The Department of Individual Family and Community Education hosted a research showcase in Travelstead Hall Thursday.

There were approximately 35 different presenters from programs within the IFCE department including nutrition, counselor education, educational psychology and family and child studies.

Topics included diversity, grief, social behaviors and discrimination among young adults, diabetic patients, food insecurities and the relationship between maltreated adolescents (11 to 17 years old) and their academic outcomes.

This was the seventh showcase event IFCE hosted in their effort to “raise visibility about research within the department and foster collaboration with the community,” said IFCE department chair Jay Parkes, Ph.D.

“Our showcase includes a range of research done by faculty and students – it’s a blend of research where some of it is also federally funded through grants,” Parkes said.

Some students have conducted research that has been years in the making.

“For some students, these research projects may later become their student theses or dissertations,” he said.

Some of the unique research projects included in this year’s showcase feature information on: looking at undocumented youth and their mental health needs, sibling loss in childhood dealing with grief, social networks of the LGB youth (transgender youth were not included in the study) and transitioning and empowerment of underserved youth of color, Parkes said.

“Some of these projects may go on to be showcased at various national conferences where these posters will be presented,” Parkes said.

Qamar Hadi, a University of New Mexico graduate student studying nutrition, developed her research proposal on food insecurity specific to current UNM students — she did this by surveying 40 College of Education students ranging from 18 to 65 years old.

“It started as a class project where I developed a survey first to understand the value of the topic and found that 10 percent of students who responded to the survey experienced recent food insecurity,” Hadi said.

Hadi reviewed demographic data on food insecurity and found one factor influencing lack of access to adequate nutrition might be attributed to their socioeconomic status. Hadi plans to continue developing her research and will gather more data, while investigating the causes and remedies related to food insecurities within the college-student population, she said.

Parkes said he was very pleased overall with the engagement from the students and faculty of the University of New Mexico and the local community.

He said the IFCE research showcase continues to be a success, serving the community by encouraging collaboration for all involved and raising visibility of various ongoing research being conducted within the department.

He also said the event helps to serve as a "one-stop shop" for students, faculty and community guests.

The IFCE Department has a list of the current and past programs from past research showcases available for download at

Michele Arbogast is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @DailyLobo.