Texas Tech University

Human Development and Family Sciences New Faculty Member Creates Lab to Explore Processes of Resilience and Healthy Aging

Mallory Collins

September 8, 2023

Athena Chan

Through the PARA Lab, Athena Chan, Ph.D. and students will research family theories and chronic stressors in family contexts

Athena Chan, Ph.D., recently joined the Human Development and Family Sciences department as an assistant professor. Chan received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a master's degree in Psychology in Hong Kong. She then moved to the United States to get her Ph.D. in Family Social Science. Before receiving her doctoral degree, Chan was a research coordinator in Mental Health Nursing on projects related to resilience processes of emerging adults exposed to childhood adversities. 

Chan will be teaching Families in Crisis in the Spring of 2024. This course is designed to introduce students to the scientific study of families during challenging periods across the lifespan. Students will have opportunities to read up-to-date research articles and integrate family theories into day-to-day hassles and chronic stressors in the family context. Chan said she looks forward to engaging the local community with her colleagues, working with her students in research, and interacting with students via teaching in class. 

"It is my vision to connect the younger and older generations at the family and community levels," Chan said. "To do so, I recently established the Pathways to Adult Resilience and Healthy Aging (PARA) Lab. Together with passionate undergraduate and graduate research assistants, we hope to explore the processes of resilience and healthy aging in the face of family stressors and thus, translate research into practice in the long run."

As a first-generation college student, Chan said she is committed to mentoring students to achieve their research and professional development goals. She believes every student has a story, which may empower one another to a resilient journey. Chan wants to encourage students to explore their paths, and the PARA Lab is an excellent place for students to learn and grow together.