Fellows and Interns

The following bios are provided for both current and former interns and fellows. As we are unable to maintain current bios of former team members, the bios below may be reflective of the individual’s previous professional development status. Bios are provided chronologically with information about current interns at the top.

Fellows and Interns

The following bios are provided for both current and former interns and fellows. As we are unable to maintain current bios of former team members, the bios below may be reflective of the individual’s previous professional development status. Bios are provided chronologically with information about current interns at the top.

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Home / Get Involved / Trainees / Fellows and Interns

  • Elizabeth Bates

    Elizabeth Bates is a 3rd year doctoral student in Prevention Science at the University of Oregon and a pediatric nurse practitioner. Her research is generally centered around improving practices and policies to promote children’s healthy development and family well-being by reducing environmental risks and bolstering family or community strengths. She is also interested in evaluation and implementation of initiatives to reduce socioeconomic disparities and achieve equitable access and utilization to health services for all children and families. She began working as an RPC intern in Fall 2023 and will be supporting the evaluation team.

  • Riley Loria

    Riley Loria is a 4th year social psychology PhD student at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is originally from New Orleans and earned her B.S. in psychology and cognitive study at Tulane University. Her research primarily examines how to best encourage prosocial decision-making and what factors are barriers to prosocial policy choices in general. Her work has examined how features of information communication such as speaker identity or membership to a political outgroup can influence policy attitudes and policy decisions. She hopes to contribute to the integration of research like this into policy communication. She spends her free time hanging out with her cats.

  • Annalise Tolley

    Annalise is a third-year student in the Health Psychology doctoral program at UNC Charlotte in the community concentration. To better enact system-level change, she is dual enrolled in the Public Policy Research and Analysis graduate certificate program. Her research centers on the transactional relationship between individuals and health care systems and how these relationships can perpetuate or disrupt racial health inequities. She roots her work in a liberation psychology framework and draws on her applied experience working with national and international organizations, including community health agencies, nonprofits, and government agencies. She aims to support the adoption of evidence-based policy on a programmatic, organizational, and governmental level.

  • Jacqueline Duong

    Jacqueline Duong is a fourth-year clinical psychology doctoral student at the University of Texas, Austin. She obtained her M.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests involve 1) conducting disparities-focused digital health implementation research and 2) using multimodal passive sensing data to identify protective factors that promote families’ socioemotional competence in the face of adversity and psychological distress.

  • Leila Malak

    Leila is currently a 3rd-year Psychology Student at UCLA. She is passionate about bridging the gap between researchers and legislators in order to work toward more evidence-based policy. She plans to attend law school after completing her undergraduate education in order to understand the complex relationships between research, law, and policy-making. She is very excited to be joining the RPC team!

  • Krithika Prakash

    Krithika Prakash is a PhD candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). Her primary research interests revolve around understanding the intricate relationships between traumatic experiences, mental health challenges, and substance abuse within marginalized communities. Her work examines the effects of various stressors, including socio-economic disparities, systemic oppression, and stigmatization, on mental health outcomes. In her roles as a researcher and clinician, Krithika has engaged with diverse populations, including college students, low-income individuals from urban and rural communities, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and individuals hailing from various countries around the globe. Krithika’s work has contributed to several journal publications and conference presentations in the fields of mental health and substance use. She also currently serves as the student co-chair for the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies and as the student representative of the Global Collaboration in Traumatic Stress.

  • Eliza Lloyd

    Eliza LLoyd is a recent graduate of Colgate University earning her degree in Neuroscience and Philosophy. Currently, she works as a postbac at the National Institute of Health studying neurodegeneration in the context of traumatic brain injury and nerve injury. Though her research has been primarily at the bench, Eliza is eager to build on her experience to support data-driven initiatives in policy. She is motivated by issues in bioethics, broadly, voter rights, and health and education disparities. When not in the lab or working with the RPC, Eliza enjoys running, playing intramural sports, coaching youth lacrosse, and weekly trivia nights.

  • Katelin Trautmann

    Katelin Trautmann is a PhD student in Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to returning to graduate school, Katelin taught 5th grade and coached elementary school teachers for 10 years. Her research focuses on the intersection of education, religion, and policy efforts for racial justice. Specifically, she studies the discourse used by parents and caregivers when engaging in policy conversations about race and racial equity. Katelin currently works as a research assistant on a variety of qualitative projects and is excited to join the RPC team and gain important experience in the research and policy field. She enjoys connecting with people, being near and in water, eating good food, and enjoying the outdoors.

  • Wendy Chu

    Wendy Chu is a fifth year PhD student in Clinical-Community Psychology at the University of South Carolina. She received her BA in Psychology from Macalester College. Broadly, her research aims to advance mental health equity in marginalized communities. Her research has explored cultural competency in youth mental health services, socioecological factors of mental health systems, and the lived experiences of marginalized communities including those who have faced racism and discrimination. In her free time, she enjoys going to boba/coffee shops and trying new foods with her friends.

  • Samantha Weckesser

    Samantha is a PhD candidate in Community Health and Health Policy at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. She received a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Management from Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health and a Bachelor in Arts degree in Neurosciences from Drew University. Her research focuses on the concept of government-issued benefits as a protective factor against childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences in New York City. Specifically, she is interested in the way government benefits can prevent families from interactions with the child welfare system and family separation. She is also interested in the impact government policies have on the relationship between substance abuse disorders and adverse childhood events. In her free time, she enjoys running, tennis, hiking, and reading.

  • Katerina Papatheodorou

    Katerina is a psychology Ph.D. student at Georgia State University. She holds a BA in Business Management and Administration from Boston University and a MA in Forensic Psychology from the George Washington University. Her research focuses on the psychology of terrorism and political violence. Specifically, she is interested in how and why people leave terrorist groups/movements as well as the practical and ethical implications associated with Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) initiatives.

  • Melanie Turner-Harper

    Melanie holds a Master of Public Policy from Georgia State University (GSU) and is completing a PhD in Sociology also at GSU, although she currently lives in Tucson AZ. Her dissertation focuses on the experiences of abortion care providers in cities around Georgia. She has enjoyed being part of collaborative research projects related to other areas of reproductive health, as well as projects focused on homelessness; sex work and sex trafficking; transportation/mobility equity; and multicultural programming in higher education. She currently teaches Sociology at Pima Community College in Tucson.

  • Briana Ermanni

    Briana is a third year PhD student in Developmental Science at Virginia Tech. She holds an M.S. in Psychology, where she studied how negative affect and attentional control differentially predicted aggressive and rule-breaking behaviors in 6-year-olds. Her graduate work focuses on longitudinal development of temperament and self-regulation from infancy through early childhood, and how this development impacts socioemotional and school-readiness outcomes. Briana hopes to use her background in developmental science to inform child development and education interventions that aim to improve socioemotional learning at the state or federal level.

  • Brandon Balma

    Brandon Balma (he/him/his) currently attends the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities. He is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Public Health. At the RPC, he works on the Evaluation Team which organizes our research and evaluation efforts.

  • Nandrea Burrell

    Nandrea Burrell is a third year PhD Student in the Developmental Psychology Program at Florida State University. Her research focuses on contextual factors that influence academic achievement among adolescents, with a special interest in how these factors influence minority adolescents. She is passionate about education equity and aims to go into education policy after she graduates. Aside from school, she enjoys reading, trying new foods, and spending time with her 4-year-old dog Sienna.

  • Stephanie H. Yu

    Stephanie H. Yu, M.A. is a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley with minors in Asian American Studies and Education. She is passionate about mental health equity and community-based research aiming to reduce mental health disparities for racial/ethnic marginalized groups. Her research focuses on culturally-responsive adaptation and implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in public systems of care serving marginalized communities and the cultivation of community partnerships to foster EBP implementation and sustainment. She is also interested in how individual and systemic conditions, such as those stemming from racism and discrimination, can be addressed to improve well-being outcomes for racial/ethnic marginalized communities.

  • Whitney Becker

    Whitney is a third year PhD Student in the Applied Social and Community Psychology Program at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on implementing mindset interventions, improving online data quality, and strengthening parent-school-community partnerships to promote youth mental health and well-being. She is also a graduate assistant in the Wellness & Recreation department where she designs and implements behavioral health programming for students. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, crocheting, and playing racquetball.

  • Taylor Roth

    Taylor recently graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with a PhD in Developmental Psychology. She is also an alumna of Baylor University (B.A. ’14; Sic Em!). Taylor is passionate about bridging the research/policy gap to help children and families flourish. She loves to spend her time doing crosswords, trying new coffees, and petting/admiring her cat.

  • Adrianna Kapusts

    Adrianna is a third-year undergraduate student at Penn State studying Economics, and Human Development and Family Studies. She is interested in pursuing a career in advocacy and hopes to attend law school after graduation. She is very excited to be a part of the RPC team!

  • Nikkita Sarna

    Nikkita Sarna is a 4th year marketing PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin specializing in consumer behavior. Her research uses experimental design and text analysis to understand the impact sharing products and experiences has on judgements, decision-making information processing, and fairness evaluations. Prior to joining her PhD program, Nikkita worked at Fors Marsh Group, an applied research company in Washington, D.C. There, she conducted research to improve the effectiveness of government public health campaigns for the FDA and CDC. Nikkita received a B.A in Psychology and a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Maryland, College Park (go terps!) and in her spare time she likes to explore the city of Austin through hiking, music, sports, and food.

  • Jenna Russo

    Jenna Russo is a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Candidate at Mississippi State University. Her research focuses on social determinants of child health and resilience following exposure to early adversity, including the roles of parenting behaviors, family risk, and community systems. Jenna’s current community-based research includes the investigation and dissemination of trauma-informed care and best practices for court and school systems. She developed a course for teachers which utilizes an evidenced-based intervention in attribution retraining that is embedded in content regarding children’s developmental needs and traumatic stress response. Jenna strives to continue promoting changes at the systems in which they are nested by using her research to transform public policies and practices that allow all children and families to thrive.

  • Kaniyaa Francis

    Kaniyaa Francis earned her B.S. in Global Disease Biology at the University of California, Davis and is a current Master of Public Health candidate at Columbia University. Kaniyaa is passionate in using research to create equitable policy change to improve health the health outcomes in low-income communities. She has a variety of research and policy experience on issues including food insecurity, public safety, and affordable housing.

  • Jessica Enderlin Nadzam

    Jessica Nadzam is a Ph.D. candidate at Texas Tech University studying education policy. She has seven years of experience teaching high school science in Title I classrooms, and has also spent the past several years as an independent consultant and part-time instructional coach. In her future career, Jessica hopes to find a role where she can bridge the gap between rigorous academic research and high-leverage practice in K-12 schools. When she’s not trying to finish her dissertation on teacher retention, she’s probably gardening, rewatching Parks & Rec, or spending too much time making videos of her dogs on TikTok.

  • Zainab Bakarr Kamara

    Zainab is an intern and a second-year doctoral student in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University. Her research interests are hate crimes, victimization, mental health, ethnoracial violence, policing, social movements, and comparative research. She is currently working on research on hate crime victimization in the Hate Crime Research and Policy Institute and previously worked on early intervention criminal justice programs in the Early Justice Strategies Lab and research on cybercrime victimization. She earned her Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution also at George Mason University where her studies focused on ethnic conflict, inequality, and power. She has nearly a decade of experience providing mental health services to clients with a history of trauma and substance use disorders in community, hospital, and school settings. She also has experience traveling abroad investigating ethnoracial discrimination and community conflicts in Brazil, Malta, and Northern Ireland.

  • Kamna Tiwary

    Kamna Tiwary holds a PhD in International Politics, Organization and Disarmament Studies from School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. Her PhD research focused on the limitations of public science communications when it comes to democratic decision making especially on issues of sophisticated technologies. Her case study was a Nuclear Power Plant, Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) located in the Tamil Nadu state of India. She is experienced in interacting with multiple stakeholders like local administrators, villagers residing near the power plant, as well as activists and public intellectuals to draw the conclusions of her PhD study. Her study used critical theory as a theoretical framework. She is interested in more interdisciplinary research that can enhance the value of policy making. She has served in a New Delhi based think tank Foundation for National Security Research  on issues of Climate Change and her M.Phil Dissertation was on Indo-US Defense Diplomacy in the Post Cold War Era.

  • Perla Rae Henderson

    My name is Perla Rae Henderson and I am a PhD student at the University of Houston. I am primarily interested in examining the cognitive mechanisms underlying racial bias through topics like metaphors, meaning in life, religion, and more. I hope to further explore the interdisciplinary framework between psychology, philosophy, and public policy throughout my career in research.

  • Debbie Halla

    Debbie Halla is earning her Masters in Public Policy at American University’s School of Public Affairs. She holds a BA in Environmental Sciences and Biology at the University of Virginia. Her research interests include marine carbon capture, how policies can facilitate technological solutions to climate change, and improved methods for stakeholder involvement. Debbie is excited to serve the RPC Implementation team in responding to legislative requests, and supporting outreach efforts.

  • Meg Maykoski

    Meg got a B.S from George Mason University in Neuroscience. She decided to continue her academic career pursuing her Masters in Health Systems Administration. Her graduate coursework introduced her to the policy side of healthcare, which piqued her interest in the relationship between policy decisions and population health. She is excited to get first hand experience with RPC in bridging the gap between academia and public policy.

  • Nicole Telfer

    Nicole A. Telfer, M.A. is currently a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her primary research areas of focus are factors that influence the wellbeing of Black children and their families, educational outcomes among racially minoritized youth and college students, and the role of sociocultural factors (e.g., neighborhood poverty and ethnic-racial socialization practices). Nicole’s research is grounded in the theory of intersectionality and the critical race theory. She is currently a graduate student fellow for the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) and Researchers Investigating Sociocultural Equity and Race (RISER) network, and both of these fellowships have afforded Nicole the opportunity to understand and be involved in translational research by disseminating applied research that can be used in the design of policies, programs, and systemic practices that foster the healthy development and academic success of racially and ethnically diverse learners.

  • Cassidy Jackson

    Cassidy E. Jackson received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from James Madison University where she worked under Dr. Donna Amenta and Dr. John Gilje on the synthesis and characterization of porous materials. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry at Colorado State University working in the group of Dr. Joseph Zadrozny. Her graduate research in molecular magnetism aims to understand how specific placements, arrangements, and patterns of nuclei surrounding an unpaired electron on a molecule impact magnetic relaxation. She is passionate about advocating for more accessible science literature and improved science communication from researchers.

  • Emily Warthman

    Emily is an MPH student at Walden University, with interests in public health, law, and policy. She earned a J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and is a licensed attorney. She also holds a master’s in human resources management from Franklin University and a B.A. in psychology and political science from Georgetown College.

  • Carina Liebeknecht

    Carina recently joined the Research-to-Policy Collaboration as an intern. She has a master’s degree from Rutgers in literature and is currently getting her B.S. in public health from CUNY. She is interested in addressing health disparities through evidence-based policy. Carina is working towards graduate school to receive her Master’s in Public Policy.

  • Lizzie Voight

    Elizabeth Voigt is a MPH candidate studying Policy and Management at New York University’s School of Global Public Health. She is interested in the intersection of health, policy, and law and hopes to bridge the gaps between these fields to improve public health. During her time at RPC, Elizabeth hopes to respond to legislative requests and support outreach efforts to build the Collaboration’s network. Her previous research experience involves behavioral interventions for low-income smokers.

  • Meghan Flynn

    Meghan is a Ph.D. student in Community Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). She holds a B.A. in Psychology from SUNY Fredonia and an M.A. in Community Psychology and Program Development from the University of New Haven. Her research interests include community health, community empowerment, and maximizing efficiency of dissemination efforts among stakeholders within research and policy settings.

  • Leanna Kalinowski

    Leanna is a PhD student in behavioral neuroscience at the University of Toronto, where she studies the neurobiological regulation of stress and social behavior in animal models. She holds an M.A. in experimental psychology from the University at Buffalo, where she studied the impact of adolescent psychostimulant abuse on brain function and behavior. She is interested in bridging the gap between fundamental science and public policy, and is excited to be part of the Research-to-Policy Collaboration team.

  • Nanxi Xu

    Nanxi is a PhD student in Developmental Psychology at the University of Missouri. She holds a B.B.A. in Finance from UW-Madison and a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health from the University of Denver. Her research focuses on early childhood experiences, and It is her goal to promote the integration of developmental science and public policy.

  • Brennah Ross

    Brennah is a PhD student in Clinical-Community Psychology at Georgia State University where she researches sexual violence, alcohol use, and brief low-resource interventions. She holds a BS in economics from The College of New Jersey and hopes to pursue a career where she can bridge sexual violence research and public policy.

  • Kathryn Lewis

    Kathryn recently joined the Research-to-Policy Collaboration and is excited to begin her work with the team. She will graduate in May 2022 from The Pennsylvania State University, Schreyer Honors College with a B.S. in Global and International Studies and a B.A. in Spanish. In the future, Kathryn strives to attend a graduate school to receive her Master’s in Public Policy.

  • Patrick O’Neill

    Patrick O’Neill is a post-bac who comes from an analytic and social science research background. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Haven, graduating in December of 2020. After gaining further research and policy experience, Patrick hopes to continue his education at a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program.

  • Ciara Nestor

    Ciara works with the Research to Policy Collaboration on projects related to Visibility and Social Media communication. Her previous research work has involved understanding how families make decisions about their children’s education and the impact of both home and school environments on children’s development. She received her B.S. in psychology from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and is currently working on a dissertation for a doctorate in Applied Developmental Psychology from Fordham University.

  • Megan Collier

    Megan is a PhD student in the department of Social Work at Boston College. She holds a B.S. in Applied Psychology from New York University and a M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University where she studied child clinical and developmental research. Her current research focuses on social determinants of health disparities and health care service accessibility, both domestically and internationally.

  • Faith Vanmeter

    Faith is a PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development. Her general research interests are child victimization and mental health over the course of development. Specifically, her current research explores how characteristics of the foster care system relate to children’s likelihood of crossing over into the juvenile justice system. She is interested in discovering ways to bridge the gap between developmental scientists and child welfare policymakers.

  • Aditya Sai Phutane

    My name is Aditya and I go by Adi. I am a PhD student in Public Policy at Virginia Tech. I am an ex-engineer, did my Masters in UW-Madison, and worked at a material test company in Minneapolis. My primary interest is in Technology Policy, especially on the regulation of tech companies. I am currently working on two separate projects – one dealing with how external expertise participation is incentivized in federal agencies and the other dealing with the effects of immigration policy on labor markets. Other than reading, I love biking and photography.

  • Kaitlin Fronberg

    Ms. Fronberg is a Penn State graduate student in the Human Development and Family Studies department, studying under Drs. Douglas Teti and Daniel Max Crowley. Her research focuses on how differing contexts, such as family or policy systems, impact early child development. She has previous education technical assistance expertise from her prior work as a Research Associate at American Institutes for Research. She holds a bachelors of arts in Psychology and Political Science from UC Berkeley.

  • Jason Ashe

    Jason recently joined the Research-to-Policy Collaboration, and will be supporting the evaluation needs of the team to better understand best outreach and dissemination practices between researchers and policymakers. He is a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, studying community psychology and behavioral medicine. He is also a Health Policy Research Scholar with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

  • Erica Floding

    Erica works with other Research to Policy Collaboration members on various topics, including the VOCA initiative, and is passionate about subjects such as food access, mental health, substance abuse, advancing LGBTQ+ rights, migrant’s rights, and racial and gender justice. She holds a B.A. from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where she studied communication studies, psychology and political science, and an M.A. in Forensic Psychology from the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver.

  • Jayne Hoffman

    Jayne is currently a PhD student in the Community Action and Research program at Binghamton University. Her current research explores health and education outcomes of undocumented immigrants with a focus on federal policy. She also holds an M.A. in English Literature.

  • Liwei Zhang

    Liwei is a Policy Fellow who works on the Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative. Liwei supports congressional outreach by connecting research professionals with policymakers to develop evidence-based policies on child and family policy issues. Liwei holds a Ph.D. in Social Work from New York University and an MSW from Peking University, China.

  • Katherine Cruz

    Katherine is a University of Texas graduate, where she majored in Biology. She loves local politics and her home state of Texas, and hopes to one day address health disparities through evidence-based policy.

  • Mary Fernandes

    Mary is a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at Georgia State University. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Animal Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. Mary hopes to pursue a career in mental health policy and is excited to be a part of the Research-to-Policy Collaboration team.

  • Margaret (Mia) Hendricks

    Mia is a Ph.D. Candidate in the dual Psychology Ph.D. and Master’s in Public Policy program at Georgetown University. Her research interests include political psychology, immigration, terrorism, and human rights.

  • Nicolyn Charlot

    Nicolyn Charlot is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Western Ontario. She seeks to help people avoid abusive relationships by conducting research that identifies warning signs of intimate partner violence and establishes when they first appear. She is interested in translating research findings into policy implications, and directly helping sexual assault survivors using crisis intervention strategies. Nicolyn was an RPC fellow in the Summer of 2020, where she organized a congressional briefing on racial health disparities during COVID-19, edited a series of fact sheets on the Victims of Crime Act, and assisted with the development and dissemination of articles on police reform.

  • Toria Herd

    Toria is currently a PhD candidate in developmental psychology at Virginia Tech. Her major research interests include using a developmental psychopathology framework and longitudinal modeling to understand how risk and protective factors, namely parent-adolescent relations and emotion regulation development, relate to adolescent adjustment and psychopathology. Toria is also very passionate about science communication and translating basic science to public policy—allowing meaningful research to actually help people. In her work with the Research-to-Policy Collaboration, she supports rapid responses by creating policy briefs, fact sheets, and panel discussions with research-oriented professionals to support legislative needs.

  • Azaliah Israel

    Azaliah Israel holds an M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Alabama and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Family Policy at the University of Arkansas. She joins our team as a skilled provider of technical assistance (TA) to human services programs and agencies, including Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) grantees and TANF programs. In addition to researching, analyzing, and interpreting federal and state legislation affecting fatherhood programs, she also participated in the assessment, planning, and implementation of programs and special projects concerning father engagement. Azaliah assists the RPC team in conducting introductory meetings with congressional staff to assess their research needs and identify potential researchers in our network to assist in decisions making. In addition to the recruitment researchers, she also leads the rapid response process for congressional offices following in-person meeting with in-network researchers and congressional offices. She regularly engages with research experts across the nation to coordinate the production of policy briefs for congressional offices through conferencing and in-person meetings and supervises RPC interns.

  • Allie Ryave

    Allie Ryave is an undergraduate honors student at Penn State, studying Human Development and Family Studies, and Global and International Studies. As a research intern with the Research-to-Policy Collaboration, Allie works on process data, outreach support, and manages the RPC Twitter.

  • Christina Athineos

    Christina Athineos is a doctoral student in Suffolk University’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. As a member of Suffolk University’s Community Action-Based Research Lab, Christina is involved in research efforts focused on empowerment and social justice. Christina joined the RPC in August 2017 to translate research related to current legislative efforts. Through this experience, Christina has managed social media posts that share research findings and spearheaded the development of the former website.

  • Amy Anderson

    Amy J. Anderson is a doctoral student in community psychology at DePaul University and is interested the role of public policy in influencing educational equity, the well-being of youth populations, and social justice broadly. She worked with the RPC the academic year 2017-18 to lead an outcome evaluation of efforts to disseminate research via emails to congressional officials. In this role, Amy tremendously expanded the RPC’s capacity for developing a replicable approach for collecting and managing data regarding congressional staff’s opening research emails and content (e.g., a URL to a policy brief), as well as potential predictors such as the relevance of the topic to the legislator (e.g., assessed via their public statements).

  • Alex Ingram

    Alex Ingram is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at Arizona State University, studying risk factors and interventions to promote resilience in children who face difficult family transitions such as parental bereavement and divorce. She began working with the RPC in September 2017. A project that Alex helped to lead involved examining the use of research evidence in legislation. Specifically, Alex helped to assess the use of keywords in legislation (e.g., evidence-based) and use those data to select bills that were qualitatively coded using an inductive approach for document review.

  • Taylor Darden

    Taylor Darden is a Clinical/Community doctoral student at University of Maryland – Baltimore County who is interested in studying how social determinants (e.g., racial discrimination, SES, and gender) impact health inequities among the African-Ameri

  • Rebecca Smith

    Rebecca works with the Research-to-Policy Collaboration on issues related to substance use and youth development. She is interested in risk and resiliency factors in adolescents and emerging adults with a specific focus on substance use and recovery. The larger goal of her work is to better understand the trajectories of individuals at risk in order to inform future prevention and intervention efforts and policies. She holds a B.S. in psychology from the University of Mary Washington and a M.S.W. in clinical social work from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in developmental psychology at VCU.

  • Jenna Reardanz

    Jenna works on the Research to Policy Collaboration team to both evaluate and respond to legislative requests. She has worked on a variety of topics like violence prevention, child welfare, nutrition, education, and disability. She holds a B.A. from Whitworth University (Spokane, WA) in psychology and an M.A. in developmental sciences from the University of Alabama. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Alabama studying social development and disability. She is especially passionate about using research to best inform and influence policy development.

  • Jenesse Kaitz

    Jenesse Kaitz is a former RPC intern who supported outreach efforts to build and maintain the RPC network. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Suffolk University in Boston, MA. She is currently a health services research fellow at the Veteran’s Health Administration Center for Health Organization and Implementation Research.

  • Liz Baker

    Liz is a postdoctoral associate at the University of Calgary. She completed her Ph.D at Kent State University in experimental psychology, with a minor in quantitative methods. Her research focuses on promoting youth health, preventing dating violence, and program evaluation. She also works alongside policymakers to inform evidence-based decision making for social issues.

  • Logan Craig

    As an intern with the Research-to-Policy Collaboration, Logan worked with Dr. Taylor Scott and Dr. Elizabeth Long to explore how evidence-based substance use prevention research has been addressed within legislation. Since then, she has worked as the Lab Coordinator for the Affective and Translational Neuroscience Lab at the University of Maryland, and is currently the Director of Research Operations at the Well-Being Lab at George Mason University. She is now in the process of applying for a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

  • Sarah Prendergast

    Sarah Prendergast is an applied developmental science doctoral candidate at Colorado State University and a Doris Duke Fellow for the Promotion of Child Well-Being at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Her research interests include family resilience, child maltreatment prevention, and kindergarten readiness, and how these are influenced by contextual factors (e.g., social policies, family economic resources, and neighborhood quality). She began working as an RPC intern in 2017, and has been involved in responding to a number of legislative requests for research evidence, including one that involved organizing information on studies related to home visitation programs. She also supported a congressional briefing on preventing human trafficking. Most recently, Sarah has served on the investigation of how research is used in the federal legislation through keyword analysis and qualitative coding of bills and statute. She is also working to publish an op-ed regarding federal agencies’ program evaluation capacities.

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