Inside MFRI

MFRI Director Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth speaks with Advisory Council members. The various departments inside MFRI work to help military and veteran families.

MFRI supports service members, veterans and their families by pairing research with outreach. We collaborate with those who work to improve military families’ lives, and help them build stronger policies, practices and programs. We call this research with impact. To learn more about working with us, contact Director Shelley M. MacDermid Wadsworth, M.B.A., Ph.D.


MFRI’s research team conducts and analyzes studies that provide insight into the experiences of military and veteran families. Partners include the Indiana National Guard, the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, Sesame Street Workshop and the Center for Deployment Psychology. We have also worked with the Department of Veteran Affairs, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force.  Projects include Coming Together Around Military Families, Life After Deployment and Family Journeys. In addition, Purdue undergraduate and graduate students gain valuable research and work experiences while being active in these projects. For more information, contact Senior Director of Research and Operations Dave Topp, Ph.D.

Family support

Communities are seeking to create support systems for service members, veterans and their families. That’s why we work with partners to mobilize communities in support of these efforts. With our help, communities have increased employment options, decreased homelessness and built new systems of support for families. We train communities, organizations and professionals to better understand these families’ needs. For more information, contact Senior Director of Outreach and Operations Kathy Broniarczyk, M.Ed.

Education and employment

MFRI’s education and employment initiative was created to work specifically with Indiana’s post-secondary institutions and student veterans’ organizations, awarding nearly $2.5 million to help create supportive programs and services for student veterans. Through outreach and education efforts, we continue to help student veterans pursue their academic and employment goals. For more information, contact Director of Education and Employment Lauren Runco, M.S.

External relations

MFRI’s external relations team works strategically to advance MFRI’s mission. We help key decision makers and policymakers use evidence-informed content to build better policies, practices and programs for military and veteran families. As we communicate across multiple platforms, we increase communities’ ability to support and strengthen families. For more information, contact Director of External Relations Linda Hughes-Kirchubel, M.A.