JUNE 4, 2021

Photo of Madalyn Tallo at her internship. Graphic reads, "HDFS Connect: Human Development & Family Science News."

Feature Stories


Students in Action

This year, human development and family science (HDFS) students were provided with a variety of placement opportunities for internships in both virtual and in-person formats. In the midst of a global pandemic, through observation, engagement, and capstone development, our students applied knowledge of theory, research, and best practices to increase skills and abilities that align with their career interests and future plans for employment.

Madalyn Tallo ’21

Madalyn Tallo

Madalyn spent her spring semester at a local elementary school, working alongside the school’s occupational therapist and engaging students in activities that help them accomplish set goals to promote their success both in the classroom and in everyday life.

After graduation, Madalyn plans to attend graduate school to become a pediatric Occupational Therapist. “I want to use my knowledge of growth and development from HDFS to help children accomplish the everyday tasks they may have difficulty with. I want to help give a child the ability to live their life to the fullest and to do all of the little things we should all be lucky enough to do with ease.” Read this story.

Ashlyn Friedberg ’21

Ashlyn Friedberg

Ashlyn completed an internship with Syracuse University’s Center for Disability Resources, where she learned about disability services and resources and conducted her own research project to support student needs. In the fall, she will start graduate school at Brooklyn College where she will pursue a degree in School Psychology. Read this story.

Jordyn Joel ’22

Jordyn interned in a local first grade classroom supporting the class teacher and helping students with their work. “Over the course of the semester, I have made it my goal to teach the class the importance of meditation and mindfulness.” After Syracuse, Jordyn plans to pursue a graduate degree in Social Work and start her own practice helping people and families. Read this story.


Message from the Chair

Eunjoo Jung

Over the past year, students in human development and family science faced new challenges amid a global pandemic. Navigating a new way of life on and outside of campus created experiences that were both unfamiliar and demanding. Student wellness and safety were at the forefront of this past academic year, recognizing the need to support students through this challenging time. I am very proud of our HDFS community that we were able to work through these unprecedented times together efficiently and diligently to minimize public health issues and maximize student experiences.

As part of our curriculum, students embark on an internship journey that serves as one of the most critical and formative experiences in our degree program. In 2020-21, HDFS students were provided with a variety of placement opportunities for internships in both virtual and in-person formats. In the midst of a global pandemic, our students completed 3,190 internship hours in service agencies such as LaFayette Central School District, C. Grant Grimshaw School, SU Center for Disability Resources, Big Picture School, to list only a few. Our students report their internships have allowed them to develop professional skills and transfer knowledge to practice. They felt highly supported by their professors and field supervisors, and gained confidence in professional settings that serve children and families. We thank our students for developing professional skills and transferring knowledge to practice in spite of the challenges that they faced during the pandemic and the community agencies for partnering with us this year to provide exceptional and innovative field experiences that align with our goal of promoting healthy development of children, youth, families, and communities.

Eunjoo Jung, Ed.D.
Associate Professor
Department Chair



Renewal Approval of Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE)

The human development and family science undergraduate program at Syracuse University has been reviewed by the National Council of Family Relations (NCFR). It has been recognized as an NCFR CFLE-approved program offering coursework covering the content required for the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation. Graduates of NCFR CFLE-approved programs qualify to apply for the CFLE designation via the CFLE-approved program process.

Upcoming Events

Save the following dates, and check back at syracuse.edu for more details as they are announced.

  • Coming Back Together: September 10 – 12
  • Family Weekend: October 8 – 10
  • Orange Central (Alumni Weekend): October 28 – 31



Student Awards 2020-21

Students were recognized for excellence in scholarship, leadership, service, and other outstanding accomplishment. Read more about the student award recipients.

Best Faculty Engagement Strategies Assessment Award

The Department of Human Development and Family Science received the One University Assessment Award in Best Faculty Engagement Strategies by the Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment in Syracuse University. The department was recognized and celebrated for the efforts as an academic program to study and enhance student learning outcomes and campus operations. HDFS celebrates our department’s accomplishment with all students, faculty, staff and is looking forward to the continued commitment to the HDFS and Syracuse University student experience.




HDFS Student Wellness Series

In 2020-21, HDFS students participated in a 3-part series of wellness events that were designed working with the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion to meet the needs of our students managing academic demands while many faced isolation and uncertainty due to the pandemic. These interactive workshops addressed common themes experienced by our students, including stress and worry, while teaching skills that cultivate positivity. Students not only benefitted from learning new information, but also reported feeling a sense of community while together in these virtual workshops.

Student Engagement

HDFS students engaged in the Syracuse University campus community in various departments and organizations in 2020-21. Students provided health and wellness education to students across campus through interactive programming and outreach as Barnes Center Peer Educators. As Falk Peer Advisors, HDFS students assisted in mentoring new students, providing peer to peer support that aims to support transition into college life. On the Falk College Dean’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, HDFS students collectively engaged in efforts to provide a forum for students to address racism, sexism, and ableism at the local and global level, with a focus on creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus climate within Falk and beyond. In addition, students participated in the Ottothon Dance Marathon, Syracuse University’s largest philanthropy that supports critical needs of local children and families facing illness and hospitalization. 

Student Organizations

Kappa Omicron Nu Society

Kappa Omicron Nu is the honor society for high-performing undergraduates in the Department of Human Development and Family Science. This year, the officers and members met regularly and worked to build up a sense of community during the remote scheduling. They set up a virtual discussion group and hosted a variety of events, including social events and mentoring events for first year students. They are also working to give back to the community and raising funds for the YWCA. A new group of members has been inducted in May 2021.

New HDFS Graduate Student Group

Graduate students worked hard over the last year to form an HDFS Graduate Student Group. The elected officers for this year include Corinne Blake (President), Qingyang Liu (Secretary), and Staceyann Reid (Student Liaison to the Graduate Committee). The group is open to all HDFS graduate students. The group meets regularly throughout the semester to build community, discuss concerns, and plan events to enhance professional development.

Future Professoriate Program

Future Professoriate Program (FPP) is a formal graduate student group that helps to prepare students to teach at the university level and learn more about the intricacies of the professorship. Seven HDFS graduate students involved in the Future Professoriate Program (FPP) attended the virtual Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting April 7-9, 2021, the largest research conference focused on children’s development. Current and former FPP students presented on topics such as the efficacy of mindfulness interventions, the implications of self-regulation skills for subsequent risk, sleep routines and developmental outcomes, the influence of parenting on emotional regulation skills, and the long-term consequences of maternal education.




Student Research

Undergraduate Research Spotlight: Dorbor Tarley

Dorbor Tarley ’22 was selected to present her research at the ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference April 9-10, 2021. Mentored by Professor Matt Mulvaney, Ph.D., her research studies how people are differentially concerned with postnatal health conditions based on mothers’ race. The study has important implications for interventions to improve postnatal ethnic group morbidity discrepancies.

Graduate Student Research

In 2020-21, HDFS graduate students presented their research at prestigious conferences that reflect the Department’s emphasis on lifespan development and cultural contexts. Specifically, 14 students presented at least one poster or paper at one of the following seven conferences: National Council of Family Relations (NCFR), Work and Family Research Network (WFRN), Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), American Psychological Association (APA), Society for Cross-Cultural Research (SCCR), American Educational Research Association (AERA), and Gerontological Society of America (GSA). Some of the topics included the impact of Ghanaian parenting typologies on adolescent outcomes, the effects of social learning at menarche on young women’s early sexual decisions, and the link between second-language acquisition and intellectual processing abilities. Graduate students published eight journal articles and an additional 10 manuscripts have been submitted for review.

Student-Alumni Collaboration Highlights

  • Ying Zhang (Ph.D. student) and Sangita Pudasainee-Kapri’s (Ph.D. alumna) poster presentation, “Longitudinal Links between Early Sleep Routine, Emotional Regulation, and Behavioral Outcomes in Head Start Children,” was recognized by the Society for Research in Child Development as one that best reflects interdisciplinary research.
  • In collaboration with Professor Jaipaul Roopnarine, Ph.D., Dickson Mukara Matsantsa Ong’ayi (Ph.D. student) and Elif Dede Yildirim (Ph.D. alumna) co-authored a book chapter, “Father Involvement in Different Family Systems Across Cultural Communities: Links to Childhood Development,” to appear in the Oxford Handbook on Fathering.

Faculty Research

In 2020-21, HDFS faculty published 33 peer-reviewed journal articles on topics such as family economic hardship and child outcomes, emotional reactivity and regulations in preschool-age children, violence in family and child social and literacy skills, helicopter parenting and child wellbeing, intergenerational support of older adults, religion and intergenerational solidarity, and sexual wellbeing in emerging adulthood. These articles appeared in prominent journals including Emerging Adulthood, Journal of Family Issues, Aging & Mental Health, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Journal of Child & Adolescent Mental Health, to list only a few. Additionally, more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles are under review for publication, 8 books or book chapters have been published and 6 are forthcoming. HDFS faculty, frequently working with and mentoring graduate students, presented 20 of their research works at prestigious conferences including National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), and Society for Cross-Cultural research (SCCR), amongst others. Faculty’s research work is supported by over 10 active grants funded by agencies including National Institute on Aging, John Templeton Foundation, Retirement Research Foundation, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and Syracuse University. HDFS faculty research publications have been heavily cited 37,937 times overall, and over 4,530 times in 2020-21. For more research from the Department of Human Development and Family Science, visit Experts@Syracuse or the Falk College Research Center.




Alumni Connect

The Department of Human Development and Family Science is eager to find ways to involve alumni our classrooms and the department. We invite you to share your stories and insight with current students. If you are interested in joining us virtually for guest lectures, interviews, or meetings with our undergraduate or graduate students, please complete this short form.

Complete Form

Stay connected to Syracuse University and Falk College through the Syracuse University Alumni Association. Visit cusecommunity.syr.edu to hear alumni stories, find out about upcoming events, and update your information with the University.

Alumni and Friends of Falk College

Want to get more involved with Falk College? Visit falk.syr.edu to connect with Falk College advancement and alumni teams.

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