What’s The Latest?

October, 2021. Dr. Gail Ferguson pens an opinion piece for the MinnPost: “The importance of talking to children about race and racism (including your own)” stemming from a American Psychologist journal article. Click here to read.

September, 2021. A paper led by grad student Lauren Eales on screen and problematic media use before and during the COVID-19 pandemic was published in Child Development! Read the paper here.

August, 2021. Dr. Gail Ferguson and a team of graduate students (Lauren Eales, Sarah Gillespie, and Keira Leneman) publish a paper in the American Psychologist on the Whiteness Pandemic in Minneapolis following #GeorgeFloyd’s murder. Read the paper here (and see our list of resources for parents here).

May, 2021. Congratulations to Dr. Ferguson for receiving the Excellence in Academic Advising Awardwhich recognizes her outstanding mentorship and thoughtful guidance for students from diverse backgrounds, students’ career-advancing projects, and the innovation of diversity and anti-racism science. She is being recognized for going above and beyond in recognizing student needs, encouraging student development, and creating a welcoming and inspiring environment for her students.

May, 2021. Congratulations to our graduating seniors (Zaina, Aniya, Reece, Noa, Nita, Dalicia) for receiving their Bachelor’s degrees! We are very proud of their accomplishments thus far and can’t wait to see their achievements moving forward.

May, 2021. Congratulations to Keira Leneman for receiving the prestigious Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for 2021-2022 from the University of Minnesota Graduate school! Keira’s dissertation will focus on “The Psychophysiology of White fragility“. Congratulations to Sarah Gillespie for being honored by the 2021 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program! The NSF Fellowship Program honors and awards applicants for the quality of an applicant’s work and ideas and draws applicants from across the country, from many different disciplines.

May, 2021. Congratulations to Salma Ibrahim, who is joining the CTSI PReP program under the mentorship of Dr. Bonnie Klimes-Dougan at the Research on Adolescent Depression (RAD) lab. The Pathways to Research Program provides undergraduate students with knowledge, skills, and experience in translational science and health equity research through a structured core curriculum including a mentored research project, weekly training seminars, small group discussions, and a final poster. Congratulations to Sarah Eckerstorfer, who will work with Professor Simone Schweber from the department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin – Madison as a part of the Summer Education Research Scholars Program (SERP) this summer! Her research focuses on teaching religion in the classroom and how to create an inclusive environment

April, 2021. CFL undergraduate students Reece A. Alstat and Vanisa Senesathith presented a poster on Child Distress and Mobile Apps During the COVID-19 Pandemic at the Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium with the mentorship of Lauren Eales and Dr. Ferguson



April, 2021

March, 2021. Dr. Ferguson leads the ICD Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy Subcommittee monthly meeting.

February, 2021. Members of the lab community came together for a socially distanced Friday movie night to watch Gathera documentary about Native American food sovereignty and health.


January, 2021. Dr. Ferguson was interviewed for a piece on open access publishing in the UMN Continuum based on a co-authored lab publication in an open access journal (Eales, Gillespie, Eckerstorfer, Eltag, Global Educators Groups, & Ferguson, 2020).


December, 2020. The Food, Culture, and Health Study officially launched on December 14, 2020!


December, 2020. CFL lab sub-team meeting virtually to touch base as we write the Whiteness Pandemic manuscript from the Screen Media Use and Globalization in and around COVID-19 Study.


December, 2020. CFL lab graduate students staying connected – shocking stories shared over a virtual “happy hour”!


November, 2020. Our November lab meeting was a deep dive into the J(amaican) U(nited) S(tates) Media? Programme, including the current work to digitize the program and tailor it for different cultural groups. Thanks to all lab members and visitors for a rich discussion, and congrats to this team on their great work over the past few months! 


September, 2020. CFL Lab-affiliated grad students and postdocs from ICD join forces with the the Familee Lab (Prof. Rich Lee) & @syeducation (Prof. Moin Syed)-affiliated Psychology scholars for a Fall, 2020 ‘Diversity Science In Psychology Reading Group’!


August, 2020. Congrats to Lauren Eales, Sarah Gillespie, Sarah Eckerstorfer, Ema Eltag, the lab’s Global Educators Groups, and Dr. F on their new publication “Remote Acculturation 101: A Primer on Research, Implications, and Illustrations from Classrooms Around the World“. It provides a digestible introduction to remote acculturation (RA) and classroom resources!

August, 2020. Congratulations to Dr. F and collaborators on the JUS Media? Programme for their new publication “U.S. Media Enjoyment without Strong Media Literacy Undermines Adolescents’ and Mothers’ Reported Efforts to Reduce Unhealthy Eating in Jamaica“! The findings suggest media literacy as a target for health intervention.


July, 2020. JUS Media Digitalization team meeting.


June, 2020. Our Food, Culture, & Health Study Team with and without immigrants. What do you notice? We stand with the American Association for the Advancement of Science that “Restricting immigration does not make America great, [prosperous], or safe… For many decades, the U.S. had been a welcoming place for immigrant and non-immigrant scientists making significant contributions to science and technology that directly benefit us all… Preventing highly-skilled scientists and postdocs from entering the U.S. will harm American science and threatens our scientific leadership.” (Photo credit to CFL lab RA, Shelby Smoyer).


June, 2020. The Food, Culture, & Health Study team met via Zoom today for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We loved having the whole team together!


June, 2020. We launched a new online study called Screen Media Use and Globalization in and around COVID-19. This project is a collaboration between the CFL Lab and the Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, and graduate student Lauren Eales is the Lead Student Researcher. 


June, 2020. Congratulations to Dr. Ferguson, who was elected to the Executive Council of the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology. She will serve as the North America Regional Representative to IACCP!


May, 2020. We have officially launched our Twitter page! Follow us for updates about our research and to learn more about #RemoteAcculturation. @Ferguson_Lab


May, 2020. Congratulations to undergraduates Ema Eltag and Shelby Smoyer for graduating and receiving their Bachelor’s degrees this year! Ema has been with our lab since Fall 2019, and Shelby joined in Spring 2020. We wish them both well in their future journeys!


April, 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when parents and their children are staying home and likely consuming more media than before, our lab has a new outreach piece offering tips for managing your child’s media environment and their exposure to advertising.


April, 2020. Congratulations to graduate students Sarah Gillespie, Lauren Eales, and undergraduate Sarah Eckerstorfer on winning the College of Education and Human Development’s World Challenge Challenge (WCC) competition! The team will compete in the international competition in Canada in 2021, proposing a digital media literacy intervention to address the growing worldwide issue of deaths from non-communicable diseases.


April, 2020. Though we aren’t able to meet in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all staying healthy and continuing our weekly lab meetings via Zoom.


February, 2020We have two new Pucel Global Fellows in the lab! Graduate students Lauren Eales and Sarah Gillespie both received the 2020 Pucel Global Fellow award, which involves them traveling to Jamaica to be immersed in local schools over winter break of 2020/2021.


January, 2020We got the grant! Dr. Ferguson and collaborators Drs. Nelson, Harnack, Abdi, Dwivedi and Ahn were awarded the CEHD Developmental Project Award of $200,000 to support their new 2-year transdisciplinary project expanding JUS Media? research and intervention: “The Roles of Acculturation and Media in the Nutrition of Immigrant and Refugee Families.”


January, 2020. New U of M Superbowl-Edition 5Qs article features Dr. Ferguson answering 5 questions about how advertisements can influence youth behavior and how parents can prepare their children to be savvy media consumers. 

January, 2020. Welcoming in our newest undergraduate lab members, Shelby, Zaina, and Dalicia!

January, 2020. Hot ‘in press’ publication from our transdisciplinary JUS Media? Programme Team documenting the glocal food/beverage advertising landscape shaping the development of remotely acculturating youth and parents in Jamaica. Excerpt (click for full abstract): “Findings reveal that fast food and sugary beverages, mostly of U.S. origin, were predominantly promoted.”

December, 2019. Dr. Ferguson was interviewed by the Northside Achievement Zone to accompany her appearance on their radio show, Power to the Parents. Check out her interview here.

December, 2019. Enjoying our weekly lab discussion of a journal article in the lab conference room on December 6, 2019.

December, 2019. Delicious banana chips brought back from Jamaica for the last lab meeting of the Fall semester on December 6, 2019!

November, 2019. Dr. Ferguson introduces the JUS Media? Programme to Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, M.P. (Jamaica Minister of Health and Wellness), Dr. Bernadette Theodore-Gandi (PAHO/WHO Rep., Jamaica), Dr. Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie (Chief Medical Officer, Jamaica Ministry of Health and Wellness), and Dr. Lisa Indar, (CARPHA) (R-L) at the 10th Annual National Health Research Conference, Kingston, Jamaica, November 21, 2019.

November, 2019. Brenda Koester, MS (Co-investigator, JUS Media? Programme Study, University of Illinois) led a poster presentation at the 10th Annual Health Research Conference in Kingston, Jamaica, along with co-authors Candice Wray, MS (former Graduate Research Assistant, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica) and Gail Ferguson, PhD (PI).

November, 2019. Dr. Ferguson met with Principal Corcho at partner school, Calabar High, in Kingston, Jamaica on November 19, 2019 regarding the success of the JUS Media? Programme pilot and ways to expand offerings. Such a forward thinking school – the CFL Lab is honored to join forces with you for the health and well-being of Jamaican students and families!

November, 2019. Dr. Ferguson met with Dr. Traci McFarlane, Health Psychologist and Faculty Member in Psychology at the University of the West Indies, Mona, on November 20, 2019. Dr. Mc was a stakeholder in the Healthy Families Partnership of the JUS Media? Programme and is now collaborating with another stakeholder at the Heart Foundation!

November, 2019. Graduate students Lauren and Sarah G. and undergraduate research assistant Sarah E. helmed a table at the Institute of Child Development’s Undergraduate Research Fair. Are you an undergraduate interested in gain research experience with our lab in the spring? Email your resume/CV to Dr. Ferguson at gmfergus@umn.edu by November 26, 2019!


Dr. Gail Ferguson and Sondra Samuels

November, 2019. Dr. Ferguson was interviewed on “Power to the Parents” broadcast on KMOJ 89.9 in Minneapolis, MN on parenting and children’s media. The first of the 2-part interview led by show co-host Sondra Samuels (CEO, Northside Achievement Zone) aired live on 11/10/19, and the second part will air on Sunday, November 23rd @ 11:30 AM Central.


November, 2019. Lauren Eales led the creation of a tip sheet with guidelines for parents on children’s media (What should I know about my child’s media use?) for the “Power to the Parents” radio show. This resource will be posted on the website of the Northside Achievement Zone in Minneapolis, MN. Click here for the guidelines created for the “Power to the Parents” show.

November, 2019. On Friday 11/8/19, the Culture and Family Life Lab welcomed a local representative of the Global Educator’s Group to the lab for a team meeting on our joint project — Emily Bollinger of Osseo Area Learning Center.

October, 2019. Dr. Ferguson delivered an invited Master Lecture at the 2019 biennial Meeting of the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood in Toronto, Canada. The title of her lecture was “The good, the bad, and the ugly of cultural globalization for 21st century emerging adults (and what developmental science can do about it).

October, 2019. New article in print at the American Psychologist! Ferguson, G. M., Fiese, B. H., Nelson, M. R., & Meeks Gardner, J. M. (2019). Transdisciplinary team science for global health: Case study of the JUS Media? Programme. American Psychologist, 74(6), 725-739. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000383. Free download from journal.

September, 2019. Dr. Ferguson presented an invited address at the 2019 Food and Family Conference in Chicago, IL put on by the Family Resiliency Center of the University of Illinois. The title of her talk was “Remote acculturation + U.S. media + food options: A(nother) perfect storm for obesity.

September, 2019. The Culture and Family Life Lab initiated a writing project on remote acculturation with the Global Educators Group (GEG), a group of secondary school educators from 20 countries around the world. The purpose of this partnership is to illustrate how remote acculturation is occurring in real-world classrooms globally, and what its implications are for youth development.