Recent News

Stay updated on the latest MFRI news as well as news pertaining to military families and those who work to assist them.

Financial matters

In 2014, the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) worked with two members of Purdue's College of Health and Human Sciences’ Department of Consumer Science to write a successful proposal to fund the evaluation of financial training programs in the Army and the design of similar programs in the Navy.

Now Jonathan Bauchet, an assistant professor who is interested in impact evaluation and its methodologies, and Michael Roe, former director of the IU Health Arnett Foundation and continuing lecturer at Purdue, are in the midst of a research project with MFR that aims to make these programs more impactful. Founded in 2000, MFRI is also located within the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in HHS. 

You can read more about this collaboration as well as other College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) news in Life 360, an HHS publication.

  •  Posted on Jan. 28, 2016

Apply for a Community Mobilization Grant today

Military Family Research Institute aims to assist communities in efforts to support military and veteran families. We are therefore pleased to offer competitive small monetary grants of up to $2,500 to community organizations and family support groups that strive to improve their quality of life.

Our Community Mobilization Grant Program is accepting applications through April 15. You can learn more about the grant program, and apply today.

  •  Posted on Jan. 6, 2016

Join the year-round effort to appreciate military families

November is filled with events honoring our military, veterans and their families, including Veterans Day and Military Family Appreciation Month. It's also a prime time to reinvigorate our commitment to supporting those who serve our nation.

MFRI recently participated in MediaplanetUSA’s “Thanking Our Troops” campaign, in which industry professionals and associations came together to educate readers about obstacles and challenges veterans face with reintegration into civilian life. MFRI Director Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth sat down for a Q & A, and the article appeared in a special section published Nov. 6 in USA Today.

  •  Posted on Nov. 6, 2015

Tippecanoe County steps up for at-risk veterans

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – On any given night, nearly 50,000 veterans are homeless, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Working with organizations across the state, the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University is working to reduce that number.

“During the Vietnam War, the term referred to a time when you could have respite and recover from the combat experience,” said Martina Sternberg, MFRI’s community mobilization director. “Now it more commonly refers to an event hosted by communities across the country to give military personnel, veterans and their families a chance to access help with housing, job placement and health care.”

On the national level, key agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, help lead stand down events. According to the VA, about 12 percent of the adult homeless population is veterans. These homeless veterans are predominantly male and single; live in urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. 

In Indiana, MFRI works with a variety of organizations to coordinate Stand Down programs, offering tool kits to guide planning and grant funds to help defray costs. This year, MFRI community grants supported 17 Stand Downs  across the state. At these events, homeless or at-risk veterans and their families can receive food, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefit counseling, clothing, resume writing assistance and other services.

“Indiana communities are really stepping up this year and making a difference in these veterans’ lives,” Sternberg said. “Volunteers play a vital role in planning, supporting and delivering stand down services.”

This year’s Stand Down in Lafayette is scheduled for Nov. 7 at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds, 1010 Teal Rd. For more information, contact Martina Sternberg at

  •  Posted on Oct. 29, 2015

A battle plan to support military families

More than 90 high-level leaders gathered last month to help their successors benefit from more than 15 years of successes and challenges in work for military-affiliated families.

Designed by the Military Family Research Institute, the Battle Plan for Supporting Families Symposium aimed to increase effectiveness for a future generation of leaders in various positions of responsibility – across the federal government, corporations, nonprofit and educational institutions and communities – whose organizations touch military families. Current leaders heard presentations and took part in discussions about lessons learned from more than a decade of war-related family issues.

The goal is that by sharing their experiences, future leaders can benefit from prior experiences and better help military-affiliated families. The symposium also will produce materials that future leaders can use as they design resources and responses to benefit military members, veterans and their families. More information about symposium results will be forthcoming in future months. 

  •  Posted on Oct. 20, 2015

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