HDFS Spring 2019 Newsletter Messiah College Department of Human Development and Family Science

From the department chair

Raeann R. Hamon, Ph.D., CFLE

I’d like to ask you to pause and reflect on those people who have made a difference in your life. Take a moment and consider those who have influenced you and affected your life trajectory. For me, my mother, my father, a college professor, the chair of my doctoral committee and an experienced colleague would be among those who made a profound impact on my life choices, my opportunities, and my ability to fulfill the roles that I play.

In all probability, the individuals about whom we are thinking are mentors. Mentors are experienced and trusted advisors, people who share information and provide guidance and emotional support. Mentors serve as important role models for us relative to our familial, spiritual, personal, and vocational obligations. They take personal interest in us and willingly share their expertise and wisdom. Very importantly, they are invested in us.

I dare to say that faculty in the Human Development and Family Science Department take their role as mentors very seriously. All of us seek to build relationships with our students, express personal interest, model personal and professional enthusiasm, share our skills and knowledge, set a good example, help students explore options, and motivate them to maximize their potential. We mentor students in research, as is evident in Dr. Reyes’ Adult Development class and Rachel Jones’ work as a Smith Scholar Intern (featured in this newsletter). We mentor students by facilitating opportunities to enhance their professional growth and increase their confidence (refer to article on students presenting at the NCFR conference).

Our students also serve as mentors. Many have mentored children and adolescents in organizations like Young Life, youth groups, tutoring programs, and child care settings. In this newsletter, for instance, we feature the important mentoring role that Tariah Rozier (FCS ’21) plays for her brother and other special needs teens as a coach for Special Olympics teams.

We also want to acknowledge the essential mentoring role that Dr. Dorothy Gish played for many women faculty and administrators at Messiah College. As the College’s first female academic dean, Dr. Gish inspired many women about vocational possibilities. Be sure to note the short article on the Dr. Dorothy J. Gish Women in Leadership Endowment that was created in honor of the invaluable mentoring that Dr. Gish provided and continues to provide to women who wish to enhance their leadership skills.

Finally, you will read about an Elder Mentor program in which our GERO 231 Psychology of Aging students engaged. As part of the expectations for the class, students selected Elder Mentors with whom they spent time for the duration of the semester. These older adults served as wonderful role models in the art of living.

I hope that each of us will ponder ways in which we can invest in others through mentoring.

Experiential Learning in Adult Development

Dr. Robert Reyes

Dr. Reyes, Ally Goganzer (HDFS ’20), Erica Conard (HDFS ’20), Morgan Sanderson (HDFS ’18), Lela Frederick (HDFS ’18), Kingsley Lott (HDFS ’19)

One of the main learning objectives of HDFS 312 Adult Development is to introduce students on how to conduct a qualitative research project. To this end, students enrolled in the course during the fall 2018 collaborated with the staff of the Salvation Army (Harrisburg Capital Region) to conduct a qualitative study to help evaluate one of their initiatives. The focus of the study was to understand the experience of individuals transitioning from unemployment to employment and eventually to self-sufficiency, as well as to understand the attitudes towards work and barriers and keys to success.

At the conclusion of the project the students were able to provide a report to the staff at the Salvation Army to help them determine the effectiveness of their program. In doing so, the students explored the long-term impact of the program and assisted the Salvation Army to be in a better position to apply for additional funding.

Undergrads Kickin’ It at the 2018 National Council on Family Relations Conference

The 2018 National Council on Family Relations Conference was in San Diego, California in November of this year. Because of the significant distance and increased cost, we only had four undergraduates attend; however, their experiences were as valuable as ever.

Poster presentation by Hannah Heintzelman (HDFS '22) and Hannah Wagner (HDFS '21) at the NCFR Conference

Hannah Wagner (HDFS ’21)

The National Council on Family Relations Conference was by far the most professional event that I have ever attended. I learned a great number of things while attending, and even though I was most likely one of the youngest people there, I appreciated the new crowd of people that were interested in the same field as me.

In general, the conference helped me to learn independence in a new way. It was held in a city that I have never been to before, and I traveled with peers. This gave me a chance to explore, get to know people that share my interests, and be an independent learner, which is a wonderful experience to have.

While presenting my poster with Hannah Heintzelman, multiple attendees approached us and asked about our personal experiences with the project. We were able to intellectually discuss the importance of our project with professionals, professors, and other students who related to our experiences and wanted more information. One of my professors told me how proud he was that Hannah and I pursued presenting at the conference even though we are very young; this was an encouragement to me as a student and as someone who will one day be a professional in the field as well.

As for the sessions that I attended, I focused on ones that were about immigration, adoption, individuals of mixed status, and refugees, as these are the topics that currently interest me the most. In these sessions, I learned about new terminology used to discuss the topics, such as “hyphened Americans”, and I was made aware of the process and outcomes of research studies currently being conducted. Observing these research presentations up close was a unique way to learn about what is being studied in the field today. One of the things that I love most about the HDFS major is that there is always new information to learn and study! This conference gave me a newfound excitement for learning about new topics because I was able to witness the people doing the research and learning new things firsthand.

The conference was a phenomenal experience, and I would love to attend again. Even though I am still young, I learned so much, and as I get older and discover my passions more in depth, I will be able to glean more from future conferences.

Special Olympics Has a Special Place in my Heart

Tariah Rozier (FCS ’21)

Tariah shares a special bond with her brother, Terazie Rozier, and the Lebanon County Special Olympics team.

I am a Family and Consumer Sciences major with a minor in Disability and Family Wellness. When I am not at school or on campus, you can always find me with the Lebanon County Special Olympics! I have been a volunteer, unified partner, and Coach for nine years. I have been blessed to get to know all these athletes, from my county and beyond. Becoming a part of their family is the best gift for which I could have ever asked God.

I am inspired by the Special Olympics athletes. These athletes set all disabilities aside when they play. It is so amazing to watch the smiles on their faces and their excitement when they score as they laugh and play with other athletes. They don't let their disabilities define who they are as a person. If anything, their disabilities make them stronger, smarter, and more passionate people. In their eyes no one is different, everyone is the same no matter if you have a disability or not. This amazes me because they are managing some of the most challenging and difficult circumstances, but they know that they are not a mistake. God made and loves them for who they are.

My biggest inspiration of all is my brother Terazie Rozier who has multiple disabilities. When Terazie steps on that court and starts playing, all those disabilities disappear and he is just like any other athlete. Special Olympics truly inspires me, I've learned that no matter how much life throws at you, you can and will push through it. Special Olympics has a special place in my heart and I look forward to volunteering with this organization for years to come.

Mentor and Model: Dr. Dorothy Gish

Dr. Raeann Hamon

Dr. Dorothy Gish, Academic Dean Emeritus and former Professor of Early Childhood and Family Education at Messiah College has a long history of mentoring women. During her years of service at Messiah College, Dr. Gish was a critical role model and inspiration for women across campus who aspired to use their gifts to advance in leadership roles. Now, as a resident of Messiah Lifeways, Dr. Gish continues to model perseverance, resiliency, the love of learning, and creative thinking. In recognition of Dr. Gish’s trail-blazing efforts, faculty and other friends established an endowment in her honor. The interest from this endowment is used to support worthy leadership opportunities for full-time female students at Messiah College. Female students can apply for grants to assist them in achieving leadership goals. Grant recipients are highlighted on our HDFS department webpage.

Spending Time with Older Adults: The Elder Mentor Program

As part of Dr. Hamon’s GERO 231 Psychology of Aging course during the fall of 2018, students were required to select and spend time with an Elder Mentor. The purpose of this program is to help students to establish a one-on-one relationship with an individual over the age of 65, and benefit from a mentor relationship. Through activities such as going for walks, visiting in their home, attending local community events, going to the movies, playing games, crafting, cooking, sharing lunch or dinner, or gardening students have the opportunity to influence and be influenced by an older adult. The Elder Mentor Program additionally affords opportunity for students to connect classroom content with the real world experience of aging and examine preconceived assumptions about older adults.

Students chose their own mentors. Mentors were grandparents, neighbors, family friends, someone they knew from church or other contexts or residents of Messiah Lifeways or Bethany Village. Students were expected to spend a minimum of 10 hours with their mentors throughout the semester in no less than four separate face-to-face meetings. Students submitted multiple journal entries in which they reflected on their experience and lessons learned.

A couple of students share their reactions to the program.

Asiah Williams (HDFS ’20)

Asiah Williams sharing a hug with her grandmother

I gained so much from this experience! In all honesty, I have not had a lot of experience interacting with older adults. This assignment was completely new for me and it was a little frightening. I am sad to say that I had my fair share of stereotypes about older adults in the beginning stages of this program. Looking back, I think that most of those were caused by my lack of experience with older adults. However, I did not want to have any stereotypes or excuses when participating in this program. So, I prayed and asked God to remove all of my stereotypes, all of my excuses for not trying my best, and all of my negative attitudes. I wanted to walk into this program with an open mind and a happy heart that was eager to learn. I can honestly say that the change in mindset made all the difference in this program. I was able to glean so much. I have always thought that experience itself is a great teacher. So, it makes sense for me to be excited to be able to learn from a person with a lot of experience—I chose my grandmother. I am incredibly thankful for this experience and I pray that I never forget all that I have learned.

Amelia Budd (Nursing ’19, Gerontology minor)

Amelia Budd with her elder mentor

The Elder Mentor Program was a positive experience for me both academically and spiritually. I went into this program with limited expectations, but I was blown away. I simply wanted to be able to discuss anything with my mentor, from faith, to school, to life in general. I was able to do all of those things and more. I learned baking skills, stories from my mentor's nursing career, how to be an awesome grandmother, and how to love like Jesus. It was a humbling experience that taught me how to be vulnerable and trusting with others that I may not know extremely well. My mentor filled my mind with wisdom and immediately accepted me and made me feel like a part of her family. I plan to take the lessons I learned from this amazing woman of God and use them to form meaningful connections with patients in my future nursing career. I really enjoyed the program, and I plan to stay in contact with my mentor in the future.

Smith Scholar Intern

Rachel Jones (HDFS ’20)

The Smith Scholar Internship program has been such a wonderful experience for me. I have worked under the mentorship of Dr. Hamon, the chair of the HDFS department. This grant “enables highly capable juniors or seniors to spend a semester or a full year being mentored by a faculty member who is involved in a significant scholarly project.” I have been allotted 75 hours of paid work time per semester. Additionally, this internship meets the Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) requirement. And, I earn one academic credit for every 40 hours I work. This program has allowed me to grow substantially as both a student and a professional.

In fall 2018, I spent the semester doing research on the educational outcomes for students completing a needs assessment and 4-hour family life education project for HDFS 442 Strategies of Family Life Education senior capstone course. I analyzed process papers for common themes regarding benefits and growth for students. I was also the co-author of an NCFR presentation on using creative writing in Family Science courses. In J-term and spring 2019, I am researching and writing about the history of the culturagram, assessing its effectiveness as a teaching tool to enhance cultural competence among students enrolled in HDFS 345 Parenting, and writing an article about our findings to be published in a family science teaching journal. To be a co-author of a presentation at a national conference and be published in an academic journal as an undergraduate is such a rare opportunity that I feel very privileged to be a part of.

SPAIN: Study Abroad

Allison Schillinger (HDFS ’20)

If someone had told me four years ago that I would study abroad in my third year of college, I probably would have laughed and said something along the lines of “Well, that’d be fun, but I don’t think I could ever actually do it.” I remember coming to college with the idea that I would be majoring in HDFS, a comfortable field of study for me, and that would be it. I did have the intention of minoring in Spanish, solely because I had already spent so much of my high school experience learning the language, but this thought quickly turned into a passion (and a minor turned into a major) that I did not foresee. It’s cool looking back and seeing how God had been preparing me and pointing me down the path he had set before me all along. With all that being said, come spring of my sophomore year, I was signed up and getting ready to go abroad the following semester.

Going abroad to Spain is without a doubt one of the best decisions I have ever made. I was challenged in many ways during my time there; my faith, my academics, and my worldview were all impacted in those three short months. I am so grateful for the life experiences I was able to gain while traveling in Europe. I had the opportunity to join a local church, connect with people from all over the US, and learn from professors who were native Spanish speakers. I also witnessed an election within the Andalusian community, which I discussed in my classes the following week; to see the politics of another country was eye-opening. Living with a host family was one of my favorite parts of the experience. Building relationships with my host sisters (age 6 & 9) and learning from them was so special and I will always be thankful for that. Another aspect of my study abroad experience that I loved was getting to volunteer in an elementary school helping students learn in their English class. It was humbling to be in a classroom where no one came from the US and, although I was there to be helping them learn, I certainly took a lot away from them.

As of now, I have a double major in HDFS and Spanish. I love how I am able to take my passion for people and for God’s kingdom and see how those passions can be expressed through my studies of family, culture, and reconciliation. I would encourage anyone in HDFS to consider studying abroad because you are able to see the diversity of relationship dynamics within the context of different cultures. Study abroad changed my life and helped me to continue pursuing the plan that I know God has for me. I cannot wait to see how He will use me for His good, wherever and however that may be.

2019 Department of HDFS Outstanding Alumni Award Recipient

Jeremy Sorzano (Family Studies ’96)

Congratulations to Jeremy Sorzano, 1996 graduate in Family Studies, for being selected to receive the 2019 Department of Human Development and Family Science Outstanding Alumni Award! The award, initiated in 2012, is designed to recognize HDFS alumni for distinguished contributions to the service of individuals and families. The HDFS faculty recognizes Jeremy for the way in which his organization, Soccer Shots, has afforded meaningful experiences to young children and their families through sport. We appreciate how he turned his passion for soccer into a business that benefits children and families. We especially value how children attain better fitness, acquire soccer skills, and develop character through the Soccer Shots programs.

Jeremy’s partners in the Soccer Shots business are Jason Webb (’98) and Justin Bredeman (’96), also graduates from Messiah. Jeremy started the first Soccer Shots program in Charlotte, NC in 1997 and in 2005, he and Jason began franchising the program across the US and Canada. Currently, Soccer Shots serves about 350,000 children each year. Ultimately, their goal is simple: To leave a positive impact on the children and families they serve.

Jeremy lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa, and their two children, Gus and Olive. He and his family enjoy being outside in nature, riding bikes, and generally anything that keeps them active.

Hamon Receives 2018 Cognella Innovation in Teaching Award for Family Science


Dr. Raeann Hamon, Chair & Distinguished Professor of Family Science and Gerontology was presented the 2018 Cognella Innovation in Teaching Award for Family Science at the National Council on Family Relations Conference in San Diego in November of 2018. Cognella, Inc. and the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) partnered to recognize outstanding instructors through the creation of the Cognella teaching award. The prize celebrates higher education instructors who go above and beyond to introduce cutting-edge teaching practices to their courses to better engage students and advance scholarship in the discipline. Hamon was applauded for her “extensive scholarship contributions to the discipline, especially in regard to the teaching of family science, having published five books since 2007 and authoring 36 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.” In addition to her contributions in advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning in the discipline, Dr. Hamon has implemented a variety of innovative teaching practices to her courses at Messiah College. She created The Elder Service Partner Program, an intergenerational service-learning program that pairs students with Elder Service Partners in the community.” She also challenges students to create family genograms and family life education programs, and employs a variety of active learning exercises in her classes. A formal announcement is available here.

Ambassadors Offer Hospitality to Prospective Students

Danna Ramirez-Gomez (HDFS ’21)

Danna Ramirez-Gomez (HDFS ’21) and Clara Haubold (HDFS ’21) are both Ambassadors.

This year I have been granted the pleasure of being a member of Messiah’s Ambassador Program. In this program, students help represent Messiah, give tours, assist with questions on event days, and host students for chapel and overnight stays. Through the experiences of this program, I have improved my social skills, share my love of Messiah, and most importantly, foster meaningful relationships with people. Holding the door, answering a question, or just having a casual conversation can go a long way. I remember when I visited Messiah for the first time, I was very nervous. Seeing students putting in genuine effort to talk to me gave me a great feel for the campus and what it may be like to come here for the next four years of my life. I hope I can do the same for any prospective student and family.

One of my favorite experiences I have had with the program was when I hosted an overnight stay at the end of February. The prospective came and she was very energetic and excited for her stay. She was a bit nervous though because her other overnight visits were not successful. We went to dinner and I got to know her by asking questions about her major, family, and interests. After, we went to the Union and played a board game while bonding over music and media. Then I took her to Powerhouse and, then, we got ice cream after in the Union. By the morning she felt more comfortable at Messiah and was excited to come back! I am so happy to have met her and share my love of Messiah to her. Through Messiah Ambassadors, we love to make students feel comfortable and see what Messiah has to offer for them!

My Social Science Fellowship Experience

Janelle Miller (HDFS ’21)

For the duration of the 2018-2019 year, I was chosen to work as a Social Science Fellow at the Pollock Center in Mechanicsburg, PA. The Pollock Center is an industrial training center which offers job training, career coaching, and community engagement opportunities to adults that have mental and physical disabilities. For my placement, I am working in the community participation department. My job is to find volunteer opportunities for the individuals to go out into the community and network with local businesses or non-profits. The hope is that through these interactions the individuals are able to create connections in the community that enable them to find jobs when the time comes. The specific job I have worked on this past year is to compile a list of organizations within the area that would be willing to host volunteers. By creating this database, my findings can be used in the years to come.

My experience at the Pollock Center has been wonderful. I have been able to refine my administrative skills and more importantly, invest time in work that I find meaningful. I am grateful for the classes I have taken in the HDFS department thus far which have equipped me with the skills needed to thrive in this work environment. It is wonderful to have faculty that are so supportive and willing to help their students succeed.

A “Strategies” Program Focusing on Adolescent Perfectionism

Hannah Fogle (HDFS ’19)

Like many students, leading up to senior year I was unsure of what to focus my Strategies of Family Life Education program on. I toyed with a few ideas until I was personally presented with a problem that required attention-- perfectionism. Although many of us make light of our perfectionistic tendencies, I was beginning to see some concerning symptoms in a group of high school girls I know. Thus, I decided to conduct a needs assessment on the issue of perfectionism in adolescence.

What I found was rather concerning. Although perfectionism is thought to play a role in mental health disorders such as anorexia nervosa and suicidal ideation, research has primarily conceptualized perfectionism as a risk factor for psychological problems rather than examine the predictors of perfectionism itself. Because of this, I had to utilize sparse research to outline risk and protective factors for the construct. However, drawing heavily upon cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques and personal coping skills, I was able to develop a program that seeks to facilitate a conversation about perfectionism. The program explains what perfectionism is as well as ways it is harmful. In addition, adolescents and their parents learn cognitive and behavioral coping skills that help them combat perfectionistic tendencies together, resulting in better mental health in a crucial developmental stage of life. I believe my program meets a felt need in the realm of current adolescent family life and mental health and hope it can be used in the future to help prevent destructive perfectionism. Given the opportunity, I hope to facilitate this program or share it with those that can use it to meet this pressing need.

Child Life Program

Danna Ramirez-Gomez (HDFS ’21)

I decided to take the Child Life class this semester as a way to learn more about the profession of a Child Life Specialist. I did not know I was in for a ride! My Child Life Class has taught me so much more than what a career in Child Life is. From play therapy to therapeutic relationships, the topics we discuss in class are fascinating, practical lessons that we can incorporate in our lives as we embark the journey of Child Life Specialists. Every minute in this class is a minute well spent because it has taught me how to best care for and love hospitalized children and their families. My passion to serve has been encouraged and empowered through this class as I also get the privilege to volunteer at Penn State Health and work with children and their families. Although I enjoy my time in the classroom very much, volunteering at the hospital is the highlight of this course. It has allowed me to get hands on experience and also learn from other professionals as I observe them in their natural environment at the hospital. As a volunteer, I interact with children, play with them, and hold many babies. I am so thankful our HDFS department offers this course. It has opened my eyes to many captivating topics regarding the healthcare and wellbeing of hospitalized children as well as given me the opportunity to take what I am learning in the classroom into real life situations as a volunteer. I am beyond grateful for this Child Life course.

Presenting Dr. Paul Johns

Paul Johns, Ph.D.

Paul Johns, assistant professor of human development and family science, successfully defended his dissertation titled “Husbands’ Experience of Being Trusted by Their Wives: A Heuristic Study.” Johns completed his Ph.D. in professional counseling from Liberty University in December 2018. Congratulations to Dr. Paul Johns!

The majority of research to date on interpersonal trust has focused on the decision to trust and the interactions between a trustor and trusty, with a strong bent toward understanding the trustor’s experience. To begin to fill a void related to the experience of trusties, this qualitative study allowed husbands to freely express their experiences of being trusted by their wives. The primary themes that emerged from the interviews were: deep satisfaction; an understanding that his wife’s trust is a privilege not to be taken for granted; validation through positive regard; affirmation of doing what is right; peace and security; intimacy; experience of grace; and freedom.

Celebrating a PAFCS Scholarship

Kaity Chemidlin (FCS’ 20)

Scholarships are an important way of helping to reduce the cost of college tuition. When I heard about the PAFCS Scholarship I was very excited to apply. Several weeks after applying, I received a letter explaining that I had been chosen for the scholarship! I felt so honored and grateful. I am excited to become a Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher and this scholarship will help me achieve my goal. Becoming an FCS teacher will allow me to use my passion for helping people by guiding and supporting students through the challenging stages of life. I hope to guide students to lead better lives, be prepared for work and careers in which they choose to pursue, and build strong families. With the help of this scholarship, I will be able to do what I love and become an FCS teacher!

Celebrating our Future Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers

Emily Hogan ’21, Abby Fontana ’21, Emily Nase ’22, Kaity Chemidlin ’20, Kimberly Lopez ’19, Lydia Marano ’21 and Tariah Rozier ’21

In recognition of Family and Consumer Sciences Educators Day, February 13, the Human Development and Family Science Department highlighted our current FCS students on our HDFS Department Facebook page. Each day we featured one FCSE major. We are very excited about the potential of each of our very own future FCS teachers!

Interested in helping current and future HDFS/FCS students?

  • Become a mentor for a junior or senior.
  • Provide us your job information so that we might feature you in an alumni career profile on our website.
  • Make us aware of any internship or job openings for our students.
  • Volunteer to participate on an alumni career panel during fall or spring semester.
  • Visit one of our classes as a guest speaker.
  • Offer constructive feedback on how we can improve the program.
  • Contribute to our HDFS Department Student Professional Development Endowment Fund or the HDFS Department Student Scholarship Fund.
  • Initiate an HDFS department-specific endowed scholarship fund.
  • Pray for our ongoing work so that we might offer the best educational experience possible and glorify God in the process.

Feel free to contact Raeann Hamon about any of these items or other suggestions that you have: rhamon@messiah.edu

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