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Workshop to strengthen families through communication


March 07, 2011

Family educators, mental health professionals and outreach specialists from faith communities, schools, philanthropic organizations and social agencies will gather with ASU researchers and outreach offices for “Growing Stronger Families Through Communication,” March 25, in Phoenix.

“This interactive workshop and symposium is designed to facilitate collaborations between ASU’s myriad resources and community practitioners who are concerned with strengthening families in all their various forms,” said Vincent Waldron, professor of communication in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and coordinator of the university’s Family Communication Consortium. Faculty members from numerous ASU departments on all campuses are involved with Consortium programs and activities.

“Even in our changing society, the family continues to be a primary source of cultural socialization and personal stability,” Waldron said. “Ideally, families cultivate a sense of belonging, uniqueness and safety for all members. Because of the critical importance of the family unit, we wanted to provide an opportunity for Valley practitioners to come together and gather resources, share expertise, make contacts and build meaningful collaborations.”

Morning activities on March 25 include an interactive poster session that will enable community members to learn about ASU research, teaching and service projects related to families and communication. The morning schedule also features roundtable discussions in which community participants can share best practices drawn from their experiences as family educators and advocates.

The afternoon session is a symposium for those interested in collaborative grant-seeking and community-embedded family research. It will include presentations from two Pennsylvania State University faculty members. Michelle Miller-Day, who earned her doctorate at ASU, will discuss “Community-based research with youth and families,” while Michael Hecht will address “Getting funding for community-based research: Tips for managing the process, working on the proposal, and negotiating partnerships.”

“Growing Stronger Families Through Communication” is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the A.E. England Building, 424 N. Central Ave. Registration is $20 in advance and $25 at the door, space permitting. Visit http://famcom.asu.edu/ to register or receive more information.