Skip to Content

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

Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina

Andrew P. Daire, Ph.D.

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

Dean and Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

Naomi Wheeler, Ph.D.

Naomi Wheeler, Ph.D. – Senior Fellow

Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

Sandy-Ann Griffith, Ph.D.

Sandy-Ann Griffith, Ph.D. – Fellow

Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi

Daniel Gutierrez, Ph.D.

Daniel Gutierrez, Ph.D. – Fellow

 Assistant Professor, College of William and Mary

Jenene-Case Pease, Ph.D.

Jenene-Case Pease, Ph.D. – Scholar

Clinical Assistant Professor, Virginia Polytechnic University

Rachel Regal

Rachel Regal – Scholar  

Doctoral Student, Virginia Commonwealth University

Christopher Hipp

Christopher Hipp, Ph.D. – Scholar

Research Associate, University of South Carolina

Kriti Vashisht, Ph.D.

Kriti Vashisht - Scholar

Assistant Professor, McNeese State University

Xun Liu, Ph.D.

 Xun Liu, Ph.D. – Affiliate

Independent Methodologist, Virginia Commonwealth University



Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.