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Family Studies Advisory Board

The Advisory Board for the Family Studies Research Initiative is a diverse group of university researchers and community leaders interested in families who come together to collaborate or develop partnerships as specific opportunities arise.


Cynthia Campbell, Ph.D., Department of Psychological Science,
Dr. Campbell joined the faculty and was appointed the director of Family Studies in August 2013. She earned her degree in developmental psychology from Penn State. Dr. Campbell’s research interests include the social and emotional development of adolescents and the characteristics of families and family functioning associated with positive youth development. Specifically she is interested in the transitions and challenges of step-families and how the issues inherent in stepfamilies influence the concurrent development of adolescent stepchildren. At the current time, Dr. Campbell is working on a research study examining how father-daughter relationships compare to stepfather-stepdaughter relationships.

Mary Pritchard, Ph.D., Department of Psychological Science, 426-1901,
Dr. Pritchard works both with the Boise State community as well as the community at large to examine risk factors of negative health behaviors. Her research interests in health psychology, including health behaviors of college students and adolescents, obesity, eating disordered behaviors, body image, self-esteem, how personality impacts health, athlete stress and health, risky health behaviors, prejudice, and aging.

Max Veltman, RN, MSN, CPNP, Department of Nursing, 426-3707,
In addition to teaching at Boise State, Max Veltman works as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare.  His practice involves children coming into foster care and addressing their immediate health needs.  He also works with pediatric victims of sexual abuse.  His current research interests involve addressing the needs of foster parents, especially those parenting children with special health care needs.

Jennifer Weaver, Ph.D., Department of Psychological Science,
Dr. Jennifer Weaver joined the faculty in January 2012. She received her degree from UC-Irvine in Developmental Psychology. She studies parenting and family relationships as they relate to children’s problem behaviors. Her current work examines breastfeeding in first-time mothers and links with maternal sensitivity. Dr. Weaver has also been extensively involved with the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, a national study looking at the effects of child care and parenting on children’s development from birth to age 15.

Community Leaders

Robert Ball, Senior Vice President for Programs, Idaho Youth Ranch 377-2613,
The Idaho Youth Ranch is a multi-service non-profit organization whose mission is to help at-risk children and families in Idaho. IYR provides a range of services in locations across Idaho, including: the Ranch, group homes, crisis shelter, substance abuse treatment, family counseling, wrap-around, adoptions, foster care recruitment and training.

Kara Brascia, Director, Boise State University Service-Learning Coordinator 426-2380,
The Service-Learning Program helps connect classes with community projects to enhance student learning and foster civic responsibility. Service-Learning is a teaching strategy that integrates course content with relevant community service. Through assignments and class discussions, students critically reflect on the service in order to increase their understanding of course content, gain a broader appreciation of the discipline, and enhance their sense of civic responsibility.

Diane Demarest, Chief Operating Officer, Family Advocates
​​​​​Family Advocates works to strengthen families ​​and keep kids safe by empowering everyday people to protect and enrich the lives of youth.

Roger Sherman, Executive Director, Idaho Children’s Trust Fund
The Idaho Children’s Trust Fund/Prevent Child Abuse Idaho provides funding, training and technical assistance to community-based programs working to strengthen families in order to prevent child abuse and neglect in Idaho.

Lauren Necochea, Executive Director, Idaho Voices for Children
LeAnn Simmons, past Executive Director, Idaho Voices for Children
Harriet Shaklee, Extension Family Development Specialist, University of Idaho Boise Center 364-4016,
Andrew Giacomazzi, Ph.D., Department of Criminal Justice, 426-4162,