BGSU professor honored

A University professor, devoted to family studies, has been recognized as a National Council on Family Relations Fellow.

Thomas R. Chibucos, a professor of family and consumer sciences, has been named an NCFR Fellow by the National Council on Family Relations.

Chibucos grew up in the Chicago area and currently resides near Bowling Green. He is married and has four children.

Aside from his personal life, Chibucos has worked locally and nationally on family issues.

Chibucos received his doctorate from Michigan State University in developmental psychology with a focus on infancy. This degree was what brought him to where he is in his life now.

He has served as the head of the University department of the school of family and consumer science for 10 years, from 1993 until 2003, and is currently in his third year back to teaching full time on campus.

Chibucos teaches child and family policy along with research methods for human development and family studies, both upper level undergraduate courses.

“He is an awesome professor. He is so helpful and knowledgeable on family studies,” said Jilian Jencso, senior.

In the past Chibucos has worked with the Jordan Family Development Center in Bowling Green and with the WSOS Community Action Committee to bring Head Start to the center. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site, Head Start is a national program that promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families. He also helped in designing the center to serve for faculty research.

In a program called Collaboration and Scholarship engagement, Chibucos is currently a national leader on the program. This program is to get universities’ curriculum and studies to be more relevant to society in connection with donors and businesses.

In conjunction with the American School Health Association, Chibucos co-authored a $500,000 grant for a three-year project on school district’s tobacco policies, which is now in the middle of its second year.

Current research that Chibucos is doing is what he refers to as “fragile families” – looking at cohabiting and married couples with children, and the difference between the two different family lives.

“I don’t sleep much as you can tell,” Chibucos said.

Among other things, he has co-authored a book, “Serving Children and Families through Community-University Partnerships.” His most recent book was published in 2005, titled “Readings in Family Theory” which was used by the University’s sociology graduate program.

Chibucos has served the NCFR as chair of its public policy committee from 1999-2003, and his work done on this committee is considered one of his major accomplishments, Chibucos said. He helped develop a public policy conference aside that is held in Washington every spring. This conference includes training on family policy and how to talk to officials, such as the U.S. senate, on the policies.

He is now the family policy section-chair elect of the NCFR.

Along with his efforts, Chibucos has received a grant to form a student affiliate of the NCFR at the University, and in November 2006 Chibucos was selected by the NCFR to be a Fellow.

“What an awesome accomplishment, I am excited for him. I admire and look up to him,” Jencso said, who is also the president of the student division of NCFR at the University.

According to the NCFR Web site, “Fellowship status in NCFR is an honor awarded to relatively few members of NCFR who have made outstanding and enduring contributions to the field of the family in the areas of scholarship, teaching, outreach or professional service, including service to NCFR.”

This honor is only given to a small group of scholars each year. As one of his nominators said, “Tom Chibucos has an insider’s view of the research, pedagogical, and outreach components of scholarship that need to be integrated in the service of using scholarship to advance science and in doing so, to serve communities of youth and families.”

Randall Leite, assistant professor in the School of Family and Consumer Science, worked with Chibuco’s editing “Readings in Family Theory” and worked on many projects with him as well.

“He really exemplifies what an NCFR Fellow is about. A Fellow is someone that has had a lifetime of contributions to our field. He is the sort of person that is truly deserving of this,” he said.

In his spare time, Chibucos cheers on the Chicago Cubs and the recent Super Bowl runner-ups, the Chicago Bears.