Current Courses

Fall 2024

  • FCS 240-090
    Modern Family
  • FCS 2400-090
    Modern Family
    Location: ONLN (Online)
  • FCS 2400-290
    Modern Family
    Location: ONLN (Online)
  • FCS 5370-090
    Family Violence
    Location: ONLN (Online)
  • FCS 5370-290
    Family Violence
    Location: ONLN (Online)

Spring 2024

Entrepreneurial Experience

  • Dr. Sonia Salari, LLC. 02/15/2017 - present. Employees: 1.
    Comments: Consultant for paid speaking engagements, expert witness testimony regarding intimate partner violence, elder abuse and mistreatment.
  • Dr. Sonia Salari, consultant. 09/2009 - 10/2010. Employees: 1.
    Comments: Consultant working on ethnography project with the U.S. Census Bureau to study enumeration in group quarters: skilled nursing and hospice facilities

Professional Organizations

  • Gender Based Violence Consortium . 03/24/2020 - present. Position : Member and Co-Founder.
  • Athens Institute for Education and Research. 06/2019 - present. Position : Member.
  • Utah Domestic Violence Coalition. 10/2018 - present. Position : Board of Directors, Chair .
  • Utah Domestic Violence Coalition. 10/06/2016 - 10/2018. Position : Conference Committee Member.
  • International Federation on Ageing. 06/2016 - present. Position : Member.
  • Consortium of Families and Health Research. 01/2014 - present. Position : Member.
  • Center on Aging, University of Utah. 01/2008 - present. Position : Member.
  • Gerontological Society of America. 09/1988 - present. Position : Member, Fellow.

Teaching Philosophy

            My teaching philosophy employs Malcolm Knowles’ theory of andragogy by using strategies specifically for teaching adults. This perspective treats university students as adults, with mature responsibilities, decision making powers and opportunities for self direction.  Course policies encourage regular attendance for in-person or online discussions, and provide mechanisms for optimal functioning.  Adult learners appreciate instruction that is directly relevant to their lives, so I encourage students to draw on their life experiences and share relevant aspects with the class during discussions and exercises.  Despite some difficult topics of study (politics, human aging, divorce, discrimination, immigration, and family violence), the students learn from each other in a comfortable environment we’ve created together.  Students seem to appreciate the ability to make critical contributions to this process. Human connections are important, so I have typically taught in person. However,  I have recently converted the courses to online options, and I find this provides even more flexibility for busy adult learners. I am excited about the increase in reach, allowing rural, working and child rearing students to continue a high quality educational experience. There are overall benefits such as a reduction in pollution, commuting and parking headaches when students are provided with opportunties to participate remotely.

Courses I Teach

  • FCS2400 - Modern Family
    Modern Family covers a multitude of topics including family economic history, diverse families, differential opportunities (such as real estate readlining), single-hood, gender/sexual minorities, human sexuality, mate selection, cohabitation, marriage, reproduction, fertility assisted technologies, adoption, work & family, family violence, parents/adult children, grandparents, elder adults, family health, death and dying. Provides an overview to family studies, including theory, demographic and social research and technology influencing individuals and families. This course is taught in-person, online an hybrid format. There are 3 exams and an optional term paper.
  • FCS5370 - Family Violence
    Course examines theory, research methods, policy, law enforcement and service provision for families in harmful situations. Topics include international family violence, trafficking, PTSD, policing, psychological/emotional abuse, physical injury,sexual assault, lethality assessments, diverse populations --LGBT, military, police families, elderly, children, intimate partner violence, and polygamous groups. Course meets CW requirement with a topic paper(10%), research project (30%, presentation or paper). Two exams comprise 50% of student grade and class participation the remaining 10%. Often taught as a hybrid during summers, the course was converted to online in 2020.
  • FCS5343/FCS6343 - Family Policy and Advocacy
    FCS5343 Students may opt into FCS3904 CEL credit to work with non-profit organizations who lobby the Utah State Legislature. All graduate level students do this Community Engaged Learning experience. Course introduces students to basics of government, legislative process, theories, international and interstate differences in government actions (and in-actions) that influence families. Topics include state demographics, inequality, poverty, welfare, intergenerational transfers (Social Security, SSI), health care, reproduction (China One Child Policy), infertility (surrogacy,IVF, cloning),adoption, work & family, education, juvenile delinquency, family violence, marriage/divorce, death, diverse groups and policy evaluation). There are three exams (15,20 & 25%), a research paper or presentation (25%), and class participation (10%). Students who opt for CEL present their experiences to the class.
  • FCS 5240 - Mid/Later Life Development & Family
    Adult human development, demographic forces and family interactions for those in mid and later life. Covers generational aging, health, adult children, grandparenthood, aging services, chronic illness, economic policy, death and dying.
  • HON 3700 - Praxis Lab Family Violence
    Co-taught with Antoinette Laskey M.D. child abuse expert and pediatrician. In the first semester, we introduced students to theories, research and the practice of community services. We invited influential figures in the field of family violence to visit the class. In the second they developed their own response with a budget, which was then presented to the public.
  • FCS 6901 - Graduate Thesis Development I
    Introduction to Human Development and Social Policy HDSP master's level thesis construction, IRB submissions, graduate school requirements and faculty research introductions. Focus on proposal development and presentation.
  • FCS 6902 - Graduate Thesis Development II
    Focus on master's thesis abstract, title, research methods, analysis and results and discussion. Students are socialized into the world of academic journal publishing. Provides students with more faculty research introductions and opportunities.

Teaching Projects

  • Convert all In-person Courses to Online . Project Lead: Sonia Salari . 03/2020 - 05/2021.
  • HON 3700 Family Violence Praxis Lab. Project Lead: Laskey, A. & Salari, S. Praxis Lab Private Donor 08/21/2018 - 05/15/2019. Total Budget: $5,000.00.

Small Group Teaching

  • FCS 5343/6343 (formerly FCS3430, FCS5962/6962) Family Policy & Advocacy or Intro Family Policy course has students opt to lobby the Utah State Legislature every spring semester--with community partners such as United Way, YWCA, UCASA, CORC, Utah Commission on Aging, SL County Aging, Sego Stategies, Utah Cultural Alliance, HEAL Utah, Utah Health Policy Project, Equality Utah, Utahns Against Hunger, and many others--.  08/1995  -  05/2019

Work with Graduate Students

Dr. Salari has mentored over 30 graduate students who have obtained their degree at the University of Utah. Her committee membership includes Master's degrees from family and consumer studies and gerontology, as well as PhDs from sociology, social work and physics.  Sonia has numerous journal publications with former graduate students, and several others in progress. Conference presentations with students include Gerontology Society of America GSA, Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, International Violence Abuse and Trauma IVAT,  and the Fall into Caring Childcare Conference.  She has served as the Graduate Director of the Human Development and Social Policy HDSP Master's program from 2014-2017.