Facilitators for Strengths-Based Leadership Development in Family Science Preconference Workshop

Morning Sessions

Mindy R. Hooper, Ph.D., TruthRunners, Inc. A coaching and consulting psychologist, Mindy has a passion for coaching others in discovering, developing, and using their talents to create strategies and solutions for getting on track to move forward. As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Specialist, she looks at strengths, personality and leadership styles in order to align skills and passions to enable clients to make ‘best fit’ career or life decisions.

Afternoon Large Group Discussion Facilitators

Jennifer Crosswhite, Ph.D., CFLE, is the Director of Research and Policy Education at NCFR. Jennifer will discuss the Future of Family Science taskforce and their work to begin advancing Family Science including the background of this taskforce; the Future of Family Science goals; and tasks identified that are crucial to the advancement of Family Science. Specific attention will be paid to the goal of initiating professional and leadership development opportunities within NCFR. The information provided will be a high-level summary with limited details due to time. Opportunities to share and to volunteer for future leadership projects will be provided.

David Demo, Ph.D., is Associate Dean for Academic Administration, School of Health and Human Sciences, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Recognizing that Family Science and HDFS-type departments often are not understood by upper administrators and that our departments are housed in a wide variety of academic units, Dave will discuss some of the inherent challenges for department chairs and other Family Science leaders. How can we communicate concisely what we do, why our field is important, and how our students benefit from taking our courses and completing degrees in Family Science? Among the essential tools are marketing materials, narratives and "elevator talks" that chairs and other leaders can present when needed, particularly when making resource requests.

Anne Farrell, Ph.D., is the Director of Research at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Prior to that, she was faculty in HDFS and director of a research center at the University of Connecticut. In these and prior roles, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to leadership development and mentoring. She will discuss the need for intentional mentoring and succession planning in academic and related settings, as well as the need to build the capacity of translational researchers to produce and disseminate findings to a range of audiences. Intentional communication, leadership, and dissemination strategies can enhance the visibility and impact of academic and applied research and address some of family science’s identity challenges.

Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D., is Professor of Human Development and Family Science in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. Steve will discuss material from articles he has written for Family Relations and Family Science Review on “intentional leadership” in the Family Science field. This includes the need for leaders to provide guidance and direction on the strengths and challenges related to professional identity issues, especially in light of accelerating mergers among academic fields.

Suzanne R. Smith, Ph.D., is Director of Academic Planning and Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at Washington State University Vancouver.  She will discuss research published in Family Relations’ articles in the last few years concerning how administrators of Family Science programs must constantly assess the effectiveness of their programs and be able to articulate their distinctiveness, and provide evidence of the value of the unique skills and perspectives attained in Family Science, to deans, provosts and presidents, who often determine the continuing viability of programs.

Joe Wilmoth, Ph.D., CFLE, is program leader for Human Development and Family Studies at Mississippi State University. Joe fits into the category of “emerging” leader who entered academia after 30 years of service and leadership in churches and religious organizations. Consistent with the StrengthsFinder emphasis in the morning session, Joe began to re-evaluate how he could most effectively advance the HDFS program at his university, and found himself gravitating toward leadership positions in the department and university. Joe will address three themes: 1) How do you decide if leadership or administration is for you? 2) How do you best prepare for potential Family Science leadership?  3) How is leadership in a Family Science program different from other academic leadership positions?

Afternoon Break-Out Facilitators

Kimberly Allen, Ph.D., BCC, is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at North Carolina State University. Kimberly has over 20 years of experience working with low-resource youth and their families and has research interests in family life coaching, teaching with technology, teen parenting, and relationship education. Kimberly is author of the book Theory, Research, and Practical Guidelines for Family Life Coaching. Engaged employees that are enthusiastic about their work is ideal; they are the most productive and are vital to program outcomes. However, helping employees become and remain engaged and productive can be a challenge, and often involves difficult discussions. This session will help you translate strengths-based language and practices into difficult conversations.

David H. Demo, Ph.D., is Associate Dean for Academic Administration, School of Health and Human Sciences, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In his current position, David has worked with more than 20 department chairs representing and advocating for 10 different departments and disciplines. Previously, he served in a variety of administrative and leadership positions, including Department Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and Editor of the Journal of Marriage and Family. Dave will discuss specific strategies that are effective (and not so effective) in working with deans and other administrators. Applying a strengths-based approach, this session will highlight the importance of good preparation, effective communication, and strategic collaboration.

Claire Kamp Dush, Ph.D., is Associate Professor, Human Sciences and an active affiliate of the Institute for Population Research at The Ohio State University. With almost 50 publications and a prestigious NIH career award, Claire has maintained her productivity while providing tips for faculty and graduate students through her professional-development blog and academic coaching, workshops, and retreats. The contemporary faculty climate is vastly different than when many administrators began in academia. Her breakout session: “Strategies for Helping Faculty Reach Their Full Potential” will encourage participants to reflect on their own strengths and limitations as they relate to faculty success while giving participants concrete strategies and tips for helping their faculty to be productive and happy in contemporary academe.