Kimberly A. Updegraff Conferred Fellow Status by NCFR

Kim Updegraff

The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) has conferred its prestigious Fellow status on Kimberly A. Updegraff, Ph.D., the Cowden Distinguished Professor of Family and Human Development in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. Dr. Updegraff also serves as the director of graduate studies and codirector of the Latino Resilience Enterprise within the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics.

NCFR Fellows are nominated by their peers and are selected by the NCFR Fellows Committee. Dr. Updegraff will be recognized as a new Fellow at the 2020 NCFR Annual Conference, Nov. 11–14 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Updegraff’s impressive research career began by earning a bachelor's degree in psychology from Denison University, where she graduated magna cum laude. She earned her master's and doctoral degrees in human development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University, and she immediately transitioned into the academic tenure-track at Arizona State University.

Dr. Updegraff is the quintessential discovery scientist. She has led, either as principal investigator or co-principal investigator, projects funded by the National Institutes of Health totaling more than $10 million. These and other projects have resulted in over 124 publications counted by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and more than 1,800 citations. Dr. Updegraff has served the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation in the capacity of grant proposal reviewer. She has supervised six postdoctoral researchers, graduated 11 doctoral students, supervised 13 master’s students, and directed five undergraduate honors theses.

Beyond immense peer recognition for her rigorous science, Dr. Updegraff is also a caring and generative mentor of the next generation of Family Scientists. Her peers poignantly describe how she “generously shares her insights and pushes students to think conceptually and in a methodologically rigorous manner.” Others commented on the way Dr. Updegraff engages students by asking thought-provoking questions in a manner that challenges their thinking but does not lead them to feel inadequate or unprepared. Dr. Updegraff was the professor in charge of her school's graduate programs for a period spanning 10 years, and her diligence in this role is credited with creating a culture that supports student success.

Dr. Updegraff is a silent but ever-present force at NCFR. She served on the Editorial Board for Family Relations for over a decade, is currently a member of the Elections Council, has served the Nominating Committee for the Research and Theory Section on two separate occasions, and was the Students and New Professionals representative for the Feminism and Family Studies Section. She and her students' research has been on the program of the NCFR Annual Conference 19 times over the past 22 years.

The National Council on Family Relations is the premier professional association for the multidisciplinary understanding of families. NCFR has a membership of nearly 3,000 family researchers, practitioners and educators. For more information on the National Council on Family Relations or its scholarly publications, contact NCFR at 1-888-781-9331 or visit its website at