Changing seasons

by Diane Cushman, Executive Director

Minnesotans always talk about the weather. Because our weather can be extreme and changeable on short notice, it can have a profound effect on our daily lives. But we are used to severe winters and plan for them. Our thoughts have been with many of you throughout this winter who live in warmer climates that have been ravaged by large and unprecedented snow and ice storms. We hope warmer weather is in your forecast.

New Fellows announced

Fellow status in NCFR is an honor awarded to members on the basis of their outstanding contributions to the field of family in the areas of scholarship, teaching, outreach or professional service, including service to NCFR. In this issue of NCFR Report, we announce our newest class of Fellows: Leanor B. Johnson, Jennifer Kerpelman, Sally Lloyd, Kristin Moore, and Maureen Perry-Jenkins. Congratulations to our new Fellows. We will honor you at the annual conference in Baltimore in November at the Fellows induction ceremony.

2014 staff priorities

Each year the NCFR staff develops a work plan based on NCFR's global ends and other strategic goals and objectives. Top on our list for 2014 is to enhance the conference experience. Charlie Cheesebrough, our director of membership and marketing, will lead this cross-functional effort. It will include conference "boot camp" for first-time attendees; increased focus on quality of research; extra efforts to match presentation content with audience expectations; some improvements in reception logistics; production of an expanded virtual conference experience; and even more access to conference resources and information via your mobile device.

Work is underway in the policy area with help from NCFR leadership (current and past board members and Family Policy Section leadership). Our goal this year is to develop a comprehensive plan for policy and a process to produce research briefs and policy briefs. We are on track to produce one or more briefs this year. The production process will involve our members so you will be hearing about this effort throughout the year from Jennifer Crosswhite, NCFR Director of Public Affairs.

We're going to offer more career resources for members. You will see an enhanced web presence for career resources; a survey of career resource needs; and resources aligned by career stages and professional interests. Jennifer Crosswhite and Dawn Cassidy, Director of Education, will lead this effort.

Two projects pertaining to family as a profession that began in 2012 will carry forward into 2014. We will continue the work of creating a stronger identity for the field of family science/family studies by convening a working group in Minneapolis this summer whose charge will be to articulate the needs and goals of this work. We will also continue to enhance the visibility and value of family life education to prospective employers of family life educators and with regard to the role of prevention in the federal Affordable Care Act.

With your help we would like to expand translational and classroom instructor resources on NCFR's website. We'll start this by implementing a suggestion by one of our members to align the classroom resources to the 10 family life education content areas.

Search for new editor for Family Relations

Ron Sabatelli, the current editor of Family Relations, is nearing the end of his editorial term. Dr.Sabatelli and his editorial assistant, Lindsay Edwards, have been at the helm of this journal since early 2009 with their first issue hitting the libraries in February 2010. The task of the board-appointed editor search committee will be to find the person who is ready and able to step into this prestigious editor position. If you have an interest or know someone whose knowledge, expertise and body of work qualifies him or her for this position, please email Jeanne Strand. The search committee will work throughout 2014 to select an editor. The new editorial office will begin to receive submissions in early 2015 and will publish its first issue of FR in 2016.

More details about the editor position can be found here.

2014 NCFR conference

Finally, please mark your calendar for November 19-22, 2014, and plan to join your colleagues at the NCFR annual conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The theme for this year's conference is Families at the Nexus of Global Change. It promises to be an outstanding professional experience,