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Brigitte Holt (FRS '16-'17) Featured in NPR Article on Working Moms in Ancient History

Brigitte Holt was featured in the NPR article, "Working Moms Have Been A Thing Since Ancient History" in which findings were released that disprove the popular perception that ancient women were relegated to domestic work around the home. The study examined the strength of 89 shinbones and 78 upper arm bones from women who lived in Europe about 7,500 years ago. The findings from the study revealed that the upper arm bones showed evidence of extreme manual labor. In response to these findings Holt was surprised by one part of the study: "Just how strong these women were. The strength in their bones means they were starting this manual labor at a very young age. And that is a big deal." Read the article here.

CRF to Host Three Tay Gavin Erickson Lectures in December

The Center for Research on Families (CRF) will host three visiting scholars in December as part of the Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series. The lectures, on Dec. 5, 8 and 11, will cover such topics as reducing families’ exposure to harmful chemicals, how youth handle trouble in high-poverty high schools, and research into whether antidepressants have an iatrogenic effect when used in conjunction with cognitive therapy.

Linda Tropp (FRS '09-'10) Edits Psychologist’s Guide to Public Engagement

Linda Tropp, professor of social psychology in the department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, has edited a new book, Making Research Matter: A Psychologist’s Guide to Public Engagement. The book gathers well-known experts to discuss how researchers can lend their scientific expertise to pressing social issues, current events, and public debates. 

Ning Zhang (FRS '17-'18) Examines the Relationship Between Falls, Hip Fractures, and Obesity Among Nursing Home Residents in Recent Study

Ning Zhang, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management, has recently published a journal article that examines obesity status, falls, and hip fractures among nursing home residents. The article, which appears in the Journal of Patient-Centered Research and Reviews, aimed to identify if there was an association between obesity and falls and hip fractures.

CRF Methodology Director Laws Receives 2017 Lecturers' Professional Development Fund Award

Holly Laws CRF

Holly Laws, Lecturer and Research Methodologist for the Center for Research on Families, has received a fall 2017 Lecturers’ Professional Development Fund award from the College of Natural Sciences. This award of $1,000 will be used towards Laws' professional development in statistical training, to further develop her methodological skill set and support teaching of an advanced statistical course.

Combining Research and Practice to Support New Parents: A New Experimental Class in Springfield Begins

Students in Psych 297 at the UMass Springfield Center.

What happens when you bring professionals who work with young parents together with UMass students interested in risk and resilience in families?  CRF has developed an exciting new course this fall that taps the knowledge of Healthy Families home visitors while bringing a research-based framework to bear on topics such as parenting styles and strategies, high risk families, families and culture and more.

Student Spotlight: Durga Kolla Seeks to Identify Possible Risk Factors in Exposure to Synthetic Hormones

Durga Kolla, recipient of the 2017 CRF Family Research Honors Capstone Award, is a student in the Environmental Health Sciences 4+1 BS/MS program in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. She studies the effects of environmental chemicals on mice throughout their lifespan. She is hoping to determine whether developmental exposure to BPS will alter the response of mice to subsequent hormonal treatment at puberty and as adults. 

Scholar Feature: Krystal Pollitt’s Innovative Wristbands and Necklaces Uncover Environmental Exposures in Springfield

Krystal Pollitt, PhD, P.Eng., Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and 2017-18 CRF Family Research Scholar, plans to study the ways in which cumulative environmental factors impact disease, with the ultimate goal of developing strategies for people to better avoid certain exposures and the negative health outcomes associated with them. Pollitt’s team developed a low-cost wearable wristband that will gather extensive data about personal environmental exposures. Pollitt’s proposed research will focus on mother-child dyads from low-income Hispanic families in Springfield.

Nilanjana Dasgupta (FRS '06-'07 & '12-'13) Speaks to Gender Gap in STEM Fields

Eureka!, a partnership between UMass Amherst and Girls Inc. of Holyoke is a program designed to address the gender gap in the STEM fields. Nilanjana Dasgupta was interviewed by WWLP regarding her related research, “There’s a real social justice reason to try and take the kids who are interested in science and see if they would be interested in pursuing it as majors and careers, because it would reduce both the gender disparity in income and the race disparity in income.” Every year, a group of around 30, 8th grade girls enroll in the program. The girls attend a month long summer program at UMASS, where they are taught by UMASS professors and graduate students. The program recently graduated its first group of girls. Read the article here.

Holly Laws Joins CRF as New Methodology Director, Plans Opportunities for Growth

Holly Laws CRF

The Center for Research on Families (CRF) is pleased to welcome Holly Laws, PhD, an expert in analyzing and interpreting data for family-related research, as the new Director of CRF’s Methodology Consulting Program (MCS). She plans on expanding methodological supports to researchers both on campus and in the wider community. and aims to position the center as a national leader in family research analysis across multiple disciplines. 

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