Faculty and Staff Affiliates

Center Director


Russell

Beth Russell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Russell is an Assistant Professor of Human Development & Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. Her professional interests include the study of parent-child relationships from birth through adolescence, the development of self-control and resilience, and intervention designs to prevent child maltreatment and promote family wellbeing. She has over a decade of experience as a parent educator and has specific interests in program assessment, including both process and outcome evaluations. Dr. Russell is a University of Connecticut Service Learning Fellow and sits on numerous editorial panels for peer review journals including Family Relations, Child Abuse & Neglect, and The Journal of Primary Prevention.

 


Steering Committee


Eva Lefkowitz, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

Eva S. Lefkowitz is currently a professor and Department Head of the Graduate Program in the Human Development and Family Studies Department at the University of Connecticut. She received her bachelors degree from Brandeis University and her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has served as Associate Editor for Developmental Psychology, is a Founding Executive Council Member of the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood, and chairs the Membership Committee of the Society for Research on Adolescence.

Her research focuses on sexuality during adolescence and emerging adulthood. She takes a developmental approach to studying sexual health, incorporating both sexual development and risk perspectives. She is interested both in how sexual and romantic relationships and experiences develop, and in predictors and outcomes of these relationships and behaviors (e.g., attitudes such as beliefs about gender, religiosity, communication with partners and others, consequences).  Her most recent work includes CIEL (College Interactions and Experiences Lab Group), ULS (University Life Study), and Prosper-Peers.


 

Marlene Schwartz, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Schwartz is Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.  The mission of the Rudd Center is topromote solutions to childhood obesity, poor diet, and weight bias through research and policy. Dr. Schwartz earned her PhD in Psychology from Yale University in 1996. Prior to joining the Rudd Center, she served as Co-Director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders from 1996 to 2006. She has collaborated with the Connecticut State Department of Education to evaluate nutrition and physical activity policies in schools and preschools. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Food Bank. Dr. Schwartz has received research grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health. She has studied school wellness policies, the preschool nutrition environment, the effect of food marketing on children, the relationship between food insecurity and diet quality, and how federal food programs can improve the accessibility and affordability of healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods.
In 2014, Dr. Schwartz received the Sarah Samuels Award from the Food and Nutrition Section of the American Public Health Association and in 2016, she was honored by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. Dr. Schwartz’s research and the Rudd Center are highlighted in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Public Health Law News – July 2017, Profile in Public Health Law: Marlene Schwartz, PhD.

 

Sandra Chafouleas, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Educational Psychology

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Sandra M. Chafouleas is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology within the NeagSchool of Education. She also serves as Co-Director of the UConn Collaboratory on School and Child Health (CSCH). Dr. Chafouleas has demonstrated continued success with extramurally funded research since 2006, and contributes content expertise primarily related to school mental health and behavior assessment. She has authored over 150 publications, regularly serves as a national presenter and invited speaker.  She is a fellow in both the American Psychological Association and Association for Psychological Science. She received the 2018 UConn Alumni Foundation award for Faculty Excellence in Research and Creativity Award in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; the 2016 APA Division 16 Oakland Mid-Career Scholar Award, the 2009 UConn Alumni Association award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, and previously served as associate dean for The Graduate School (2012-2014) and then the associate dean for research in the Neag School (2014-2016). Prior to becoming a university trainer, she worked as a school psychologist and school administrator in a variety of settings dealing with children with behavior disorders.


Faculty Affiliates


Kari Adamsons, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

Kari Adamsons is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on fathering, parenting, coparenting, and couple relationships, particularly during times of transition such as divorce, remarriage, and the transition to parenthood. She is the director of the UConn HDFS undergraduate honors program and Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Studies, and teaches courses on close relationships, parenting, and men and masculinity.

 


Terry Berthelot, MSW, JD

Lecturer, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

Terry Berthelot is a Lecturer in Human Development and Family Studies. Her research and advocacy is primarily about access to healthcare for people who are over sixty-five and for people with disabilities. She received her Masters degree in social work from Syracuse University, after which she designed, implemented, and then coordinated a Joint Commission Accredited hospice program in the Mississippi delta. Finding herself fascinated by the legal and ethical questions surrounding death and dying, Ms. Berthelot pursued her law degree at the University of Mississippi. After graduating, cum laude, Ms. Berthelot joined the Center for Medicare Advocacy, a national not-for-profit law firm. As a senior attorney, Ms. Berthelot oversaw the Center’s advocacy efforts. She also provided legal advice and representation to Medicare beneficiaries unfairly denied Medicare coverage or access to healthcare, wrote articles for national publications, produced educational materials, engaged in educational outreach activities with a particular focus on the Medicare hospice benefit, was a contributing author to the Medicare Handbook, and served as co-counsel for federal class action lawsuits challenging improper Medicare policies. Also while with the Center, Ms. Berthelot was the lead Medicare trainer for Connecticut’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program and for Connecticut’s Medicare Senior Patrol. Ms. Berthelot is a former chair of the steering committee for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys’ Health Care Section and she is the former Connecticut liaison for National Healthcare Decisions Day. She is currently a member of the Mansfield Town Council.


BritnerP

Preston Britner, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Britner is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. He is a University Teaching Fellow, recipient of the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and Editor Emeritus of The Journal of Primary Prevention. He holds several editorial appointments and numerous professional service positions at university, state, and national levels. His research interests include single-system design evaluation, attachment-caregiving relationships, youth mentoring, child maltreatment prevention, housing and child welfare, higher education preparation for youth in foster care, and family-focused, community-based prevention/diversion programs for children, youth, and families.


David Garvey, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor, Department of Public Policy and Director, Nonprofit Leadership Program 

Faculty Research Associate

David Garvey is the Director if the Department of Public Policy’s Nonprofit Leadership Program. The mission of the DPP’s Nonprofit Leadership Program is to strengthen the educational, communication and research infrastructure of the Connecticut and American nonprofit sector. Dr. Garvey has over twenty years of experience as a practitioner, editor, researcher, teacher and education designer in the nonprofit field. Prior to joining the University of Connecticut, Garvey founded and was executive editor of the New England Nonprofit Quarterly, now known nationally as the Nonprofit Quarterly.

Dr. Garvey is the Co-Director of Encore!Hartford, an award-winning experience and skills transition program for age 50+ managers and professionals seeking an encore career in the nonprofit sector, the Hispanic Leadership Institute sponsored by the Hispanic Federation, and is the Director of the department’s Internship and Professional Practice program. In partnership with the Urban Institute and the Connecticut Data Collaborative, Garvey was the principal investigator in the development of the Connecticut Nonprofit Strategy Platform, a web-based data resource on Connecticut nonprofits and communication tool for the Connecticut nonprofit sector.

 


Bruce Gould, MD, FACP

Associate Dean for Primary Care, School of Medicine, UConn Health

Faculty Research Associate

Much of Dr. Gould’s career has been focused on public engagement and service to the underserved, in one form or another. He came to the University of Connecticut in 1988 as the medical director at the Burgdorf Health Center, an inner city clinic jointly administered by UConn and Mt. Sinai Hospital (now St. Francis), addressing the needs of the underserved and serving as a major ambulatory teaching facility for the University.

In 1995, he was appointed the first Associate Dean for Primary Care at the University of Connecticut (UConn) School of Medicine. In this capacity, he established the Connecticut Area Health Education Center (CT AHEC) Network, which was awarded its Core Funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration in 1997 ($6,686,182) and has been continuously funded since that time. It programs include the Youth Health Service Corps, Collegiate Health Service Corps, and Urban Service Track. In 1996 he founded and remains the advisor to the Migrant Farmworker Free Mobile Clinic operating 3 nights per week during growing seasons.

Dr. Gould also serves as the Medical Director for the Community Health Center Association of CT’s Practice Transformation Network funded by the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Innovation and as Medical Director for the Hartford Department of Health and Human Services in Hartford, CT. He is the Principal Investigator for the State Innovation Model Grant’s Community Health Worker Workforce Development Initiative. He is also a Professor of Medicine at the (UConn) School of Medicine.

 


Erik Hines

Erik Hines, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Erik M. Hines is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Hines teaches in the counseling program and prepares graduate students to be professional school counselors. Dr. Hines’s research agenda centers around: (a) African American male academic achievement and college readiness; (b) parental involvement and its impact on academic achievement for students of color; and (c) improving and increasing postsecondary opportunities for first generation, low-income, and students of color (particularly for African American males). Additionally, his research interests include career exploration in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for students of color in K-12. His research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Counseling and Development, Professional School Counseling, and The High School Journal.


Maria LaRusso, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

 

 


 

Caitlin Lombardi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Caitlin Lombardi is an Assistant Professor in the Human Development and Family Studies department at the University of Connecticut. Her research examines the roles of family, early child care, school and community for promoting children’s cognitive and social-emotional development, particularly in the context of economic and social disadvantages. The overarching goal of this research is to understand how policy can best promote young children’s development. Dr. Lombardi has experience working on education, health, and social policy in the U.S. Senate, is a member of the editorial board for Applied Developmental Science, and serves on the Science and Social Policy Committee for the Society for Research in Child Development.

 

 


Laura MauldinLaura Mauldin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Laura Mauldin is an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the Human Development and Family Studies Department and the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Department. Dr. Mauldin is currently researching family narratives about obtaining a cochlear implant for their deaf child, particularly when the the outcome was not considered “successful.” Her other research interests include the social, cultural, and ethical aspects of health, illness and healthcare; disability studies/Deaf studies; science and technology studies (STS); the impact of medical knowledge on motherhood; disability/chronic illness and care negotiation in the family; and feminist theory, the body, and identity. Dr. Mauldin is also on the Board of Corporators for the American School for the Deaf and maintains her national interpreting certification with the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.


Miriam Valdovinos, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Miriam G. Valdovinos is an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Her areas of specialization include intimate partner violence (IPV) experiences in Latina/o/x communities. A focal point of her research is to develop multi-pronged (e.g. micro and macro) culturally responsive prevention and intervention programs that address health and mental health effects of family violence on Latina/o/x immigrant families while considering systemic constraints such as institutional racism, poverty and income disparities. As a community engaged social welfare qualitative researcher, her research objectives also address social problems such as the exclusion of Latina/o/x undocumented immigrants from social service provisions. Her research also incorporates how Latina/o/x immigrants continue to negotiate transnational familial ties.


Chris RhoadsChris Rhoads, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Christopher Rhoads received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Northwestern University (NU) and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, where he teaches classes in research design and quantitative methods. He entered his current position following a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute for Policy Research at NU. Dr. Rhoads’ research focuses on methodological and statistical approaches to improving causal inference in policy-relevant research, particularly in the design and analysis of large field studies for the purposes of policy evaluation.  He has published articles in outlets such as Journal of Educational and Behavioral StatisticsJournal of Research on Educational Effectiveness and British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology and is acknowledged as an outstanding peer reviewer for two scholarly journals.

Dr. Rhoads is currently a member of research teams conducting evaluation and efficacy grants in the areas of educational technology, (Institute for Education Sciences Goal 3) and housing and child welfare (Administration for Children and Families) and serves on the advisory boards for several IES and NSF funded projects.  He is co-PI for the National Center for Research on Gifted Education at the University of Connecticut.  He is also currently co-PI for an IES Goal 1 development grant and co-I for an IES sponsored Javits grant. He is a regular presenter at the IES funded Summer Research Training Institute for Cluster Randomized Trials, where he lectures on the topic of longitudinal models. He is an active consultant on research design and methodological issues to research teams in the areas of both education and the social services.


RobinsonJ

JoAnn Robinson, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Robinson is a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. Her professional interests include prevention and early intervention for families and young children, impact of interventions on emotional development and parent-child relationships, infant mental health, and assessment of emotional development ages 0-8 years.

 

 

 


SabatelliR

Ronald Sabatelli, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Sabatelli is a Senior Research Associate at the CARHD. He is a Professor and Department Head in Human Development and Family Studies. Dr. Sabatelli’s research interests include family interaction processes; processes mediating the formation, maintenance, and breakup of intimate dyads; measurement and assessment of the qualities and dimensions of intimate partnerships and family functioning; the influence of family-of-origin factors upon the structure and experience of parenthood; and adolescent and young adult development. He is currently the editor of Family Relations, an Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, published on behalf of the National Council on Family Relations.


Vida Samuel, Ph.D.

Faculty Research Associate, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Vida Samuel is an Assistant Professor in Residence of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut – Stamford. She is a scholar in women’s studies and intercultural communication and teaches undergraduate courses in human sexuality, relationships across the lifespan and gendered communication. Her primary and secondary professional interests include, women and sexuality, sexuality and aging, intercultural and interpersonal communication in intimate relationships at the intersection of age, inter-gender communication, relationship of school success to post-secondary access for students in under-represented and underserved communities, first generation students and formally removed students. She is a contributor to CUNY’s College Now Program curricula – a program that allows qualified New York City public high school students to enroll in courses that earn college credit and provides academic enrichment programs as a foundation for academic success. Her teaching philosophy emphasizes students’ unique experiences as a significant contribution to the classroom environment. She wrote about the “War on Women” for Higher Heights for America, which reported on how voting laws and healthcare legislation impacted girls and women of color. She sits on the board of LiveGirl, a Fairfield County nonprofit with a focus on empowering diverse girl populations through strategic mentorship and leadership development. Dr. Samuel served on the scholarship evaluation committee for the Mandela-Washington Fellows program. She is a frequent speaker at women centered summits and organizations. She earned a BSW from Wheelock College at Boston University, a Masters of Arts in interpersonal communication from New York University and a PhD with a focus in intercultural communication and women’s studies at Howard University.


Ryan Watson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Faculty Research Associate

Dr. Watson is an Assistant Professor of Human Development & Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. His professional interests include the study of sexual and gender minority youth health and well-being. He has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles focused on substance use, disordered eating, and mental health among sexual and gender minorities. Recently, his scholarship has expanded to include HIV risk for young adults of color, hooking up, and educational experiences. Dr. Watson is a consulting editor for the Journal of Research on Adolescence, has leadership roles at the Society for Research on Adolescence, and is part of multiple national organizations that explore the health of sexual and gender minority individuals.