Institute On Family and Neighborhood Life


Currently, there are 35 students working toward the Ph.D. in International Family & Community Studies.  

Generally, half of the students in each class are from the U.S. and half are international.  Our U.S. students represent Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont.  Our international students are from Albania, Belarus, Burundi, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Kosovo, St. Lucia, and Uganda.

See profiles of our students here.


Tracy Waters named outstanding Ph.D. student

Tracy Waters received the Kimbrough and Melton Parents Award, presented to an outstanding advanced student in the Ph.D. program in International Family and Community Studies. The award was presented at an international family symposium, The Quest for Health and Community:  Democracy, Spirituality, and Neighborly Caring, hosted by IFNL.

The award selection committee considers two factors: Academic achievement; and appreciation of the values embedded in the program, such as commitment to scholarship in the public interest and sensitivity to human rights and other global concerns.

“Ms. Waters has performed at an exceptional level since beginning her course of study,” said Gary Melton, Director, IFNL. “She is becoming an outstanding researcher, is a productive scholar, and demonstrates outstanding leadership both within the Ph.D. program and in the community,” he added.

Ms. Waters graduated from Central Michigan University, earning a BA with high distinction in child development and Spanish.  She was named Outstanding Child Development Graduate in the Department of Human Environmental Studies.

Since beginning the Ph.D. program, Ms. Waters co-authored a paper published in the journal Social Indicators Research, collaborated on four presentations at international symposia, and presented a paper at a regional symposium.

Past Winners of the Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award

Jasmine Hedge - 2013

Liepa Vasare - 2012

Tracy Waters - 2011

Arelis Moore - 2010

Jill McLeigh - 2009