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NDSU DS program names award after student

NDSU doctoral student Mark Suffolk was awarded the inaugural “Outstanding Contributions in Developmental Science” award. NDSU’s developmental science faculty unanimously chose Suffolk to receive the honor.

Suffolk, from Syston, England, returned to school at the age of 45 to pursue his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He was accepted into NDSU’s doctoral development science program in 2013 at age 50 and moved to Fargo.

He researched eating disorders and body image with NDSU associate professor Elizabeth Blodgett Salafia. He designed a study examining positive deviance in sports and possible connections to body and eating concerns. He presented body image research at conferences in Australia and Lithuania, and published work in prestigious journals.

“His research skills and classroom performance are unmatched,” said Blodgett Salafia.

Suffolk experienced health concerns in late 2015 and moved back to England. He then was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

“Although Mark may not be able to earn his doctorate, his contributions to the developmental science program, NDSU and the larger field deserve to be recognized,” said Blodgett Salafia.

Suffolk traveled to NDSU to receive the award. The name of the award will be changed to the “Mark T. Suffolk Outstanding Contributions in Developmental Science Award” in subsequent years.

“The developmental science faculty will choose an annual winner for this award who demonstrates similar strengths, virtues, compassion and intelligence as Mark,” said Blodgett Salafia.

DS student Jennifer Wenner awarded doctoral dissertation award

Develomental Science Ph.D. Student Jen Wenner has been awarded an NDSU Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Award for 2016-2017. The award includes a generous fellowship stipend and funds for her research. Congratulations, Jen!

DS Students and faculty selected for 2016 College of HDE Research Showcase awards

Student's Choice Award Winner: Maegan Jones, Alison Brennan, Mark Suffolk, Elizabeth Blodgett Salafia and Judith Mergen for their poster entitled “Drive for Muscularity or Drive for Low Body Fat? The Relationship Among Perfectionism, Sexual Satisfaction, and Men's Body Image

People's Choice Award Winner: Courage Mudzongo, Brandy Randall and Molly Secor-Turner for their poster entitled: Sexual and Reproductive Health Knowledge and Behaviors of At-Risk Adolescents"

DS student Mark Suffolk selected for Outstanding Contributions in Developmental Science Award

Congratulations to Mark for being selected to receive the 2016 NDSU Outstanding Contributions in Developmental Science Award!

DS student and faculty have manuscript accepted by Child and Youth Care Forum

Brennan, A. L., Hektner, J. M., Brotherson, S. E., & Hansen, T. M. (2016). A nonrandomized evaluation of a brief Nurtured Heart Approach parent training program. Child and Youth Care Forum. doi: 10.1007/s10566-016-9351-4

DS student awarded the College of Human Development Graduate Research Award

Congratulations to Maegan Jones for being selected to receive the graduate research award spring semester 2016.

DS student finalist in 2016 3 Minute Thesis Competition

Congratulations to Courage Chikomborero Mudzongo on a job well done in the championship round of the three-minute-thesis competition!!

Intern from Germany works in the Eating Disorders and Body Image Lab

Judith is a doctoral student who came to the Eating Disorders and Body Image Lab from Münster, Germany on a research scholarship in the fall of 2015. While here, she worked on a research project using the Eating Attitudes Study data, gave an oral presentation on her dissertation work, and assisted with planning and conducting a new eye-tracking study. She is a contributing author on a conference poster to be presented in July and an article in preparation

Paper published in the Journal of Eating Disorders by DS faculty and current DS doctoral student as well as two previous Master’s students in the HDFS department

Blodgett Salafia, E.H., Jones, M.E., Haugen, E.C., & Schaefer, M.K. (2015). Perceptions of the causes of eating disorders: A comparison of individuals with and without eating disorders. Journal of Eating Disorders, 3, 1-10.

DS student presents at Biennial Meeting in Austin Texas October 2015

Maegan Jones presented at the Society for the Study of Human Development Biennial Meeting in Austin, Texas October 16-18 2015.  The posters were also presented on February 4, 2015 at the Graduate Student Research & Arts Forum and NDSU, April 15, 2015 at the College of Human Development and Education showcase at NDSU.

 Jones, M. E., & Blodgett Salafia, E. H. (2015, October). The Effect of Parental Warmth on Girls’ Drive for Thinness: Do Both Parents Matter? Poster presented at the 2015 biennial meeting of the Society for the Study of Human Development, Austin, TX.

Jones, M. E., & Blodgett Salafia, E. H. (2015, March). The need for better eating disorder education in early-childhood schools. Poster presented at the 2015 biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, PA. 

DS student wins Student's Choice Award at the 2015 HDE Research Showcase

Maegan Jones and Beth Blodgett Salafia won the College of Human Development and Education 2015 Research Showcase Student's Choice Award for their poster entitled “Girls' Drive for Thinness: The Effects of Differing Levels of Parental Warmth and Pressure to be Thin”

DS student presents research in Australia and publishes abstract in the Journal of Eating Disorders

Suffolk, M.T., Blodgett Salafia, E.H., & Jones, M.E. (2015). The psycho-behavioral correlates of a drive to be toned among female university students. -presented at the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders Conference

Developmental Science students recognized at College Honors Day

Congratulations to our Developmental Science PhD students Maegan Jones for winning the HDE Board of Visitors Scholarship ($3000) and Alison Brennan for winning the Dr. Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff and James Lebedeff Never Stop Learning  Scholarship ($1,710).

DS student an NDSU Representative at the National Making Our CASE Workshop

Allison Brennan was recently selected to be one of two NDSU student representatives at the national Making Our CASE: Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering workshop in Washington, DC in April. During the three and a half day program participants will learn about the structure and organization of Congress, the federal budget and appropriations processes, and tools for effective science communication and civic engagement. In addition, they will participate in interactive seminars about policy-making and communications, and will have an opportunity to learn about ways to remain engaged through on-campus activities. Participants will also meet with their elected Members of Congress and congressional staff members.

Developmental Science Ph.D. Student, Courage Mudzongo, Finalist in 2015 Three Minute Thesis Competition

Graduate students share research on healthy aging


Developmental Science Doctoral student researches impact of mission trips


Developmental Science Doctoral student studies effects of clean water in remote Kenya


Doctoral Students Share Research

Developmental science doctoral students presented research and interactive activities on optimal aging to two groups of older adults at Broadway Station and Touchmark at Harwood Groves senior centers in Fargo.

Student participants included:

Brooke Kranzler talked about the benefits of meditation for cognitive functioning and led participants in a guided mediation activity.

Franchesca Cortez emphasized the importance of exercising all parts of the brain during everyday activities.

Savanna Jellison showed the benefits of balanced exercises, such as yoga.

Meghan Yerhot discussed resistance training for seniors, which improve balance, mobility and help in the prevention of falls.

Geoffrey Zehnacker brought his two service dogs and showed how animals serve to provide companionship, improve mood and reduce stress.

Vimbayi Chinopfukutwa covered how music can be used to promote coping and socioemotional health while aging.

Masahiro Toyama spoke about longevity and practices people in his native country of Japan use to live long, healthy lives. Toyama’s presentation focused primarily on the Japanese diet, which is high in vegetables, legumes and fruits, with low consumption of meats and moderate consumption of seafood and alcohol, Seniors sampled healthy Japanese foods.

The students are part of a course on adult development and aging.

“Older adults in our community not only enjoy, but also benefit from interacting with and learning from NDSU students,” said Heather Fuller, assistant professor of human development and family science. “This type of outreach allows students to take the concepts they have learned in the classroom and share them with those in the community whom the information directly benefits.”

DS Student Wins Preliminary Round of NDSU's 3-Minute-Thesis Competition

We are very proud to share that DS student Masahiro Toyama has won his preliminary round of NDSU's 3-Minute-Thesis Competition!!

DS Faculty Complete Study Identifying Unmet Needs of Caregivers

As part of NDSU's land-grant mission, Extension Gerontology Specialist Jane Strommen and Developmental Science faculty members Heather Fuller and Greg Sanders completed a study to identify the unmet needs of caregivers across the state. The ND Legislature is currently considering multiple bills to address some of the identified challenges.  Story in Fargo Forum

Alison Brennan Earns Doctorate in DS

Alison Brennan earned a doctorate in developmental science (DS faculty advisor Dr. Elizabeth Blodgett Salafia, associate professor). The Minot, North Dakota, native landed a job in June at Cass County Extension Services in Fargo and took vacation on Fridays to finish her dissertation. She says completing her degree has taught her resilience. “Regardless of what I do, I learned how to bounce back, approach challenges and who to go to when I need help,” she said.

DS faculty member receives Planned Parenthood's Exemplary Leadership Award

Congratulations to Brandy Randall (Developmental Science) and Molly Secor-Turner (Nursing) who received Planned Parenthood’s Exemplary Leadership Award tonight for their work providing evidence-based sexual education to ND adolescents through the Reach One Teach One program. Such a well-deserved honor!

Developmental Science Program News

You can also keep up with events, news, and other DS related stories on our facebook page.

Presenting....Dr. Jennifer Wenner!

Congratulations to Jen Wenner who successfully defended her dissertation on March 30 2017! Well done, Dr. Wenner! (Ph.D. supervisor Brandy Randall)

DS Students Winners of College Awards

Congratulations go out today to Jen Wenner for being named the winner of the HDE/Graduate School Research Award, and to Courage Mudzongo for being named the winner of the HDE/Graduate School Teaching Award.

Each will receive $1000 at the HDE Honors Day Brunch. Jen and Courage are Ph.D. students in the Developmental Science program. They are both advised by Brandy Randall.

These awards are testament to the high quality of our students and our program. Jen and Courage, we are proud of you!

2017 Mark T. Suffolk Award

Courage Chikomborero Mudzongo
receives the the 2017 Mark T. Suffolk Award for Outstanding Contributions in Developmental Science.  Congratulations Courage! 

DS Student Accepts Job in Metro Chicago

Congratulations to Jennifer Wenner who has accepted a job as the Quality and Evaluation Coordinator for the YMCA of Metro Chicago.  Way to go Jen, we are so happy for you!

DS Students Present at HDE Research Symposium 2017


DS Doctoral Student Vimbayi with her poster "Strong Relationships as Predictors of Effective Peer Education for Adolescents"
DS Doctoral Student Masahiro with his poster "Concurrent and Long-term Stress-buffering Effects of Social Integration in Later Life"
DS Doctoral Student Geoff with his poster "Parent Demographics in Nurturing Parenting: Implications for Programming"
DS Doctoral Candidate Courage with his team's poster "Associations between Alcohol and Marijuana Use, and Risky Sexual Behaviors among College Freshman"

DS student wins Graduate Showcase Award at the 2017 HDE Research Showcase

4.19.17 - Masahiro Toyama and Heather Fuller won the College of Human Development and Education 2017 Graduate Research Showcase Award for their poster entitled "Concurrent and Lon-Term Stress-Buffering Effects of Social Integration in Later Life"

DS student successfully defends dissertation

06.21.17 - Kudos to DS student Courage Mudzongo who successfully defended his dissertation entitled “Longitudinal analyses of the sexual and reproductive health knowledge and parent-adolescent communication of at-risk adolescents”! Courage will be joining the faculty of Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon in the Fall. Congratulations, Dr. Mudzongo.


Graduate Student Award for
Outstanding Assistance to Faculty


Welcome/Welcome Back Picnic 2017

Congratulations Savanna
Welcome and Welcome Back Students

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Last Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 4:08:03 PM
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