NCFR Recognizes Joy Heafner for Outstanding Research Proposal

Joy Heafner

The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) is proud to recognize Joy Heafner as the 2017 recipient of the Jessie Bernard Outstanding Research Proposal from a Feminist Perspective Award, which is given to a graduate student or new professional who has demonstrated excellence in research and potential contribution to feminist scholarship. Her paper is titled “A Qualitative Study of Feminist Therapists’ Experiences of Managed Care.”

Ms. Heafner is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut, working under the supervision of Dr. Rachel B. Tambling. Ms. Heafner is a researcher/practitioner with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy, as well as a certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her doctoral research is a qualitative study of how therapists integrate feminist theory and activism into their clinical work, as well as how they enact feminist principles in an increasingly medicalized mental healthcare system. In all of her roles – particularly researcher, clinician, and instructor – Ms. Heafner strives to connect individual experiences to social and political structures with the goal of creating positive change.

Ms. Heafner will be recognized for her achievements at the 2017 NCFR Annual Conference, Nov. 15-18 in Orlando, Florida.

This award is presented in memory of Jessie Bernard, former NCFR Board Member and pioneer in the field of feminist family studies. Jessie Bernard declared herself a feminist in 1970 and is known for her celebrated description of "his" and "her" marriages. She was a board member of the American Sociological Association, the Groves Conference on Marriage and Family, and NCFR.

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