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

SoHE News: Mar 12–18

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

Huambachano profiled in advance of keynoting the UW Global Health Symposium

Dr. Mariaelena Huambachano, Assistant Professor of Civil Society and Community Studies, was profiled by the UW Global Health Institute as the keynote speaker for its 16th Global Health Symposium and for her research on advancing Indigenous goals, including food sovereignty.

Angus to host Artist-in-Residence for spring 2022 semester

Two artists-in-residence were selected to teach a 3-credit interdisciplinary course and host public events in Madison for their respective residencies in the 2021-22 academic year by the Division of the Arts’ Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program. Arun Luthra will teach in the fall 2021 semester and Judy Frater will teach in the spring 2022 semester. Frater’s residency will be hosted by the Design Studies Department with Jennifer Angus, the Audrey Rothermel Bascom Professor in Human Ecology, as lead faculty.

SoHE scholars in the news

Gaddis on school meal accessibility through the summer

Dr. Jennifer Gaddis, the Jane Rafferty Thiele Faculty Fellow and Assistant Professor of Civil Society and Community Studies, joined Wisconsin Public Radio to discuss the positive effects of the USDA waivers on school lunches in response to the pandemic, which will allow students to receive free school meals throughout the summer. Gaddis noted that the waivers not only provide for “more flexibility in terms of what schools might be doing during the pandemic,” but also that they “have really lowered some of the barriers of accessibility” for students and families. The story was also picked up by Urban Milwaukee

Kirkorian shares tips on transitioning kids back to school

Dr. Heather Kirkorian, the Laura M. Secord Chair in Early Childhood Development, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, and Faculty Director of the Child Development Lab, joined NBC 15 News to give tips on helping kids transition back to school. In addition to “validating and acknowledging kids’ anxieties,” Kirkorian states that “research shows that kids thrive in schools when their parents are engaged and staying in close contact with schools,” and emphasized the importance of individualized transition plans.

Papp on “tenure clock” extensions for research

Dr. Lauren Papp, Associate Dean for Research, the Vaughan Bascom Professor in Women, Family and Community, and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, spoke with the Cap Times on the possibility of continued “tenure clock” flexibility to assistant professors due to the pandemic. The tenure clock “refers to a probationary period of time, typically seven years, for assistant faculty preceding a mandatory review process that decides whether they will be granted academic tenure.”

Halpern-Meekin on preparing students for in-person learning; explains child tax credit on relief package

Dr. Sarah Halpern-Meekin, Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, shared with WKOW 27 News (Madison’s ABC affiliate) on the challenges of transitioning back to in-person learning and the need to help kids navigate their feelings and emotions—through both words and actions.

Halpern-Meekin also spoke with Wisconsin Public Radio to discuss the policy changes and potential effects regarding the American Rescue Plan Act, the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package of which includes an increase in the child tax credit.

Online Bachelor of Science in Personal Finance degree receives praise

The online Bachelor of Science in Personal Finance degree received recognition from CUInsight and was accompanied by lots of praise from students, professors, and working professionals for its emphasis on serving underserved populations and solving real-world problems creatively and compassionately. The degree was also ranked the no. 2 personal finance degree in the U.S. by WealthManagement.com.

Collins on saving for retirement

Dr. J. Michael Collins, the Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer and Personal Finance and Professor of Consumer Science, spoke with Yahoo! Finance on the difficulty of saving money for retirement and the potential positive effects of new program, WisconsinSaves, he helped to develop while serving on the Governor’s Retirement Security Task Force.


Muentner and Poehlmann Tynan: Witnessing a father’s arrest causes stress in children

Human Development and Family Studies major alum Luke Muentner, currently earning his PhD in the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work at UW, and Dr. Julie Poehlmann-Tynan, the Dorothy A. O’Brien Professor in Human Ecology, have published a new paper in Developmental Psychobiology, “Getting under the skin: Physiological stress and witnessing paternal arrest in young children with incarcerated fathers.” Their study finds that the impacts may be greater for young children who witness the arrest of their father prior to his incarceration.


“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.

“Sacred Work: Science, Religion, and Human Health,” with Dr. Charles Raison

Wednesday, March 31, 12:00-1:30 p.m. CT, Virtual | Hosted by Emory University, Dr. Charles Raison, the Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Distinguished Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, will co-moderate a discussion on the convergences of disciplines in health sciences regarding: human values on health of a person and community, the importance of scientific preparation, and the incorporation of sacred underpinnings to discover and be present to whole person and population health. Registration can be found here.

“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 here. 

“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, 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 here.

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