Family Resiliency Center | Illinois


News Releases

The Autism Program (TAP) Now Enrolling Families in Social Skills Playgroup

The Autism Program is hosting a free Wonderful Wednesdays Social Skills Playgroup every Wednesday in July from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. for families with children ages 3-5 years. The program will be held at the Family Resiliency Center this July. This one hour playgroup targets the development of basic social skills while encouraging peer and environmental awareness.

The specially designed playgroup highlights language skills to greet, request, comment, follow basic instruction, give eye contact, turn-take and state farewell with peers. Find and gross motor skills will be incorporated.

A parent or caregiver must accompany each child to the class and will be provided with tips and strategies to foster their child's development in all areas, with a focus on social skills.

To register for this FREE program email: or call 217-244-1395.

To download a flyer with more information click here: Wonderful Wednesdays Information Flyer

Applications for Post-doctoral Fellowship Positions at the Family Resiliency Center Now Being Accepted

The Center is seeking to fill one to two post-doctoral positions to commence as early as August 2010. Preference will be given to candidates with expertise in the following areas: 1) quantitative and mixed method approaches in measuring family resiliency, 2) child care as a resource for family resiliency, 3) prevention of childhood obesity, and 4) program development and evaluation with vulnerable families.

The Family Resiliency Center is an interdisciplinary research and outreach unit dedicated to advancing knowledge and practices that strengthen families' abilities to meet life's challenges and thrive. Faculty are working on projects related to the prevention of childhood obesity, food insecurity, resource development for immigrant families and their children, and programs that connect food and family in positive ways. The Center includes state-of-the-art family observation facilities and a child development laboratory.

The fellowships provide opportunities for early career development, publication and supervision by national leaders in human development and family studies and experience working on interdisciplinary teams. Candidates should have completed a doctoral degree in human development/family studies, psychology, education or related fields. We seek applicants with strong methodological and quantitative data analysis skills, writing skills, and the ability to work in a collaborative interdisciplinary environment. The Urbana-Champaign community offers a wealth of cultural, intellectual, and recreational opportunities. For more information on the community visit the Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Applications will be reviewed until the positions are filled. Applicants should send curriculum vitae and cover letter in pdf format and also request three letters of reference to be sent to Andrea Fierro at:

Questions regarding the positions should be directed to Barbara H. Fiese, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Family Resiliency Center,


Help improve parenting resources online and register for a chance to win $100!

The Parenting 2.0 research project, sponsored by the University of Illinois and the University of Minnesota, is seeking parents who use the Internet to participate in an online research study about how and why you use the Internet. Participants can be entered into a drawing to win one of 20 $100 gift cards.

The purpose of the Parenting 2.0 research project is to learn how and why parents use technology in their role as parents. Results from this study will be used to help develop parent education resources.

To learn more, please visit us at


Family Resiliency Center Now Enrolling Students in Undergraduate Research Courses for Fall 2010

The Family Resiliency Center is offering two Supervised Undergraduate Research Courses next year, one for the STRONG Kids Program and one for our Food and Family Program. We are currently recruiting students who will have Junior or Senior standing in the Fall ’10 to enroll in these courses. Students may enroll in up to 3 hours of credit for these courses.

The purpose of these two-semester year-long supervised research courses is to provide students with a first-hand experience working as part of a research team as well as to help them develop a working knowledge of the theory and applications of trans-disciplinary research used to guide the specific research program. Students will:

  • Be provided with an overview of the Research Program issues;
  • Develop oral and written communication skills; data management skills; team building skills; critical thinking skills; and professional work environment skills;
  • Be trained in mixed methods relevant to factors that contribute to child and family health;
  • Identify opportunities and barriers in transdisciplinary team work;
  • Prepare a scientific presentation that reflects the students' knowledge of transdisciplinary science gained through working on one of the program subprojects. The presentation will be given at a scientific conference held in the Spring 2011.

Additional information about these research courses, as well as a downloadable application can be found at:



STRONG Kids Investigator Sharon Donovan Wins 2010 Paul A. Funk Award

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences recently announced that Professor Sharon Donovan is a winner of a Paul A. Funk Recognition Award. Dr. Donovan, Professor, Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition is a PI with the Family Resiliency Center STRONG Kids Program. The STRONG Kids program is a cross-disciplinary, multi-year project that examines how genetic, individual, family, community, country and cultural factors contribute to the development of childhood weight imbalance, health behaviors and health beliefs.

The Paul A. Funk Recognition Award is presented to faculty and academic professionals for outstanding achievement and major contributions to the betterment of agriculture, natural resources, and human systems. Funds for the awards program, which was established in June 1970, are provided by the Paul A. Funk Foundation of Bloomington, Illinois, as a memorial to the late Paul A. Funk, who attended the college as a member of the class of 1929 and devoted his life to agriculture. Congratulations Dr. Donovan!