ICD graduates receive 2018 CEHD Rising Alumni award

Angela Narayan

Angela Narayan, an alumna of the Institute of Child Development (ICD), is a 2018 recipient of the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) Alumni Society’s Rising Alumni award.

The award recognizes CEHD alumni each year who have achieved distinction early in their career, demonstrate leadership, or show exceptional volunteer service.

Narayan earned her Ph.D. in child psychology from ICD in 2015. She now is an assistant professor of clinical child psychology at the University of Denver, where she also directs the PROTECT Lab, which studies the transmission of parenting behaviors and family dynamics through multiple generations. In her career, Narayan has focused on serving communities in need, as well as families facing poverty, mental health issues, and high levels of stress.

“Words cannot express the pride and delight in mentoring remarkable students like Angela. She exemplifies the passion, intellectual energy, commitment to meaningful research, and community engagement that we cherish in the Institute of Child Development,” said Ann Masten, Ph.D., a Regents Professor, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development, and Distinguished McKnight University Professor in ICD. “In April, I had a fun visit to her new lab at the University of Denver, meeting her students and learning more about the exciting work they are doing on risk and resilience in young families. It was a thrill to discuss thorny resilience research issues with the next two generations of developmental scholars.”

Along with Narayan, Korina Barry and Meghan Hickey, who earned undergraduate degrees in child psychology at ICD, were also named Rising Alumni this year. Barry earned a B.A. in child psychology in 2009 and is currently the director of outreach at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare. Hickey graduated with a B.S. in child psychology in 2004 and now works as a special education supervisor for Robbinsdale Area Schools, where she leads and mentors special education teachers.

Weiss’s work with innovative program, Girls on the Run, featured in Connect

Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, was featured along with her research in the Spring issue of Connect, the magazine of the College of Education and Human Development.

The article, Girls on the Run, focuses on Weiss’s work in determining the success of an innovative youth development program that uses running and other physical activities as a platform for teaching life skills and healthy habits. Girls on the Run was started in 1996 in Charlotte, NC, with a small group of 13 girls, and has grown to over 200 councils in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Weiss’ study was designed to evaluate whether the organization was effective in achieving its goals. Her study results revealed that girls participating in the program compared favorably to a control group in their ability to manage emotions, resolve conflict, help others, and make intentional decisions. In addition, girls who started the program below the group average made
dramatic and lasting improvement in physical activity level, confidence, and connection to others.


New Gopher asst coach, Kinesiology alumna Roysland Curry named CEHD Rising Alumni

Kelly Roysland Curry, School of Kinesiology alumna in Sport Management (B.S. in 2007) and Kinesiology (M.Ed. in 2009), was named a  2018 Rising Alumni this month by the CEHD Alumni Society, which recognizes “rising alumni from across our college who have achieved early distinction in their careers, demonstrated emerging leadership, or shown exceptional volunteer service in their communities.” On April 23, she became the new assistant coach for the Gopher Women’s Basketball team.

Roysland Curry played for the Gophers from 2004-07, and coached both at the U of M and at Macalester College after graduation, demonstrating her skills and leadership on the court and with her work in the community. She will be assisting Lindsay Whalen, another Kinesiology alumna, who is new head coach of Gopher Women’s Basketball.


Three C&I alumni finalists for MN Teacher of the Year

Three alumni of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) are finalists for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year award. This prestigious award, sponsored by Education Minnesota, selects one teacher to represent Minnesota’s thousands of excellent educators. Out of a field of twelve finalists, C&I is proud to claim the following teaching program alumni:

The selection panel will meet again in early May for individual interviews and to cast their votes. The winner will be announced shortly thereafter.

We are so proud of all our alumni and the teachers we’ve trained to pursue educational excellence. Congratulations to the three finalists!

Learn more about teacher training programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Read about the 2017 MN Teacher of the Year and C&I alumnus, Corey Bulman.

Cris Peterson (B.S. ’72)

Cris Peterson (B.S. ’72), is the author of ten books for children, including Century Farm: One Hundred Years on a Family Farm, and Harvest Year. She was recently appointed regent of the University of Wisconsin System by Governor Scott Walker, in 2018.

Stoffregen, Wade publish with co-authors in Human Movement Science

Thomas Stoffregen, Ph.D., and Michael G. Wade, Ph.D., are co-authors on an article published in Human Movement Science. Visual tasks and stance width influence the spatial magnitude and temporal dynamics of standing body sway in 6- to 12-year old children had study results consistent with the idea that effects of stance width and suprapostural visual tasks were well-established by the age of 6 years.

Co-authors are Roberto Izquierdo-Herrera, doctoral candidate at the University of Valencia (Spain), and Prof. Xavier Garcia-Masso and Prof. Luis-Millan Gonzalez, faculty at the University of Valencia. The research was conducted at the U of M under the supervision of  Stoffregen and Wade.


Immersion in online learning community opens up career opportunities for educator

susan stephanSusan H. Stephan was an adjunct law professor when she entered the Online Learning certificate program. Her experience in the program helped her to successfully teach online courses, then enter a new position as the Associate Dean of Graduate and Online Programs at the NSU Shepard Broad College of Law in Fort Lauderdale.

What drove you to enroll in the program?

I am very interested in online graduate education, particularly in the legal arena. When I enrolled in the program, I had been teaching as an adjunct professor of law since 2001, and starting two years ago I had the opportunity to start teaching online. I had not had exposure to pedagogy related to online education, so I thought the certificate program would be a good start.

How did the program help with your career and/or professional development?

I have been extremely happy with my decision to complete the Certificate in Online Learning. I learned so much in each class that I took, and I use aspects of my certificate education every day. In large part due to the background the program provided, I have had several opportunities to speak at local and national conferences regarding topics of online learning, particularly as it relates to legal education. The program also was invaluable preparation for my new role as Associate Dean of Graduate and Online Programs. The foundation I received in distance education has made me a much better administrator and instructor.

Were there any surprises and challenges along the way?

One surprise was how comfortable I felt as part of the community of graduate students in my courses. The diverse backgrounds of the other learners made for a rich online classroom environment. Although keeping up with coursework remotely while working full time and teaching was a challenge at times, I so enjoyed the classes and assignments that I always found time to engage and stay focused on my education.

What has been your experience with the faculty?

I truly enjoyed working with every faculty member in my classes. Each one brought a different background, style, and perspective to the subject matter, and I feel that this created a well-rounded education. I have to give a shout-out to Dr. Angel Pazurek, who taught the first course in which I enrolled; her exemplary engagement, content knowledge and positive support set the tone for a successful and enriching experience. But I learned so much from each professor, and I was impressed with all of them.

Which aspect of the program or course did you find most valuable?

Going into the program, I was thinking that the end result of a certificate would be most valuable, in terms of my career goals. But as is turns out, it was the day-to-day learning process and the experience of immersion in the online community that contributed most to my professional development.

Any other thoughts you want to share about your experience?

A good indication of how much I enjoyed my experience is that I immediately joined the University of Minnesota Alumni Association. I look forward to continuing involvement with the U!

Would you recommend this program to others?

I would highly recommend the Certificate program in Online Distance Learning to anyone who will be involved in designing, teaching in, or otherwise administering online educational programs. I found the educational experience at the University of Minnesota rewarding and valuable.

Learn more about Learning Technologies programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Seven C&I alumni semi-finalists for MN Teacher of the Year award

2017 MN Teacher of the Year, and C&I alum, Corey Bulman. Photo by Janet Hotstetter, courtesy of Ed MN

Seven graduates from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s teacher education program were named as semi-finalists for this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year award. Teachers are nominated by their students, school personnel, parents of students and peers.

We are proud that our alumni are strongly represented in this year’s group of educators:

  • Kari Eloranta, 10-12+ language arts teacher at Mounds View eALC
  • Jaquinetta Mitchell, English teacher at Osseo Senior High School
  • Courtney Bell (M.Ed. ‘14),  social studies teacher at North Academy of Arts and Communication in Minneapolis
  • Scott Glew (M.Ed. ‘15), social studies teacher at Salk Middle School in Elk River
  • Justin Hudalla (M.Ed. ‘04),  global studies teacher at Battle Creek Middle School in Saint Paul
  • Becky Kittelson,  elementary school teacher at Sunset Hill Elementary in Wayzata
  • Dani Berry (M.Ed. ‘13),  middle school mathematics teacher in Intermediate District 287

Last year’s winner was C&I alumnus, Corey Bulman.

The winner of the 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award will be announced on May 6th.

Learn more about the M.Ed. and teacher licensure programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

C&I M.Ed. candidate opens Dakota Language immersion school


Photo by J.P. Lawrence

Vanessa Goodthunder, an M.Ed. candidate in Social Studies Education, was recently featured in the Christian Science Monitor for her work to open a Dakota Language Immersion preschool in the Lower Sioux reservation as part of an effort to revitalize the Dakota language and cultural heritage. Currently, only five people in the state speak Dakota.

Goodthunder received a $1.9 million grant in September from Head Start,  followed by a $90,000 grant in December. With an opening set for mid-June, the immersion school will enroll up to 74 children.

“We feel it’s a great vehicle to raise the next generation of Dakota speakers, and simultaneously help heal historical trauma,” Goodthunder says.

Read the full article in the Christian Science Monitor.

Learn more about the M.Ed. and initial teaching license programs and the M.Ed. in language immersion education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Jeffrey Allen (Ph.D. ’98)

Jeffrey Allen (Ph.D. ’98) has been announced as the new president of Adler Graduate School. Allen has worked in the education system for more than 25 years helping schools to maximize their enrollment, retention and supporting faculty and staff success. As a seasoned executive to colleges and nonprofit organizations, his marketing expertise and past role as chief academic office will also be vital to his new role.

ICD alumni spotlight: Momoko Hayakawa, Ph.D.

Momoko Hayakawa, Ph.D.

Momoko Hayakawa, Ph.D., is a research associate at Twin Cities PBS, where she primarily develops science-based curriculum for young children. She earned her Ph.D. at the Institute of Child Development (ICD). In a recent interview, she shares how her experience at ICD helped prepare her for her current role.

Why did you choose the Institute of Child Development?

I chose the Institute of Child Development because of the breadth of opportunities the program offered. Not only did ICD provide research and teaching experiences across numerous areas of psychology, but it also helped me understand my particular field within the context of other fields. I truly value the ecological systems framework that’s woven into every area at ICD and the representation of child psychology from theory to application.

How would you describe your research interests?

My research interests lie in the intersection of early childhood education, family engagement, and public policy. My research is motivated by the question: How can we efficiently use public programming to support diverse communities in providing a high quality educational experience in the early years so that all children are ready to succeed in school?  

How would you describe your current role?

I currently direct all aspects of research for the development of a new superhero TV show for children, as well as accompanying digital games, activities, and apps at Twin Cities PBS. My key role is to help develop a kindergarten-third grade school readiness curriculum aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, and oversee the national implementation and evaluation of the program. I also conduct formative testing to help decide on the characters and stories for the shows, as well as to make decisions on digital game development.

How did ICD prepare you for your career in the private sector?

Twin Cities PBS is a non-profit organization. ICD prepared me for my current position by exposing me to various experiences that blended the theoretical aspects and application of child development research to the real world. As a graduate student, it was eye-opening to see that so many different areas of research were possible under the umbrella of “child development.” In the children’s transmedia world, the knowledge necessary to make strong television and digital games spans across cognitive development, socio-emotional development, intervention/prevention, risk/resilience, physical development, education, and research methods. ICD provided me with a strong foundation to understand children from an interdisciplinary framework!

If you could give advice to future ICD students, what would you say?

A Ph.D. from ICD is a giant window of opportunity. There are ICD alums everywhere (both geographically and in terms of various companies). While in graduate school, connect with as many people as you can outside of your specific area of interest – you never know when those connections will lead to a new pathway or a new collaboration!

Mary Ellen McFarland (B.S. ‘43)

Mary Ellen McFarland (B.S. ‘43)  a very active alumna of Human Ecology/ Home Ec, and also the wife of our very own professor and longtime dean of the College of Home Ec/College of Human Ecology, Keith McFarland. Mary Ellen passed away January 18, 2018.

OLPD grad Sara Zanussi leads youth choir in Super Bowl performance

A youth choir performs behind singer Leslie Odom Jr. on the field of U.S. Bank Stadium during the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis.
ComMUSICation singers perform with Leslie Odom Jr. during the NFL Super Bowl LII on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 in Minneapolis. Photo by Ben Liebenberg, NFL.

Sara Zanussi, ’18, and middle-school members of a youth development music program she founded had the opportunity of a lifetime on February 4—to perform for an audience of thousands, and a broadcast audience of millions, at the Super Bowl in Minneapolis.

Zanussi founded ComMUSICation in 2013 with a mission to empower youth through music, service, and community. Serving St. Paul’s most vulnerable youth, ComMUSICation runs a tuition-free, rigorous music-making experience for second through eighth graders using music as the vehicle for character skill development.

The group poses for a photo at the 2018 Super Bowl. Photo by Sara Zanussi.

For the Super Bowl, Zanussi’s group partnered with another local youth choir and sang “America the Beautiful” along with Broadway star Leslie Odom Jr. After the performance, the young singers watched the big game—and the halftime show—from the field.

“Our choir is not a choir that would usually be auditioned for big opportunities like this,” says Zanussi, “so the fact that Leslie Odom Jr. and the NFL had this vision to really represent the diversity and true representation of the Twin Cities the way they did was an incredible honor.”

Zanussi just completed her master’s in comparative and international development education. In 2017 she received the University’s prestigious Judd Fellowship to conduct qualitative research at two music programs in Colombia that use ensemble-based music to improve the lives of vulnerable children.

Family Social Science Cornerstone Symposium highlights professor’s contributions to improve marital relationships

Professor Emeritus David Olson will deliver the 2018 Cornerstone Symposium lecture Thursday, April 5, at 4 p.m. in the McNamara Alumni Center. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP online at: z.umn.edu/cornerstone2018.

Doctor David Olson
Professor Emeritus David Olson will deliver the FSoS Cornerstone Symposium lecture April 5.

One of the pioneers in couple and marriage therapy, Olson will discuss how he bridged research, theory, and practice to create the pioneering Circumplex Model, a systemic model based on three major relationship dimensions: cohesion, flexibility, and communication. Used in a variety of settings with couples and families, the assessment provides diagnostic information that is useful for treatment planning, clinical intervention, and assessing the clinical outcome. The model has been used as the foundation for more than 1,000 research studies worldwide.

He joined the University’s Department of Family Social Science faculty in 1973, and served as Director of Graduate Programs from 1973-1987.  He also served as acting head of the Department in 1989. He conducted research studies of health family systems, marital and family conflict, premarital preparation and marriage enrichment programs, mediation approaches to child custody, and family treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse. He has written or edited over 20 books and published more than 100 articles. He currently serves on the editorial boards of six family journals.

Founder and former CEO of Prepare/Enrich (Life Innovations), Olson created a simplified version of his assessment that has been used with over 4 million premarital and married couples around the globe to improve the health and resilience of their relationships.

He is a fellow of the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the American Psychological Association. He has served as president of the National Council on Family Relations and the Upper Midwest Association for Marriage and Family Therapists. He was honored by both AAMFT and the American Family Therapy Association with Distinguished Contributions to Family Therapy Research Awards, as well as the University of Minnesota’s Legacy and Research Excellence Awards.

Olson was honored with Professor Emeritus status in 2001. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Olaf College, a master’s in psychology from Wichita State University, and his doctoral degree from Penn State.

More about Family Social Science

The Department of Family Social Science is in the College of Education + Human Development. Formed in 1970, the Department of Family Social Science features academic programs that are future-focused, comprehensive, and transdisciplinary. FSoS scholars not only discover new knowledge, they are committed to collaborating with families, communities, and agencies to identify challenges and create evidence-based solutions. Its multi-disciplinary focus in a research-intensive institution makes it distinctive and unique.


Stoffregen and colleagues publish in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance

School of Kinesiology professor Tom Stoffregen, Ph.D., and co-authors Chih-Hui Chang, Wei-Ching Kung, and Fu-Chen Chen, have published an article in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance. The article, “Effects of Physical Driving Experience on Body Movement and Motion Sickness During Virtual Driving,” studied body movement and motion sickness reactions of individuals, separated by age/experience driving physical automobiles, during driving of virtual automobiles in a video game.

Dr. Chen and Dr. Chang are both School of Kinesiology Ph.D. graduates, and Dr. Change was a visiting scholar in the School in 2012.



Paula Goldberg Receives OAA

Paula Goldberg, with President Eric Kaler and President Emeritus Bob Bruininks

On November 19, elementary education (1964) alumna Paula Goldberg was presented with the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award.

Paula is the Executive Director and co-founder of PACER Center, a nonprofit supporting families of youth with disabilities using a “parents helping parents” model. PACER Center is unique in that it serves children of all ages, with all disabilities: learning, physical, emotional, mental, and health. No other organization in Minnesota offers this broad range of services to families.

Prior to founding PACER, Paula was an elementary school teacher in Minneapolis and Chicago. In 1978, she was faced with a decision, either to attend law school or help launch a new organization to assist parents of children with disabilities. She chose to spend her time – just for a few years, she thought – building PACER Center.

It was a grassroots effort, with one grant, five staff and a 700 square foot office filled with used furniture. Her young sons helped with filing and put on puppet shows to teach schoolchildren about disability awareness.

Today, thanks to Paula’s leadership, PACER has more than 70 staff in its own 38,000 square foot building. The Center runs more than 35 programs, including bullying prevention, social events and self-advocacy resources for youth, independent housing information, an assistive technology center, and, almost 40 years later, the puppet shows.

Paula has dedicated her professional career to ensuring families of children with disabilities have access to information, resources and support. Her vision for PACER has made a difference for thousands of children and parents across the country.

The Outstanding Achievement Award is reserved for University of Minnesota alumni who have attained marked distinction in their profession or in public service; and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership on a community, state, national, or international level.

LaVoi to participate in CEHD Alumni and Graduate Networking Event on Nov. 9

Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center, will participate in a speaking panel at a CEHD Alumni and Graduate Networking Event on Thursday, November 9, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at McNamara Alumni Center, University Hall.  The event, titled “Blaze Your Trail: Crafting a Career with Passion and Innovation,” features CEHD alumni who have forged unique career paths outside their degree programs.  The panel will share their stories and ideas on channeling creativity into professional success.

The event is geared to CEHD graduate and professional students, and an RSVP required. See more details here.

Helen Meyer Receives OAA

Helen Meyer with her husband, William Bieber

On Oct. 25, The Honorable Helen Meyer, Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, was presented with the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award.

Meyer is a School of Social Work alumna, who carried out the school’s commitment to social justice through her work as a lawyer and judge.

While on the state Supreme Court, Justice Meyer led a workgroup that identified and implemented ways to improve legal assistance for families in child protection cases. Because of her efforts, children’s interests in Minnesota are better represented by having competent parental representation.

Justice Meyer also recognized that cases involving individuals struggling with addiction were not being handled effectively, and were not decreasing recidivism. She laid the groundwork for establishing addiction treatment courts in our state.

After stepping down from the Supreme Court, Justice Meyer continued her advocacy on behalf of families by helping to establish the Mitchell Hamline Child Protection Clinic at her  law school alma mater.

In her remarks, Meyer recalled taking a class with Esther Wattenberg and how it made an impact on her decision to work on behalf of vulnerable populations.

The Outstanding Achievement Award is reserved for University of Minnesota alumni who have attained marked distinction in their profession or in public service; and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership on a community, state, national, or international level.

Kinesiology alumna Yu-Ting Tseng awarded post-doc at National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan

Yu-Ting Tseng, Ph.D., 2017 graduate of the School of Kinesiology in the Biomechanics and Neuromotor Control emphasis, has been awarded a post-doc position in the Division of Child Health Research, Institute of Population Health Sciences in the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) in Zhunan, Taiwan, starting in November. She will be conducting a study on the effect of different types of exercise intervention on the motor, cognitive and overall physical and mental functions in children and older adults. She may also assist in evaluating the status and needs for special needs populations.

Dr. Tseng was advised by Kinesiology professor Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D.

Tenzin Dolkar (M.S.W. ‘14)

Tenzin Dolkar (M.S.W. ‘14) was appointed in October of 2017, by Governor Mark Dayton to serve as the State of Minnesota’s Rail Director. In her previous position, Dolkar served as the governor’s chief policy adviser on transportation and agriculture.