All posts by Amanda Costello

About Amanda Costello

Lead Content Strategist | Web Team

Blogging Diversity: A Look Back at Fall Semester

By Na’im Madyun, associate dean

I’m currently attending an intercultural competence training.  To begin, we introduced ourselves. We immediately felt connected and somewhat close as we noticed commonalities across our identities and cultural backgrounds.

Someone shared that they were an introvert and disliked large group sharing. I shared my current reading of the book Quiet by Susan Cain and how I identified as an introvert also. Others began to reveal their introverted identifications and the room became warmer.
As we continued the norming process of the group, the expected statements were made: “This is a safe space. We should be able to make mistakes. This is about learning. Every voice will be honored.”

The room appeared to act as one as we comfortably moved toward understanding how to become better cultural bridgers. We were still very early into the training and then someone referenced Ferguson. I quickly scanned the room and noticed how unified we remained – unified in our use of peripheral vision.  I sensed we were also unified in hoping it wouldn’t get any more uncomfortable than it was at that moment.

Ferguson was followed by a reference to celebrities using the N-word and one attendee modeled how using the actual N-word could take a lot of the power from the word. I am glad I didn’t feel the full power of the word because what I did feel seemed rather potent. Needless to say, it became a little less comfortable. The facilitators allowed us to remain uncomfortable as we tried to find that elusive safe space.

I heard well-articulated perspectives about diversity and equity that seemed incorrect. It was troubling to hear reasoned comments shared by people with whom I shared the earlier, immediate connection. I wanted to say something soft or clever to bring us back to that initial comfortable space, but I didn’t want to minimize the discourse, insult the intelligence in the room or dishonor the voices of courage. I felt stretched, strained, challenged and drained. I also felt like I learned too much, too fast.

Then, I felt thankful. I vocalized that I hope we continue to use this space as a place to test, challenge and demonstrate how complex diversity discourse is. In some ways, I set out to do that with this commentary and I want to thank those who helped me find a comfortable voice for disrupting comfortable discourse. Thank you to those who gave me commentary ideas, references, early draft critiques and last minute edits before I posted. Thank you to those who gave me critique and feedback afterwards.

A look back at this semester’s commentaries:

I plan to write next semester on Teach for America, disability rights, capitalism in higher education and other topics you suggest. I hope these commentaries invite reflection. Most of all, I hope they allow us to exist uncomfortably with each other as we dialogue on common ground.

Upcoming Events and What We Are Reading

What are WE reading?

“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.”  Gustave Flaubert.

To better understand the lives that live within our college, we are asking CEHD staff and faculty to tell us what they are reading in the areas of equity and diversity. Below is a list of some diversity and equity readings.

The reading offered from Kristin Van Dorn and Amanda Costello

Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

Bad Feminist reads like a manual for surviving the cognitive dissonance we all experience when we engage with the world of pop culture. Can you call yourself an intersectional feminist when you enjoy dancing to pop songs that objectify women? What about when you read chick lit, or see movies like “Gone Girl”? It sometimes feels like feminism demands a certain level of unattainable perfection from us that can make simple, everyday acts feel emblematic of our failures. Roxane Gay is here to help. We loved this book.

The reading from Sara Foster

The Statement We Wish We’d Gotten… by  Aya De Leon

Same-sex parent suing due to mistakenly receiving sperm from an African American donor and the resulting racial prejudices being faced by her bi-racial two-year old.

The reading offered from Jane Marie Marshall

Scheile, J. H. (1997). An afrocentric perspective on social welfare, philosophy, and policy. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 24(2), 21-39.

Using principles and traditions that predate African colonization to promote a system of equal opportunity for all members of a society.  This approach involves a collective identity lens that contends that resource surpluses can only occur after the basic needs of very citizen is met.

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From within the college, the university,  or the community, there are several diversity and equity-related workshops, discussions and events to explore in the month of November.

CEHD

International Speakers Series – Dr. Savo Heleta
Monday, November 17, 2014
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
227 Burton Hall
International Tea Time
Thursday, November 20, 2014
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Burton Hall Atrium 2nd Floor
Looking Under The Lamp Post: Why “Assessment Of Intercultural Competence” Uses The Wrong Criteria
Friday, December 12, 2014
8:00 AM – 2:30 PM
Continuing Education and Conference Center

University

OED Certificate Workshop 7: Race, Racism, and Privilege
Date: 11/17/2014
Time: 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Location: Givens Conference Room (120B) Elmer L. Andersen Library
(Inter)Sex 101 (Community Education Program)
Date: 11/17/2014
Time: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Location: 41 Appleby Hall

 

Book Talk – Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice: Writing Wrong
Date: 11/17/2014
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: Givens Conference Room Elmer L. Andersen Library

Revitalization, Identity Reclamation & Decolonizing Wellness Through University-Community Partnerships
Date: 11/18/2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: 113 Folwell Hall

Incorporating Equity & Diversity into the Job Performance
Date: 11/18/2014
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 665 McNamara Alumni Center

Decolonizing the Brown Body
Date: 11/19/2014
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: Whole Music Club Coffman Memorial Union

(Trans)Gender 101 (Community Education Program)
Date: 11/24/2014
Time: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Location: 41 Appleby Hall

Community:

Nelson Mandela & The Art of Ethical Leading
Date: November 17, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: Rauenhorst Hall, Coeur de Catherine, St. Catherine University

This is My Story Monthly Series: Bi-racial and Multi-racial
Date: December 04, 2014
Time: 11:20 AM – 12:40 PM
Location: Hamline University, Giddens Learning Center 100E

Afterlife Merriment
Every Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri., Sat. until November 29
Gallery 122 At Hang It
122 8th St. SE Minneapolis, MN

The Blacker the Berry
Every Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri., Sat. until January 10
Intermedia Arts
2822 Lyndale Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN

On-going Events

In memoriam: Dr. Jean Bauer, national leader in family science

BauerJ-2009It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of Dr. Jean Bauer.
Jean W. Bauer, age 67, of Falcon Heights, passed away on July 23, 2012. She is survived by Marvin, her husband of 43 years, her sister Nancy (Allan) Gossmann, Marshall, IL and brother, Richard (Marcia) Warner, Buffalo, NY, and seven nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Howard and Mary Ann Warner, and brother Ted, Greenville, IL. Jean grew up in Terre Haute, IN and earned degrees from Indiana State University, Purdue University and University of Illinois.
She has been a professor in the Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota, since 1983. She provided exceptional leadership to her department, college, the University, and her extension and research communities. She was a mentor to graduate students, giving them wings to fly, and to new faculty and colleagues at other universities. She served as director of graduate studies of her department, on the University Senate, and the Faculty Consultative Committee, including as chair. In 2011 she received the President’s Award for Outstanding Service to the University. As an extension specialist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service, Jean led outreach and education programs in family resource management, including development of Dollar Works, a nationally recognized curriculum. She led a multi-state research project on Rural Low Income Families and its results were published last year in the book, Rural Families and Work: Context and Problems.
A memorial service celebrating Jean’s life and legacy will be at Centennial United Methodist Church (1524 County Road C2, Roseville, MN 55113) on July 28 at 11 a.m. with visitation 1 hour before and luncheon/reception at noon. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the University of Minnesota Foundation – Jean W. Bauer Family Economics and Policy Fellowship (200 Oak Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455).

Jan McCulloch receives Jack Davis Professional Achievement Award from University of Alabama

Dr. Jan McCulloch, Family Social Science professor and department head, has been named a recipient of the Jack Davis Professional Achievement Award from the University of Alabama, where she received her M.S. degree. The award is given annually to recognize professional accomplishments in administration, education, extension, research, or business in several fields of Human Environmental Sciences.
Dr. McCulloch will be recognized during the homecoming recognition convocation on October 26 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

3 FSoS Grad Students to Serve on University Women of Color Council

Family Social Science graduate students Veronica Deenanath, Blendine Hawkins, and Melanie Jackson will be serving two-year terms on the University Women of Color Council. The council is committed to creating safe, empowering spaces for all women of color within the University to feel valued, supported, respected, and connected. They regularly host events, gatherings, and engage in activism and advocacy initiatives around campus.

Jennifer Sampson publishes single-author article in JMFT

Jennifer Sampson, Family Social Science graduate student and co-founder of The Hoarding Project, has a single-authored publication in the most recent issue of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.
The article, “The Lived Experience of Family Members of Persons Who Compulsively Hoard: A Qualitative Study” appears in the forthcoming August issue of the journal. Five overarching themes for the participants’ experiences of having a person who hoards in the family emerged: negative feelings toward the persons who hoard; lack of understanding of hoarding behavior; experiences of loss; internal barriers to seeking support; and internal conflicts. Clinical implications and recommendations for future research are discussed, including a proposed application of an ambiguous loss framework for understanding and working with the experiences of family members of persons who hoard.

Anna Bohlinger awarded AAMFT Masters Thesis Award

Family Social Science Ph.D student Anna Bohlinger will be presented with the AAMFT Master’s Thesis Award at the AAMFT National Conference Friday September 14th in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Her masters thesis was entitled “Metaphorical Language and the Nature of Hope Among Mothers of Children who deal with Mental Illness.” She conducted qualitative interviews with 12 mothers to find out how they conceptualized mental illness when they had children who dealt with it. The mothers often referred to the mental illness in fixed or fluid metaphors – either it was something that was fixed and unchanging (like a “fact of life”) or it was something that was fluid or changed (like an “enemy”). Clinical implications and directions for future research were discussed.

FSOS Alum Jaerim Lee Receives Distinguished Teaching Award

Dr. Jaerim Lee has been named as a recipient of the 2012 Yeungnam University Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Lee graduated with a Ph.D. in Family Social Science in 2009, and her adviser was Dr. Jean Bauer. She also took International Teaching Assistant Program courses and Preparing Future Faculty courses through the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Congratulations 2012 FSOS Graduates!

Another academic year has come to a close, and Family Social Science bids farewell to all of our undergraduate and graduate students who have graduated. Commencement exercises were held on Thursday, May 10, in Mariucci Arena. We wish you all the best in future endeavors, and hope you remember your time at the University and in the department fondly.
Ph.D. and M.A. graduates
Bibiana D. Koh (Ph.D.)
Georgi Kroupin (Ph.D.)
Dung Minh Mao (M.A.)
Laurelle Lea Myhra (Ph.D.)
Diana R. Samek (Ph.D.)
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) graduates
Zamzam Abdiwali Ahmed
Jordan Elizabeth Anderson
Jeena Devi Arnachellum
Ellary Henslin Asche
Jasmin C Avalos
Amber M Backus
Kelsey Karin Bank
Alyssa Marie Bielawski
Raeanne Marie Block
Ali Janalle Bodin
Christopher A Brendemuhl
Nicole Wehling Brooks
Sarah Nichole Brueggen
Asmaa Hassen Burhan
Bailey Lynn Cahill
Melinda Mishael Degroot
Melisa L Devlin
Onoma Rebecca Ejiya
Ashley Ellingson
Shauna Rae Fenske
Sarah Emily Friedman
Kristen Carol Fuller
Greer L Gentry Jr
Emily Anne Haffley
Shannon Mary Haley
Brittany Ann Hanson
Alexandra J Hawes
Quala Her
Dawn Marie Holmen
Kellie Marie Holt
Emily Ngoc Huynh
Seanna S Irvin-Anderson
Leah M Jackson
Veronica Lee Jasperson
Annie Kathryn Johansson
Alea Joy Johnson
Alexandra Marie Katopodis
Colleen L Kelly
Katie Marie Kelly
Lisa Anne Kenward
Emily Ruth Ketcham
Valerie Keye Klingberg
La Kong
Megan Ann Labarbera
Debbie Sokheun Lay
Pa Nhia Lee
Valerie Mikel Lewis
Nicole Lucie Limper
Hannah Christina Ludens
Kiara M Malone
Chelsea Mcfarren
Samrawit K Mekonnen
Rahma Mahmoud Mohamed
Laurel Elaine Molin
Ena Moua
Michelle Anne Murdock
Paris Milan Nolan
Crystal Marie OConnor
Akudo Gail Omeoga
Tetyana Pashko
Talia Vanessa Picotte
Taheliz Rivera
Marcella Ann Romie
Callie Christine Rose
Johanna Jean Schell
Leah Claire Choi Smiley
Tanvi Kamlesh Sura
Selamawit Teffera
Heather Thao
Delgermend Tserendamba
Lee Vang
Nancy Vang
Rachel Wiens
Sonnie Tonia Williams
Chanel Monet Wright
Mor Xiong
Naking Xiong
Kao Song Yang
Xee Yang
Aurora Ray Zosel

Mano a Mano Collaboration and Partnership Develops

Family Social Science faculty and graduate students came together with representatives from Mano a Mano International Partners for a two-day workshop on April 27-28 to collaborate on developing an evaluation plan for Mano a Mano’s economic development programs in rural Bolivia.
Mano a Mano works on infrastructure building in Bolivia, helping rural and often hard to access towns construct and maintain water reservoirs, health centers, and schools to improve the residents’ economic well-being.
During the collaboration workshop, a logic model was developed to aid in measuring human elements of the work being done, and gain a concrete understanding of how social capital is being developed. The results will be important not only for Mano a Mano and the communities in which it works, but also for government and community leaders.
Dr. Cathy Solheim and Dr. Tai Mendenhall have been working with Mano a Mano to develop a partnership over the last year. In the next year, the project will be incorporated into Dr. Solheim’s course, taught with Dr. Liz Weiling, on refugee and immigrant families.
“We hope to do field work next summer in Bolivia,” said Dr. Solheim. “Working with Mano a Mano on-site will help us further understand the work being done, and integrate it into our collaboration.”
The collaboration also reached beyond Family Social Science, with three graduate students from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ Master of Development Practice (MDP) program attending the collaboration workshop.

Grad students launch The Hoarding Project, international study on behavior

1SampsonJ1YeatsJHoarding practices have been sensationalized by the media and television shows, but two Family Social Science graduate students see deeper issues involving trauma, grief, and loss, and have launched an international study to discover more and help people who hoard and their families.
In 2009, Jennifer Sampson conducted interviews about hoarding behavior. She noticed a lot of people spoke about experiences in terms of grief and loss, and contacted Janet Yeats. Yeats has experience in dealing with trauma and ambiguous loss. Together, they created The Hoarding Project to better understand and have a discussion about the connection between hoarding behavior and trauma.
They organized a six week psychoeducational support group for family members of people who hoard. The eight group members were given time to talk to each other in a support group format about their experiences surrounding compulsive hoarding behavior.
“Ambiguous loss theory turned out to be a good way to describe the relationship between people who hoard and their family members,” said Yeats.
Ambiguous loss theory was developed by Family Social Science professor emeritus Pauline Boss, and can occur in two main types: when there is physical absence and psychological presence–as when there is no body to bury–or when there is physical presence and psychological absence–as in cases of dementia, addictions, or other chronic illness.
“The current treatment for people who hoard is based on the individual,” said Sampson, “while we feel that focusing on the whole family, with correct information about hoarding that is based in research, will be much more effective.”
Sampson and Yeats are recruiting adults to take part in an online survey to gather information for further research. Both people who hoard and their family members are encouraged to participate. Issues such as mental illness, attachment relationships, and unresolved trauma and loss will be examined to better understand how they affect hoarding behavior.
The project has provided aftercare to some individuals featured on TV shows that show hoarding, but Sampson and Yeats said that those cases are often extreme and sensationalized.
“Hoarding involves four factors – excessive acquisition, difficulty discarding items, clutter, and distress – but hoarding itself is a spectrum,” said Sampson. “Not everyone who hoards lives in a junk house.”
“Hoarding shows often feature emergency situations, where an individual is facing eviction or property loss, and have time constraints,” said Yeats. “Because things move so fast, the experience can be even more traumatizing.”
The Hoarding Project plans on focusing on the entire family, and will offer education and training to professionals, media affiliates, and members of the public. Learn more at thehoardingproject.org.

Summer Visiting Scholar in Family Social Science

Lavinia Nosé, from the Department of Applied Psychology: Work, Education and Economy at the University of Vienna, will be spending the summer in Family Social Science as a visiting scholar. Lavinia will be working with Dr. Sharon Danes through August on family business conflict.
This is Lavinia’s first time in the USA, and she’s looking forward to working with Dr. Danes to write an article. She also plans on doing some travel to see more of the state, including a trip up north to Duluth.

Diego Garcia-Huidobro’s research selected for grant award

Family Social Science Ph.D. student Diego Garcia-Huidobro has been awarded grant funding from the University’s Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment and the Life Sciences.
His proposal, “Understanding the Barriers and Facilitators to Participation in a Family-Oriented Prevention Program in the Latino Community: A Mixed Methods Study,” was one of 10 chosen of 40 submitted proposals from 21 departments around the University. His grant award of over $8200 covers a stipend and research expenses for Summer 2012 and the 2012-2013 academic year.

Jessie Connell named to SRA Emerging Scholars Committee

Jessie Connell, Family Social Science Ph.D. student, has been selected to be on the Emerging Scholars Committee of the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) for the next two years. She will also serve as the Emerging Scholar representative to the Media & Communications committee, whose purpose is to get research findings into the hands of journalists and policy-makers.

ADAPT continues military family outreach mission

The After Deployment: Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT) project, headed by Dr. Abigail Gewirtz, has been featured in the Star Tribune for its work with National Guard families. For the next four years, hundreds of military families in Minnesota will submit to wearing heart sensors to monitor the stresses they exert on each other and allow video cameras to record their interactions as part of an extraordinary first-in-the-nation look at the toll exacted by deployments to war zones. Read the rest of the article at the Star Tribune’s website…

Discernment Counseling: Doherty talks to Wall Street Journal

Dr. Bill Doherty talks with the Wall Street Journal about “when it’s just another fight, and when it’s over.” Dr. Doherty talks about discernment counseling, which aims to help struggling couples decide whether to divorce or remain married. Discernment counseling is part of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project in the department of family social science.

Nicole Limper receives 2012 President’s Student Leadership and Service Award

nlimperFamily Social Science senior Nicole Limper has been awarded the 2012 President’s Student Leadership and Service Award for her work with Arc of Greater Twin Cities in developing a curriculum to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities thrive and become self-advocates to influence public policy.
An honors student, Limper will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in Family Social Science and a minor in Family Violence Prevention. At Arc, Limper has run SibShops, workshops for siblings of individuals with disabilities.
Limper created a workshop on cultivating and sustaining healthy friendships, which became the first session in a larger curriculum created for her senior project. The curriculum will cover topics such as romantic partnerships, caregivers, family, and community workers.
One of the issues surrounding the curriculum was scalability. “We ran a session for five people, and it turned out really well,” said Limper, “but when we ran the same session for fifty people, it wasn’t as effective.”
Public policy and self-advocacy round out the curriculum, with training on how to self-advocate and relate personal stories and experiences.
“It’s very effective to put a face with a story,” Limper said. “We help people not only learn how to effectively tell their story, but also how to create a written version of their experiences that legislators can take with them and be able to reference later.”
Limper has no plans on slowing down after receiving her undergraduate degree – she will be enrolling in law school at St. Thomas in the fall of 2012 and plans on focusing on family law and policy.