Recent News

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

MFRI awards grants for community mobilization

The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University is pleased to announce the awarding of 11 community mobilization grants to organizations and family support groups across Indiana.

Organizations will use the grants to target issues such as homelessness, financial readiness and career support.

“Our goal is that these grants will help improve the quality of life and community supports for service members, veterans and their families,” said Martina Sternberg, director of community outreach at MFRI. “Applicants submitted impressive, quality proposals, which judges then scored. Our recipients received up to $2,500 each, but the amount varied.”

In 2015, MFRI awarded 25 grants ranging from $500-$2,500. These funds served more than 2,500 military-affiliated families in Indiana. Some of the proposals funded:

  • programming about financial literacy;
  • leadership training;
  • employment readiness; and
  • homeless and at-risk families.

For more information about community supports for service members, veterans and their families, please contact your local community outreach representative for more information.

Below is the award list of organizations and family support groups across Indiana.

Stand Downs for Homeless and At-Risk Veterans and their Families
Organization Area Served
Freedom Systems Stand Down Elkhart County
Tippecanoe County Stand Down Tippecanoe County
Muncie Stand Down Delaware County
Wabash Valley Stand Down Wabash County
Madison County Stand Down Madison County

Military- and Civilian-Sponsored Family Support and Education
Organization Program Area Served
FRG A-38 Emergency preparedness training for children aged 8-13 years Marion County
FRG B Eat Healthy Program Marion County
FRG C Career Fair /Financial Wellness Washington County
FRG INNG Financial Wellness Marion County
Military Veterans Coalition Military Family & Veteran Information Fair Marion County
Veterans Support Council Veterans Appreciation Day Marion County
  •  Posted on May 17, 2016

MFRI announces new fellowship for military-connected female students

The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University on Tuesday (May 10) announced a new fellowship program that aims to help build skills, leadership and a sense of community among female student veterans.

The Focus Forward Fellowship program is designed for rising military-connected sophomores and juniors who are enrolled in four-year institutions. The program will be held Aug. 11-14 in Indianapolis, Ind., with additional web-based activities scheduled throughout the 2016-2017 academic year.

Female student veterans and military-connected female students are invited to apply for the free, weekend-long residency program where they will connect with each other, increase personal effectiveness and build a potentially transformative community experience that can translate to their home campus and continue to impact them throughout their academic and professional careers. The program will engage fellows and build skills and confidence through interactions with other successful students, faculty members and advocates. Fellows also will learn and improve their academic skills so that they can thrive in the university setting.

This program will address a unique population of college students, said Lauren Runco, MFRI's director of education and employment.

"Women currently account for 16 percent of active-duty service personnel, according to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics," she said. "We know that 82 percent of post-9/11 female veterans joined the military to receive education benefits. At MFRI, we're committed to helping these leaders transition to the next phase of their lives by connecting them with resources that strengthen and guide them. We are confident the Focus Forward Fellowship program can do that."

If you are interested in learning more about the Focus Forward Fellowship program, contact Runco at or call 765-496-3403. You can also connect with MFRI online at @MFRIPurdue and use #FWDFellows to join the conversation.

Sponsorship opportunities for this fellowship also are available. To learn more, contact Jennifer Shirley at

Visit for most up to date information.

  •  Posted on May 10, 2016

Today's your chance

Today's the day to grant opportunities and make a difference not just for Purdue University students, but for military and veteran families. You can double your impact when you give to MFRI, since donations up to $250,000 will be matched through the generousity of Purdue University's Department of Human Development and Family Studies, the College of Health and Human Sciences and Office of the Provost.

To support research with impact, give by choosing "The Military Family Research Institute" on the Purdue Day of Giving website. We're located in the College of Health and Human Sciences, which has its own donation page. Just choose our unit name in the dropdown menu. Thank you for your support of military and veteran families, and the research that helps to guide policies, practices and programs that impact their lives!

  •  Posted on April 27, 2016

Join us for Purdue Day of Giving

On Wednesday, April 27, MFRI will join with the entire Purdue University family to participate in the 3rd annual Purdue Day of Giving.  For 24 hours, students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends come together to grant opportunities and transform lives. And for the second year in a row, MFRI supporters will have an opportunity to double their impact.

Last year, thanks to the incredible generosity of the Purdue family, Purdue Day of Giving raised an incredible $13.7 million in just 24 hours, granting countless opportunities  for our community.

If you choose to contribute to MFRI, every dollar (up to $250,000) is matched by Purdue University, thanks to a generous contribution from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, the College of Health and Human Sciences and the Office of the Provost. You can make your contribution by visiting the College of Health and Human Science's section of the Day of Giving site on April 27. Select "The Military Family Research Insititute" from the dropdown box on the right.

You can also support MFRI by joining the social media conversation and telling others about this event. Tag @MFRIPurdue and use #PurdueDayofGiving to engage with us. Thank you for all you do for military and veteran families!

  •  Posted on April 25, 2016

Happy Month of the Military Child

MFRI is celebrating the 2016 Month of the Military Child, and we invite you to join us in honoring the youngest of our nation's heroes. You can show your support for military kids by wearing purple. Why purple? It’s the color that represents all branches of the military. New Hampshire Operation: Military Kids began Purple Up! Day, and it soon spread across the nation.

Approximately 2 million military children, ranging in ages from newborn to 18 years old, are contributing to our national security through the sacrifices that they make. They may endure separation from a deployed parent, and they move more often than their peers. About 1.3 million military children are school-aged. 

How can you help? View our series of How to Help Military and Veteran Families issues to learn more about how you can show your appreciation for the military kids in this country -- and their parents. They deserve our support every day!

  •  Posted on April 1, 2016

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