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OEO-Malcolm Wallop Faculty Engagement Fellowship winner

Dr. Alyssa McElwain

Photograph of Dr. Alyssa McElwain
Dr. Alyssa McElwain is an Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. She earned a PhD in HDFS and a certificate in college teaching from Auburn University in 2015. Alyssa is a Certified Family Life Educator who focuses on relationship education in adolescent and adult populations. Her research is focused on the factors that influence adolescent and emerging adult romantic relationships. She is the director of the Relationship Education and Leadership project which provides peer-taught relationship education on campus through the ‘Relationship Smarts’ classes. Currently, she teaches upper division undergraduate courses such as Family Policy, Adolescence, Professional Practices, and Parent-Child Relationships.


Project Abstract: Relationship Education and Leadership: Healthy Relationships for Wyoming Youth

Families serve as a foundation for the rural communities and people who are in healthy, stable, happy families are better able to contribute as citizens. These healthy relationships begin in adolescence and Alyssa McElwain is working to develop these healthy relationship goals through her program called Relationship Education and Leadership. This program is in an optimal position to expand to have a great impact on young people throughout the state. To accomplish this, Dr. McElwain has two goals for developing the program to reach more youth in the state. She will develop and implement online programming content for Wyoming youth to prevent dating violence and promote healthy relationships. Along with this, she will use a peer-education model to offer learning and professional development opportunities for UW undergraduate students in the social sciences. This year, McElwain will adapt evidence-based relationship education curriculum for online use in light of the current situation. She will also train and supervise undergraduate students who will deliver in-person and online relationship education series and workshops during the 2021 spring semester. Dr. McElwain partners with the Upward Bound Program at Laramie High School, the Wellness Center, and UW Athletics in order to give merging adults education and resources on healthy relationships.

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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