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ASU Sanford School professor receives NCFR Fellow status


Headshot of ASU Sanford School Professor Kimberly Updegraff

Kimberly Updegraff, professor at ASU's T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics

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January 29, 2020

The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) has just announced the selection of two scholars as the 2019 recipients of fellow status. Receiving this prestigious honor and representing Arizona State University is Kimberly Updegraff, Cowden Distinguished Professor in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics.

According to their website, the NCFR is the premier professional association for the multidisciplinary understanding of families. They have a membership of nearly 3,000 researchers, practitioners and educators.

NCFR Fellows are nominated by their peers and selected by the NCFR Fellows Committee. As a fellow, an award conferred on relatively few living members, Updegraff joins the elite ranks of NCFR members who have made outstanding and enduring contributions to family science in scholarship, teaching, outreach and professional service.

Described by NCFR as being “the quintessential discovery scientist” and “a caring and generative mentor of the next generation of family scientists,” Updegraff will be recognized, along with fellow recipient Catherine A. Solheim, Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota, as a new fellow at the 2020 NCFR Annual Conference to be held Nov. 11–14 in St. Louis.

“I feel honored to be among the small company of professionals who have received this award from an organization that values and supports the work being done in family science around the globe,” Updegraff said.

Prior to joining ASU in 1997, Updegraff earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in human development and family studies from the Pennsylvania State University. She holds leadership positions as director of graduate programs in the Sanford School and as principal investigator of the ASU SIBS Program, a project funded by the National Institutes of Health that supports the promotion of children’s social and emotional development and positive family relationships through a program delivered to elementary school students and their families. She also serves on the Barrett Honors faculty and is affiliated with the Latino Resilience Enterprise, a series of initiatives focused on research and translational activities that promote positive outcomes among Latino youth and their families.

Marilyn Thompson, professor and interim director of the Sanford School, said she is overjoyed by Updegraff’s well-deserved honor, adding, “Professor Updegraff’s impact on the field of family dynamics is both wide-ranging and deep. By effectively centering her work around multifaceted research projects funded by NIH and other organizations, she has been able to seamlessly advance understanding of families, rigorously train the next generation of scholars and offer direct, real-time programs that promote healthy development of children and families.” 

For further information on this award and Updegraff’s contributions, see the NCFR story.

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