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             March 2019 Newsletter


Mid-Year Meeting: Arizona State University

Arizona State University at Phoenix graciously welcomed 64 current and graduated fellows for the Doris Duke Fellowships Mid-Year Meeting from February 27 – March 1, 2019.


Hosted at the Center for Child Well-Being, Dr. Judy Krysik and Melinda Borucki helped coordinate and execute an exciting conference comprised of an interdisciplinary program of speakers, panelists, and workshops.

Speakers Included:

  1. Crista Johnson-Agbakwu, Refugee Women’s Health Clinic and Assistant Research Professor at ASU Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, on the convergence of culture, religion, law and ethics on female genital mutilation and cutting;

  2. Craig LeCroy, ASU School of Social Work, on the fictions, factions, functions and lessons learned over twenty years of research on home visitation;

  3. Cynthia Lietz, Vice Dean at ASU Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions, on translating research to policy and practice; and

  4. The Honorable Robert M. Brutinel, Vice Chief Justice of Arizona, on a personal look at how social science professionals influence the juvenile court.

Fellows participated in formal and informal networking activities, including a new
“speed networking” activity allowing for current and graduated fellows to connect with one another.


A special thanks to the ASU Planning committee for their incredible commitment to organizing a fantastic program promoting fellowship and discourse amongst leaders in the Child Well-Being research and policy field.


Fellows and staff left energized to continue the important work of transforming programs, systems, and policies through research and advocacy to promote the well-being of children, families and communities.


Research to Action Grant Recipients Meeting

During a pre-conference meeting held on Wednesday, February 27, the three Research to Action grantee teams met with their policy partners and Chapin Hall staff to discuss their research projects and intended products.


Research to Action Grant teams include:

  1. Placement Stability for Commercially Sexually Exploited and System-Involved Youth: Carly B. Dierkhising, Cohort One; Natalia Orendain, Cohort Seven; Andi Lane Eastman, Cohort Six; and Kate Walker Brown, The National Center for Youth Law

  2. Cultural and Contextual Influences on Parenting Among Low-Income Chinese Immigrant Caregivers Living in the Greater Boston Area: Judith Scott, Cohort Five; Julia Fleckman, Cohort Six; Bridget Cho, Cohort Seven: Giles Li and Yoyo Yau, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC)

  3. Applied Neuroscience for Child Advocacy: Generating and Translating Brian Science Research for Actionable Use by the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia: Scott Delaney, Cohort Eight; Natalia Orendain, Cohort Seven; Dan Busso, Cohort Four; Rita Taylor, Washington University at St. Louis; Maneka Sinha, Public Defender Services and Adriana Galván, UCLA College of Life Sciences and Psychology

Each team spoke to the importance of translating evidence-based findings into realistic policy outcomes that can be leveraged by their community partners. Teams also discussed common areas of interest across the three groups, as well as learning opportunities they will continue to explore throughout this grant year.

The grantees also delivered a panel discussion to the fellowship network as part of the mid-year meeting program of events, fielding questions from fellows and discussing the potential impact of their work. We are incredibly excited for the continued work of all three of these teams and will continue to provide regular updates on this innovative work.


Spotlight: Megan Finno-Velasquez, Cohort Two


Cohort Two fellow, Megan Finno-Velasquez is the Director of the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare, a project of the New Mexico State University School of Social Work that focuses on the intersection of immigration and child welfare.

Megan authored a blog post for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia PolicyLab in response to the proposed changes to the public charge rule for immigrant families.

Megan is also a consultant at Chapin Hall for the Toxic Stress Study team that is examining the implementation of universal pediatric practices of screening, referral, and linkage to services addressing social determinants of health among families with infants. Megan provides reflective supervision for 11 remote Field Interviewers.

Megan continues to work ceaselessly to advocate for the well-being of children and their families.


Fellows Updates:



Four fellows: Lindsey Bullinger, Cohort Six; Megan Feely, Cohort Three; Kerri Raissian, Cohort One; and William Schneider, Cohort Two, collaborated on a paper titled Heed Neglect, Disrupt Child Maltreatment: A Call to Action for Researchers that was recognized as EndCAN’s Research Paper Award to Disrupt Child Abuse.



Katherine Marcal, Cohort Eight, accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Congratulations!



Judith Scott, Cohort Five, was awarded the SRCD Outstanding Dissertation Award for her work examining the link between physical discipline and mental health outcomes for African American children.


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Wendy Ellis, Cohort Seven, successfully defended her dissertation this month. Her final product will include three journal articles on building community resilience. Congratulations!


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Alayna Schreier, Cohort Four, recently published a paper focusing on wraparound care coordination for youth with emotional and behavioral disorders in the American Journal of Community Psychology, co-authored with her colleagues at Yale School of Medicine.



Katie Paschall, Cohort Four, has two new recent publications:

  1. A paper in Infant Mental Health Journal, co-authored with her academic mentor, Ann Mastergeorge and Cathy Ayoub. The paper explores the effects of children’s participation in Early Head Start.

  2. A chapter about the impact of primary relationships in toddlerhood in the book, “Building Early Social and Emotional Relationships with Infants and Toddlers: Integrating Research and Practice.” Her co-author is her academic mentor, Ann Mastergeorge.


Upcoming Dates: