a Mentor Family lead to better outcomes? “We have a conceptual model that demonstrates why we think Mentor Families will enhance the benefits of a traditional mentoring relationship,” Henry said. “Mentors will feel more supported and satisfied with their role – and will have a greater sense of self-efficacy. Therefore, they will be more capable to provide high-quality mentoring to the mentees.” 'Sense of belonging' Henry attributes the success of Mentor Families to the fact that it makes participants feel like they belong to a group. “Mentees will have a greater sense of belonging and mattering to others because they are part of this larger group; they will also have more opportunities to develop their social skills and broaden their social resources,” she said. “Ultimately, we posit that these improvements in the mentoring process will translate to better long-term outcomes for mentees; potentially decreasing depressive symptoms, improving academic outcomes, and decreasing delinquency.” Haddock said that during each evening of the program, mentees pair off, taking part in a variety of productive activities. “The program has the feel of a community to it,” Haddock said, “and is overseen by graduate students who are part of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program in HDFS.” Haddock said there are various levels of resources available to the youth. “A lot of these youth have difficult situations going on in their lives,” she said. “When they let the mentor know of an issue, the mentor can access the therapist, and then the mentee can meet with the therapist if needed.” The evaluation process Over the course of three years, the Campus Corps research team will randomly assign Campus Corps sessions (four per semester) to either a Mentor Family or no Mentor Family (traditional one-on-one mentoring). Program differences will be assessed via longitudinal surveys of mentors, mentees, and mentees’ caregivers; observations of mentors and mentees; and collection of official data such as academic achievement and recidivism. By the end of the study, the Campus Corps research team will determine if Mentor Families improve long-term outcomes for youth, and if they do, the mechanisms by which these improvements take place. This will have important implications for Campus Corps, as well as mentoring programs across the country. Haddock developed Campus Corps along with Toni Zimmerman, a professor in HDFS, Jen Krafchick, a senior teaching assistant professor in HDFS, and Lindsey Weiler, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Social Sciences at the University of Minnesota. Other researchers on the evaluation project include Weiler, Lise Youngblade, professor and head of HDFS and associate dean for research in the College of Health and Human Sciences; and Rachel Lucas Thompson, assistant professor in HDFS.

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New instructor cooks up student success at Aspen Grille

[caption id="attachment_10492" align="alignright" width="214"]photo of Olson and Overlee Josh Olson, left, and Garrett Overlee[/caption] The student-run Aspen Grille opens for the semester on Tuesday, Feb. 10, and a new face will be serving up the cooking lessons. The Aspen Grille, a hidden gem located in the Lory Student Center, offers upscale, high-quality meals at reasonable prices. Ahi Tuna Tacos, the Aspen Grille Cobb Salad, the Colorado Cuban, and Aspen Grille Hamburger are among the popular menu items prepared and served by students in the Hospitality Management Program at CSU. The Aspen Grille serves as a hands-on student laboratory for the HM program, while providing an exceptional dining option to the campus and community. The restaurant has taken on a new instructor, Josh Olson ('06), to take the place of Bill Franz and Eric Milholland, who most recently split the Aspen Grille teaching duties. Franz, a full-time faculty member, and Milholland, an instructor in the HM Program, will now be teaching and developing other classes within the HM Program in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Olson has big shoes to fill. Franz, building on the work of Ken Smith, who helped launch the Grille as a partnership with the Division of Student Affairs and the Lory Student Center, initiated a unique training program for students in the Aspen Grille class in which they train each other in the different positions in the Grille. Students learn to be managers, not just workers. Taking over from Franz and Milholland, Olson will be collaborating with current chef instructor Garrett Overlee ('04), who has been with the Aspen Grille since 2011. The two will collaborate to put their skills learned in their degrees from CSU to use, as well as apply hands-on experience gained from working in the restaurant business. Olson is very enthusiastic about being back at CSU. "I feel super fortunate that I get to work where I went to school," he said. "I love the energy that working on campus provides. The enthusiasm from the students is incredible." More on Olson and Overlee: photo of Aspen Grille dining roomJosh Olson hails from Longmont, Colo., and attended Niwot High School. After one year at Fort Lewis College in Durango, he decided to transfer to Colorado State University, where he graduated with a degree in political science in 2006. While at CSU, he got a job cooking at a Scottish restaurant in Fort Collins called the Stonehouse Grille. This was an ideal restaurant for Olson because of his passion for European food and sports. After graduating from CSU, he moved to Denver to pursue a job in business as a sales manager for a large plumbing company. After giving it a try for about a year, he realized that there was something missing in his life. He decided to move back to Fort Collins and get his old job back at the Stonehouse Grille. Eventually, he moved into a bar management position, which he held for three years. It was during this time that he realized he wanted to make a career in the hospitality industry. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in adult education in training in the School of Education at CSU, alongside his new position as the restaurant operations instructor at CSU's Aspen Grille. In 2004, Garrett Overlee earned his B.S. from CSU's Restaurant and Resort Management Program, which has since been renamed Hospitality Management. A Colorado native from the Denver area, he graduated in 2005 with an Associate of Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Denver, and has been chef instructor at the Aspen Grille since 2011. He is passionate about food, and believes that the key to being a successful chef is by leading others through excellent service. As the chef instructor, he enjoys highlighting all the fresh and local ingredients that Colorado has to offer. He believes that by combining these quality ingredients with the work of passionate students, each one of the undergraduates can express their inner "chef" at the Aspen Grille. The Aspen Grille will be open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., from Feb. 10 to the end of the regular semester. The Aspen Grille is located on the second floor of the Lory Student Center, inside the University Club. Walk-ins are welcome, and reservations can be made here, through the online reservation system.

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