The President, the Provost, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies are committed to research on families as one of the areas to further support and expand at Michigan State University. Under the leadership of Dr. Jan Bokemeier, Dr. Hiram Fitzgerald, co-chairs for design and planning, is a university-wide entity that will support and facilitate a broad range of scholarly work on families.
During the 2005-2006 academic year, focus group interviews were conducted with MSU deans, directors, and family scholars to determine a vision and expectations for this new Initiative.
Some of the issues that were explored include:
- How will this new Initiative link to other university-wide initiatives (e.g., health, environment, international studies, community)?
- How will this new Initiative fit in with existing centers, institutes, and programs that deal with family issues?
- What features of similar centers at peer institutions would we want to include in this new Initiative (e.g., population center, faculty development (grants/contracts), policy focus)?
View focus group summaries of the minutes:
Areas of Focus
Five areas of study have been selected, along with team leaders:
- Health (Dele Davies, professor and chairperson,
Pediatrics and Human Development, College of Human Medicine and Jeffery Dwyer, acting associate dean and professor, Family Practice, College of Human Medicine)
- Risk (Lori A. Post, assistant dean, College of
Communication Arts and Science and assistant professor, Telecommunication,
Information Studies and Media, College of Communication Arts and Science)
- Work (Ellen Kossek, professor, Labor and Industrial
Relations, College of Social Science, and Anne Marie Ryan, professor,
Psychology, College of Social Science)
- Education (Barbara L. Schneider, John A. Hannah Distinguished
Professor, Educational Administration, College of Education, and professor,
Sociology, College of Social Science)
- Culture and the Arts (C. Kurt Dewhurst, director of the MSU Museum , and professor, English, College of Arts and Letters)
In the coming year, team leaders will be working with faculty who are interested in research in these areas. Each team is charged with defining the parameters of its area of study; this will also define the agenda for the Initiative. Grant proposals will be targeted within these parameters.
Janet L. Bokemeier, Ph.D.
Janet L. Bokemeier, Ph.D., has been chair of the Department of Sociology
since January 2004. In addition, she serves as acting assistant vice president
with University Research and Graduate Studies, and is co-director of Families
and Communities Together Coalition (FACT). She joined the MSU faculty
as a professor of sociology in 1990. Bokemeier is a family sociologist whose
work has focused on rural families and communities, work-family-gender
issues, and family quality. Her recent research is on individual and household
impacts on personal and community investment decisions. Bokemeier was
honored with the MSU Distinguished Faculty Award in 1996, and the College
of Social Science Faculty Initiative Award in 1995 and 1996. She has received
numerous national recognitions including President of the Rural Sociological
Society. Prior to coming to MSU, she was professor and chairperson in
the Department of Sociology at the University of Kentucky. She received
her Ph.D. in sociology from Iowa State University. She received both her
master's degree in sociology/education and her bachelor's degree in home
economics/sociology from Western Illinois University.
View Dr. Bokemeier's vita
Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Ph.D., is associate provost for university outreach and engagement and university distinguished professor of psychology at Michigan State University. He is actively involved with the NASULGC Council on Engagement and Outreach, the Outreach Scholarship Conference, and the Higher Education Network for University Engagement. Fitzgerald is co-director of the Michigan Longitudinal Study of Family Risk for Alcoholism over the Life Course (now in its 22nd year), is a member of the steering committee of the American Indian/Alaska Native Head Start Research Center, and is a member of a variety of interdisciplinary research teams focusing on evaluation of community-based prevention programs. His major areas of funded research include the study of infant and family development in community contexts, the impact of fathers on early child development, implementation of systemic models of organizational process and change, the etiology of alcoholism, the digital divide and youth access to technologies, and broad issues related to the scholarship of engagement. Since 1992, Fitzgerald has also served as the executive director of the World Association for Infant Mental Health. Fitzgerald holds a Ph.D. in experimental child psychology (1967) from the University of Denver.
View Dr. Fitzgerald's