From the HDFS Chair

The close of another year brings to mind many thoughts and memories, including reflections on where we have been and where we will go in the future. As I experience my final year of my term as HDFS chair, there is so much to be thankful for and so much that is positive to anticipate in the future. Amid gratitude and positive thoughts, I am reminded that 2023 was another very difficult year in academia at Michigan State University. The devastating February 13th shooting in Berkey Hall affected all members of HDFS, both personally and professionally, and clouded all our work and interactions in 2023. Our unique location on campus between Berkey Hall and the Student Union placed us in the middle of a horrendous event. While we are thankful that members of HDFS were physically unharmed, we were affected emotionally by the event, and we are ever mindful of those who lost their lives and who were injured.

In spite of the challenges we have faced, HDFS faculty, students, and staff have done tremendous work that has a continuing positive impact on children and families in Michigan and across the world. The stories highlighted in this edition of our news represent only a few of the many accomplishments we achieved. HDFS faculty and students continue to publish important work in peer review journals, books, and book chapters. We have continued success in securing millions of dollars in grants from prestigious funding sources such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute of Education Sciences. Our scholars continue to shape the field through their leadership in leading Child Development and Couple and Family Therapy organizations. We continue to attract a wonderful and diverse group of talented graduate students, and our placement of these students in academic settings around the country is impressive. HDFS undergraduate majors are a wonderful and enthusiastic group of students, who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children and families. A big initiative on the 2024 horizon is the expansion of the Child Development Laboratories to a third site in the Lansing community.

Our department is truly a vibrant community of scholars who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of children, families, and communities. In short, our department is a great place to work and thrive.  

I wish all our readers a fantastic holiday season and a 2024 filled with good health and love. If you are looking for a way to give back to the department, we are working on upgrading building spaces where graduate students work, and donations would help their workspaces be more enjoyable. Finally, please stay up to date with the many activities of the department by following us on X (Twitter), Instagram, and Facebook.

At the end of this year, I will have completed 4.5 years of my 5-year term as HDFS chair, and my time in this role will end on August 15, 2024. It has been a big honor and privilege to lead this department, and to witness all the outstanding accomplishments of our faculty, staff, and students.

Go Green! Go HDFS!!


Adrian Blow
Professor and Chair
Human Development and Family Studies