Departmental Links
Recent CFS Faculty Books
Immigrant Families

Immigrant Families
Robert Moreno, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. Chair

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Approaches to Early Childhood Education

Approaches to Early Childhood Education (6th Ed.)
Jaipaul Roopnarine, Ph.D., Reilly Professor of Child & Family Studies, Director of Reilly institute

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Department of Child and Family Studies

Welcome to the Department of Child and Family Studies

Child and Family Studies offers bachelor of science (B.S.), master of arts (M.A.), master of science (M.S.), and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in child and family studies. Students gain a broad knowledge of issues affecting child development and the family unit preparing to work closely with children and families in diverse settings.

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Children sitting on a lawn talking and playing

Rachel Razza, Kimberly Raymond co-author chapter for International Handbook of Young Children’s Thinking & Understanding

CFS assistant professor, Rachel Razza, and CFS doctoral student, Kimberly Raymond, have co-written a chapter in the Routledge International Handbook of Young Children’s Thinking and Understanding. The chapter is entitled, Executive Function and School Readiness: Identifying Multiple Pathways for School Success. The Routledge International Handbook of Young Children’s Thinking and Understanding provides a contemporary and authoritative reference text on young children’s thinking. It brings together the expertise of influential, international authors from a variety of disciplines who share a high public profile for their specific developments in the theories of children’s thinking, learning and understanding. Supported throughout with relevant research and case studies, this handbook is an international insight into the many ways there are to understand children and childhood paired with the knowledge that young children have a strong, vital, and creative ability to think and to understand, and to create and contend with the world around them.

Elif Dede Yildirim and Jaipaul Roopnarine

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services awards Elif Dede Yildirim, Jaipaul Roopnarine $100,000 grant to investigate relationships between child development outcomes and paternal engagement

Child and family studies Ph.D. student, Elif Dede Yildirim, working with Jaipaul Roopnarine, Ph.D., the Jack Reilly Endowed Professor of Child and Family Studies, has received a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families. The research project, "Paternal Factors and Childhood Outcomes: The Mediating Role of Relationship Quality and Support Networks," offers great promise for state and local agencies that focus on preventing developmental risks to children that are attributed to challenging home and neighborhood environments.

Image of child in hospital

New this Spring: CFS 423 - Death, Dying & Loss - Child and Family Perspectives

This course will help students understand pediatric death, dying and loss through exploring the psychosocial, sociocultural and ethical aspects of loss and through examining concepts of loss, grief and bereavement. Theories of child and adolescent development will provide students with a comprehensive framework of children's understanding of illness and end of life care. Students will be given the opportunity to examine their own beliefs about death through the analysis of their own life experiences.

Ambika Krishnakumar Photo

Study Identifies Key Components for Prevention, Intervention Programs for Adolescent Smoking in China

Falk College professors, Ambika Krishnakumar (Child and Family Studies) and Lutchmie Narine (Public Health) authored “Parenting practices and adolescent smoking in mainland China: The mediating effect of smoking-related cognitions,” which appeared in the August 2014 edition of the Journal of Adolescence. In collaboration with Dr. Yan Wang, Drs. Krishnakumar and Narine examined the direct and indirect associations of general and smoking-specific parenting practices with Chinese adolescents' smoking behaviors. Results suggest that parenting practices and smoking-related cognitions are critical components to be incorporated in prevention and intervention programs for adolescent smoking in China.

Students Meet UNICEF's Caryl Stern

CFS students explore the benefits of sport for human development with UNICEF president Caryl Stern

For students in the Department of Child and Family Studies’ course, Sport and Human Development, a recent interactive class discussion focused on the power of sport in UNICEF’s day-to-day work with children and communities around the world. Dr. Terry MacDonald created and teaches the course, which examines the role sports play in positive and healthy youth development. During the Fall semester, she invited Caryl M. Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and Matt Meyerson, UNICEF senior director for sport partnerships, to meet with her students.

Gerontology Education Workshop Attendees

Dyshawn Davis, Senior CFS, Impacts Syracuse On, Off The field

CFS senior student-athlete, Dyshawn Davis, is a senior linebacker for the SU Men's Football team. He spent the summer putting his classroom skills to work, working with children as part of the Building Men program, an educational outreach pilot program in Syracuse designed to help young men learn to make good decisions and develop character and leadership. Davis was one of five Orange players to intern with the organization, and it's an experience, he said, that impacted him as much as it did the kids.

Gerontology Education Workshop Attendees

Honig Authors The Best for Babies

Caregiver-child interactions are critically important in promoting cognitive, language, and social-emotional learning in young children. With examples and detailed explanations, Dr. Alice Honig's The Best for Babies: Expert Advice for Assessing Infant-Toddler Programs illuminates the behaviors and interactions that teachers or care providers should provide for the children in their care. The book offers an easy-to-use checklist that directors, mentor teachers, or parents can use to assess each teacher-child interpersonal relationship and the ways caregivers offer learning and living experiences for young children. Published by Gryphon House, the book will be released in November 2014.

CFS alumna honored for pro bono immigration efforts


The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) honored CFS alumna, Diane Chappell-Daly, with the 2014 Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award for outstanding efforts in providing pro bono representation in the immigration field during AILA’s Annual Conference in Boston, MA in June.

In addition to volunteering her time and expertise as an attorney, she organizes others to successfully offer an immigration clinic with the recently formed Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP). Recognizing a great unmet legal need, Ms. Chappell-Daly proposed to create a clinic for immigration law practitioners to provide pro bono legal services to the community and volunteered to take the lead on the project. She hosted brown bag lunches with the local immigration bar to recruit volunteers, helped design a clinic that would be easy for local solo practitioners to join, and helped design an intake, which is conducted by volunteer law students at the clinic to gather the most pertinent information so that the attorney can provide a truly in-depth consultation at the clinic.

Children with Smile Sculpture

A Reason to Smile on South Campus

The recent gift of a generous Syracuse University alumna and her family is bringing a big smile to the Bernice M. Wright (BMW) Child Development Laboratory School every day.


Earlier this month, a 12-foot blue and orange 'happy face' sculpture was installed outside of the BMW Lab School on South Campus, a gift from Shelly and Scot Fisher. Shelly is an alumna of the Newhouse School as is their son, Sam. The artist, Scott Gerber, created the piece in his studio in Sarasota, Florida. In the near future, four of his full-body sculptures will appear on New York City's Riverwalk.

Photo of Kappa Omicron Nu Inductees

CFS Awards Presentation, Poster Symposium Honors Student Accomplishments

The Department of Child & Family Studies (CFS) held its annual Student Award Ceremony and Student Internship Poster Symposium at the Bernice M. Wright Child Development Laboratory School this spring. Undergraduate and graduate students majoring in child and family studies were recognized for excellence in many areas.

CFS students also presented highlights of their semester-long internships and related special projects during this event attended by faculty, staff, students, internship supervisors, community partners and family members and friends.

Photo of Kappa Omicron Nu Inductees

Child and Family Studies majors inducted into Kappa Omicron Nu honor society

The Department of Child and Family Studies (CFS) honored 8 high-achieving students on April 25 at the inaugural induction of the Kappa Omicron Nu, Omicron Alpha Iota chapter honor society—the second induction of the national honor society program for CFS majors at Syracuse University. The mission of Kappa Omicron Nu is to develop empowered leaders who use an integrative approach to enhance quality of living through excellence in scholarship, leadership, and research. Students were selected on the basis of academic excellence in the major. The honor society’s purpose is to recognize and support academic excellence while promoting the ideals of service and leadership. Matthew Mulvaney, associate professor and Kappa Omicron Nu advisor, conducted the ceremony.

The students inducted into the honor society include: Sarah Benjamin, Jenna Chondris, Lexy Davis, Kendall DmochFagan, Emily Lord, Rebecca Rothstein, Rachel Zecher, and Emily Zimmerman.

Alice Sterling Honig featured speaker at Eighth Annual Jack Reilly Distinguished Lecture May 13

The Jack Reilly Institute for Early Childhood and Provider Education at Syracuse University, along with Child Care Solutions, invites the community to the Eighth Annual Jack Reilly Distinguished Lecture featuring Dr. Alice Sterling Honig, Ph.D. The event is free and open to the public, and will be held on Tuesday, May 13, 7:00 p.m. at Peck Hall, 601 E. Genesee Street, Syracuse. In addition to hearing Dr. Honig’s presentation entitled, “Nurturing Early Language,” this annual event presents an opportunity to ask questions, and to network with parents, providers and educators. The program qualifies for one NYSOCFS training hours.

Alice Sterling Honig has done extensive research and written books and articles on infants and toddlers, language development, child-care practices, preschooler social development, fathering and the effects of divorce on children.

Young child playing

New American Academy of Pediatrics policy highlights the importance of Child Life Services

A new Policy Statement on Child Life Services has been released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) which includes strong recommendations for the inclusion of child life services across many different settings to improve both quality and outcomes in pediatric care, as well as the patient and family experience during medical treatment and hospital admissions. Child life programs are an important component of pediatric hospital – based care to address the psychosocial concerns that accompany hospitalization and other health care experiences. Child life specialists focus on the optimal development and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults while promoting coping skills and minimizing the adverse effects of hospitalization, health care, and/or other potentially stressful experiences.

Young child playing

Rachel Razza Recognized With 2014 Syracuse University Teaching Award

Rachel Razza, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Child & Family Studies in the Falk College, was named a Syracuse University 2014 Teaching Recognition Award as part of the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorship Program. This honor recognizes excellence in teaching innovation, effectiveness in communicating with students and the lasting value of courses. She will be honored at a ceremony on April 21. A member of the Falk College since 2007, the primary focus of Dr. Razza's scholarly work is children's self-regulation, a multifaceted construct that encompasses a variety of skills underlying children's ability to monitor cognitive strategies and adapt behavior to fit situational demands. Her work explores associations among different facets of self-regulation, contextual predictors of self-regulation, and implications of various self-regulatory skills for children’s school readiness and later school success. She is particularly interested in specifying these pathways among at-risk children, as these children are particularly at-risk for self-regulatory deficits.

Young child playing

Now enrolling: Mindfulness in Children & Youth (CFS 400/600)

This Summer Session I course (May 19-June 27) will focus on the importance of mindfulness for children in overall development and examine school and community based interventions that target mindfulness as well as mindful parenting.

Attendees and Speakers of Trauma Conference

Now available online:

Videos from “A Community in Trauma” conference explore how grief, loss impact children and families in the Syracuse community and what to do when trauma becomes pervasive

A day-long conference exploring the epidemic of violence and the long-term wounds it inflicts on the children who grow up in its shadow in the Syracuse community was sponsored by the Falk College's Department of Child and Family Studies (CFS) in March. The event featured community experts who deal with violence and trauma. Each guest speaker offered different perspectives on related problems and solutions. Due to overwhelming interest from persons interested in the well-being of children, youth and families, including teachers, school administrators, counselors, criminal justice professionals, agency staff, advocates, volunteers, service providers, social workers, and health care professionals, the conference sessions are now available online for viewing using the links below.

CFS professor of practice, Colleen Baish Cameron, whose professional credentials include work as a Certified Child Life Specialist, worked closely with community leaders who are deeply involved with and committed to trauma response in our community, including: Timothy Noble Jennings-Bey, director of the Trauma Response Team for the United Way of Central New York and founder of the Identity Research Institute; Terrence Byrd-El, assistant director, Syracuse Trauma Response Team and creator of the "Man to Man" self-development program for young men between the ages of 11-16, Kimber Gunn, who has been working in the youth development field for over twenty years and Arnett Haygood-El, Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility Inc., Southwest Community, who has worked professionally for 15 years assisting low income, at-risk youth and their families to overcome the barriers of growing up in poverty. A graduate student at Syracuse University working on a master’s degree in Child and Family Health in a Global Community, his studies are focused on the effects of community violence on urban youth development. Falk faculty involved in the project also include CFS department chair and associate professor, Robert Moreno; assistant professor of public health, Dessa Bergen-Cico; associate professor of social work, Keith A. Alford; Mary Kish, internship coordinator, and; Sydnee Corridors, CFS student.

Young child playing

Syracuse University - Penn State - Bloomsburg University 5th Annual Mini-Conference on Play, Development and Early Education

April 10-11, 2014 at Bloomsburg University

The 5th Annual Mini-Conference on Play, Early Childhood Development, and Education is sponsored by Bloomsburg University, Department of Curriculum and Instruction and College of Education, The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Curriculum and Instruction and College of Education, and by the Jack Reilly Institute for Early Childhood and Provider Education, Department of Child and Family Studies, Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. The opening session will be held on April 11, 2013 at the College of Education, Bloomsburg University in Kehr Union, Multipurpose B, starting at 8:30 a.m. The first presentation begins at 9 a.m., and the conference concludes at noon. Direct inquiries to Professor Roopnarine at:

Week of the young Child Logo

CFS Alumna Honored for Advocacy, Commitment to Developing Child Care Professionals

In celebration of The Week of the Young Child April 6-12, Desalyn De-Souza, Ph.D., assistant professor, SUNY Empire State College, will be honored for her community service, advocacy for children’s education, and commitment to training child care professionals with the 2014 Altes Prize on April 8. A 2012 graduate of the Falk College’s Department of Child and Family Studies at Syracuse University, De-Souza dissertation was entitled, “Child Care Center Directors’ Perceptions of Continuity of Care: A Qualitative Investigation.” Her CFS advisor was Dr. Bruce Carter. The Altes Prize is named for retired, long-time vice president for academic affairs at SUNY Empire State College, Jane Altes, and is awarded annually to a member of the college faculty. De-Souza was awarded the Graduate School All University Doctoral Prize in 2012. This prize is awarded to students who have demonstrated originality, contribution to the field, creativity, methodology soundness, and quality of writing in their dissertation.

Childhood Safety and Wellbeing

Jack Reilly Institute's Community Workshop Series hosts "Childhood Safety & Wellbeing"

As part of its Community Workshop Series, the Jack Reilly Institute for Early Childhood and Provider Education hosted “Childhood Safety & Wellbeing,” on March 29. Speakers included Thomas R. Welch, M.D., professor and chair of pediatrics, and medical director, Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and Patricia Sofranko, professional development specialist, Child Care Solutions. Topics discussed include supervision and safety and the consequences of lacking outdoor activity on 21st century American children.

Sophia Hornick and Rachel Hannon at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital

Looking for the ideal place for your child to learn and grow?

Openings are now available at the Bernice M. Wright Child Development Laboratory School (BMW Lab School). Our newly renovated South Campus facility houses four classrooms, large motor areas, therapy spaces, kitchen and specialized curriculum areas, such as an art studio, woodworking room and library. Classes are offered 9 a.m.-noon for toddlers and preschoolers. An extended-day program from either 9 a.m.-1 p.m. or 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. is offered for preschoolers, only. The BMW Lab School offers five-, three- and two-day program options. Serving a diverse group of children and their families, the school is operated by SU’s Falk College, accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and licensed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. For more information, or to schedule a tour of the school, contact: Bernice M. Wright Laboratory School, (315) 443-2471,

Portrait of Dr. Jaipaul Roopnarine

Dr. Jaipaul Roopnarine named visiting professor at M.S. University of Baroda, India

Dr. Jaipaul L. Roopnarine was awarded a Nehru Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda Gujarat, India, during the Spring 2014 semester. His appointment in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies recognizes his distinguished cross-cultural research and perspectives in Early Childhood Care and Education, fathering and family, according to department chair, Dr. Rajalakshmi Sriram.

image of mannequin dressed in business suit and tie

CFS Student Organizes Clothing Drive for High School Workshop

CFS senior Chyna Fox coordinated “Trying on Success,” an hour-long workshop for Fowler High School juniors and seniors to help them learn about appropriate business attire and dressing for success. As part of this program, she is collected new to gently used business professional garments and accessories (shirts, sweaters, ties, slacks, dresses) to use in the presentation.

Welcome to the Department of Child & Family Studies

Robert Moreno serves as the department chair of Child and Family Studies

Department News

CFS Information Meeting

Interested in a degree in Child and Family Studies? Staff will be available to answer questions and provide materials.

Date: November 14th
Time: 2:00-4:00pm
Location: Lyman Hall Rotunda

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Interested in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics?

Contact us: Falk

College Events

Campus Perception Survey

Students, complete a survey about your perception of the healthfulness of the campus environment for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate.

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