What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing! (Note: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)


Service: Sharing Back, Learning Forward
January 4, 2019

Service: Sharing Back, Learning Forward

By Lilly Thomas | January 4, 2019
Customer Service/Sales, ETR

I have the brain of a sociologist. I’m interested in other people, in their day-to-day lives. I’m curious about how people live in different parts of the country—how they talk, what they eat, how they connect with one another.

I got my college degree in urban planning, which I call “sociology with solutions.” 

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Tags: Service, Customer service, ETR products
What Do We Want? Sex Ed! What Do We Need? Sex Ed!
January 2, 2019

What Do We Want? Sex Ed! What Do We Need? Sex Ed!

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | January 2, 2019
Senior Editor, ETR

If you’re reading this post, there’s an excellent chance you’re a supporter of comprehensive sexuality education in schools. After all, you’re interacting with ETR, an organization that does education, training and research on sexual health.

But beyond that, just by virtue of being an American, chances are high that you’d like to see effective sex ed programs in schools. 

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Tags: Sexual and reproductive health, Sex education
It's Solstice! Time for a Break!
December 21, 2018

It's Solstice! Time for a Break!

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | December 21, 2018
Senior Editor, ETR

ETR is about to jump into its annual holiday break period. After our offices close today, our staff will be off duty until January 2, 2019. Our blog will go quiet during this time, too.

Last year, our CEO Vignetta Charles wrote a beautiful end-of-year post. I love it. This year? “What she said.”

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Tags: Mission
Kids and E-Cigarette Liquids: Keeping Watch During the Holidays and Beyond
December 17, 2018

Kids and E-Cigarette Liquids: Keeping Watch During the Holidays and Beyond

By Xinran Cui Dhaliwal, MPH | December 17, 2018
Project Coordinator, ETR

If your holidays are anything like mine, then they are full of family reunions and house hopping. My daughter, one and a half, loves it! New places to check out, great food, hugs and kisses from all the doting adults.

I’m not a helicopter mom, so I don’t really sweat the non-baby proof houses, and there is no limit on sugar. If people want to treat her to some sweets and cookies, that’s fine. She eats well at home.

But I did sweat a little when I came across news about poison control centers handling cases of exposure to e-cigarette devices and liquids.

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Tags: Flavored tobacco products, Young children, Children, E-cigarettes
From the Ground into Our Schools: Parent/Guardian Awareness of Radon Levels
December 13, 2018

From the Ground into Our Schools: Parent/Guardian Awareness of Radon Levels

By Kirsten Martin | December 13, 2018
Third Year Medical Student, Larner College of Medicine at The University of Vermont

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. In spite of this, 38 states have no legislation requiring that radon levels be monitored in schools. Vermont, where I currently reside, is one of these states.

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Tags: Research, School health
STEM Education and Youth Who are Disabled: We're Overdue for Inclusivity
December 11, 2018

STEM Education and Youth Who are Disabled: We're Overdue for Inclusivity

By Linda Kekelis, PhD | December 11, 2018
Advisor, STEM Next Opportunity Fund

We need to build greater diversity in STEM education. Like a lot of my colleagues, I’ve worked to create programs welcoming more girls and youth of color into STEM. We’ve made good progress, and we are creating positive momentum.

But one group that continues to be overlooked, even within strong and established programs, is youth who are disabled. 

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Tags: Parent engagement, Diversity and inclusion, STEM equity, STEM education
World AIDS Day 2018: Reflecting on the Past, Taking on the Future
December 1, 2018

World AIDS Day 2018: Reflecting on the Past, Taking on the Future

Vignetta Charles, PhD | December 1, 2018
CEO, ETR

I was sitting on a plane last week thinking about the 30th Anniversary of World AIDS Day. I tried to remember back to the very first one, in 1988. I was a teenager. AIDS was a part of my coming of age.

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Tags: Inspiration, HIV, AIDS
What Is "Scaffolding" In Adolescent Relationships?
November 29, 2018

What Is "Scaffolding" In Adolescent Relationships?

By ETR | November 29, 2018

We had an outstanding Kirby Summit IV this fall. This invitational gathering brings together experts from around the country who know a great deal about emerging issues in adolescent health. The Kirby IV summiteers focused on scaffolding for adolescent relationships. If you're not quite sure what that is, you'll want to watch this lively 3-minute video from ETR Senior Research Associate Pamela Anderson.

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Tags: Scaffolding, Romantic relationships, Adolescents, Kirby summit
A Picture Is Worth a Lot of Words: E-Cigarette Marketing to Children and Youth
November 27, 2018

A Picture Is Worth a Lot of Words: E-Cigarette Marketing to Children and Youth

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | November 27, 2018
Senior Editor, ETR

You probably already know that flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes pose a unique and compelling danger to children and youth. You’ve paid attention to the headlines. You’ve read the articles and reports. You’ve been astonished at the troubling statistics showing how these products are fueling increases in tobacco use among youth.

That was certainly true for me. Then I helped out in a photoshoot of flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products. 

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES
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Tags: Adolescent health, Flavored tobacco products, E-cigarettes, Tobacco prevention
Gratitude: Returning to Each Other
November 16, 2018

Gratitude: Returning to Each Other

By Vignetta Charles, PhD | November 16, 2018
CEO, ETR

A poem by one of my favorite poets has been running through my head as we enter the holiday season. I have been overwhelmed with gratitude as I bear witness to people returning to each other, whether it’s mobilizing for those devastated in the California wildfires and supporting the firefighters still in harm’s way, or the continued global response to the #metoo movement. I am hopeful because I believe we can find peace when we find authentic connection and express our gratitude for that.

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Tags: Gratitude, Inspiration, ETR staff, ETR
Supporting Diversity & Inclusion: Harry Potter's Greatest Spell
November 13, 2018

Supporting Diversity & Inclusion: Harry Potter's Greatest Spell

By Elizabeth McDade-Montez, PhD, and Rebecca A. Dore, PhD  | November 13, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR (EM) and Senior Research Associate, The Ohio State University (RAD)

Harry Potter is the best-selling book series of all time. The books and their derivatives have made author J.K. Rowling the world’s first billionaire author. The novels and subsequent movies are certainly engaging and entertaining. Indeed, entertainment is the primary goal of most media and works of fiction.

But how we engage with fiction and media is a serious area of study for researchers in fields as diverse as psychology, education, literary studies, philosophy and communications. 

By Elizabeth McDade-Montez, PhD
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Tags: Reading, Stigma, Diversity and inclusion, Research
Indians Are Still Here: Three Things to Do If You Care About Equity and Social Justice
November 8, 2018

Indians Are Still Here: Three Things to Do If You Care About Equity and Social Justice

By Michael E. Bird (Kewa Pueblo/Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo)  | November 8, 2018
National Consultant on Native American/Alaskan Native Communities, AARP

A lot of good people are working on issues of equity and social justice. I’m happy to see that, and I’m grateful for the work. If you are one of them, I also have a challenge for you—one that probably won’t be comfortable. I’m asking you to do three things.

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Tags: Equity, Social justice, Diversity and inclusion, Health equity
A Drop in The Bucket: Mentoring Young African-American Men
November 6, 2018

A Drop in The Bucket: Mentoring Young African-American Men

By James Walker | November 6, 2018
Project Specialist, ETR

This past September I was faced with a sobering reality. I had to witness my father’s passing and subsequently oversee his homegoing. Although the process was earnest in nature, I was emotionally detached. It is hard to feel attached to someone who was never really in your life. 

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Tags: Underrepresented youth, Youth empowerment, Mentoring
Making Value Visible By Building Resources That Work
November 1, 2018

Making Value Visible By Building Resources That Work

By Matt McDowell | November 1, 2018
Director of Product Development and Dissemination, ETR

I often refer to myself as “the mere mortal” here at ETR. We have big idea people. We have super creative people. We have nationally and internationally recognized research people.

Me? My job is to help put the work of all those folks into practice—and into your practice when it fits.

By Matt McDowell
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Tags: Science, ETR products
Theater in Education: Engaging Students Through Intellect & Emotion
October 30, 2018

Theater in Education: Engaging Students Through Intellect & Emotion

By Narda Skov, MPH | October 30, 2018
Project Coordinator, ETR

Theater has captured people’s interest for thousands of years. It takes on many forms—traditional African storytelling and drumming, shadow puppets in Indonesia, Chinese opera, simple local children’s theaters and high-production Broadway musicals. In every form, across every culture, theater has the potential to create magical moments and memorable experiences.

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Tags: Sexual and reproductive health, School health education, Health education
Don't Be Tricked by These Treats: Make Smart Choices About Edible Marijuana
October 25, 2018

Don't Be Tricked by These Treats: Make Smart Choices About Edible Marijuana

By Laura Perkins, MLS | October 25, 2018
Editor, ETR

With cannabis legalized for recreational use in some places, people have questions about all the new products available, especially edibles. If marijuana is legal, it’s safe to use, right? How much of an edible can you eat? ETR has new materials to help people understand how to make smarter decisions. See our fact card here, and our poster here.

By Laura Perkins, MLS
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Tags: ATOD, Marijuana, ETR products
Kirby Summit IV: Scaffolding for Adolescent Relationships
October 23, 2018

Kirby Summit IV: Scaffolding for Adolescent Relationships

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | October 23, 2018
Senior Editor, ETR

ETR has now hosted four Kirby Summits. These convenings bring together a small group of brilliant people with a shared commitment to promoting adolescent health and well being.

The key to the Summit’s uniqueness? While each one of the invited participants brings impressive expertise, as a group they come from different disciplines and perspectives.

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Tags: Romantic relationships, Developmental relationships, Adolescent health, Adolescent development, Sexual and reproductive health, Kirby summit
40 Years of Sexuality Education: What's Changed?
October 16, 2018

40 Years of Sexuality Education: What's Changed?

By Clint Bruess, EdD, CHES, and Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW | October 16, 2018
Dean Emeritus, University of Alabama at Birmingham (CB) and Sexuality Educator, Trainer and Consultant, Elizabeth Schroeder Consulting (ES)

We’ve just finished writing a new edition of our book on sexuality education, which has been in print for almost 40 years. That’s a long time! A lot of people ask us, “What’s changed in sex ed over so many years?” The easy answer is, a lot has changed—and yet an astonishing amount has stayed the same. 

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Tags: K12, Sexual and reproductive health, Sex education
Kirby Summit IV: Supporting Healthy Adolescent Relationships
October 11, 2018

Kirby Summit IV: Supporting Healthy Adolescent Relationships

By Pamela Anderson, PhD | October 11, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

The Kirby Summit is one of the highlights of ETR’s year. Today, we embark on the fourth occurrence of this remarkable convening.

While we know a lot about adolescent development from our own professional perspective, people with deep expertise from other perspectives know things we do not. When we bring these different groups together, amazing things can happen. This is what the Kirby Summit is about.

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Tags: Kirby summit, Romantic relationships, Adolescent development
Equity in STEM: It Takes More Than Individual Determination
October 9, 2018

Equity in STEM: It Takes More Than Individual Determination

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | October 9, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

The mainstream culture in the U.S. values independence. As a nation, we esteem individual actions and view them as paths to success. “Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” is an admirable trait.

However, that focus is not the full picture. 

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Tags: Health Equity Framework, STEM equity, STEM education, Equity in Tech

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