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The Council on Family Relations at UT




The mission of CFRUT is two-fold, in that the focus is centered around: 1) community involvement and outreach and 2) professional development. Therefore, becoming involved with CFRUT is beneficial to everyone, both inside and outside of the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) community. All graduate and undergraduate students are welcome to become involved, regardless of the academic field in which they intend to graduate, and inquiries about joining can be directed to:

What is CFRUT?

The University of Tennessee Council on Family Relations (CFRUT) is a student affiliate of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), which is nationally recognized as the “premier professional association for the multidisciplinary understanding of families.” CFRUT is a professional organization for graduate and undergraduate students who are preparing for academic and applied careers working with children and families in a variety of developmental contexts.

NCFR logoWhy Join CFRUT?

  • Serve your community through meaningful experiences
  • Explore career opportunities
  • Contact potential practicum organizations early
  • Network with students and professionals in the family relations profession regionally, locally, and nationally
  • Connect with other Child and Family graduate programs across country
  • Develop leadership skills and experience
  • Learn how to become a certified family life educator
  • Present your research
  • Be recognized as a member of professional organization
  • Learn about family relations professional research and job opportunities


  • Meagan Shideler, CFS, President
  • Alex Tucker, CFS, Treasurer
  • Hayley Moran, CFS, Secretary
  • Melanie Miller, CFS, Membership/Recruitment Chair

Faculty Advisor

Spencer Olmstead, Assistant Professor, Co-Director of the Well-Being in Adolescents and Emerging Adults Laboratory (WAE)


CFRUT’s current initiatives and future plans are divided among four committees, each with separate roles and responsibilities.

  1. Social Committee: Event planning and organization
  2. Recruitment Committee: Member recruitment, organization, and event advertising
  3. Outreach Committee: Agency organization and community coordinator
  4. Professional Development Committee: Coordinator for professional and career development

Past Initiatives:

On October 23, 2014, the Department of Child and Family Studies and our student affiliate of the National Council on Family Relations (CFRUT) co-hosted an event at Jump Jam Indoor Trampoline Park for children, families, and mentors involved with Amachi Knoxville.  The event provided an opportunity for CFS undergraduate and graduate students to engage in community outreach and service, and gave Amachi children, families, and mentors the opportunity to spend an evening at Jump Jam.

In January 2013, we heard from the Helen Ross McNabb Center, which is an agency that provides social services, mental health and addiction treatment, and support to children, adults, and families in East Tennessee.

In fall 2012, we invited various guest speakers from the community to introduce us to their affiliated organizations. We had presenters from the Metro Drug Coalition and The Family Justice Center. They spoke at each of our meetings, informing us about available opportunities for outreach with their organization.

We also hosted a number of social events in order to build community within CFRUT, as one of our primary goals is to build mentorship between graduate and undergraduate members. Social events included a 5K race, board game night, and many other fun activities.


  • Click here to learn about and obtain official NCFR membership.
  • Click here for details on the upcoming annual Conference on Family Relations.


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