Pauline Boss was president of NCFR from 1996-97. Boss is of Swiss decent and grew up on a farm in Wisconsin. Her grade school was a one room rural school from which she learned her reading skills and curiosity of learning. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1956 and taught at Madison Memorial High School while raising two children. Her Master's and Ph.D. were also from UW-Madison in Child Development and Family Studies. Her professors included Carl Whitaker (psychiatry), Bert Adams (sociology), and E. E. LeMasters (social work). She gave her first presentation at NCFR on father absence in intact families in 1972 at the Toronto conference. Her strength is her ability to combine research, theory, and application (applying abstract theories to everyday life). Jane Allyn Piliavin (social psychology) was her research advisor and Jerald Hage (sociology) taught her theory development and encouraged her ideas about "ambiguous loss" as early as 1972. Reuben Hill (sociology) was also a mentor. She was assistant professor and then associate professor with tenure at UW-Madison. In 1981, Dick Hey, then department chair of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota, recruited Boss to come to the Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota, to develop and obtain certification for the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. She arrived at the University of Minnesota as associate professor with tenure and later became full professor. In 2005, she retired as emeritus professor. In 1995-6 she was visiting professor at Harvard University Medical School, Child Psychiatry. There she mentored post doctoral family researchers and wrote the book Ambiguous Loss, now translated into eight different languages. In 1999, she was named an NCFR Fellow. In 2002, she was awarded the Ernest Burgess Award. She continues to travel the world, training academics and professionals to work with families in stress from the ambiguous losses of war, natural disasters, and illness.