Two Certificates Available for All Students!

The Human Development and Family Science Department is pleased to announce the addition of two certificates! The certificates are in Aging Studies and Family Financial Planning

 Aging Studies

Courses included: Adult Development and Aging, Community Resources of Later Life, and Family Dynamics of Aging.

Family Financial Planning

Courses included: Consumer and Society, Personal and Family Finance, and Financial Counseling

Tour Italy During Spring Break!

Interested in going to Italy during spring break? Join Dr. Joel Hektner and Ann Werlinger from the HDFS department on a tour of an Italian daycare, universities and more!

Here is some information about the trip.

For more information go to this

Kerrie Leonard, DS Graduate Student Receives Developmental Science Award

Kerrie received the 2021 Graduate Student Award for Outstanding Assistance to Faculty.

Some of the comments from her nominators:

"Kerrie presents creative ideas and is eager to learn new things. She strives for equilibrium with everyone and everything."

"Our CYFAR LaunchSkills project would not be as successful as it is today if it weren't for Kerrie!"


DS Grad Students receive Graduate School Research Award and Graduate School Teaching Award

Jonix Owina (Ph.D. class of 2021) was selected as the recipient of the Graduate School Research Award for 2020-2021 in the College of Human Sciences and Education. Emma Johnson was selected as the recipient of the Graduate School Teaching Award for 2020-2021 in the College of Human Sciences and Education. It does not happen often that both recipients of these awards come from the same program! We are very proud of both Jonix and Emma! 

Deal Receives Great Plains IDEA Faculty Excellence Award

"Jim has been a faculty member who promotes meaningful learning and adherence to identified competencies, a faculty leader who contributes to course planning, assessment, and reporting, and a faculty colleague who approaches all of these duties with calmness, thoughtfulness, and respect.” according to Sissy Osteen, associate professor and department head at Oklahoma State University.

Read more about the GPIDEA program!

Fuller named RCA Researcher of the Month

In a surprise presentation to Dr. Fuller, the office of Research and Creative Activity presented her with the RCA Researcher of the Month award in January, 2021. 

Heather Fuller's passion for working with older adults began when she was young. Through both volunteer time and jobs, she found herself drawn to them and curious about what helps them age well. As an associate professor in the department of human development and family science at NDSU, Heather has continued along this path by conducting research about the importance of social relationships throughout our lifespans including the impact of interruptions in these relationships caused by distance or, most recently, the COVID-19.

"Human development is a process of growth and change across the entire lifespan, from infancy to old age," says Heather. "My research focuses on the role of social support in that developmental process throughout adulthood – but especially in the later years of life. Social support from family, friends, neighbors, and communities is an integral factor influencing well-being and development. Individuals do not develop alone; our lives are linked, and through those links we influence each other’s developmental paths and outcomes."

Read the full article here.

Related article here about the research: NDSU study: Older adults coping well during pandemic

Dena Wyum Recipient Odney Excellence in Teaching Award

Dena Wyum was named the 2019 recipient of the Odney Excellence in Teaching Award. This is a university-level award stemming from student nominations; no one from HDFS has received this award since 1990.  

Congratulations, Dena! We are proud to have you in our department. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to excellence in teaching.  

The Odney Award was established with the NDSU Development Foundation by the family of the late Robert Odney to recognize outstanding faculty teaching. The ideal candidate for the award would be one who stimulates continuing interest in the subject matter; presents course material in a clear and suitable manner; demands rigorous thought and generates enthusiastic responses from students; demonstrates distinctive competence in his or her field; and has made positive contributions to the educational experience of students at North Dakota State University. 


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