Dariotis joins Family Resiliency Center as director
portrait of Jacinda Dariotis, director, Family Resiliency Center
Jacinda K. Dariotis, director, Family Resiliency Center
Photo by Stephanie Henry
August 27, 2020

URBANA, Ill. - Jacinda K. Dariotis has joined the Family Resiliency Center (FRC) at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as director and as Pampered Chef Ltd. Endowed Chair in Family Resiliency in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). She began the new role Aug. 16.

Dariotis joins FRC after successfully directing the Evaluation Services Center and serving as faculty at the University of Cincinnati for nearly six years, prior to which she was a faculty member for nearly a decade in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

"My first days since joining UIUC have been inspiring," Dariotis says. “There is a clear and consistent commitment to supporting the values I, the FRC team, and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies [HDFS] hold in highest regard: partnership with and driven by community; accessible, acceptable, and actionable programs; and optimizing developmental trajectories for all to move from suffering and surviving to resiliency and, ultimately, thriving.”

Dariotis says she is especially excited about opportunities for collaboration across campus, the Champaign-Urbana community, and the state of Illinois. “The inter- and transdisciplinary work and broad applicability of theories, methods, and programs of FRC and HDFS make us equal opportunity collaborators. A mantra repeats in my head: ‘Let’s co-create something great.’ My hope is that community members in C-U, the region, and state will want to actively partner with us to address wicked problems and promote positive outcomes because it takes more than a village.”

Dariotis’ areas of specialization include research and evaluation methods, survey research, biosocial methodologies, prevention and translational science, public health, adolescent and young adult risk-taking decision-making and behaviors, stress reactivity, and mindfulness-based programs.

Collectively, Dariotis and her colleagues have received nearly $25 million in funding from local, state, and federal agencies. She has authored or co-authored over 50 articles published in top-tier journals, over 100 scholarly presentations, and over 250 technical and evaluation reports.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Dariotis join our faculty,” says HDFS department head Ramona Oswald. “She brings highly creative energy, expansive knowledge and skills, and a track record of outstanding collaboration and leadership. Under Dr. Dariotis, FRC will continue its legacy of excellence while growing in new directions to equip and empower community and academic partners with the tools to pursue individual, family, and community thriving.”

Dariotis received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and M.A.S. in Statistics from the Pennsylvania State University and M.A. concentrating in Developmental Psychopathology from Columbia University.

Joining a Big Ten, land-grant institution that is highly regarded because of its rigorous research, academics, and community commitment through its centers, institutes, and departments is like “coming home,” Dariotis says.

“I believe the FRC is at what biostatisticians call an inflection point,” Dariotis says “Thanks to the dedication of so many, including Barbara Fiese, Laurie Kramer, and Brenda Koester, the FRC has a strong and highly respected foundation. My role is to work with an outstanding team to build on that foundation and to catalyze the center’s pivoting and soaring into the future.”

The Family Resiliency Center, housed in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) at U of I, is a transdisciplinary research and policy center that addresses grand societal challenges. FRC is a leader in translating research into practical information for policy makers, providers, and families and in educating the next generation of researchers, practitioners, and community leaders.

Barbara Fiese, professor emerita in HDFS, served as FRC director for over a decade until her retirement in June 2020. The Pampered Chef Ltd. Endowed Chair in Family Resiliency was established with a generous gift in 2003. Reed W. Larson held the chair from 2003 until 2008. Fiese held the chair from 2008 until 2020. Doris Christopher, a 1967 graduate of the College of ACES, created the Pampered Chef Ltd.