Professional Development

Professional Development opportunities

Faculty Research Projects and Presentations

Students can work with interested faculty members on their independent research projects. Students often help the faculty member research information, write publications, and/or present at conferences. For a sampling of past student/faculty projects, click here. For more information, take a look at the HDFS faculty pages on our website, and/or talk to any HDFS faculty member.

Conference Attendance

The following conferences are those that family science faculty and students have the opportunity to attend each year. For more information contact Dr. Raeann Hamon, Department Chair, or check out the related websites.

Co-Lead Family Life Education (FLE) Programs with Faculty

From time to time faculty will engage in the development and/or delivery of Family Life Education programs. In the past students have assisted with marriage preparation and enrichment programs in local churches and communities, as well as pre-marital programs for engaged or nearly-engaged couples. 

Smith Scholar Intern

The Dr. Robert & Marilyn Smith Scholar Intern Grant allows qualified juniors and seniors to work for a semester or a full year as an apprentice for a faculty member involved in a significant scholarly project. In exceptional cases, a lower division student may be considered. The activities undertaken by a student intern will vary according to the needs of the project, but the time commitment of the intern should not exceed 75 hours per semester. Typically, students earn $575/semester for their efforts. For more information, contact any HDFS Faculty member.

Boyer Scholars

(Information taken from the Boyer Center website) The Boyer Scholars Program recognizes Messiah University seniors based on their exemplary scholarship, leadership, service, and demonstrated potential to make a distinctive contribution to society. The program, which includes educational and celebratory initiatives throughout the academic year, encourages students to examine Boyer's vision and to consider their own service to the larger community. For more information, contact any HDFS Faculty member. Application materials are available on the Boyer Center website. 

Faculty Assistant Work Study for the Department

Each semester a limited number of students are assigned as Faculty Assistants and work to help faculty members with tasks such as copying, filing, typing, completing research, drafting documents, and planning events. Typically, positions for the following academic year are determined by March. For more information, contact Debbie Chopka , Department Administrative Assistant.

Internship and Practica

Most of our students participate in off-campus internships and service opportunities in schools, foster care and adoption agencies, prisons, hospitals, retirement communities, children's homes, correction centers, and other social service agencies. Practical experiences like these give Messiah students an up-close look at the world of work and an edge when it comes to the job market. For more information, see the Internship section on our careers page. 

Independent Study

If there is an area of family science that particularly interests you, you can learn more through independent study. For more information, contact any HDFS faculty member. 

Study Abroad

We also encourage our students in the Human Development and Family Science Department to spend at least one enrichment semester studying abroad; this opportunity enhances your educational experience.  Click to read more about our student's adventures overseas

For more information, check out the Messiah University Off Campus Programs webpage.