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News & Events

SoHE News: Apr 2–8

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.

In-house highlights

Bartfeld wins a 2021 CALS award

Dr. Judi Bartfeld, the Meta Schroeder Beckner Outreach Professor of Consumer Science and Food Security Research and Policy Specialist (UW–Madison Division of Extension), has won the Robert G. F. and Hazel T. Spitze Land Grant Faculty Award for Excellence from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at UW–Madison. CALS will share more about Dr. Bartfeld and her award later this month, in advance of a virtual awards ceremony to be held May 5. Register here.

HDFS grad student wins conference poster award from Society for Research in Child Development

A poster by Ashleigh Engbretson, a graduate student in SoHE’s Human Development and Family Studies department, has won a special “Strategic Poster” designation at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development this week for its “important contributions in one of the areas prioritized in SRCD’s mission and goals.” Her poster is titled “Child-Friendly Visits for Children with Incarcerated Mothers.”

Raison on the perceptions of reality

As part of the Threads 2021: Reality? Virtual Design and Fashion Event, Dr. Charles Raison, the Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Distinguished Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, spoke with UW–Madison Senior Ellyn Webb on how our perception of reality affects our personal narratives and mental well-being. The discussion defines what reality is, how it has changed, and how unusual treatments and breaks, in reality, can rewire the brain to create a new understanding. 

Poehlmann-Tynan and Thomas on the intersection of race, gender, and men’s health

Hosted by the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dr. Julie Poehlmann-Tynan, the Dorothy A. O’Brien Professor in Human Ecology, and Dr. Alvin Thomas, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, discussed the intersectionality of race, gender, and men’s health as part of the “Meet & Learn” series.

CSCR PhD student on structural racism and health disparities

Dr. Eva Vivian, a PhD student of Civil Society and Community Research and Professor at the UW–Madison School of Pharmacy, spoke with the Social Justice Hub of UW–Madison’s Office of Inclusion Education on how structural racism shapes the health disparities around us and in our communities.

SoHE scholars in the news

Bartfeld on expanding school lunch benefits through the summer

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, or P-EBT program was created at the beginning of the pandemic in response to children who aren’t getting their meals at school anymore. However, Dr. Judi Bartfeld, the Meta Schroeder Beckner Outreach Professor of Consumer Science and Food Security Research and Policy Specialist (UW–Madison Division of Extension), spoke with Marketplace about a similar gap that existed pre-pandemic: getting school lunches to children during the summer.

“Even in the communities that do the best job of this, those summer meals are only reaching a fraction of the kids who normally get fed during the school year,” she said. Nonetheless, researchers think the P-EBT program has the ability to “create momentum for longer-term change.”

Harvey & Urban research on teaching personal finance mentioned in the New York Times

A study examining how prepared high school instructors feel to teach personal finance conducted by Dr. Melody Harvey, Assistant Professor of Consumer Science, and Dr. Carly Urban, PhD alumna of SoHE’s Consumer Behavior and Family Economics program (now Associate Professor of Economics at Montana State University and a faculty affiliate of the UW Center for Financial Security), was mentioned in the New York Times. The article discusses the interest in financial literacy and heightened awareness about income and economic inequality as a product of the pandemic.

Poehlmann-Tynan on the effects on children witnessing parents’ arrests

Dr. Julie Poehlmann-Tynan, the Dorothy A. O’Brien Professor in Human Ecology, spoke with WORT Radio’s 8 O’Clock Buzz on her research on the long-lasting effects on children who have witnessed their parents’ arrests.

Whelan on vaccination cards

Dr. Christine Whelan, Director of Money, Relationships and Equality Initiative and Clinical Professor of Consumer Science, provided CBS News with recommendations on what to do with your vaccine card after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, which include: photographing your record card (but not posting it to social media), leaving the original at home, and not to panic if the card is lost. Whelan also mentioned that “other countries aren’t giving out pieces of paper like we are, and this may be a quaint thing we are doing”—giving us the “satisfaction about leaving with the card copy record just in case.”

Collins on the cashing in on credit card rewards

Dr. J. Michael Collins, the Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer and Personal Finance and Professor of Consumer Science, was featured in WalletHub‘s “Ask the Experts” segment discussing the general aspects of cash-back credit cards and their limitations.


Shin and Ponto on understanding the everyday lives of older adults

Dr. Jung-Hye Shin, Department Chair, Interior Architecture Program Coordinator, Associate Professor of Design Studies, and Faculty Director of Design Thinking, Dr. Kevin Ponto, Associate Professor of Design Studies, and their UW–Madison colleagues, Youhung Her-Xiong and Ross Tredinnick, have published a new paper in The Gerontologist, “Toward Understanding Everyday Lives of Older Adults: A Methodological Exploration.” Due to the fluidity and privacy of homes, research examining the interactions between older adults with their environments are scarce; however, the researchers employed a new investigational method combining 3D-scanning and biomarker tracking technology accompanied by in-depth qualitative interviews in-situ to explore older adults’ daily interactions with their home environments. This methodology allowed for an in-depth understanding of participants’ wellbeing and adaptive behaviors.

Wong, Ashton, and Puetz on conversations about social security disability insurance in online forums

Dr. Nancy Wong, the Kohl’s Chair in Retail Innovation, Department Chair, and Professor of Consumer Science; Dr. Lydia Ashton, Assistant Professor of Consumer Science; and Brett Puetz, a PhD student in Consumer Behavior and Family Economics, addressed the limitations of using research surveys and interviews based on self-reported data regarding the declining trend in applications to disability insurance (DI). In their newly published paper, “Trends in Conversations about SSDI in Online Forums,” they used a text analytics and text analysis approach to explore how individuals communicate with each other about DI on internet forums. They found that communication platforms facilitate online communication in an open context, enabling users to share their feelings, experiences, and advice in an informal and nonthreatening environment, providing information that may be not available from formal surveys.


“Cia Siab Wisconsin: A HMoob Story of the Battlefields of Memory,” with Sandie Thao

April 5-25, Virtual or Annex Gallery at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh | To shine light on America’s Secret War in Laos, Sandie Thao, an alum of SoHE’s Master of Science in Human Ecology program and now staff member of the UW Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies, set up her first community-based exhibit for the Cia Siab (Hope) in WI Pilot Exhibit at the Annex Gallery of the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh. The exhibit exemplifies the direct consequences of America’s Secret War on Hmong communities and their experiences as refugees. In this exhibit, visitors will enter a bedroom that invites them into the private and intimate spaces of memory, encounter artifacts that testify to the consequences of America’s Secret War, and interact with objects that speaks to human resilience. Learn more and view the exhibition online.

“Healthy Minds, Healthy Farms,” with Larissa Duncan

Friday, April 9, 11:00 a.m.-12 p.m. CT, Virtual | Hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of Extension, Dr. Larissa Duncan, the Elizabeth C. Davies Chair in Child and Family Well-Being and Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, will lead a discussion on the difficulties—mental, physical, and relational—caused by the ongoing economic conditions in agriculture on farm families and their rural communities. The livestream will explore ways for farmers, families, businesses, and communities to remain resilient, manage stress, use planning tools to make sound decisions, and create roadmaps for the future. Learn more and register.

“Indigenous Languages of Wisconsin: Reclaiming Past, Present, and Future,” with Dr. Brian McInnes

Monday, April 12, 12:00 p.m. CT, Virtual | Hosted by the UW–Madison’s Languages Initiative and Enwejig, Dr. Brian McInnes, Associate Professor of Civil Society and Community Studies, the Leola R. Culver Professor in Nonprofits and Philanthropy, and Faculty Fellow Center for Nonprofits, will join fellow presenters to provide a brief overview of the Indigenous languages of Wisconsin in both the historical and current context, focusing on their reclamation and revitalization by the Native Nations of the state. The presenters will also discuss their work as part of Enwejig, a campus group advocating for awareness of the importance of Indigenous languages among the UW–Madison community and beyond. Learn more and register.

“Fostering Resilience Through Indigenous Wisdom & Scientific Knowledge,” with Dr. Mariaelena Huambachano

Wednesday, April 14, 11:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m. CT, Virtual | Dr. Mariaelena Huambachano, Assistant Professor of Civil Society and Community Studies, will present the keynote address, “Resistance and Resilience: Indigenous philosophies of collective-being as a recipe to living well,” at the 16th Global Health Symposium, hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Global Health Institute. Inviting Indigenous scholars and community members, the symposium will explore the intersection of traditional practices that advance well-being and academic research, education, and outreach projects that also promote health. Learn more and register.

“Challenges and Opportunities for Black Students in the Transition from High School to Post-Secondary Education,” with Dr. Alvin Thomas

Wednesday, April 14, 12:00-1:30 p.m. CT, Virtual | Hosted by the UW–Madison Division of Extension’s African American Employee Resource Group, Dr. Alvin Thomas, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, will be a panelist in a discussion addressing the historical and ongoing relations between higher education and Black communities and how that might inform conversations about higher education with parents and students. Panelists will also discuss how the Extension can best support Black students on Pathways to Access College and Employment (PACE). Learn more and register.

The 23rd Annual Atlanta University Center Psychology Research Symposium with Dr. Alvin Thomas

Monday, April 19, 10:15-11:15 a.m. CT, Virtual | Dr. Alvin Thomas, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, will be a panelist at the AUC Psychology Research Symposium to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted his work—addressing the implications it has had on his research, clinical experience, graduate school applications, and graduate school training.

Spring Experts Fair with the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies

April 15, 16, 22, and 23, Virtual | As a follow up to the CommNS 2020 Annual Event, “Getting the Work Done: How-Tos in Community and Nonprofit Efforts,” the UW Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies will host a virtual Experts Fair. Meet with experts from a range of areas including global nongovernmental organizations, board leadership, capital campaigns, student development, and more. Sign up for 1-on-1 meet-ups and learn more about topics relevant to their collective work to make a positive change. Learn more about the participating experts and register.

“Threads 2021: Reality? Virtual Design & Fashion Event,” with UW–Madison’s Textiles & Fashion Design students

Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1, 8:30-10 p.m. CT, Garver Feed Mill | Join the Textiles & Fashion Design major students of UW–Madison as they present their work for the Threads 2021: Reality? Virtual Design and Fashion event, a socially distant, large-scale outdoor projection. Take a step onto the virtual runway as students explore their new reality inspired by the changes incurred by the pandemic. The event is free and open to the public, and masks and social distancing are required. Learn more.

“Cross Pollination Lecture Series: Jennifer Angus & Dr. Kenneth Cameron”

Thursday, June 3, 5:00-6:00 p.m. CT, Virtual | Jennifer Angus, the Audrey Rothermel Bascom Professor in Human Ecology, joined by Dr. Kenneth Cameron, Department Chair, Professor of Botany, and Director of the Wisconsin State Herbarium, will host the Cross-Pollination Lectures, as part of a series of conversations between contemporary artists featured in the Orchids: Attraction and Deception exhibition at the Barry Art Museum and botanical experts in the field. Learn more and register.

Plus, view SoHE-hosted events.