Exterior of Nancy Nicholas Hall in the evening, with lamps and windows glowing.
News & Events

SoHE News: Apr 17–23

Image: Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Thanks for reading our weekly roundup of news and events at the School of Human Ecology. Have something we should know about? Email Public Relations Manager Serena Larkin, or submit your SoHE event via this form. View past issues of news and events here.


CNPL major wins outstanding returning student award

“I want people to know that the possibilities are endless. Just because you’re a little bit older doesn’t mean you can’t be what you want to be.” That’s Community and Nonprofit Leadership major Talesa Allen reflecting on her non-traditional path to her SoHE degree this spring, which was just recognized by the university with the Outstanding Undergraduate Returning Adult Student Award. Congratulations, Talesa! We are proud of you.

SoHE scholars in the news

Halpern-Meekin talks “social poverty” in New York Times and Yahoo! News

Dr. Sarah Halpern-Meekin, Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and an Affiliate with the Institute for Research on Poverty and with the UW Center for Financial Security, spoke with the New York Times and with Yahoo! News about the especially heavy impact COVID-19 is having on families living in poverty. She applies her concept of “social poverty” to illuminate the additional challenges they face: “Poverty represents a level of deprivation that many middle- or upper-income Americans can’t even wrap their head around.”

Hartley advises families managing safer-at-home with children with developmental disabilities

Dr. Sigan Hartley, the 100 Women Chair in Human Ecology, shared guidance for families with children with developmental disabilities now that schools and other community resources are closed.

Collins explains stimulus check diversion with ABC News, shares advice via Badger Talks

Some Americans are missing the benefit of their stimulus checks due to garnishment, a new ABC News story detailed. Dr. J. Michael Collins, SoHE’s Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer and Personal Finance, discussed how this will trigger further overdrafts of bank accounts and difficulties for people already struggling to make ends meet. He also spoke with Badger Talks, which has now launched biweekly virtual conversations, about how families and individuals can strategically manage their finances in this time.

Cap Times highlights Black men’s wellness group, co-founded by Thomas

The Cap Times wrote up the ongoing virtual support group for Black men’s well-being and mental health as they cope with disproportionate impact from COVID-19. Dr. Alvin Thomas, of Human Development and Family Studies, co-founded and contributes to the discussions. Group moderator Aaron Perry, of the Rebalanced Life Wellness Association, says, “Our goal is to provide a safe place for Black men to express their concerns, be vulnerable, and to provide an outlet for their stress before it negatively impacts their health or the well-being of their families or loved ones.”

Board of Visitors member John Zeratsky talks purpose and productivity on podcast

SoHE alum and Board of Visitors member John Zeratsky was interviewed on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast earlier this week to discuss his book Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day.

Bogenschneider on the relationship between research and policy for W.T.Grant Foundation

Dr. Karen Bogenschneider, Professor Emerita of Human Development and Family Studies, recently wrote a guest article for the William T. Grant Foundation on how and when policymakers actually use research in their work.

Kirkorian explains a YouTuber’s stardom

Bloomberg News quoted Dr. Heather Kirkorian, SoHE’s Laura M. Secord Chair in Early Childhood Development and Faculty Director of the Child Development Lab, commented on the rise of a particular YouTube child star who has managed to go uniquely international.

New research from SoHE

DiPrete Brown state social distancing survey findings now available

A preprint is now available of the preliminary findings from a public survey on Wisconsinites’ attitudes toward social distancing as required by COVID-19. Lori DiPrete Brown, Distinguished Faculty Associate in Civil Society and Community Studies, Director of the 4W Initiative, and Associate Director of the UW Global Health Initiative, spearheaded the work alongside several UW colleauges.

Grad student VanMeeter on couch-surfing’s potential for real connections

Mallory VanMeeter, a PhD student in Civil Society and Community Research, has published a paper in the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal on the potential for authentic supportive connections to arise between couch-surfing youth and adult hosts.