SFSU Public Affairs Press ReleasePublished by the Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University, Diag Center.
Contact: Ted DeAdwyler
phone: (415) 338-1665,
SAN FRANCISCIO, July 27, 2001 - Oakland resident and San Francisco State University researcher Robert A. Williams has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright grant to travel to Barbados to study the role of the family in keeping teens out of jail.
And with what he learns on the Caribbean island, Williams plans to use in helping troubled teens back home in places such as Oakland.
"Barbadian families, even with a teenager in trouble, have significant strengths that can be used to help facilitate change in the teen's behavior," said Williams, who will work with families who have serious juvenile offenders and substance abusers. "Barbadian culture is one of the many cultures in the Caribbean that we, as U.S. citizens, can learn from. Barbadian juvenile authorities know that one part of the solution in dealing with juvenile delinquency is to work with families."
The Oakland resident becomes one of approximately 2,000 U.S. scholars and professionals who will travel abroad during the coming year under the Fulbright program, America's foremost international educational exchange program. Williams, who joined the S.F. State faculty in 1999 as an assistant professor of counseling, is an expert in multisystems treatment for juvenile offenders and family therapy. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Howard University, Williams earned his doctorate in clinical psy chology from the University of Missouri-Columbia then conducted post-doctoral studies at the University of Miami's Center for Family Studies.
The Fulbright program started in 1946 under legislation by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas to help build understanding between people of the United States and the rest of the world. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and the potential for extraordinary leadership in their fields.
"We are very proud of the selection of Robert Williams as a Fulbright scholar," said S.F. State President Robert A. Corrigan, a two-time Fulbright awardee himself. "It is good to see that Prof. Williams' important work and tremendous potential have been recognized by the world's leading academic exchange program."
As a Fulbright scholar Williams will team up with juvenile authorities in Barbados to help strengthen the country's early diversion programs and develop alternatives to incarceration. Williams will visit the homes of 50 families --- half with a juvenile offender in the household and half that do not --- to focus on family interactions.
"I think that I will learn that when families do not adapt well to economic, social and developmental circumstances then the teenager announces the need for change by acting out," said Williams, who will also lecture while in Barbados. "It sounds far-fetched, but we have a lot of family-based research done throughout the world to support the idea that acting out behavior is really a family's problem, not an individual's problem."
SFSU, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132
Last modified April 24, 2007, by Office of Public Affairs