NCFR recognizes Sharon M. Ballard as outstanding educator

The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) is proud to recognize Dr. Sharon M. Ballard as the 2016 recipient of the Margaret E. Arcus Award, which recognizes an NCFR member who has made significant contributions to the field of family life education through research, theory, publication, practice, program development, and/or training.

Dr. Ballard is in her 17th year at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, where she is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Science. Prior to pursuing her graduate work in Child and Family Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, she taught family and consumer sciences at the middle and high school level for six years. Dr. Ballard has been a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) since 1998, and was a founding member of the CFLE Advisory Board. She was awarded the CFLE Special Recognition Award in 2012. Dr. Ballard's primary research interest is family life education programming, particularly parent education and sexuality education. She has published more than 40 journal articles and book chapters, including her co-edited book Family Life Education with Diverse Populations, and given more than 60 state, national, and international presentations.

In his letter nominating Dr. Ballard, Dr. Alan C. Taylor states: "Sharon exemplifies what a family life educator is and does. I cannot think of another family life educator more deserving of this award," also noting her continued efforts in moving the field of family life education forward.

Dr. Ballard will be recognized for her achievements at the 2016 NCFR Annual Conference, Nov. 2 - 5 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Margaret E. Arcus, the namesake of this award, made remarkable contributions to family life education during her career. She helped create the NCFR Certified Family Life Education program, setting standards for the field.

The National Council on Family Relations is the premier professional association for the multidisciplinary understanding of families. NCFR has a membership of more than 3,000 family researchers, practitioners and educators. For more information on the National Council on Family Relations or its scholarly publications, visit the NCFR website at