Duvall Family Studies Conference to be hosted at USFSM


The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee will be the site of the 2013 Duvall Family Studies Conference, a biennial symposium created to bring academic research findings to human services practitioners, and practice knowledge and needs to researchers.

The Evelyn M. Duvall Family Studies Conference is a biennial symposium that brings together academics and practitioners to foster research-driven best practices within Florida and beyond.

“The conference will showcase scholarly research, but also descriptions of work by social work and other human services practitioners, so that the knowledge can go both ways, both to and from research and practice,” said Dr. Jane Roberts, an Instructor in the College of Arts & Sciences and Chair of Duvall Family Studies. “This was Dr. Duvall’s mission.”

The 2013 conference, “Supporting Family Development”, seeks to promote the most effective and up-to-date findings of family-related research. The priorities of the Evelyn M. Duvall endowment at USFSM emphasize collaborations among university researchers and community practitioners who can utilize family studies research findings.

“The theme this year is Supporting Family Development: Multidisciplinary Approaches,” Roberts said. “The late Dr. Duvall, a former USF faculty member and longtime benefactor, envisioned academic and practice interactions that would be useful in many different disciplines. This year, for example, social workers, psychologists, or those in child and adult protective services will all benefit from hearing the newest work on such topics as domestic violence, migrant families’ struggles, and issues facing older adults.”

Dawn Cassidy, M. Ed., Director of Education at the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), will serve as the event’s plenary speaker. Cassidy will share information on the Domains of Family Practice Model which provides a way to differentiate professional roles and encourages appropriate collaboration among the fields.

“Dawn Cassidy will offer a morning plenary highlighting the ways that human services disciplines can work collaboratively to assure that families are well served in their various needs for health and well-being,” Roberts said.

The two-day Duvall Family Studies event kicks off with a pre-conference workshop Feb. 14 entitled Building Your Practice
: Entrepreneurship Research Findings
hosted by Dr. Jean Kobongo, an assistant professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship at the College of Business at USFSM, followed by an Author Reception and Registration with nationally-known author Wally Lamb.

Lamb will speak about his two books Couldn’t Keep It to Myself: Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters and I’ll Fly Away: Further Testimonies from the Women of York Prison and will address the attendees at a reception. Lamb also wrote She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, which both appeared in Oprah’s Book Club. Along with his writing, Lamb has served as a teacher at Norwich Free Academy for 25 years and an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut for three years. Lamb has also instituted a writing program for women at the York Correctional Institute, Connecticut’s only women’s prison.

For more information including a complete schedule and registration, visit the event’s website. The conference requires a paid fee and is only open to those who register.