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2024 NARME Plenary Speakers

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Seth Chamberlain 

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) and Responsible Fatherhood (RF) 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 eighteen 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

Making Family Connections

Plenary Session Description

Three staff from the federal Office of Family Assistance will discuss current activities of the federal Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) programs.

Mary Myrick

Mary Myrick

Mary Myrick is Preseident of Public Strategies in Oklahoma.

Plenary Session Title

Oklahoma's Innovation Lab for Touching Lives, Driving Change, and Doing Good Well

Plenary Session Description

Since the late 1990s, Oklahoma has emerged as a hub of innovation in the development of comprehensive, research-driven strategies that engage systems, communities, and local entities in building the capacity of vulnerable Oklahomans to improve family well-being and self-sufficiency. In this presentation, you will hear from leaders about the foundations of this groundbreaking work involving partnerships between, private, state, and federal agencies, how the work has been sustained for 25 years, and stories of the ways passion, purpose, and opportunity have collectively influenced the Oklahoma’s focus on enhancing the abilities and potential of adult and youth.

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Megan Harrington

Megan Harrington is a Senior Producer at Family Theater Productions, Co-Producer of the award winning documentary: The Dating Project

Plenary Session Title

Why It Matters How We Date

Plenary Session Description

According to the U.S. Census Bureau nearly 50% of the United States is single…117.6 million unmarried Americans…almost every other adult 18 and over. The way people seek and find love has radically changed with the trends of online dating, hanging out, hooking up, texting, and social media. Dating is a life script no longer supported, leaving individuals dazed, confused, lonely, and isolated, which results in situationships and cohabitation, rather than marriage and family formation. Through the lens of the feature documentary, “The Dating Project,”we will gain insights on how to bring skills and dignity to dating, because how we date matters to the future stability of our country. It’s time to “save the date.” and bring back the hope of committed love.

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Plenary Session Title

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Plenary Session Description

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Gary Dixon 

Gary Dixson is President of the Foundation for a Better Life (Passiton.org).

Plenary Session Title

Will Your Values Make a Difference?

Plenary Session Description

Gary will help people realize: That their values will help them make better decisions. That values put you in a position to make a positive difference. That they already have those values inside them.

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Clarence H. Carter

Clarence H. Carter is Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services

Plenary Session Title

A Cornerstone for Transformation

Plenary Session Description

The Honorable Clarence Carter will share how Tessessee is transforming human services and father involvement.

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Craig DeRoche

Craig DeRoche is President and CEO of Family Policy Alliance Foundation

Plenary Session Title

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Plenary Session Description

To be updated

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Morgan Cutlip, Ph.D.

Morgan Cutlip, Ph.D. is an author, researcher, and clinician. She is on a mission to help people feel empowered in all of their relationships so that they feel whole, light, and deeply connected to those they love.

Plenary Session Title

Get a load of this: The State of Millennial parents and their marriages

Plenary Session Description

An overview of the current trends in millennials parenting and marriages. Specifically addressing how the Millennials have changed our culture and how that impacts how we help marriages and tackle an issue that is as old as time but has risen to the forefront: the weight of the mental load.

Dr. W. Bradford Wilcox

Dr. W. Bradford Wilcox

Brad Wilcox is Professor of Sociology and Director of National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, and a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Wilcox earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Scholar, and his Ph.D. in sociology at Princeton University. Prior to coming to U.Va., he held research fellowships at Princeton University and Yale University. Professor Wilcox's research focuses on the quality and stability of family life in the United States and around the globe. Dr. Wilcox is the author and coeditor of five books including Get Married: Why Americans Must Defy the Elites, Forge Strong Families, and Save Civilization (2024) and Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives (Columbia University Press, 2013). He has published articles on marriage, cohabitation, parenting, and fatherhood in The American Sociological Review, The Journal of Marriage and Family and The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. His research is featured regularly in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, NPR, National Review, Deseret News, and other media outlets.

Plenary Session Title

Marriage and the Common Good: How renewing the American Dream and realizing the Pursuit of Happiness depends on strengthening American Families

Plenary Session Description

America is in crisis. Happiness is falling, deaths of despair are rising, too many schools are riddled by fights and failure, and the American Dream is out of reach for millions. The problems are visible to us all, but virtually no one is talking about the solution that matters most: Marriage. New research by University of Virginia sociologist and Institute for Family Studies fellow Brad Wilcox shows how much the State of Our Union depends on the state of our unions in this important lecture.

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Ronald Rogge, Ph.D.

Ron Rogge is a clinical faculty member whose research focuses on understanding dynamics within romantic relationships and families. He is a developer and Chief Research Officer for the Agapé Relationship Wellness App

Plenary Session Title

Reviving Romance and Fostering Forever Afters: The Agapé App’s Paths to Connection

Plenary Session Description

Although couples counseling can serve as a powerful tool to help couples heal their relationships, couples often struggle to maintain their gains in relationship quality once treatment has ended. This talk will present Agapé, a popular, light-touch, smartphone app that could offer couples a method of building positive interactions back into their relationships and maintaining their counseling gains as they transition out of couples therapy. Agapé builds moments of connection by providing daily prompts to couples and then showing them one another’s answers when both partners have responded. the results offer novel conceptual insights (i.e., a tentative blueprint) into the inner workings of relationship dynamics. Finally, treatment moderation results highlighted that married couples and couples starting the study with lower levels of relationship satisfaction experienced the strongest benefits from taking a few minutes each day to connect with their partners via Agapé.

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