8 UConn grad students awarded certificate in “Culture, Health and Human Development” 

Eight UConn graduate students were awarded for their empirical research in Culture, Health, and Human Development on Feb. 23, 2023. Photo by thebluediamondgallery.

Eight University of Connecticut students were awarded the Graduate Certificate in “Culture, Health and Human Development” for their interdisciplinary study and completion of empirical investigation. 

According to a press release from Feb. 23, the eight students came from three different departments: Human Development and Family Sciences, Educational Psychology and Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. The eight recipients were Huda Akef, Alyssa Bunyea, Minjung Choi, Emily Jackson, Yanzhen Kuang, Hilal Kuscul, Alexandria Tomkunas and Yuan Zhang. 

Professor Sara Harkness, director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Health and Human Development, said she is proud of the students for their hard work on their capstone projects. 

“We are very proud of the students who have completed independent research projects for the Graduate Certificate in Culture, Health, and Human Development,” Harkness said in an email interview. “The award ceremony was a great community occasion for all concerned, and we were honored that Professor and Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Jeffrey Shoulson joined us to confer the certificates.” 

The Graduate Certificate provides students with the opportunity to complete and publish an integrative research project while documenting their accomplishments on their transcript. According to their website, the certificate is only open to graduate students enrolled at UConn. 

Harkness chaired the ceremony and spoke to the recipients about their contributions to understanding diversity at a local, national and global level. 

“You have already contributed to that understanding with your capstone projects, and I know you will continue to be at the forefront of research and action in this interdisciplinary endeavor,” Harkness said to recipients at the ceremony. 

According to their website, the certificate is built on two courses: HDFS 5020 and HDFS 5031. Students are also required to take two courses in culture, health and human development to ensure they are familiar with the core areas of the study. 

Recipient Minjung Choi, who is studying human development and family sciences, said she is grateful for the experience she had working on the project seminar, which was a part of the CHHD graduate program. 

“It was a great experience to develop a project with a team,” Choi said. “Thanks to the cooperative environment, I was able to advance my research interest into a final project, which I have submitted for publication.” 

More information about the “Culture, Health and Human Development” Graduate Certificate and course requirements can be found on their website

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