Networking for Emerging Scholars: A Conversation with HMRE Researchers and Practitioners

Hosted by NCFR and the Marriage Strengthening Research and Dissemination Center
November 10, 2022 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Free, space is limited
Virtual, followed by in-person event on Nov. 17


The Marriage Strengthening Research and Dissemination Center (MAST Center) and the National Council of Family Relations (NCFR) are pleased to announce a FREE mentoring event for emerging scholars in association with the 2022 NCFR Annual Conference being held virtually Thursday, November 10 at 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. CT. This will be followed up by an in-person, informal BYO lunch gathering for the virtual event participants on Thursday, November 17 at 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. CT.

The virtual mentoring event is designed to facilitate relationships among emerging scholars—current graduate students and early career professionals who are less than 5 years out from their terminal degree—and more established leaders in the research and practice fields interested in family strengthening research and programming. Emerging scholars and mentors will be grouped (2 mentors and ~5-6 emerging scholars) based on topical interest and will have ample opportunity to speak about professional development topics such as: navigating graduate school, launching a research agenda, academic and nonacademic career opportunities in HMRE-related work, and how to form partnerships with HMRE programs. Emerging scholars will be able to engage in discussions with two different groups.

The mentoring event will be held virtually on Thursday, November 10, 2022 from 2:30–4 p.m. CT. There is no cost to participate in this event. Due to limited space, registration is on a first come, first served basis.

For mentors and mentees that participated in the virtual portion of the event, we will have an in-person, informal lunch gathering during the 2022 NCFR Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN on Thursday, November 17 at Noon–1p.m. CT. Participants can bring their lunch, hang out, and develop further connections with mentees, mentors, and the MAST Center. You must be registered for the in-person conference to attend the lunch gathering.


To Register:

Emerging Scholars. If you are currently in graduate school or within 5 years or your terminal graduate degree, please register here. Space for this event is limited to 40 emerging scholars and spots will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mentors. If you are a seasoned researcher or practitioner interested in supporting new scholars working in the healthy marriage and relationship field, please register here. Mentors will be selected based on need and topic areas of expertise. 


About the MAST Center:

The Marriage Strengthening Research and Dissemination Center (MAST Center) supports research and evaluation on marriage, relationships, and families in the U.S. to help inform Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) and other related programs. The Center’s mentoring events are part of broader efforts to build research and evaluation capacity among emerging scholars in the HMRE field.


The MAST Center was established in 2018 by a five-year cooperative agreement from the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The MAST Center is comprised of a strong team of national experts in marriage and relationship research and evaluation, led by Child Trends in partnership with the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University.



Elizabeth Wildsmith, Ph.D., is a Research Scholar at Child Trends. Her research examines fertility, relationships and marriage, the transition to adulthood, Hispanic families, and reproductive health. She currently serves as the Project Manager and Building Capacity co-lead for the Marriage Strengthening Research and Dissemination Center. She also serves as Deputy Director of the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families, where she co-leads research efforts focused on Hispanic family life and programmatic efforts aimed to support family functioning. Dr. Wildsmith earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on family demography.

Deja Logan, B.A., is a Research Analyst in the Reproductive Health and Family Formation research area at Child Trends. Ms. Logan’s research interests explore the effects of race and socioeconomic status on intimate relationships, family structure, and well-being. At Child Trends, Ms. Logan currently supports the MAST Center's research and building capacity initiatives, in addition to studying trends in reproductive health care. Ms. Logan earned her B.A. in Sociology from Howard University, with a minor in Community Development.