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

SoHE News: June 12-18

Image: Pat Dillon and her grandson Damien browse materials developed by UW–Madison experts and Sesame Workshop. The materials are designed to support children and families who have incarcerated family members. Photo by David Nevala for the Center for Healthy Minds, used with permission.

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.

From the blog

Civil Society and Community Research PhD student Troy M. Williams shared five recommendations for companies wanting to invest in their #BlackLivesMatter statements. It’s part of a new series, “SoHE Insights,” featuring guest writers on the SoHE blog.

More news from CSCS! The department is launching a new capstone certificate in Community and Nonprofit Leadership. Mary Beth Collins, Executive Director of the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies (“the CommNS”), answered several questions about the new opportunity.

Finally, it was announced this week that Dr. Sarah Anne Carter will serve as Executive Director of the UW Center for Design and Material Culture (CDMC) at SoHE, beginning in fall of 2021. She is currently Visiting Executive Director of the CDMC and Visiting Assistant Professor of Design Studies.

SoHE scholars in the news

Poehlmann-Tynan research featured by UW, in Cap Times

The university featured new research from Dr. Julie Poehlmann-Tynan, finding that materials she developed with Sesame Workshop for families with an incarcerated parent do indeed improve outcomes for their children. Poehlmann-Tynan is the the Dorothy A. O’Brien Professor in Human Ecology at SoHE and affiliate faculty with the Center for Healthy Minds. The press release has since been picked up and featured by NBC 15, WisPolitics.com, and WisBusiness.

A related feature-length story on the impact of intervention programs with incarcerated fathers was published in the Cap Times and Journal Times, including research from Poehlmann-Tynan, who is the Dorothy A. O’Brien Professor in Human Ecology.

Thomas featured on NBC 15; Op-ed in Journal-Sentinel

Dr. Alvin Thomas, Assistant Professor in Human Development and Family Studies, spoke with NBC 15 about the long-term mental health impacts he anticipates Black men and boys will experience out of current events, as well as resources to help them through, including the series of Saturday discussion groups he helps facilitate. He joined WFAA’s UW Now Livestream Tuesday night (video available here), and his work was also featured in the June newsletter of the Center for Research of Ethnicity, Culture, and Health at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Thomas also had an op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel this morning, “Black men and boys are especially vulnerable to mental health challenges because of coronavirus and police violence.” The piece has also been re-posted in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune.

Applied MS student Paula Drew quoted on Marketplace

Paula Drew, currently earning her applied master’s degree in Human Ecology at SoHE while also working with the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association, spoke with Marketplace last week about the challenges of reopening childcare centers under COVID-19 health and safety recommendations.

New research from SoHE

Shim on young adults’ financial education

Dr. Soyeon Shim, Dean of the School of Human Ecology and the Ted Kellner Bascom Professor in Consumer Science, has a new paper in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues examining whether and how various types of financial learning activities affect young adults’ objective financial knowledge and behavior.

Among the study’s findings were that activities including meeting with a financial advisor; reading personal finance books, magazines, and websites; having parents as financial role models; and gaining objective financial knowledge were all associated with positive financial behaviors. In contrast, attending workshops and seminars was associated with negative financial behaviors. Formal classroom learning in college had no effect on financial behaviors. Find the full paper and its conclusions online here.

Barringer and Papp on family emotional security and young men’s problem drinking in romantic relationships

Allie Barringer, a PhD student in Human Development and Family Studies, is first author on a new paper in The Family Journal evaluating associations between three dimensions of emotional security in the family system (security, disengagement, and preoccupation) and problem drinking among romantically partnered males aged 18–30 years. Dr. Lauren Papp, Associate Dean for Research at SoHE and the Vaughan Bascom Professor in Women, Family, and Community, is also an author.

Among the study’s findings was that disengagement from the family system uniquely predicted higher levels of problematic drinking, accounting for participant age and partner drinking levels. Moderating results showed that the link between disengagement and drinking behaviors was significantly stronger among males who had lived in childhood with someone who abused substances compared to those who did not. The findings encourage consideration of family and romantic relationship contexts as future research and intervention targets for understanding problematic drinking behaviors in young adulthood. Read the full paper online here.


CommNS hosts two community conversations on racial justice

The Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies (“the CommNS”) hosted conversations on racial equity last Thursday, June 11 (video available here), and this past Tuesday, June 16 (video here), featuring guests from EQT by Design and the Morgridge Center for Public Service, among others. A recap of these events will soon be on the SoHE blog.

Thomas featured in a UW Now Livestream

Dr. Alvin Thomas also presented to and fielded a live Q&A with nearly 500 UW alumni in a UW Now Livestream hosted by the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, addressing the topic, “Mental Health and Well-being Amid Crisis.” A write-up and video of the event is also now available online.

CFS RDRC currently hosting year two of Junior Scholars in Training program

For a second year (though virtually this time), the Center for Financial Security Retirement and Disability Research Center is hosting a group of early-career scholars for an intensive week-long workshop to develop their research ideas and build relationships with new mentors.