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

SoHE News: May 7–13

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

Celebrating SoHE’s spring 2021 graduates

SoHE graduated nearly 400 students from its programs this past weekend, and several were highlighted by other campus units as well, including:

SoHE scholars in the news

Kirkorian on NBC 15 re Instagram for Kids proposal

Dr. Heather Kirkorian, the Laura M. Secord Chair in Early Childhood Development and Faculty Director of the Child Development Lab, joined NBC 15 to discuss the concerns around Facebook’s proposal to launch a version of its Instagram app specifically for children. The story was reposted with the Wausau NBC affiliate here.

Thomas on supporting Black men’s mental health with WORT

Dr. Alvin Thomas, assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies, joined WORT’s A Public Affair with Ali Muldrow, along with Aaron Perry, founder and director of the Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association, to discuss Black men’s mental health and wellbeing.

Kallenborn discusses Threads with Radio Chipstone

Carolyn Kallenborn, SoHE’s Jane Rafferty Thiele Professor in Human Ecology and program coordinator for the Textiles and Fashion Design major, discussed this year’s Threads fashion show with Center for Design and Material Culture Producer-in-Residence Gianofer Fields for Radio Chipstone, as well as broader fashion considerations as Americans approach socializing again post-pandemic.

Whelan discusses the “gray divorce” on WTMJ

The Gates’ recent announcement of their divorce prompted a broader conversation around the trend of late-in-life divorces, or “gray divorce.” Dr. Christine Whelan, Director of Money, Relationships and Equality (MORE) Initiative and Clinical Professor of Consumer Science, discussed the trend with WTMJ Milwaukee.


Wong to present to Social Security Advisory Board May 20

Dr. Nancy Wong, Chair of the Consumer Science department, will present later this month to the Social Security Advisory Board on research she and Dr. Lydia Ashton, also of Consumer Science, have undertaken to improve SSA’s communications with and outreach to social security disability insurance (SSDI) applicants and recipients. Funded by the UW Center for Financial Security Retirement and Disability Research Center, one of 11 major research projects that won funding for 2021, their project uses text analysis of data collected from online forum conversations where SSDI applicants and recipients share concerns and confusion about the application, appeal, and continuing disability review rules and policies.

The Social Security Advisory Board, whose members are appointed by the President and Congress, is a bipartisan, independent federal government agency that advises the President, the Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security on matters of social security policy and administration. Dr. Wong will present as part of its May board meeting’s public roundtable discussion the afternoon of Thursday, May 20, on the topic of “social security’s public service.” The event is free and open to the public, with advance registration required.

Nix et al.: Sustained benefits of a preschool home visiting program

Dr. Robert L. Nix, the Audrey Rothermel-Bascom Professor and Integrated Specialist in Diverse and Underserved Children, Families, and Communities, is coauthor on a new article in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, “Sustained benefits of a preschool home visiting program: Child outcomes in fifth grade.” Researchers examined the sustained effects of the Research-based Developmentally Informed Parent program (REDI-P) at fifth grade, six years after intervention, and found benefits across academic performance, social adjustment, and parent-child functioning.

Papp, Blumenstock: College students’ substance use and romantic relationships

Dr. Lauren Papp, SoHE’s Associate Dean for Research and Vaughan Bascom Professor in Women, Family, and Community; and Dr. Shari Blumenstock, an alum of SoHE’s Human Development and Family Studies PhD program, are coauthors on a new article in press with the journal Social Science & Medicine, “Substance Use Behaviors in the Daily Lives of U.S. College Students Reporting Recent Use: The Varying Roles of Romantic Relationships.” View a preprint.


“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.