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2011-2012 Academic Year

State Healthcare Systems: Bracing For A Supreme Court Decision

June 8, 2012
When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act of 2010, it gave state health care systems until January 2014 to build new health care exchanges and expand their health safety nets. Now as the states await a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the act--also known as Obamacare--they confront political uncertainty and growing pressures on their health systems. On Monday, June 11 at 1:00 p.m., the Kojo Nnamdi show (on WAMU 88.5 FM) will explore the different paths taken by Virginia and Maryland, and examine whether innovations at the state level will lower costs for consumers. Jack Meyer, Professor of the Practice in the School of Public Health and School of Public Policy, will be one of the guests. Visit: State Healthcare Systems: Bracing For A Supreme Court Decision for show details.   Read More >

Remembering Judith Shinogle

May 24, 2012
The School of Public Health community was saddened to learn that Dr. Judith Shinogle, a former faculty member of the school and an affiliate faculty member of the Maryland Population Research Center, was killed in an automobile accident on May 20, 2012. Judith Shinogle was one of the initial group of faculty members who formed the School of Public Health's Department of Health Services Administration. She was an assistant professor with a focus on health care economics and served from 2006-2008 in that role. Shinogle played an important role in the development of courses and curriculum for the new department, worked on grant development, advised the first doctoral students, and was a member of a grant-funded research team. After she resigned for a faculty position at UMBC in 2008, she continued to mentor young faculty in the department and was an active member of a group of young investigators in health services from local universities started by a current faculty member. Shinogle was much admired and appreciated for her role in mentoring up-and-coming young investigators. We extend our deepest sympathies to her friends and family for this tragic loss.

FMSC Graduate Students Recognized at Center for Teaching Excellence Awards Reception

May 18, 2012
Family Science doctoral student Emily Cook and Maternal and Child Health doctoral candidate Barbara Singer are 2012 recipients of the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Distinguished Teaching Assistants award. Both awardees were selected from the top ten percent of all teaching assistants for their exemplary teaching and mentoring contributions at the undergraduate level. Emily has been an instructor for FMSC 260, Couple and Family Relationships, and Barbara has been an instructor for FMSC 332, Children in Families. Awards were presented by the CTE, the Office of Undergraduate Studies, and the Graduate School at the annual Distinguished Teaching Assistant Ceremony on Wednesday, May 11th in the Atrium room in Stamp Student Union.

Congratulations, Emily and Barbara, on this award!

FMSC Receives Outstanding Service Award from PCEMI

May 18, 2012
The Department of Family Science (FMSC) is the proud recipient of the 2012 President's Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues (PCEMI) "Outstanding Instructional Unit Ethnic Minority Achievement Award." This award recognizes the department's extensive commitment to achieving academic excellence through diversity initiatives that have evolved and expanded through the years.

The Department advocates for the ethnic minority community through a strong commitment to building a diverse faculty and staff and recruitment, retention and graduation of ethnic minority students. In Fall 2011, 53% of our undergraduate majors and 41% of our graduate students were persons of color. FMSC also addresses diversity in virtually all courses and fosters an equitable and inclusive learning community. Ethnic minority families is one of the Department's four major areas of research.

The President's Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues (PCEMI) established this Ethnic Minority Achievement Award to recognize individual units for outstanding programs that reflect equity efforts and best practices in supporting our students and serving the University of Maryland community. The commission advises the President on issues of concern to minority students, faculty and staff.

FMSC thanks the PCEMI for this important honor.

CYAHD Seeking Student Researcher for College Life Study

May 11, 2012
The College Life Study at SPH's Center on Young Adult Health and Development is looking for a paid research assistant to help with the operations of a large-scale, NIH-funded research study. We are looking for a motivated, responsible student who is able to commit to working with us for at least the summer term and upcoming fall semester.

Primary Responsibilities: Data entry and verification, communication with study participants, document scanning, filing, literature management, and other tasks as assigned. There is the potential for collaboration with the study's PI, Dr. Amelia Arria, on peer-reviewed academic publications.

Hours per Week: 20-30

How to Apply: Submit your resume and a brief letter of interest by Friday, May 18th to Emily Winick, Recruitment Coordinator, at

For more details about the study and the Center, visit our websites at and

FMSC PhD Students Receive University Research Awards

May 11, 2012
Family Science doctoral candidate Jocelyn Smith (pictured far left) and Maternal and Child Health doctoral student Jessica DiBari have been awarded University of Maryland awards to further their doctoral research.

Jocelyn Smith is the recipient of the University's Dr. Mabel S. Spencer Award for Excellence in Graduate Achievement for the 2012-13 academic year. This award carries with it a stipend of $18,000 and tuition remission. The award was established to support an outstanding graduate student who has demonstrated both academic excellence and the potential to make a contribution in his/her field of study. Jocelyn's dissertation research focuses on understanding how experiences of traumatic loss resulting from the health disparity of homicide shape the mental, behavioral, and relational health of young, Black men and their transitions to adulthood.

Jessica DiBari was awarded a Graduate School Summer Fellowship to complete pre-candidacy research during the 2012 summer session. This award carries with it a stipend of $5,000. The award was established to support outstanding doctoral students at "mid-career". This fellowship enables Jessica to lay preliminary groundwork for her dissertation and early career objectives surrounding her interest in maternal behaviors and their impact on the developing fetus and early infant feeding practices.

The Department congratulates Jocelyn and Jessica on these great honors.

School of Public Health to Honor Founding Dean Robert S. Gold

May 9, 2012
The University of Maryland community will honor School of Public Health Dean Robert S. Gold for his leadership contributions over the past ten years at a reception on Monday, May 14, 2012. Dr. Robert S. Gold became dean of the College of Health and Human Performance in 2002 and led the transformation of that college into the School of Public Health in 2007. As the school's founding dean, Dr. Gold inspired and facilitated the creation of major research initiatives in health equity, health literacy and disease prevention and led the school through the process of receiving its initial accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health in 2010. Dr. Gold is recognized as an accomplished researcher and nationally known expert in the application of technology in health education and health promotion. His publications include numerous research and evaluation articles, dozens of pieces of software for organizations such as the Addiction Research Foundation and the American Cancer Society, and commercially published software and textbooks. Before becoming dean, he was the chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Dr. Gold holds a PhD in health education with major emphases in computer science and research design, and a DrPH in Community Health Practice with major areas of study in program evaluation and epidemiology. The reception honoring Dean Gold will be held at the School of Public Health from 3-5 p.m.

FMSC Undergraduates Participate in Spring 2012 Phi Upsilon Omicron National Honor Society Induction

May 1, 2012
Thirteen Department of Family Science (FMSC) undergraduate students were inducted into the Gamma Lamdba Chapter of Phi Upsilon Omicron National Honor Society on Sunday, May 1. University of Maryland inductees included: Sam Allen, Claire Bernstein, Jan Catindig, Samantha Haber, Christie Martin, Lauren Whaley, Lindsey Zemeir, Melissa Zissman. The following officers were elected for the upcoming 2012-13 academic year: President Sam Allen, Vice President Melissa Zissman, Secretary Claire Bernstein, Treasurer & Publicity Chair Katie Hippen, and Historian Lauren Whaley.

Phi Upsilon Omicron, UMCP's International Honor Society in Family and Consumer Science, is a nationally recognized honor society focused toward observing academic excellence, enhancing qualities of leadership by providing opportunities for service, and encouraging lifelong learning and commitment in order to advance family and consumer sciences and related areas. Members participate in monthly community service activities on campus and in the surrounding Metropolitan DC area.

Congratulations to all of the inductees and officers!

FMSC Hosted Family-Focused Maryland Day Activities

April 30, 2012
With over 65,700 in attendance at the 14th annual Maryland Day celebration, the Department of Family Science (FMSC) led an activity, "Healthy Families Eat Together," with campus and community visitors. The Department's student-run organization Maryland Council on Family Relations (MCFR) provided an interactive activity focusing on the importance of eating together as a family, as well as nutritional guidelines for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Visitors were invited to decorate a placemat to display healthy choices that can be used at home.

The Department extends special thanks to MCFR Community Service Committee Chair Tara Gogolonski, who spearheaded the activity, along with 26 MCFR student volunteers.

Six SPH Faculty Receive UMD ADVANCE Seed Grants

April 27, 2012
The UMD ADVANCE Program for Inclusive Excellence announced the recipients of the 2012 Interdisciplinary and Engaged Research Seed Grants, and six School of Public Health faculty members were among the 24 who will receive these one-year awards to support interdisciplinary projects that involve external partners and benefit the public good. Congratulations to Eva Chin (KNES), Stacey Daughters (BCH), Amy Sapkota (MIAEH), Lis Maring (FMSC), Rada Dagher (HSA), and Sandy Hofferth (FMSC) for these awards supporting the following research:
  • "Toward Defining the Molecular Mechanism of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)" Eva Chin, Kinesiology, SPHL Catherine Fenselau, Chemistry and Biochemistry, CMNS
  • "Effects of Early Experience on Brain Networks Supporting Memory During Early Childhood" Lea Dougherty, Psychology, BSOS Tracy Riggins, Psychology, BSOS Stacey Daughters, Behavioral and Community Health, SPHL
  • "Maryland Well Water Program to Achieve Testing, Education and Research (WATER)" Amy Sapkota, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, SPHL Elisabeth Fos Maring, Family Science, SPHL and UM Extension Karen Aspinwall, Family and Consumer Sciences, AGNR UM Extension Daphne Pee, Mid-Atlantic Water Quality Program, AGNR UM Extension
  • "Influence of Employment Status and Leave Duration on Risk of Postpartum Depression and use of Mental Health Counseling" Rada Dagher, Health Services Administration, SPHL Sandra Hofferth, Family Science, SPHL; Director, MD Population Research Center Six SPH Faculty Receive UMD ADVANCE Seed Grants Funded by the National Science Foundation, The ADVANCE Program aims to improve rates of retention and advancement of women faculty members by fostering an academic environment and culture with assumptions, values and beliefs, policies and practices that support and generate professional growth and excellence for all faculty, and particularly by facilitating networks, offering individual mentoring and support, and offering information and strategic opportunities for women faculty.

Parenting and Racial Identity in the Context of the Trayvon Martin Killing

April 26, 2012
Dr. Mia Smith Bynum, a clinical psychologist and associate professor of family science, studies how black parents talk with their kids about coping with racial discrimination. After Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida, Dr. Smith Bynum gave an interview to share her expertise and thoughts related to the impact of the racism that black boys and men face in American society, and how black parents and other parents of color can help to instill a positive racial or ethnic identity in their children.   Read More >

FMSC Ph.D. Student Katie Hrapczynski Recognized for her Fellowship Work

April 24, 2012
Fourth year doctoral candidate Katie Hrapczynski presented a yearlong fellowship project at the 2012 Lilly Fellows Showcase on April 19. Katie, a 2011-12 Graduate Lilly Fellow, worked with a cross-disciplinary group of senior graduate students to improve undergraduate education at Maryland. The project focused on understanding the similarities and differences in student and faculty expectations for undergraduate classes. Katie and her Fellows cohort presented data from recent UM student and faculty surveys assessing student expectations of materials, communications, and perceived misconceptions between faculty and students. She was one of nine graduate students to receive a Lilly Graduate Fellowship through the University's Center for Teaching Excellence.

Her fellowship work also received recent accolades at the University's Graduate Research Interaction Day (GRID) on April 11, where Katie and her Fellows cohort won first place in the Education: Pedagogy & Education Section for their poster, "Building a Tool for Pre-assessing Student Expectations."

FMSC Doctoral Candidate Jocelyn Smith Receives Summer Data Workshop Fellowship

April 24, 2012
Jocelyn Smith, fourth year Ph.D. student in Family Science, has been selected to attend the upcoming 2012 Fragile Families Summer Data Workshop at Columbia University. The workshop, presented through the Columbia Population Research Center, is designed to familiarize participants with the data available in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. The national study follows a birth cohort of (mostly) unmarried parents and their children, providing information about the capabilities, circumstances, and relationships of unwed parents, the wellbeing of their children, and the role of public policy in family formation and parent and child wellbeing. Jocelyn plans to use the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study Data to advance her research on fathering relationships among African American fathers and sons in low-income communities. Congratulations, Jocelyn, on this award!

Eleven FMSC Faculty and Students Participate in 2012 Priester Conference

April 17, 2012
Seven Family Science (FMSC) faculty, four graduate students, and one undergraduate student participated in the 2012 National Priester Conference, "Leveraging Partnerships to Improve the Health of the Nation," last week in Washington, DC. Dr. Bonnie Braun, FMSC Professor and Maryland Extension Family Policy Specialist, served as the conference Planning Committee Chair. This national Extension health meeting is named after Ms. Jeanne Priester, a state and national Extension specialist credited with designing nutrition education programming that has contributed to today's focus on healthy eating and physical activity. The conference provides a forum for health educators and public health professionals to share research and best practices in order to explore new ways of improving our nation's health outcomes. FMSC faculty and student research and workshop topics included nutrition education, health messages and health promotion, strengthening military families, and well water education.

Three FMSC faculty and one graduate student received two Priester People's Choice Awards. Fellow conference attendees nominated award recipients based upon their mastery of basic health literacy communication concepts in in one of 10 award categories. Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher, Dr. Katherine Speirs, and doctoral student Jessica DiBari won the Social Media Mojo award for their presentation, "Using Focus Groups to Develop a Text-Message-Based Nutrition Education Program." Dr. Elisabeth Fost-Maring received the Engage Me award for her group presentation, "Well Water Education Program: A Collaborative Project between Extension Educators and University of Maryland Public Health Researchers." Visit the following link to view a full list of FMSC conference presentations and workshops.   Read More >

FMSC Students Honored at School of Public Health 7th Annual Dean's Scholars Award Ceremony

April 12, 2012
FMSC Undergraduate and Graduate Students were honored at the 7th Annual Dean's Scholars Dinner on April 5, 2011. Awards and scholarships recognized academic excellence, service, and leadership within the Department of Family Science, School of Public Health, and the larger community. FMSC departmental scholarship recipients included: Aneesah Blount, Noel Myricks Endowed Scholarship; Stephanie Powell, Jeanette Spier Beavers Memorial Scholarship; Elizabeth Ott, Ned Gaylin Endowed Scholarship; and LaurĂ©n Doamekpor, Andrew Billingsley Endowed Scholarship Fund. FMSC recipients of School of Public Health scholarships included: Alexandra Bitonti, Fraley Award; Devin-Marie Brown, Mark and Tracye Turner Scholarship; and Camilla Nichols, Jerry P. Wrenn Scholarship. The School of Public Health also presented awards to the following FMSC students: Dean's Outstanding Graduate Scholars Katherine Speirs (PhD) and Morgan Childers (MS, CFT); Dean's Senior Scholars Alexandra Bitonti and Brooke Scheinberg; and Undergraduate Scholars Elizabeth Bondarenko (Freshman), Claire Bernstein (Sophomore), and Sam Allen and Elizabeth Sauber (Junior). Please visit the following link to learn how you can contribute to scholarships for outstanding students in Family Science.   Read More >

Maryland Approves Law to Reduce Health Disparities

April 9, 2012
The Maryland General Assembly passed legislation this session that creates programs to improve health in underserved communities and to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities throughout the state. Governor Martin O'Malley signed the Maryland Health Improvement and Disparities Reductions Act (SB 234) into law on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at a ceremony attended by several University of Maryland School of Public Health faculty members and other allies. The legislation will position the state of Maryland as a leader in the national effort to eliminate health disparities. Dr. Stephen B. Thomas, professor of health services administration and director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity, served as a member of the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council Health Disparities Workgroup, established by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, which proposed many of the recommendations included the legislation. The key component of the law is the creation of Health Enterprise Zones, which will offer tax breaks and other incentives to primary care practitioners, community-based organizations or local health departments for their efforts to expand and improve access to care, improve health, and reduce disparities in these underserved areas. It will also create the Maryland Health Innovation Prize designed to spark new ideas and innovative strategies to close the disparity gap. Dr. Thomas briefed state delegates about the urgent need for such programs to address Maryland's health disparities in February. In addition, Dr. Bonnie Braun, professor of family science and faculty scholar in the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy and Dr. Olivia Carter-Pokras, associate professor of epidemiology, testified before the Health and Government Operations Committee in March in support of this legislative initiative. Their testimony addressed the need for multicultural health care equity certification and accreditation to strengthen training programs in cultural competency and health literacy for the state's health workforce. This was integrated into the Maryland Health Improvement and Disparities Reductions Act (SB 234) just signed into law. According to the Health Disparities Workgroup final report, Maryland demonstrates significant disparities in health care and health outcomes, despite its wealth (3rd highest median income nationally). For example, black Marylanders have infant mortality rates that are almost three times the rate for white Marylanders; have an incidence of new HIV infections at almost 12 times the rate of the white population, and are almost twice as likely to lack health insurance as whites. For more information, visit: Health Enterprise Zone Legislation Passes, Baltimore Sun, 4/9/12 Health Disparities Workgroup Final Report and Recommendations (PDF)   Read More >

Today Show Features Amelia Arria's Work on the Ill Effects of Caffeinated Energy Drinks

March 21, 2012
Dr. Amelia Arria discussed the health effects of energy drink consumption and lack of federal regulation regarding the disclosure of caffeine content on the Today Show. Dr. Arria, Director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development in the School of Public Health's Department of Family Science, has studied the effects of the drinks on teens and young adults. She advocates for better labeling and more research about the public health risks of caffeinated energy drinks. Individuals aren't aware of the high levels of caffeine because labels do not disclose specific amounts. To view the full Today Show feature visit the following link.   Read More >

CFT Graduate Student BreAnna Davis Receives Training Award

March 13, 2012
The Department of Family Science is pleased to recognize second year Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) master's student BreAnna Davis. BreAnna received a 2012 Quantitative Training for Underrepresented Groups (QTUG) award to attend their annual conference in Orlando, Florida. This award includes full conference participation, overnight accommodations, and a travel stipend. The QTUG conference is designed to train individuals from underrepresented groups on quantitative methods and data analysis. Awardees are selected based upon academic merit and interest and goals in quantitative research.

Conference attendance will enable BreAnna to participate in multivariate methods, moderated mediation, and multilevel modeling workshops. During her master's program, BreAnna developed her research skills under the mentorship of Associate Professor Dr. Mia Smith Bynum working on the Black Parenting Project 2012, as a presenter at the Black Graduate Conference of Psychology in June 2011, and during the completion of her master's thesis. Participation in the QTUG conference will enable BreAnna to expand her research training and prepare her for the more rigorous quantitative work required of a research-focused doctoral program. BreAnna will attend the PhD program in Family Science at the University of Maryland this Fall, where she plans to further develop her research under the mentorship of Dr. Smith Bynum. Congratulations, BreAnna, on this award!

Text2BHealthy Team Embarks on Groundbreaking Research Study

March 12, 2012
Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher, Extension Family Specialist and Faculty Research Associate, and Department of Family Science Post Doctoral Scholar Dr. Katherine Speirs are leading an evaluation of the Text2BHealthy program, which is administered by the Food Supplement Nutrition Education Program. Text2BHealthy is a text-message based nutrition education program in which parents at eight elementary schools in Maryland receive targeted text messaging. These messages provide parents with relevant and actionable tips that they can use to improve their child's nutrition and physical activity.

To evaluate this program, Drs. Grutzmacher and Speirs are using a quasi-experimental design that includes a pre-test and post-test administered to an intervention and control group. They are currently distributing more than 3,000 pre-test surveys to parents at the 6 intervention and 2 control schools. These surveys are designed to measure the program's effectiveness in changing knowledge and behavior concerning nutrition and physical activity as well as the feasibility of using text messages to reach a low-income audience. This is one of the first studies in the country to examine the use of text-message based health promotion with a low-income audience. Congratulations to Drs. Grutzmacher and Speirs, along with the Text2BHealthy Team, on this groundbreaking research project!

School of Public Health Creates Lactation Room to Support Breastfeeding

March 8, 2012
The University of Maryland School of Public Health is proud to announce the opening of a lactation room for use by faculty, students, staff, and visitors. The creation of this room reflects the School of Public Health's commitment to support breastfeeding because of its recognized public health benefits. The room is opening amidst a growing trend to provide dedicated spaces to employees for the purposes of pumping breast milk, breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Did you know? While more than 70 percent of new mothers now initiate breastfeeding their infants for some period of time, less than 50 percent of women continue for the recommended breastfeeding duration. A primary reason that women discontinue breastfeeding is their return to work. But support for breastfeeding in the workplace has been proven to help mothers continue to provide their milk for their infants. A FEW OF THE MANY REASONS TO BREASTFEED 1. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it--"Infants should receive nothing but breast milk for the first 6 months of life, and continued breast milk for at least a year or more." 2. Breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and baby. 3. Breastfed infants are significantly less likely to suffer from illnesses, infections and obesity. 4. Breastfeeding reduces the mother's risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis and speeds recovery from pregnancy. 5. Prolonged breastfeeding increases children's I.Q. To use the lactation room (located in the School of Public Health, room 1232), please contact Adam Shervanian, director of facilities and services, or x5244 to register for access.   Read More >

Want Better Love? Stop. Look. And Listen.

February 15, 2012
Ever been out for dinner and noticed a couple seated nearby, with one or both hunched over their smartphones, constantly texting?

Norman Epstein describes this increasingly common phenomenon he's observed as a psychologist and therapist in the School of Public Health and director of the school's Couple and Family Therapy program.

"It's not the overuse of social media -- that's not my particular field of study," says Epstein, a professor of family science. What it does represent, he says, is the potential harm of allowing outside influences to detract from a couple's meaningful communication.

How couples perceive one another over time -- and how that changes their relationship -- is of prime interest to Epstein. He uses knowledge gained as a clinician, educator and researcher to develop treatment methodologies on couples' common problems, such as the effects of financial strain or one partner being inattentive or over-demanding.

Epstein's role at Maryland includes supervising clinical work in the Center for Healthy Families. There, graduate students in the family science program provide low-cost therapy to almost 500 couples and families each year. Epstein says his exposure to case histories relayed by students, paired with his own clinical work with couples in a small private practice, helps spur new approaches in cognitive-behavioral therapy. "Research informs the teaching. Teaching trains the students. And feedback from students as well as observations of families in therapy can bring forward fresh ideas we might want to explore in research," he says. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, Epstein shared some tips on how to maintain or improve a loving relationship. They echo the sage advice for crossing a set of train tracks: Stop. Look. And listen. -- Stop and recall what initially attracted you to your partner. "I ask couples to get back in touch with the things they really value about each other," Epstein says. "There are usually good reasons why we find each other interesting -- humor, intelligence, honesty -- so make sure to remind each other of those positive traits as time goes on." -- Look for things to do together. "Intimacy with couples is more than just sex," Epstein says. "Whether it's planting a flowerbed or redoing the downstairs bathroom, take a break from your busy schedule to plan something together." -- Listen to your partner. "I sometimes see couples who think 'communication' means only talking about your feelings," Epstein says. "Really listening to your spouse is just as important, if not more so."   Read More >

NPR News Interviews Amelia Arria About Risks of Caffeinated Energy Drinks

February 13, 2012
Ever since Red Bull came on to the market in 1997, there's been an explosion in caffeinated energy drinks. Some are marketed as food and others as dietary supplements. But there's little guidance for the consumer on how much caffeine is in them. And beyond the word energy on the label, it's hard to tell exactly what an energy drink is. Amelia Arria, director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development in the School of Public Health's Department of Family Science, advocates for better labeling and more research about the public health risks of caffeinated energy drinks in this NPR news story, Consumers Have Little Guidance On Energy Drinks.   Read More >

Department of Family Science/UME Healthy Homes Teams with Prince George's County Adventures in Science Program

February 10, 2012
Dr. Elisabeth Maring, FMSC Faculty Research Associate and Maryland Extension Family Life Specialist, and Maryland Extension colleagues led a day-long program, "Healthy Homes for Everyone," with Prince George's County youth. Twenty-three 4-H students from the Adventures in Science (AIS) program engaged in activities and discussions about how to help their families keep a clean, safe, and pest-free home.

Students participated in an asthma trigger exercise, helping them to learn what it feels like to be asthmatic. Solutions were offered on how to prevent asthma attacks, such as keep homes free of dust, smoke, and moisture. Participants also learned about healthy homes toolkits, and contents that should be included in a complete kit. Program evaluations revealed the majority of students planned to use what they learned by cleaning up dust in their homes, doing their part to keep their home free of bugs, and taking measures to prevent slips and falls at home.

FMSC Now Accepting Scholarship Applications thru February 24th

February 9, 2012
Each Spring the Department of Family Science announces competitive scholarship opportunities available through our department-related scholarship funds. These scholarships honor the educational and research legacy and/or philanthropic focus of their founding funders. Below is a list of the available competitive scholarships for 2012.

• Noel Myricks Endowed Scholarship (Undergraduate) - for students who are among the first generation of children in their family to attend college. (1 award in 2012)
• Andrew Billingsley Endowed Scholarship (Graduate) - for a graduate student conducting a research project on African American families. (1 award in 2012)
• Ned Gaylin Endowed Scholarship Fund (Graduate-CFT only) - for an outstanding Couple & Family Therapy (CFT) Master's student with financial need. (1 award in 2012)

If you meet the above requirements and are interested in applying for one of the above scholarships, complete the application and include a one-page typed essay responding to the questions/statements linked to the scholarship. You may apply for more than one scholarship (a separate application, essay and additional statement--if required--must be submitted).

Applications are due by 4:30 p.m., Friday, February 24th, 2012, via email to Erin McClure, Subject line must contain your name, UID, and "Scholarship Application" (only electronic applications will be accepted).

FMSC Professor to Hold Free Tax Preparation Days

January 30, 2012
Dr. Jinhee Kim, Associate Professor and Maryland Extension Specialist, is piloting two Free Tax Preparation Days on February 17 and March 2, 2012. The free tax preparation services are for individuals and families with annual incomes below $50,000. Assistance in completing and filing state and federal 2011 income tax returns will be provided by trained volunteers. Trained volunteers prepare basic income tax returns free of charge at the Center for Healthy Families, Room 0142, School of Public Health, Building 255.

The University of Maryland Extension is hosting the free income tax preparation day in partnership with the Center for Healthy Families, Community Action Agency Montgomery County, the IRS, and Maryland CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope), a state-wide network of organizations that promote financial stability for working families. This service is being sponsored by Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a cooperative effort by the Internal Revenue Service that provides income tax assistance to low-income individuals, handicapped or elderly.

Tax assistance on February 17 and March 2 is by appointment only. Appointments can be scheduled ONLINE. The IRS does not allow VITA to prepare taxes without required documentation, so be sure to visit the Read More link below to know what to bring to your tax preparation appointment. If you have questions, contact Dr. Jinhee Kim at 301-405-3500 or

Don't forget to register to take advantage of this new and free service.   Read More >

Family Science Congratulates our Newest Graduates

January 27, 2012
The Department of Family Science (FMSC) is pleased to recognize our recent winter graduates, including our newest doctoral alumni Kate Riera and Katherine Speirs who earned degrees in Family Science.

Kate Riera completed her dissertation, "Living Arrangements and Outcomes of a Teen or Young Adult Birth," under the supervision of FMSC Professor Sandra Hofferth. Since graduating, Kate and her family have relocated to Newark, Delaware, where she is an instructor at the University of Delaware. Kate remains active with the National Council on Family Relations and is continuing to utilize her Spanish language skills and knowledge to consult on projects with the UMD Food Supplement Nutrition Education (FSNE) program.

Katherine Speirs' dissertation, "It's Like We're Raising that Child Together: Parents, Center-based Child Care Providers, and the Work of Creating Relationships," was co-chaired by Associate Professor Kevin Roy and Professor and Chair Elaine Anderson. Upon graduation, Katherine was selected as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Family Science with the University of Maryland Extension where she is an Assistant Faculty Researcher. Her work centers on nutrition education for families with young children. In particular, she is designing a curriculum for use with parents of preschool-aged children that promotes healthy feeding practices, and she is conducting an evaluation of a text message-based nutrition and physical activity promotion program.

We also extend congratulations to our 40 plus undergraduate students who successfully completed requirements to earn a Bachelor's in Family Science. We already know our graduates are starting new jobs and entering graduate programs.

Congratulations Winter 2011 Graduates!

Dr. Kevin Roy Co-Authors Book on Fatherhood & Policy

January 27, 2012
Family Science Associate Professor Dr. Kevin Roy, is the co-author of a new book, "Nurturing Dads: Social Initiatives for Contemporary Fatherhood," written with University of Florida Professor William Marsiglio. The book explores ways policy initiatives strengthen father-child connections and foster healthy co-parenting relationships regardless of the marital or residency status of the father. Through interviews with more than 300 fathers of diverse backgrounds, Roy and Marsiglio expand our understanding of what makes a good father while also considering the social, cultural, and economic challenges contemporary families face. The core idea of the book is that providing care is a human experience, not just the experience of a woman. Drs. Roy and Marsiglio emphasize, "Fathers should provide more than financial support and, in the process, bring about a better start in life for their children." An interview with the authors along with more information on the book can be found on the Russell Sage Foundation web site.

Congratulations to Dr. Roy on this great accomplishment!

SPH Alumna Ndidi Amutah Appointed to Academy Health Advisory Committee

January 23, 2012
Dr. Ndidiamaka (Ndidi) N. Amutah, an alumna of the University of Maryland School of Public Health and a current Kellogg Community Health Scholar post-doctoral fellow at Morgan State University, was appointed to serve on the advisory committee for the health disparities interest group of Academy Health, a national organization focused on health policy and health services research. Dr. Amutah received her PhD in family science at Maryland in 2010. Her dissertation focused on infant mortality in Washington, DC and examined neighborhood level disadvantage, social determinants of health, and race/ethnicity as predictors of infant mortality. As a Kellogg scholar, she is working on a project titled DRUMMing Up Data, a maternal and child health community based participatory research project focusing on the family planning practices, beliefs, and aptitude for women ages 18-45 in Baltimore City. In addition to her new role with Academy Health, Dr. Amutah is the president elect for the Society for African American Public Health Issues, an organization affiliated with the American Public Health Association, and is a featured member of the Emerging Scholars Interdisciplinary Network. Dr. Amutah also spent two years as an ASPH/HRSA Fellow from 2006 to 2008, working with the Health Careers Opportunity Program.   Read More >

Faculty and Staff Position Openings in the School of Public Health

January 6, 2012
Several faculty and staff positions are available in the School of Public Health: ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, MOVEMENT SCIENCE Department of Kinesiology ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, BIOSTATISTICS Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics OPEN RANK FACULTY POSITION, EPIDEMIOLOGY Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics FACULTY RESEARCH ASSISTANT/PROJECT DIRECTOR Mid-Atlantic Public Health Training Center FACULTY RESEARCH ASSISTANT/PROGRAM COORDINATOR Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health Visit the Jobs@UMD website for complete details and to apply for any open position.   Read More >

School of Public Health Fall 2011 Newsletter

December 22, 2011
Learn about the recent accomplishments and new initiatives by faculty, students, and staff of the School of Public Health in our end of the year publication. Highlights include:
  • How the SPH is leading health care reform activities in Maryland.
  • How the SPH is involved in the design of a new health care delivery system in Prince George's County.
  • How the SPH is offering new workforce training programs in collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Public Health Training Center
  • Highlights of recent research
  • Teaching and learning initiatives and more! Best wishes for happy holidays and a healthy New Year! Read the SPH Fall 2011 newsletter online or download a PDF here.   Read More >

Consider Taking a Family Science Winter-term Course

December 14, 2011
Take a look at the exciting undergraduate courses we are offering WINTER 2012 and ENROLL TODAY!

•Whether you want to get a little ahead in your credits,
•need to repeat a course,
•or like the option of finishing a class within an accelerated time frame, WINTER-term is a valuable option.

And for those of you returning home, taking a vacation, or simply wanting to stay in your PJs, our ONLINE courses provide the flexibility to complete credits beyond the parameters of standard face-to-face instruction. Take a look at the following link to view a list of Family Science courses for Winter 2012.   Read More >

Family Science Faculty Assume Leadership Positions in the National Council on Family Relations

December 2, 2011
Dr. Elaine Anderson (pictured on right), professor and chair of the Department of Family Science, officially assumed the two-year presidency of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Executive Board on November 18. Dr. Anderson will lead NCFR in its mission to foster dialogue among family professionals for the benefit of understanding and strengthening families. Also, Dr. Leigh Leslie (pictured left), associate professor of family science, assumed an elected position as conference program chair of the 2012 NCFR annual conference in Phoenix, AZ. Dr. Anderson has led the family science department since 2008 and has overseen the development of the Maryland Family Policy Impact Seminar, which analyzes the effects of policies and programs on the health and well-being of families, as well as a new PhD program in maternal and child health, which offers a unique focus on the whole family system and family health policy. Dr. Leslie's 2012 conference theme focuses on the intersection of family and health at both the substantive and discipline level. At the substantive level, the basic question to be addressed is what is "family health" and how is family health promoted through research, interventions, and policy. The discipline level includes the need to engage the question of how family scientists interface with health disciplines. Dr. Leslie's focus on the question of professional identity and the voices of family scientists, in light of an increased national focus on health reform, is a timely and important emphasis for the 2012 conference. The NCFR is the oldest multi-disciplinary professional organization that focuses on family research, practice, and education. Their mission is to provide an educational forum for family researchers, educators, and practitioners to share in the development and dissemination of knowledge about families and family relationships, establish professional standards, and work to promote family well-being.   Read More >

Dr. Bonnie Braun's Ground-Breaking Work on Rural Families Appears in New Book

November 21, 2011
Family Science Professor Bonnie Braun is co-author of two new book chapters in "Rural Families and Work: Context and Problems" (Bauer and Dolan, 2011). Dr. Braun's chapters, "Application for the Rural Families Speak findings: Programs and future research" and "Policy issues and application: Rural concerns," arose out of more than 10 years of research completed with her Rural Families Speak team on a mixed-methods, multi-state study examining the lives of rural, low-income, Appalachian mothers. Dr. Braun also penned a drama, "Livin' on Life's Byways: Rural Mothers Speak," based on the research study, which debuted at the National Council on Family Relations in November, 2007. This year, Dr. Braun and fellow authors debuted their new book during a symposium at the National Council on Family Relations Conference this November in Orlando, Florida.

National Public Health Thank You Day

November 21, 2011
The School of Public Health is proud to mark Monday, November 21 as national Public Health Thank You Day by thanking all university staff who work tirelessly to promote our health, make sure we are safe and free from injury, and prevent disease. Public health initiatives and advances in the 20th century have resulted in increased life expectancy, world-wide reduction in infant and child mortality, and a reduction in communicable diseases. These accomplishments are due in large part to the efforts and dramatic achievements of public health such as clean water and improved sanitation; fluoridation of drinking water; vaccinations to prevent infectious disease; motor-vehicle safety advances such as seatbelts and airbags; screening tools for cancer detection; recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard; development of and access to family planning and contraceptive services. See the Centers for Disease Control "Ten Great Public Health Acheivements 1900-1999, United States." However, all too often we are unaware of our public health professionals who work daily in our own community to keep us healthy, and may overlook the critical public health measures and programs from which we benefit every day. Please join the School of Public Health today in thanking all of the staff in the University Health Center, the Counseling Center, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Environmental Safety, the College Park Volunteer Fire Department, and all the other unsung public health heroes located throughout our campus and community who work tirelessly to ensure our safety and health.   Read More >

FMSC Launches Military Families Internship

November 17, 2011
The Department of Family Science (FMSC) is preparing to launch the Military Families Internship program in Spring 2012. Under the direction of FMSC Professor Sally Koblinsky and Undergraduate Coordinator Zainab Okolo, students are receiving training for internships that will prepare them to help military members and their families deal with deployments, transitions to civilian life, access to services, and related challenges. Twenty students from the Departments of Family Science and Behavioral and Community Health will complete semester-long internships at a variety of military and civilian organizations including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, Fort Meade, Operation Military Kids, Easter Seals, and more. To learn more about this exciting internship program, visit the following link.   Read More >

Grutzmacher Presents at Summit on Childhood Obesity

November 15, 2011
Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher, extension family specialist and faculty research associate with the Department of Family Science, was invited to participate in the first Summit on Childhood Obesity on November 15-16, 2011, organized by the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Grutzmacher discussed her research on low-income families' strategies for coping with food insecurity as part of a panel focused on the variety of ways family involvement affects healthy behaviors beginning in early childhood. Other panelists included Dr. Maureen Black, professor of pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Dr. Richard Katz, pediatric gastroenterologist, Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital; and Becki Weir, Meritus Health System, Washington County Hospital.   Read More >

Dr. Roy Selected as 2011-12 CTE-Lilly Fellow

November 2, 2011
Dr. Kevin Roy, Associate Professor in the Department of Family Science (FMSC), has been selected as a 2011-2012 CTE-Lilly Fellows by the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and the Office of Undergraduate Studies. This honor is indicative of Dr. Roy's commitment to teaching and his leadership on campus. As a 2011-12 CTE-Lilly Fellow, Dr. Roy will meet regularly with his cohort throughout the academic year to provide insights and guidance in the implementation of the Scholarship in Practice category of the new UM General Education program. During this time, the CTE-Lilly Fellows will discuss and design solutions to challenges inherent in implementing this new category and develop model learning activities and course templates for faculty interested in developing Scholarship in Practice courses aimed at non-majors. In addition, Dr. Roy will participate in the 2012 University of Maryland's Innovations in Teaching Conference, on April 27, 2012, and the Lilly-DC meeting on Teaching and Learning in Washington, DC in June 2012.

Congratulations, Dr. Roy, on being a part of this year's exceptional cohort!

FMSC Graduate Student Katie Hrapczynski Awarded CTE Fellowship

October 11, 2011
Family Science (FMSC) PhD candidate Katie Hrapczynski was awarded one of nine 2011-2012 CTE-Lilly Graduate Fellowships. This award provides the opportunity to develop and sustain a cross-disciplinary learning community of graduate students as future faculty. As part of this award, Katie will engage with the fellowship recipient cohort to develop important contributions to undergraduate education on our campus during this year of professional faculty development. Over the fellowship year, the cohort will develop and execute a project that directly enhances undergraduate education at the University of Maryland. As a fellow, Katie will also participate in the 2012 Lilly-East Meeting on College and University teaching. Congratulations, Katie, on this fellowship!

Center for Healthy Families Services Align with World Mental Health Day Mission

October 10, 2011
October 10, 2011 is World Mental Health Day--a day designated to raising public awareness about mental health issues. The 2011 theme, "Investing in Mental Health," suggests an increased investment in prevention, promotion and treatment services is needed to address the significant behavioral health disparities that exist in communities across the globe. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrative reports that one way to increase this investment in mental health is to shift available resources toward more effective forms of services delivered through community settings.

The Center for Healthy Families, housed in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland's School of Public Health, is dedicated to investing in and delivering mental health services to the local community. The Center provides individual, couple, and family therapy to residents of surrounding communities, training for the Department's clinical graduate students, and a site for clinical research. The Center for Healthy Families serves approximately 500 area families and couples each year, proving both group and individual therapy. The Center is committed to addressing issues such as substance abuse, divorce, family violence, communication difficulties and adolescent adjustment, and to improving the mental wellbeing of area individuals, couples, and families. For more information about the Center, visit the following link.   Read More >

CFT Students BreAnna Davis and John Hart Receive AAMFT Award

September 30, 2011
Couple and Family Therapy masters' students BreAnna Davis and John Hart are 2011 Marriage and Family Therapy Minority Fellowship recipients from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The AAMFT is the professional association for the field of marriage and family therapy and has been involved with the problems, needs and changing patterns of couple and family relationships for over 60 years. The AAMFT Minority Fellowship is awarded through the Research and Education Foundation of AAMFT. Awardees are selected based on their promise in and commitment to a career in marriage and family therapy and family therapy education, research or practice. As part of their fellowships, BreAnna and John received funding to attend the annual AAMFT conference in Ft. Worth, Texas, and they were honored at the awards banquet at the conference on September 23, 2011.

Congratulations to BreAnna and John on this national award!

Research Interaction Day 2011 Recognizes Outstanding Public Health Science

September 29, 2011

Poster Award winnersThe School of Public Health held its 11th annual Research Interaction Day on September 23, 2011. More than 70 research groups presented posters, and 12 junior faculty gave oral presentations about research in progress. Congratulations to all whose research was selected by a panel of SPH judges and recognized with an award.
View the list of Research Interaction Day 2011 Award Recipients.
View photos from Research Interaction Day on Flickr.
You can search all poster abstracts in the Research Interaction Day 2011 database.
You can view all of the oral presentations online at SPH Research Interaction Day 2011 Oral Presentations   Read More >

FMSC Undergradaute Researcher Selected as a 2011-12 Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar

September 23, 2011
Nkemka Anyiwo, a Family Science undergraduate student researcher on Dr. Smith Bynum's Black Parenting Project 2012, has been chosen as a 2011-2012 Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar. The Philip Merrill Scholars Program recognizes the academic excellence of students and the important role teachers and faculty have as mentors. Nkemka's mentor, Dr. Kim Nickerson, Assistant Dean of Diversity for the School of Public Health and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, is also recognized through her award, as having made the most impact on her academic achievement. In celebration of this honor, Nkemka and Dr. Nickerson will participate in a special day of activities, including a celebration luncheon, hosted by the Merrill family and the Office of the President on November 4, 2011.

In addition, Nkemka was a 2010-2011 Kirwan Award finalist and School of Public Health Deans Scholar. The Kirwan Award, named in honor of William E. Kirwan who served as President of the University of Maryland from 1988-1998, is presented to a member of the junior class who exhibited outstanding leadership and commitment to the college community during their collegiate career. Nominees are selected based on their service to the campus community, outstanding academic performance, involvement in student organizations and activities, involvement in service to the broader community including community service, and their promotion of campus diversity or ethnic/race and international relations. Nkemka is an active member of the Black Student Union, the President of Sisterhood of Unity and Love, and is a member of the Nyumburu Leadership Series. She has served her community as a mentor for Justice for DC Youth and founded a mentoring program for high school students.

Congratulations to Nkemka Anyiwo for all of these outstanding accomplishments!

Family Science Faculty and Staff Recognized with School of Public Health Awards

September 9, 2011
Congratulations to Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher and Ms. Erin McClure who each received a School of Public Health excellence award for 2010-2011. Dr. Grutzmacher was awarded the 2011 Doris Sands "Excellence in Teaching Award", presented to a faculty member who has been evaluated by the department chair, peers, and students as being an excellent teacher in their area of expertise. Dr. Grutzmacher's teaching excellence manifests in multiple areas including teaching several undergraduate courses in the Family Science Department, conducting health education classes across the state related to nutrition for Maryland Extension educators, being a Gemstone mentor, and supervising Alternative Spring-Break trips. Ms. McClure received the 2011 School of Public Health Distinguished Staff Award, which recognizes her exemplary performance and contribution to the activities of the School of Public Health community. Ms. McClure has served as the Department Coordinator (Assistant to the Chair) since 2005 and was recognized for her integral participation in the success of both the Department and the School. Further, her sustained contributions to multiple initiatives for both the undergraduate and graduate programs as well as her involvement in numerous health-related service activities across campus were acknowledged. Family Science is proud to recognize both members of our department for their outstanding achievements.

Jerry P. Wrenn Scholarship Supports Undergraduate Students for the Eighth Year

September 7, 2011
Eleven undergraduate students in the School of Public Health have each been awarded a $1000 Jerry P. Wrenn scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year. The Jerry P. Wrenn Undergraduate Scholarship was established in June 2003 when Dr. Wrenn retired as dean of the College of Health and Human Performance (now School of Public Health). In addition to his time as dean, Dr. Wrenn served as a faculty member, student advisor, and Assistant/Associate Dean of Student Services and showed his commitment to serving undergraduate students through the creation of the Student Services Center.
Each year, the Jerry P. Wrenn Scholarship Fund, which is sustained by the generosity of the sponsors and players of the Annual Jerry P. Wrenn Golf Tournament, provides scholarships to outstanding SPH seniors who demonstrate financial need. Students in all departments in the School of Public Health, including Public Health students at Shady Grove, are eligible to receive a Wrenn scholarship.
Pictured: Dr Jerry P. Wrenn (center) with Dean Robert S. Gold (right) and his wife Barbara Gold (left) at the 8th Annual Jerry P. Wrenn Golf Tournament The scholarship recipients for 2011-2012 and their majors are:
Abenaa Acheampong (Community Health) Nelson Almeida (Kinesiology) Brittany Bugbee (Community Health) Annie Coriolan (Community Health) Vana Derderian (Physical Education) Stephanie Fichter (Kinesiology) Zofia Klosowska (Physical Education) Camilla Nichols (Family Science) Ozioma Nwaigwe (Community Health) Olayinka Omishore (Community Health) Melanie Schultz (Kinesiology)

FMSC Welcomes New Assistant Professor Dr. Marian Moser Jones

September 6, 2011
The Department of Family Science is pleased to welcome Dr. Marian Moser Jones, Assistant Professor of Family Science in the School of Public Health. Dr. Jones studies the unique organizational evolution of the public-private welfare state in America and the way it has shaped our response to public health crises.

Prior to her appointment to the University of Maryland, she was an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Science, Technology, and Society Program in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. There, she taught undergraduate courses on bioethics; American health policy in historical perspective; the science and social context of disasters; and science policy and communication. Last year, as an NIH Stetten fellow affiliated with the Office of NIH History and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Jones conducted research on the federal government's response to the homelessness crisis that emerged in the late 1970s, specifically on how government policies prevented, mitigated and contributed to the problem. Jones received her M.P.H. and Ph.D. degrees in Sociomedical Sciences/History from Columbia University, and her A.B. in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College.

Dr. Jones has published in public health and historical journals and is completing revisions of a book manuscript on the American Red Cross, which is being published by Johns Hopkins University Press. She is also currently working on a book and several journal articles about homelessness. She has also co-authored several journal articles on public health ethics and policy, and is the author of Protecting Public Health in New York City: 200 Years of Leadership, a booklet on the history of public health in New York City.

Please stop by the office to introduce yourself to Dr. Jones and welcome her to the Department of Family Science. We're so glad she's here!

From Maryland to Manali: FMSC Faculty and Student Return this Fall from a New Study Abroad Experience in India

September 6, 2011
Dr. Lis Maring, Family Science Faculty Research Associate and Mili Duggal, Maternal and Child Health doctoral student, traveled to Manali, India, this summer to lead a study aboard course. Along with MPH graduate student and course creator Heather Stone, and infections disease doctor Judy Stone, the leadership team provided a learning context for 14 undergraduate students including opportunities to interact with doctors, health care providers, social workers, and researchers in tracking tuberculosis cases and tracing the potential for further infection. The course afforded students an opportunity to work directly with community providers and villagers, observing surgeries, outpatient consultations, and dental visits. Students also attended lectures from Dr. Maring's Fulbright colleagues in India. The lectures focused on a theme of social justice, including topics on social structures that perpetuate caste, class, and gender discrimination. As a final course project, students conducted individual research which included analysis of hospital data, qualitative interviews of health care professionals, and reporting of tuberculosis mapping data. The program was a great success, and Dr. Maring hopes to continue similar efforts in the future.

Visiting Scholars Dr. Jung-Eun Kim and Dr. Jeong Yun Park Collaborate with FMSC

September 2, 2011
Dr. Jung-Eun Kim, Senior Researcher at the Korean Institute for Consumer Education in South Korea, and Dr. Jeong Yun Park, Associate Professor of Family Welfare at Chung-Ang University in South Korea, are working in the Department of Family Science as visiting Assistant Research Scholars for the 2011-12 academic year. Dr. Kim's research will focus on consumer education and policy privacy in financial and medical information, and consumer behaviors regarding the protection of privacy in the United States and Korea. Dr. Park's research will focus on the comparison of the characteristics of family-of-origin and decision-making factors within couple relationships, and the differences between the US and Korea regarding the relationship standards, emotional abuse, dyadic trust, and stress coping skills that define marital satisfaction. Both Visiting Scholars will complete this work under the mentorship of Dr. Jinhee Kim, Family Science Associate Professor and Extension Family Resource Specialist, Maryland Extension. We welcome our newest visiting scholars and look forward to their engagement with the department this year.

Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher and Partners Hosted Working Forum on Obesity Prevention

August 16, 2011
Nearly 50 select research and prevention experts in preschool children's obesity, parental feeding, and nutrition education gathered this summer to take part in the Working Forum on Parent-Child Feeding Interactions in Obesity Prevention: Advancing Research and Practice. A multi-state, collaborative workgroup resulting from this conference will develop a plan of action for addressing existing gaps and opportunities in this field of study. The workgroup ultimately plans to develop new research and programming collaborations that integrate family science and nutrition in parent education. In the long-term, conference participants hope to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity through interdisciplinary research-practice partnerships aimed at developing effective, family-focused obesity prevention strategies.

The forum was partially funded through a USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative NRI conference grant awarded to the University of Maryland Extension FoodSmart impact team. Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher, Research Associate and Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Specialist in the School of Public Health's Department of Family Science, serves as the principal investigator for this project.

Dr. Mia Smith Bynum Recognized as Outstanding Mentor

August 15, 2011
Family Science Associate Professor Dr. Mia Smith Bynum is the 2011-12 recipient of the University of Maryland Ronald E. McNair Mentor of the Year Award. Dr. Smith Bynum was nominated by her mentee and McNair Scholar, Dara Winley, for the superior mentorship she provided during the six-week-long McNair Summer Research Institute. Ms. Winley was proud to nominate Dr. Smith Bynum based on the consistent and organized teaching, mentoring and research training she received, which culminated with her final oral and poster presentation, "African Americans & Race Socialization Effects." "Dr. Smith Bynum's mentorship not only provided professional advice, but also promoted personal growth within myself," stated Ms. Winley.

The University of Maryland Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program prepares undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds for doctoral study by providing opportunities for research and scholarship. Participants receive assistance preparing for graduate school admissions tests; academic counseling, tutoring, and mentoring; faculty-guided research and mentoring, advanced writing classes, the opportunity to present original research at academic conferences and national forums, and more. The McNair Program at the University of Maryland is one of approximately 177 such programs nationwide.

Congratulations, Dr. Smith Bynum, on this richly deserved honor!

Undergraduates Gain Valuable Research Experience through the Black Parenting Project 2012

August 10, 2011
"Research turned out to be so much more than I thought," said Ms. Dara Winley, a senior Family Science major and 2011 Ronald E. McNair Scholar, of her research experience working with the Black Parenting Project 2012 (BPP2012), a NIMH-funded study taking place in the Department of Family Science (FMSC).

Undergraduates play a central role in the BPP2012, an ongoing research study on parenting in African American families residing in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Ms. Winley, and three other undergraduate research mentees participated in a weekly intensive research short-course with Dr. Mia Smith Bynum, Associate Professor of Family Science and Director of the Black Families Research Group. The short-course covered many topics. Students learned about developing good research questions, literature reviewing, conducting basic statistical analyses, and also gained exposure to more advanced techniques including multiple regression. They also learned about the finer points of giving poster and paper presentations at professional conferences and techniques for surviving and thriving in graduate school.

Ms. Winley completed a written paper that will be published in the McNair Scholars Research Journal, a poster presentation, and paper presentation as part of the McNair program requirements. Nkemka Anyiwo, a Family Science and African American Studies double major, and Sharina Ashton, a 2011 graduate of the University, will present a poster at the Association of Black Psychologists in late July 2011. "I have learned the full process of developing a research question and disseminating findings," said Ms. Anyiwo, "My experience this summer has helped me learn the time, dedication, and passion that it takes to be a researcher."

"It is critical that undergraduates get exposure to research opportunities in order to develop skills that are essential for admission to graduate school," said Smith Bynum, Ph.D. For further information on the Black Families Research Group visit the following link.   Read More >

2011 CFT Graduates Pass National Licensing Exam

August 8, 2011
Congratulations to the 2011 Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) graduates on their recent success in passing the challenging national Marital and Family Therapy Licensing Exam. This is a phenomenal accomplishment for the entire class, which includes Kathryn Beck, Traci Cox, Ciara Dresser, India James-Gaskins, Spencer Northey, Ashley Munger, Kara Savory, and Sherylls Valladares to have all passed the exam on their first attempt. They are continuing the Family Science Department record of success with the exam.

The Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Board's (AMFTRB) Examination in Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) is provided to assist state boards of examiners in evaluating the knowledge of applicants for licensure or certification. There is a wide diversity of educational backgrounds among the applicants who seek licensure or certification in marital and family therapy. AMFTRB offers a standardized examination, for use by its member boards, in order to determine if these applicants have attained the knowledge considered essential for entry level professional practice, and in order to provide a common element in the evaluation of candidates from one state to another.

Now that the graduates have successfully passed the national exam, they will take the respective state test in order to be Licensed Graduate Marriage and Family Therapists in their state of residence.

The Department of Family Science is extremely proud of our students' success. We commend our Couple and Family Therapy Program and all of the faculty for preparing the graduates so well.

Family Science Welcomes New Undergraduate Coordinator

August 8, 2011
The Department of Family Science is pleased to welcome Zainab Okolo as our new Undergraduate Coordinator. Zainab joins Family Science from the Office of Undergraduate Studies, where she served as an Undergraduate Admissions Officer. Zainab earned her Bachelor of Science in Family Science from the University of Maryland, College Park and Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University. She has served students in a number of capacities including undergraduate advising, recruitment, residence life, tutoring, and as a course instructor. Zainab is passionate about working with undergraduate students, helping them to have enriching, successful academic and extracurricular experiences at the University of Maryland and beyond.

We look forward to working with Zainab in the Department of Family Science.

Center on Young Adult Health and Development Posts Hourly Positions with the College Life Study

July 20, 2011
The College Life Study at the School of Public Health's Center on Young Adult Health and Development in the Department of Family Science has an open paid research assistant position for an undergraduate or graduate student to help with a large-scale, NIH-funded research study. We are looking for a motivated, team-oriented student to assist with scheduling participants, administering in-depth interviews, data coding, and other tasks as assigned. Only those with flexibility in their schedule, some evening and weekend availability, and the ability to commit to approximately 15 hours/week for two semesters need apply.

The College Life Study is also looking for a paid office assistant to help with the operations of a large-scale, NIH-funded research study. We are looking for a motivated, responsible student to assist with various administrative tasks, including data entry, data verification, document scanning, filing, and other tasks as assigned. Applicants must be able to commit to 15 hours/week for two semesters.

Please forward your resume and a brief letter of interest by Monday, August 1 to Emily Winick, Recruitment Coordinator, at Specify whether you are applying for the research assistant and/or office assistant position.

For more details about the study and the Center, visit our websites at and

AAMFT Identifies Dr. Norman Epstein as Pioneer of Family Therapy

July 5, 2011
The Department of Family Science is proud to announce the recent recognition by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Family Therapy (AAMFT) of Dr. Norman Epstein's formative influence in cognitive behavioral therapy in their 2010 publication, "Pioneers of Family Therapy." The Family Therapy Genogram, AAMFT's historical family tree of "the most influential leaders in the couples and family therapy field," lists Dr. Epstein's research and implementation of Cognitive and Behavioral Couple and Family Therapies (CBCFT) as a major contribution to this treatment modality and to the field of Marriage and Family Therapy in the 1990s. CBCFT offers clinicians and clients a number of treatment options that can be employed with demonstrable results, and its methods can be integrated with those of other major theoretical models of couple and family therapy. Professor Epstein is the Director of the Couple and Family Therapy program in the Department of Family Science at UMD. His application of CBCFT models has also been applied internationally in China, Korea, and Japan, as well as across Europe. Most recently Dr. Epstein has trained military mental health professionals in CBCFT.