The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series

October 16, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Virtual via Zoom

It can take 17 years to turn 14 percent of research innovations to the benefit of patient care, potentially wasting millions of dollars of scientific investments into effective interventions that could ultimately benefit patients. Implementation science is the study of strategies that support health care providers and organizations in improving uptake of effective interventions into routine care settings.

This talk will cover recent advances in implementation science, notably pragmatic study designs for comparing different implementation strategies that empower frontline providers to adopt and adapt effective interventions, with a focus on reducing health disparities and improving outcomes for vulnerable populations including those with mental disorders in community-based practices. 

February 20, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Life Sciences Laboratory (LSL) Room S330

Dr. Carol Boyd will discuss the health implications of stimulants, sedatives and tranquilizer misuse among adolescents in context to current drug use trends.


Deborah J Oakley Professor Emerita Director of the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health in
the School of Nursing Research Professor Emerita in the Addiction Center University of Michigan


Registration is encouraged but not required. Click here to sign up.



February 18, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Life Sciences Laboratory (LSL) Room S330

The Impact of Language Brokering on Mexican American Adolescent Immigrants and their Families


Dr. Su Yeong Kim will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of language brokering as it relates to parent-child relationships and outcomes on children’s adjustment in terms of stress, academic success, and health


Registration is encouraged but not required. Click here to sign up.

Video of Lecture available here.

January 30, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Life Sciences Laboratory (LSL) Room S330

Understanding and Addressing Racial Disparities in Pain and Pain Treatment


Dr. Burgess will discuss racial disparities in pain and pain treatment, in the context of the opioid epidemic.


Registration is encouraged but not required. Click here to sign up.

December 5, 2019 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Life Sciences Laboratory (LSL) Room S330












MATERNAL MORTALITY: How big a problem is it?


In the past several years a great deal of media attention has been paid to the rising rate of maternal mortality in the U.S. As one of the authors of the research paper that helped launch the national debate over maternal mortality, Dr. Declercq will discuss how it came to be seen as a problem, why it’s both a bigger and smaller challenge than the public and policymakers understand, and why current efforts to address it may not succeed.

Registration is encouraged but not required. Click here to sign up.

March 19, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Room S330, Life Science Laboratories

March 19, 2019 - 12:00 to 1:30 pm

The ability to generate positive emotions serves the adaptive function of enhancing psychological resources necessary for coping with stressors in daily life. Dr. Delgado will present behavioral and neuroimaging data that suggests the recall of positive memories is intrinsically valuable to an individual and can influence emotion and decision making. He will also discuss the restorative function of self-generated positive emotions in coping with acute stress.

February 28, 2019 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm
Room 160E, Commonwealth Honors College, UMass Amherst

February 28, 2019 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm

Social science genomics is an emerging enterprise that involves using molecular genetic data to address social science questions. The field seems to be entering a new age with the advent of polygenic scores. Dr. Freese will define polygenic scores, why scientists are confident that they work in ways that previous approaches did not, and discuss what sorts of social science questions they may address. Dr. Freese will emphasize why polygenic scores are valuable for social science questions that do not involve genes per se. He will discuss polygenic scores in the context of the troubled history of invocations of genetic differences in social life, as well as concerns about ways that genetic information may be used now or in the near future.

February 14, 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Room 160E, Commonwealth Honors College, UMass Amherst
November 26, 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Campus Center, Room 804-08, UMass Amherst

Crashes are the leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults. While policy and engineering efforts have been successful in reducing the rates of fatal crashes, many factors (e.g., behavioral, developmental, social, cultural) contribute to the risk of crash injury.  Prevention activities and programs need to thoughtfully consider the breath of factors that can contribute to crashes and crash injury disparities among groups of young drivers. 

November 1, 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Room 160E, Commonwealth Honors College, UMass Amherst

Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series — The Center for Research on Families welcomes Susan M. Sheridan, PhD, who will present "The Power of Partnerships: Research Evidence and Strategies for Success"

There is overwhelming research support pointing to the important role of parents in supporting their child’s behavior and academic performance. Family-school partnership interventions engage families and educators as partners in collaborative and mutual planning and problem solving. Partnership approaches have a dual focus on coordinating effective interventions across home and school, and strengthening relationships between families and educators. Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP; previously known as Conjoint Behavioral Consultation) is an efficacious family-school intervention that brings parents and teachers together as partners to support children who experience challenges with behavioral, social-emotional or academic difficulties. This presentation will define partnerships between families and schools; describe what is necessary for partnerships to be effective; explore benefits for students, parents and teachers; and discuss best practice recommendations.

Susan M. Sheridan, PhD, is the George Holmes University Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.  She is the founding Director of the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools.  Her research interests acknowledge the significance of families in children’s education.  She studies the important role of families and family engagement in children’s social-behavioral adjustment and academic success, and the far-reaching benefits of partnerships between families and schools. Her research career has focused on developing and testing the effectiveness of family–school partnership interventions, identifying methods to enhance parent engagement, early childhood education and intervention, and rural education. Since her career began, she has received more than $53 million in grant funding to support her research.  She has authored more than 200 books, chapters, and journal articles, including papers that have received awards by the Journal of School Psychologyand School Psychology Review.  She is a Fellow of Division 16 of the American Psychological Association (APA) and past president of the Society for the Study of School Psychology (SSSP).  Dr. Sheridan was bestowed the 1993 Lightner Witmer award by APA’s Division of School Psychology for early career accomplishments; the 1995 University of Wisconsin School of Education’s Outstanding Young Alumnus award; the 2005 Presidential Award from the National Association of School Psychologists; the 2014 University of Nebraska Outstanding Research and Creative Activity (ORCA) Award; and, most recently, the 2015 Senior Scientist Award for lifetime career accomplishments from APA’s Division of School Psychology.


This lecture is sponsored by the Center for Research on Families’ Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series. The Center for Research on Families (CRF) is an endowed interdisciplinary research center in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and College of Natural Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series brings internationally recognized speakers with expertise in family research to campus each year. The lecture series began in 1999 through an endowment established in memory of Tay Gavin Erickson.