June 27, 2016

Three long-time faculty members in the Department of Family Science, Sandra L. Hofferth, Sally A. Koblinksy, and Carol A. Werlinich, announced their retirement from the University of Maryland School of Public Health at the end of the 2015-16 academic year. Drs. Hofferth, Koblinsky, and Werlinich have each had distinguished careers, which resulted in significant contributions to scholarship in their fields, to the Department of Family Science and to the University of Maryland’s reputation.

Sandra L. Hofferth, professor

Dr. Hofferth, retiring after 16 years on the faculty of the Department of Family Science, specialized in family demography, time use, maternal and child health, adolescent pregnancy and childbearing, and research methods.

“She is a nationally and internationally known scholar for her work in family demography and more recently her expertise in family time use,” Elaine Anderson, chair of the Department of Family Science, said when recommending Dr. Hofferth for her Professor Emerita designation.

Dr. Hofferth received the Distinguished Career Award from the American Sociological Association Family Section in 2012 and has served in leadership roles with multiple publications and associations in her field. She has proved a prolific and highly-cited scholar, with many of her book chapters and published articles demonstrating her research expertise and drawing significant media interest.

In 2015, her research using Census data to show that family income impacts parenting practices more than family structure received media coverage in Slate, Christian Science Monitor, Live Science, and other outlets. She also weighed in on NPR’s Diane Rehm show about how time spent with parents impacts a child’s well-being. Earlier work by Dr. Hofferth ranged from the challenges of using big data to research on the effects of children’s media usage.

At the University of Maryland, she has been recognized for her excellence in research and for her outstanding mentorship of graduate students. Dr. Hofferth served on many committees at the university and was the Director of the Maryland Population Research Center for four years. In that role, she helped establish a collaborative environment that brought together researchers and faculty members from across multiple colleges and departments, which enhanced research capabilities and advanced professional careers. More recently, Dr. Hofferth served as an Advance Professor, providing mentorship to Assistant Professors at the school.

Upon her retirement, Dr. Hofferth received the title of Professor Emerita of the Department of Family Science within the School of Public Health.

Sally A. Koblinksy, professor

Dr. Koblinsky provided 28 years of service to the Department of Family Science, prior to her retirement in June of 2016. In recommending Dr. Koblinsky as a Professor Emerita, Dr. Anderson commended her for her extensive record of contributions to the quality of life on campus.

“She has worked consistently to help the campus become a model diverse community of learning, work, and self-examination,” Dr. Anderson said in a statement.

Through service on more than 100 university committees, Dr. Koblinsky provided leadership and scholarship that benefited students, faculty, and staff across the university. Dr. Koblinsky served as chair of the Department of Family Science for 12 years, during which she developed the Ph.D. programs in Family Science and Maternal and Child Health. She had an instrumental role in a number of campus diversity initiatives and enhanced professional development opportunities for students in the department and school. In 2008, the Provost’s Office recognized her extensive service to students through her nomination for the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Mentoring Award.

Dr. Koblinsky also has an impressive record as a scholar, where her research and activities focus on homeless children and families, community violence, and, more recently, veterans and their families.

“Her work on homeless children was instrumental in changing national Head Start policy regarding services provided to that group of at-risk individuals, likewise she is widely known in the still relatively small field of researchers on veterans and their families for her expertise in treating behavioral health conditions,” Dr. Anderson added.

She served as a co-leader for the Maryland Veterans Resilience Initiative, which worked to ensure that Maryland's veterans were receiving adequate health care and support after returning home from military service. Dr. Koblinsky also created the Military Families Internship Program.

Dr. Koblinsky played an important role in conceptualizing and developing the School of Public Health, with her contributions ranging from editing program proposals to serving on faculty search committees when the school launched. Her work on diversity issues has changed the culture and quality of life for many on campus; she has served as Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at SPH and worked on diversity issues through many other avenues on campus. Dr. Koblinsky has received numerous awards for her work on diversity issues, including those related to women; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; race/ethnicity; and veterans.

Dr. Koblinsky received the designation of Professor Emerita of the Department of Family Science within the School of Public Health upon her 2016 retirement.

Carol A. Werlinich, Director of the Center for Healthy Families

Dr. Werlinich has served since 1982 as the Director of the Center for Healthy Families, which provides mental health services for approximately 500 local families annually. In addition to meeting a significant need for Prince Georges County and Washington, DC area residents, the Center is an important training platform for students in the couple and family therapy masters program in the  Department of Family Science. She directs clinical training supervision of graduate student interns and outreach efforts to the community, which helps to assure a diverse client population. Dr. Werlinich has deftly managed the clinical operations of the CHF, which provides therapy services to the local community valued at about a half-million dollars annually.

“Dr. Werlinich has been a central figure in the development and expansion of the Center for Healthy Families. As a result of her stellar administrative work, the Center has grown and thrives as a major provider of mental health services predominately for culturally diverse low-income families,” Dr. Anderson said.

In her role of CHF Director, she has organized multiple in-service conferences on topics such as family law, child abuse, military families and clinical ethics, and she has presented at multiple Marriage and Family Therapy conferences, focusing predominately on her scholarship on domestic violence. which have provided important education to a wide-range of professionals.

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Werlinich has been instrumental in enhancing the availability and quality of the provision of mental health services throughout the state of Maryland. She was a pivotal force in coordinating the initial American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Accreditation process for Maryland, which resulted in the University of Maryland being one of only a dozen master's programs accredited throughout the U.S. in the early 1980s. Dr. Werlinich served as the co-director of the Coalition for Marital and Family Therapy, which worked with the state legislature, stage agencies, and the mental health community to ensure high-quality standards were required for “Certified Marriage and Family Therapists” in Maryland.

For her accomplished efforts on multiple initiatives related to teaching and service, Dr. Werlinich has been recognized with numerous awards on- and off-campus. She has received the UMD Panhellenic Association Outstanding Faculty Award, the Maryland Governor’s Citation in recognition of leadership and service to the state of Maryland; and the Service Award from the Greater Washington Latino Mental Health Network, among other accolades.


Drs. Hofferth, Koblinksy, and Werlinich have made enormous contributions to the Department of Family Science, the School of Public Health, the broader campus, and to scholarship within their fields. The School of Public Health recognizes their long-standing service to their field and the campus community. They will be missed.

Related People
Sandra L. Hofferth, Sally A. Koblinsky, Carol A. Werlinich