2018 Annual Report of the National Council on Family Relations

Please enjoy the National Council on Family Relations' (NCFR) 2018 Annual Report, which includes information about program activities, finances, and individuals who have contributed to NCFR throughout the year.

The mission of NCFR is to provide an educational forum for family researchers, educators, and practitioners to share in the development and dissemination of knowledge about families and family relationships, establish professional standards, and work to promote family well-being. Learn more about NCFR.

NCFR couldn’t have existed for 80 years as an organization without all the engaged members and partners who have supported and celebrated the work of Family Science scholars and professionals. Thanks to all who have made these 80 years possible and who continue to work with NCFR to move the discipline of Family Science forward!

Scroll down or click in the table of contents below to see each piece of NCFR's 2018 Annual Report. A PDF summary is also available.

Table of Contents

A Letter From NCFR's President

Anisa M. Zvonkovic, Ph.D., NCFR President, 2017–2019

Anisa M. Zvonkovic

Dear Members and Friends of NCFR,

I’m delighted to introduce NCFR’s 2018 annual report, in which you’ll learn about some exciting accomplishments by members of the NCFR community; see a snapshot of NCFR’s financial position and activities; and read about the many volunteers, leaders, and supporters whose contributions are invaluable to the NCFR organization.

In 2018, the NCFR Board of Directors continued to discuss how NCFR can continue to be responsive to issues in the world that affect families. We want our members’ work to be recognized and used when events occur that affect families.

To that end, NCFR members and staff have continued to generate original research about the issues of the day; curate collections of research and evidence-based resource for use by family scholars and professionals; and disseminate family research on timely topics. In 2018, NCFR staff worked with members to put Family Science journal articles, research briefs, and other resources in front of NCFR audiences and the greater public that were relevant to current issues such as the separation of immigrant families and sexual assault. Disseminating NCFR journal research to the public, in particular, is something the vast majority of NCFR members endorsed in the policy surveys the board conducted in 2016 and 2017. You’ll read more about these efforts later in this annual report.

Our members’ work is crucial to better understanding and strengthening families around the world. The key, then, is for that work to be highly visible. NCFR is eager to work with you to share your work more widely among your colleagues and public audiences, and I hope you’ll reach out to NCFR when you see that your work is relevant to family-related current events. Please feel free to contact me, other board members, or NCFR staff about this work.

On the topic of contacting the board: I want to close by stressing how important it is to the members of the NCFR board to know your perspectives, so we can best represent all members. Please email us anytime at [email protected] about your professional experiences and your ideas for NCFR.

Thank you, and here’s to advancing NCFR and Family Science even further in 2019.

Anisa M. Zvonkovic, Ph.D.
NCFR President, 2017-2019

2018 NCFR Program Highlights: Members Advance Family Science

The work of NCFR members improves society every day. The knowledge and skills of family scholars and professionals strengthen and empower families around the world and help us all to better understand families and family relationships. It’s crucial for NCFR to support members' work and professional development so they can continue making a great impact and moving Family Science forward.

Here we spotlight a few of the amazing ways NCFR members helped advance the discipline of Family Science in 2018:

Members' Work Informs Understanding of Current Events

Member research and recommendations spurred and strengthened NCFR’s resource offerings around the issues of families and immigration, violence/mass shootings, racism/racial discrimination, family separation, and more.

As social, economic, and political events affecting families unfolded in 2018, NCFR members’ work and their recommendations became central to curating new collections of research-based resources — as well as adding to existing collections — that contributed to a greater understanding of how families experience the impacts of these events.

Because of the expertise of our members and journal authors, NCFR was able to widely distribute resources for use by those in the Family Science discipline and by other scholars, professionals, policymakers, and the general public.

New 2018 Collections

Featuring content from NCFR’s three scholarly journals, two NCFR magazines, and past NCFR conference sessions:

  • Family Separation: This collection demonstrated the harmful effects of the U.S. government separating immigrant children from their families at the U.S.–Mexico border, and the importance of keeping families together.
  • Transgender Individuals and Families: With resource suggestions provided by NCFR member experts, this collection shows what Family Science research says about transgender individuals and families.
  • How to Discuss Racial Discrimination in Society: This collection, assembled with members of NCFR’s Ethnic Minorities Section, is meant to help families, educators, researchers, and practitioners educate themselves and others on matters related to the systematic oppression and the persistence of both individual and institutional racism in our society.

Updated in 2018

In addition, articles from a 2017 special issue of NCFR's Family Relations journal themed “Feminist Framings of Sexual Violence on College Campuses” carried forward to demonstrate in late 2018 what Family Science research says about sexual violence, helping to inform public discourse on the topic.

And of course, NCFR’s 2018 policy briefs — one on parental incarceration, one on parent education and Family Life Education —as well as numerous other scholarly journal articles all added important facets to our understanding of families in 2018. See all NCFR resource collections online.


Next Generation of Family Science Leaders Already Putting Their Learning to Work

NCFR's 2018 Honors Student Recognition recipients sport impressive résumés, many even before they’ve officially begun professional life after school.

NCFR awarded its Honors Student Recognition — which acknowledges each recipient’s outstanding achievements in academic performance, leadership, and service — to a record 81 undergraduate and graduate students who completed their degree programs in 2018.

Beyond the sheer number of stellar students, what stands out even more is how much these students have already contributed to advancing the impact of Family Science at their schools, in their communities, and beyond.

Bethany Cox

“Our honors applicants continue to show a passion for and dedication to achieving success not just for themselves, but for the discipline of Family Science and for families around the world,” said NCFR Member Relations Manager Bethany Cox, who facilitates the honors program. “Our honors reviewers and I continue to be impressed and can see that the future of Family Science is bright.”

It would fill a book to convey all the great accomplishments of this year’s honors graduates. Here, we highlight just a few impressive slices from the records of three recipients:

  • Graduate student: 6 publications with 9 forthcoming at graduation; 6 grants and fellowships, including funding of dissertation research; more than 30 conference and paper presentations
  • Undergraduate student: 11 academic and community awards received, spanning national, university, college, department, and local levels
  • Undergraduate student: Service work with 10 family and community organizations during degree program

Katie Granger

“[NCFR’s honors program] is a great way to give recognition to the hardworking students in this growing field, as what students are doing not only in, but also outside of the classroom, is in fact valuable and is touching the lives of the children and families we care so much about,” said 2018 honors recipient Katie Granger. “There is a need for spreading the word about the importance of Family Science programs (all over the world) and this is one small way to help do that. Students who are recognized as NCFR honors students are the future professionals of this field.”

See photos and comments from more honors recipients.


Pioneering Academic Programs Advance Impact and Status of Family Science in Academia

3 programs piloted a new assessment exam offered by NCFR to evaluate their students’ learning of their Family Life Education curricula.

In 2018, three academic programs with coursework approved for NCFR’s Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) credential piloted a new Family Life Education (FLE) assessment exam that NCFR developed to help programs evaluate how well they are teaching the 10 FLE content areas.

Kansas State University, Longwood University, and Indiana State University administered this pilot assessment exam in spring 2018. NCFR is taking information gleaned from the pilot process to make further tweaks and improvements so the exam can be even more usable and valuable to academic programs moving forward.

Dawn Cassidy

“We’re grateful to these programs for their help in finalizing a FLE assessment exam,” said NCFR Director of Family Life Education Dawn Cassidy, who has led the development of the exam. “Their experiences provided important data that will help ensure the exam becomes a useful tool for all our academic programs.”

The FLE assessment exam is meant to help Family Science programs evaluate how well their program is covering the 10 FLE content areas that represent the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for effective professional practice in Family Life Education. In a survey prior to developing the exam, 80% of programs reported they didn’t have an assessment exam, but more than half said they were interested in administering such an exam if NCFR were to create one.

Data from exam results will show average performance for all students and averages in each content area. As more programs offer the exam, NCFR will be able to provide data comparing averages among peer institutions.

Ultimately, the FLE assessment exam will help Family Science programs demonstrate and improve their effectiveness, as well as increase the wider credibility and value of Family Science and Family Life Education programs within academia.

“We’re excited to provide this service to meet the needs of our members and to support and strengthen the discipline of Family Science,” Cassidy said.


Financial Position and Activities, 2017 and 2016

See NCFR's Form 990 from 2016 (PDF)


Thank You to Our Donors, Volunteers, and Leaders!

NCFR's activities would not be possible without the contributions of our financial donors — including benefactor members who gave above and beyond their NCFR membership dues — and those who lend their time and talent to NCFR in upwards of 50 areas of volunteering and leadership.   

To our board and committee members; member group officers; conference and webinar presenters and reviewers; journal and publication editors, authors, advisors, and reviewers; student volunteers; and many more: We're grateful for all you do for NCFR!

See below for special acknowledgement of the 2018 NCFR Board of Directors, as well as our benefactor members and donors:

2018 Benefactor Members

Katherine R Allen Teresa M Cooney E. Jeffrey Hill, PhD, CFLE, MOB Cynthia J Price, PhD
William D. Allen Albert J Davis, Ph.D. Linda D Ladd Kennon Rider, CFLE
Elaine A Anderson David H Demo Ralph LaRossa Jane R Rosen-Grandon, PhD, LPCS, LMFT, CFLE
Janet C. Benavente, MHR Esther L Devall, Ph.D., CFLE Stephen Makofka, CFLE Ronald M Sabatelli, CFLE
Marsha T Carolan, CFLE Aaron T Ebata, Ph.D. Heinz Eugene Malon Bridget Seeley
Robyn L Cenizal, CFLE Shirley Farmer Jay A Mancini Alcyon B Smalls
Deborah P Coehlo, CFLE Frank D. Fincham Thomas H McGloshen, M.Div, M.A., Ph.D., CFLE Sandra Stith
Bill Cohen William Michael Fleming, CFLE Maresa J Murray, PhD Rebecca J. Ward, Ph.D.
Bree E. Cook Michael C Gottlieb Colleen I Murray Terry Webster
    Cynthia A Osborne Anisa M. Zvonkovic

2018 Donors

Jay A Mancini Katsuko Makino Julie A. Cedarbaum, PhD, MSW, MPH Britney Alissa Webster
B. Kay Pasley William Michael Fleming, CFLE Linda D Ladd Anna Christine Padon, MS, CFLE
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago Alcyon B Smalls Marsha T Carolan, CFLE Margaret Ann Stridick, M.S.
Ani Yazedjian, Ph.D. Albert J Davis, Ph.D. Tammy S Harpel, Ph.D., CFLE Maya Autret
Rudabeh Nazarinia Roy, CFLE Jane H Hellinghausen, CFLE Wendy Middlemiss, CFLE Heather Ann Cook
Judith A. Myers-Walls, Ph.D., CFLE Keisha Bailey Willie Oliver, PhD, CFLE Beatrice Lillian Dudley
Gerald F Hunter Maureen A Perry-Jenkins, Ph.D. Colleen M Peterson Bonny Beth Caldwell
Judith L Fischer Michael John Sporakowski, CFLE Jacqueline Maria Moncada Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, CFLE
M. Janice Hogan-Schiltgen, Ph.D. Bethany L Letiecq Libby Balter Blume, Ph.D., CFLE Olaf Gretar Gunnarsson
Nancy Wicklund Gonzalez, CFLE; M.Ed. I. Joyce Chang, Ph.D. Stacy Tangren Sheila Marie Lipsco
      Tracie Eyre Whitlock

If you would like to donate to NCFR, you may make a donation online.

NCFR staff work hard to ensure the accuracy of this list of contributors. Please contact us if your name does not appear here but should, or if you know of donors who should be included. 


2018 NCFR Board of Directors


Anisa M. Zvonkovic — Board President, 2017–2019 — Dean and Professor, College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University



Leigh A. Leslie — Board President-Elect, 2017–2019 (Board President, 2019–2021) — Associate Professor and Program Director, Couple and Family Therapy Program, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland



April Few-Demo — Board Member-at-Large, 2017–2020 — Professor and Interim Department Head, Department of Human Development and Family Science, Virginia Tech



Karen Benjamin Guzzo — Board Member-at-Large, 2016–2019 — Associate Professor of Sociology, Bowling Green State University



Bethany L. Letiecq — Board Secretary/Treasurer, 2017–2020 — Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Science, George Mason University



Brian G. Ogolsky — Board Member-at-Large, 2017–2020 — Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign



Stephan M. Wilson — Board Member-at-Large, 2016–2019 — Dean of the College of Human Sciences and Regents Professor of Human Development & Family Science, Oklahoma State University



Tammy Harpel — Affiliate Councils President-Elect, 2017–2019 — Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Science at Illinois State University-Normal



Kimberly (Kimi) Crossman — Students and New Professionals Representative, 2016–2018 — Assistant Professor at California State University Monterey Bay



Andrea Roach — Students and New Professionals Representative-Elect, 2016–2018 — Assistant Professor at California State University, Fresno



Contributing Organizations and NCFR Staff

Thanks to the following organizations for their contributions to and support of NCFR in 2018:

Wiley — publisher of NCFR's scholarly journals
Winthrop & Weinstine — legal counsel
University of Detroit Mercy — editorial offices of Journal of Family Theory & Review (Libby Balter Blume, out-going editor)
University of North Carolina at Greensboro — editorial offices of Journal of Family Theory & Review (Mark A. Fine, incoming editor)
University of Kentucky — editorial offices of Family Relations (Jason Hans, editor)
Ohio State University — editorial offices of Journal of Marriage and Family (Kristi Williams, editor)
The Meeting Connection, Inc. — conference consulting 
Johnson Printing — publications and printing support

NCFR Staff

  • Diane L. Cushman, Executive Director and Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Liaison
  • Susan Baker, CNAP, Accounting Manager
  • Dawn Cassidy, M.Ed., CFLE, Director of Family Life Education
  • Jennifer Crosswhite, Ph.D., CFLE, Director of Research and Policy Education
  • Bethany Cox, Member Relations Manager
  • Maddie Hansen, Education and Certification Coordinator
  • Jay McGraw, Director of Technology
  • Jane Reilly, Office Manager
  • David Schmidt, Finance Director
  • Judy Schutz, Conference and Meeting Planner
  • Jeanne Strand, Director of Governance and Board Operations
  • Trip Sullivan, Communications Manager
  • Allison Wickler, Director of Marketing and Communications

Staff Consultants

  • Cindy Winter, CMP, Conference Consultant
  • Deb Gentry, Ed.D., CFLE, Academic Program Liaison