BBS Fair to Showcase Child and Family Research Labs

Nov. 5, 2012

UT Dallas’ Center for Children and Families will host a research fair on Thursday, Nov. 8, offering the campus community and visitors a chance to learn about recent studies and an array of ongoing investigations.

The fair is free, and attendees will be able to talk with the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS) faculty members and students who oversee and work in the school's labs studying development in infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. Nearly 300 people visited the fair in 2011, the first year of what will now be an annual event.

Dr. Joanna Gentsch, BBS

Dr. Joanna Gentsch

No registration is required. Dr. Joanna Gentsch, assistant dean of BBS, said she hopes neighbors and other area residents interested in childhood research stop by the fair to learn about projects and possibly sign up to participate.

“CCF’s programs are focused around three key initiatives: parenting healthy children and families; strengthening interpersonal relationships; and enhancing thinking and learning,” Gentsch said. “With this mission in mind, the research fair is the perfect opportunity for students, parents and community visitors to learn more about the diversity of research activities in BBS.”

“CCF’s programs are focused around three key initiatives: parenting healthy children and families, strengthening interpersonal relationships and enhancing thinking and learning. With this mission in mind, the research fair is the perfect opportunity for students, parents and community visitors to learn more about the diversity of research activities in BBS.”

Dr. Joanna Gentsch,
assistant dean of BBS

People attending this event will have the chance to meet  with faculty members and graduate students involved with the labs and learn how to become involved, either as student research assistants or participants.

“Through involvement in developmental studies, our efforts to enhance the lives of children and families through research are enriched,” Gentsch said.

Among other labs, the fair will showcase:

The Think Lab – This team studies what children and adults think about the world around them. They are interested in many aspects of thinking, including: how children and adults decide how much to believe the information they encounter; how people evaluate their own knowledge; how children decide what kinds of questions to ask and who will help answer them; and how children determine the qualities that help someone make good judgments. Dr. Candice Mills, associate professor in BBS, directs the lab. The participants in these studies are children and adults from the community and area schools.

The Healthy Development Project – The research focuses on better understanding the factors that promote healthy social, emotional and physical growth in children and families. The researchers have several ongoing research projects and are often looking for families interested in participating. Among the topics examined by Dr. Shayla Holub, associate professor in BBS, and her team are: self-perception; healthy eating behavior; and attitudes about being underweight and overweight.

The Think Lab, Center for Children and Families

The Think Lab

The Dallas Preschool Readiness Project – Dr. Margaret Owen, the center director and Robinson Family Endowed Professor in BBS, leads this effort to learn more about preschoolers’ self-regulation skills and racial/ethnic disparities in school readiness. The researchers are working with low-income preschoolers and their families to study how they develop skills in self-regulation and other social and cognitive abilities that predict their later success in school.

The research fair is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 8, in  the Student Union Galaxy Rooms (SU 2.602) Rooms B and C. For more information, contact Gentsch at jgentsch@utdallas.edu or view details on the CCF website.


Media Contact: Emily Martinez, UT Dallas, (214) 905-3049, emily.martinez@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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