College of Education and Human Development

Family Social Science

Lynne Borden

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers

  • Professor and Associate Dean of Research and Engagement, UMN Extension


Areas of interest

Families as a Context for Development
Community-based programs that promote positive development
Public Policy
Military Families


Ph.D., Human Resources and Family Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.A., Counseling and Guidance, University of Colorado at Denver
B.A., Elementary Education, University of Northern Colorado


Borden's research and discovery endeavors to better understand the relationships young people have in various contexts and how those relationships affect their overall development. More specifically, her work focuses on community-based programs and the role of these organizations in promoting the positive development of young people and their families. Working in partnership with community-based programs, Borden’s research helps organizations enhance their ability to better meet the needs of those they serve with data that allows them to make programmatic and policy changes.

Borden’s research center, the Center for Research and Outreach (REACH), is an innovative center with the mission to provide high-quality, accessible research, outreach, and evaluation that builds the capacity of individuals and systems serving children, youth, and families. Research projects include: Military REACH: A collaboration with the United States Department of Defense’s Office of Family Policy, Military REACH uses a multi-disciplinary approach to integrate both research and outreach to support those who work with and on behalf of military families. Military REACH: (1) provides empirical research that identifies and addresses key issues impacting military families and the programs that serve them; (2) offers outreach and professional development through online resources; and (3) hosts a Live Learning Lab for program staff seeking constructive professional development feedback.

Children, Youth, and Families at Risk Professional Development and Technical Assistance Center (CYFAR PDTA): CYFAR PDTA forms a comprehensive foundation to support the Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Initiative at the United States Department of Agriculture – National Institute for Food and Agriculture. Developing and providing proactive technical assistance, resources, evaluation support, and tools, the CYFAR PDTA builds the capacity of 43 CYFAR grantees throughout the United States and outlying territories to increase the overall positive impact of their initiatives. The project provides the needed resources for high-quality implementation of CYFAR community programs using research-based methods that include individual program process and outcome evaluation. The CYFAR PDTA project addresses capacity building, outreach, and impact using a three-pronged approach: (1) the use of research and evidence-based information to inform the work; (2) broad leadership representation from across the Land Grant University System (1860’s, 1890’s, 1992’s, 1994’s, and Hispanic Serving Institutions); and (3) subject matter experts who can address key areas relevant to the CYFAR Initiative.


Olson, J. R., McCarthy, K. J., Perkins, D. F., & Borden, L. M.; (2017 published online). A formative evaluation of a coach-based technical assistance model for youth- and family-focused programmingEvaluation and Program Planning, 67,29-37. 

McGuire, J. K., Dworkin, J.,  Borden, L. M., Perkins, D., & Russell, S. T. (2016 published online). Youth motivations for program participationJournal of Youth Development, 11 (30), 7-25

Bommarito, R. K., Sherman, M. D., Rudi, J. H., Mikal, J., & Borden, L. M. (2017). Challenges facing military spouses during post-deployment reintegration:  A review of the literature and current supports.  Military Behavioral Health, 5(1), 51-63.

Meek, N.A., Totenhagen, C. J., Hawkins, S. A., & Borden, L. M.  (2016 published online). Staying connected on the home front: Communication and well-being of civilian spouses during deployment.  Journal of Family Studies, 1-18. DOI:10.1080/13229400.2016.

Totenhagen, C. J., Meek, N., Hawkins, S. A., & Borden, L. M. (2016) Staying connected on the home front: Communication and well-being of civilian spouses during deployment. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 30 (4), 1-15.

Olson, J. R., Smith, B., Hawkey, K. R., Perkins, D. F., & Borden, L. M. A formative evaluation of the Children, Youth, and Families At Risk (CYFAR) coaching model. The Journal of Extension 54(2).

Olson, J. R., Hawkey, K. R., Smith, B., Perkins, D. F., & Borden, L. M. (2016). Applying a coaching model to help support youth- and family-focused extension programming. The Journal of Extension 54 (1).


Borden, L. M., Lu, Z., & Williams, R. D. (2017, November). Conceptualization of what constitutes a strong family. Poster presentation at the 2017 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, Orlando, FL.

Mischel, E., Gunty, A., Lu, Z., Richmond, A., & Borden, L. M. (2017, November). Enhancing child outcomes through high-quality parent education. Poster presentation at the 2017 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, Orlando, FL.

Robertson, K., Stevens, C., Borden, L. M., & Buettner, C. K. (2017, August). Invited Distinguish Lecture at Military & Veteran Children: Constellation of Strengths and Challenges Conference. DoD's partnership: Creating innovation resources and tools for you. Washington, DC.

Borden, L. M. (September, 2016). Service member to civilian: Being your own architect. Invited session at the Service to Civilian, A National Summit on Improving Transitions. Hoover, Alabama.

Thompson, B., & Borden, L. M. (June, 2016). Supporting the healthy development of strong families. Invited Distinguished Lecture at the Military Child Education Coalition's 18th National Training Seminar. Washington, DC.

Borden, L. M. & LaFollet, V. (May, 2016). The experience of reintegration for military families & implications for DoD. Invited professional development webinar for the Military Families Learning Network.

Borden, L. M. (April, 2016). Operation educate the educator. Joining Forces, A White House Convening. Invited participant and discussion leader. Washington, DC.

Teaching and Learning

FSoS 8200: Orientation for Family Social Science

Honors and Awards

2018 College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences (ACES) Alumni Association Career Achievement Award, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

2012 Outstanding Engagement Award, the Board of Human Sciences, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Denver

Honorary Alumnus Award, University of Arizona Alumni Association, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

2010 Extension Faculty of the Year, Cooperative Extension College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson

2009 Faculty Award, the Council of Alumni and Friends of the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Tucson