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Lauren Daudelin wins Shelby County Schools “Why Teach?” essay contest

The Department of Child and Family Studies (CFS) is proud to congratulate Lauren Daudelin, a recent graduate of the Prek-3 Teacher Licensure Program on winning the Shelby County Schools Why Teach? Contest. As a long-time aspiring teacher, Daudelin pulls on her own early educational experiences to shape her teaching philosophy. In her essay she writes, “when I became interested in being an educator, I already had an idea of what I wanted to incorporate into my classroom. I wanted to become a teacher where children’s strengths and interests were accepted and encouraged, rather than shut down or ignored.” Her goal is to “create an environment where children [are] collaborative learners and engaged in active, multi-modal learning.”

Throughout her time in the UTK CFS Prek-3 Teacher Licensure program, Daudelin loved having “the opportunity to learn from and observe many different teachers” because it gave her the chance to “view various teaching styles.” Moving forward, her dream job would be a First Grade Teacher at a Title I school in Nashville or Memphis. When not in the classroom, Daudelin loves to be active outside by walking and hiking in nice weather. She also enjoys going to trivia with friends. With such a bright future ahead, we are excited to see where she ends up!

Haley Moran, MS

Master’s Graduate Hayley Moran takes job at the Metro Public Health Department in Nashville

Congratulations to recent graduate of the Child and Family Studies (CFS) Master’s program, Hayley Moran, on accepting a position at the Metro Public Health Department in Nashville as part of their Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) team. Through his position, Hayley will be a part of a team aiming to “identify and create systemic change that results in the reduction of fetal and infant mortality death.” She is excited to use the skills she acquired as a CFS student to speak with parents from varying cultural backgrounds about infant sleep and safety.

Moran came to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) from Franklin, Tennessee. She received her B.S. in Child and Family Studies from UTK and progressed seamlessly into the M.S. Program. To learn more about Moran, browse her brief interview responses featured below.

What attracted you to the CFS Master’s program at UTK?

My junior year, I began working in the Early Experiences Research Center (EERC) with Dr. Hillary Fouts and Lauren Bader. My experience working in the lab as an undergrad really made me fall in love with research which is how I became interested in the Master’s program. I wanted to further explore my interest in how culture can influence families and how to better understand diverse families.

What was your favorite part of the program?

My favorite part of the program was the ability to design the perfect program of study to fit my interests and career goals. I was able to take courses in Qualitative Methods, Maternal & Infant Nutrition, and several CFS courses that explored diverse populations. This helped to inform my research as well as develop the skills and knowledge I needed when entering my career in public health. I also really enjoyed being able to work in two different lab spaces, the EERC and the Center for Parenting (C4P). Both labs gave me very unique experiences which strengthened my skill set and gave me more confidence when interviewing for jobs.

Just for fun, if you could do any job, what would it be? On a more serious note, what are your long-term career goals?

If I could do any job in the world, I would be a food & coffee critic! But realistically, I just want to always be in a position that allows me to make a difference in a child’s life and empower parents. I am excited that my position promoting safe sleep in Nashville will allow me to do that. Also, it is a long term goal of mine to someday write a children’s book.

Dr. Julia Jaekel and Lucia Miranda with Poster

Graduate Students and Faculty hold a Bavarian Longitudinal Study Team Retreat in San Francisco, California

Our Child and Family Studies (CFS) graduate students Lucia Miranda and Tobey Nichols and CFS Assistant Professor Julia Jaekel spent a productive and exciting 5-day Bavarian Longitudinal Study Team Retreat with Professor Dieter Wolke (University of Warwick, UK) and PhD student Katharina Heuser (Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany) in San Francisco in May. During their time together, the team participated in the Adults born Preterm International Collaboration (APIC) meeting, successfully presented their research at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Conference, socialized with many international research leaders, and did some sight seeing. Shown in the group dinner pictures below are Professor Peter Anderson (Monash University, Australia), Professor Eero Kajantie (National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland), Professor Erik Verrips (TNO, Netherlands) and Professor S. A. (Menno) Reijnefeld (University of Groningen, Netherlands).



Sally Hunter - Outstanding Mentor and Advisor Award

Clinical Assistant Professor Sally Hunter Awarded 2016-2017 Exceptional Faculty Mentor and Advisor Award

Congratulations to Clinical Assistant Professor Sally Hunter on receiving the 2016-2017 Exceptional Faculty Mentor and Advisor Award from TennACADA (the UT branch of the National Academic Advising Association). She works hard alongside the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences advising staff to offer academic advising to Child and Family Studies (CFS) students, which is at the heart of student success. When asked what she loves most about her job, she stated it is “having the opportunity to encourage and challenge students, as they figure out their strengths and choose their next steps in life.” The department is lucky to have her!

More about Sally Hunter:
Clinical Assistant Professor Hunter started her time at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as a student-athlete, studying for her B.S. in Child Development and rowing for the UTK women’s rowing team. She went on to receive her M.S. and Ph.D. in Child and Family Studies from UTK and later joined the faculty team as a Clinical Assistant Professor and Advising Coordinator for Community Outreach. She splits her time between teaching 5-6 courses per year and acting as the initial advisor for all CFS Community Outreach Majors. To stay connected to her roots as a student-athlete, she is also currently serving as the chair of the UTK Faculty Senate Athletics Committee.

Baber receiving Mentor award from Rider

2017 CEHHS Faculty & Staff Recognition Ceremony

Thursday, April 27, 2017, the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences hosted their annual Faculty & Staff Recognition Ceremony to honor all who make CEHHS a vibrant and successful College.  The Department of Child and Family Studies is honored to announce that three of our faculty members were recognized during the ceremony.

Irma Fitch Giffels Award:  Associate Professor Hillary Fouts received the Irma Fitch Giffels Award, acknowledging her Hillary Foutssuperlative research, teaching, and service to our students and our department.

Faculty Mentor Award: Professor Emeritus Brian Barber was the 2017 recipient of the Faculty Mentor Award.  Child and Family Studies Faculty members who believe he has excelled at offering counsel, guidance, support, and encouragement nominated Barber for this award. His mentorship has helped shape the department.

National/International Professional Awards: Associate Professor Amy Rauer received the 2016 Outstanding Professional Paper/Publication Award from the Families and Health Section at the National Council on Family Relation’s (NCFR) annual conference for the following Amy Rauerwork:

Rauer, A., Pettit, G., Samek, D., Lansford, J., Bates, J., & Dodge, K. (2016). Romantic relationships and alcohol use: A long-term, developmental perspective. [Special issue]. Development and Psychopathology, 28, 773-789.

Here’s the complete listing of all of our college winners.

Enjoy these photos of the winners and ceremony.

Tanner Kilpatrick

M.S. Student Tanner Kilpatrick receives Shipley-Swann Graduate School Fellowship

Congratulations to Child and Family Studies Master’s Student Tanner Kilpatrick on receiving the Shipley-Swann Graduate School Fellowship.  Tanner’s nomination was considered alongside PhD students, and receiving the award is recognition that he is one of the most promising graduate students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Kilpatrick is originally from Abilene, Texas, and came to the University of Tennessee after receiving his B.S. in Animal Science and MEd. in Agricultural Education from Texas A&M University.  His primary research interests relate to incarceration of African American men and the impact on family relationships.  Kilpatrick has contributed immensely to the Department of Child and Family Studies.  We look forward to seeing what the coming year has in store!

Ericka Hill, MS

Graduate Student Ericka Hill Wins the Emerging Leaders Award from ACEI

Congratulations to Child and Family Studies graduate student, Ericka Hill, on receiving The Emerging Leaders Award from the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI). ACEI is an internationally recognized organization dedicated to promoting educational excellence worldwide. Their mission is to “promote innovative solutions to education challenges and inspire action that creates positive, sustainable futures for children and youth worldwide.”

The Emerging Leaders Award is given to educators or education advocates who demonstrate a strong desire to further themselves as an education leader. As an awardee, Hill will attend the Institute of the Center for Education Diplomacy, held in Washington, D.C. from April 20th to the 22nd. At the conference, she will have the opportunity to learn how “acts of diplomacy—using skills such as partnering, collaborating, building coalitions, developing networks, shaping agreements, negotiating, mediating, engaging in critical dialogue, and using the techniques of conflict resolution—are helping to eliminate barriers to education and shaping a new agenda for the education of children around the world.”

Hill will graduate with her Master’s of Science in May. She has a number of career goals that include, but are not limited to, becoming an Executive Director of Educational Programs and Services, US Secretary of Education, US Secretary of Health and Human Services, and a United Nations Peacekeeping Officer. In her own words, “anything is possible with consistent effort and passion.” Ericka Hill has a bright future ahead of her and we cannot wait to see where she ends up!

Ericka Hill with Samara Akpovo at ACEI Conference

Hill at ACEI Conference with Dr. Samara Akpovo (UT CFS Faculty member starting Fall 2017)

All 26 CFS PreK-3 Interns Pass EdTPA

The Department of Child and Family Studies is proud to announce that all 26 of our PreK-3 Interns passed their EdTPA! The interns spent several months preparing a portfolio of materials to demonstrate their ability “to teach through lesson plans designed to support their students’ strengths and needs; engage real students in ambitious learning; analyze whether their students are learning, and adjust their instruction to become more effective” (EdTPA). Their hard work and dedication has prepared them to be amazing teachers and has placed them one-step closer to having their own classrooms. We are excited to see where they all end up next year!  Enjoy a few pictures of them celebrating their success.

PreK-3 Interns Celebrate


Kelsey at Helen Ross McNabb

Child and Family Studies Community Outreach Practicum Student Updates

Community Outreach Practicum

The community outreach practicum is an opportunity for students to enhance their CO practicum Group Shotprofessional and personal development by gaining practical, real-world experience in their field, by exploring career interests, and by learning more about children and families and the support services available to them. As well, the practicum is an opportunity to contribute to the work of the host agency. To learn more about practicum opportunities, click here.


Kelsey at Helen Ross McNabbApril 26, 2017

MEET Kelsey at Helen Ross McNabb ~Healthy Families & Therapeutic Preschool

If you have any questions for Kelsey or about the Community Outreach Practicum, please email!

“I would tell myself to learn to manage your time better.

My most meaningful moment would have to be in the preschool. It was the first time I was able to see one of our kids graduate from the program. Hearing the stories of why some of the children are there are truly heartbreaking and then to see them overcome all of the obstacles they have been put through was really special. ”

Amy at her practicum site

April 21, 2017

MEET Amy at Sequoyah Hills Early Enrichment Program

“If I were to sum up my placement in a song title it would be.. “Every Day is a New Day”

One piece of advice I would give my pre-practicum self? I would definitely tell myself to go to bed early and drink plenty of water. Working in the preschool profession you don’t usually get a moment to do anything for yourself. There are some days were I don’t even get a chance to eat my lunch because the children always come first. Since I am working directly under the Director, I also would tell my self to be ready to handle more than one thing at a time which means to plan for
the unexpected everyday.

My most meaningful experience so far was going into one of the classrooms and assisting a child with learning how to write. We were able to work one on one and even if it was only for fifteen minutes, I believe after our session this child was very proud of himself and completely eager to show his parents his progress. I truly believe every moment is an opportunity to change a child’s learning experience.”

Kathryn at Big Brothers Big Sisters

April 17, 2017
MEET Kathryn at Big Brothers Big Sisters!

“Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” –Josh Shipp

Advice: If I had to give myself some advice before starting my practicum, I think I would tell myself to prepare. Prepare for long days, hard days, and days that may not seem as “meaningful” or “impactful” as you’d like them to be. Prepare to be on a schedule that is not-so-typical for a college student. Prepare to push yourself… to engage, to take initiative, to be positive. Prepare to be a strong and needed presence in your practicum site. Finally, prepare to make the most of your experience!

Most Meaningful Experience: My most meaningful experience happened just a couple of days ago while I was calling a reference for a volunteer. I was on the phone with this man for almost 20 minutes because he could not stop speaking so highly of his wife. He raved about her dedication, faithfulness, and kind heartedness that he couldn’t wait for her to share with a Little Brother or Little Sister. While tearfully explaining his belief in the power of mentoring, I was encouraged that Big Brothers Big Sisters would be matching a wonderful woman like this to a child in need of a positive influence in his or her life!”

Mary Anna at Family Justice CenterApril 12, 2017
MEET Mary Anna at Family Justice Center

“Movie tagline: “Take chances and make mistakes”

A piece of advice that I would give to my pre-practicum self would be to have an open mind. My experience at the Family Justice Center has been new, overwhelming, exciting, scary, sad,
happy, and so much more. As time has gone, my confidence in myself and what I am capable of has grown. However, I wish that I had taken more chances in the very start of my practicum,
which is easier said than done in a completely new environment. Every day I am presented with new learning opportunities, so it is important to take a leap of faith, put yourself out there, keep an open mind, and as a result you will discover how much you have grown as a person.

My most meaningful experience at the Family Justice Center so far was when a terrified, young mother of a four-year-old son came into our office. She told us, with tears in her eyes, that her
boyfriend has been abusing her for years, and she decided to break the pattern and leave him when he chose to take his anger out on their son. Her little boy has a terminally ill disease, and
this strong woman does everything in her power to give him the life that he deserves. After briefly talking with her about her situation, she then was taken back to a room by one of our
advocates where they discussed her options and how we are going to make sure she gets everything she needs. She came in that day scared, feeling hopeless and alone, and confused on
what to do, and she left the Family Justice Center with answers and hope in her eyes. Her story was so very sad, yet it was so moving to see how the help that we provide changed her and her
son’s life for the better. I am fortunate to work with an organization that makes such huge impacts on people’s lives.”

Greer at Baptist CenterApril 10, 2017
MEET Greer at Western Heights Baptist Center

““Be somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody.” –Kid President

One thing I would tell my pre-practicum self is that you are going to make mistakes and it is going to be okay. This is a time that is meant to be a learning experience. You are not expected to do everything right the first time and your supervisor is there to help so it is okay to ask questions. As long as you are doing your best with a good attitude the rest will come with time. This is also a time to figure out what you like and what you don’t like so you will be able to narrow down your options when looking for a job after graduation.

My time at the Western Heights Baptist Center has been filled with
meaningful experiences. I think what sticks out to me the most is being able to go through life with these children. Investing time into building a relationship with them and really figure out what is going on in their everyday life and the challenges that they are facing. Because I see them everyday I am able to see how they grow and be able to watch how they handle different trails that come their way. It is amazing to me to see how each kid will cope with the same event in different ways. No child is the same and sometimes they just need someone to talk to about what
they are thinking. I have loved my time so far getting to build relationships and spend time with these children!”

Jane at Children's HospitalApril 7, 2017
MEET Jane at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital-Child Life

“Play is the highest form of research” –Albert Einstein

Piece of advice to pre-practicum self: “You’re going to be okay. It is okay to not know the answer to every question you have or to not know exactly what your life is going to be like. You’ll never have all the answers. Enjoy your time now, because life is
never going to be like this again. Use this time to enjoy new experiences and learn new things. Don’t worry so much about the future because everything is going to work out. You are motivated and hardworking and it will pay off!”

Experience with impact: “While most of the patients that I have been able to interact with have impacted my life one particular patient stands out. She is a nine year old girl who was in the hospital for several days. I got to visit her a few times but on one
of her days there I was able to bring her some crafts and hang out and do them with her while her parents took a break. Her parents expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to step out and have a moment to them-selves, without having to worry about their child. She also told me several times that she was so glad I was there to hang out with her because she didn’t like being in the hospital (who does?) and she had been so bored. It doesn’t seem like much getting to just craft with someone, but seeing that it does have an impact on not only the patients but the parents as well is very rewarding.”

Starting Points Child Care - JacquelynApril 4, 2017
MEET Jacquelyn at Starting Points Child Care.

“I think that one quote that sums up my experience in my practicum placement is “A baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do!” Chuckie Finster (Rugrats). I would sum up my practicum with this quote because I do deal with babies a lot at my practicum placement and as it says they have to do what they have to do.

Honestly I would tell my pre-practicum self that the beginning is a learning experience and that everyone at the placement is super nice and helpful. In the beginning I was scared to ask the workers different questions because I was nervous they would think I was an idiot. But now I talk to all of them and listen to any advice they give me about dealing with the children. I also feel a lot more comfortable asking the teachers questions.

Learning about children is completely different then having the hands on experience with them. I am very thankful for the chance I am getting to be able to work with the children at the daycare. I think that interacting with the babies at the day care is preparing me more for a future as a parent but interacting with the four year olds helps prepare me for what it will kind of be like in a kindergarten classroom, which is my ultimate goal when I am done graduate school.”

March 27, 2017

MEET Savannah at Thrive LonsdaleSavannah at Thrive

“‘Hope can set you free.’

Advice I would give my pre-practicum self going into Thrive Lonsdale is to not take it all personal, and to know that just showing up is enough. It is easy to feel incompetent or feel like you let a child down if they are upset with you, but being confident in knowing that they need consistency, and loving discipline helps so much. Just showing up and being present every day to their inconsistent, messy worlds is huge to them. Their joy makes it all worth it!

My most meaningful experience so far was talking to a little girl in my class about her family life. She has a bad home life and has recently been really sad about it all. After class one day I got to sit and talk with her and share parts of my story, and we got to be friends and share our life experiences together rather than just be a teacher and a student. It made me really thankful for my own story to be able to relate to other kids, and made me desire relationships outside of the classroom even more.”

Rachel Harr at Kingston Academy

March 14, 2017

MEET Rachel at Kingston Academy

“‘Just keep swimming!’ – Dory, Finding Nemo

If I could go back in time and give myself advice before starting my practicum, it would be to relax and take each day as it comes. At KA, every day is different and progress is SLOW, but it’s happening! I chose a practicum site that is hands-on and different because I wanted to learn something new. I knew it would be hard but it has been such a rewarding experience for me, and now I have a newly discovered passion! The practicum is an opportunity
to step out of your comfort zone and discover yourself, so embrace it!

My most meaningful experience so far has definitely been helping out with a program called café. In this program, 2-3 children are selected to help prepare lunch for staff on Fridays. Each week they cook something different and are learning new skills and how to use different equipment. They serve the staff just like at a restaurant so they are able to learn customer service too! It’s a really cool program that has allowed me to watch these kids
become more independent.”

QaadiraFebruary 21, 2017
MEET Qaadira at Knoxville Leadership Foundation

“Tagline: Nooo!! I wasn’t ready, but you gone learn today! (Kevin Hart)

My Pre-practicum advise to myself would be to remain flexible! So many events vin life that have been out of my control have forced me to re-invent and re-evaluate my plan for completing this practicum! I have now learned that not everything will always go as planned, and I must adapt to each change in a patient and positive manner.

My most meaningful experience so far would have to be aiding an expecting mother and program participant in securing a home, as well as a high-paying career after the birth of her child that also offers childcare assistance as a benefit! This may seems mall to some, but as a mother myself I understand and completely value the opportunity that this young lady has been given. Not only has she secured a home for herself and her new born baby girl, she will now be placed into a stable career that promises a wonderful future for her and her entire family! Stories like this absolutely serve as fuel to keep me going even on my toughest days, and for that I am extremely grateful!”

February 14, 2017NHC
MEET Kari at National Healthcare Corporation

“‘You’ve got a friend in me’

I would tell myself to have an open mind. Don’t be afraid or hesitant to branch out of your comfort zone when choosing a placement site. I am so thankful that I took a leap of faith and chose a site that was different than anything I’d done before because I have absolutely fallen in love with what I do. I never would’ve known to pursue a career at a healthcare facility without this experience.

There is a lady who constantly walks around the hallways and will not usually sit for long. She has some dementia and doesn’t talk much. During one of our activities called “Cards and Coloring,” this woman came in the room and grabbed ahold of my hands. I asked her to color me a picture in hopes that she would sit down and rest for a bit. She said, “I’m too scared I’ll mess it up.” I spent time encouraging her and telling her there was no way she could mess it up. Finally, she began coloring a picture of a butterfly. I was able to keep her seated and occupied for a while, and it felt great to help her overcome her anxiety and relax.”

Helen Ross McNabb Center February 10, 2017
MEET Terilyn at Helen Ross McNabb

“‘The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.’ –Mulan

Advice: Study the client’s experiences and diagnoses so you know why they react/act the way that they do. Do extra research to be well-educated.

Meaningful Experience: My most meaningful experience so far has been seeing the kids change so fast. One client came in not being aware of other’s personal space, but has now learned in a few short weeks that she needs to ask her friends for hugs, to hold hands, or to play rather than impulsively doing those things.”

Welcome to Children's Hospital

February 7, 2017
MEET Chandler at ETCH!

““You Are My Sunshine”

If I had to give myself some advice before going to the hospital, I would say be prepared for lots of walking, for long days, and for hard days. I would tell myself to embrace each day with the most positive attitude I can because those kids need it as well as their families. Going into each day with the attitude that it is a brand-new day can bring a smile to someone’s face which is what makes it worth it.

My most meaningful experience was when I got to talk with a psych patient who had been in the ER for a couple of days. She was 14 years old and I just got to sit in her room and color with her while she opened up about her life which was meaningful because she just needed someone to talk to and I had the opportunity to be that person.”

Knoxville Justice Center

January 30, 2017
MEET McKenzie at Knoxville Family Justice Center

“Expect the Unexpected”

Tips to her pre-practicum self: “Don’t be so hard on yourself, growing up is scary. This is the best time of your life and you are trying to figure out what you want to do with your life or how this experience is going to help you grow as a person. Be wise when you are making decisions and never second guess yourself. You are smarter than you think. You have worked for this and this is your time to show what you know. Be confident and it will show.”

Experience with impact: “A woman came in with her child one day and he was really little and very busy. She was upset and confused about the situation she was currently in and he was clearly stressing her out. I went in to help her and took him to play. She looked at me and was so appreciative of me for taking him out of the room for a few minutes so she could concentrate on her situation. When she came out she shook my hand and told thank you and her eyes filled with tears… This has been a very meaningful experience for me thus far and just showed me how useful my position is and how many things I can potentially be doing throughout the day.”



Margaret Quinn

New CFS Faculty Member, Margaret Quinn, wins the Hayden-Waltz Doctoral Dissertation Award

Congratulations to Margaret Quinn on winning the 2017 Hayden-Waltz Doctoral Dissertation Award at Georgia State University!  We are excited to welcome Quinn to our Faculty team in August!

Margaret Quinn wins the Hayden-Waltz Doctoral Dissertation Award


Melissa LaGraff and Kayley Davis

Graduate Students present at Southeastern Council on Family Relations

Child and Family Studies Graduate Students traveled to Charlotte, NC to attend the March 2017 Southeastern Council on Family Relations (SECFR) Annual Conference. This year’s theme was “Research in the Wild: Application of Family and Social Science Research” which drew presentations on a variety of topics within the field of Family Relations. The Keynote speaker, Associate Professor and Department Chair at East Carolina University, Sharon Ballard, earned her PhD from the UTK Department of Child and Family Studies. She initiated the conference with her talk entitled “The Family Life Educator: An Important Piece of the Family Life Education Puzzle.”

CFS PhD students Kayley Davis and Shan Jiang displayed their research during poster presentations. Davis won the honor of Outstanding Graduate Poster Presentation for her work, “Reasons for Having Sex Among Emerging Adults: A Developmental Perspective” (a project conducted with Associate Professor Spencer Olmstead). PhD student, Melissa LaGraff, who is currently serving as the SECFR Graduate Student Representative, presented the award to Davis.
For more information about SECFR, visit their website here.

Shan Jiang  Kayley Davis

Robyn Brookshire

Robyn Brookshire and Early Learning Center featured in Teaching Young Children magazine

Congratulations to Robyn Brookshire, Director of the Early Learning Center for Research and Practice, for her cover story in Teaching Young Children, a magazine for preschool professionals.  In the article, Brookshire touches on the importance of encouraging and supporting continuing education for teachers.  She believes “teacher growth and learning should be fostered in individualized and responsive ways that support practice-based inquiry, critical thinking, and reflection.” Brookshire and her team practice this philosophy by offering a number of programs to support teachers.  They organize study tours at the Early Learning Center, allowing groups of teachers to “participate in customized professional learning that suits the goals and needs of their programs.” Additionally, they host the annual Early Learning Institute, a pedagogical conference on nature-based practices that draws in professionals from the region and beyond. To learn more about these incredible programs, visit the Early Learning Center website and Remember to register for this year’s Early Learning Institute!

Click here to access the Teaching Young Children article.

Associate Professor Amy Rauer elected as NCFR Chair-elect of the Research and Theory Section

We would like to extend a hearty congratulations to Associate Professor Amy Rauer on her recent election as the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Chair-elect of the Research and Theory Section.  Rauer was elected to this position by colleagues from around the globe who expressed confidence in her professional qualifications and leadership abilities.  Her term as Chair-elect will run from 2017-2019, followed by a two year post as Section Chair.

NCFR is an interdisciplinary, nonprofit and nonpartisan professional association dedicated to family research, practice and education.  For more information about the association, visit the NCFR website here.

UTK Black Alumni Council

Apply today to join the UT Black Alumni Council


The University of Tennessee Office of Alumni Affairs is seeking applicants to join the 2017–2019 membership class of the Black Alumni Council.

If you have an interest in participating in events designed to recruit students, raise funds for the Black Alumni Scholarship, and connect alumni with their alma mater, then the Black Alumni Council is the place for you. Founded in 1984, the organization’s mission is to assist the University in its journey to become a Top 25 research institution.

The Black Alumni Council is composed of graduates who serve two-year terms with an option of serving an additional one year. Members are expected to attend two annual meetings and participate in annual campus programs. Applicants must be available to travel to Knoxville twice annually for meetings and/or programs.

We hope you will accept our invitation to get involved! The application deadline is Friday, March 31, 2017. New members will begin their terms on April 7, 2017.

For questions about the council, advisory panel, or application process, email Phyllis Moore, Director of Alumni Programs at


Apply Today for the Black Alumni Council
Assistant Professof Julia Jaekel and Graduate Student Lucia Miranda

Miranda and Jaekel win competitive Student/Faculty Research Award from UT Graduate School

Child and Family Studies doctoral student Lucia Miranda and Assistant Professor Julia Jaekel have received a competitive Student/Faculty Research Award from the UT Graduate School! The funding from this award will allow Miranda to travel to the UK in the summer of 2017 to establish an exciting collaboration with researchers from the University of Southampton and King’s College London. Their project will focus on comparing and cross-validating data from two large-scale, longitudinal samples of children who experienced two different adverse conditions in early life: preterm birth (Bavarian Longitudinal Study, BLS) and institutionalization/social deprivation (English and Romanian Adoptee Study, ERA).



Globe - Blue and Green

Refugees, Displacement, and Resettlement: A UT Conference and Workshop

With approximately 100 attendees from UTK and community agencies, the 2017 Refugees, Displacement, and Resettlement Conference and Workshop was a huge success. Check back in for a formal follow-up report shortly.




At a glance program - refugee workshop

Associate Professor Tricia Redeker Hepner (Anthropology), Associate Professor Hillary Fouts, and Assistant Professor Julia Jaekel (both from Child and Family Studies)


2016 Student Awards Celebration packet

CEHHS 2016 Student Awards Celebration

The College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences held its 2016 Student Awards Celebration October 27, 2016 at the Holiday Inn, World’s Fair Park.  The Department of Child and Family Studies recipients, donors, and families were among those in attendance at the event.  This was a great opportunity for recipients and their families to thank the donors who make these awards possible each year.

Complete list of 2016 Student Award Recipients

Click here for a photo gallery of the event

Congratulations to the 2016 Child and Family Studies Award Winners!

Graduate Students

Abigail Luttrell Kristen Anders
Clarissa Blevins Lacey Tragesser
Courtney Zimmerman Lauren Bader
Emily Zotti Lauren Daudelin
Ericka Hill Madeline Martie
Hailey Savage Margaret Pendleton
Hameeda Boghani Mariah Mitchell
Heather DelPilar Meagan Shideler
Hussain Sumaiya Megan Morey
Kara Astling Meilan Jin
Katelyn Kelsey Mikka Maderal
Katherine Hampton Samantha Schriver
Kayla Curbow Shan Jiang
Kelly Beisel Star Hall

Undergraduate Students

Alexis Schroder Kelly Tate
Andrea Colyer LaShonda Phillips
Brianna Mccurry Madison Block
Caroline Chace Marcye Pruitt
Constance Jamison Marissa Hepburn
Hannah Creasey Mary Lancaster
Hillary Morrison Sarah Neessen
Kathryn Fisher Tessa Person



University of Tennessee Knoxville Logo

University of Tennessee Campus Resources

Campus Resources

Alcohol Education Program
A free program offered by the Center for Health Education and Wellness that educates students about the potential dangers of alcohol use and abuse.

Campus Ministry Council
Encourages students to get involved in a religious community at UT.

Campus Safety Website
Provides information in the areas of emergency preparedness, personal safety, and occupational safety. The site is useful in the event of an emergency and as a reminder about good safety habits.

Center for Career Development
Provides career counseling, career exploration classes, interest and personality assessments, and resources to help students choose a major and career. Career Development can help students identify part-time jobs, internships and full-time positions through the HIRE-A-VOL system. If you haven’t already, visit the Career Development website and register with HIRE-A-VOL to gain access to job postings as well as updates about workshops, job fairs, and employer visits.

Student Counseling Center
The university’s primary facility for personal counseling, psychotherapy, and psychological outreach and consultation services. The Student Counseling Center’s mission is to promote the psychological, educational, and social well-being of the students of the University of Tennessee and to help prepare them to be productive members of society.

Office of Disability Services (ODS)
Assists students with documented disabilities. ODS determines a student’s eligibility for services and reasonable accommodations so each student will have equal access to the university.

Drug Education Program
A free program offered by the Center for Health Education and Wellness. The DEP educates students about the dangers of drug use and abuse.

A brief self-assessment tool available for use by students to examine their own alcohol use. eCheckup provides immediate personalized feedback about individual drinking patterns, specific health and personal consequences, unique personal and family risk factors, and campus and community support and emergency services. Answers are CONFIDENTIAL. No name is attached to the form and no personally identifiable information from this survey will be stored.

 eCHECKUP TO GO—Marijuana
A brief assessment and feedback tool designed to educate college students about marijuana use. eCheckup provides immediate personalized feedback about individual responses and compares them to national and local college norms. Answers are CONFIDENTIAL. No name is attached to the form and no personally identifiable information from this survey will be stored.

The Office of Orientation & Transition 
Provides orientation programming, educational and leadership development opportunities, and Welcome Week events to support students’ academic, social, cultural, and personal development.

Office of Equity and Diversity (OED)
Serves the campus in two primary roles. First, OED provides leadership, resources, and services to the university community and acts as a support for the enhancement of diversity programs campus-wide. Secondly, OED fulfills an important compliance function by working with various legal mandates set out by state and federal law, and university policies as they relate to civil rights, equal employment, and affirmative action.

Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards
Concerned with the individual rights and responsibilities of students. Staff members serve as advisors to the student judicial system and, when necessary, initiate appropriate disciplinary proceedings.

Student Health Center
Provides outpatient medical care for all currently enrolled students who have paid their full university programs and service fee. Physicians are seen by appointment, though patients with urgent problems are seen on a walk-in basis. A staff psychiatrist and psychologist are available through appointment. Specialty consultants in physical therapy, surgery, sports medicine, and gynecology are seen at the clinic through referral by a staff physician. Referral to other specialists can be arranged at the student’s expense. Allergy injections may be received at the campus clinic.

Center for Leadership and Service
Works to contribute to the holistic education of all students by providing programs, leadership opportunities and volunteer experiences that advance student learning.

Serves the university community by providing quality programs and facilities for almost any sport or recreational pursuit. The mission of RecSports is to satisfy varying degrees of interest in cooperative and competitive activities, and to provide recreational activities that foster and promote personal health and wellness, social and cultural interaction, and the development of social and technical skills.

Office of Multicultural Student Life
Contributes to an inclusive learning environment by enhancing institutional efforts in retaining and graduating students who are prepared for a diverse global society. The Office promotes the academic success, equality, and leadership development of students through programs and services that holistically address cultural, educational, and civic growth.

Rape Aggression Defense (RAD)
A self-defense class offered by the UT Police Department throughout the year.

UT Alert Text Messaging System
Designed to enhance and improve communication and keep the campus community informed during an emergency.

Guardian App
The Guardian app puts safety at the campus community’s fingertips by providing a safety timer, anonymous text-a-tip, and emergency call buttons to UTPD and 911.

University of Tennessee Police Department (UTPD)
Provides basic police services to Tennessee’s largest university through a variety of tasks including investigation of criminal activity, apprehension of criminals, accident and fire response, traffic enforcement, money transports, and security for special events.

The Student Success Center
Provides campus leadership and advocacy for student success at UT. The Student Success Center also identifies and implements academic success programs that support progress toward graduation and enrich the undergraduate student experience.

Hayley Moran, Meagan Shideler, and Melissa LaGraff

CFS Faculty, Graduate Students, and Alumni present findings and win awards in Minneapolis

Child and Family Studies Faculty and Graduate Students were on the road in early November to attend the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The November 2nd – November 5th conference, which focused on “Families and Human Rights,” drew attendees from universities and organizations from around the country.  The gathering provided a venue for the top minds in the interdisciplinary field of Family Studies to present the findings of their recent projects and to form invaluable connections with their colleagues in the field.

Throughout the week, CFS Professors, Graduate Students, and Alumni participated in 10 presentations on a variety of topics and came away with multiple awards.

Associate Professor Amy Rauer received the 2016 Outstanding Professional Paper/Publication Award from the Families and Health Section for the following work:

Rauer, A., Pettit, G., Samek, D., Lansford, J., Bates, J., & Dodge, K. (2016). Romantic relationships and alcohol use: A long-term, developmental perspective. [Special issue]. Development and Psychopathology, 28, 773-789.

Kristin Anders presented with awardGraduate Student Kristin Anders was awarded the Best Student/New Professional proposal for her co-authored presentation entitled, “Emerging Adult’s Sexual Identity, Pluralistic Ignorance, and Sexual Hookups.” She is pictured to the left being presented with her award.

For more information about the NCFR conference and links to video recordings of selected sessions, click here. See below for the complete list of presentations by UTK CFS Faculty, Graduate Students, and Alumni.

  • Engaging Fathers: Home Visitor Attitudes and Strategies
    • Heidi Elizabeth Stolz, Meagan Shideler, Melissa LaGraff, Hayley Moran
    • Click here for project details
  • The Bio Behavioral Family Model: Examining Dyadic Reports of Relationship Quality and the Impact on Individual Healthcare Utilization
    • Patricia Roberson, Kristina Gordon
  • Me Before You or You Before Me? The Development of Compassionate Love Among Older Couples
    • Allen Sabey, Amy Rauer
  • Romantic Relationship Work: Sharing Our Problems With Parents and Friends
    • Jakob Jensen, Yuliana Rodriguez, Amy Rauer
  • Willingness to Engage in Consensual Non‐monogamy: A Mixed‐methods Study
    • Kayla Sizemore, Spencer Olmstead
  • Emerging Adult’s Sexual Identity, Pluralistic Ignorance, and Sexual Hookups
    • Kristin M. Anders, Spencer B. Olmstead, Erin W. Moore
  • Meanings for Sex and Commitment Among First Semester College Students
    • Spencer Olmstead, Kristin Anders, Kathryn Conrad
  • Considering Marital Instability Within the Broader Family Context: A Focus on Race and Gender
    • Katherine L. Fiori, Amy J. Rauer, Kira S. Birditt, Edna Brown, Terri L. Orbuch
  • Dyadic Analysis of Parenting Determinants Among Early Intervention Families
    • Rhett Billen, Vey Nordquist
  • In Sickness and in Sleep: A Longitudinal Actor/Partner Approach Examining Older Couples’ Chronic Illness and Sleep
    • Amy Rauer, Jeremy Yorgason, Jakob Jensen
Spencer Olmstead presenting his poster

Associate Professor Spencer Olmstead presents his poster

Yoshiko Johnson

International Voluntary Services Alumni Visit CFS Class

Former Child and Family Studies Professor Jim Malia was among the organizers of this year’s International Voluntary Services (IVS) alumni reunion at the UT Conference Center from October 3rd – October 6th. This reunion hosted 95 IVS alumni, family members, and friends from all over the United States. It not only offered IVS veterans the opportunity to gather to reminisce about their experiences serving around the world, but also to share their wisdom and know-how with current University of Tennessee Students.


The Department of Child and Family Studies benefited greatly from this reunion. Professor Sarah Malia hosted 3 IVS alumni speakers in her class. Students heard a presentation about the conclusion of World War II and how this affected life in Japan. They were also able to learn about ongoing work being done at an orphanage in Cambodia. Finally, students heard about the challenges faced by a refugee family from Laos as they traveled to the US and settled into a new life. These speakers brought the realities of the outside world into the classroom and allowed CFS students the opportunity to consider how they can apply the knowledge and skills they are learning in college to their future careers.

For more information about the 2016 IVS reunion, visit the website here.
Click here for details about Professor Jim Malia’s work with IVS.

ipad with Child and Family Studies web page pulled up. Cell phon showing apps and a notebook and pens

Re-imagining Teaching: Smartphones in the Classroom

Child and Family Studies Professor Sally Hunter along with graduate students Hayley Moran and Nicole Mullican will present their work examining the use of smartphones in the classroom at the UT Teaching and Learning Innovation Symposium: Re-imagining Teaching. The symposium will focus on different methods being used in classrooms across the UT campus to restructure the learning environment toward Gen-Z students.  It will allow faculty and graduate teaching assistants to re-imagine their course structures and teaching methods.

Hunter, Moran, and Mullican will present their findings from the pre-survey data collected from students in CFS 210: Human Development. Throughout this course, students are evaluating various Smartphone Applications that cater to people in a specific stage of life (e.g., early childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, etc…). Students are then imagining and proposing a new app that would better serve their target population. The goal of this innovative teaching technique is to make the course both interesting and meaningful for the students.

Group photoTo learn more about their study, join them on November 2, 2016 from 8:00am until 4:00pm in Hodges Library.  More information about this event can be found on the Tennessee Teaching & Learning Website.

Photograph of a Swedish Canal featuring boats in the water and buildings along the side of the canal

Let’s Go Abroad! UTK in Sweden: Culture, Families, and Parenting

Child and Family Studies is excited to announce the Mini-Term (May 10th – May 31st, 2017) study abroad program in Uppsala, Sweden, focusing on Culture, Families, and Parenting. Participants can choose to receive 3 credit hours for CFS 460, CFS 581, SOC 491, or UNHO 491. The program will take place from May 10, 2017 until May 31, 2017 and will include the following activities:

  • 2 “Visiting Family Dinners” at a Swedish family’s home. Students will have the opportunity to speak with the families about parenting
  • Four 30-minute Intro to Swedish language lessons
  • Guided city tour of Uppsala which will include exploring Uppsala University, the famous cathedral, and the Biotopia museum
  • Guided tour of Uppsala Castle, built in the 16th century
  • Guided tour of Linneaen Garden, the oldest botanical garden in Sweden
  • Site visits to Swedish National Agency for Education, Swedish healthcare center, schools – Vallentuna School & Waldorfschool/nursery, and a youth club
  • A trip to family-friendly Stockholm, including guided tours of Gamla Stan, Vasa Museum, and Skansen
  • An evening of “fika” where students will socialize and enjoy coffee, tea, and desserts with local Uppsala University students
  • A 4-day weekend free to leave Sweden and tour other countries

Interested in learning more?  Watch the videos below!

For more information from UTK Study Abroad, click here.

Faculty contact: Dr. Heidi Stolz, Associate Professor of Child & Family Studies and Co-Director of the UT Center for Parenting –

Girl doing homework

East Tennessee Considering No Homework Policy

More and more of East Tennessee schools are considering the No Homework Policy, including those in Knox County. Children all over East Tennessee scream in delight!

Richard Allington, Professor in Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, states ‘”Kids who do homework, don’t produce any better than kids who don’t do homework.'” Instead, the No Homework Policy gives children more time with their families and less stress.

Please enjoy this video on the featuring Allington and how East Tennessee counties are contemplating adopting the “No Homework” policy.


Julia Jaekel

Julia Jaekel & Hillary Fouts Explain Refugee Mother’s Child Care Practices

“‘Our world currently has the largest refugee population ever reported. Refugee mothers are giving birth and raising infants under scarce conditions characterized by chronic stress and traumatic experiences, malnutrition and lack of access to health care. This may cause an increased risk to give birth preterm, in particular among African refugee women.

How can we support the long-term health and wellbeing of refugee infants?'”

Our very own Julia Jaekel and Hillary Fouts have been featured in Academic Minute Website! Dr. Jaekel and Dr. Fouts explain why keeping homeland child care practices should remain important to all refugee mothers.

Enjoy this featured article with Dr. Jaekel’s and Dr. Fouts’ audio discussion on just how important homeland child care can be for all refugee families.

UT Flood Relief for Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana is experiencing one of the largest natural disasters to hit the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy. The university’s campus-wide disaster relief management team has coordinated a relief effort to provide aid to those in Louisiana.

Below are ways to provide funds, food, and basic daily needs for those in Louisiana. Show that Volunteer Spirit!

Check out Tn Today’s Article for links on how you can provide assistance.

Safe Sleep Flyer

Local experts encourage safe sleep choices for infants

Ali James of the Knoxville News Sentinel addresses the debate between co-sleeping and new safe sleep techniques with local experts. Chrystal Cromwell, Early Childhood Development professor from Roane State, discusses how she utilized safe sleep with her own children;”‘He slept in a bassinet next to my bed, then in a crib within arm’s reach of my bed,” said Cromwell. “We followed all of the rules for safe sleeping: nothing in the bed, no blankets.'”

Tennessee Health Department’s ABCs safe sleep guidelines: A for Alone, B for on their back, and C for in a Crib or bassinet. These guidelines have been put in place to help reduce the number of accidental infant deaths in Tennessee.

Katie Larsen and Alicia Verlinde from Knox County Health Department discuss safe sleep guidelines have aided in reducing the amount of infant fatalities in Tennessee.

For more information and the full article, follow this link to Knoxville News.

Research in Southern Ethiopia with Dr. Fouts and Lauren Bader

Child and Family Studies’ own Lauren Bader, PhD student, is back in Southern Ethiopia conducting research this summer. It is her second year in a village called Doko-Zolo located in the Gamo Highlands. In collaboration with Dr. Hillary Fouts, Bader is researching how environmental risk affects parenting and child development.

This study will help provide a bio-cultural perspective on how environmental risk relates to parents’ experiences and perceptions of risk. This research also addresses how parents’ perceptions affect the care of infants and toddlers among the Gamo people in Southern Ethiopia

Ethiopia Baby playing with toy

Lauren Bader is also working on a joint research project with Drs. Julia Jaekel and Hillary Fouts that aims to investigate traditional infant care patterns that may be protective of preterm infants. This summer Bader will be meeting with faculty at Arba Minch University and local health care centers in order to build a network of partners for the project.

Bader will return to the University of Tennessee in September. They plan to continue their future research within their network of collaborators in Abra Minch and Doko-Zolo.

If you would like to contact Dr. Jaekel, Dr. Fouts, or Lauren Bader about their research or future opportunities, follow the links above to their contact information.

Campus Community Invited to Celebration of Pat Summitt’s Life

*Story Update: In case you missed the Celebration of Life Service for Pat Summit and would like to view it online, here is the link to the TN Today archived videos.

The University of Tennessee is hosting a Celebration of Life Service for Pat Summitt at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 14th, at the Thompson-Boling Arena. The event is open to the public and a large crowd is expected. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

Summitt will always be one of the most influential Volunteers at the University of Tennessee. She was not only a record-setting basketball coach, but a tremendous mentor and friend to all who knew her.


For more information about the service, please follow this link to the article on TN Today.

Reading Expert Recommends List of Olympics Books for Kids of All Ages

The Olympic Games take place in Rio De Janeiro this year! The Olympic games may spark interest and questions in children of all ages. Cindy Welch, the associate director at UT’s Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, states “The Olympics are a great opportunity to watch and learn together as a family, and these books explore different facets of the games. It’s a great way to nurture reading, too.”

Welch believes that reading books about the Olympics could foster a love of reading while helping children explore the different facets of the games.

Enjoy this article featured in TN Today in which Welch shares her opinion and list of Olympic related books for children of all ages.


Tennessee Score Logo

CEHHS Graduates Named as Tennessee Educator Fellows

The College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS) congratulates the 2016-17 recipients of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship awarded by SCORE, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education.  The fellowship is a year long program that aids teachers in advocating for their students and profession as they work in their classrooms. During the fellowship, Tennessee Educators learn about the policies, practices, and systems that affect Tennessee student’s achievement.

Among the recipients this year are four graduates from CEHHS.  These recipients include:

  • Erica Adkins teaches fifth-grade math and science at Bellevue Middle School in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Adkins has been teaching for four years. Bachelor & Masters-UTK.
  • August Askins teaches eighth-grade science at Holston Middle School in Knox County Schools. Askins has been teaching for 12 years. Bachelor & Masters-UTK.
  • Erin Doran teaches third grade at University School in Washington County Schools. Doran has been teaching for 14 years. Bachelor, Masters, & EDS-UTK.
  • Erin Glenn teaches eighth-grade social studies at East Lake Academy of Fine Arts in Hamilton County Department of Education. Glenn has been teaching for 10 years. Bachelor & Masters-UTK.

Congratulations to these recipients!  A complete list of all 2016-17 recipients can be found here.


Is Redshirting a Kindergartner a good idea?

Redshirting refers to the practice of holding a child back from entering kindergarten. A common practice for many parents that has its own pros and cons. Amos Hatch, Professor Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, says; the choice to delay a child’s entrance into kindergarten is a personal one, and one that parents should consider carefully before making a decision.

Enjoy this article featured in TN Today in which Amos shares his expert opinion on a controversial topic in today’s schools.

Gaza Boys Image taken by Brian Barber

The Situation in Gaza: An Interview with Brian Barber

Zeina Azzam, Executive Director of the Jerusalem Fund and Palestine Center, interviewed our very own Brian Barber, PhD.

Dr. Barber is a Professor of Child and Family Studies, New America Fellow in Washington, DC, and the Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict at the University of Tennessee.

In this interview, Dr. Barber discusses his research in Gaza on Palestinian youth, the book he is currently writing, and how the war in Gaza still affects family structure.

Enjoy the full article, The Situation in Gaza: An Interview with Brian Barber, featured in Jadaliyya.

The article has been recommended already more than 1,300 times on Facebook!


Brian Barber

Faculty News

Congratulations to Dr. Julia Jaekel

According to a joint study from researchers at UT and the University of Warwick, and University of Brighton in the UK, gauging how long a twenty-month-old can wait to pick up a raisin can be linked to what that child’s attention and learning capacity will be at 8 years old. “This new finding is a key piece in the puzzle of long-term underachievement after preterm birth,” said Julia Jaekel, lead author of the study and UT Assistant Professor of Child and Family Studies.

You can read more about this article, “Simple Raisin Test Predicts Toddlers’ Academic and Attention Abilities at Age 8” in Tennessee Today.

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Mossman Building

Mossman Building

Construction of the new Mossman Building, next to the Jessie Harris Building, will be completed in three years.

The Mossman Building will add needed classroom and laboratory space to campus and will house portions of microbiology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, psychology, and nutrition.

The six-floor building is scheduled to be open for fall semester 2018. The building layout supports interactive teaching and hands-on learning, with plenty of space for both structured and unstructured interactions among students, faculty and staff.

The facility is named for the late Ken and Blaire Mossman, who met when they were students in 1968 and stayed connected to UT throughout their lives.
Follow this link to read more about the new Mossman Building in Tennessee Today.

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