The Changing Family & How it Influences Identity

Saturday, September 24
1:00 - 2:00 PM
The Class of '49 Auditorium, Houston Hall
About this Session: Today's families are increasingly diverse, as a result of interracial marriage, adoption, family members who identify as LGBTQ, and a host of other evolving changes. What does this mean for individual identity, social change movements, and "safe spaces" for underrepresented populations?

Featured Speakers

Ira J. Hillman C'92 W'92

Foundation & Nonprofit Executive
Parenting & Early Childhood
Einhorn Family Charitable Trust


Ira Hillman graduated from the College & Wharton in 1992. For two decades, he worked with nonprofit organizations in health care, education, advocacy, and the arts to transform their operations, develop new strategies, and build stronger collaborations among stakeholder groups. Ira currently works at a family foundation where he is responsible for identifying and supporting high-performing nonprofits that strengthen parent-child relationships and the social and emotional development of young children. As a passionate Penn alum, Ira serves as President of his undergraduate class and has been involved for many years with PennGALA, Penn Spectrum, and other initiatives that promote multicultural outreach and engagement among Penn alumni. Ira lives in New York City with his husband Jeremy and their two young children.

Jacqueline Hudak, Ph.D., LMFT

Clinical Director, Center for Couples and Adult Families
Department of Psychiatry Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania


Jacqueline Hudak, Ph.D., LMFT is a Couple and Family Therapist who has been working with individuals, couples, families, and groups for over thirty years.

She is currently the Clinical Director of the Center for Couples and Adult Families in the Psychiatry Department in The Perelman School of Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Hudak is known for integrating issues of power, marginalization, and social justice into her clinical work with couples and families, as well as helping families navigate identity transitions over the course of the life cycle.

Liz Mehaffey SPP'12

Adoption Supervisor
Northeast Treatment Centers


Liz was adopted from South Korea when she was 3 months old to northern New Jersey. She has done extensive research on foster care, domestic, and international adoption, and has presented and published her findings at various conferences. She graduated from Union College with Political Science and Philosophy degrees, and earned her Masters of Social Work degree at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in adoption and child welfare. Liz has won various awards for her adoption work, including the Dr. Ruth Smalley Award for her work in international adoption, and Emerging Leaders in Adoption. Liz recently visited Seoul, where she studied the transracial identity of adoptees returning to their birth country. Liz currently supervises foster care adoption and permanency for children throughout Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ann Nolan Reese CW'74

Co-founder and Executive Director
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
University Trustee
Trustees' Council of Penn Women


Ann Reese is a co-founder and executive director of the Center for Adoption Policy (CAP), whose goal is to remove legal and policy barriers to adoption. CAP provides research, analysis, advice and education to practitioners and the public about current legislation and practices governing domestic and inter-country adoption. Prior to CAP's formation in 2001, Mrs. Reese spent over 25 years in finance. Formerly the Chief Financial Officer of ITT, she also worked at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Mobil Oil, Union Carbide, and Bankers Trust.

Mrs. Reese is a director of Sears Holdings and Xerox. She also serves as a Trustee of Rye Country Day School.

At Penn, Mrs. Reese chairs the Board of Overseers of the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) and is a member of the Trustees' Council of Penn Women. Additionally, she established the Ann Nolan Reese NPL/NGO Leadership Scholarship at SP2 and the Ann Nolan Reese Endowed Scholarship for students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Related Articles

As seen at the Olympics, there is still a lot of ignorance about adoption.

The Washington Post | Published August 9, 2016
Written by Jenn Morson