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CRF Announces the Student Family Research Travel Award Recipients

The Center for Research on Families is excited to announce this fall semester’s 2013 Student Family Research Travel Award recipients. This award is given to graduate students who have written an outstanding paper on issues of family research to be presented at a national research conference.

This year, $300 in funding was awarded to each of three exceptional graduate students with an interest in researching family related issues. The award is used for travel expenses associated with the conference they will attend. This year’s winners were:  Laura Kurdziel, Nozipho Maziya, and Liliana Herakova. Awardees will continue to engage with the Center by attending two roundtable events to present their research to peers. 

Laura Kurdziel, M.S., Doctoral Candidate in Nueroscience and Behavior Cognition and Action Lab, presented her paper “Emotional Memory Consolidation and Napping in Preschool Children” at the Pediatric Sleep Medicine Conference in Amelia Island, Florida this November. Laura’s research focuses on the role of sleep on learning and memory in preschool aged children. She is particularly interested in the function of the nap within the preschool classroom, and how the nap may enhance learning outcomes of early education.


Nozipho Maziya, Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Public Health Nutrition, presented her paper “Adolescent Nutritional Status and its Association with Village-Level Factors in Tanzania” at The American Public Health Associations 141st Annual Meeting and Exposition in Boston, MA this November. Nozipho obtained her BS in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of Swaziland. She came into the department as a Fulbright scholar in 2011, and has recently completed her Master’s Thesis which examined associations between influences of contextual environments on nutritional status of adolescents within villages of Kilosa District, Tanzania. Her research interests include child and adolescent malnutrition, food insecurity, chronic disease prevention (obesity and HIV/AIDS), determinants of health, and health promotion. In her home country, Nozi facilitated the establishment and implementation of projects aimed at preventing HIV/AIDS, promoting maternal and child health, reducing poverty and food insecurity, and improving clean water access and sanitation. Nozi’s abstract of her thesis work was accepted for presentation at the American Public Health Associations annual meeting in November 2013 in Boston, MA. She will also be presenting other findings from her thesis at Experimental Biology in April 2014 in San Diego, CA.

Liliana Herakova, will be presented her paper “When the Baby Comes: Variations on Family Becoming(s)” at The National Communication Association Conference in Washington DC this November. Lily Herakova recently completed her PhD in Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her dissertation focuses on interpersonal communication in the context of prenatal and pregnancy care, including the perspectives and experiences of pregnant women, their partners, families, and prenatal care providers. Titled "Flying with the Storks: Communication, Culture, and Dialoguing Knowledge(s) in Prenatal Care" the dissertation is a dialogic performance of the different streams of knowledge that intersect and are created in the context of interpersonal interactions during pregnancy.Lily is a scholar, teacher, mother, and baker. Together with Leda Cooks, she co-founded one of the first U.S. Breadhouses, part of a U.N. recognized international nonprofit designed to build community around b(re)aking bread. Lily has presented at numerous interdisciplinary conferences and has published in various journals, including Journal of Applied Communication, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, and Communication Studies.


CRF is proud to provide these travel awards in order to provide students with the ability to improve their research, presenting skills, and networks. Conferences are extremely beneficial for the future career of a student but are also very expensive, so CRF is committed to assisting students who want to present at conferences.

Another round of CRF Family Research Travel Awards will be given this spring for conference travel in 2014.  The Travel Awards are given to graduate students who have written outstanding papers or posters on issues of family research with their research team and are presenting the paper at a national research conference. The deadline for the Spring Family Research Travel Award is February 28, 2014. Applications will be available here in January.