Outreach Centers

Human Development and Family Science gives students who have a passion for working with children and families and enhancing family life the opportunity to engage in real-life application of their academic studies. Within Human Development and Family Science, Louisiana Tech offers the chance to work with several research and outreach centers. Each of them is designed to influence the lives of both students and families

Center for Children and Families

The Center for Children and Families was established in 1983 to meet the changing needs of many different types of families. Focus areas include education with the Louisiana Tech Early Childhood Education Center, outreach through the Bruce Everist Lecture Series, and service through annual community service projects for students and faculty. The Center for Children and Families combines the expertise and interests of the faculty and students in Human Ecology from the fields of family and child studies, fashion merchandising and retail studies, and nutrition and dietetics with the needs of children and families. We have three areas of focus:

  • Education – The Louisiana Tech Early Childhood Education Center is administered through the CCF. The ECEC is a laboratory school for 3-5 year olds. It is accredited by the National Academy for the Education of Young Children and has earned an exclusive 5-star rating from the Louisiana Quality Star Rating System, a voluntary assessment system aimed at increasing the quality of child care and early learning throughout Louisiana.
  • Outreach – The Annual Bruce Everist Lecture Series is possible through endowment funds to create an annual workshop designed to meet the needs of families with children. Past events have included sponsoring the showing of the documentaries Race to Nowhere and REJECT, a community-wide panel on the impact of bullying across the lifespan, workshop by the author of a book on financial decision-making, research talk on the impact of community on the obesity epidemic, and many more…
  • Service – The CCF coordinates an annual community service event with participation from HEC faculty, staff, and students. Past events have included a DART Drive to collect needed items for the local domestic violence abuse program, Max’s Pencil Project to collect pencils for low-SES children, Warm Things drive to collect blankets and socks for residents of a local assisted living facility, CANS for HATS to collect cans for the Horse Assisted Therapy Services organization that provide equine therapy to individuals with disabilities, and many more


For more information on the Center, contact Director Julie Rutledge, PhD, CFLE, at

Education and Research in Children's Health (ENRICH)

The ENRICH Center focuses on improving health for children through research, education, and outreach. This Center enriches children’s environmental health through a focus on quality childcare, community health, and healthy homes. Students and faculty also work to improve children’s psychosocial health by working on peer and family relations as well as parenting skills. Finally, the Center works to improve the physical health of children with a focus on health records and literacy, safety and wellness practices, prenatal care, and nutritional education.


For more information on the Center, contact Director Julie Rutledge, PhD, CFLE, at

Good Nutrition Mission Food Pantry

The Good Nutrition Mission Food Pantry, sponsored by the Student Dietetic Association, provides non-perishable food items for Louisiana Tech students who are food insecure. The pantry is staffed by mostly undergraduate nutrition and dietetic majors, but welcomes all students who want to donate their time.

Students who receive supplies from the pantry must show a current Louisiana Tech University campus ID and provide a valid telephone number and email address. Hours of operation for the food pantry, located in Room 152 at Carson-Taylor Hall, vary from quarter to quarter and are dependent upon volunteer availability.


For more information contact Catherine Fontenot, PhD, RD, LDN, at or 318.257.3237.

Study Collections in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Studies

Created by Dr. Linda Sivils in 1983, the Study Collections represent a comprehensive array of women’s apparel from the late 1800s to 2000 and are a hands-on resource available for use by faculty, alumni, researchers, and students in the major. Students in the Fashion Merchandising and Retail Studies program are encouraged to use each Collection for research and design creation.

The Study Collections include ready-to-wear, evening gowns, bridal gowns, and outerwear, as well as accessories and shoes. They also highlight documentary materials including books, patterns, magazines, photographs, fashion illustrations, and designer archives.

Selected objects and apparel from the Study Collections are also available for viewing at the Louisiana Tech University Department of Archives on the fourth floor of the Prescott Memorial Library.


For more information, contact Dr. Kathleen Heiden or Penny Humphries at 318.257.3727.

Sexual Health and Families Team (SHIFT)

The Sexual Health and Families Team (SHIFT) focuses study on family relationship processes surrounding sexual and gender development, as well as increases awareness and outreach efforts involving sexuality, gender, and diversity. The Team has presented their work at the National Sex Ed Conference, Society for Research in Child Development, Society for Research in Human Development, and the National Council on Family Relations. They have assisted in the creation of community presentations involving sexual harassment, contraceptive options, usage, and STI awareness, and LGBTQ family issues. The Team serves as vocal advocates for sex positivity and sexual and gender inclusivity across Louisiana Tech’s campus and in the surrounding community. The lab has received funding to conduct research from the College of Applied and Natural Sciences in the form of a faculty research grant and a student research grant.


For more information, contact Dr. Katie Barrow at