National Focus Forward Fellowship kicks off in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS — The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University (MFRI), partnering with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Got Your 6, today kicked off the second cohort of this summer’s Focus Forward Fellowship.

Fellows are competitively selected and attend this program on scholarship. It is designed to build skills, leadership and a sense of community among women student veterans and other military-connected women. The national cohort, supported by a grant from Got Your 6, begins with the residency portion and is followed by web-based activities scheduled throughout the 2017-2018 academic year. 

MFRI created the Fellowship last year to engage and educate top-notch women veterans enrolled in higher education institutions. 2017's first cohort took place June 7-11 on the campus of Colorado State University (CSU), with 11 women attending.

In Indianapolis, women with diverse backgrounds and professional experiences came from 14 colleges and universities in across the nation, representing the all branches of the military.

“Our Fellows have shared with us that this is a transformative program for them,” said Lauren Runco, director of education and employment at MFRI. “I can’t wait to see how this year’s Fellows continue to grow and change as they explore new topics and build a community of support.”

Research participants sought

Researchers at Northumbria University are currently recruiting partners (married or cohabiting) of deployed service members to take part in a study exploring their experiences with stress, social support and ill health.This project has received ethical approval from the Postgraduate Psychology Ethics Committee, Northumbria University.

The project, called "The effect of social support on emotional and physical outcomes in civilian of deployed service members" aims to assess whether socially supported partners of deployed service members might be less vulnerable to feelings of stress and health complaints. 

Please note: You need to be over 18 years old to take part, and you must be the partner (married or cohabiting) of a deployed service member (e.g. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines or Navy). You are not eligible to take part if you have any long term physical illnesses/disabilities and/or mental health conditions.

Access the study here and for more information, please contact Researcher Rosie Locke, or Supervisor Brian Lovell, For ethics approval (including concerns or complaints), contact


MFRI to take part in Bush Center "Stand-To"

MFRI Director Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth heads to Washington, D.C. Friday to take part in an event aimed to create better supports for veterans and their families.

The Bush Institute is convening more than 70 organizations for an event called Stand-To, a military term for a call to action: to prepare, equip with resources, receive orders, and move forward in a unified approach.

Since January, three Bush Institute-led veteran task force groups have focused on education, employment, and health and wellbeing – the three issues that research shows are key to a successful transition.

MacDermid Wadsworth, represending MFRI, is part of a task force made up of representatives from the business, non-profit, government and academic sectors. She and others will present their recommendations and offering an opportunity to find solutions and a unified common vision to improve veteran outcomes during a new administration and the road ahead.

Happy Birthday to the U.S. Army

Happy birthday to the U.S. Army!

Army traditions of “duty, honor, country” date back to the minutemen.  As the war between the colonies and Great Britain escalated, Congress formally established the Continental Army by nationalizing the colonial militias deployed around Boston and New York.

Founded on June 14, 1775, its first Commander-in-Chief was General George Washington.

MFRI joins a grateful nation as the U.S. Army celebrates its 242nd birthday today. We thank all – including those who have served, or serve currently – and their famiiles. Join the celebration by learning more about this institution – and take time to thank an Army veteran, service member or family member today.

In honor of military spouses

May 12 is National Military Spouse Appreciation Day, a day to honor and celebrate those who support our troops during deployments, temporary duty assignments and the day-to-day responsibilities associated with military service.

Of the more than 1.1 million military spouses, an overwhelming majority are women (93% active duty, 87% reserves component). The Department of Defense reports that as a group, they are twice as likely as their civilian counterparts to finish high school. More than 50 percent have completed some form of higher education. And 12 percent also serve.

Beyond the numbers, research indicates that deployment, frequent moves and overarching characteristics of military employment shape the relationships between spouses and service members. That’s why we invite you to join us in thanking the nation’s military spouses. Explore our How to Help issues to see how you can make a difference in the lives of the silent heroes – not just on May 12, but on every day of the year.

Support research for military, veteran families on Purdue Day of Giving

Your gift to MFRI will help sustain the work we do on behalf of military and veteran families. And it will be matched, dollar for dollar, thanks to a generous contribution from the Department of Human wwwelopment and Family Studies, the College of Health and Human Sciences and the Office of the Provost. 

To give, navigate to Purdue Day of Giving and select "College of Health & Human Sciences" in the Participant Box. Then:

  • Select “Military Family Research Institute Endowed Fund” in the Fund Name Box.
  • Fill in Gift Amount.
  • Complete “Your Information”, “Additional Questions” and “Payment Details” sections.
  • Click on "Submit."

Thank you again for your support!

Focus Forward Fellowship CO deadline draws near

The deadline is approaching to apply for the Focus Forward Fellowship, a program designed by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University to build skills, leadership and a sense of community among women who are student veterans or otherwise military-connected students.

This is the second year of the Fellowship, which is open to rising sophomores, juniors, seniors and those seeking their master's degrees. Two Fellowship programs will take place. Both begin with a four-day residency program followed by engagement online during the 2017–2018 academic year. Colorado State University, located in Fort Collins, Colo., is sponsoring a June 7 cohort, which is open to military-connected women at Colorado schools. Got Your 6 is a sponsor of a July 26 cohort held in Indianapolis, which is open to military-connected women from schools across the nation.

The deadline to apply for the Colorado State program is Friday, April 28. 

“We are extremely grateful for Colorado State and Got Your 6 for partnering with us in our efforts to help women student veterans achieve their full potential as they pursue academic and career success,” said Lauren Runco, MFRI’s director of education and employment. “We encourage all eligible women to apply for what has been called a life-changing experience.”

Cost of travel, food, lodging, activities and materials is covered by MFRI and other sponsoring institutions. Applications will close soon. For more information, contact Director of Education and Employment Lauren Runco at

National Academies creates new office for military, veterans

The Office of Military and Veterans Health has been established at the Health and Medicine Division (HMD) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, D.C.

The office is a point of contact for anyone seeking information on HMD’s past, current or future work on military and veteran health.

Military and veteran personnel and their families can face unique health concerns that vary from those of civilians. HMD’s work considers these issues and builds on a legacy of related research conducted by the National Academies under HMD’s previously name, the Institute of Medicine. Each year, more than 3,000 individuals volunteer their time, knowledge, and expertise to advance the nation’s health through the work of HMD.

Purple Up! and celebrate our 1.8 million military kids

April is the Month of the Military Child, and April 21 is the day we Purple Up! to celebrate the important role military children play in supporting our country.

Sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy, the commemoration was wwweloped to honor and recognize the nation’s estimated 1.8 million military children, the sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome.

Military children routinely endure a parent’s separation due to deployment, travel due to temporary duty or advanced academic and career training. They also move more often than their peers. About 1.3 million of them are school-aged.

You can support military children by actively participating in the Month of the Military Child. View our series of How to Help Military and Veteran Families issues and take steps to thank the military children you know. Help others learn more about their challenges and their resilience. They deserve recognition today, this month, and every day!

Save the date for Purdue Day of Giving

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, April 26, when MFRI will join with the entire Purdue University family and participate in the fourth annual Purdue Day of Giving.

For 24 hours, students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends will come together to grant opportunities and transform lives. Last year, thanks to the incredible generosity of the Purdue family, Purdue Day of Giving raised a record-breaking $18.2 million in just one day. Since the 2014 inaugural Day of Giving, nearly 150 gifts from generous donors have helped support MFRI’s strategic goals.

Your gift to MFRI can help sustain the work we do on behalf of military and veteran families, and currently your gift can go even further thanks to a generous contribution from the Department of Human wwwelopment and Family Studies, the College of Health and Human Sciences and the Office of the Provost.

In the coming weeks, you can help spread the news about Purdue Day of Giving by joining the social media conversation and telling others about this event. When you do, tag @MFRIPurdue (Twitter) or @MFRIPurdue (Facebook) and use #PurdueDayofGiving to engage with us. Thank you for all you do for military and veteran families!