I recently took my first trip to Norte Dame University for a Human Development conference and while there, found the campus to be wonderfully collegiate and stunning. Lucky for me it was rainy and cold so I ‘listened away’ 3 days.  I was intellectually challenged and inspired by a “rock star” group of academic Ph.D’s.

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Opening myself up to new experiences is absolutely invigorating.  I wasn't sure what to expect but was deeply interested to hear about the latest research involving human development.  This symposium excelled in it’s topics, professionalism, and openness to discourse.  The built-in structure encouraged dialogue and provided a great opportunity to explore thoughts and theories that are new to me and sometimes even challenged me to look at an issue from a different viewpoint.  Truly, a deeply rewarding experience.

I found the topics relevant to my work, passion, and personal life.  Over the 3 days, the symposium explored the recent research around the importance of creating strong and secure attachments within families, the ongoing human need for community related attachment, and exploration through free expression and play to name a few topics.  A great takeaway for me was that these things are important both individually and for the long term health of our society.

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I am not planning on summarizing each amazing talk here or it’s relevance to my work. I actually don't think anyone would read that much anyway:-)  

This is from my notes of the conference, it was near the beginning so if I have attributed it incorrectly, please let me know:

              “We are social beings and we need a good support system and thrive when we have     one.  New families today have less support than generations past and our 'common wisdom' is not good for our common good nor is it 'wisdom.”    - Darcia Narvarez

I am already working to add some of the most compelling parts into the current curriculum, plus, I plan to create an additional class where we can explore this fabulous new work together.

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Here are the ‘rock stars’ hmmm.... maybe I should refer to them as a Jazz ensemble?

Frances Champagne, Darcia Narvaez, Eugene Halton, Katie Hinde, James McKenna,  Lee Gettler, Frans de Waal,  Barry Hewlett,  Ruth Lanius, Karlen Lyons-Ruth,  Peter Gray, Kristin Valentino.

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