2012 News

Dietetics program reaccredited

Nov. 29

The undergraduate Didactic Program in Dietetics and the graduate Dietetics Internship program received re-accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) for 10 years.

Faculty member appointed to Certified Family Life Educator advisory board

Nov. 29

Bryce Dickey, family studies faculty specialist II, has been elected to a three-year term on the Certified Family Life Educator Advisory Board. This board develops and implements policies regarding the promotion and advancement of the profession of family life education and the CFLE program at the National Council on Family Relations. Western Michigan University is the only institution of higher education in the state of Michigan to have approved CFLE programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Faculty member in dietetics published

Nov. 19

Ghada Soliman coauthored the following in press article, which has been accepted for publication in Acta Virologica, 2012; 56(3): 235-40. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and other risk factors in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Family studies faculty present at symposium

Nov. 19

Family studies faculty members Bryce Dickey, Linda Dove, Dr. John McElroy and Dr. Karen Blaisure presented a symposium entitled, "Function and value of advisory boards for academic programs" at the annual conference of the National Council of Family Relations in Phoenix, AZ in early November.

Graduate student ambassador announced

Oct. 31

Ben Williams (BA, Family Studies 2011), current graduate student in family studies, has accepted the position of Graduate Ambassador to the College of Education and Human Development.

Interior Design students work on Kanley Chapel

Pictured: Alyson Pluta, Shelbi Watson, Kaitlyn VanderMeer, Caitlin Tinker, Shelbie Boschman

Interior design students collaborate to redesign Kanley Chapel

Oct. 29

As the Junior Interior Design students returned to the fall 2012 semester, their first studio project was a collaborative effort with WMU's, Kanley Chapel. Chris Sligh, Director, Student Activities and Leadership Programs, asked the Junior class to design an environment that was inviting for students of all faiths to come study, participate in bible studies and many other individual and group activities. Sligh wanted the program rooms to be flexible to meet the needs of the different activities that take place throughout the day. The students were to consider acoustics, storage and style to improve the function of the space.

 This project is the first time many of these students have used their education outside of the classroom environment. The students successfully demonstrated many skills they have learned in the Interior Design program. In three weeks, the fourteen students prepared design concepts, space plans, perspective drawings, color renderings, and construction documents. They selected furniture and finish materials and presented their solutions to the Kanley Chapel staff. 

The project is now complete in the classroom, but a team of students will continue to work with Sligh in the Design Development phase, to finalize a solution that can be implemented through WMU’s Facilities Management office.

Manley conducting research

Adam Manley, assistant professor of career and technical education had a research paper accepted by Youth Education and Employment in Russia and Abroad, a new journal that deals with emerging issues in CTE in Russia, where they are undergoing a major evolution in CTE; the research involves understanding how to teach career and employability skills to youth.

In addition, Manley also recently signed a data sharing agreement with the Illinois Education Research Council (IERC) housed at Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville. This involves helping analyze data related to the out-migration of high school graduates. Illinois ranks second regarding the number of high school graduates that leave the state to go to college elsewhere. They are trying to determine why this is occurring. Manley and colleagues have already submitted a research paper to AERA that analyzes some peripheral data.

Frazier receives grant from the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development

Aug. 23

Dr. Barbara Frazier, Family and Consumer Sciences, received a $20,000 grant from the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development to examine the use of social media in small rural businesses. Dr. Frazier and colleagues Dr. Leslie Stoel, Ohio State University and Dr. Linda Niehm, Iowa State University, will conduct interviews with rural business owners who are seen as leaders in social media use to promote their businesses. The goal of the project is to develop a model of diffusion/adoption processes to identify factors that favor social media adoption by rural businesses. Case studies concerning best practices in social media by rural entrepreneurs will also be developed and disseminated through the national extension website.

FCS 5340 Consumer Behavior in the Fashion Environment

Aug. 23

This fall, students enrolled in FCS 5340 Consumer Behavior in the Fashion Environment will be working with senior executives from Target Corp. on a case study project. The case study was developed as a way to collect creative ideas that will enable the firm to better serve their customers. Students enrolled in the course will work in teams to conduct research and apply course concepts to suggest solutions that will assist Target in improving their customer service in an increasingly multi-cultural environment. Target executives will be working with the class during the semester to provide context and guidance for the project. Target is generously offering $2500 in scholarship awards to teams presenting the best case study.

Manley awarded grant

July 25

Dr. Adam Manley, Assistant Professor in Career and Technical Education was awarded a $14,000 grant in June from the Michigan Department of Education. Dr. Manley will be developing a professional development and teacher video series.

Webber article published

July 18

Dr. Caroline Webber had an article published in Michigan Good Food: "Dietetic Interns Ask, What Is Good Food?"

Students at a school of fashion design and hospitality programs.

Zinser with faculty and students at a school of fashion design and hospitality programs.

Zinser visits Siberia

June 5

Dr. Richard Zinser, Associate Professor of Career and Technical Education, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, visited the cities of Tomsk, Yurga, and Kemerovo in south-central Siberia to meet with colleagues at vocational centers and technical colleges.

The purpose of the trip was to establish relations with a consortium of educators to exchange information about technical education, and to explore the possibility of hosting Russian faculty and students at WMU. Zinser made several presentations about vocational education in America and toured 6 institutions to learn about the Russian system.

They plan to send several administrators here in the fall to discuss future projects. According to Zinser, "the trip was great, except that it takes 4 airplanes through 11 time zones to get there!"

National Council on Family Relations chooses book

May 30

The National Council on Family Relations has chosen Serving Military Families in the 21st Century by Karen Blaisure, Tara Saathoff-Wells, Angela Pereira, Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth and Amy Laura Dombro as the NCFR book club "read" for the summer. 

Order Serving Military Families in the 21st Century

Colleagues International

Colleagues International working with the U.S. Department of State

May 30

Colleagues International is a Kalamazoo organization that works with the US Department of State to bring international professionals into the Kalamazoo area to form relationships, meet professional goals and get to know local families. The organization is completely dependent upon local volunteers to continue the excellent reputation of providing hospitality to international guests.

Susan Larner (retired RD/CDE) and office volunteer at Colleagues International was preparing for a group of Legislative Fellows from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. One guest was Hindu and the other two Muslim when the thought came that this would be a wonderful opportunity for a student dietitian to have a cross-cultural experience in learning about religious food guidelines and provide information to the local families that provide a home for the international guests. At the same time an office open house was being planned and the food needed to be in keeping with the religious preferences of the international guests.

CI thanks WMU's students for the support they received. With the support of the Muslim Student Association and the staff of Zooroona's, Courtney Fitzpatrick, Etta Gaddis, Kate Jawoszek and Tracey Tang gathered needed information for the host families to help make for a successful office party. CI looks forward to partnering with WMU's student nutrition consultants on future projects.

FCS 3590 - Studio III Commercial Interiors

Commercial interiors design challenge

May 30

Students enrolled in FCS 3590, Studio III Commercial Interiors, had a design challenge assignment in April. Newman IT, a computer service and web design company based in Kalamazoo, asked Interior Design students to develop a collaborative work environment using Haworth's Reside/Beside/Belong product.

The competition required teams of students to design an environment that inspires creativity that creates a high-energy atmosphere and allows for casual, informal interactions between employees. Students were required to design in a way that reflects sustainably. Pictured are Alison Mulder and Charity Lyn Brown, the winners of the competition. Each received a Haworth task light for their winning designs.

Dannison completes program review

April 9

Dr. Linda Dannison, chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences recently completed a program review for the Department of Human Development and Family Studies for Purdue University, Calumet. Dannison was also invited to present a Plenary Session titled "Supporting Relative Caregivers: Successful Programming Strategies" at the Rocky Mountain Conference on Aging in April in Loveland, Colorado.

Karen Blaisure Book

Blaisure co-authors, Serving Military Families in the 21st Century

April 2

Family and Consumer Sciences professor Dr. Karen Blaisure co-authored, Serving Military Families in the 21st Century, published April 2012. This text introduces readers to military families, their resilience and the challenges of military life.

Personal stories from active duty, National Guard, reservists, veterans, and their families, from all branches and ranks of the military, and those who work with military personnel, bring their experiences to life.

The authors of the book are: Karen Blaisure, Tara Saathoff-Well, Angela Pereira, Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, and Amy Dombro.

Presentation at the 2012 Michigan Dietetic Association Annual Conference

March 27

Senior dietetics majors Dana Porter and Erika Ford had an abstract accepted for presentation at the 2012 Michigan Dietetic Association Annual Conference that will be held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing on April 24-27. The title of their poster presentation is "Consumer Preference of Peanut Butter Cookies Made with Peanut Butter Alternatives."

Chair announces retirement

March 22

Dr. Linda Dannison, chair of Family and Consumer Sciences will retire from WMU June 30, 2012 after 31 years of service.

Linda was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and earned a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Science Education from Western Michigan University. She holds a master’s degree in Family and Child Development, and a Ph.D. in Adult and Occupational Education from Kansas State University. She is a Certified Family Life Educator specializing in parenting education.

Linda began her career teaching in high schools in Michigan and Kansas, after earning her doctorate she began teaching in family and consumer science education at North Dakota State University. She joined Western Michigan University as an assistant professor in 1981. She taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Effective Parenting, Adult Child Relationships, Human Sexuality and Later Life Family Relationships. She served as chair of Family and Consumer Sciences from 1990 to 2012.

Linda is the author of numerous articles, chapters and books on kinship care. She has developed educational programs, resources, videos, and training programs to support multigenerational families and is a co-director of the National Center for Research on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. She has co-authored The Second Time Around: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Grand Ideas for Grand Kids. Her research appeared in the International Journal for Education Policy and Leadership, Health Communication, Intergenerational Programming Quarterly, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Children and Schools, Contemporary Education, International Pediatrics, Journal for Specialists in Group Work, Childhood Education, Human Ecology Review, Initiatives, Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, and Family Relations.

Linda received the Espirit de Corps Award from the College of Education and Human Development, the WMU Family and Consumer Sciences Alumni Academy Award, the Michigan State Kalamazoo County Extension Support Award, and the Phoenix Award from the National Parents’ Day Coalition. Linda was also granted Fulbright Senior Specialist awards, lecturing on Kinship Care issues in Norway at the University of Tromsoe and at Oxford, Keele, and Northumbria Universities in England. She also lectured in Latvia for the U.S. State Department.

Future plans include spending much more time with her wonderful husband Martin. He will also be retiring from the WMU’s College of Aviation. They have children and grandchildren who live in Boston, Nashville, Fairbanks and England and plan on enjoying frequent visits. Additionally they are looking forward to sailing adventures in the Caribbean and Lake Michigan, cruising the U.S. in their 5th wheel, and opportunities for skiing and walking vacations.

There will be a retirement reception honoring Linda on Tuesday, April 10th from 3-5 p.m. Students, alumni, colleagues and friends from the community are welcome to attend the reception in the Trimpe Multicultural Center on WMU’s campus.

New outreach program started

March 14

The Student Dietetic Association has started a new outreach program this academic year of 2011-12 in the Edison Neighborhood of Kalamazoo. Headed the SDA President, Elizabeth Quemada, with aid from Susie Zammit, Secretary, and member Stephanie Adams, the SDA has begun to teach nutrition classes to 2nd through 5th graders from The Tree of Life Elementary School in the Edison neighborhood. Tree of Life is a young Christian elementary school in the Kalamazoo area. They focus on an affordable Christ centered education, which is usually hard to find. Adam Sterenberg, the principal of Tree of Life, approached the SDA about holding nutrition classes early last summer and they gladly accepted. Teaching the class of 12 students has been an amazing experience for all of the members involved. They have gone over the basic food groups, serving sizes, Choose My Plate, and have just recently started going over each vitamin starting with vitamin A. The kids are always excited to see the SDA when they visit every Friday. It is a great opportunity to be a part of a blossoming community and an influence in children’s life.

Soliman invited to be keynote speaker

March 13

Dr. Ghada Soliman, Assistant Professor of Dietetics, is invited to be the keynote speaker for the Michigan Dietetic Association's annual conference to be held in East Lansing, Michigan on April 27, 2012. The Title of her talk is "Management of Obesity from Genetics and Signal Transduction to Intervention and Follow-up."

Interior Design Show

‘Exposed’ reception

March 12

Thank you to everyone who came out and showed support to five of the graduating Interior Design Seniors during their ‘Exposed’ reception Friday, February 17.

The show displayed work that the seniors have completed while in the Interior Design Program over the last four years.
Pictured are Interior Design graduating seniors Riley Walters, Amanda Peck, Kimberly Porco, Carly Zagorski and Renee Gahn pictured with President John M. Dunn.