NCFR Recognizes Francesca Adler-Baeder and Ted G. Futris as Outstanding Educators

Francesca Adler-Baeder and Ted G. Futris

The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) is proud to recognize Francesca Adler-Baeder, Ph.D., CFLE, and Ted G. Futris, Ph.D., CFLE, are the 2018 recipients of the Margaret E. Arcus Outstanding Family Life Educator Award, which recognizes NCFR member(s) who have made significant contributions to the field of Family Life Education through research, theory, publication, practice, program development, and/or training.

Dr. Adler-Baeder is a professor of human development and family studies at Auburn University. She has worked for over two decades in the active bridging of research and practice and garnered national and international recognition for youth and adult relationship education program design, resource development, community-focused capacity-building, and participatory research. Her efforts resulted in an invitation to present at a White House Roundtable on innovative university-community partnerships and at a forum for the National Governors’ Association on Best Practices. She has over 70 academic publications and has secured over $33 million in competitive grants. She is the director of the National Stepfamily Resource Center and the director and principal investigator of the Alabama Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Initiative. Dr. Adler-Baeder was named an NCFR Fellow in 2015 and in 2016 was awarded the Association for Public and Land-Grant Universities’ Outstanding Engagement Award.

Dr. Futris is an associate professor in human development and Family Science (HDFS) and a state extension family life specialist at the University of Georgia (UGA). Since earning his Ph.D. in HDFS from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2000, he has provided statewide and national leadership in creating resources to inform best-practices in relationship education program development and implementation. As the director of the Couples and Relationship Enrichment (CARE) laboratory at UGA , his current work is focused on community capacity building to support healthy couple and marital relationships, youth-focused relationship education, and evaluating the efficacy of educational programming on couple, parenting, and child well-being. Dr. Futris’ work, which integrates research with outreach programming, has been funded in excess of $19 million from federal and state grants.

Together, Dr. Adler-Baeder and Dr. Futris served as co-directors of the National Extension Relationship and Marriage Education Network (NERMEN), a multi-state extension team focused on developing resources and best practices for extension work in marriage education. They have also co-authored with the NERMEN members several models to guide marriage education curricula development, most notably The National Extension Relationship and Marriage Education Model (NERMEM): Core Teaching Concepts for Relationship and Marriage Enrichment Programming.

In a letter nominating the recipients, Jay A. Mancini, Ph.D., writes: “the sustained Family Life Education work of Professors Futris and Adler-Baeder is theoretically sound, stands up to evaluation, is innovative programming for individuals and families, and perhaps above all, is consequential in its impact on families in communities. Their collaborative work in Family Life Education aligns well with the work of my colleague, Professor Arcus, and continues the tradition of NCFR members who conduct the best of applied family science theorizing, research, and professional practice.”

The recipients will be recognized for their achievement at the 2018 NCFR Annual Conference, Nov. 7-10 in San Diego, California.

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 nearly 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