Chalandra Bryant Named CIC Academic Leadership Fellow

June 7, 2005

(University Park, Pa) — Dr. Chalandra M. Bryant, associate professor of human development and family studies at Penn State, has been named a fellow of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation’s (CIC) Academic Leadership Program.

image of Chalandra M. Bryant

The CIC is the academic consortium of the universities that comprise the Big Ten plus the University of Chicago. The committee established its Academic Leadership Program in 1987 to develop the leadership and managerial skills of faculty on CIC campuses who have demonstrated exceptional ability and the potential to undertake key administrative leadership responsibilities.

Fellows are appointed to one-year terms, with funding being provided by the participating institutions. During that year, fellows will participate in a series of two-day seminars with fellows at other institutions. They will also complete readings and participate in related activities on their home campuses between seminars. As a result of the participation, fellows are expected to be better prepared to accept the challenging demands of becoming academic administrators at major research universities.

Bryant joined the Penn State faculty in 2003 after seven years at Iowa State University, where she was a postdoctoral fellow, an assistant professor and then associate professor. She was also a faculty affiliate in the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research.

Bryant’s research focuses on the developmental roots through which individuals successfully initiate and sustain close relationships, particularly romantic relationships. She examines the manner in which young adults’ intimate relationships are influenced, either directly or indirectly, by specific characteristics in the family of origin. She is currently examining patterns of union formation among low-income Latino, African American, and Euro-American women.

Through her work, Bryant has found a significant link between interactional processes in the family of origin and the quality of early adult romantic relationships. In line with this area of research, Bryant also explores how various domains of social support influence premarital and marital relationships.

In keeping with her interest in cultural diversity and observational methodology, Bryant has studied the effects of ethnicity and training on observers’ ratings of videotaped family interactions. She has explored whether coding schemes developed using Euro-American families and Euro-American coders accurately and fairly capture the cultural nuances of ethnic minority families.

Bryant has written numerous articles related to her research, including “Community Context of Social Resources and Adolescent Mental Health,” which received the 2004 Reuben Hill Award from the National Council on Family Relations. The Reuben Hill Award is given annually to recognize a paper that best addresses an issue of importance to family scholars and possess strong theory-enhancing characteristics.

Bryant also received the 2002 New Contributions Award from the International Association for Relationship Research to honor her significant contributions to personal relationships research; and the Vanguard Award for Faculty Excellence in Leadership from Iowa State University in 2001

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Editors: Dr. Bryant can be reached at (814) 865-2668 or For additional information, please contact Bill Hessert, director of college relations for the College of Health and Human Development, at (814) 863-4325 or