Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth
Director of MFRI
Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, Director of MFRI
Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, M.B.A., Ph.D., is a professor in Purdue University’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies and director of MFRI and the Center for Families. Her research focuses on relationships between job conditions and family life, especially with regard to military families and organizational policies, programs and practices and has been published in scientific journals such as the Journal of Marriage and Family and the Academy of Management Journal.
MacDermid Wadsworth’s work has been funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Henry A. Murray Center, the Department of Defense, the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, the state of Indiana and Lilly Endowment Inc. Read more about MacDermid Wadsworth >>
Senior Director of Research and Operations
Dave Topp, Senior Director of Research and Operations
Dave Topp, Ph.D., has directed the MFRI's research team since 2009, overseeing a number of projects. In addition to evaluating programs and materials for Sesame Workshop and ZERO to THREE, Topp has led research studies for agencies like the Department of Defense, most recently completing an effort focused on the impact of multiple deployments for young children in military families.
Prior to joining MFRI, Topp owned a Kansas-based consulting firm that worked extensively with state and county governments developing service delivery systems for children with emotional and behavioral problems. With his commitment to using data to inform effective service delivery, he developed an expertise in data capture technologies to equip administrators with objective information about the programs they manage.
Later, he brought this expertise to the University of Kansas Center for Research and the Life Span Institute. Born and raised in southwestern Michigan, Topp earned his master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan and his doctorate from the University of Kansas.
Senior Director of Outreach and Operations
Kathy Broniarczyk, Senior Director of Outreach and Operations
Kathy Broniarczyk oversees the family support team and operations at MFRI. The family support team provides outreach and resources to children and families of service members and veterans. In addition, it works with community organizations and professionals who offer care for service members and their families.
Prior to joining MFRI, Broniarczyk served a large population of deployed service members as center director for the Department of Army Child and Youth Services. She has worked with many military families for over 15 years and is also a military spouse.
Broniarczyk received her bachelor’s degree in child and family sciences from the University of Wisconsin and her master’s degree in early childhood education from Boston University. She has worked with children and families her entire professional career. Broniarczyk has been a public school teacher, an early childhood trainer for childcare providers, childcare center administrator and preschool teacher. She has worked with pre-service early childhood teachers and taught undergraduate early childhood courses.
Director of External Relations
Linda Hughes-Kirchubel, Director of External Relations
Linda Hughes-Kirchubel heads MFRI’s external relations team, managing the organization’s strategic messaging across multiple platforms and constituencies. A former journalist, she holds a master’s degree in organizational communication and has been with MFRI since 2009.
Prior to joining Purdue, Hughes-Kirchubel worked as an award-winning journalist at news organizations in California, where she covered legal affairs, higher education, politics, and Indiana, where she won national acclaim as an opinion/commentary section editor. Since working at Purdue, she has taught college-level communication courses, worked in marketing and communications and managed MFRI’s digital content. She is co-editor of MFRI’s forthcoming text in the “Risk and Resilience in U.S. Military Families” series. Her work for MFRI is informed by her life experiences as the wife of a retired Army officer and mother of an OIF/OEF Air Force NCO who has deployed multiple times.
Director of Education and Employment
Lauren Runco, Director of Education and Employment
Lauren Runco leads MFRI's education and employment team. She holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from the University of Scranton and a master's in higher education administration from Marywood University. Previously she served as the Director of Military and Veteran Services at Marywood University, as well as the VA Certifying Official and the SVA Chapter Advisor on its Scranton, Pennsylvania campus. She also draws from her personal experience as a military family member who understands firsthand the challenges that service members face as they enter higher education institutions and workplaces.
Runco served as the NASPA Region II Representative and chair of the Veterans Knowledge Community. Her honors include the Department of the Army Commander's Award for Public Service and the "Supra et Extra" award from the NASPA Veterans Knowledge Community. She works to strengthen MFRI's relationships with allies and advocates to provide greater resources for student service members, veterans and their families and to influence institutions of higher education to use proven models of success to better serve this population.