Winter 2013 International update

by Angela Wiley, section chair

The International Section selected Professor Marcela Raffaelli to receive the Jan Trost Award for 2013. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in International Family Studies and is given in honor of Jan Trost (Uppsala University, Sweden), one of the founding members of the International Section and a past Section chair. The award honors an individual for his/her lifetime achievement in research, teaching, and service to international families.

Dr. Raffaelli has had a notable and sustained impact on the international dimensions of research in adolescent and emerging adult development, and she has worked to effectively further internationalize her home institution, the University of Illinois. She is a co-PI on an international project established in 2006 that represents a collaboration between U.S. researchers and a group at Mexico's Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí. The international team is investigating obesity and metabolic syndrome among Mexican-origin populations, a critical problem because obesity is a growing global burden.

Dr. Raffaelli also has been studying one the most troubling problems in developing countries, homeless youth, and she has pioneered a resilience approach in the study of these young people and their families. This results not only in an understanding of the risks facing these young people, but also an understanding of their ways for overcoming these challenges thus providing powerful implications for service providers.

At Illlinois, Dr. Raffaelli developed a course "Families in Global Perspective" and a study abroad experience to introduce students to Brazil and the changes affecting children and families. Both of these efforts have dramatically strengthened the international dimension of the undergraduate program.