Family Resiliency Center | Illinois



The Family Resiliency Center recognizes that today's students are tomorrow's practitioners, educators, and researchers. Both graduate and undergraduate students are provided with opportunities to interact with faculty from a broad range of disciplines for hands-on involvement with research projects and the chance to work with our community partners in public engagement efforts, as well as to work with fellow students studying in other fields.

For more information on the new PhD/MPH degree program focused on childhood obesity, I-TOPP click here.

STRONG Kids (HDFS 494) Undergraduate Research Course

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; and
  • 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.

Application deadline extended to Friday, April 8 Submit to: Elizabeth Mosley (

HDFS 494 Informational Flyer

HDFS 494 Application

Additional information about the specific sections are available here:

HDFS 494 STRONG Kids Overview

HDFS 494 Food and Family Overview

What Students Are Saying

University of Illinois Senior Wells Ling describes his research experience at the Family Resiliency Center

Student researchers discuss what they learned through the STRONG Kids Program

STRONG Kids student researchers discuss policy implications of their findings. Part 1 | Part 2

The Autism Program (TAP) Student Interns share some insight about their work. Adrienne | Katherine | Kim

"Working on STRONG Kids helped me understand some of the material I had been studying in my health statistics class this semester." STRONG Kids Undergraduate Research Assistant

"STRONG Kids gave me the opportunity to build relationships with faculty and students from multiple disciplines and to be involved in vital comprehensive research." STRONG Kids Undergraduate Research Assistant

"I think that this is a great research experience that helps you to develop many skills such as communication, team work, flexibility, patience, and critical thinking, among many others.

"I think that anyone, especially planning to go into health care or nutrition, would really gain useful experience, a grasp on medical problems, and realize first-hand how many facators can contribute to one issue, like obesity."


FRC Student Work Featured at Undergraduate Research Symposium

8th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium - Thursday, April 23, 2015, Illini Union

Click here for a complete schedule and abstracts.


Breastfeeding Duration and BMI: A Study of the Relationship Between Breast Milk Exposure and Healthy Development

  • Michael Sheu, Senior, Molecular and Cellular Biology, LAS
  • Danielle Fontaine, Junior, Biology, LAS
  • Robert Ferguson, Senior, Biology, LAS

  • Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding: Does Breastfeeding have a Preventative Effect on Obesity in Children

  • Marija Maretic, Senior, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, AHS
  • Natasha Joy, Senior, Communication, LAS

  • Child Obesity: Can Healthcare Provders Aid Parents in Prevention?

  • Lauren Amendola, Junior, Human Nutrition, ACES
  • Megan Devine, Junior, Chemistry, LAS

  • Correlation Between Bodyweight and Polymorphisms in AHSG in Children of the STRONG Kids 1 Cohort

  • Michael White, Junior, Molecular and Cellular Biology, LAS

  • Early Nutrition But Not Delivery Mode Impact on the Colonization of Gut Microbiota

  • Connie Lam, Senior, Food Science and Human Nutrition, ACES

  • Endocrine Disruptors in Plastics: What Do Child Care Providers Know and What Are They Doing to Limit Young Children's Exposure?

  • Emily Rohman, Sophomore, Community Health, AHS
  • Caroline Buetow, Junior, Human Development and Family Studies, ACES
  • "My research focused on current child care provider knowledge of harmful chemicals found in plastics, especially when heated up in the microwave. This event was an excellent way to learn from other researchers and gain constructive feedback from University of Illinois faculty and staff, all while providing me with the opportunity to present in a professional setting."

    — Carly Buetow

    Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Body Mass Index of Children

  • Amanda Donald, Senior, Molecular and Cellular Biology, LAS
  • Miles Mary, Senior, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, AHS
  • Samantha Addante, Sophomore, Human Development and Family Studies, ACES

  • "I had the opportunity to present my collaborative research project, which explored the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and child BMI at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Preparation for the event included hands on data collection and analysis, taught me about the research process, while the presentation at the symposium sparked a great deal of enthusiasm for future endeavors."

    — Samantha Addante 

    Screen Time and Sleep Duration Increase a Child's BMI

  • Jordyn Fishman, Senior, Human and Development Studies, ACES
  • Kaitlin Keeley, Senior, Audiology, AHS
  • "My experience at the Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) was very positive. My poster centered around sleep duration, screen time, and body mass index, and it was interesting having the chance to explore different correlations between these categories. I had the chance to explain these findings while at the URS, so something I learned was how to present research in an organized and understandable way to others who do not know what it is about. The URS also provided me with the chance to professionally communicate with others and present this information in a new way."

    — Jordyn Fishman

    TV Time and Sugary Drinks: They Are Making Your Child Obese

  • Kelsi Ubbenga, Senior, Speech and Hearing Sciences, AHS
  • Michelle Moynihan, Senior, Speech and Hearing Sciences, AHS
  • Alaina Ceron, Junior, Sociology, LAS
  • Dior Chasanv, Junior, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, AHS