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Dina Izenstark Wins Graduate Student Teaching Award

A graduate student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Dina Izenstark has won the College of the College of ACES Louis V. Logeman Graduate Student Teaching Award. A fantastic teacher and researcher, Dina focuses on the effects of the natural environment on family health and well-being and the processes of positive youth development in after-school and leisure contexts for children and adolescents.

Dr. Angela Wiley Wins Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension

FRC affiliate Dr. Angela Wiley earned the College of ACES Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension. Dr. Wiley’s research addresses factors related to resilience among diverse families in a variety of contexts and evaluation of programs designed to support resilience. She works with families to help identify challenges and strengths related to parenting and parent-child relationships. She has a special interest in parenting in immigrant and ethnic minority populations where issues such as parenting acculturation and economic stress are important with a goal of designing culturally appropriate and effective psychoeducational materials to increase resilience in parents. 

New Study May Link Parents' Eating Habits and Feeding Practices to the Emotions of Their Children

Jaclyn A. Saltzman, a doctoral researcher in human development and family studies, found in a new study that parents’ reactions to their preschoolers’ negative emotions may explain the association between parental binge eating and restrictive feeding practices. Saltzman’s co-authors on the study included Illinois faculty members Kelly K. Bost, child development; Barbara Fiese, human development and family studies and director of the Family Resiliency Center; and Janet Liechty, social work and medicine. Click here to read more.

STRONG Kids (HDFS 494) Undergraduate Research Program Now Accepting Applications

The FRC is now accepting applications for STRONG Kids (HDFS 494), an undergraduate research program designed to provide students with first-hand experience working as part of a research team. Through the program, students will be provided with an overview of research program issues; develop oral and written communication skills, data management skills, team building skills, critical thinking skills, and professional work environment skills; and be trained in mixed methods relevant to factors that contribute to child and family health. More information about the program, including application information, can be found at Please direct any specific questions to Elizabeth Mosley at

Dr. Fiese Wins Distinguished Service Contribution Award

The Society for Couple and Family Psychology presented its 2015 Distinguished Service Contribution Award to Dr. Barbara Fiese, professor and director of the Family Resiliency Center in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. The award is given to acknowledge a special contribution to the governance of the Society for Couple and Family Psychology or other service to the division.

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness month and The Autism Program at Illinois is such a benefit for people with autism in the local community. Since TAP opened in 2007, it has

  • served over 1,800 parents and 1,900 professionals,
  • developed over 2,000 sets of customized educational materials,
  • provided individual consultation to over 500 parents and professionals facing complex or crisis situations,
  • facilitated training for over 3,200 parents and professionals in 129 different workshops or conferences,
  • provided comprehensive diagnostic evaluations for 50 Medicare-eligible children,
  • and created internship opportunities to 115 undergraduate and graduate students, who have provided equivalent to over $230,000 worth of staff time over the last 2 years—more than half the budget TAP receives from the state.

TAP is where parents are first sent upon getting an autism diagnosis, where professionals can come for help and training, and where students can come for a transformative learning experience that influences the trajectory of their careers. In short, it's an essential component of our community.