The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance


Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series

Through the Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series, CRF brings nationally-recognized speakers with expertise in family research to campus each year. This lecture series is integrated into CRF's major research initiative, the Family Research Scholars program, in several ways. First, the annual FRS cohort is deeply involved in identifying and selecting the national speakers who will visit campus to provide public lectures that highlight the importance of research on family and its implications for public policy. Second, when the speakers come to UMass Amherst, they provide research consultation to their respective Family Research Scholar along with members of their research team.

The lecture series began in 1999 through an endowment established in memory of Tay Gavin Erickson. To date, this series has brought more than 75 speakers to UMass Amherst, making it one of the University's most successful and well-regarded public outreach programs.

Information about upcoming and past Tay Gavin Erickson Lectures can be found below.



Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series Events

Black Women and Maternal Health Inequities: Addressing the Role of Racism

Black Women and Maternal Health Inequities: Addressing the Role of Racism

Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha, PhD, MPH, CHES

Throughout U.S. history, women of color have disproportionately suffered reproductive injustices. Implicit medical bias, unequal distribution of resources and a dearth of consistent, timely prenatal care and obstetrics aggravates existing disparities. Currently, Black women in the U.S. are 3-4x more likely to die from a pregnancy-related complication compared to White women. This presentation will explore the complexities of these issues with an emphasis on community-based research and responses.

May 4, 2023 - 4:00pm
Commonwealth Honors College East Room

Seen, Heard, Valued: A Charge to Black Women to Own The Power of Their Voices

UMass Black Women United are proud to welcome you to a UMass Center for Research on Families (CRF) Tay Gavin Lecture presented by Dr. Katrina Hutchins. Many Black women in higher education are exhausted and burned out, as they are experiencing higher levels of stress, anxiety, relationship-breakdown, insomnia, depression, and emotional and physical fatigue. Their struggles often are unspoken, and their voices are often minimized or muted. Dr. Katrina Hutchins will amplify the need for voice power, while inspiring Black women to remember and reconnect to their “whole voice” when navigating professionally and personally. She will share insights and strategies for daring to own the power of voice to be seen, heard, and valued.

Dr. Katrina Hutchins is the Founder & CEO of Re-Source Solutions, a personal and professional growth and development company whose research is focused on the voices of women in workplaces where organizational silence is present. As the creator of the Voice Positioning System, Dr. Hutchins addresses the power dynamics of silence and helps women explore their voice behavior and to align new behaviors with their intrinsic power to be seen, heard, and valued. 

April 26, 2023 - 4:00pm
Commonwealth Honors College

TAY GAVIN ERICKSON LECTURE SERIES - Insights for Relationships and Health from Latino Culture

Social relationships can enhance the quality of life by conferring higher levels of subjective well-being, greater resilience against adverse circumstances, and better health. To obtain these benefits, humans must navigate a complex social world where self-interest must be balanced by interest in others. In this talk, Dr. Campos asserts that Latino contexts are of theoretical and applied interest for studying these questions and present a series of studies that show that Latino cultural values that emphasize interest in others are associated with benefits for relationship quality and implications for health. 

September 26, 2022 -
4:00pm to 6:00pm
South College, Room W245 - UMass Amherst

TAY GAVIN ERICKSON LECTURE SERIES - Advancing Equitable, Risk-Appropriate, Patient-Centered Maternity Care


Shockingly, maternal mortality and morbidity rates in the United States are the highest among high-income countries. For Black and indigenous people, the rates are even higher. This impacts the mental, physical and emotional well-being of birthing mothers and families.

We know that most maternal complications are preventable.  Better risk assessment and communication are key tools to reduce complications and racial and ethnic disparities. However, current obstetric practice does not have a standardized way to assess an individual’s risk for pregnancy complications nor to ensure patients understand these risks and possible solutions.

Our research is focused on engaging and empowering pregnant people as the critical decision makers in their care. We are developing tools to help clinicians better identify patients at risk and to make sure that we prioritize women’s needs and values. By building a system that understands and respects the unique needs of each woman that we care for, we can transform the quality, safety, and equity of maternity care in the United States.

September 14, 2022 - 2:30pm
Virtual via Zoom

When Disaster Strikes: Response, Research, and Recovery

How can we best understand and respond to environmental emergency-related contamination events such as hurricanes in Texas and North Carolina, large-scale chemical fires and flooding?

The complexities of hazardous chemical exposures, potential adverse health impacts, and the need to rapidly and comprehensively evaluate complex mixtures call for novel approaches. This presentation will describe the efforts of the Superfund Research Center at Texas A&M University that is developing exposure and hazard assessment tools that can be used by the first responders, impacted communities, and government agencies. Register Here.

December 7, 2020 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm
Virtual via Zoom

When I’m 64: Age Similarities and Differences in the Ways Emotional Events are Remembered

Life is filled with highs and lows, and the way we retain these events in our memories can have important implications for our mental health and overall well-being. How might the experience of emotion affect the likelihood that we remember an event and the types of details we remember about the event?

How might the effects differ with age? What are some of the important differences in the ways that older vs. younger adults remember emotional life events?
Dr. Kensinger will address these questions and describe how an expanded model of emotional memory that she and her colleague Jaclyn Ford have developed—a model that emphasizes the role of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in adjusting the narrative framing and affective tone of a memory—may elucidate.


November 6, 2020 -
12:30pm to 2:00pm
Virtual via Zoom

What Can Implementation Science Do for You? Moving Health Care Innovations to the Real World

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. 

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

TAY GAVIN ERICKSON LECTURE SERIES - BEYOND OPIOIDS: Adolescents' Misuse of Four Prescription Drug Classes

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

TAY GAVIN ERICKSON LECTURE SERIES - The Impact of Language Brokering on Mexican American Adolescent Immigrants and their Families

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.

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

TAY GAVIN ERICKSON LECTURE SERIES - Understanding and Addressing Racial Disparities in Pain and Pain Treatment

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.

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