The 2023 Family Life Education Summit was held on Friday, June 23, 2023. Recordings will be available by the week of July 17, 2023, for attendees to access and for purchase.

The Summit is approved for  up to 18 hours of continuing education credit. More about credit hours and attendance verification.

Access a PDF version of the 2023 FLE Summit program. 

Schedule & Sessions

Opening Remarks

Cynthia B. Wilson, Ph.D., CFLE

Keynote Address: 10:00 – 11:15 a.m. CT

101 - Let’s Talk About It. How to Integrate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into Our Work with Families

Kimmery Newsom, Ph.D., LCMFT, LMFT, CSATP, CFLE

Kimmery Newsom
          Kimmery Newsom

This presentation will outline how to have conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) and difference. In our work as Family Life Educators, it is imperative that we learn how to facilitate and integrate these conversations into our work with families. Many of the families we encounter are impacted by issues of racism and discrimination, which affects how families function in society. It is our job to become allies and increase our awareness of how we can increase our collective knowledge of DEI. Full keynote details.


Dr. Kimmery Newsom is an assistant professor of human development and family studies University of Wisconsin-Stout. She has over 13 years of experience teaching graduate and undergraduate students from UW-Stout and before that, Kansas State University (KSU). She has a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in marriage and family therapy, and a doctorate in family studies, all from KSU. Read full bio.


Morning Break: 11:15 – 11:30 a.m. CT

Concurrent Sessions: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT

201 - Transformative Learning Theory in a Court-Ordered Parent Education Setting: A Change of Parenting Style

Mariann B. Taylor, Ph.D., CFLE

Mariann B. Taylor
          Mariann B. Taylor

As the name implies, transformative learning is learning that is about change, specifically a change in thinking and ultimately, a change in behavior. According to the theoretical principles of this framework, in order for there to be real and lasting change, the individual must experience a disorienting dilemma. Concerning court-mandated parents and with allegations of either neglect and/or abuse precipitating the need for the classes, the risk of losing custody of one's children would qualify as a disorienting dilemma. The presence of a disorienting dilemma, accompanied by a parent-education course that is designed to facilitate discourse and self-reflection (additional principles of transformative learning theory), can lead to a more authoritative parenting style. The ultimate goal of the course then, is to facilitate the adoption of this style of parenting, which a plethora of research strongly indicates is the most beneficial way to parent children.

By the end of this session, the learner will be able to:

  • Thoroughly define and discuss transformative learning theory.
  • Identify the three major styles of parenting and discuss the trajectories for children raised under the different parenting styles.
  • Thoroughly examine the implementation of transformative learning theory within the context of a court-ordered parent education class.

Mariann B. Taylor, Ph.D., CFLE, serves as an Assistant Teaching Professor and Program Coordinator for the Child and Family Sciences Master of Science program at The University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to her work in higher education, she worked as a CLFE while serving as Executive Director of several non-profit organizations.


202 - Preparing Family Life Educators to Support Military Families

Karen Shirer, Ph.D.

Karen Shirer
              Karen Shirer

Family Life Educators have much to offer military families managing military transitions associated with the military lifestyle. These transitions involve moving to new locations or permanent change of stations (PCS); family separation and reunification primarily due to deployment; and the risk of injury, disability and death. Military families often demonstrate both resilience and stress due to these transitions.

In this interactive, fast-paced session, FLEs are introduced to the characteristics of military culture and its influence on military families. They’ll sample professional development opportunities on strengthening relationships in military families — couple, parenting and family. Lastly, an overview of the OneOp professional development platform ( and network will be provided, highlighting the diversity of webinars, courses and other resources. OneOp, is a free, open-access project of DoD and USDA, supporting the professional knowledge, readiness, and networks of the service providers supporting our military service members and their families.

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Appreciate the influence of military culture on military families’ resilience and challenges.
  • Provide examples of professional development for strengthening military families. relationships during military transitions.
  • Identify the breadth and depth of professional development opportunities for Family Life Educators from OneOp.

Karen Shirer, Ph.D. has almost 50 years of experience as an educator, researcher, and administrator for family and consumer sciences programs in formal and non-formal settings. Her research interests have focused on at-risk and low-income families and family life education. She has a strong interest and expertise in participatory processes for planning, implementing, and developing community-based educational programs and services. Dr. Shirer earned a Ph.D. in Family and Consumer and Sciences Education at Iowa State University. Her current focus areas include educational program design, military families, behavioral health promotion, and relationship and co-parenting education.


203 - Live: Supporting Parent Survivors of Child Suicide

Mara Briere
                Mara Briere

Mara Briere, CFLE

This session offers family life educators an opportunity to recognize that death by suicide leaves families with collateral damage and complicated grief. Live! offers a solution for parents to understand and manage their grief.

Guiding grievers in the management of this kind of loss opens a whole new conversation about suicide and brain diseases. As family educators, it is incumbent upon us to provide the resources and tools to families that need them. Furthermore, it adds to the discussion of prevention since the underlying brain disease that signals suicidal thinking and behavior is an integral component of the conversation. Participants will be introduced to a program that offers a solution for parents who have children who have died by suicide/brain disease. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of complicated loss, post-traumatic growth, and the way parents can be guided to a network of peers.

By the end of this session, participants will:

  • Be introduced to a program that offers a solution for parents who have children who have died by suicide/brain disease.
  • Leave with a clear understanding of complicated loss, post-traumatic growth, and the manner in which parents can be guided to a network of peers.

Mara Briere, CFLE is a Master’s level Certified Family Life Educator. In 2014, she founded a nonprofit organization for families uprooted by mental illness called, Grow a Strong Family, to generate, share, and develop the resources, support, and network that families need and do not have.

204 - Addressing Family Financial Well-Being through Partnerships in the Workplace

Suzanne Bartholomae, Ph.D.; Laura (Caley) Rowell

Suzanne Bartholomae
        Suzanne Bartholomae

Financial stress has detrimental effects on the health of individuals, the quality of family and interpersonal relationships, and the bottom line of employers (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 2014; French & Vigne, 2019; Urbanaviciute, et al., 2019). National data shows many Americans are feeling financially anxious and stressed (Hasler et al., 2021).

Since 2014, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation has collaborated with United Way Worldwide, Catholic Charities USA, and other partners like universities to support effective workplace-based financial wellness practices. Known as Financial Wellness at Work, the program supports community-based approaches to advancing financial capability with emphasis on middle- and lower-income wage earners, but all income-level employees can benefit.

Laura Rowell
             Laura Rowell

This presentation provides an overview of the Financial Wellness at Work program, a look at ways the program has been implemented, and resources provided by the FINRA Foundation and United Way Worldwide that can help start an initiative in a community.

Objectives of this session are to help participants understand:

  • Service components that can comprise the financial wellness at work initiative and how they were implemented at a land-grant university.
  • Differences and strengths of workplace-based financial wellness initiatives compared with other types of financial wellness or educational programming.
  • Training opportunities and other supportive resources to assist with the development and implementation of a workplace financial wellness program in their organization or community.

Dr. Suzanne Bartholomae, Associate Professor and Extension State Specialist in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University, maintains an engaged scholarship program centering on financial well-being initiatives designed to encourage adults to take action to build their financial security and reduce their financial stress.

Laura Rowell is a program manager at the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, where she oversees general grantmaking for research and education projects in addition to financial capability programming with emphasis on helping lower-income workers and households achieve their financial goals through the workplace. Prior to her role at the FINRA Foundation, Laura led workforce development and financial capability programming for nonprofit organizations in Buffalo, New York, including the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County and the International Institute of Buffalo. She obtained her MBA from the University at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Virtual Lunch - Reflect & Connect: 12:30 – 1:00p.m. CT Led by Angela Walston, M.S., CFLE

During today’s networking lunch we are providing a set of reflective questions to help guide you in setting aside time to consider the “how’s” and “what’s” in your professional life.  We hope you will be able to integrate information from today’s Summit and share some of your thoughts as a way to connect with colleagues.  

Break: 1:00 – 1:15 p.m. CT

Concurrent Sessions: 1:15 – 1:45 p.m. CT

301- Healthy Relationships Curriculum for South Asian Immigrant Community

Kamala Ramadoss, Ph.D.

Kamala Ramadoss
         Kamala Ramadoss

Asians are the fastest growing ethnic minority group in the U. S. since 2008 and South Asians are the second-largest minority group in the U. S. (Hoffman and Batalova (2022). Data and studies on Intimate partner violence consistently report the low incidence of Intimate Partner Violence in Asian communities, as compared to other ethnic groups (Cho 2012;). This is because of under-reporting due to cultural reasons and the Model Minority myth (Leong & Lau, 2001). However, increasingly more and more women are reporting (24-77%) that they have experienced some form of abuse by an intimate partner at least once in their lives (Mahapatra, 2012; Tripathi & Azhar, 2022). This presentation focuses on the work done through Project SAATHI (funded by CalOES) to prevent intimate partner violence in the South Asian Community in California.

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe group diversity in the South Asian immigrant and refugee community.
  • Describe strategies that help South Asian immigrant and refugee families function effectively.
  • Explain the psycho-social characteristics of healthy and unhealthy sexual relationships.

Dr. Kamala Ramadoss’s research interest lies in the impact of the work-family interface on organizational, individual and family outcomes. Specifically, her work explores relationship between work-family interface, acculturation, social support, diet and health among immigrants and refugees from China, Ghana, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. 


302 - Advocating for Holistic Family Life Education and the Need for Trauma Informed Practices

Lindsay Seymour

Lindsay Seymour
          Lindsay Seymour

This 30 minute workshop session will address what is considered to be trauma informed practice and how that is supported with holistic and comprehensive family life education. Participants of this session will be encouraged to participate and share in this workshop as we discuss, discover, and evaluate what is considered holistic and comprehensive family life education and how trauma informed practices support the whole person and ultimately the whole family. This workshop will include trivia to establish neutral and common ground for collaboration and interactive tools to allow for engagement and efficiency of use of time during this workshop. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the need for trauma informed practices in family life education and next steps to support that need.

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Foster the knowledge and understanding of how to serve the whole person and family. Including a mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional, aspect and perspective.
  • Establish what is trauma informed practice and how it affects individuals and families
  • Curate at least two solutions to support individuals and families through trauma informed practice that covers the whole person

Lindsay N. Seymour is a Ph.D. candidate at Texas Woman’s University and the Director of a family preservation program. Lindsay believes that family is the foundation to effective support for children and It is through ongoing educational support and the accessibility to resources that Lindsay supports the families and communities she serves.


303 - Mistakes are Opportunities to Learn. A Positive Discipline Approach to Failure.

Chelsea Hammond, M.Ed.

Chelsea Hammond
         Chelsea Hammond

The session will address how we define mistakes and failures. Showcasing successful individuals who all “failed” at one point in their lives (example: Oprah getting fired early in her career because she wasn’t fit for television) and asking the participants to write down some of their famous failures, followed by what they learned from the situation. This session will leave room for discussion on how Positive Discipline teaches that mistakes are an opportunity to learn, and how we can give our children a gift by removing blame, shame, and guilt from failing and reframing our situations instead as opportunities.    

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Grasp the concept that mistakes are opportunities to learn.
  • Leave the presentation with a new, and improved, definition of failure.
  • Have enough of an understanding of the concept to be able to adapt the activity and share it with others.

Chelsea Hammond, Parent Educator for NDSU Extension - Grand Forks County. I have a Masters of Education degree obtained from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with a Minnesota Teaching License. My appreciation for adult and family education is endless. I became a parent educator because parenting is hard and it is my goal to help parents learn different skills and tools to make it easier.

304 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within Early Childhood Education Settings

Hannah Mechler, Ph.D.

Hannah Mechler
           Hannah Mechler

The content of the session will primarily focus on strategies to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion within early childhood education settings. These strategies will include developmentally appropriate practices, while bridging connections between families and early childhood education professionals. Specifically, the content of the session will examine early childhood education curriculum to ensure it is culturally relevant, while incorporating families within the classroom environment. Establishing these connections between families and teachers or other early childhood education professionals may be a key for fostering young children's socio-emotional development, inclusion of all families, and overall pride in children’s heritages and cultures (NAEYC, 2019; Wanless & Crawford, 2016; Wilson & Tompson, 2022). 

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify strategies to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion within early childhood education settings.
  • Identify ways to incorporate families within early childhood education settings to further foster inclusion.
  • Describe the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion related to children's socio-emotional development and their families' functioning to promote optimal well-being.

Dr. Hannah Mechler is currently a faculty member at Grays Harbor College, located in Washington state, where she teaches classes centered on early childhood education and development. Her research interests primarily focus on meta-emotion, parent-child relationships, and children’s socio-emotional development.

Break: 1:45 – 2:00 p.m. CT

Concurrent Sessions: 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. CT

401 - Tips and Tools for Marketing Success in Family Life Education: Lessons from 25 Years in the Field

Sean E. Brotherson, Ph.D.

Sean Brotherson
           Sean Brotherson

In the practice of family life education, creating resources and programs that effectively reach and impact a selected audience often depends on successful marketing of the program. This workshop will explore key objectives for family life education, use a "case study" approach to highlight particular marketing challenges in FLE, and explore features of communication and learning processes that enable reaching intended audiences and maximizing the impact of resources and programs.  

Objectives of this session are to help participants:

  • Explore case study examples that highlight both mistakes and successes in creating and marketing FLE resources and programs.
  • Discuss and plan how effective marketing principles and practices might be applied to FLE resources and programs in their work.
  • Learn best practice approaches in the design, review and implementation of FLE resources and programs that are intended to expand reach, participation and impact in Family Life Education efforts.

Sean E. Brotherson, Ph.D., is a Professor and Extension Family Life Specialist with North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND. He teaches Family Life Education and also Prevention Science courses. His work involves developing, implementing, and evaluating educational resources and programs for children, couples, and families.


402 - PAX Tools Caregiver Workshop

Trina Simms; Jeanette Puskas

Trina Simms
              Trina Simms

PAX Tools for Caregivers is a workshop providing trauma-informed evidence-based behavioral strategies for all caregivers who support children. These strategies promote the development of self-regulation, reduce conflict, and improve relationships. Participants in this workshop will leave with all the skills and resources they need to start implementing PAX Tools strategies right away!    

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify common behavioral challenges with the children in their care.
  • Identify strategies to reduce conflict and improve relationships.
  • Apply multiple PAX Tools strategies to create a nurturing environment for adults and young people.

Trina Simms is PAXIS Sustainability Coordinator for the state of Arizona. Trina is an instrumental member of the Arizona team growing the state wide implementation of the PAX Good Behavior Game. Trina is also a Master’s level clinician, and worked closely with families navigating the child welfare system. Trina is the grateful mother of a 16 year old daughter, and she also loves to delight people with full range catering.

Jeanette Puskas
            Jeanette Puskas


Jeanette Puskas serves as the PAXIS Programs Manager providing guidance and support to organizations as they plan for PAX programming. Jeanette has spent over a decade providing support to our national and international sites in implementing, expanding, and sustaining PAX throughout their school and community. Jeanette is also an International PAX Trainer and works closely with local, state, and international sites in strategic planning for large scale implementation.



403 - Non-suicidal Self-injury as an Addiction: What Family Life Educators Need to Know

Cassandra D. Ratcliff

Cassandra Ratcliff
          Cassandra Ratcliff

In this session, we will discuss the importance of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) education, when viewed as an addiction, within the field of Family Life Education. Stereotypes and misinformation exist around NSSI due to lack of education. Stereotyping regarding NSSI contributes to stigma and stigma encourages fear and reactive behavior by professionals within the field. As mandatory reporters, NSSI is often viewed as a suicide attempt, rather than a life-preserving act with the potential result of accidental death. When NSSI is viewed as a behavioral addiction, we can focus on its epidemiology. We can intervene and quickly mediate the maladaptive coping behaviors, teaching alternatives and work to strengthen our client’s emotional self-regulation skills. NSSI deserves our deeper understanding so that we may bridge individuals and their families to available treatment resources.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to identify:

  • The characteristics of NSSI as an addiction.
  • The difference between NSSI as an addiction and suicidal behaviors.
  • Why learning about NSSI is prevalent to the field of Family Life Education.

Cassandra Ratcliff is a second-year doctoral student studying Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies in the Communities, Families, and Addiction Sciences Department at Texas Tech University. She has been in recovery from NSSI for over a decade. She has since committed her life to educating others about NSSI recovery through education.


404 - Fostering and Promoting Community Partnerships

Julie Nelson & Meeshay Williams-Wheeler

Julie Nelson
               Julie Nelson

404A: Fostering Relational Care Between University Educators and Community Partners - Julie Nelson

University and community educators will discover potential partnerships and powerful collaborations that facilitate family life education programming. A unique FLE internship at Utah Valley University, the Stronger Families Project (SFP), will be outlined. SFP has successfully offered a free, evidence-based, 8-week course to the entire family. Since 2008, 1075 families have graduated from the program The role of the student intern, faculty, and community partner will be discussed, how to build and foster FLE collaborative partnerships, and the adaptability of this model to other communities.  

In this session, participants will be able to:

  • Offer an overview of Utah Valley University's "Stronger Families Project" FLE program, the structure, the model, and need for community partnerships.
  • Report program evaluation and community partner feedback that facilitates best practices in this professional relationship.
  • Transferability: Adaptation ​and implementation of this model to other communities to those in the audience. Q and A will follow and address this specifically. .

404B: Promoting Student Success through FLE Community Partnerships - Meeshay Williams-Wheeler

Meeshay Williams-Wheeler
   Meeshay Williams-Wheeler

This session will include "take aways" for instructors collaborating and sustaining community partnerships and the relationships this has on students' learning. This session will also bring awareness to FLEs to diverse community agencies. In addition, students will learn about the varied placements and FLE connections in the community. Integrating community agencies in our FLE curriculum will certainly expand, broaden and diversity the practice of FLE.

In this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify agencies/organizations in their community related to course(s).
  • Incorporate this within the academic classroom as experiential learning opportunities or field experiences expands students' knowledge of FLE.
  • Integrate community agencies in FLE curriculum to expand, broaden and diversity the practice of FLE.

Julie K. Nelson, M.A., CFLE, SFHEA is an Assistant Professor of Family Science, the program Field Coordinator, and “Stronger Families Project” internship faculty director in the Department of Behavioral Science at Utah Valley University. [email protected]

Dr. Meeshay Williams-Wheeler holds BS and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from UNC Greensboro and a MA in Clinical Psychology from North Carolina Central University. She received the Family Life Education and Coaching Graduate Certificate from North Carolina State University. She and her husband Daniel have one son DJ!

Break: 3:15 – 3:30 p.m. CT

Concurrent Sessions: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT

501 - Marketing Your FLE Practice and Building your Brand

Elizabeth A. Ramsey, Ph.D., CFLE; Rita M. Julian, MBA

Elizabeth Ramsey
         Elizabeth Ramsey

This session is designed to help Family Life Educators market themselves in the field. After Elizabeth ran her CFLE practice, she realized that she never reached her full potential because of her lack of business and marketing knowledge. After watching her daughter launch her own virtual business, she began to understand what was missing. She needed to learn how to market herself. Therefore, Rita and Elizabeth have joined forces to bring you an informative presentation on how to market your family life education practice. We will articulate the importance of choosing a niche and identifying your audience and ideal customer. We will review how to create an online presence on a social media platform. You will learn how to create a professional online presence, and how to successfully create and sell your service or product as a CFLE educator.

By the end of this session, the learner will be able to:

Rita M. Julian
            Rita M. Julian
  • Identify their specialty as a CFLE and determine their ideal customer.
  • Review how to create an online presence on a social media platform.
  • Identify the three stages of course development which are creation, launching, and marketing.

After years working in the field as a CFLE, Family Mediator, Public School Educator, Women’s and Children’s Ministry Director, and Developmental Specialist, Dr. Elizabeth Ramsey is Professor at Tennessee Technological University in Human Ecology. Elizabeth is married to Paul, and they have four children and two grandchildren.

Rita Julian is from Cookeville, TN and graduated from Tennessee Tech University with her Bachelor's in Accounting and Masters in Business Administration. She owns Julian Bookkeeping LLC where she provides bookkeeping services and educational courses for small businesses. Rita married her high school sweetheart and has two children, James and Clara.


502 - Military Family Readiness—Supporting Military Families through Work and Family Life Education

Kelly Frisch
              Kelly Frisch

Kelly Frisch, CFLE; Keith Goosby

Work and Family Life (WFL) programs within Fleet and Family Support programs directly support mission readiness by preparing service members and their families for the physical, emotional, interpersonal and logistical demands of the military lifestyle. The Work and Family Life program addresses the needs and requirements associated with Navy life, including but not limited to life skills training, suicide prevention, family violence prevention, transition from military to civilian life, relocation, deployment/separation, and career resource development. Our session will address life skills and resource support. We will educate session attendees on the dynamics of military families and showcase our life skills training that enhance personal and family readiness.

Objectives of this session are to help:

Keith Goosby
             Keith Goosby
  • Educate attendees on military life
  • Empower sailors and families to thrive
  • Provide relevant program examples to support resiliency, readiness, prevention, and the Navy Culture of Excellence.

Kelly Frisch, CFLE, has worked in military support programs for 15 years. She has served as both an Installation and Regional School Liaison Officer, a Work and Family Life Consultant, and recently assumed the role of Regional EFMP Special Education Liaison with Navy Region Southwest Fleet Family Support Programs. Ms. Frisch coordinates and collaborates with the Regional EFMP Special Needs Attorney, EFMP Case Liaisons, School Liaison Officers, educational providers, and other EFMP support stakeholders to leverage support on behalf of families and works to assess the needs of families and provide support as needed.

Keith Goosby has a Bachelor of Science in Management from University of Phoenix, and a certificate of completion in Strategies for becoming an Effective Diversity Practitioner from Northeastern Illinois University. Keith is also a certified Life Coach, teacher, trainer and speaker. As the NRSW Work and Family Life Coordinator, he provides policy, guidance, support and oversight to programs such as deployment support, personal financial management, military transition to civilian life, family employment, the ombudsman program and life skills education. He also serves as one of four team leads for the Commander Naval Installations Command (CNIC) Fleet and Family Support Certification program.


503 - The Home Alone Handbook: Tips & Tools for Grown-Ups

Brittney Schrick
            Brittney Schrick

Brittney Schrick, Ph.D.

In this session, participants will be introduced to the "Home Alone Handbook," a publication produced by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and authored by the presenter. This publication offers guidance for grown-ups who care for children on things to consider when deciding whether a child is ready to stay home alone. Three broad areas are discussed: readiness, emergency preparedness, and staying busy. Participants will engage in discussion about legal issues related to children staying home alone, implementation strategies, support, and evaluation needs. The session will close with opportunities for activity creation and teach-back.  

In this session, participants will be:

  • Introduced to the Home Alone Handbook publication and resources.
  • Learn implementation strategies for using the resource.
  • Discover and discuss challenges unique to their areas related to staying home alone such as legal definitions and cultural expectations.

Dr. Brittney Schrick is Associate Professor and Family Life Specialist for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service where she curates, composes, and coordinates marriage, parenting, family life, and mental health programming for distribution through Arkansas’ 75 county extension offices by family and consumer sciences extension agents.


504 - Sleep Education for Everyone Program

Holly Tiret
               Holly Tiret

Holly Tiret; Christi Demitz

While certain sleep disorders interfere with sleep, for many, sleep problems are behavior-based. Using screens late at night can suppress melatonin production, a chemical that tells us it is time to go to bed. An evening alcoholic beverage may help us fall asleep but interferes with more restorative stages of sleep causing us to wake up feeling less refreshed. Inconsistent bed and wake times make it difficult to get into a routine causing under/oversleep. Not being able to relax before going to bed makes it difficult to fall asleep. Research shows that attending a sleep education program can be just as effective as medication in improving behavior-based sleep problems.

MSU Extension offers a behavior-based sleep education program, Sleep Education for Everyone Program (SLEEP), which consists of six, 30-minute group sessions delivered over Zoom or in-person. Participants in SLEEP have increased their sleep time and sleep quality, while reducing symptoms of insomnia.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to identify:

Christi Demitz
             Christi Demitz
  • Understand the importance of sleep for both physical and mental health
  • Identify strategies to improve sleep
  • Examine the effectiveness of the Sleep Education for Everyone Program (SLEEP) and how to implement SLEEP

Holly Tiret, Senior Extension Educator, Health and Nutrition Institute, Michigan State University Extension has taught classes in mindfulness, anger management, caring for the caregiver, and sleep for the past 21 years. Her focus is on helping people become socially and emotionally healthy so they can lead satisfying and productive lives.

Christi Demitz joined Michigan State University Extension in 2014 as a health educator. In her role, she provides health education to prevent and manage chronic conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, asthma, and depression. Christi is trained in several evidence-based programs and facilitates both online and in-person workshops. Before joining MSU Extension, Christi spent 10 years as a public health consultant where she implemented chronic disease prevention programs, managed grants and contracts, and collected data to measure the effectiveness of interventions. Christi holds a master’s in social work from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s in administration from Central Michigan University. She is a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Master Trainer, a Certified Family Life Educator, and the statewide coordinator for the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program for MSU.

Break: 4:30 – 4:45 p.m. CT

Concurrent Sessions: 4:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. CT

601 - Country Roads and City Streets: The Use of Culturally Responsive FLE with Immigrant Latino Families and their Pathways to College

Ruben Viramontez Anguiano, Ph.D., CFLE

Ruben Viramontez Anguiano
  Ruben Viramontez Anguiano

The session will be a combinations of the presenter's testimonio as a Family Life Educator who has utilized FLE in his work with Latino families and their children's path to college. Within this session the first author will engage the audience as he shares the path he has taken in 10 states to help mostly immigrant Latino families in their efforts to pave the road for their children to college. The second aspect of the sessions will be interactive in nature that will allow the participants to discuss research, policy and practice implications that impact Latino families and the path to college process. The presenter will utilize different activities to help facilitate this process.

Objectives of this session are to:

  • Demonstrate the importance of culturally responsive FLE with immigrant Latino families.
  • Demonstrate and share the realities and challenges that immigrant Latino families face in rural and urban area as it relates to their children's pathway to college.
  • Engage the participants to discuss critical factors and implications that impact Latino families and their pathways to college for their children and the role of CFLEs who work with and serve them.

Dr. Ruben Viramontez is the Founding Program Chair of the Human Development and Family Relations Program at the University of Colorado Denver. He has been a culturally responsive CFLE for 25 years. His work has primarily focused on serving immigrant and multigenerational Latino families and their children's education in rural and urban contexts. He has worked with Latino family and other underserved families for over 30 years.


602 - What does the TGNC Community Need Us to Know?

Greyson Arnold
            Greyson Arnold

Greyson Arnold

What does the TGNC Community Need Us to Know?” is a session focused on supplying allies to the trans and gender nonconforming community with basic knowledge and understanding of the community. So often, the burden of education falls on the individual. As family science professionals, we owe it to underrepresented communities to take that burden of education off of them and take up that responsibility ourselves. Through this session, participants will be educated on terminology, etiquette, history, and the current political and social climate surrounding the TGNC community.  

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize and understand common vocabulary concerning the TGNC community.
  • Be cognizant of TGNC etiquette and proper boundaries to maintain and respect.
  • Be aware of the current political climate surrounding the TGNC community and, if they are so driven, they will know what they can do to help.

Greyson Arnold is a recent graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. He will continue his studies of Family Sciences at the University of Minnesota working on his MA and Ph.D. His research interest is queer wellness; he hopes to bring diverse and accessible knowledge to all who seek it.


603 - Integrating Emotion Coaching into Youth Mentoring

Jennifer Krafchick, Ph.D., CFLE

Jen Krafchick
             Jen Krafchick

The state of adolescent mental health is in peril. With the dramatic rise in depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns many young people are struggling, especially high-risk youth with adverse childhood experiences. Youth need support to improve their emotional wellbeing. Emotion coaching is a valuable framework that can help young people become more aware of their emotions and develop practical skills to deal with situations that are emotionally challenging. When integrated into youth mentoring programs and coupled with a trauma-informed practice and diversity, equity, and inclusion framework, emotion coaching can offer mentors an approach to assist their mentee in developing emotional regulation skills, managing stress, and overcoming challenges in their lives. Emotional regulation is an important socio-emotional skill that mentors can play an instrumental role in helping their mentee develop. This session will provide participants with an understanding of how emotion coaching can be implemented into youth mentoring programs.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to identify:

  • Define the basic concepts of emotion coaching
  • Explain how emotion coaching can be integrated into youth mentoring programs
  • Describe the benefits of emotion coaching for adolescents and their families

Jennifer Krafchick, Ph.D., CFLE is Professor in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and the University Honors Program at Colorado State University (CSU). She currently serves as the Co-Director of Campus Connections program. [redacted] earned her Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies with an emphasis in Social Justice Education, her Masters in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a graduate certificate in Women's Studies from CSU. Her research centers on mentoring and at-risk youth. She is Co-Director of Campus Connections. She earned her Ph.D. in Education and M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy (HDFS). Her research centers on mentoring and youth who have experienced adversity.


604 - Assisting families as they support their adolescent with a disability through the transition to adulthood: A look at strategies to incorporate disaster preparedness

Marcia Montague
         Marcia Montague

Marcia L. Montague; Yi-Fan Li; Letitia Omaboe 

Families which include individuals with a disability are negatively and disproportionately impacted by disasters. Furthermore, families of adolescents transitioning into adulthood often need guidance and support in knowing the resources and options available. Research in the special education field has not yet fully considered the interconnectedness of these two realities. However, emerging research exists in the healthcare field which considers transition planning in the movement of adolescents from pediatric to adult primary care providers. In this session, we will discuss practical strategies that practitioners can use to assist families of adolescents with disabilities in more fully preparing for adult life marked by a strong quality of life.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the interconnectedness of transition planning for adolescents with disabilities and disaster preparedness.
  • Describe the impact of a lack of adequate transition preparation on the health and wellness outcomes of adolescents with disabilities
  • Describe strategies to support individuals with disabilities and their families during the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

Marcia L. Montague is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Special Education at Texas A&M University (TAMU). She earned her doctorate from TAMU’s Department of Educational Psychology with an emphasis on Special Education Leadership and Interagency Collaboration. She has over 20 years of experience in the special education field, combining her public school teaching and her work preparing pre-service and in-service teachers. Her research and service interests focus on equity in access for individuals with disabilities, including family empowerment and transition to higher education. Her efforts support partnerships with surrounding school districts and Local Authorities on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (LIDDAs). 

Yi-Fan Li
                 Yi-Fan Li

Dr. Yi-Fan Li earned her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University with a major in Educational Psychology and emphasis in Special Education. Before she came to the U.S., she was a special education teacher for five years, mainly teaching students with intellectual disabilities, autism, and multiple disabilities in a high school. During her teaching career, she had the experience of being a transition coordinator. This valuable experience led her to keep exploring the transition education for individuals with disabilities. She is also interested in working with teacher candidates to explore inclusive teaching practices, such as universal design for learning, to support students from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Letitia Omaboe
            Letitia Omaboe

Letitia Omaboe is a British - Ghanaian Doctoral Student in Special Education, and Graduate Assistant at Texas A & M University (TAMU). She earned a law degree and master's degrees in general and health Psychology in the United Kingdom and has over 5 years of experience in the special education field. Primarily, her research interests focus on equity in access and quality of education for individuals with disabilities. This includes transition to higher education and employment, classroom management, and teacher preparation and professional development. She is additionally interested in the topic of exclusionary school discipline. Ultimately, she has a passion to effectuate a greater awareness and understanding of inclusive education globally, especially in her home country Ghana.