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Greetings from the Frances McClelland Institute, 

May has been a busy month here at the
Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth and Families. We are excited to share recent updates from the Institute including news about our recently graduated students, events we have co-sponsored this past month, and new research from the Institute.

We are excited to congratulate Dr. Chandni Parikh and Dr. Amanda Pollitt for officially graduating this May. Dr. Chandni Parikh recently accepted a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California Davis MIND Institute, and Dr. Amanda Pollitt recently accepted a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center. Congratulations to both of them on their incredible accomplishments!


Dr. Pollitt and Dr. Parikh on commencement day.

FMI would also like to congratulate our former undergraduate student employee, Roxanna Francies, who graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and a Minor in French from The University of Arizona. Roxanna has been accepted to Arizona State University's Master in Counseling Program which she will begin in Fall 2017. We were so lucky to have Roxanna here at FMI where she assisted with many of our programs and research initiatives. We can't wait to see what the future has in store for her. Congratulations Roxanna!

Roxanna Francies on commencement day.
This month, Dr. Andrea Romero, the Director of the Frances McClelland Institute, attended the YWCA Southern Arizona- Frances McClelland Community Center's 100th Birthday Luncheon along with members from the FMI Family Advisory Council. It was a fantastic celebration that left everyone feeling inspired! We are proud to share Frances McClelland's name and legacy with the YWCA of Southern Arizona, and to continue working together towards Frances' vision of improving the lives of children, youth and families in Arizona and the world.
Dr. Romero with FMI Family Advisory Council members and partners at the YWCA 100th birthday celebration.

At the beginning of the month, FMI and our community partners at the Ben's Bells Project co-sponsored a Kindness event on campus during reading day. Students dropped in and out of the McClelland Park lobby and helped tag Kindness coins, wrote Kind notes, and decorated bookmarks for Project Semilla. It was a great event, and we look forward to hosting more of these events in the future! Thanks to everyone who dropped by and helped spread some kindness across the University of Arizona during finals week. 

Dr. Laura Gronewold, Director of Education at the Ben's Bells Project and doctoral students, Jose and Gabriel.

Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Romero was selected for the 2016-2017 Shirley O’Brien Diversity and Inclusion Award at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Spring Luncheon. This annual award is given to an individual who has contributed significantly to the advancement of diversity and inclusion within the college and across the University of Arizona campus.

Dr. Romero and Dean of the College, Shane Burgess.

Lastly, we had an incredible meeting with the FMI Family Advisory Council at the beginning of the month. The Council is comprised of community leaders from more than 24 local community organizations. This past meeting the Council began to explore opportunities to recognize leaders from our community by revitalizing the Frances McClelland Vision Award. We are excited for the opportunities that the Council is creating to improve the lives of children, youth and families in Arizona and the world. 

Once again, thank you for your continuous support of the Institute. Don't forget to stay in touch with us over the summer by following FMI on FacebookTwitter, and our new LinkedIn page for updates about the Institute.

In Partnership,

Andrea Romero, Ph.D.
Fitch Nesbitt Professor
Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth and Families
Family Studies & Human Development
Research from the Institute

Dr. Andrea Romero, the director of the Frances McClelland Institute an co-chair of the Latino Families Research Initiative, recently had an article published in the Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies.

"The two essays that open this issue investigate strategies for community transformation. Andrea J. Romero, Monica Moreno Anguas, Anna O’Leary, and Rebecca Covarrubias study the importance of collective efficacy for mitigating the stress of being an immigrant..."

This publication describes two separate studies that demonstrate how immigrant communities can be resilient in the face of anti-immigrant policies by developing collective efficacy, or the belief that a community can come together for the common good. Two separate studies over a period of two years were conducted in a community with a high proportion of immigrant families. Results indicate in both studies that even at higher levels of immigrant stigma stress that those individuals who reported higher collective efficacy also reported feeling more safe in their neighborhood and more neighborhood closeness. Findings demonstrate that community collective efficacy was associated with more resilience to immigrant stigma stress.

If you are interested in reading the full journal article, please email Feliz Baca at


Dr. Russell Toomey, chair of the Youth Development and Resilience Initiative, was recently interviewed by The Atlantic on his research on LGBT teens and their coping strategies.

"They found that relying on LGBT-friendly organizations for support contributed to greater self-esteem and life satisfaction, and a smaller chance of being depressed or dropping out of high school. Meanwhile, using “alternative seeking” strategies, like switching to a new school, was associated with lower self esteem and life satisfaction, more depression, and a higher likelihood of dropping out of high school."

You can find the full article here.


Our newest edition of Research Link is now available. This Research Link is entitled "“Comprehensive” Sexuality Education in Arizona Schools: Searching for a Clearer Understanding of Policies and Practices Regarding Sexuality Education."

This volume of Research Link sheds light on the current state of sexuality education in the state of Arizona, and gives recommendations on how to improve sexuality education in our state.

You can find the full Research Link here, and a summary of the report here.

Copyright 2017 Frances McClelland Institute, All rights reserved.
Questions? Contact FMI Program Coordinator, Feliz Baca, at 520.621.8067 or email

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