Previous Winners

2023 Winners


Fostering Global Relationships and Inspiring International Compassion and Understanding

The judging panel was impressed with how Olena Nesteruk, a tenured faculty member in Family Science and Human Development at Montclair State University, created the Pen Pal Project in the wake of Russia invading Ukraine in February of 2022. Developed for students taking her Immigrant Families course, the project is a global cross-cultural initiative in partnership with teachers and children in a middle school in Chervonohrad, a small town in the western part of Ukraine. The program not only provides her students a glimpse into the lives of Ukrainian children, families, and communities who have been displaced and impacted by war, it also fosters meaningful relationships and greater cultural understanding among participants in both sides of the program.

Dr. Nesteruk developed this project with the goal of enhancing her students’ understanding of immigrant and refugee families and opening their worldview to global family issues. Her first cohort launched in Fall 2022, whereby each student was partnered with an eighth-grade Ukrainian student. Using emails, social media, and video calls, class time was dedicated toward fostering cross-cultural friendships as students learned about each other’s families, schools, hobbies, and dreams. Dr. Nesteruk established a Facebook group as well to share project updates, photos, and videos. When missile strikes on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure caused widespread power outages, the pen pals were unable to communicate virtually. Even so, the courageous Ukrainian cohort kept in touch by sending postcards to their American pen pals. During the holidays, the pen pals exchanged gifts; American students recorded a video with holiday greetings and mailed cards and gifts. This was especially meaningful since many Ukrainian neighborhoods were forced to cancel holiday celebrations or refrained from hanging decorations to conserve electricity. Upon conclusion of the semester-long project, Dr. Nesteruk presented students with a certificate of completion and encouraged participants to stay in touch with each other. The project was continued with a new cohort in Spring 2023.

This experience empowered Dr. Nesteruk’s students to think more broadly about advocacy and social action and engage in helping rather than watching from the sidelines during an act of war. This exposure is pivotal for students’ training to develop cultural competencies as they prepare for careers as helping professionals.

We believe Dr. Nesteruk’s innovation, compassion, and dedication to connecting her students with real-world opportunities and challenges will well prepare the next generation of Family Science professionals.

Olena Nesteruk is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Science and Human Development at Montclair State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Human Ecology from Louisiana State University in 2007. Her main research focus is on the experiences of immigrant families over the life course and across generations in the United States. Specifically, she studies acculturation and intergenerational relationships; development of heritage language and ethnic identity; as well as transnational bereavement and immigrants in later life. Professor Nesteruk teaches courses on individual and family development, family theories, and immigrant families. Through various projects and initiatives, she has been engaging her students in work with communities, both local and international.  Dr. Nesteruk is committed to bridging classroom experiences with community engagement and scholarship. Olena is a member of the National Council on Family Relations, Teaching Family Science Association, and the Society for Cross-Cultural Research.


Energizing the Study of Aging through Connections to Pop Culture and Real-World Perspectives

The judging panel was impressed with how Maria Carpiac, a full professor and the director of the gerontology program at California State University, Long Beach, developed a course titled Women and Aging: Lessons from the Golden Girls, which has become very popular among students and breathed life into the study of gerontology at the university. In the course, Dr. Carpiac screens episodes of the classic TV show Golden Girls and then leverages its plot points and themes to initiate rich discussions about issues and topics related to aging, including ageism, stereotypes, elder abuse, dementia, end-of-life, and more.

In addition to including an engaging and effective framework, Dr. Carpiac utilizes a bevy of instructional methods, such as flipping the classroom, online instruction, connecting students with gerontology-minded people and other professionals in the field, scaffolding assignments, small group work, large group discussions, and making the class student-driven through cofacilitation of class sessions. Women and Aging: Lessons from the Golden Girls attracts a truly intergenerational group with students ranging in age from their early 20s through their late 60s. This diversity allows for meaningful and nuanced discussions across age groups. Dr. Carpiac mentioned the greatest compliment she received was when a student brought her mother to a class session (with permission), because she thought the content was so important. As a former student notes, “after taking an elective with Dr. Carpiac, it is not uncommon for students from other majors to pursue a certificate or a minor degree in gerontology.”

Dr. Carpiac’s research and advocacy extends beyond the classroom. Her use of high impact practices in the classroom (and online), supported by appropriate training, has allowed her to serve a very diverse group of students with varied learning needs, including those served by the Bob Murphy Access Center at the university. Her research on age friendly universities has brought attention to non-traditional learners on the CSULB campus, engaging students who have returned to school at older ages. Her research involving the evaluation of a holistic wellness program at an assisted living community has provided opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students to gain experience conducting assessments of older adults and collecting data for scientific research.

We’re thrilled to honor Dr. Carpiac’s dedication to advocacy, research, and teaching in the areas of aging and gerontology.

Maria Carpiac, Ph.D., MSW, CPG is the Director of the Gerontology Program, which entails teaching Masters-level courses and advising students in the Masters, Certificate and Minor programs. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology (1997), master’s degree (2001) and Ph.D. (2006) in Social Welfare with a specialization in older adults from UCLA. After teaching as a lecturer for the UCLA Aging Cluster Program for two years, she joined the faculty of the Gerontology Program at CSULB in 2007. Her past research focused on the nation’s 142 VA Home-Based Primary Care programs (HBPC) that serve more than 37,000 homebound veterans. Carpiac’s work helped home health agencies to better serve patients that may be at heightened risk during disasters by providing them with tools that improve the preparedness of these vulnerable individuals. Her current research focuses on the Age-Friendly University, which CSULB became in 2018. Dr. Carpiac serves as President for the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics (CCGG) and received CCGG’s Betty and James Birren Emerging Leader Award in 2011 for her strong record in teaching, research, and service. She is currently Vice President of CSULB’s Rho Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society and serves on the Governing Board of a local hospital.




Helping Students and Professionals Understand the Depth and Breadth of Career Paths in Family Science

Recognizing a need for career exploration resources to empower family science students, Erica Jordan, a clinical associate professor at the University of Houston, redesigned the Careers in Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) course and developed a corresponding website and podcast that can be accessed by anyone, ad-free and free of charge. These efforts have improved the online classroom environment, increased access for students, stimulated interest in family science, and served as a creative and innovative use of technology in teaching.

In particular, the judging panel was impressed with Dr. Jordan’s development of the HDFS Careers website and podcast, which (at the time of this award application) features 28 full-length interviews with professionals across the discipline, showcasing the depth and breadth of career paths in family science. The show has more than 10,000 show listeners from 19 countries around the world, demonstrating the impact of this resource not only for Dr. Jordan’s students but also for a broad range of students and professionals internationally. Visit the site here:

Dr. Jordan’s redesigned Careers in HDFS course has also immensely benefited students through its presentation of six specific units centered on students’ needs:

Unit 1: Begin With You! (Values, skills, resume, reflections)

Unit 2: The Field of Family Science (Historical, contemporary, and ethics readings)

Unit 3: Explore (Broad variety of jobs)

Unit 4: Dig Deeper (Analyzing specific jobs and graduate programs)

Unit 5: Connect (Professional Profile Project)

Unit 6: Plan (Communicating about family science and goals

Student testimonials say it all:

A recent student wrote, “After completing this course, I can honestly say that many things that were a blur or unclear about a career in HDFS are now clear… Thankfully, this course provided me with the right resources and assignments to push me to explore in depth what else is needed to achieve my career goal.”

Another wrote, “This is a must have professional development course, I feel like it should be a requirement. I gained so much…”

We’re thrilled to recognize Dr. Jordan’s innovative technological practices and her ability to help students and professionals understand the depth and breadth of career paths available to them in family science. 

Erica Jordan, Ph.D., CFLE (Certified Family Life Educator) is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies in the Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences at UH. She is a proud resident of UH, serving as the Faculty-in-Residence for Cougar Village I. She earned a Ph.D. in Psychology, specializing in Developmental Science, from the University of Alabama. She also earned a master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies with specialties in both Child Development and Family Studies. Dr. Jordan is primarily engaged in undergraduate instruction and regularly teaches courses such as Development of Contemporary Families, Parent-Child Relationships, and Careers in Human Services. She is passionate about career options for students who wish to serve families and communities, often presenting on topics related to undergraduate career development and maintaining the HDFS Careers blog. She serves the community and her profession as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Family Policy Section of the National Council on Family Relations.

2022 Winners


Revolutionizing the Study of Masculinity and Its Impact on Family Health and Well-Being

The judging panel was impressed by how Kevin Roy, a tenured full professor in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland, College Park developed a new course titled “Man Up? Health, Masculinities, Families, and Inequality.” The course is a signature elective for underclassmen and has been delivered to over 1,000 students over 20 semesters. Within the course, students examine the impacts of masculinity on family health and well-being. They explore adolescent development, emerging adulthood, and aging for men over the life course; men’s mental health; consent and intimate relationships; violence and war; White supremacy and men’s entitlement; and child/father bonds, coparenting, and kin networks. The course prioritizes critical examination of structural racism, including African American, Latino, East and Southeast Asian, and White masculinities, and recognizing a full spectrum of sexual orientation and gender identities.

“Man Up?” is offered via hybrid, in-person, and online versions, and includes lectures, discussions of documentaries, activities, and large group debates. Professor Roy hosts an “essential fathering” debate in which students consider the necessity of biological fathers’ involvement for children’s health and well-being. He shares real-world narratives from and experiences with low-income men, incarcerated and immigrant fathers, and emerging adults on the margins of school and world. Professor Roy invites guest speakers to his course, including researchers who conduct prostate cancer screenings at local barbershops, peer educators who develop healthy masculinity interventions on campus, and community practitioners who implement trauma prevention programs for unaccompanied youth in immigrant Central American families. Innovative assignments—including the critique of an empirical journal article on a men’s health issues; collaboration with the Center of Health Literacy to communicate health information effectively and accurately within their communities; and utilizing qualitative coding techniques to conduct a life history interview with their fathers—help students better understand ideas surrounding masculinity and health within our world, contribute in a meaningful way to their communities, and reconnect with their parents, at times helping them counter the legacy of toxic masculinity within their own families.

Courses on fatherhood are quite scarce within the family science discipline. This innovative class transcends similar offerings to ensure students develop the skills necessary to work in communities with men, builds their health literacy knowledge, exposes them to rigorous scientific methods and public health principles, and helps them better understand the complexity of fathers and the family. Additionally, “Man Up?” successfully marries family science and public health, representing an exciting new direction for family science studies and courses.

We truly believe Kevin Roy’s innovation, leadership, and dedication to his students will result in healthier and happier families and communities.

Kevin Roy, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland College Park School of Public Health. He is recognized as an expert in the field of fatherhood research with two decades of experience working with low-income families and community-based parenting programs. His research focuses on the life course of young men on the margins of kin networks and the workforce as they transition into adulthood and fatherhood.

Through participant observation and life history interviews, Dr. Roy explores men’s health equity and disparities (specifically trauma), masculinities, and policy systems, such as migration, incarceration, and community-based parenting programs. He has received funding for his research from NICHD, the W.T. Grant Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the National Poverty Center. He served as a deputy editor for the Journal of Marriage and Family and has published over 50 articles and chapters, in this journal as well as Social Problems, American Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Family Theory and Review, Family Relations, and Pediatrics.

He is a current editor for the new Sourcebook on Family Theories and Methodologies (2022). His book, Nurturing dads: Social initiatives for contemporary fathering in the ASA Rose Series, was published by Russell Sage Foundation Press in 2012. He received degrees in human development and social policy at Northwestern University (PhD 1999, MS, 1995) and in international affairs with a focus on Soviet studies at Georgetown University (BSFS, 1988).


Developing Innovative Teaching Methods and Theory to Cultivate Students’ Knowledge and Empathy

The judging panel was impressed by how Sothy Eng, an assistant professor in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, has developed a method called DRCRA to challenge students to read with purpose, find relevance in the material to their own lives, and learn to apply what they’ve read. Through a storytelling presentation, students share a personal relationship story requiring them to Describe the story (like a news reporter), React to the issues based on stereotypes (like a misinformed audience), Reflect on the reading materials (like a scholar/scientist), Connect to their own life (like a conscious, informed audience), and Apply it to promote healthy family relationships (like a practitioner). This presentation not only helps students master their public speaking skills, but also enable them to connect with each other via openness and vulnerability—a key to enhancing communications and healthy relationships.

Professor Eng is guided by his teaching theory, Critical, Empathetic, and Mindful Relations, a relationship-building framework that allows students to be critical (of structures beyond their controls), empathic (of others and that they may go through hard times and are trying their best), and mindful (of themselves, meaning they are aware of their decisions, values, and vulnerabilities). This approach builds community within the classroom and helps students prepare to engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds in their future work.

Finally, hands-on projects in Professor Eng’s courses require students to work collaboratively with others to develop tangible resources that can be accessed by and are useful to the public. In his Intimacy, Marriages, and Families course, students produced family coping factsheets, websites, and videos on topics including divorce, single-parent families, food, foster care, immigration, violence, death, and sex education. In his Community Needs and Resources course, students created needs assessment reports and grant proposals on the topics of parking and food access. At the end of the term, grant proposals are ready for submission and consideration.

Dr. Sothy Eng is an assistant professor of human development and family studies (HDFS) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He received his B.S. in psychology from Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), and his M.S. and Ph.D. in HDFS from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, with Dr. Miriam Mulsow as dissertation chair. He spent one year as a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA’s California Center for Population Research in 2010 with Dr. Patrick Heuveline before he started his faculty position at Lehigh University in the comparative and international education program. Between 2011 and 2018, he led the Caring for Cambodia-Lehigh University partnership, a program that offered graduate students the opportunity to gain research-to-practice experience in educational research, evaluation, and program development. Dr. Eng’s research interests include sustainable food systems; the role of social networks in promoting healthy families and resilient communities; program development and evaluation; as well as gender, family, and education issues pertaining to the Cambodian context. He founded the Home Garden Network program with the goal of obtaining food security, increasing family interactions, and expanding social networks in local communities through engaging families in gardening and plant education. Dr. Eng also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.



Implementing Care-Based Pedagogy and Emphasizing Interlinking Teaching, Advising, and Scholarship

The judging panel was impressed with how Mamta Saxena, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development at the State University of New York at Oswego, enriched her research-based courses with a care-based pedagogy and an emphasis on interlinking teaching, advising, and scholarship. She combined frameworks, such as Bloom’s Taxonomy and an adapted version of the Partners in Parenting Education model, to introduce a four-step instructional model integrating subject mastery, a gamified approach, authentic assessment, and content accessibility in synchronous and asynchronous courses. Utilizing this method, Dr. Saxena’s students collected data on approximately 400 individuals to study the impact of COVID-19 on family routines, coping, and stress, which yielded valuable data and also taught students best practices in survey design and data collection. An account of Dr. Saxena’s implementation of this model and its positive result on student outcomes was published in March of 2022 in the Family Science Review.

Additionally, Dr. Saxena collaborated with several community partners in Central New York to foster civic engagement, problem-solving, and critical thinking in practice skills. The NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports provided Naxalone training to internship course students, and one of those students reported saving a life due to this training opportunity.

Dr. Saxena also fostered inclusive and equitable practices and integrated diversity, equity, and inclusions perspective into all of her courses. For example, in her Diversity and Social Justice course, she proposed study abroad programs with travel to Costa Rica in January of 2022 and decolonized her syllabus and course content to support DEI efforts and enhance students’ global perspective and cultural competency skills.

Dr. Mamta Saxena is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development at the State University of New York at Oswego. She completed her Ph.D. in human development and family studies from the University of Connecticut and her master’s degree in child development from Delhi University, India.

Dr. Saxena’s research interests include mixed methods research on sibling relationships, mental health and caregiving, evaluation of study abroad programs, and teaching pedagogy. She has published her research and findings in the Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science, OBM Geriatrics, Journal of Family Issues, Journal or Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, Journal of Family Theory & Review, and Journal of Personality and Clinical Studies. Dr. Saxena is also actively involved in the internationalization of the human development curriculum.


2021 Winners


Preparing the Next Generation of Family Science Scholars and Instructors

The judging panel was impressed by how Alan C. Taylor, a tenured professor within the Department of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) at East Carolina University, has developed an innovative and unique graduate-level instructor preparation program, which provides students with a hands-on and deeply immersive opportunity to learn the principles of effective instruction. This program trains students who are interested at teaching at the undergraduate level. Program participants meet with Dr. Taylor regularly to discuss active way to move beyond the typical lecture and better connect with students. Participants teach three to four lectures in their assigned classes and after each one, they meet with Dr. Taylor to discuss what worked well and as ways to improve their next lecture. We believe this constructive, practical feedback is building and molding the next generation of instructors.

Dr. Taylor’s dedication to innovative teaching doesn’t stop with his graduate-level instructor preparation program. Last year, he taught one of the largest classes offered in the HDFS Department at East Carolina University, “Marriage and Family Relations,” with over 125 students enrolled. Despite the shift to online teaching amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Taylor made it a priority to personally connect with his students and ensure they got the most out of the course. Within the class, students are challenged to examine their past relationships, evaluate their present relationships, and look for ways to improve their future relationships. His teaching incorporates role plays and real-life examples to which students can relate and apply directly to their current situations. His students share that his class discussions and activities have influence them to improve their personal and family relationships and discover ways to strengthen their dating relationships.

In his “Research, Teaching, and Leadership Experience in HDFS” course, students learn how to start and complete a mini-research project. Dr. Taylor leads them through the process until the presentation/publication stage, which results in student co-authorship. Within the past year, he has trained and mentored four advanced HDFS undergraduate students, involving them in his research and training them as effective teaching assistants.

Students enrolled in Dr. Taylor’s “Introduction to Children, Family, and Community Services” course get the opportunity to experience service-learning at a local nonprofit community partner location. Fifteen hours of community service are required, and reflection activities help students connect their experiences to the family life education course content. His course is strategically designed to help students learn family life education core concepts and principles while also helping them develop a sense of empathy and compassion for others through service. 

Alan C. Taylor, Ph.D., CFLE is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at East Carolina University (ECU). He received his master’s degree in family life education/family science from Brigham Young University and his Ph.D. in family and child development from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dr. Taylor has taught family life education and family relationship curriculum at the university level for over 25 years. He has taught over 25 different human development and family science academic courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Since 2013, Dr. Taylor has also led 14 different ECU study abroad programs to multiple countries around the world. He has worked within the community as a family life educator in state prison settings and as a court-mandated parenting instructor.

This summer, Dr. Taylor coedited the second edition of Family Life Education with Diverse Populations with Sharon Ballard, which will be available in 2022. He is also the coeditor of Global Perspectives on Family Life Education with Mihaela Robila. Dr. Taylor has authored/co-authored over 40 journal articles and book chapters related to the fields of family science and family life education. His scholarly research examines grandfather involvement/grandfather-grandchild relationships, best practices in family life education and pedagogy, and young adult romantic relationship development.


Supporting LGBTQPIA+ Education, Safety, and Dialogue In and Out of the Classroom

The judging panel was impressed by how Dee Hill-Zuganelli, an assistant professor of child and family studies at Berea College, leveraged remote teaching technology and online communication platforms to help students evaluate safety and sense of belonging among LGBTQPIA+ minoritized students. As part of a seminar course called “Sexuality in Everyday Life,” a capstone project involved soliciting first-person perspectives with consent and combining them with personal observations to determine ratings for campus safety. Dr. Hill-Zuganelli trained students on using the Whiteboard and Annotate features within Zoom during a live demonstration, shared a campus map, and instructed students to annotate “safe zones” on campus and share relevant factors in their evaluations as part of a broad group discussion.

Having set ground rules for making the class a brave space, Dr. Hill-Zuganelli asked students who have disclosed LGBTQPIA+ membership to lead the discussion and for their heterosexual peers to listen attentively. Students shared vicarious and secondhand information that aligned with safe, unsafe, and neutral zones. Without prompting, students initiated further discussion of unwelcome campus-community contacts on nearby campus streets and lots (deeming the bulk of those places unsafe).

With permission, Dr. Hill-Zuganelli shared key themes and testimonials confidentially with members of the campus LGBTQPIA+ issues task force and prepared a report on the learning activity.  The task force is now following this teaching template to host in-person and online student forums on appraising LGBTQPIA+ safety.

Dr. Hill-Zuganelli is instrumental in crafting and teaching culturally and sexually inclusive curricula at Berea College that forges connection and allyship between LGBTQPIA+ and heterosexual students and helps the latter break down biases that may negatively impact their future work in the helping professions.

Dee Hill-Zuganelli is an assistant professor of child and family studies at Berea College. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology, a graduate teaching certificate, and a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Arizona, as well as an additional master’s degree in family studies with concentration in marriage and family therapy from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Hill-Zuganelli’s areas of research include cultural humility, diverse family structures, ethical minority families, family engagement, LGBTQ+ families, organizational studies, and relationship dissolution.


Ensuring Students Receive an International Experience before Graduating—Even During a Global Pandemic 

The judging panel was impressed by how Kerry Weil Tripp, a principal lecturer in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland, created the university’s Virtual Global Internship Program, which allows students to engage with international researchers and businesses, as well as local partners working with international populations. Through this program, students have had the opportunity to conduct global research on topics ranging from environmental justice to COVID-19 contract tracing in Africa. Dr. Weil Tripp spearheaded a collaboration with Seoul National University (SNU) and UMD’s Ag/Extension program; now, UMD students help SNU faculty research about Korean-American families, and SNU students compare childhood education standards in both countries. During the first year of the Virtual Global Internship Program, Dr. Weil Tripp supported the creation of over 50 virtual internships opportunities.

Additionally, when her Cuba study abroad class was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Weil Tripp created an online global classroom, “Assisted Reproduction Law and Policy in the U.S. and Brazil.” Students from UMD and the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro use Zoom to facilitate class discussion and projects to promote cross-cultural learning and international research and understanding. The class is open to all to encourage other disciplines to study the family, increasing its impact. During the two pilot classes in 2021, students noted how lucky they were to have this international experience while in lockdown in their home countries and how it helped to mitigate the inability to learn via travel during the pandemic.

Kerry Weil Tripp, J.D. is a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School and practiced law in San Francisco and Baltimore before joining academia. She is a principal lecturer in the Department of Family Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. She teaches undergraduate and graduate law classes, including a study abroad comparative family law class in Havana, Cuba, and a virtual law and ethics course on assisted reproduction technologies in conjunction with the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

2019 Winners


Moving the Discipline Forward at the Local and Global Levels

The judging panel was impressed by how Rosemary William Eustace, a tenured associate professor within the College of Nursing and Health at Wright State University, has translated family concepts to her nursing courses in order to emphasize the vital role of family in health and health care. Her personal scholarship and innovative teaching approaches have illuminated this critical facet of health care for her students and, in doing so, demonstrated the need for the Family Science discipline to continue to move forward in dynamic and contemporary ways.

Within her courses, Dr. Eustace leverages findings from her pilot study on the meaning of family interventions among acute care nurses to emphasize the importance of family assessment, collaboration, and family outcomes in nursing practice. She facilitates cross-cultural learning by assigning a scholarly paper on a family-focused assessment and a group assignment on local cultural groups such African American, Jewish, military, and Amish families. These assignments are guided by concepts from the Neuman’s System Model and aim at enriching students’ cultural competency in family nursing care, which better prepares them for holistic, compassionate and inclusive practice.

Outside the classroom, Dr. Eustace facilitates practical learning opportunities via home visits at both the local and global level. At the local level, she coordinates students’ community clinical experiences in home health nursing. At the global level, she organizes students’ home-based interviews with HIV clients and their families in Tanzania. She also coordinates cultural immersion opportunities for students that include attending local family weddings, religious observations, and other unique family-based events.

Recently, Dr. Eustace and her colleagues designed and implemented a family health promotion simulation in the college’s undergraduate public health course, the first of its kind within the nursing program. The simulation introduces students to the application of the family genogram and ecomap in family nursing practice and the role of family in health promotion within the context of the larger community.

Rosemary William Eustace, R.N., Ph.D., PHNA-BC teaches courses in family and community health nursing, global health service learning, and critical reasoning in systems thinking. She also leads the Tanzania Global Study Abroad program for the university and was a 2017 Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow. Dr. Eustace holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in family life education from Kansas State University, as well as a M.S. in community health-clinical nurse specialist from Wright State University.  She is an active member of the website management team, a repository for resources about nursing knowledge development.


Introducing an Intersectional Perspective to Family Theories Courses

The judging panel was impressed by how Brian G. Ogolsky, an associate professor and director of graduate programs in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has updated and revolutionized his family theories course to introduce an intersectional perspective that reflects the complex diversity of modern families. Intersectionality is now woven throughout the course to draw attention to how disparities, marginalization, and privilege manifest, as well as how diverse identities are viewed or affected by processes outlined in each of the major, classic family science theories. Dr. Ogolsky’s innovative redevelopment of this course created the opportunity for him to inform other family scholars about the need for diverse perspectives in family science at the teaching conference of the Family Science Association in 2017.

In addition, to provide his students with a more interactive learning environment, Dr. Ogolsky has “flipped” his Advanced Statistics and Close Relationship courses over the past year. To build effective flipped courses, he revised and recorded lecture material for students to watch prior to class. He developed interactive learning modules for each in-class session. Finally, he redesigned the assessment structure of the courses to allow for more dynamic assignments that allow student to demonstrate a wider breadth of skills.

Last fall, Dr. Ogolsky became the Director of Graduate Programs within his department, and his colleagues are quick to laud his excellent leadership within this new role. Dr. Ogolsky has begun new initiatives focused on attracting new applicants, enhancing the qualifying exam process, and fostering community among graduate students and faculty. These efforts demonstrate Dr. Ogolsky’s ongoing dedication to advancing the family sciences discipline, engaging students and educators in novel ways, and providing innovative leadership to all who work with him.

Brian G. Ogolsky, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as an affiliate faculty member in the university’s Family Law and Policy program. He holds a Ph.D. and a M.S. in family studies and human development from the University of Arizona.


Providing Students Opportunities to Build Their Intercultural Competence

The judging panel was impressed by how Jacquelyn Wiersma-Mosley, a tenured associate professor at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, parlayed her experience teaching large introductory courses on family relations and adolescent development into the creation of a new course with focus on multicultural families. This course increases students’ awareness of their own ethnic identities, reflects on families from a diverse array of cultures, and develops critical thinking skills needed to effectively engage with people from different cultures. To increase ethnic identity among her primarily affluent white students, Dr. Wiersma-Mosley uses’s DNA analysis as an innovative and unique way for students to understand where they came from. It also provides students with empirical data of their genetic ethnicity using DNA for an assigned genealogy project.

Additionally, she became a trained administrator in the Intercultural Development Inventory so she could assess her students’ intercultural competency learning in her course and examine the impact of her curriculum. She provides students with the opportunity to “choose their own adventure” where they choose what activities and assignments they feel will increase their intercultural competence. As part of this program, students analyze media content, write papers about historical figures, examine cultural issues in the news, reflect on their own ethnic identity and genealogy, attend cultural events, and write reflection papers on their own stereotypes, privileges, and implicit biases.

Dr. Wiersma-Mosley is using this knowledge to develop a new course, Introduction to Cultural Competence, to provide students with new, innovative, and effective activities that increase intercultural competence. The course will be part of the general education curriculum on campus, which highlights family science as an important element in education.

Jacquelyn D. Wiersma-Mosley, Ph.D. is a tenured associate professor of human development and family sciences in the School of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She holds a Ph.D. in human development and family studies from Texas Tech University and a M.S. in family studies and human development from Arizona State University.


2018 Winners


A Commitment to Community and Collaboration

The judging panel was impressed by how Melissa Landers-Potts, a senior lecturer of human development and family science at the University of Georgia, has leveraged the concepts of community and collaboration to significantly expand the reach of her teaching practices and provide her students with dynamic, applied learning opportunities.

Most notably, Dr. Landers-Potts established a partnership with Prevail Health, a company that offers online peer mentoring and mental health services for youth. Through an interface designed especially for her course, Dr. Landers-Potts’ students receive online wellness coaching training and then serve as online peer wellness coaches for 13-25 year old clients around the globe. This innovative approach provides students with the flexibility to complete service learning remotely, at any time during the week; an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people all over the world; and a global perspective and greater understanding of how culture impacts family environment. Additionally, the incorporation of human development material from Dr. Landers-Potts’ course so greatly improved the quality of wellness coaching through Prevail Health, the company modified their peer mentor training to include content directly from Dr. Landers-Potts’ course.

In addition, Dr. Landers-Potts has established a relationship with an alternative high school at which her students provide tutoring; created and designed an online version of her adolescent and emerging adult development course, which is fully online in regard to course content and service learning activities; utilized her Writing Fellow stipend to bring all the lecturers in her department together to develop a universal, holistic writing rubric; and led her college’s London Study Abroad program and created a seminar comparing various aspects of human and family life in the United Kingdom compared to the United States.

Melissa Landers-Potts, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer of human development and family science at the University of Georgia, where she teaches courses in family development, lifespan development, adolescence, diversity, and the effect of technology on human development. She earned her doctoral degree in human development and family science and her master’s degree in sociology from the University of Georgia.


Incorporating Tools and Technology to Engage Students

The judging panel was impressed by how Bill Anderson, an associate professor in the College of Applied Science and Technology at Illinois State University, has mastered the use of tools and technology in his classroom to better engage students and provide them with new opportunities to apply the theories and information they learn in his courses.

Dr. Anderson has incorporated active learning software into his parenting classes, providing students with interactive educational experiences. The software empowers students to use the information they learn in class to describe their child, make theory-based predictions, and evaluate those predictions as the child ages.

In his graduate-level human development and social context course, Dr. Anderson uses a documentary series to provide students with an interrupted video case study experience. Students watch a portion of the documentary, then are challenged to interpret what they observed, make predictions about the case, and then reflect upon their predictions and theoretical applications as they watch new video clips, which spans 49 years of an individual’s life.

The impact of Dr. Anderson’s teaching is realized through the voices of his students, who sing his praises and often comment on how much they’ve learned in his courses.

Bill Anderson, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the College of Applied Science and Technology at Illinois State University. Over the course of his teaching career, he has taught courses in educational psychology, human development, music therapy techniques, and guitar. Dr. Anderson earned his doctoral degree in educational psychology from the University of Alabama and master’s degrees in human environmental sciences and music at the University of Alabama and Southern Theological Seminary, respectively.


Advancing the Scholarship of Family Science

The judging panel was impressed by the sheer volume and the outstanding quality of scholarship Raeann R. Hamon, Distinguished Professor of Family Science and Gerontology and the chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Messiah College, has contributed to the discipline of Family Science. She has published five books since 2007 and has authored 36 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. In her works, Dr. Hamon consistently demonstrates the relevance and application of the discipline of Family Science. Due to her outstanding and continued publications and presentations, Dr. Hamon has been recognized by NCFR and serves as the Chair-Elect of the Advancing Family Science Section.

In addition to her contributions in advancing scholarship of the discipline, Dr. Hamon has implemented a variety of innovative teaching practices to her courses at Messiah College. She created The Elder Service Partner Program, an intergenerational service-learning program that pairs students with Elder Service Partners in the community. Students learn firsthand the value of intergenerational relationships, combat stereotypes related to older adults, and build a sensitivity and awareness to challenges facing aging populations.

In Dr. Hamon’s Dynamics of Family Interaction course, students are challenged to create a family genogram including three generations of family members and incorporating demographic, educational, occupational, medical, and social familial detail. Students then reflect on their findings, highlighting patterns and insights within their family system that are significant to their families’ functioning.

Raeann R. Hamon, Ph.D., CFLE, is a Distinguished Professor of Family Science and Gerontology and the chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Messiah College, where she teaches courses in family interaction, the sociology of aging, family life education, opportunities in human development and family science, and interpersonal relationships. She earned her doctoral and master’s degrees in family studies from Virginia Tech.