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About Dr. Stephen Michael Gavazzi
Dr. Gavazzi is a trained marriage and family therapist whose scholarship for the past thirty years has surrounded the impact that family dynamics have on adolescent development and behavior. He has written a book for parents entitled "Strong Families, Successful Students" that was published in 2010, and a textbook entitled "Families with Adolescents: Bridging the Gaps Between Theory, Research, and Practice" that was published in 2011 by Springer Press.
Professor Gavazzi's most recent scholarship centers on the establishment and maintenance of healthy campus-community relationships. His work on town-gown issues makes ample use of his marriage and family therapy background, and has given rise to the development of a typology described in his 2016 book -- The Optimal Town-Gown Marriage -- that draws parallels between campus-community relationships and marriages.
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Land-grant colleges and universities occupy a special place in the landscape of American higher education. Publicly funded agricultural and technical educational institutions were first founded in the mid-nineteenth century with the Morrill Act, which established land grants to support these schools. They include such prominent names as Cornell, Maryland, Michigan State, MIT, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Texas A&M, West Virginia University, Wisconsin, and the University of California?in other words, four dozen of the largest and best public universities in America. Add to this a number of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and tribal colleges?in all, almost 300 institutions. Their mission is a democratic and pragmatic one: to bring science, technology, agriculture, and the arts to the American people.
In this book, Stephen M. Gavazzi and E. Gordon Gee discuss present challenges to and future opportunities for these institutions. Drawing on interviews with 27 college presidents and chancellors, Gavazzi and Gee explore the strengths and weaknesses of land-grant universities while examining the changing threats they face. Arguing that the land-grant university of the twenty-first century is responsible to a wide range of constituencies, the authors also pay specific attention to the ways these universities meet the needs of the communities they serve. Ultimately, the book suggests that leaders and supporters should become more fiercely land-grant in their orientation; that is, they should work to more vigorously uphold their community-focused missions through teaching, research, and service-oriented activities.
Combining extensive research with Gee’s own decades of leadership experience, Land-Grant Universities for the Future argues that these schools are the engine of higher education in America?and perhaps democracy’s best hope. This book should be of great interest to faculty members and students, as well as those parents, legislators, policymakers, and other area stakeholders who have a vested interest in the well-being of America’s original public universities.
The Optimal Town-Gown Marriage book additionally provides assistance to readers in taking the guesswork out of assessing the quality of town-gown relationships. The development and testing of the Optimal College Town Assessment (OCTA) is described, including a discussion of the quantitative and qualitative data generated by the pilot studies that have been conducted with university campuses and the communities that surround them. The items of the OCTA are included in the book to encourage readers to become more data-driven in their approach. All of the best data gathering efforts are for naught, however, if the information’s reliability and validity is questioned. Therefore, a Town-Gown Mobilization Cycle is presented as part of a thorough explanation of the steps that campus and community leaders must take both before and after the data gathering phase of one’s work in order to ensure that the integrity of the resulting database is beyond reproach.
The confidential thoughts and reflections of four former university presidents and four city administrators are reported in The Optimal Town-Gown Marriage book as well. These campus and community leaders reported on the various ways that successful town-gown partnerships were forged as the result of their efforts to create and sustain a focus on mutually beneficial goals and objectives. Corroborating information is brought to bear on this discussion through the results of an interview conducted with E. Gordon Gee, arguably the most well-known university president in the nation. Having served as president at five different major institutions of higher learning – including two stints at The Ohio State University and West Virginia University – Dr. Gee has built up a wealth of insights in facilitating campus-community interactions that are unparalleled by any of his contemporaries. Finally, all of this information is pulled together in the book’s presentation of The Ten Commandments of Town-Gown Relationships, a series of statements about what campus and community leaders must do together in order to build more optimal relationships with one another.
Despite their flocking to social networking sites in unprecedented numbers, research confirms that adolescents continue to be influenced primarily by their families rather than their peers and other social contexts. Consequently, the family unit remains a vital setting for understanding and intervening with youth. Synthesizing important findings from the literature on family science and such related fields as psychology, sociology, social work, and public health, Families with Adolescents focuses a unique panoramic lens on the study of adolescent development.
This concise volume offers a clear blueprint for more consistently improved practice, emphasizing family process and structure instead of individual developmental stages. Its chapters deftly summarize the recent knowledge base across the mental health and social services disciplines, illustrating family concerns and theoretical perspectives coupled with real-world vignettes and making cogent use of family assessment measures.
Featured topics include:
- Central concepts of family development, family systems, ecological, attachment, and social learning theories in relation to families with adolescents.
- Impact of the family on adolescent behavior, education, and mental health outcomes.
- Selected studies on parenting behaviors, conflict resolution, and other major aspects of families with adolescents.
- Application topics in family-based intervention and prevention programs.
- Integrating theory, research, and applications to create a “triple threat” model.
Families with Adolescents is an essential resource for researchers and graduate students as well as mental health therapists in clinical child and developmental psychology, family studies, human development, sociology, social work, and education.