Family Focus Member Editors: Saying Goodbye to One as We Say Hello to Another

Jennifer Crosswhite, Ph.D., CFLE, Director of Research and Policy Education
/ Winter 2019 NCFR Report

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Family Focus, a section of the quarterly NCFR Report member magazine, contains articles on family research, practice, policy, and education. Its purpose is to share information on Family Science in a translational way and to provide readers with the implications of family research. Each issue has a new theme. Family Focus seems to have originated with topical articles being written by members beginning in March 1999. This means that 2019 marks the 20th year of Family Focus! At the beginning, these articles were integrated into NCFR Report as one full issue. The first time Family Focus became a pullout section of the Report was in June 2000. From its inception to now, Family Focus has served as a resource that instructors use in the classroom and that members draw on for their own personal and professional enrichment.

Judith A. Myers-Walls, Ph.D., CFLE

From its beginning, an NCFR staff member was either the editor or co-editor of Family Focus until May 2016, when Judith A. Myers-Walls, Ph.D., CFLE, became the first long-term Family Focus editor who is an NCFR member. Clara Gerhardt, Ph.D., CFLE, and NCFR member, temporarily served as Family Focus coeditor with me during a brief period following the tenure of NCFR staff member Nancy Gonzales as editor.

Dr. Myers-Walls was a perfect fit for Family Focus editor. Her experiences in academia, research, extension, reviewing, writing, and editing experiences have served her well during these past three and a half years. Dr. Myers-Walls continued the excellence of Family Focus while taking the publication to a new level by introducing the “In Brief” bullets at the beginning of each article, providing a new overview and introduction section at the beginning of each issue, and occasionally writing an editor’s reflection at the end of the issue.

When Dr. Myers-Walls began this position, she was already “retired.” As with many academics though, retirement doesn’t mean a complete end to the work they love. She wanted to continue to be involved, engaged, and to make a difference—which she did and still does. But all good things must come to an end. After much contemplation, Dr. Myers-Walls decided it was time to pursue other endeavors. It will be sad to see her go as she has been so instrumental to the success and vitality of Family Focus.

Ted Futris
Ted. G. Futris, Ph.D., CFLE

At the same time, I am very excited to work with Ted. G. Futris, Ph.D., CFLE, who is now the second long-term Family Focus editor who also is an NCFR member. Dr. Futris is a professor in human development and Family Science and a state extension specialist in family life at the University of Georgia. He also was the 2018 recipient of the Margaret E. Arcus Outstanding Family Life Educator Award.

Dr. Futris understands the value of translational science and has excellent experience that has prepared him for this new position. He creates resources to inform best practices in relationship education program development, community capacity building to support healthy couple and marital relationships, and youth-focused relationship education. He also actively engages in the dissemination and evaluation of educational programs that promote couple, parenting, and child well-being.

As Family Focus editor his goal is to continue bridging research and practice by engaging family scholars and professionals in the co-creation of articles that are relevant with meaningful, action-oriented implications. Dr. Futris’s official start date was Oct. 1, 2019.

To prepare for this new endeavor, Dr. Myers-Walls and Dr. Futris began working together on the Spring 2020 Family Focus issue on family rituals. The current issue, Winter 2019, is Dr. Myers-Walls’s last Family Focus issue as sole editor. Dr. Futris’ first issue as sole editor will be the Summer 2020 issue on immigration. (See the call for this issue) We are excited for the future of both Family Focus and our work with Dr. Futris!

From all of us at NCFR, especially from me who has worked closely with Dr. Myers-Walls, you will be missed, Judy! Thank you for all you have done for Family Focus. Good luck with your future endeavors.

As always, dear readers, we love to hear from you about your ideas for future themes and for you to contribute to Family Focus. Email the Family Focus editor at [email protected]. Check out the NCFR Report Magazine web page ( for future themes, due dates, and author guidelines. We look forward to hearing from you!

Don’t forget that Family Focus articles are also available to use in the classroom or for other educational opportunities. Please visit the permissions webpage to request permission to use (