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Current News

Heather Richardson (FRS Scholar '10-'11) Co-Publishes Study on Brain Maturation in Adolescent Rats

One of the outstanding questions in neurodevelopment research has been identifying how connections in the brain change to improve neural function during childhood and adolescence. Now, results from a study in rats just reported by neuroscientists Heather Richardson, Geng-Lin Li and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggest that as animals transition into adolescence, specific physical changes to axons speed up neural transmission, which may lead to higher cognitive abilities. Read more here.

Michelle Budig (FRS '06-'07) Cited in Wall Street Journal About Workplace Inequality and the Gender Gap

Michelle Budig was cited in the article “Want Equality? Make New Dads Stay Home” published in the Wall Street Journal on September 28, 2018. The article explores a new trend in which some companies are beginning to require new dads to take mandatory leave for the birth of a child in an attempt to address workplace inequality and the gender gap. Budig’s research on the “motherhood penalty” was referenced in which the findings from a 30-year longitudinal study revealed that women’s earning decrease 4% after the birth of a child, while new dads receive more than a 6% increase, known as the “fatherhood bonus.” Read the article here

CRF Director, Dr. Maureen Perry-Jenkins Recognized for Outstanding Scholarship by NCFR

CRF Director, Dr. Maureen Perry-Jenkins was recently selected as the recipient of the 2018 Ernest W. Burgess Award by the National Council on Family Relations. The award recognizes NCFR member’s outstanding scholarly achievement in the study of families and the recipient is chosen in recognition of continuous and meritorious contributions to theory and research in the family field. Dr. Perry-Jenkins is nationally recognized for her research on the intersection of work and family and, in particular, the challenges facing low-income families as they cope with work-family demands and the transition to parenthood. Read more here

Rick Pilsner (FRS '15-'16) Awarded $2.7 Million to Expand Study of Phthalates, Reproduction

Richard Pilsner, associate professor of environmental health sciences in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, has received a five-year, $2.7 million National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences award to support his further research on fathers’ preconception exposure to phthalates and potential effects on reproductive health through methylation of sperm DNA. This award for work in humans complements his five-year, $2.3 million National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences award received last year. Read more here.

Elizabeth Krause (FRS '11-'12) to Host Book Salon on Tight Knit: Global Families and the Social Life of Fast Fashion

The coveted “Made in Italy” label calls to mind visions of nimble-fingered Italian tailors lovingly sewing elegant, high-end clothing. Yet, as Betsy Krause uncovers in Tight Knit, Chinese migrants are the ones sewing “Made in Italy” labels into low-cost items for a thriving fast-fashion industry. Krause offers a revelatory look into how families involved in the fashion industry are coping with globalization. She brings to the fore the tensions that are reaching a boiling point as the country struggles to deal with the same migration pressures that are triggering backlash all over Europe and North America.

DISCUSSANTS: Anna Botta (Smith College), Calvin Chen (Mount Holyoke College), Anne Ciecko (UMass Amherst) and Vanessa Fong (Amherst College)

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Laura Vandenberg (FRS '15-'16) Responds to Federal Report Claiming That Low-Level Exposure to BPA Does Not Harm Human Health

Laura Vandenberg recently participated in a webinar hosted by Carnegie Mellon and Environmental Health Sciences to discuss data emerging from a federal review on the health effects of low-level exposure to BPA. Findings from the report claim that small amounts of BPA do not affect human health. Vandenberg and the other speakers discussed additional research that has been conducted by independent academic researchers that has repeatedly revealed that low-level exposure to BPA does result in adverse health effects. Watch the webinar here.

Vandenberg was quoted about the federal report in an article published in the Daily Beast and was quoted on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered

Tatishe Nteta's (FRS ’14-’15) Research Reveals Men Whose First Child is a Girl More Likely to Support Gender Equity Policies

Tatishe Nteta (FRS ’14-’15) recently co-authored an article in the Washington Post highlighting their research which reveals that men whose first child is a girl are more likely to support policies that promote gender equity than men whose first child is a boy. Read the article here and the research publication here.

CRF Announces 2018 Graduate Student Scholars - Grant Writing Program

CRF has developed a pilot program to facilitate and support graduate students in the development of successful graduate fellowship applications.  This pilot program is a 9-month program designed specifically for NSF and NIH pre-doctoral fellowship proposals. Six selected graduate scholars will receive mentoring and support from CRF faculty, staff and peers throughout the grant development process, including: development, refinement and communication of research ideas, approach, and methodology.

CRF Announces 2018-2019 Student Awardees

The Center for Research on Families (CRF) is pleased to announce the recipients of this year's Student Research Awards. CRF is committed to supporting students engaged in family research — our student researchers are addressing family challenges such as opioid use among parenting women, ADHD in early childhood, Flint water crisis and community nutrition. Eight talented students received awards in four categories for a total of over $24,000 awarded.