Dawn Cassidy Recognized for Outstanding Dedication to CFLE Program

Annual CFLE Award Renamed in Dawn’s Honor
Dawn Cassidy Award

Saint Paul, Minnesota — Each year, NCFR honors outstanding contributions that Certified Family Life Educators (CFLEs) make to Family Life Education (FLE). This year, Dawn Cassidy, M.Ed., CFLE, was named the recipient of the 2023 CFLE Special Recognition Award.

Despite her many impactful contributions as the Director of Family Life Education at NCFR for more than 30 years, Dawn's nomination and subsequent selection for this prestigious award were based on her outstanding achievements outside of her role as a member of NCFR staff.

In honor of Dawn's dedication to the CFLE program, both in her staff role and beyond, this annual award has been renamed in her honor to be the Dawn Cassidy CFLE Special Recognition Award. Dawn was recognized for her achievements during the CFLE Reception at the 2023 NCFR Annual Conference.

With more than three decades of service, Dawn has shown unparalleled dedication and influence in Family Life Education and significantly impacted the CFLE program. A devoted CFLE for more than 20 years, she has advanced Family Science, co-authoring four editions of Family Life Education: Working with Families across the Lifespan, a foundational text in Family Life Education. She has also authored and co-authored chapters in several other influential books, including Global Perspectives on Family Life Education and Family Life Education: The Practice of Family Science. She has also co-written scholarship that includes, but not limited to, Professionalization of Family Life Education: Defining the Field and The Foundations of Family Life Education Model: Understanding the Field. Dawn’s publications have undoubtedly shaped the landscape of Family Life Education and the trajectory for future Family Life Educators.

Dawn’s unwavering service has been recognized by the Minnesota Council on Family Relations and the Texas Council on Family Relations. Respectively, she has been the recipient of the Ruth Hathaway Jewson Distinguished Service to Families Award which acknowledges a professional in the family field for outstanding work on behalf of families, and the Meritorious Service Award which recognizes and encourages family life workers, acknowledging outstanding service, support, and significant contributions to families and family life.

In her altruism and philanthropy, as well as her advocacy for the CFLE credential, Dawn's influence extends beyond the borders of the United States. She has shared her expertise internationally, delivering presentations in England, Germany, China, Japan, and Singapore. Her collaboration with the Singapore Ministry of Social and Family Development  resulted in the creation of a certificate program for Family Life Educators. Dawn’s commitment to checking the cultural relevance and appropriateness of family theories and approaches during international collaborations showcases her dedication to ensuring the global applicability of Family Life Education. She was meticulous, sensitive to the needs of those she worked with and cognizant of a culturally relatable approach. Not only did her work elevate the quality of the CFLE credential and professional practice but it also advanced CFLE as a profession.

Dawn is a versed professional. Her work conveys the epitome of what it means to be a Family Life Educator. Her outstanding contributions and remarkable journey in Family Life Education has left an indelible impression, one that will continue to shape the professional identity of CFLEs for years to come.

Overall, Dawn’s impact on Family Life Education has been tremendous and resonated with those who have had the privilege of working alongside her. NCFR extends heartfelt congratulations to Dawn on achieving the 2023 Dawn Cassidy CFLE Special Recognition Award.