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October 2018 Newsletter
New FRC Research

More Education and Support for Breastfeeding, Increases Likelihood of Meeting Breastfeeding Recommendations at Six Weeks Postpartum


The more information about and support women have for breast feeding, the more likely they will be to breastfeed. A new study shows breastfeeding occurred at higher rates among women who had the support and education when compared to women with lower education, and other supports, according to the study conducted by Family Resiliency Center researchers. This study calls attention to the need to increase breastfeeding education and awareness, especially to at-risk populations to better meet CDC recommendations. The article is available online.

NIEHS/EPA 2018 Children's Environmental Health Centers Annual Meeting

FRC Communications Specialist, Ryann Monahan, has been selected to be a panelist and workshop leader at the NIEHS/EPA 2018 Children's Environmental Health Centers Annual Meeting & Social Media Workshop, October 22 – 23, 2018.  Monahan will present on using traditional journalism approaches to translate research into a consumable format and disseminate on social media.

New FRC Podcast

The "Childhood Obesity: An inside look at a cells to society approach to research and intervention" podcast explores the Family Resiliency Center’s STRONG Kids 2 research project and what it could mean for the future of childhood obesity prevention and intervention programs. Using a cells-to-society approach to nutrition, the STRONG Kids 2 transdisciplinary project will provide unique insights into how individual biology interacts with the family food environment to promote healthy eating habits in young children. It is one of the first studies to take a longitudinal look at the habits, including milk and dairy consumption, from birth. To date, many consider the data this research team has collected to be a “gold mine” of health information on the early years of life as it relates to childhood obesity risk factors. 
Hosted by: Ryann Hubbard Monahan, Research Communications Specialist 
Featuring: Erin Davis, Graduate Research Assistant, Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  The podcast can be found on iTunes, SoundCloud, and the FRC website under podcasts

  • Barbara Fiese, director of the Family Resiliency Center, has been selected for the 2018 Distinguished Contribution to Family Systems Research Award, given by the American Family Therapy Academy. Fiese is considered one of the national experts on the role shared family mealtimes and family food involvement may play in promoting health.



  • Brent McBride, FRC affiliate, has received a 4-year grant from the US Department of Education to assist and encourage low-income UIUC undergraduates who are parents. Congratulations!


  • The JUS Media? Programme researchers won best videography at the Association of Consumer Research conference in Dallas, Texas.  The award winning team is made up of FRC affiliates from the College of ACES, College of Media, and University of West Indies.  They were recognized for their Teaching Consumer Resistance in Jamaica: Subvertising in Action produced by Michelle Renee Nelson, Yanyun (Mia) Wang, Kathy Tian, Gail Ferguson, Rachel Powell, and Candice Wray. You can view the trailer here:
FRC Staff Spotlight: Ryann Monahan, Research Communicator

1. Tell us about the work you do at the FRC?

I develop and execute the center’s communications strategy. It is a multimedia strategic approach to translating and disseminating the research coming out of the center and making sure it reaches the target audience. I work closely with researchers to translate their ongoing and published work into a consumable and attention-grabbing format for the general public so that they may understand and benefit from the work. I also assist staff, affiliates, and students with their communications and marketing efforts for anything they may be involved with (conferences, events, presentations, proposals, collaborations, etc.). This also includes communications collateral creation, storytelling, podcasting, and social media.

2.  You were recently recognized with as a 2018 Top Forty Under 40 award recipient by the Central Illinois Business Magazine. Tell us about the award.

I was very grateful to be nominated my by colleague, Brenda Koester, Assistant Director of FRC, for the communications work I do at the University of Illinois, as well as my community involvement through Project Athletes, a non-profit I co-founded a few years ago. There are a lot of hardworking young business professionals in our community, who are also making a difference by giving back to the community, I was honored to be a part of that group.

3. What is your favorite part about working FRC?

FRC is a transdisciplinary research and policy center with a lot of pioneering research underway that impacts the health and well-being of families and children.  It is fascinating to be able to dive in and sift through the exciting research that includes everything from impacts of childhood obesity, children’s environmental health research, food and family involvement, and then be able to translate it in a way that the general public can benefit from the research.  I also love navigating the evolving world of strategic content creation on social media platforms.

4. What do you do in your free time?

I don’t have any :). I have 3 boys (5,5, and 7 years old)- they keep me busy. I love to stay busy with them, running outside, and listening to live music.

Recipe of the Month Featuring Feeding America

Chocolate Strawberry French Toast


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