Cohort Seven



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Michelle Bezark
PhD candidate, History, Northwestern University

Researching the origins of State-Sponsored welfare for children and families.



Bridget Cho
University of South Carolina Aiken

PhD, Clinical Child Psychology, University of Kansas

Building caregivers’ capacity to provide safe, supportive, nurturing parenting practices that promote resilience among young children exposed to adversity and trauma.


Gracelyn H. Cruden
Oregon Social Learning Center

PhD, Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Fostering community-academic partnerships and applying systems thinking to collaboratively determine how best to promote mental well-being across the life course.



Annie Davis
Georgetown University

PhD, Clinical Psychology, The Catholic University of America

Dedicated to advancing early childhood mental health in low-income communities by evaluating community-based interventions and ensuring equitable access to services.


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Yonah Drazen
PhD candidate, Social Work, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Focusing on the stability of the child welfare workforce, and how the combination of factors that encourage retention may moderate factors that encourage turnover.


Wendy R. Ellis
George Washington University Building Community Resilience Collaborative

DrPH, Health Policy, George Washington University

Working to grow a ‘resilience movement’ to address systemic inequities that contribute to social and health disparities that are often transmitted in families and communities from generation to generation.


Kenneth Feder
PhD candidate, Mental Health, Johns Hopkins

Studying how policies and programs can best meet the needs of children growing with a parent with a substance use or mental health problem.


Tyler Hein
Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

PhD, Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan

Utilizing quantitative methodology to inform prevention and intervention strategies that enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families.


Catherine Kuhns
The Urban Institute

PhD, Developmental Science, University of Maryland

Bringing a strengths-based and contextualized perspective to the study of our most vulnerable children and families.


Alysse Melville Loomis
The University of Utah, College of Social Work

PhD, Social Work, University of Connecticut

Studying the impact of early childhood trauma within the preschool context in order to develop trauma-informed early childhood systems that promote child and family well-being.


Natalia Orendain
PhD candidate, Neuroscience, University of California, Los Angeles

Bridging the gap between the neuroscience of adolescent development and policy efforts surrounding youth in the care of the Juvenile Justice System.


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Christina Padilla
Child Trends

PhD, Psychology, Human Development, and Public Policy, Georgetown University

Examining the role that parents and early education experiences have on young children in order to promote child and family well-being.


Sarah Prendergast
Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Early Childhood

PhD, Applied Developmental Science, Colorado State University

Researching strengths-based approaches to child maltreatment prevention and promoting early achievement.



Aditi Srivastav Bussells
Children’s Trust of South Carolina

PhD, Public Health, University of South Carolina

Exploring the ways in which researchers can most effectively communicate about public health to help inform strong and successful policies and programs that promote equity.


Lindsay Zajac
PhD candidate, Clinical Science, University of Delaware

Conducting translational research to evaluate the efficacy of evidence-based programs for families and providing clinical services to youth with experiences of adversity.