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CYFS releases 2022-23 annual report

CYFS has released its annual report for the 2022-23 fiscal year. View the annual report: Interactive | PDF

Through all the societal changes of the past few years, the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools has remained focused on its mission to impact lives through research that advances learning and development.

With diverse partners in research, practice and policy, the center continues to address the social, behavioral and educational needs of communities in Nebraska and beyond, leveraging research and collaboration to make a difference in the lives of others — from birth to adulthood. Full Article

Study finds variety, cost effectiveness can become barriers to children’s vegetable consumption

Saima Hasnin, assistant professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois — and a University of Nebraska–Lincoln graduate — explored family child care home providers’ preparation and serving of vegetables to better understand their influence on children’s dietary habits. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Getting children to eat their vegetables is a common, longstanding challenge for parents and child care providers alike.

While some kids simply dislike the taste of veggies, a recent study sheds light on some other obstacles that prevent children from reaching their recommended daily nutritional needs. Full Article

Research explores technology to support speech among children with autism

Ciara Ousley, assistant professor of special education and communication disorders, is evaluating the effects of augmentative and alternative communication on children with autism. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

As a former special education teacher, Ciara Ousley has worked with young students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

She often used technology to assist students who struggled to communicate in her classroom. Speech-generating devices — one form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) — showed promise to support more inclusive learning and development. Full Article

Video available for MAP Academy presentation featuring Scott Frohn

Scott Frohn, senior manager of assessment and psychometrics at Workera.ai, leads the first presentation of the Fall 2023 Methodology Applications Series Sept. 22 at the Nebraska Union.

Scott Frohn, senior manager of assessment and psychometrics at Workera.ai, led the first presentation of the Fall 2023 Methodology Applications Series Sept. 22.

Video is now available of Frohn’s presentation, “Putting ChatGPT to the Test: Practical Applications of Large Language Models for Assessment Development.” Full Article

NAECR selects 2023-24 Policy Fellows

The Nebraska Academy for Early Childhood Research has selected three faculty members to serve as Policy Fellows for the 2023-24 academic year.

The NAECR Policy Fellows Program is designed to educate early childhood researchers on policy processes, impacts and relationships to research; to provide policymakers with insight into the latest early childhood research at the University of Nebraska; and to generate collaboration among researchers and policymakers to develop effective research agendas that enrich early childhood experiences. Full Article

Research, best practices highlighted at Helen Kelley Symposium on Early Childhood

Hope Gerde, director of the Institute for Early Childhood at Texas A&M University, shares some of her research findings at the Helen Kelley Symposium on Early Childhood Sept. 28 at Carolyn Pope Edwards Hall. View photo gallery.

Visiting early childhood researchers outlined some of their work and discussed best practices for educators at the Helen Kelley Symposium on Early Childhood Sept. 28 at Carolyn Pope Edwards Hall.

Hope Gerde, director of the Institute for Early Childhood at Texas A&M University, and Linda Reddy, professor and associate dean of research at Rutgers University, shared research on professional learning supports for early childhood educators, including the birth to pre-K and early elementary settings. Full Article

Bringing American history to life, from paper to pixels

Michael Burton, assistant professor of art and design in the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design, is leading a project to share historical stories through animation and film. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

A team of Nebraska researchers is working with teachers to share stories from the past and connect them to the larger historical narrative of America through animation and film.

The project, “Animating History,” takes an interdisciplinary approach to advance knowledge in areas no single discipline can achieve on its own. This project aligns with the UNL Grand Challenge of anti-racism and racial equity. Full Article

‘Homegrown’ training program fills need for rural mental health professionals

Beth Doll and Matthew Gormley are leading a virtual training program that can be accessible to anyone interested in a career in school psychology, no matter where they reside. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

For small towns scattered throughout Nebraska, mental health professionals are hard to come by. Recruiting and retaining such professionals is crucial to ensuring these rural populations have access to quality mental health care.

Because mental health trainees are more likely to remain and work in the rural communities where they live, Beth Doll, professor of educational psychology, and Matthew Gormley, assistant professor of educational psychology are leading a virtual training program that can be accessible to anyone interested in a career in school psychology, no matter where they reside. Full Article