History of the Institute
The Arizona Board of Regents approved the Institute for Children, Youth and Families (ICYF) in 1997 with the goal of drawing on campus and community expertise statewide to promote research and outreach on issues important to children, youth, and families.
The founding director of the ICYF was Dr. Mari Wilhelm, who served in that role until 2007, when she became the Deputy Director for the Center for Excellence in Women’s Health.
Stephen T. Russell, Professor and Fitch Nesbitt Endowed Chair, became the Institute Director in the summer of 2007 and led a Strategic Planning Committee that developed the current vision, mission, and goals for the Institute.
Thanks to the generous support by donors, the ICYF moved into its current location on the second floor of McClelland Park in 2008.
In March 2009, ICYF was renamed the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families in the new home of the John and Doris Norton School of Human Ecology. The Institute was named in honor of the late UA graduate, Frances McClelland, and businesswoman, who devoted her life to improving the lives of children and enhancing the well-being of families in Arizona. To read more about the dedication, please click here.
Andrea J. Romero, Fitch Nesbitt Professor, was the Institute Director from August 2015 to January 2019. In 2019, Dr. Andrea Romero, former Director, was promoted to Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs here at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Melissa Barnett, Fitch Nesbitt Associate Professor, became the Institute Director in January 2019.
The Frances McClelland Institute is honored to be dedicated to the memory of Frances McClelland, and to the idea that through excellence in research we can advance the collective well-being of our society – through improving the lives of children, youth, and families in Arizona and the world.