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

SoHE News: Feb 26–Mar 4

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

Interior Architecture undergrad highlighted for passion in sustainable design

Riley Palkert, an undergraduate student majoring in Interior Architecture with a certificate in Sustainability, was recently highlighted by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Challenged by the realization that architecture and the built environment has the largest environmental impact of any industry, Palkert fumbled with the idea of giving up architecture altogether—only to realize later that design can be used to address environmental challenges and be implemented to create sustainable building strategies.

Two SoHE alumnae named in In Business Madison‘s 40 Under 40

Saran Ouk, an alumna of SoHE’s Community & Nonprofit Leadership major, and Carrie Waters Schmidt, alumna of the Consumer Affairs major, were highlighted in In Business Madison‘s “40 Under 40” for 2021, honoring young professionals for their perseverance and accomplishments amidst the pandemic.

Ouk, founder and CEO of conNEXTions, a Madison-based non-profit that helps young adults learn financial literacy, was also recently named the City of Madison’s next Office of Business Resources Manager.

SoHE scholars in the news

Whelan’s “Finding Your Purpose” lectures named in the top 10 audiobooks on Audible

“Finding Your Purpose,” a series of ten audio lectures released by Dr. Christine Whelan, Director of Money, Relationships and Equality Initiative and Clinical Professor of Consumer Science, was noted in the top 10 audiobooks on Audible by the Associated Press alongside other notable, nonfiction audiobooks written by former President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Adam Grant.

Collins on Wisconsin’s retirement crisis on Channel 3000

Dr. J. Michael Collins, the Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer and Personal Finance and Professor of Consumer Science, spoke with Channel 3000’s evening news program last week about the looming retirement crisis for Wisconsin residents and a program, “WisconsinSaves,” that he helped conceive to address the issue as a member of the Governor’s retirement task force under State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski.

Whelan on the effects of social isolation in college students

Dr. Christine Whelan, Director of Money, Relationships and Equality Initiative and Clinical Professor of Consumer Science, spoke with the Badger Herald about the necessity of emotional and social connection among humans and how the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted and affected college students’ social lives.

DiPrete Brown on AFRICaide’s International Women’s Day celebration

AFRICaide, a grassroots non-profit organization that strives to reduce abject poverty in Africa through rural development projects, will host the 8th AFRICaide International Women’s Day 2021. Madison365 highlighted that Lori DiPrete Brown, Distinguished Family Associate of Civil Society and Community Studies and Director of 4W Women and Well-being Initiative, which has been the co-sponsor of AFRICaide’s International Women’s Day since 2017, will serve as co-chair for this year’s virtual event.

Dong featured among UW highlights for virtual classrooms

A recent article from the university newsroom highlighted instructors across campus who innovated notably throughout the pandemic to adjust to virtual classrooms, including Professor Wei Dong, SoHE’s Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor.


Poehlmann-Tynan, et al. on children witnessing paternal arrest

Human Development and Family Studies major alum Luke Muentner, currently earning his PhD in the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work at UW; Dr. Julie Poehlmann-Tynan, the Dorothy A. O’Brien Professor in Human Ecology; and Lindsay Weymouth, an alumna of SoHE’s PhD in Human Development and Family Studies now with the UW Population Health Institute, have published a new paper in Developmental Psychobiology, “Getting under the skin: Physiological stress and witnessing paternal arrest in young children with incarcerated fathers.”

Ashton, et al. on foodborne illness in relation to sources, season, and temperature

Dr. Lydia Ashton, Assistant Professor of Consumer Science, is coauthor on a new report detailing the relationship between consumption of specific foods and foodborne illness in the United States. The researchers’ findings indicate that chicken purchased for consumption at home is not associated with sporadic Campylobacter infections, while ground beef and berries are, and that there is a stronger association between seasonality and the rate of Campylobacter infections than with temperature.


“Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World”

Saturday, March 6, Virtual | In celebration of the 8th AFRICaide International Women’s Day, a public, online event will be hosted to acknowledge the many accomplishments that women and girls have made—from the Madison area, the state of Wisconsin, to the country at large—in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Join keynote speaker Dr. Patty Loew, Director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University, the 4W Initiative, and Lori Diprete Brown, Distinguished Faculty Associate and founding Director of 4W Women and Well-being Initiative, for this empowering event. Registration and more information can be found here.

“Holistic Healing Within Community: Global Mental Health Perspectives during COVID-19,” with Lori DiPrete Brown

Tuesday, March 30, 8:00-9:00 a.m. CT, Virtual | Hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Global Health Institute, monthly webinars with researchers and practitioners showcase and address the complexity of global health challenges and share their experiences, provide insights into global health, encourage conversation, and connect colleagues locally and globally. Lori DiPrete Brown, Distinguished Faculty Associate of Civil Society and Community Studies, will moderate a webinar on the bio-psycho-social model of holistic healing, used to promote psychological well-being in general and particularly in the midst of a pandemic. Registration and more information can be found here.

Plus, view the full online calendar of SoHE-sponsored events.