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

SoHE News: Feb 5–11

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

Returning personal finance student and NHL player highlighted

With just five courses left to complete his BS in Personal Finance, Tampa Bay Lightning player Ryan McDonagh has returned to UW via virtual coursework to finish the degree. The story, which highlighted his desire to be an example for his children, was written up in the Tampa Bay Times, on NHL.com, and in The Athletic. It got plenty of love on Twitter as well.

Thomas to speak in Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus discussion

In celebration of Black History Month, the Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus will host the Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association to facilitate a discussion on February 19. Dr. Alvin Thomas, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, will join with colleagues from across Wisconsin to discuss the physical and mental health of our communities. Register here.

Papp and HDFS PhD student publish research on stimulant misuse using unique methodology

Dr. Lauren Papp, Associate Dean for Research, the Vaughan Bascom Professor in Women, Family and Community, and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, and graduate student Alexandra Barringer published a new paper on prescription stimulant misuse by college students. Using methodology called “ecological momentary assessment, ” (EMA) Papp and Barringer were able to obtain “information before the behavior occurred about where and when misuse happened alongside academic and other contextual information,” says Barringer. They found that such behavior was more likely during high-stress times like finals periods.

UW–Madison adds four more online, undergraduate degrees

As an ongoing effort to increase access for nontraditional and underrepresented students, remove barriers to a college education, and meet demands of employers across the state and beyond, UW–Madison has added four more online degrees to UW–Madison Online. The new, online, undergraduate degrees include: Management, Human Resources, and Marketing as a Bachelor of Business Administration and Consumer Behavior & Marketplace Studies as a Bachelor of Science.

Dong’s design expertise translated into online learning environment

Navigating the new form of online instruction, Dr. Wei Dong, the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Design Studies, was highlighted in Instructional Continuity’s Instructional Highlights for his dedication in imitating the physical environment of a classroom as much as possible. Although first a skeptic to online learning, Dong painted his basement wall Badger red, added a giant “W” as a backdrop, and placed multiple cameras to get different angles to demonstrate his techniques–all in efforts to make virtual learning as comfortable and helpful as possible.

SoHE scholars in the news

Staten Island Museum wins NEA grant to support Angus exhibition

Broadway World announced that the Staten Island Museum in New York has been approved for a $20,000 Grants for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the exhibition “Magicicada” by Jennifer Angus opening in July 2021. Angus is the Audrey Rothermel Bascom Professor in Human Ecology. The news was also shared by Staten Island Live. Her current show at Pittsburgh’s The Mattress Factory was recommended NextPittsburgh‘s “What to Do This Week” as well.

Robb comments on student debt policy push by Democrats

Dr. Cliff Robb, Associate Professor of Consumer Science, spoke with Sinclair Broadcasting Group about Democrats’ push for the Biden administration to prioritize student debt forgiveness:

Robb recognized there would long-term budgetary impacts associated with wiping out $1 trillion in debt, but he argued the positives would outweigh the negatives. At a time when many households are facing uncertainty and severe economic strain, this is one problem the federal government could fairly easily solve. “I think the sooner we can alleviate these kinds of economic issues, the better,” he said.

The story was syndicated widely across Sinclair networks.

Whelan comments on luxury childcare trend

Dr. Christine Whelan, Director of Money, Relationships, and Equality Initiative and Clinical Professor of Consumer Science, commented in Business Insider on the growing market for private nurses and luxury childcare products as wealthy families have babies during the pandemic.

Collins named as part of Wisconsin Financial Literacy Council

Dr. J. Michael Collins, the Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer and Personal Finance and Professor of Consumer Science, was noted in a press release from the Governor’s office on the expansion of the state’s financial literacy council as a member of the council. The news was shared on Madison’s NBC 15 News, Rhinelander’s NBC 12 News, KXRA Voice of Alexandria, and in WisBusiness and the Spooner Advocate.

Podcast: Raison on sauna therapy and mental health

Dr. Charles Raison, SoHE’s Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Distinguished Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families, joined the Primalosophy Podcast to discuss the benefits of hyperthermic treatments, as in sauna therapy, and mental health and wellbeing more generally.

Robb teaching award noted in Badger Herald

The Badger Herald published an article on this year’s winners of the university’s distinguished teaching awards, including SoHE’s Dr. Cliff Robb.


Gaddis’s book reviewed in journal Social Forces

Dr. Amy Best, Professor of Sociology and Chair in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at George Mason University, favorably reviewed Dr. Jennifer Gaddis’s book The Labor of Lunch: Why We Need Real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools in the most recent issue of the journal Social Forces. Gaddis is SoHE’s Jane Rafferty Thiele Faculty Fellow and assistant professor in the Civil Society and Community Studies department.


“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.