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On January 20, 2014 Robin Sakamoto was appointed as the Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Studies for Kyorin University located on the Hachioji campus in Tokyo, Japan. She may be the first foreign woman to hold the post of dean in a highly respected Japanese university.

DanBaker_1.jpgDan Baker, Ph.D., '93, Associate Professor of Pediatrics with The Boggs Center at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS), recently co-authored the book Mental Health and Wellness Supports for Youth with IDD. The book, one of the first to tackle the issue of youth with intellectual and development disabilities also addresses a wide variety of different concerns regarding improving mental wellness and treating mental health disorders among youth with IDD. Chapters include topics on psychotherapy to psychopharmacology from recognized experts, while maintaining a strong focus on healthy psychological development.

Dr. Baker, who also serves as the Director of Community Positive Behavior Support, Transition, and Supported Employment Projects at RWJMS, has been published in both edited books and literary journals. Most of his published work addresses strategies for teaching direct care staff to work with persons who present challenges. His contributions earned him the 2010 Clinical Practice Award from NADD, an international professional association dedicated to advancing mental wellness for persons with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities.

Learn more about his publications here.


L-R: Brenda Hartman, alumni society president (B.S. '81, M.S.W. '89), Marvin Davis (M.S.W. '97), Halil Dundar (M.A. '90, Ph.D. '93), Peg Lonnquist (Ph.D. '95), Jon Ruzek, director of alumni relations

On November 21, 2013, the CEHD Alumni Society honored three exceptional alumni as part of the college's annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony.

Halil Dundar received the CEHD Distinguished International Alumni Award. Since 1997, this award has recognized outstanding achievements of international CEHD alumni, from master's and doctoral programs, who have contributed to outstanding educational progress in their countries. Dr. Dundar grew up in a small town in Turkey, graduating from Ankara University on national scholarship. He was then awarded a full scholarship by the Turkish Ministry of Education to study in the United States. He chose the University of Minnesota and completed his master's and doctoral degrees from the college's former Department of Educational Policy and Administration, focusing on the economics of higher education. Bringing both diligence and integrity to his work as lead education specialist for The World Bank, Halil has made outstanding contributions to educational progress in Turkey and developing countries in the former Soviet Union, Asian republics, Eastern Europe, and Africa.

Marvin Davis received the CEHD Alumni Society Award of Excellence. Throughout his social work career, Marvin has demonstrated exceptional leadership, holding several important positions at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. He currently coordinates the development and delivery of child welfare training systems designed for county and tribal supervisors, social workers, and resource families. A master of social work graduate from the college's School of Social Work, Marvin has taken on challenging issues in the field of child welfare, such as engaging with fathers and addressing racial disparities in the system. He's also worked with the college's Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare to advocate for a common set of child welfare worker competencies to be adopted for use in educating entry-level practitioners.

Peg Lonnquist was the other recipient of the CEHD Alumni Society Award of Excellence.
Dr. Lonnquist has had, and continues to have, a distinguished career as a social justice educator. A doctoral graduate in educational policy and administration, she has held both faculty and administrative roles at Hamline University, Iowa State University, and currently the University of Minnesota. Peg is director of the University of Minnesota's Women's Center, which increases connections for women's success, cultivates socially responsible leaders, and advocates for organizational culture change. Through her work in education she has diligently advanced the mission of equity for all, while bringing a spirit of collegiality, enthusiasm, and a commitment to growth. Peg has been a formal and informal mentor to countless staff, students, and emerging leaders.

The CEHD Alumni Society's slate of awards were recently restructured to more broadly recognize the diverse career experiences and professional achievements of our vast alumni body. The Award of Excellence is presented annually to two CEHD alumni, who have at least 15 years of work experience, have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in their profession, served as mentors to others in their field, and shown exceptional volunteer service. In carrying on the Alumni Society's 45-year old tradition of honoring alumni both in and outside of education, one recipient of the Award of Excellence represents a career in pre-K through 20 educational institutions, and the other recipient represents a career outside of such institutions.

Founded in 1956, the volunteers of the the CEHD Alumni Society have a long record of service to the college and proudly represent over 70,000 living alumni. The Alumni Society has recognized outstanding alumni achievements since 1968.

Janet YeatsMinnPost featured Department of Family Social Science alumna Janet Yeats in an article on hoarding, including the writer's own personal account of dealing with a family member who exhibited hoarding behavior.

Janet Yeats is the co-founder, along with FSoS alumna Jennifer Sampson, of The Hoarding Project, a nonprofit based in Minnesota and Washington. She's established herself as the expert on hoarding in Minnesota and is frequently featured in news stories about hoarding.

Read the MinnPost story here.

Department of Family Social Science alumna Lindsay Walz (B.A., 2005) is one of three recipients of the 2013 Arts & Healing Network award: Honoring the Next Generation.

Lindsay is an artist and the founder of courageous heARTS, an organization empowering youth through expressive arts.

The Star Tribune featured her organization and her story in July.

The award category celebrates future leaders in art and healing, 35 years old an under, with a monetary prize that the organization hopes will encourage and support the recipients to continue and expand their work.

Find out more about family social science alumni on our website.

Joy Kratzke Johnson (B.S. '52), who completed her 25th New York City Marathon on Nov. 3, died at the age of 86 the next day. A Minnesota native, Johnson was a physical education and math teacher in Duluth for several years before moving to California's Bay Area, where she continued to teach and coach track, volleyball, swimming.

The oldest female finisher in this year's marathon, Johnson fell near mile 16 and received cuts on her face and head, but she got up and finished the race. The next day, she was interviewed by Al Roker on the "Today Show" (see photo). Later she passed away in her hotel room.

A well known, dedicated runner, Johnson did not begin the sport until 1985 after retiring from teaching. She started running half-marathons "in the freezing February cold of her native Minnesota," according to a Wall Street Journal story.

In June this year, Johnson was the oldest runner in Grandma's Marathon in Duluth. Before she came back to Minnesota for that race, she wrote this in a letter to the University alumni magazine:

I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1952 and hardly a day goes by when I don't think and/or comment about the positive things I saw about the University of Minnesota. My education there brought me to California. I went to the placement bureau at Cal in Berkeley and within a day had a job teaching. I did not have my credentials with me, but when I told the superintendent of the Campbell schools that I graduated from the U of M he hired me.

I have lived in the San Jose area ever since and upon my retirement started to run and now do marathons. When I come to Minnesota next summer to visit family and run Grandma's Marathon, I plan to come by the tree at the end of the Washington Avenue Bridge and add an old pair of running shoes to the tree ...

Johnson had become a celebrity in the running community for her training tenacity and commitment to finish every race. Chris Weiller, from the New York Road Runners, said Johnson was a member of "the prestigious 'streakers' -- a tightknit group of runners who have completed 15 or more consecutive New York City Marathons," according to a San Jose Mercury News story.

"We're just so sad to hear about her passing," Weiller said in the story. "She was an inspiration to everyone. We're really feeling her loss here."

Johnson's husband, Dr. Newell Johnson, died in 1999, but several of her family members were with her in New York for the race.

"She considered everyone her friend," her daughter, Diana Boydston, told "I think she would be happy with this chain of events: to run her beloved New York marathon, talk to her buddy Al, be there with her sister Faith. She told everyone she loved them before the race, and she was at peace."

Johnson is survived by three of her four children and six grandchildren. Burial and services are being planned for her in Waconia, Minnesota.

See more on Joy Johnson in this Star Tribune story.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for GwenFreed.jpegGwendolyn Freed is quoted in the Wall Street Journal article "Want a Picasso, Chagall, Matisse for Only $5? Attend Oberlin."

"These events are "a way for institutions to express their personalities," says Gwendolyn Freed, who wrote her Ph.D. dissertation in educational policy from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities on signature events. The events are usually heavily marketed to prospective students to reflect a college's character--whether ultra-intellectual or more lighthearted, she says.

The events help students feel a school fits their values and personality, says Ms. Freed, now vice president for institutional advancement at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle."

Read full article.

Freed received her Ph.D. in educational policy and administration - higher education from the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) in 2012.

1JeanIllsleyClarke2011Web.jpgBest known for writing the seminal books on parenting, Jean Illsley Clarke, an internationally recognized family studies scholar and educator, influenced generations of parents. To honor her achievements, the University of Minnesota will award Clarke with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at 5 p.m. on Oct. 15 at a special ceremony in the Upson Room of Walter Library, 117 Pleasant St. S.E., Minneapolis.

A 1948 graduate of the University of Minnesota (B.S. in home economics education, cum laude), Clarke has had a long and distinguished career focusing on ways to help parents raise likable, self-sufficient and respectful children. She is the author of Self-Esteem: A Family Affair and How Much Is Enough? Among her list of honors and accomplishments: winner of the Eric Berne Memorial Award in Transactional Analysis, 1995; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northwest Parenting and Family Education Conference, 2008; alumni awards from the University of Minnesota College of Human Ecology, 1999, and College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), 2001; leadership positions on the National Council on Family Relations and the Minnesota Council on Family Relations; and honoree on the U of M's Wall of Discovery Scholars Walk.

Self-Esteem: A Family Affair is second only to Dr. Spock's as the most influential parenting advice book. Clarke's research and counseling, documented in her 20+ books, have been described as imaginative and practical.

"Jean Clarke is an expert on overindulgence, self-esteem, parenting, human development, group dynamics, and Transactional Analysis," said CEHD Dean Jean Quam. "She deserves this honor for her many contributions to the disciplines of family and parent education, and for translating that work to improve families and communities around the world."

Clarke has an M.A. from St. Mary's College in Winona and has been an adjunct faculty member at both the U and Concordia University.

Emma AdamEmma Adam, Ph.D. '98, professor at Northwestern University, has been honored with the 2013 Curt Richter Award by the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE). The award was presented at the ISPNE 43rd Annual Meeting in Leiden, the Netherlands, on August 23, 2013. The award recognizes the research of distinguished young investigators whose submitted manuscripts report original, never-published research in basic or clinical psychoneuroendocrinology. Adam presented her awarded paper in a talk entitled Social Influences on Child and Adolescent Cortisol in Naturalistic Settings: Implications for Mood and Anxiety Disorders at the meeting.

The CEHD Alumni Society welcomes new board members Paul Amla (M.Ed. '07 human resource development), Simone Gbolo (M.Ed. '12 youth development leadership, P.B.C .'12 undergraduate multicultural teaching and learning), Mark Groves (A.A. '83 General College, B.A. '90 child psychology), Candice Nadler (M.Ed. '82 early childhood education), and Jan Ormasa (M.A. '74 educational psychology).

Since 1956, the CEHD Alumni Society has created lifelong connections with over 70,000 alumni and friends of the college, enhanced the student experience, and advocated for the college and University. To learn more, please visit

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