WSU Family Studies Professor Selected for Second Fulbright

OGDEN, Utah – For the second time in his career, Weber State University Department of Child and Family Studies professor Paul Schvaneveldt will research and teach as a Fulbright Scholar in Latin America, this time at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia.

Receiving a second Fulbright appointment is significantly more competitive as the Fulbright Commission gives priority to first-time applicants, but Schvaneveldt’s 20-year focus on Latin American family issues warranted a second Fulbright Award.

Schvaneveldt will conduct research on family violence prevention efforts and will work with the Universidad de los Andes and the Colombian Council on Mental Health to increase the availability of evidence-based programs to prevent intimate partner violence.

“Serving in Colombia will continue with efforts to build meaningful partnerships, mutual understanding and peaceful relations among individuals, communities and nations,” he said.

Schvaneveldt will focus on training students and professionals in the curriculum called PREP 8.0 (Prevention Relationship Education Program). At Weber State University, he teaches a class where university students are trained in PREP 8.0 and then teach the curriculum in the community. Research shows that couples who complete PREP 8.0 show increased levels of positive communication, problem solving and stability in their marriages and relationships while decreasing negative emotions, divorce and physical violence. 

Schvaneveldt has taught PREP 8.0 in the community over 300 times in both English and Spanish. For the past 13 years, he has directed state and federally funded grants that provide healthy marriage and relationship education services to lower-income and ethnically diverse populations. For the past six years, he served as chair of the Utah Marriage Commission, which is a government commission affiliated with the Utah Department of Human Services. They coordinate educational efforts to strengthen couple relationships. More information is available at These experiences prepared him to effectively collaborate with professionals and agencies in Colombia to build capacity in programs to prevent intimate partner violence.

Schvaneveldt, who was named a 2016 Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor, founded and directs the WSU Family Literacy Program, the Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Program and WSU’s International Education Symposium.

He has authored more than 100 journal articles, book chapters and academic conference papers. Topics have ranged from adolescent development, parenting issues, couple relationships, to understanding Latino/Latina family processes. Schvaneveldt has already begun preparing for the Fulbright Scholarship in Colombia. 

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced 2021 as the 75th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program. Fulbright, established in 1946, is the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the world. The program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually between scholars and students from the United States and other participating countries. Weber State faculty have received 14 Fulbright Teaching and Research appointments in the past 22 years. Business professor Randy Boyle was also selected as a Fulbright Scholar this year.

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Paul Schvaneveldt, Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor


Allison Barlow Hess, Public Relations director
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