WSU Hosts Conference to Strengthen Families

OGDEN, Utah — Weber State University’s Department of Child and Family Studies will host the 2016 Families Alive Conference, a three-day event that offers help to strengthen and maintain relationships, from Sept. 15-17.

This year’s conference, themed “Mindful Living and Learning,” will feature two prominent keynote speakers and multiple workshops.

Registration is open to all and costs $75 to attend the full conference, with an option to receive continuing education credit for an additional fee. Current students registered for 12-17 credit hours may add the conference to their load for a course fee of $75, which includes university credit, conference materials and food. WSU students may receive one university credit for attending the entire conference.

“The Families Alive Conference provides WSU students a great opportunity to learn about ways to strengthen individual and family life,” said Wei Qiu, child and family studies associate professor and conference chair. “Participating in the conference also benefits family life educators, marriage and family therapists, social workers, teachers, childcare providers and anyone in the community interested in gaining CEUs, career ladder credits, professional development credentials and knowledge about strengthening relationships with family, friends and colleagues.”

The conference will begin with a free opening-night keynote speech, Sept. 15 at 7:40 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Ballrooms. The community is invited to hear child and family psychologist Kristen Race discuss “A Mindful Life: From Surviving to Thriving.” Race is the author of the book “Mindful Parenting” and the founder of Mindful Life, a program that provides brain-based solutions to handle stress. Her speech will focus on ways to feel more present at home and at work, and how to shift from “simply surviving to thriving.”

Keynote speaker Gaye Gronlund, an early childhood consultant, will provide speeches and workshops centered on early education. Gronlund specializes in helping teachers, administrators and policy makers implement the best approaches to teach and assess children. During her sessions, she will share strategies that focus on meeting the needs of each child. 

Additional workshops led by field experts will explore topics including:

  • Embracing introverts in your life
  • Maintaining a lasting and rewarding romantic relationship
  • The influence of encouragement
  • Childhood nutrition
  • Stopping dating violence and sexual assault
  • Raising children who read

The conference is sponsored by the Department of Child and Family Studies in collaboration with WSU’s continuing education program and O.C. Tanner.

To view a full schedule of events or to register for the conference, visit

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Paul Schvaneveldt, child and family studies department chair
801-626-6597 •

Wei Qiu, child and family studies associate professor
801-626-7386 •


Rachel Badali, Office of Marketing & Communications
801-626-7295 •