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Apply to be Visiting Senior Research Scientist at the FRC

February 13, 2024

The Family Resiliency Center (FRC) and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign invite applications for a Visiting Senior Research Scientist. We strive to Make Thriving the Norm for families, children, youth, and communities.

We seek a promising or established academic professional team member committed to the vision, mission, and strategic plan of the Center with a passion for community-based participatory research, translation and dissemination, and transdisciplinary teamwork. To this end, the Visiting Senior Research Scientist will lead and support research projects and initiatives that address wicked problems related to the five research hubs described in the strategic plan.

View the strategic plan here, or download a copy: Family Resiliency Center Strategic Plan (English).

TAP & INI Keeping Busy

Oct. 20, 2023

The Autism Program (TAP) and the Illinois Neurodiversity Initiative (INI) have been busy! On Monday, October 16, we attended the 2023 UIUC Mental Health Fair where we interacted with students and faculty from across the campus. Many were interested in the TAP internship and several were given information about classes that will be offered next semester for neurodivergent UIUC students. 

October 17-20, Jeanne Kramer, Director of TAP/INI attended the College Autism Summit (CAS) in Nashville Tennessee. 

On Tuesday the 17th, UConn hosted a Neurodiversity Employment Symposium and INI was invited to speak about a summer work experience with Synchrony Financial in which seven INI students participated. We were honored to be there and made many connections with corporations who are doing important work in employment accessibility for neurodivergent individuals.

Wednesday through Friday was packed with informational sessions on college programming to support autistic and neurodivergent students in academic, social, emotional and employment success. We heard from several universities and employers who are leading the way in these efforts. We were also invited to share a poster on the Illinois Neurodiversity Initiative.  

young student sitting cross legged on the carpet

Mindfulness programs help minoritized youth develop healthy coping skills, study shows

Sep. 26, 2023

Educational programs that promote mental and physical health can help young people – particularly in environments of chronic stress and trauma exposure – learn healthy coping strategies, avoid risky behaviors, and succeed in school. A new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign shows that a school-based mindfulness program is beneficial for Black high school students in urban communities.

4 people standing and smiling for a photo

Family Resiliency Center celebrates strategic plan launch

Feb. 23, 2023

The Family Resiliency Center (FRC) at the University of Illinois celebrated the launch of a new strategic plan with a reception for friends and associates in February. “Our strategic plan outlines the goals, strategies, and action plan to guide the next phase of growth at the FRC through 2028. The center continues to expand and move in new directions, with different approaches and content areas, including prioritizing collaboration with community partners,” says FRC Director Jacinda Dariotis.

Illinois students and faculty having dinner in Boston

Students Present at APHA

Dec. 2, 2022
Illinois students and faculty attended and presented at the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting in Boston, the country’s largest conference related to public health. Andi Schwingel, a faculty member in Kinesiology and Community Health and a member of FRC’s steering committee, noted that a highlight of the conference was the diversity of the attendees, reflecting the breadth of the public health community from varied settings, backgrounds, and roles. “The Family Resiliency Center helped promote the conference and their support was greatly appreciated,” she said.

The Francis family, recipients of the 2022 ACES Family Spirit Award, pictured at the 10/24 ACES Alumni Awards Gala

FRC Collaborator Brandon Meline Earns ACES Alumni Award of Merit

Nov. 1, 2022
Brandon Meline, an FRC collaborator, was the 2022 recipient of the Alumni Award of Merit from the College of ACES. Meline's collaboration with FRC includes serving as a panelist at the center's First 1,000 Days Symposium in 2018. Learn more about Meline and all of the 2022 alumni award recipients.

Dr. Jacinda Dariotis

FRC Director to Contribute Expertise as Part of Health Innovation Professors Group

June 29, 2022
FRC Director Jacinda Dariotis is one of 10 Illinois faculty members who will contribute her expertise in a broad range of disciplines to Carle Illinois College of Medicine, as part of the latest and largest-to-date cohort of Health Innovation Professors (HIP). Dr. Dariotis and fellow HIP members will collaborate with Carle Illinois students, physicians, and other health care providers to pursue cutting-edge health-related research and innovation, with the goal of creating new opportunities for funding from government agencies, industry, and foundations.

Illinois Alma with its arms spread and wearing graduation regalia

New Program to Support Freshmen at Illinois with Autism

June 24, 2022
Starting in the Fall 2022 semester, the Illinois Neurodiversity Initiative pilot program will offer incoming Illinois freshmen with autism spectrum disorder the opportunity to participate in a new program providing wide-ranging support that will help them succeed at college and beyond. "The question I get most often from parents is: 'What does the U. of I. have to offer students with autism?" said Jeanne Kramer, director of The Autism Program on campus. "Everyone agrees the need is there, and now we're at a point where we can do something about it."

Jacinda Dariotis and Doris Kelley Christopher

FRC Director Honored as Pampered Chef Endowed Chair in Family Resiliency

May 13, 2022
Dr. Jacinda Dariotis, director of the Family Resiliency Center, was honored as Pampered Chef Ltd. Endowed Chair in Family Resiliency at an investiture ceremony on May 11.

Stephanie Sloane, Jacinda Dariotis, and Rebecca Smith

FRC Director Jacinda Dariotis Helps Conduct Case Study on COVID-19

Feb. 10, 2022
An in-depth case study by three Illinois scholars, including Family Resiliency Center Director Jacinda Dariotis, highlights the trajectory of a college student who was infected with COVID-19 twice in the fall of 2020.

More FRC News Stories

April 2015 - November 2018

Nov. 12, 2018
Microbial Changes in Gut May be Behind Broccoli’s Anti-cancer Power
Research from Family Resiliency Center affiliate Hannah Holscher shows how microbial changes in the gut may be behind broccoli's anti-cancer power. "There is interest in broccoli and cancer because broccoli has been shown to slow cancer incidence in humans. This study gives us a better understanding of which microbes are creating the metabolites that have been shown to slow cancer in humans, so that we can do additional studies to see if the microbes that are increasing are part of this cancer-fighting mechanism,” Holscher said.
Read more

July 3, 2018
Family Food Involvement at Preschool Age Positively Influences Eating Habits
Preschool-aged kids participating in meal planning, meal prep, and grocery shopping can positively influence food-related behaviors and dietary intake.
Read more

Apr 26, 2018
FRC Research Shows Culinary Programs in Schools Offer Benefits to Children, Set Stage for Healthier Habits
Culinary programs in schools are improving eating habits, food preferences, and cooking skills among children, yet this programing in schools is limited and often delivered inconsistently. A review of culinary interventions with children in schools shows they bring a variety of benefits to the students who receive them, according to research authored by Henna Muzaffar, RD, PhD, of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.
Read more

April 11, 2018
ACES 2018 Funk Award Recipients Recognized at Banquet
FRC team members Dr. Brent McBride, Dr. Soo-Yeun Lee, Dr. Gail Ferguson, and Cathy Cherry were among those recognized at ACES 2018 Funk Award Banquet.
Read more

April 10, 2018
FRC Team Members Receive Top Awards; Recognized for Contributions
FRC team members Dr. Brent McBride, Dr. Soo-Yeun Lee, Dr. Gail M. Ferguson, and Cathy Cherry are honored with University of Illinois College of ACES and Paul A. Funk Recognition Awards.
Read more

Feb. 27, 2018
Family Resiliency Center Research Investigates Benefits, Barriers to Transdisciplinary Graduate Education
The London School of Economics and Political Science blog highlighted two research articles about the evaluation of the I-TOPP programme. Anna- Sigrid Keck, Stephanie Sloane, Janet M. Liechty, Barbara H. Fiese, and Sharon M. Donovan designed a structured doctoral program focused on transdisciplinary research and compared students’ publication patterns to students in traditional programmes.
Read more

Jan. 9, 2018
FRC Researcher Featured on West Virginia's WDTV5Q News
Happy meal times may equal healthy choices for kids, according to Family Resiliency Center research led by Jaclyn Saltzman.
Read more

Dec. 4, 2017
Positive Parenting: Happy Mealtime, Healthy Kids
Family Resiliency Center researcher Jaclyn Saltzman discussed a study that suggested if parents can create a positive environment at mealtime, children may reap the health benefits. Saltzman and her colleagues studied the habits of 75 families with 3-year-old children. "Families that had a more positive mealtime emotional climate also had children who ate about one more serving of healthy food," she said.
Read more

Nov. 21, 2017
Commentary: How Expressing Gratitude This Thanksgiving Can Better Your Health
FRC Director Barabara Fiese relates in this op-ed piece how expressing gratitude can improve people's health.
Read more

Nov. 9, 2017
FRC Investigator Naiman Khan featured in Smile Politely
Smile Politely captured an inside look at Family Resiliency Center researcher Dr. Naiman Khan. Khan's research, conducted through the Body Composition and Nutritional Neuroscience laboratory, will contribute to FRC's STRONG Kids research project, a longitudinal study covering the relationship between biology and environment, in an effort to prevent and combat childhood obesity.
Read more

Oct. 4, 2017
A Happier Emotional Climate at Mealtimes May Mean Healthier Food Choices by Children
A new study from Family Resiliency Center researchers explores the relationship between emotional climate at mealtimes and the food choices of children.
Read more

Sept. 27, 2017
Researchers Investigate the Impact Family Dynamics, Relationships Have on Children's Appetite Self-regulation
Family dynamics and parental relationships play a role in children's appetite self-regulation. This research is important because such regulation as a child can reduce risks for obesity and other health risks during the lifespan.
Read more

Aug. 29, 2017
Researchers Explore Breastfeeding Barriers and African American Mothers
Social norms and lack of support may keep many African American moms from breastfeeding.
Read more

March 21, 2017
FRC Leadership Authors Child Evidence Brief on Food Insecurity
FRC Director Barbara Fiese and affiliate member Craig Gundersen authored a Child Evidence Brief on Food Insecurity for the Society for Research in Child Development. The piece will be used by the policy and communications office at the Society for Research in Child Development to inform government stakeholders about the importance of reducing food insecurity in households with children and supporting SNAP.
Read more

March 16, 2017
FRC Research Affiliate Craig Gundersen discusses the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with Huffington Post
Data challenges the stereotype that receiving food stamps discourages working.
Read more

March 15, 2017
FRC Affiliate Among Top 1% Most Productive Advertising Scholars Globally
A new study finds FRC affiliate member Michelle Nelson among the top 1% of most productive advertising researchers globally. Dr. Nelson is a co-principal investigator on FRC's JUS Media? Programme.
Read more

March 3, 2017
Creating a Global Health Intervention to Combat U.S. Media Influences on Eating Habits in the Caribbean
The spread of global media and brands, particularly those from the U.S., and their influence on the lifestyles and food choices of families in Jamaica led FRC to create the J(amaican) US (U.S.) Media? Programme, in collaboration with Julie Meeks, professor of Child Development and Nutrition at the University of West Indies (UWI) Open Campus. The JUS Media Programme is a food-focused media literacy intervention for Jamaican families designed to teach youth and parents how to question and be more savvy about the food messages in media and advertising, especially the ads that come from U.S. cable channels.
Read more

Feb. 6, 2017
Cultural, Linguistic Gaps May Deter Latinos from Joining Health Programs
This study explored Latinas’ attitudes toward lay community health researchers called “promotoras.” Co-authors on the paper were Jennifer McCaffrey, Andiara Schwingel, Angela R. Wiley, and Margarita Teran-Garcia.
Read more

Oct. 21, 2016
Former HDFS Student Tatyana McFadden to Serve as Grand Marshal of 2016 Homecoming Parade
Tatyana McFadden, an accomplished student athlete in wheelchair basketball and wheelchair track, will serve as grand marshal of the 2016 homecoming parade at Illinois. McFadden is a Paralympic medalist and 2014 Illinois graduate.
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Oct. 3 2016
Doris Kelley Christopher Hall Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Doris Kelley Christopher Hall, which houses the Family Resiliency Center, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The building offers a unique combination of research, education, and outreach, all of it centered on helping families thrive under challenging conditions.
Read more

Aug. 4, 2016
Parents Magazine features FRC Research
How Your Mood Can Effect Your Kid's Eating: Parents Magazine features Family Resiliency Center published work on the topic.
Read more

June 27, 2016
Donations Provide Stopgap Funding for University of Illinois Autism Program
The Autism Program (TAP) at the University of Illinois was about to become another casualty of the state budget crisis, but a significant gift from a private donor to the College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences will help fund The Autism Program for the coming year.
Read more

April 19, 2016
Causes of Childhood Obesity Complex, but Families, Media Play Key Role
Children's genetic risks for obesity may be reduced by interventions that strengthen family communication and help children manage their emotions and feelings of satiety. In a paper that reviews current research on childhood obesity, Drs. Barbara Fiese and Kelly Bost emphasize the need for greater collaboration with families in developing healthy-living campaigns and community-based programs.
Read more

Nov. 24, 2015
Expert Roundtable: The Psychological Benefits of Thanksgiving Rituals
Family traditions at ‪Thanksgiving‬ go beyond filling people's bellies with turkey and pie. This expert roundtable, featuring FRC Director Barbara Fiese, explores the psychological benefits of Thanksgiving rituals.
Read more

June 29, 2015
Scientists Try to Figure Out Picky Eating in Kids
For some kids, mealtime is a war: It's them against broccoli, or whatever culinary abomination their parents have chosen to serve for dinner that night. And yet not all picky eaters are picky in exactly the same way, notes Sharon M. Donovan, a nutrition professor at Illinois who published a paper in The Journal of Sensory Studies on the subject. Her theory, as reported by Scientific American, is that if researchers can identify why some kids are such finicky eaters, they can help develop targeted strategies for parents and bring much-needed peace to family dinners.
Read more

April 23, 2015
District of Columbia Ranks Fourth in Hunger Risk for Seniors
A report co-authored by FRC affiliate member Craig Gundersen found that the majority of seniors who are food insecure are white and have incomes above the poverty line, but that the risk is higher among other groups.
Read more