Category Archives: FSoS Alumni

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.

FSoS Juyoung Jang hired at Rice University’s Chao Center for Asian Studies

JangJuyoungCongratulations to recent graduate Juyoung Jang who was hired as a post doctoral fellow at the Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice University beginning in August.
Jang earned a Ph.D. in Family Social Science this spring after completing her dissertation titled Potential Social Capital and Psychological Distress for Intermarried Persons.

FSoS alumnus William Allen elected 2013 NCFR board president

allen_williamCongratulations William D. Allen, Ph.D., for being elected to serve as board president of the National Council on Family Relations beginning November 2013.
William earned his doctorate from the Department of Family Social Science in 1997, and has taught at the University of Minnesota. He is the owner of Healing Bonds, a clinical and consulting service. Read more about William in this profile.