New Professors Honored in Inaugural Lecture Series

12/06/2021

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Three faculty members from the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services were recently recognized as professors: Dr. Lisa Boyce and Dr. Beth Fauth of the Human Development and Family Studies department, and Dr. Michael Levin of the Psychology department.

Each of these new professors presented their research at a private reception in the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art as part of the inaugural lecture series.

Provost Frank Galey emphasized the significance of celebrating newly-titled professors and their achievements. “It’s an opportunity for folks to tell their story, share what their journey into academia has been like, and look ahead to what they see in their career moving forward,” he said at one of the recent lectures.

“It’s a joy to learn more about faculty and their accomplishments,” said Al Smith, Dean of the college. "These professors are recognized leaders at USU and beyond, and their promotions are driven by sustained, exemplary achievement."

Learn about the college’s newest professors and their research careers below.

Beth Fauth standing at a podium giving a presentationBeth Fauth delivers her inaugural lecture in the NEHMA.

 

 

Lisa BoyceDr. Lisa Boyce: Building on Cultural and Family Strengths to Support Children

Lecture held October 26

Dr. Lisa Boyce is a professor in the department of Human Development and Family Studies and Executive Director over research and training at the Dolores Doré Eccles Center for Early Care and Education. Her research interests focus on promoting children’s development within the context of caregivers’ mental health, culture, and other relevant factors.

Boyce started on this path of research after her first child was born premature. During her early experiences as a mother and throughout her professional career, Boyce began to notice a disconnect between early childcare support professionals and the parents they work with. Boyce strives to develop methods to help parents connect with their children through techniques they can use outside of professional home visits.

One such method is family bookmaking, in which parents and children make a simple book with pictures and writing describing their everyday activities, such as cooking or getting the mail together. These books capture the family’s culture and relationships and become tools for literacy, language development, and connection between parents and children.

Beth FauthDr. Beth Fauth: Emotional and Social Support as Protective Factors in Aging

Lecture held November 1

Dr. Beth Fauth is a professor in Human Development and Family Studies. Her research, teaching, and service focus on aging, specifically on the transition into needing assistance in late life, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and supporting family caregiving for people with dementia.

Fauth started working in gerontology as a result of her love of health and development and experienced working with elderly populations. Her research frames age-related disability as a process rather than an outcome. Many gerontology studies track changes over time, but Fauth uses data from the time of disability onset to the time when an individual first needs assistance as part of disability. This more accurate understanding of depression in aging populations allows for better intervention and support.

Fauth is continuing to study and develop interventions and support for caregivers, who often also experience high rates of depression. Social support, caregiving education, and psychological coping skills have all been found to be vital to the mental health of caregivers and their loved ones.

Mike LevinDr. Michael Levin: Online Mental Health Research & Applications

Lecture held November 16

Dr. Michael Levin is a professor in the Psychology department and the Director of Clinical Training in the Combined Clinical/Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program. He co-directs the USU Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Research group with his longtime collaborator and friend, Dr. Mike Twohig, and their lab of 10 grad students. Levin’s research focuses on teaching effective therapy techniques through self-guided technology.

Levin is dedicated to supporting others in their mental health journeys, and he carries on the legacy of his parents through service to others and teaching valuable mental health practices. He devotes his time to helping people navigate significant challenges and get the most out of life through mindfulness practices. One of his most impactful projects has been ACT Guide, an online, self-guided mental health program that combines therapeutic mechanisms of change with mindfulness practices, meditation, and a focus on values.

ACT Guide is making quality mental health care more accessible. One-third of people using ACT Guide have never received treatment before, and over 1300 USU students have used the program.