Get the latest HDFS Buzz!
Get the latest HDFS Buzz!
Welcome to the September 2020 edition of HDFS Buzz, the newsletter of the Texas Tech University Department of Human Development and Family Sciences. As we enter a new academic year, we would like to share exciting events and departmental accomplishments.
I am very excited to announce that the HDFS department has a new name that embodies the significant contributions of our faculty and students in the Family Sciences (more on that below). In addition, we warmly welcome into the HDFS family a new cohort of graduate students and a new faculty member. Our faculty and students continue to be recognized for their achievements and contributions to their respective fields of study through various awards and publications. 
I encourage you to send us your latest news and accomplishments to share with the HDFS community. Thank you for taking the time to read about the latest news in Human Development and Family Studies. We encourage you to visit our website to see our recently added “Give Now” feature, which provides an opportunity to support our programs through the HDFS Fund for Excellence. 
Ann M. Mastergeorge, Ph.D.
Department Chair
Rockwell Endowed Professor
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
College of Human Sciences
New Department Name: Human Development & Family Sciences
We are thrilled to announce our new name change from Human Development and Family Studies to Human Development and Family Sciences! HDFS has a long history at TTU, much of which has inspired our name change, along with the broadening field of Family Sciences. 
New Faculty Spotlight:
Dr. Niyantri Ravindran

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Ravindran to our department. Learn more about her background and why she chose TTU in the recent Q&A we conducted with her.
Department Highlights
  • Numerous HDFS department faculty received the following FY 2021 College of Human Sciences Faculty Awards. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments. Below is a list of the awards and the faculty recipients:
    • Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching Award: Dr. Malinda Colwell
    • Spencer A. Wells Award for Creativity in Teaching Award: Dr. Stephanie Shine
    • President’s Academic Achievement Award: Dr. Dana Weiser
    • Alumni Association New Faculty Award: Dr. Gabriel “Joey” Merrin
    • COHS Faculty Award for Commitment to Outreach and Engagement: Dr. Sara Dodd
    • COHS Wolfe International Scholars Award: Dr. Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo
  • Dr. Joey Merrin as he has been accepted into the prestigious and very competitive Society for Prevention Early Career Prevention Scientists Training Program. The Society for Prevention Research (SPR) launched this two-year program to support early career prevention scientists with a focus on increasing underrepresented populations in prevention science research. Through this program, early career investigators will receive advanced training on establishing a prevention science research agenda through a summer institute, webinars, and monthly mentor (virtual) meeting. Scholars are matched with an SPR mentor(s) who will guide, train, and inspire the early career investigator. The recipient scholars will submit an NIH or NIH equivalent prevention science-focused grant.
  • Dr. Rebecca Oldham was awarded an Outstanding Dissertation Award for FY 2020 by the Graduate School in the category of Social Sciences. Rebecca’s advisor was Dr. Sylvia Niehuis; she graduated with her Ph.D. in May 2019 and joined the faculty at Middle Tennessee State University in fall 2019. 
  • Dr. Ann Mastergeorge was interviewed by Fox34 News on “How to talk to your kids about Racism, Protests”. Read the story
Pandemic Highlights Importance of Giving Children an Early Head Start
Texas Tech University's Center for Early Head Start (CEHS), an initiative of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Human Sciences, is designed to enhance the physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth and development of participating children. Furthermore, it responds to the families' needs by promoting positive interactions between adults and children and supporting caregivers in their parenting role.
Early Childhood Education Alumna Melds Teaching and Law Career
Given her love of math and science, 2007 Early Childhood Education alumna Samantha Villanueva-Meyer was originally drawn to Texas Tech for civil engineering. However, as she moved forward with her studies, her career path soon shifted to teaching. That's when she chose to switch the focus of her major, thus leading to a successful career in teaching and law. 
Support HDFS
Consider Supporting HDFS With A Gift 
Gifts made to the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) at Texas Tech University will directly support department initiatives and growth. We kindly invite you to partner with HDFS to help take our program to the next level. 
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