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College of Education

The Consortium for Family Strengthening Research

The Consortium for Family Strengthening Research (CFSR), housed at the University of South Carolina, is a multi-university initiative of actively engaged researchers who conduct innovative externally funded research and disseminate scholarship around issues of family science and relational health along with the mentorship of junior faculty and doctoral students.

Our History

The Consortium for Family Strengthening Research was founded in 2014 by Ryan Carlson, Andrew Daire, and Naomi Wheeler to continue the collaborations and mentorship relationships that began at the University of Central Florida’s Marriage & Family Research Institute. Membership expanded to include additional faculty and doctoral students who shared a common interest in pursuing family strengthening research, particularly for low-income and ethnically diverse families.



Membership in the Consortium is arranged according to the grant funding that members have been able to acquire and/or sustained records of scholarly productivity.

  • Senior Fellows are faculty who have served as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on federal grants in excess of $1 million with associated sustained record of peer-reviewed publications.
  • Fellows are faculty who are early stage investigators in family sciences and/or relational health research; are making progress towards external grants; and a record of peer-reviewed publications.
  • Scholars are doctoral students or clinical faculty, working under the mentorship of a fellow or senior fellow with a primary research interest in family science and/or relational health.
  • Affiliates are individuals or agency representatives from related disciplines with expertise that advances the mission and goals of the consortium.

The Consortium for Family Strengthening Research currently includes students who work with affiliate faculty. If you are a student interested collaborating with our faculty, please contact Ryan Carlson, CFSR Director, for more information at


Current Membership

Ryan Carlson, Ph.D.

Ryan Carlson, Ph.D. – Director

Professor and Department Chair at the University of South Carolina

Andrew P. Daire, Ph.D.

Andrew P. Daire, Ph.D. – Senior Fellow

Provost and Vice Chancellor, University of Wisconsin

Dixie Meyer, Ph.D.

Dixie Meyer, Ph.D. – Senior Fellow

Professor at St. Louis University School of Medicine

Naomi Wheeler, Ph.D.

Naomi Wheeler, Ph.D. – Senior Fellow

Associate Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

Sandy-Ann Griffith, Ph.D.

Sandy-Ann Griffith, Ph.D. – Fellow

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine

Nakita Carroll

Nakita Carroll – Scholar

Doctoral Student at Florida State University

Jenene-Case Pease, Ph.D.

Jenene-Case Pease, Ph.D. – Scholar

Clinical Assistant Professor at Virginia Polytechnic University

Nicole Silverio

Nicole Silverio – Scholar

Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina

Xun Liu, Ph.D.

 Xun Liu, Ph.D. – Fellow

Research Assistant Professor of Research, Assessment and Evaluation at Virginia Commonwealth University


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.