Expanding NCFR’s Webinar Program—Claire Kimberly Hired as Webinar Coordinator

Dawn Cassidy, M.Ed., CFLE, Director of Family Life Education
/ CFLE Network, Fall 2018

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Dawn Cassidy

NCFR has made some exciting changes to our webinar programing with the creation of a webinar coordinator position. This added role will enable us to expand on the success we have had in providing webinars relevant to Family Science including Family Life Education specifically.

Since spring of 2013, NCFR has offered more than 40 online learning sessions designed to provide current and research-based information relevant to Family Life Educators and Family Science faculty, researchers, practitioners, and students. Our first webinar, Ethical Thinking and Practice, was presented by Beth Gausman, Mary Maher, and Bill Allen, who shared information and insights about the ethical guidelines process developed by members of the Minnesota Council on Family Relations Ethics Committee. Since that initial offering, we have gone on to offer webinars targeted specifically to researchers, college faculty, Family Life Educators, and therapists. Topics have included research methodology and statistics, family policy, Family Life Education, family therapy, cultural engagement, and educational methodology.

The webinar program has also addressed two NCFR Global Ends:

  • Global End Policy 1: NCFR will provide opportunities for professional development and knowledge development in the areas of family research, theory, education, policy, and practice and
  • Global End Policy 2: NCFR will support the dissemination and application of research- and theory-based information about the well-being of families.

Family scholars and practitioners alike have benefitted from this professional development that NCFR webinars provide, both as participants and presenters. We are fortunate to have many NCFR members and Certified Family Life Educators (CFLEs) who are willing to share their scholarship, skills, and experience with others through this online platform.

Claire Kimberly

Jennifer Crosswhite, NCFR’s director of research and policy education, and I have been largely responsible for identifying topics and presenters for our webinar offerings and for moderating both the webinar rehearsals and live broadcasts. Staff members Allison Wickler, director of marketing and communications, and Maddie Hansen, education and certification coordinator, have provided technical support. Over the years, we’ve researched best practices in identifying successful methods for webinar delivery and marketing strategies. With each webinar we’ve improved on how we present, the relevance of the topics, preparation of the speakers, engagement of the audience, and the overall webinar experience. Attendance numbers have continued to increase and so has the positive feedback we’ve received.

Although there are unlimited topics and approaches for NCFR to provide online education, the capacity for NCFR staff has been limited to expand the webinar program. This is where the webinar coordinator position comes in. NCFR has had success in tapping into the knowledge, expertise, and capacity of our members to provide NCFR programs and services through consulting positions. Examples include the creation of multiple consulting positions including Deborah Gentry, Ed.D., CFLE, as Academic Program Review liaison, Judy A. Myers-Walls, Ph.D., CFLE, as editor of Family Focus, and, most recently, Elaine Anderson, Ph.D., as editor of NCFR’s Research and Policy Briefs. This model of engaging active NCFR members to formally assist staff in carrying out the goals and objectives of the organization has proven to be very successful. And so, it seemed a logical next step to apply this approach to the development and delivery of an expanded NCFR webinar program.

We are so pleased that Claire Kimberly, Ph.D., CFLE, accepted the position of Webinar Coordinator. Dr. Kimberly’s background in the family field, working in both the community and academia, is an asset to this position as is her history as an NCFR member and CFLE. Her involvement working with students and affiliates, and service to the NCFR Academic Program Review committee has provided her with a familiarity and understanding of the structure of NCFR as an organization and of the needs of the membership. The ability to have a membership representative play this role in coordinating the online program is a major step toward making sure member and CFLE education needs are being met.

Similarly, members and CFLEs are encouraged to share their ideas and feedback about how NCFR can best use the webinar program to meet their needs. What topics do you want to hear about? Would you be interested in presenting a webinar through NCFR? Please reach out to Dr. Kimberly at [email protected] to share your ideas.