Cohort One




Angela Cause
Oregon Department of Human Services

PhD candidate, Social Work and Social Research, Portland State University

Working to promote well-being for all children and families.


Christina Danko
University of Maryland

PhD, Clinical Psychology, Child Track, DePaul University

Investigating the impact of evidence-based interventions on the treatment and prevention of mental health disorders for young children and their families.


Carly B. Dierkhising
California State University-Los Angeles School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics

PhD, Developmental Psychology, University of California-Riverside

Advancing practice and policy for trauma-exposed and system-involved youth using applied research methods.


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Jennifer Geiger
University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work

PhD, Social Work, Arizona State University

Promoting well-being for youth in care and foster care alumni through improved access and success in higher education.



Grace S. Hubel
College of Charleston

PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

Community-based work to support young children’s social and emotional well-being.


Tamara Hurst
University of Southern Mississippi

PhD, Social Work, University of Georgia

Advocating for the well-being of all children and preventing child abuse and neglect.


J. Bart Klika
Prevent Child Abuse America

PhD, Social Work, University of Washington

Focusing on the causes and consequences associated with child abuse and neglect in an effort to prevent its occurrence.


Paul Lanier
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

PhD, Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis

Using evidence to build better systems to support families.


Jaymie Lorthridge

PhD, Social Work, University of Southern California

Identifying key aspects of change leading to successful child welfare, justice, and economic services and policies.


Kathryn Maguire-Jack
University of Michigan

PhD, Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Studying child abuse and neglect prevention, with an emphasis on communities and geographic disparities.


Sandra Nay McCourt
Social Science Research Institute at Duke University

PhD, Clinical Psychology, Duke University

Researching the development of aggression and psychopathy as well as prevention and intervention programs for family violence and child maltreatment.


Kerrie Ocasio
West Chester University

PhD, Social Work, Rutgers University       

Drawing on her practice experience in primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention to partner with child welfare agencies to evaluate their programs and practices.


Kerri Raissian
University of Connecticut

PhD, Public Administration and International Affairs, Syracuse University

Studying the role of public policy in improving child and family health by using quantitative methods, large data sets, and exploring causal relationships.



Lisa Schelbe
Florida State University College of Social Work

PhD, Social Work, University of Pittsburgh

Giving voice to and understanding youth aging out of the child welfare system and transitioning to adulthood and learning how to improve services.



Tova B. Walsh
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work

PhD, Social Work, University of Michigan

Expanding understanding of the intergenerational transmission of risk and resilience and access to evidence-based, targeted and needed supports for vulnerable young children and their families.