Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth
Director of MFRI
Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, M.B.A., Ph.D., focuses her research on relationships between job conditions and family life, especially with regard to military families and organizational policies, programs and practices. In addition to textbooks and research volumes, MacDermid Wadsworth’s work has been published in numerous scientific journals, including 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.
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 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, she 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.
Manager of External Relations
Aurie Swartz oversees the external relations team at MFRI, which develops communications plans, manages social media, designs and maintains multiple websites, coordinates development activities, engages with the media, plans events and meetings, and creates print and digital communications.
Prior to joining MFRI, Swartz worked for Office of Future Engineers at Purdue University, where he oversaw communications and marketing efforts for the recruitment office of Purdue’s world-class undergraduate engineering programs. During his tenure there, Swartz saw applications to the programs double to over 23,000 students and greatly expanded the Office’s digital presence to meet the rapidly growing interest.
Swartz received a bachelor’s degree in public relations & rhetorical advocacy from Purdue University. He has a passion for utilizing technology and trends to create innovative and memorable ways of engaging with stakeholders.