Back to School Alumni and Friend Event

Almost 100 alumni and friends attended the 2018 event on September 28. It included hands-on workshops, great food, and fascinating lectures by SoHE faculty–all to help SoHE alumni recapture the thrill of learning!

Photos of the event are available here.

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Event Keynote
Charles RaisonSupercharged: Ancient Practices for Modern Happiness

Charles Raison, M.D., Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children and Families, Professor, Human Development and Family Studies

Can science uncover elements of the past to supercharge our futures? Dr. Chuck Raison argues cutting-edge research into ancient practices and taps into a wide range of human capacities to optimize our ability to experience all that the modern world offers. From psychedelics and microbiota to hyperthermia, isolation tanks and fasting, he’ll take the “sexiest” topics in psychological, neurobiological, and behavioral science and explore, in practical terms, whether it’s possible to judiciously re-introduce elements of our evolved past to address the challenges of 21st century existence.


Registration included a choice of two workshop sessions.

Hands-on Historic Textiles: The White Glove Treatment
Sherry Harlacher, Ph.D.
What do textiles and clothing tell us about civilizations, human history, culture, and commerce? Dr. Sherry Harlacher’s hands-on workshop provides up close, insider access to some of the treasures in the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, one of the largest university-held collections in the nation.


Christine WhelanLife on Purpose: Three Questions Only You Can Answer
Christine Whelan, Ph.D., Clinical Professor and Director of Money, Relationships and Equity Initiative, Consumer Science
In this mini-course, Dr. Christine Whelan outlines cutting-edge academic research on the power of purpose and shows you how to take small steps to take toward purpose in your own life. By asking what matters most to you, why it matters, and how to make it happen, you’ll create your own Mad-Libs purpose statement and take that first step toward embracing life…on purpose.

Your Legacy and Family Well-Being: Estate Planning for a Lifetime
Cliff Robb, Ph.D., Faculty Director and Associate Professor, Consumer Finance and Financial Planning
Estate planning is essential for everyone, regardless of income level or assets. But creating a financial legacy can be a mysterious and intimidating process. Dr. Cliff Robb provides a clear window into strategies that help take the stress out of accumulating, using, and preserving assets for the future.

A Day in the Life of Today’s College Students
Lauren Papp, Ph.D., Vaughan Bascom Professor in Women, Family and Community, Human Development and Family Studies
What is it like to be a college student in 2018?  Drawing from her current and ongoing research, Dr. Lauren Papp shares how students spend their time and how they use both healthy and risky behaviors to cope with daily stressors.


Chinese Calligraphy, Brush Painting and Well-Being
Wei Dong, Professor, Design Studies
Through art, participants learn about the balance of the opposing, yet coexisting, elements yin and yang, and how they tie into well-being. “I am honored to keep this ancient practice alive and share it with the Western culture,” states Dong, whose lifelong passion is Chinese brush painting.

Alumni Award presentations, remarks by Dean Shim, social time with refreshments and social hour in the company of fellow alums, friends, and Bucky Badger.



Historical Photos from the 2017 event:

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2017 Back to School eventMeet 2018 alumni award winners!


If you have questions, please contact Dan Dick at or 608-890-0211.