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

SoHE News: May 8-14

Image: SoHE Dean Soyeon Shim.

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.

SoHE scholars in the news

Shim profile featured in Madison Magazine

Dr. Soyeon Shim, Dean of the School of Human Ecology and the Ted Kellner Bascom Professor in Consumer Science, had a feature profile in this month’s issue of Madison Magazine. In it, she recounted some of her childhood in South Korea, the challenges of her first few years studying in the U.S., and her path through universities in Tennessee, Colorado, Arizona, and now Wisconsin.

Griffith profiled in Chicago Tribune

New graduate Rashard Griffith, of the Community and Nonprofit Leadership major, shared his story with the Chicago Tribune last Friday, recounting his early days playing basketball for UW and his return, inspired by his mother, coaches, and friends, to finish his degree.

Thomas on Black men’s mental health in Cap Times

Dr. Alvin Thomas, Assistant Professor in Human Development and Family Studies, was quoted at length by the Cap Times in an article profiling several Madison individuals working to support Black individuals and families suffering from the physical, mental, and financial stresses of COVID-19—stresses exacerbated by systemic racism. On Tuesday, Thomas also took part in a meeting of all Black Men Run chapter heads to discuss the work.

O’Brien talks retail impacts with Channel 3000

Jerry O’Brien, Executive Director of the UW Kohl’s Center for Retailing at SoHE, spoke with Channel 3000’s evening news program last week about what the future of retail could look like across the U.S., with potential benefits for shoppers as stores work to lure them back in person, as well as bigger-picture considerations by customers of their shopping habits, priorities, and consumerism-driven waste production.

New research from SoHE

Addo on the “subaltern middle class”

Along with colleagues at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, Dr. Fenaba Addo, the Lorna Jorgenson Wendt Associate Professor in Money, Relationships, and Equality (MORE), published a new paper on the wealth disparity for Black Americans, “A Subaltern Middle Class: The Case of the Missing ‘Black Bourgeoisie in America.” Duke Today wrote up the study here, and the full text is available in the journal Contemporary Economic Policy. Their findings demonstrate that the Black middle class is proportionately much smaller than the White middle class and show the limitations of several proposals recently advanced to close the racial wealth gap.

Nix on Head Start REDI program’s outcomes

Along with colleagues at Pennsylvania State University, Associate Professor in Human Development and Family Studies Dr. Robert Nix, also the Integrated Specialist in Diverse and Underserved Children, Families, and Communities with UW-Extension, has a new paper out in Early Childhood Research Quarterly assessing the effectiveness of the Head Start REDI program to enhance preschoolers’ social-emotional and language/emergent literacy skills. Their findings demonstrate that evidence-based curricula combined with professional development support can enhance preschool programming and promote the elementary school adjustment of children living in poverty.

Upcoming events

Raison to feature in Choprak-led mental health summit and UCSF Grand Rounds

Next Tuesday, May 19, Dr. Charles Raison, the Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families and Professor in Human Development and Family Studies, will give a virtual talk, “Evolution, Adaptive Stress, and the Future of Depression,” with the University of California San Francisco Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds. Later in the week, he’ll be a featured speaker as part of the Never Alone Summit, a global virtual mental health event running May 22-24.

Sarmadi art on display at Gallery 800

Those needing to visit UW Health at 800 University Bay Drive in the next few months will see displayed an exhibition of photographic work by Dr. Majid Sarmadi, the Rothermel Bascom Professor in Design Studies at SoHE. As he notes in his artist’s statement for “A Scientists Eye: Pattern, Texture and Color Revealed by the Microscope,” he invites viewers “to look with me through the lens of my microscope to the unexpected beauty I have discovered in discarded and unwanted material.”