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CYFS supports eight Layman Award recipients

Eight CEHS faculty received 2015-16 Layman Awards, from top left, Tony Albano, assistant professor; Amy Dent, research assistant professor; Lauren Gatti, assistant professor; Deryl Hatch, assistant professor; Leslie Hawley, research assistant professor; Lorey Wheeler, research assistant professor; Natalie Williams, assistant professor; and Jiangang Xia, assistant professor.
Eight CEHS faculty received 2015-16 Layman Awards, from top left, Tony Albano, assistant professor; Amy Dent, research assistant professor; Lauren Gatti, assistant professor; Deryl Hatch, assistant professor; Leslie Hawley, research assistant professor; Lorey Wheeler, research assistant professor; Natalie Williams, assistant professor; and Jiangang Xia, assistant professor.

With collaborative support and seed funding, CYFS faculty affiliates are prepared to grow their research base this spring.

The Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools (CYFS) recently provided grant proposal and development assistance to eight CEHS faculty—all of whom received 2015-16 Layman Awards. The award, funded by UNL’s Office of Research and Economic Development, provides $10,000 in seed money for untenured faculty and supports researchers in their pursuit of external funding.

Comprehensive grant support is reflective of the center’s primary goals, said CYFS director Susan Sheridan, which include building the capacity of researchers and advancing high quality, interdisciplinary work.

“We are excited to partner with Layman recipients as they build and expand upon their research,” Sheridan said. “The supports we provide in the preparation of research proposals and execution of funded projects are instrumental in achieving the vision we share with faculty affiliates—engaging in research that makes a difference.”

The following CEHS faculty and CYFS affiliates received Layman Awards:

Anthony Albano, assistant professor, Department of Educational Psychology
“Improving and Evaluating Assessment Literacy in Preservice and Practicing Teachers”

Amy Dent, research assistant professor, CYFS/Nebraska Academy for Methodology, Analytics and Psychometrics
“The Efficacy of Self-Regulation Interventions: A Series of Meta-Analyses”

Lauren Gatti, assistant professor, Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education
“Learning to Teach in Urban Teacher Residencies: A Comparative Study”

Deryl Hatch, assistant professor, Department of Educational Administration
“Unpacking the Black Box of Community College Student Success Programs: Discovering What Works and Why”

Leslie Hawley, research assistant professor, CYFS/Nebraska Academy for Methodology, Analytics and Psychometrics
“Combining Latent Variable Modeling Techniques With Cross-classified Mixed Effect Models For Use in Longitudinal Research”

Lorey Wheeler, research assistant professor, Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools
“Mexican-Origin Youth’s Health-Risk Behavior: Interplay between Stress, Familial, Cultural and Work Process”

Natalie Williams, assistant professor, Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies
“Implications of Insecure Parent-Child Attachment for Early Childhood Obesity Risk”

Jiangang Xia, assistant professor, Department of Educational Administration
“The Impacts of No Child Left Behind on School Leadership: An Empirical Examination Based on National SASS Data”

The Layman Award will support Jiangang Xia, assistant professor, as he seeks to inform national education policy. His project examines No Child Left Behind—a law instituted in 2001 which requires testing, accountability and school improvements—and its impacts on school-level decision making. Receiving the Layman award is a great support, Xia said, as it provides a foundation to seek external funding.

Lorey Wheeler, research assistant professor, will also use the Layman funds to create a foundation for future projects. She looks forward to expanding the outcomes of her current research, which examines stressors and protective factors for health-risk behavior in Mexican American youth. Her ultimate goal is to develop an ecologically grounded intervention targeting minority health disparities.

“I’m excited to move my research forward with some funds of my own and think about those next steps,” Wheeler said. “The ongoing support of CYFS now allows me to put all my efforts into doing research.”

Assistant professor Lauren Gatti is expanding her research in conjunction with a forthcoming book, which is focused on the preparation of novice teachers in urban areas. The Layman award will enable her to research programmatic differences in urban teacher residencies and contribute to an emergent trend in education policy.

Gatti begins research this spring and looks forward to potentially applying her findings to both urban and rural areas of Nebraska. The research project wouldn’t be possible without the Layman Award, she said, and she is grateful for CYFS’ guidance while pursuing this opportunity.

“CYFS faculty, staff and resources made the grant application process transparent and efficient,” Gatti said. “I’ve felt exceptionally supported at every step along the way.”