CYAF doctoral student, Genese Clark, recognized with Fulfilling the Dream Award

Genese Clark stands for a photo in the Nebraska East Union. Photo by Matthew Strasburger, University Communication and Marketing

CYAF doctoral student, Genese Clark, recognized with Fulfilling the Dream Award

01 Feb 2024     By Deann Gayman, University Communication and Marketing

Genese Clark, a doctoral student in Child, Youth and Family Studies, was one of two individuals recognized with a Fulfilling the Dream award during the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's MLK Commemorative Celebration Jan. 30.

Established in 1997, the Chancellor’s Fulfilling the Dream awards honor individuals who have contributed to the university community or the greater Lincoln community through their exemplary action in promoting the goals and vision of Martin Luther King Jr. Arthur "Trey" Andrews, an associate professor in psychology and ethnic studies, was the other recipient for 2024.

Clark is pursuing a doctorate in the Global Family Health and Wellbeing program. She is a member of the Trauma and Resilience Explored Lab. Her research focuses on the resilience and strengths of African American families, as well as the social-emotional learning of young children in non-formal education settings.

Nominator Yan Ruth Xia remarked that Clark’s research has and will positively impact families. Clark developed the Family Strengths Wheel, an assessment tool based on the family strengths model. The wheel is an interactive tool that engages family members in identifying their own strengths. With that knowledge, families are more positive and willing to build up their positive traits to address their challenges.

“Genese is devoted to promoting the well-being of all families, and particularly low-income, Black, Indigenous, and other racially and ethnically marginalized families through her research, teaching, and outreach. She has contributed to Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision and conviction through her exemplar actions that inspire me and others at UNL and the local communities,” wrote Xia, professor of child, youth and family studies.

Clark’s research also served the Malone Center, where she studied the social-emotional learning of young children in after-school settings. The center used that research to improve its services and developed a new training curriculum.

Clark has also been instrumental in creating more equitable environments for her peers and colleagues, Xia wrote.

“She was awarded ODI funding to design a professional development series for early care and education faculty, exploring beliefs and assumptions about race, how their assumptions impacted teacher preparation, and ways to teach race and racism through the use of autoethnographies,” Xia said. “As a member of the Family Housing Workgroup, she highlighted the nuances of international students’ needs and experiences. She provided valuable feedback and recommendations in a written report to the Chancellor’s Office for short- and long-term solutions to family housing issues, as well as her feedback for the 2023 housing transitional plan and correspondence to residents.”

College of Education and Human Sciences
Child, Youth and Family Studies