2021 NARME SUMMIT PLENARY SPEAKERS

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Seth Chamberlain is a Division Director in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF’s) Office of Family Assistance (OFA), with oversight of the Healthy Marriage (HM), Responsible Fatherhood (RF), and Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) programs. Prior to work in OFA, he was a Senior Social Science Research Analyst in ACF’s Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE). He has spent over fifteen years working on federal HM and RF programs and evaluations, as well as evaluations of federal sexual risk avoidance education and teen pregnancy prevention programs. Prior to joining ACF, Mr. Chamberlain taught middle school Spanish in Chicago, interned at a program for men convicted of domestic battery, and interned as a clinical social worker at the University of Chicago Hospital. Mr. Chamberlain holds a B.A. from Goshen College and an M.A. from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. 

Plenary Session Title: Stronger Families, Better Outcomes 

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Clarence H. Carter ** currently serves as the Director of the Office of Family Assistance and the Acting Director of the Office of Community Services at HHS’s Administration for Children and Families. Director Carter as served his entire career in administration of public safety net agencies and programs at the Federal, state, and local levels of government, having served two presidents, four governors, and a mayor.

From the implementation of welfare reform in the Commonwealth of Virginia, to reforming the shelter-based homeless system in the Nation’s Capital, and proposing a transformative vision for Americas Safety net in Arizona, Carter has been a leading voice for over a quarter of a century in the effort to change the way our society serves the economically, socially, and developmentally vulnerable in America.

Plenary Session Title: Growing Capacity, Decreasing Dependency: A Model for Change

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 Lauren Reitsema is the Vice President of Communication and Strategy at the Center for Relationship Education in Denver, CO. Lauren's interest in relationship skills began when her  parents divorced after almost 20 years of marriage.  Seeking to understand better patterns for her own future  legacy, she earned a Bachelor in Communication from TCU. Lauren is the author of In Their Shoes, a book dedicated to helping parents better understand and connect with children of divorce. Her vocational speaking experience spans over 15 years, teaching a variety of relationship skills to youth, adults and corporate teams. Lauren recognizes relationships are one of life's most important assets and energizes a room to prioritize the people in their lives. She and her husband, Josh, love adventures with their three children. All Colorado natives, they are avid skiers, outdoor enthusiasts and Broncos' fans.

Plenary Session Title: Extracting Perspective About Divorce Through Dentistry 

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Bill J. Doherty ** is Professor and Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program in the Department of Family Social Science, College of Education and Human Development, at the University of Minnesota, where he is also an adjunct Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

He is also co-founder of Better Angels, a national citizens' movement to reduce political polarization in the United States by bringing liberals and conservatives together to understand each other beyond stereotypes, forming red/blue community alliances, teaching practical skills for communicating across political differences, and making a strong public argument for depolarization.

Politics is taking its toll on marriages and families across the nation.  Doherty will share ways we can help spouses and families have civil discourse even when they disagree.

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Scott Stanley, Ph.D. ** is a research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver. He has published extensively, with core research interests including commitment, couple development, cohabitation, and the prevention of marital distress. His research with colleagues such as Galena Rhoades focuses on how premarital experiences relate to the quality and stability of marriages and family relationships. He is particularly interested in how common pathways of relationship development impact the formation of commitment in today's relationships. Stanley and colleague Howard Markman head up the team at PREP, Inc., which builds and disseminates evidence-based relationship education curricula such as the extensively evaluated Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP) and Within My Reach. Stanley has authored or co-authored numerous books including Fighting for Your Marriage, A Lasting Promise, and The Power of Commitment. He writes a popular blog on relationship success and decision making at slidingvsdeciding.com.

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Carl Caton is the founder and President of the San Antonio   Marriage Initiative, a family strengthening non-profit whose   mission is to help local churches and leaders develop   marriage ministries that will serve the community. Carl also   serves on the board of UnicitySA, a non-profit which   recently launched “Decade of the Family” which aspires to   make San Antonio the best city in the country to raise a   family. Carl has been married to Kelli for 36 years and they   have two children and two grandchildren.

 

 

     Plenary Session Title: Strong Families, Strong Communities 

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  Alan J. Hawkins, PhD**, is the Camilla E. Kimball         Professor of Family Life and Director of the School of   Family Life at Brigham University in Provo, Utah. He   earned a PhD in Human Development and Family   Studies at Pennsylvania State University in 1990.   Professor Hawkins' scholarship and outreach efforts   focus on educational and policy interventions to help   couples form and sustain healthy marriages   and relationships and to help fathers be involved in the   lives of their children. He is widely cited for his work that   examines the overall effectiveness      of marriage and relationship education, as well as       fatherhood education, including nearly 10 peer-reviewed meta-analytic studies of the overall effectiveness of these educational programs. He has been intricately involved in state and federal policy efforts to strengthen families. In 2002-2003, he was a visiting scholar with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families, working on the Federal Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Initiative. He was the Research Director for the original National Healthy Marriage Resource Center from 2004-2006. He served as Co-chair of the Co-parenting Working Group of the OPRE-funded Fatherhood Research and Practice Network. He is the past-Chair of the Utah Marriage Commission.

Plenary Session Title: How Effective have ACF-Supported HMRE and RF Programs been? And where do we go from here?

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John Van Epp, Ph.D. ** in Counseling/Psychology, is the author of How to Avoid Falling in Love  with a JerkThe combination of his twenty‐five years of clinical counseling in his private practice and teaching graduate marriage and family coursework as adjunct professor, and his extensive research in premarital, marital and family relations have paved the way for his five relationship programs: PICK (How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk) (which is for singles of all ages), Couple LINKS (which is a program for committed couples), and Our Home Runs (for entire families and designed to facilitate family bonding).

Dr. Van Epp has trained and certified more than 10,000 instructors from all fifty states and ten countries. PICK, LINKS and Our Home Runs are also widely used in the military with more than 250,000 servicemen and women taking the classes in his programs since 2001. He has been happily married for thirty‐five years and is the proud father of two daughters. 

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Brad Wilcox** is Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies. His research on marriage and family life has been featured in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe AtlanticSlateNational Review OnlineNPR, NBC’s The Today Show, and many other media outlets.  

Plenary Session Title: The State of Our Unions: Bad News, Good News

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 Dr. Matthew Lee** is Director of Empirical Research at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University. He is also a Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Health, Flourishing, and Positive Psychology at Stony Brook University’s Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics. He previously served as Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity and as President of the North Central Sociological Association. His research explores pathways to human flourishing, benevolent service to others, and the integration of social science and the humanities. His co-edited book on the interdisciplinary measurement of well-being was just published for Oxford University Press and is available for free download here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/measuring-well-being-9780197512531?q=vanderweele&lang=en&cc=us.

Plenary Session Title: Loved into Being: Flourishing in Healthy Relationships