Wednesday, April 13, 2011
OSU-Tulsa launches Center for Family Resilience to help improve quality of life for families
Donation from George Kaiser Family Foundation to support efforts
TULSA (April 13, 2011) – Oklahoma State University launched the Center for Family Resilience (CFR) at OSU-Tulsa today to help improve the quality of life for individuals and families in the Tulsa community.
“OSU-Tulsa, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and the OSU College of Human Environmental Sciences are proud to partner with local organizations, like the George Kaiser Family Foundation, to explore research opportunities and work toward solutions that will enhance our community,” said Howard Barnett, president of OSU-Tulsa and the OSU Center for Health Sciences. “These partnerships offer a way to share ideas, resources and expertise, while collaborating on difficult social and economic challenges.”
The Tulsa-based George Kaiser Family Foundation donated $150,000 to the university to support operating costs for the CFR for three years.
In addition, the Foundation gave another $87,000 gift to the CFR to fund a teen pregnancy study. According to the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, Oklahoma’s teen birth rate is the fifth highest in the nation for 15- to 19-year-olds.
Ken Levit, executive director of the Foundation, said the CFR’s focus on the well-being of children and families inspired the gift.
“Our community is only as strong as the citizens and families who live here,” Levit said. “We’re proud to support the partnerships that will be created through the Center for Family Resilience at OSU in Tulsa and their efforts to strengthen and improve our citizens’ ability to thrive amidst life’s challenges.”
The Foundation has also funded a $1 million endowed chair for a lead scholar position within the CFR. The gift qualifies for matching funds from T. Boone Pickens’ 2008 challenge gift of $100 million for endowed faculty positions and from the State Regents for Higher Education. When matched, it will create a total of $4 million in funding for the endowed chair. The search process for this faculty position is nearing completion and university officials expect to name the successful candidate in the next several weeks.
Dr. Ron Cox, director of theCFR, said the university has been developing the core concepts for the CFR in collaboration with several human services organizations for the past two years.
“We’ve received valuable input from community leaders and social service organizations on how the CFR can help them cope with the challenges and issues they’re facing,” Cox said. “Our vision is to combine the OSU’s research knowledge with the practical experience of social service agencies to promote research and education that directly improves the lives of Oklahomans.”
The George Kaiser Family Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty through investments in early childhood education, community health, social services and civic enhancement.
The CFR is a joint initiative of the OSU College of Human Environmental Sciences, OSU-Tulsa and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Services. The CFR’s mission is to become a resource to promote resilience and reduce risk among individuals, couples and families through multidisciplinary research, education and outreach.
OSU College of Human Environmental Sciences