2017 Annual Report of the National Council on Family Relations

Please enjoy the National Council on Family Relations' (NCFR) 2017 Annual Report, which includes information about 2017 program activities and 2016 finances.

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 will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2018, and the organization couldn’t have made it this far without all the passionate members and partners who have supported and celebrated the work of Family Science researchers, educators, and practitioners. Thanks to all who have made these nearly 80 years possible.

Scroll down or click in the table of contents below to see each piece of NCFR's 2017 Annual Report.

Table of Contents

A Letter From NCFR's President

William D. Allen, Ph.D., LMFT, NCFR President, 2015-2017


William D. Allen

Dear Members and Friends of NCFR,

I hope you enjoy NCFR's 2017 Annual Report, in which you’ll read about notable accomplishments by members of the NCFR community; see an overview of the organization’s financial position and activities; and learn about many of NCFR’s deserving volunteers and leaders.

In 2017, the NCFR Board of Directors continued to discuss and ask members how to strike a balance in our commitment to knowledge and to action — to scholarship and to social responsibility. The board conducted a second survey of NCFR members about public policy to glean more insights into where members stand on NCFR’s public-policy involvement, particularly given the social and socio-economic climates that continue to illustrate the need for scientific research about all contemporary families. In the interest of getting more research and evidence-based information to decisionmakers, policymakers, colleagues, and families, the board also discussed producing translational briefs to convey Family Science scholarship to lay audiences.

Results from the 2017 policy survey and the first policy survey conducted in 2016 provide an important look at member opinions about NCFR’s engagement in education and policy. The survey results indicate diverse interests and backgrounds among our members — a diversity that is one of NCFR’s great strengths. As we considered the survey results, board members also reviewed the five guidelines for engaging in policy advocacy that were created by the 1999 NCFR Board of Directors; the current board added a sixth guideline to help consider, going forward, whether or when NCFR should engage in a proposed policy-advocacy activity.

Many NCFR members also participated in another exciting NCFR conference in 2017, where we once again saw how the work you all do in family research, education, policy, and practice addresses current issues and creates positive outcomes for families and, ultimately, for society. The conference theme — “Families as Catalysts: Shaping Neurons, Neighborhoods, and Nations” — helped to highlight the ways that families support the lives of their own members and build stronger communities.

As I said during the NCFR Presidential Address at the 2017 conference, I believe we in the NCFR community have a challenging future ahead of us, but I also believe it’s a bright one. Let us approach that future together. Thank you,

William D. Allen, Ph.D., LMFT
NCFR President, 2015-2017

William D. Allen served as NCFR president through the 2017 NCFR Annual Conference (held Nov. 15-18). He is succeeded by Anisa M. Zvonkovic, Ph.D., who will serve as NCFR president through the 2019 NCFR Annual Conference.

2017 NCFR Program Highlights

NCFR members put forth research and knowledge that improves society — making the world a better place and giving hope to families. It’s more important than ever for NCFR to provide ways to support members' work and professional development.

Knowing that, we at NCFR want to bring attention to a few of the highlights at NCFR from 2017 — all things that the members of the NCFR community achieved:

76 Students Earn NCFR Honors Recognition

A few of NCFR's 2017 Honors Student Recognition recipients

Student NCFR members in Family Science programs continue to impress! 

In 2017, 76 students — the most in recent history — earned NCFR Honors Student Recognition in acknowledgement of their academic, leadership, and service accomplishments.

Here's what some of our 2017 recipients said about the impact of the honors program:

"I feel honored to have received the NCFR student honors award. This award facilitated connections to academic professionals within my field of study. ... When I walked across the stage, wearing my NCFR stole, I had a faculty member look at my stole and say, “Congratulations! NCFR is a big honor!” This meant a great deal to me because this faculty member was apart of my department and someone I highly admired."

"Receiving graduation honors from NCFR, for me, was the perfect book end to my graduate program. It was truly an honor to be recognized by a society that I admire for its work with families. I have been an NCFR member since I started graduate school and the annual conference was the first conference I attended and first place I presented my research. I was proud to walk across the stage wearing my NCFR stole and represent an organization whose mission I believe in."

"It meant a lot for me to receive this honor and be able to display it at graduation. Knowing that an organization I am a part of that represents the best of family scholars and researchers in the field also recognized me as a new professional working hard to make a difference in the field while pursing my education at the same time means the world and is just a great feeling."

Notable Numbers From the 2017 Conference 

734 Accepted Presentations, Nearly 1,300 Participants

Scenes from the 2017 NCFR Annual Conference

The success of the 2017 NCFR Annual Conference, held Nov. 15-18 in Orlando, Florida, was built on our members' remarkable involvement and efforts. Just a few numbers of note:

  • 734: number of proposals accepted

  • 1,297: number of conference participants

  • 25: number of sessions featuring invited speakers (plenaries, special sessions, invited symposia, and invited workshops)

Attendees also might have noticed the bumped-up size of this year's poster sessions, where participants were able to browse and talk with the presenters of about 90 posters at each session.

Special thanks to 2017 Conference Program Chair Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Ph.D., and the NCFR member leaders who made up the 2017 Conference Program Committee for organizing sessions — including the many featuring invited speakers — that made the conference an enlightening and inspiring event.

"We had an amazing conference that included numerous high-quality sessions, energizing poster sessions, time to collaborate and generate new ideas, and even meetings by the pool," said Jennifer Crosswhite, NCFR's director of research and policy education. "We can't wait until the 2018 NCFR Annual Conference in San Diego!"

5 Academic Programs Receive CFLE Approval

26 Programs Renewed Their Status

A record number of university and college Family Science programs applied for NCFR’s Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) Academic Program Approval in 2017. This approval allows graduates of these programs to apply for provisional CFLE certification when they complete their coursework.

Five programs were newly approved in the past year:

  • Purdue University Northwest
    Human Development & Family Studies - Undergraduate

  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Human Development & Family Studies - Undergraduate

  • University of Central Missouri
    Child & Family Development - Undergraduate

  • Warner Pacific College
    Human Services/Family Studies Track - Graduate

  • Winthrop University
    Human Development & Family Studies - Undergraduate

Twenty-six programs renewed their approval during 2017 (you can find their names here), and another nine applications for new programs were under review at the end of 2017.

“The faculty and administrators of our CFLE-approved programs put a ton of time and energy into shaping their curricula, and it’s wonderful to see all the ways they’re preparing students to be successful in their future work with families," said Dawn Cassidy, NCFR's director of Family Life Education. "We’re thankful to work with them!”

NCFR is proud that this program approval continues to be a respected standard for Family Science programs. Congratulations to our new and renewed programs!


Statements of Financial Position and Activities, 2016 and 2015

Thank You, Donors!

We are grateful to those who generously donated to NCFR in 2017, including our NCFR members at the benefactor level:

Katherine Allen Robert Dugger Jessica Nugent
William Allen Aaron Ebata Willie Oliver
Elaine Anderson Martha Farrell Erickson Cynthia Osborne
Howard Barnes Cynthia Marston Figueiredo Glen Palm
Sylvia Bartolic Frank Fincham B. Kay Pasley
Linda Behrendt Judith Fischer Kathleen Piercy
Janet Benavente Wm. Michael Fleming Cynthia Price
Debra Berke Lawrence Ganong Kennon Rider
Karen Blaisure Katia Paz Goldfarb Tara Saathoff-Wells
Libby Balter Blume Michael Gottlieb Ronald Sabatelli
Denise Brandon Thelma Dunn Hansen Constance Schulz
Wales Brown Tammy Harpel David Sedlacek
Neil Buono E. Jeffrey Hill Bridget Seeley
Marsha Carolan M. Janice Hogan-Schiltgen Le Anne Silvey
Robyn Cenizal Mitchell Jackson Sandra Stith
Sibel Coskun Cenk Ralph LaRossa Scott Tobias
I. Joyce Chang Linda Ladd Amber Vennum
Deborah Coehlo Esther Loudin Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth
William Cohen Jay Mancini Richard Wampler
Teresa Cooney Thomas McGloshen Debra Ward
Carmen Crews Dorothy McKinnon Rebecca Ward
Albert Davis Chiquita Miller Dana Weiser
David Demo Colleen Murray Diana White
Nancy Deringer Maresa Murray Stephan Wilson
Esther Devall Sharon Nickols Ani Yazedjian
    Anisa Zvonkovic

NCFR staff members make every effort 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.

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

2017 NCFR Board of Directors


William D. Allen — Board President, 2015-2017 — Licensed Practitioner and Owner, Healing Bonds private practice; Adjunct Professor, University of St. Thomas Graduate Psychology MFT Program



Anisa M. Zvonkovic — Board President-Elect, 2015-2017 (Board President, 2017-2019) — Professor and Department Head, Human Development and Family Science, Virginia Tech



Karen Benjamin Guzzo — Board Member-at-Large, 2016-2019 — Associate Professor of Sociology, Bowling Green State University; Associate Director of the Center for Family & Demographic Research



Jennifer Kerpelman — Board Member-at-Large, 2015-2017 — Professor of Human Development & Family Studies, Auburn University



Karen Seccombe — Board Member-at-Large, 2014-2017 — Professor, School of Public Health, Portland State University



Sandra M. Stith — Board Member-at-Large, 2014-2017 — Distinguished Professor, Couple and Family Therapy Program, Kansas State University



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



Nathan (Nate) Cottle — Affiliate Councils President-Elect, 2015-2017 — Associate Professor of Family Science at Utah Valley University



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


Contributing Organizations and NCFR Staff

Thanks to the following organizations for their contributions to and support of NCFR in 2017:

Wiley — publisher of NCFR's academic journals
Winthrop & Weinstine — legal counsel
University of Detroit Mercy — editorial offices of Journal of Family Theory & Review (Libby Balter Blume, 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, Database and Web Services Manager
  • Jane Reilly, Office Manager
  • 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