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

SoHE News: Apr 9–22

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

Flanagan named outstanding reviewer for 2020 for American Educational Research Journal

Dr. Connie Flanagan, Professor Emerita of Civil Society and Community Studies and former Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, has been named an Outstanding Reviewer for 2020 for the American Educational Research Journal, the journal of the 100-plus-year-old American Educational Research Association. She was recognized during AERA’s Virtual Annual Meeting April 8–12.

Olive and Whelan win Governor’s Financial Literacy Awards

Peggy Olive, Financial Capability Specialist with the Center for Financial Security and UW–Extension, and Dr. Christine Whelan, Director of the Money, Relationships and Equality (MORE) Initiative and Clinical Professor of Consumer Science, were the winners of the 2020 Governor’s Financial Literacy Awards, which annually recognizes individuals and organizations for elevating the financial literacy, capability, and financial inclusion of Wisconsin’s residents.

Child Development Lab celebrates Week of the Young Child

The Child Development Lab in the School of Human Ecology celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Week of the Child with a series of events among its families. Founded by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Week of the Young Child is an annual event that spotlights the needs for young children and their families and recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

Sarmiento, Bea research projects win support under UW Understanding and Reducing Inequalities Initiative

SoHE PIs will examine the relationship between minimum wage policies and low-income families’ access to financial services, and how COVID-19 affected essential immigrant workers. Read more.

SoHE scholars in the news

Thomas on the Chauvin conviction and mental health

Dr. Alvin Thomas, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, joined WORT Radio’s 8 O’Clock Buzz to discuss and process the jury’s decision on declaring Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, guilty on all counts for the murder of George Floyd. Additionally, Thomas provided insight on the psychological trauma that Black Americans have had to battle throughout these events and historically, and what the conviction might mean for the future of the American justice system. 

Thomas also spoke with PBS Wisconsin on the mental health of Black Americans in response to the barrage of news headlines, videos, and coverage of the Chauvin trial and the ongoing killing of Black people by police.

Duncan rural mental health presentation written up for Agri-View

A recent presentation for farmers and rural residents on mental health care and stress coping tips by Dr. Larissa Duncan was written up in detail for Agri-View, including her personal connection to the issue. Duncan is the Elizabeth C. Davies Chair in Child & Family Well-Being in the department of Human Development and Family Studies and an affiliate with the Center for Healthy Minds.

Whelan on UW’s Badger Talks and WKOW

Dr. Christine Whelan, Director of the Money, Relationships and Equality (MORE) Initiative and Clinical Professor of Consumer Science, joined the University of Wisconsin–Madison News on a “Badger Talks” episode titled “Re-starting your social life.” As vaccination rates continue to climb, restrictions loosen, and people begin to restart their in-person lives, Whelan discussed the potential challenges in post-pandemic relationships—addressing social awkwardness and changing relationships—and gave tips on how to be purposeful about what kind of relationships you’d like in your life. A clip from the episode was also featured on a news segment by WKOW 27.


Thomas on COVID-19 work risk and its effects on Black American fathers

Dr. Alvin Thomas, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, is coauthor on a new paper in the American Journal of Men’s Health titled “Black American Fathers Employed in Higher-Risk Contexts for Contracting COVID-19: Implications for Individual Wellbeing and Work-Family Spillover.” Surveying over 450 Black American fathers, the study examined how COVID-19 perceived work risk was associated with their individual well-being and its spillover into family contexts. The researchers’ findings suggest that Black fathers working in higher-risk contexts may be at risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection. Further, this study indicates that these effects extend to their own well-being, including mental and sleep health as well as increased family stress.

Dodge Francis on COVID-19 stress and coping among American Indian and Alaska Natives

Dr. Carolee Dodge Francis, Ecology of Human Well-Being Professor in Civil Society and Community Studies, is coauthor on a new article, “Stress and Coping among American Indian and Alaska Natives in the Age of COVID-19,” in the latest issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal. The issue is the first of two by the journal specifically dedicated to COVID-19 topics. Dr. Dodge Francis’s article is one of several forthcoming from a national research team that has collaborated since last March and also includes Megan Murphy-Belcaster, a medical student with the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, whose 2020 Shapiro summer research fellowship was cancelled due to COVID.


“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, 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.

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.