Category Archives: FSoS Alumni

Family social science alum delivers new student convocation address

Rose Simon ’17 delivered the convocation address. to over 6,000 U of M freshmen.


Rose Simon, a 2017 family social science graduate, was a keynote speaker at this year’s New Student Convocation, the U o f M’s welcome event for the incoming first-year class. Simon was encouraged to apply for the opportunity by her undergraduate student services adviser, Carole Anne Broad. A transcript of her speech is below, and view the event on YouTube. Simon’s speech begins around the 1 hour mark.

Welcome Class of 2021 and may I be one of many to congratulate you on this huge accomplishment. You are now officially a college student and you have certainly overcome numerous barriers to be here today and you should be very proud of yourselves. I am sure you are thrilled and eager to start classes and most importantly, for the “all you can eat” ice cream in the dining halls. However, before we get too far into your college days, I’m here to share a few of my own experiences and tips to help you along the way: and my first one to you is, don’t eat too much ice cream.

When I look back at my past four years of college, I can’t help but smile. I have done some pretty amazing things, but I was still surprised when I was asked to speak to you today. Surely, there was someone more qualified than I with a more picturesque college experience. What you heard in my bio is fairly impressive and I certainly worked hard these past four years but what you don’t hear about are the many challenges I faced throughout college. You don’t hear about the mental health issues I faced, or the time I was affected by a terrorist attack when I studied abroad, or the classes that I almost failed. These challenges became part of my journey and I realized that I DID have a perfect experience, just in a different manner that can’t be compared to any other college experience. It was perfect because I was challenged academically, mentally, emotionally and physically, and eventually I realized that I walked away with greater insight about myself and my potential.

So, I’m not here to tell you my life story, but I am here to share a few tips from my own journey through college. I have four tips for you that I hope will guide you in overcoming and succeeding when faced with your diverse challenges; whether your challenges are small or mighty.

Tip #1 Find your passion – whatever that is, and follow it, and do NOT let doubt overtake your confidence.

I love French, but boy did I struggle. When I was failing a French course my freshman year, it was difficult to remember how much I loved languages and connecting with other cultures when society was telling me that I should do something more practical, something that makes money. But my heart was telling me otherwise. When I made the wise choice to follow my passion by declaring my French major, I was able to live abroad in France for an entire year learning and challenging myself in a new space and culture. So find your passion, and stick with it, because some things are just meant to be.

# 2; Ask for help. There will be times when you feel overwhelmed and you need to know that the entire U of M community has your back. Asking for help, whether it’s going to your professor’s office hours and asking for homework help, asking your mentor, friend, advisor or coach for advice, or seeing a Boynton therapist – it will be the best way for you to find support when you face tough challenges. I personally have asked for help from all of those resources and I can attest to how much it helped me. So when faced with challenges, small or mighty, ask for help.

#3: Connect with your community on campus, and you will find your home and your second family where you will only receive love, support, and connection. Find your sport team if that’s what you’re into, join a fraternity or sorority, surround yourself with those that share pride in your culture by joining a cultural group, find support through programs like the Multicultural Center of Academic Excellence, TRIO or the President’s Emerging Scholars Program. I found my niche with the University of Minnesota women’s rugby team and my President’s Emerging Scholars family, and those two groups showed me nothing but love and support and as a result, I always felt like coming to campus was coming home.

And my final tip for you…

#4; Seek challenges and step out of your comfort zone. No doubt, this will happen without choice, but there are many ways that you can deliberately step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself with new experiences. Show up at a club meeting even if you don’t know anyone, study abroad in a different country, volunteer with a community you have never worked with, learn about a new culture. From studying abroad I learned that taking a step beyond what I was used to or comfortable with was an amazing way for me to learn beyond the classroom, and I don’t regret any of the challenges that I placed upon myself.

I know this is not the first time you have faced a challenge, and for many, you have faced bigger challenges then most can even imagine. When your faced with these new challenges, remember you’ve earned your place at the U of M and in four years you will be holding a diploma instead of a tassel and looking back at your challenges and honoring your successes, for teaching you so many life lessons.

I hope that when you look back on your college career four years from now, that you will have found your passion and followed it, found a community and embraced it, asked for guidance and given it, and challenged yourself, but most importantly, I hope you can look back and can’t help but smile. Best of luck on your journey and congratulations!

Family Social Science Focus on: alumna June Henton

June Henton earned her Ph.D. in Family Social Science in 1970.

June Henton honored as Auburn University Champion of Change 

A University of Minnesota alumna who earned her Ph.D. in Family Social Science in 1970, June Henton is currently Dean of the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University and has been a leader and champion for human and environmental sustainability throughout her career. Perhaps more than any single individual, June Henton has been responsible for sustainability becoming a strategic priority at Auburn University.  She was honored with Auburn University’s Spirit of Sustainability award.

Alleviating hunger and creating sustainable development have been longstanding passions for Henton. In 2012, she was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for Food Security for her work leading Auburn’s Human Sciences team to become the lead partner in the U.N. World Food Programme’s Student War on Hunger campaign.  She led efforts that resulted in the launch of Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) and also involved the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and corporate and nonprofit organizations in the effort to address hunger.

Henton was also honored in 2000 as one of the “Centennial 100” of the College of Human Ecology at the University of Minnesota.

 

 

Family Social Science alum to deliver new student convocation address

Family Social Science alum Rose Simon will deliver the address at the new student convocation.

 

Rose Simon just graduated in May but she’s eager to return to campus to help kick off the new academic year as she delivers the address at the University’s new student convocation, Thursday, Aug. 31.

Simon is using her experience as a peer mentor in the University of Minnesota President’s Emerging Scholars (PES) program in her new job at College Possible, a non-profit organization that serves low income high school students in preparing for college. She will be a mentor in College Possible’s new program, Fostering Graduates, that focuses on supporting students in the foster care system. She will be helping students overcome the unique challenges presented by the foster care system with skill development to enter college and the confidence they need to attain their degree.

“My past experience as a mentor with PES was a great opportunity for me to see the diverse barriers students have overcome that are often unrecognized as accomplishments in the higher education system,” says Simon. “My goal and passion is to create an environment where neighborhoods, cultures and individuals feel that they belong in college.”

Simon’s undergraduate career included an internship in France during her junior year and one with the City of Hopkins’ One Voice Coalition where she put her Family Social Science classroom work to the real world test.

The city wanted to focus energy on healthy youth development by working on alcohol and drug prevention programs,” she says. “I worked with parents and community members to help create and execute family events and programs that support students and parents.”

She credits her College of Education and Human Development advisors and Family Social Science professors for supporting and inspiring her throughout her academic career. She’s looking forward to sharing her experience at this year’s convocation and reminds incoming freshman that the anxiety they may be experiencing is all part of growing up.

“Remember how when you move from elementary school to middle school you worry about finding your locker and classes in time before the bell rings? Then in high school you were stressed about navigating that huge school and finding your niche? Whether high school was the best four years of your life, or you barely made it through… you’ve finally made it to the U of M, so congrats! You’ve arrived at your next chapter in life and boy are you in for a treat!”

And she reminds students that not only are they a college student, they are now among the Golden Gophers!

Bill Doherty is “on the bus”

Bill Doherty (far right) leads a discussion group in Ohio. Photo by Ciaran O’Connor.

 

Family Social Science Professor Bill Doherty is spending part of his summer applying his research to help America heal.

The November 2016 election accelerated a trend that researchers have been watching grow over the past several decades: that Americans are coming to view people who differ from them politically not just as political adversaries but as enemies whose ways of living and thinking are alien and dangerous. The American society is polarizing – separating into mutually antagonistic groups that do not trust or even know one another.

The “Red” and Blue divide” has reached the point where far fewer Americans would approve of their son or daughter marrying across political party lines than across racial lines. Family and friendship bonds are being frayed and in some cases ripped apart over who voted for which presidential candidate.

“This degree of rancor and mistrust threatens the foundations of our democracy,” said Doherty. “We are experiencing levels of polarization not seen, in the opinion of some historians, since the Civil War.”

Doherty has been researching the “citizen professional” concept for more than a decade. He has examined the role of professions in society and how the role has evolved from a detached expert to a citizen professional – someone with special expertise working with – not over – members of a community to collaboratively solve problems.

Doherty is walking his talk. He has been collaborating with a small nonprofit in New York called Better Angels where he’s been the lead designer and facilitator of a series of depolarization workshops for Red and Blue Americans.

They began in Ohio after the election with two weekend dialogues for Trump and Clinton voters who came together for carefully structured weekends that led to a joint statement to the nation, a documentary (by an Emmy Award winning producer) that will come out in 2018, and the formation of a Southwest Ohio chapter of Better Angels where conservatives and liberals are working together on depolarizing work and a joint Red/Blue policy platform.

In early March, an hour-long interview did with National Public Radio’s “Indivisible” series generated interest from people in several dozen towns and cities around the country who offered to organize local red/blue dialogues. The response gave birth to the Better Angel’s One America Bus Tour, funded by the Einhorn Foundation that launched July 4 with a benefit concert featuring Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary). The tour is traveling from Ohio through New England and down to Virginia, doing Red/Blue dialogues and depolarization skills workshops in local communities and promoting the development of Better Angels chapters.

This September, Doherty will lead a dialogue as part of the Nobel Peace Prize Symposium in St. Paul, and in October the next bus tour will head to states in the south and end in Montgomery, Alabama. Rotary Club leaders in California have also expressed interest in Red/Blue dialogues for their members. Locally in the Twin Cities area, the Hennepin County library system has signed to promote these civic dialogues across its 41 branches.

Learn more

Updates from the  Better Angels One America Bus Tour.

Listen to WNYC’s Indivisible program podcast, “Can we reunite America,” and MPR’s program on “How to talk politics with someone who disagrees with you.”

Read the Southwest Ohio chapter of Better Angels joint statement.

Watch a six-minute excerpt from the documentary from the second dialogue.

Original material courtesy of Bill Doherty, edited by Julie Michener. 

FSOS to host reception prior to NCFR

The Department of Family Social Science will host a reception prior to the start of the NCFR national conference, being held in Minneapolis this year.

“The Great Family Social Science Get Together” is an opportunity  for departmental friends and colleagues to reconnect.

The reception will be held on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, in Symphony Ballroom III, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

Learn more and RSVP for this event here.

FSOS alum named dean at CSUN

farrellwebb150225FSOS alumnus Farrell Webb has been appointed dean of the College of Health and Human Development at California State University, Northridge.

Webb graduated with a Ph.D. in family social science in 1994.

After graduating, he worked for almost 20 years at Kansas State University. For the past two years, he worked as an associate dean at California State University, Los Angeles.

Read the CSUN Today article about his appointment here.

Congratulations, Dean Webb!

FSoS alumnus benefits from deportation reprieve program

PerezDAfter years of living in the United States illegally, Daniel Perez, a former FSoS undergraduate student and current graduate student, has a green card after qualifying for a federal program that offers deportation reprieve for immigrants who entered the country as children.

Perez, who crossed the Mexican border when he was 15, qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), passed by the Obama administration in 2012.

According to an article in the Star Tribune, for those who qualify, DACA offers a temporary reprieve from deportation and a work permit. For some immigrants married to U.S. citizens, the program also allows government-approved travel abroad to nullify their initial illegal entry into the country and permit them to apply for a green card.

Perez’s wife, Kendra, a Canadian who is now a U.S. citizen, sponsored him.

Through DACA, Perez has been granted “advanced parole,” according to the Star Tribune. This means that a person with a pending immigration application has permission to  re-enter the country, as long as they had an educational, professional, or humanitarian reason to leave the country. Perez, who now works as a social worker in Minneapolis, was granted advance prole for a professional conference in Canada.

Now Perez and his wife are planning his first trip to Mexico since he and his family left in 2002. They will visit his grandparents and other family.

Perez will be eligible to apply for citizenship in 2018.

Read the Star Tribune Article here.

Children of FSoS alumna named “Bell Museum Tiny Curators”

tinycuratorsThe children of FSoS alumna Anna Williams and CSE alumnus Nick Williams, Miller (age 9) and Maria (age 10), were each named an honorary “Bell Museum Tiny Curator” after they developed their own “Tiny Natural History Museum,” near their home in Minnetrista.

There were more than 100 objects on display at their museum, and being from a family of great U of M pride, the siblings decided to donate half of the money they earned to the U of M’s Bell Museum of Natural History.

On President’s Day, the Bell Museum hosted the Williams family for a special tour. Along with their honorary title, the Bell Museum also presented the fledgling scientists with magnifying loupes and U of M backpacks.

See the KARE 11 feature story.

Recent FSoS alumnus and Running Therapy

Matthew Miller The Southwest Journal featured Matthew Miller, family social science Ph.D. 2014, in an article highlighting his recently launched practice, Running Therapy, which combines year-round outdoor activities with therapy.

For more information on Running Therapy, visit the website or read the Southwest Journal article.

Miller was also interviewed about his practice by WTIP Radio.

Learn more about Miller on his profile page.

FSoS Alumnus Kirsten Lind Seal tackles WCCO’s “Good Question”: Why Are Fewer People Getting Married?

Kirsten Lind SealRecent Department of Family Social Science graduate, Kirsten Lind Seal, Ph.D. spoke with Heather Brown of WCCO News about why fewer people chose to get married.

Seal, an adjunct program instructor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate and Certificate Program at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, is conducting research on confidants for American marriages and long-term committed relationships as part of the Marital First Responders project under Professor Bill Doherty.

View the “Good Question” video on WCCO’s website.

 

FSoS alumna Janet Yeats featured in MinnPost story

yeatsJMinnPost featured Department of Family Social Science alumna Janet Yeats in an article on hoarding, including the writer’s own personal account of dealing with a family member who exhibited hoarding behavior.
Janet Yeats is the co-founder, along with FSoS alumna Jennifer Sampson, of The Hoarding Project, a nonprofit based in Minnesota and Washington. She’s established herself as the expert on hoarding in Minnesota and is frequently featured in news stories about hoarding.
Read the MinnPost story here.

FSoS alumna Walz receives 2013 AHN award

Department of Family Social Science alumna Lindsay Walz (B.A., 2005) is one of three recipients of the 2013 Arts & Healing Network award: Honoring the Next Generation.
Lindsay is an artist and the founder of courageous heARTS, an organization empowering youth through expressive arts.

The Star Tribune featured her organization and her story in July.
The award category celebrates future leaders in art and healing, 35 years old an under, with a monetary prize that the organization hopes will encourage and support the recipients to continue and expand their work.
Find out more about family social science alumni on our website.

FSoS Catherine Solheim awarded ITL Fellowship

SolheimC2013Department of Family Social Science faculty member Catherine Solheim was among 14 recipients awarded an International Teaching and Learning Fellowship for 2013-14 from the Global Programs and Strategy (GPS) Alliance. The fellows will work to internationalize the University’s curriculum and foster collaborations around global issues.

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Jean Illsley Clarke awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degree

JeanIllsleyClarke2011Best known for writing the seminal books on parenting, Jean Illsley Clarke, an internationally recognized family studies scholar and educator, influenced generations of parents. To honor her achievements, the University of Minnesota will award Clarke with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at 5 p.m. on Oct. 15 at a special ceremony in the Upson Room of Walter Library, 117 Pleasant St. S.E., Minneapolis.
A 1948 graduate of the University of Minnesota (B.S. in home economics education, cum laude), Clarke has had a long and distinguished career focusing on ways to help parents raise likable, self-sufficient and respectful children. She is the author of Self-Esteem: A Family Affair and How Much Is Enough? Among her list of honors and accomplishments: winner of the Eric Berne Memorial Award in Transactional Analysis, 1995; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northwest Parenting and Family Education Conference, 2008; alumni awards from the University of Minnesota College of Human Ecology, 1999, and College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), 2001; leadership positions on the National Council on Family Relations and the Minnesota Council on Family Relations; and honoree on the U of M’s Wall of Discovery Scholars Walk.
Self-Esteem: A Family Affair is second only to Dr. Spock’s as the most influential parenting advice book. Clarke’s research and counseling, documented in her 20+ books, have been described as imaginative and practical.
“Jean Clarke is an expert on overindulgence, self-esteem, parenting, human development, group dynamics, and Transactional Analysis,” said CEHD Dean Jean Quam. “She deserves this honor for her many contributions to the disciplines of family and parent education, and for translating that work to improve families and communities around the world.”
Clarke has an M.A. from St. Mary’s College in Winona and has been an adjunct faculty member at both the U and Concordia University.

FSoS alumna Walz creates a youth center from a tragedy

WalzLindsayDepartment of Family Social Science alumna Lindsay Walz and her Courageous HeARTS project were profiled by the Star Tribune.
Walz survived the I-35W bridge collapse in 2007 and used part of her settlement money to open Courageous HeARTS, a creative center for youth in the her South Minneapolis neighborhood. The center is a safe space for healing, creating, and leading, and is a work in progress.
Read the rest of Lindsay Walz’s story and then find out how to help Courageous HeARTS.

FSoS Solheim talks about the cost of living with technology on Steele Talkin’

SolheimCatherineDepartment of Family Social Science professor Catherine Solheim talked with Jearlyn Steele of WCCO-Radio’s Steele Talkin’.
The conversation focused on the cost of living with technology and the management of choices for families regarding what their wants are vs. their needs.
Listen to Solheim’s advice on the program’s site.

FSOS alumna Rhodes featured

PRhodesDepartment of Family Social Science doctoral alumna, therapist, and professor Pang Foua Yang Rhodes is featured by the College of Education and Human Development in Learning the Language of Love.
Rhodes graduated in 2008, joined the faculty at Argosy University, and has devoted herself to the Hmong community. Read more about her life in the feature.

FSoS alumna Berge advises parents to watch what they say about children’s weight

BergeJDepartment of Family Social Science alumna Jerica Berge, Ph.D., M.P.H., L.M.F.T., assistant professor of Family Medicine and Community Health recently spoke with media about a study where she found that children were more likely to develop eating disorders and bad diets if their parents focused on the children’s weight or size.
Read about Berge’s suggested successful methods for establishing healthy habits in the Star Tribune’s article Weighty words affect overweight kids.

FSoS Tai Mendenhall’s Vision 2020 post on the Citizen Health Care model

Tai MendenhallDepartment of Family Social Science professor Tai Mendenhall wrote a CEHD Vision 2020 blog entry on “Enhancing Health Care with Patient and Family Involvement.”
He explains the Citizen Health Care model and how it can meet the challenges that providers, patients, and care plans face.
Read more about the Citizen Health Care model along with tips for facilitating involvement on the CEHD Vision 2020 blog.
Find out more about the Citizen Professional project, the parent project of the Citizen Health Care model.

FSoS alumna Celi Marie Dean produces and stars in a new film on bullying

celi7Department of Family Social Science alumna Celi Marie Dean produces and stars in a cultural drama that follows the life of a young African youth who experiences bullying: Boys Cry.
A special screening of the film will take place on July 25 at the Mall of America Theaters.
Tickets are available online.
Boys Cry has been nominated for 11 awards at the African Oscars.
Celi Marie Dean was featured as one of 2013’s Rising Alumni.