Rowan University Experts Available to Discuss Holiday Issues

The History of Hanukkah?In the late 19th century American Jews hardly ever celebrated Hanukkah. But today, it?s one of two Jewish holidays most likely to be celebrated by American Jews. Rowan Univer
The History of Hanukkah?In the late 19th century American Jews hardly ever celebrated Hanukkah. But today, it?s one of two Jewish holidays most likely to be celebrated by American Jews. Rowan University Philosophy & Religion Professor Dr. Dianne Ashton can discuss how the holiday has evolved throughout history and the significance of its accompanying traditions. Contact Dr. Ashton on the Rowan campus at or 856-256-4076, or off campus before 9 p.m. at 856-795-5276. Dr. Ashton earned a B.A. from Adelphia University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Temple University. Her areas of expertise include Hanukkah, women and religion and women in American Jewish history. She also is a member of the Executive Committee of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society, a premiere ethnic history organization in the country.

Managing Holiday Stress ? Be a revolutionary; do nothing. That?s one way to cope with stress, says Dr. Leslie Spencer, Rowan University associate professor of health & exercise sciences. It may be counter to our culture, but Dr. Spencer recommends spending time doing nothing during the holidays. Today?s culture, at least in the western world, values people who are always busy, producing, achieving. But Spencer believes we should cultivate hobbies and activities for simple fun and enjoyment, rather than for networking or building job skills. For a more in-depth discussion on this subject, contact Dr. Spencer at or 856-256-4500, ext. 3761. Dr. Spencer holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from James Madison University, an M.S. in health promotion/wellness management from Springfield College and a Ph.D. in health education from Temple University. In addition to her teaching duties at Rowan, Spencer also serves as coordinator of the university?s health promotion and fitness management program. Her areas of expertise include nutrition, fitness, health fraud and managing stress.

Home for the Holidays: Family Dynamics 101?Wondering how you?ll get along with your college-aged son after he returns from a semester of freedom? Dreading how to best seat guests at the holiday dinner table so that everyone will get along? Need tips on acceptable topics for dinner table conversation. Rowan University Sociology Professor Dr. Mark Hutter can help navigate the complicated family dynamics that come into play at holiday time. Contact Dr. Hutter for interviews at 856-256, 4500, ext. 3512. The author of The Changing Family: Comparative Perspectives and The Family Experience: A Reader in Cultural Diversity, Dr. Hutter earned a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in sociology from Brooklyn College-CUNY, and a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Minnesota. His expertise includes the family and gender roles, family structures and process, and ethnicity and immigration.

Keeping Healthy New Year?s Resolutions ? Each year, millions of Americans vow to lose weight, exercise, quit smoking or institute other healthy lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, 90% will give up and never reach their goal. How can you be one of the few who succeed? Rowan University Associate Professor of Health & Exercise Sciences Dr. Leslie Spencer suggests a few basic rules to keep you on track: 1) set behavioral goals and not solely outcome goals, 2) cultivate support partners, 3) identify several strategies to help you change and 4) identify strategies based on your stage of readiness to change. Learn more about these tips for sticking to health-related New Year?s resolutions by contacting Dr. Leslie Spencer at or 856-256-4500, ext. 3761.