This September, Dr. Mark Agars, Professor of Psychology, was appointed by CSBS Dean Jamal Nassar as Director of the Institute for Child Development and Family Relations (ICDFR). Dr. Agars follows Dr. Sybil Carrere, who served as director for the previous six years. Established in 2002, the mission of the ICDFR is to promote the optimal development and well-being of the children and families in our geographic region. ICDFR Faculty and staff conduct research, provide services, and educate future professionals.
The Institute draws upon the strengths and expertise of faculty throughout the university, who have devoted their careers to researching and teaching subjects related to both child development and the family dynamic. The institute and affiliated faculty have partnered with numerous community agencies in efforts to serve children and family needs in the inland region. Including; First 5, Catholic Charities, Children's Network, and Community Action Partnership to name a few.
In talking about transitioning into the role of ICDFR Director, Dr. Agars noted how excited he was to work with ICDFR faculty, staff, and affiliates. "What excited me most about taking on the ICDFR Directorship", noted Agars, "was the opportunity to work with so many talented CSUSB faculty and staff, as well as community members from agencies around the inland region, all of whom share the goal of improving the quality of life for children and families. We have great need in our community, and the ICDFR is a tremendous resource."
Dr. Agars pointed to Project Cuidar (Directed by Dr. Laura Kamptner) and The Infant Toddler Lab School (Directed by Dr. Amanda Wilcox-Herzog) as just two examples of how ICDFR supported programs are having a direct and meaningful impact on children and families. Going forward, Dr. Agars said that his responsibility as director was to find ways to facilitate and advance these efforts. "The ICDFR works with a number of tremendously skilled faculty who are keenly interested in serving the needs of children and families. My goal as director is to find ways to support their efforts and to afford them opportunities to deliver their work in the community." Agars said.
Dr. Agars is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist with research and community interests that emphasize how individuals and families manage the work and family interface. For the last three years, he has directed the Work.Family.Life project, which is a research and intervention effort focused on understanding and addressing the work and family challenges faced by low-income workers and their families in the inland region. Dr. Agars earned his Ph.D. from Penn State University in 1999, the same year he joined the faculty at CSUSB.