Our professors’ research often makes national headlines, and we get just as excited when alums follow in their footsteps. Take Kristina Scharp, ’06, now a professor of family communication at Utah State University. She and others from around the world have delved into the issue of family estrangement and their findings inspired a recent New York Times article. 

According to the article, researchers have spent the past five years focusing on family ruptures, developing a clearer picture of family estrangement. “Their findings challenge the deeply held notion that family relationships can’t be dissolved and suggest that estrangement is not all that uncommon,” the article states.

Scharp published a study in which she spoke to 52 adult children about the various reasons they distanced themselves from their families over time. Her study provided the context for American families while the article also incorporated research from Australia and England. 

UR rhetoric professor Mari Lee Mifsud worked with Sharp for three years as an undergraduate and has continued working with and mentoring her since her graduation. “[Kristina] is a prominent early career star in interpersonal and family communication,” Mifsud said.  

We love it when our alums are on the cutting edge of research. Congratulations, Kristina! 

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