Graduate Student Accomplishments

Group of HDFS graduate students

Congratulations to Meghan Fisher!

HDFS graduate student Meghan Fisher (advisor, Dr. Brent McBride) will receive funding for her project, “Teachers’ Nutrition and Healthful Feeding Practices in Child Care and Head Start Classrooms” from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services.

Graduate Recognition Luncheon

Every May we hold a Graduate Recognition Luncheon to honor our students. Please see the below programs from our last five events; they contain detailed information about our students' many professional accomplishments during the academic year.

Job Market

As a result of their high achievement, HDFS graduates have been highly sucessful on the job market. The below document lists all of the PhD graduates of our program along with the titles of their dissertations and their initial or current employment.

Doctoral student dissertation titles and job placement [Updated September 2017]

The HDFS approach is to involve students in professional activities as a core part of their education. These professional activities include research, teaching, program development and program evaluation. We seek to match the interests of student with the opportunities available. Most students are involved in multiple activities over the course of their graduate career.

The result is that our students are very actively engaged in conducting research, writing scientific articles, presenting at professional meetings, developing their teaching skills, particiapting in professional societies and working with professionals in various applied settings.

Summary of HDFS doctoral student accomplishments (2010-2013)

Job placement

The 19 graduates of our doctoral program during this period have been highly successful on the academic job market. Ten obtained tenure-track faculty positions (8 upon graduation and 2 after completing post-doc or visiting appointments); 5 obtained non-tenure track academic appointments; 2 are currently post-docs; 1 summer 2013 graduate is currently on the job market; and 1 graduate did not seek employment for health reasons.


From 2010-2013, doctoral students in HDFS published 18 research manuscripts in peer reviewed journals (9 were first authored by a student), 5 book chapters, 3 reports, and 2 book reviews. They also made 120 research presentations at national and international conferences (and it is expected that these presentations will lead to publication). In addition to high productivity, our doctoral students have been recognized for the excellent quality of their research. HDFS doctoral students were recognized with 4 research awards from the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). Two received Emerging Scholars Awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and one of those students also received an HHS Child Care Research Scholars Grant that funded her dissertation research. One student won a dissertation grant from the American Education Research Association and another from the Myra Sadker Foundation. Further, HDFS doctoral students have been awarded research internships at Harvard University’s Berkman Center on Internet and Society, the Migration Policy Institute, The Urban Institute, and the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. Further, two HCD doctoral students have received Graduate College Focal Point grants. Finally, one served as a guest editor for the Journal of Research on Adolescence.


About half of our doctoral students were TAs during a given year; several also teach their own courses. Of those who taught during 2010-13, 48% were ranked as "excellent" by their students. Further, 2 received the Louis V. Logeman College of ACES Graduate Teaching Award and one also received the National Association of College Teachers of Agriculture Graduate Teaching Award. Finally, one student won the UIUC Provost’s Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Professional leadership

HDFS doctoral students hold offices in the NCFR and one was invited to serve as the shadow “President for a Day”. HDFS students formed a UIUC student affiliate of the NCFR in 2005; this group continues to sponsor leadership development events that include undergraduate students as a way of developing our professional pipeline. Our students are also active in the National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences and hold local-level offices in this organization. Further, they have formed an HDFS-GSO that is a registered graduate student organization. In addition to social events, this group advises our graduate program and assists with student recruitment.