MFRI director recognized with mentoring award

The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) awarded Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, Ph.D., a national award to recognize her career of outstanding mentorship to junior colleagues, graduate students and undergraduates.

MadDermid Wadsworth, who directs Purdue University’s Center for Families and Military Family Research Institute, received the Felix Berardo Scholarship Award for Mentoring on Nov. 10 at NCFR’s national conference.

The award is given in honor of Dr. Felix Berardo, a well-known and beloved professor from the University of Florida, who went above and beyond expectations in mentoring many students to become outstanding leaders in the family field. According to NCFR, “Outstanding mentoring goes beyond classroom teaching and includes the provision of support, guidance and opportunities for professional development.”

“It is an honor to receive this award,” MacDermid Wadsworth said. “Throughout my career I’ve had the privilege to mentor and interact with many students. It is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.”

MacDermid Wadsworth’s primary research interest is in the relationship between work conditions and family life. During her tenure she has studied differences between small and large workplaces, how adults grow and develop as a result of their work experiences, and how different kinds of organizational policies make it easier or more difficult for works to be successful at work and home.

As the director of MFRI and the Center for Families, she encourages student engagement, graduate and undergraduate research and offers student growth opportunities.

Christine McCall is one of MacDermid Wadsworth’s current graduate students, and focuses her doctoral research on military and veteran families. She admires MacDermid Wadsworth’s ability to think about the big picture and mentor each student according to their previous experiences and future goals.

“Shelley facilitates an environment where her students can become independent researchers,” McCall said. “Her focus on strong theoretical arguments and methodologies continually pushes her students to develop work that has clear implications for both academic and military communities. She encourages us to develop a variety of professional skills such as data collection in community samples and leadership and mentoring development through work with undergraduate students.”

About MFRI

The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University conducts research on issues that affect military and veteran families and works to shape policies, programs and practices that improve their well-being. Founded in 2000, MFRI envisions a diverse support community that understands the most pressing needs of military and veteran families. To achieve this, MFRI collaborates to create meaningful solutions for them. This internationally-recognized organization is located at Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences, in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

About NCFR

The National Council on Family Relations, founded in 1938, is the oldest nonprofit, nonpartisan, multidisciplinary professional association focused solely on family research, practice, and education.

Student engagement at MFRI

MFRI’s internship opportunities offer Purdue University students the chance to earn course credits, build their resumes and enhance their knowledge. Interns and student workers participate on all MFRI teams as they learn about military members, veterans and their families. MFRI is proud to work in collaboration with Purdue departments to educate future leaders.

MFRI director receives Leadership in Action award

Leadership in Action Award recipientsShelley MacDermid Wadsworth, professor of human development and family studies and director of MFRI, was honored to receive Purdue’s Susan Bulkeley Butler Center Leadership in Action Award on Dec. 5.

The Leadership in Action Award recognizes Purdue faculty, staff, and students who have shown exemplary leadership within their areas of expertise.
Recipients must demonstrate:

  • Overarching commitment to launching tomorrow’s leaders by showing ongoing dedication to mentoring students, colleagues and/or peers to pursue excellence and fostering an atmosphere of cooperation and creativity that contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of their peers.
  • Favorable representation of their department and the University, both on and off campus.
  • Skillful motivation, organization, dedication and/or influence within their area of research, discipline or other work.
  • Ongoing commitment to engagement at the local, state, national and/or global level.
  •  Active service to the campus community as well as national service to academic and/or professional organizations.

Three other Leadership in Action award honorees were recognized: Pamela Morris, Chanel Beebe and Michelle Ashcraft.