Caroline Mavridis and Sue Pappas conduct FDC Leaders course

Caroline Mavridis
Caroline Mavridis

From Mar. 25-Mar. 27, National Family Development Credential trainers Caroline Mavridis and Sue Pappas (with support from Claire Forest, Director, and Amy Knight, Program Coordinator) conducted a three-day “Empowerment Skills for Leaders” Instructor Institute. A small but highly engaged group of seven leaders representing family service agencies from Missouri, Oklahoma, Florida, and New York received their certification to lead the 30-hour “Family Development Credential for Leaders” course. “FDC for Leaders” is the companion curriculum to the 90-hour FDC course for frontline human service workers and involves concepts and skills for empowerment-based staff supervision and support.

Mary Kate Kerrigan, HDFS Staff Spotlight

Welcome To HDFS, Mary Kate Kerrigan, Educational Program Assistant!

photo of Mary Kate KerriganMary Kate grew up in Madison, Connecticut, and had thought of UConn as her dream school since she was a little girl. Her mother attended UConn, so Mary Kate had grown up on all things UConn, including basketball games, tours around campus with her mom, and of course, trips to the Dairy Bar. Mary Kate started her own journey at UConn in 2019, and completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychological Sciences, with a minor in HDFS.

During her time as an undergraduate student, Mary Kate was a member of Psi Chi, the National Honors Society in Psychology. She was their first Social Media Manager, before taking on the role of Vice President. In 2022, she took a position as a Student Administrative Assistant for the UConn Department of Psychological Sciences. In this role, Mary Kate realized she had a passion for working in human resources and business administration.

In February of her senior year, Mary Kate enrolled in UConn’s School of Business for her master’s in Human Resources Management. She intends on pursuing the dual-degree program, which would also offer a master’s in business administration. In her new role as a graduate student, she is most excited about the opportunity to learn more about a field she has not previously taken classes in. She believes that being a grad student herself will help her empathize with the graduate students she works with in HDFS, and hopes to be even better at her job, sharing that perspective with them.

When she is not at work or doing coursework for her graduate program, Mary Kate can be found spending time down by the shore where she grew up, on Cape Cod, or going on weekend trips with friends to areas like Boston or New York City. Some of her favorite hobbies include painting, reading, walking, and doing puzzles.

CDL recognized as CT Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Program

The Child Development Labs (CDL) has been recognized as one of CT’s Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Programs. Master Teacher in the Infant Program, Kelly Clark, applied for this recognition on behalf of the Child Development Labs. Kelly Clark described how Child Development Labs policies aligned with known practices that support breast feeding. The recognition came with a $500 honorarium for the Child Development Labs to support best practice in providing a supportive environment for breast feeding families, staff and students. One of the many ways the Child Development Labs supports breastfeeding members of our community is by providing a peaceful, private room for feeding or pumping.

HDFS Welcomes Mary Kate Kerrigan, Educational Program Assistant

photo of Mary Kate KerriganMary Kate Kerrigan earned her BA from UConn in Psych Sciences in 2023, with an HDFS minor. For the past year, she worked as a student administrative assistant in the UConn Psych Sciences department. Her responsibilities will include graduate program administration, some support for the CDL, and other departmental support tasks. She is going to be a great addition to the HDFS team and we’re excited for her to join us.

Child Labs children and teachers help UC Pack Leaders Book Drive

Child Labs preschool teachers Debbie Muro and Sara Pickowicz and Student Teacher, HDFS undergrad (23) Julianna Kingsbury, along with their preschool friends, volunteered as a drop off location for the UConn Pack Leaders book drive. They painted collection boxes, advertised to families and collected books which the Pack Leaders will distribute to those who might not have access to books this summer. After collecting, the books were delivered to the Dean of Students office via a wagon pulled by the proud 3 and 4 year olds. The Child Labs children and teachers are connecting and collaborating with other organizations within the UConn community to help make a difference because they know even the smallest among us can impact others in a positive way.