Erik Carter, PhD, is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. His research and teaching focus on evidence-based strategies for supporting access to the general curriculum and promoting valued roles in school, work, community, and congregational settings for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, autism, or other multiple disabilities. He has a BA in Christian Education from Wheaton College, and a MEd and PhD from Vanderbilt University in Special Education. Prior to receiving his doctorate, Dr. Carter worked as a high school teacher and transition specialist.
He has published widely in the areas of educational and transition services for children and youth with disabilities, and won many awards. Dr. Carter works closely with undergraduate and graduate students across a series of research and technical assistance projects. He addresses topics such as faith and inclusive congregational supports with the Collaborative on Faith & Disabilities and inclusive education and access to general curriculum with the Peer Partner Project. He also works with the Tennessee Behavior Support Project to create multi-tiered systems of support for all individuals with disabilities.
Kathryn Edin is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology at Zanvyl Krieger School and the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests lie in the fields of families, poverty, welfare, and single parenthood. She has published a number of books and academic studies on the subjects of the behaviors of various poor American populations. She received her PhD in sociology from Northwestern University, her MA in Sociology from Northwestern University, and her BA in Sociology from North Park University. She has also taught at Rutgers University, Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania, and, most recently, Harvard University as a Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School and chair of their Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy. She is a Trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation and on the Department of Health and Human Services advisory committee for the poverty research centers at Michigan, Wisconsin, and Stanford. She is a founding member of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Network on Housing and Families with Young Children and a past member of the MacArthur Network on the Family and the Economy. She is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences.
She has done more than any scholar to help people understand family formation and dissolution behavior of low-income young men and women in the United States. Her extended ethnographic research among those populations have helped to shed light on why they tend to choose to have children but not marry, why the romantic relationships they form tend to be fragile, and how parenthood gains powerful meaning in their lives. Her work has been very influential in shaping policy discussions and debates. She is a delightful, down-to-earth individual, a devoted wife and mother, and a compassionate, caring citizen involved in not only researching her subjects but trying to improve their lives with community service.
Dr. Underwood is the Dean of Graduate Studies an an Ashbel Smith Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her research examines developmental origins and outcomes of social aggression, and how adolescents' digital communication relates to adjustment. Since 2003, she and her research group have been studying adolescents' use of digital communications via social media and texting.
Dr. Lichter is the Ferris Family professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University, as well as professor of Sociology and and Director of the Cornell Population Center. He teaches courses on population and public policy, poverty, inequality, and demographic techniques. Dr. Lichter has published widely on demographic topics related to the family and welfare policy, including studies of children's changing living arrangements, poverty, cohabitation and marriage among unwed mothers, and welfare incentive effects on the family. He is especially interested in America's racial and ethnic transformation, growing diversity, and the implications of those things on our future.
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Bushman is a professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University, and a professor of communication science at the VU University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands during the summer. Through research focusing on the causes, consequences, and solutions to the problem of human aggression and violence, Bushman has challenged several myths including the idea that violent media has only a trivial effect on aggression. He has over 130 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including top scientific journals such as Science and Nature. Bushman’s research has also been featured on prominent radio and television stations including ABC News 20/20, CBS, BBC, NBC, and NPR, as well as in popular magazines and newspapers including Scientific American, Newsweek, Time, Sports Illustrated , New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, among others. He is also a frequent blogger for Psychology Today.
Frank D. Fincham obtained a doctoral degree in social psychology as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He then completed postdoctoral training in clinical psychology at Stony Brook University before assuming a position as assistant professor at the University of Illinois, where he ultimately became a professor and the Director of Clinical Training. Following a brief period as a professor in the United Kingdom, he became a SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University at Buffalo before assuming his current position as Eminent Scholar and Director of the Family Institute at The Florida State University. The author of more than 250 publications, his research has been widely recognized by numerous awards, including the Berscheid-Hatfield Award for “sustained, substantial, and distinguished contributions to the field of personal relationships” from the International Network on Personal Relationships and the President’s Award for "distinguished contributions to psychological knowledge" from the British Psychological Society. He has served as the president of the International Association for Relationship Research and as a governor of United Kingdom College of Family Mediators. A Fellow of five different professional societies, Fincham has been listed in the Association for Psychological Science Observer as among the top 25 psychologists in the world in terms of impact (defined as number of citations per paper).
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Hawkins received a Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University in 1975. His research focuses on understanding and preventing child and adolescent health and behavior problems. He develops and tests prevention strategies that seek to reduce risk through the enhancement of strengths and protective factors in families, schools and communities. He is the principal investigator of the Community Youth Development Study, a randomized field experiment involving 24 communities across seven states testing the effectiveness of the Communities That Care prevention system, developed by Hawkins and Richard F. Catalano. He has authored numerous articles and several books as well as prevention programs for parents and families, including Guiding Good Choices , Parents WhoCare and Supporting School Success . He is listed in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering and was awarded the 2009 Flynn Prize for Research from the USC School of Social Work.
Thompson’s research focuses on how relationships affect the ability of children to develop and regulate their emotions. He also applies his research to public policy concerning school, mental health policies and research ethics. Thompson has a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and has received extensive honors and awards for his work. His two most recent honors were an award for Research Accomplishments on Behalf of Child Development Programs from the California Child Development Administrators Association in 2009, and the Ann L. Brown Award for Excellence in Developmental Research in 2007. Thompson has also authored numerous books about children’s emotional health including Preventing Child Maltreatment Through Social Support: A Critical Analysis (1995), The Postdivorce Family (1999) and Toward a Child-Centered, Neighborhood-Based Child Protection System (2002). He is currently working on a book titled Early Brain Development, The Media, and Public Policy.
Dr. Waite is the Lucy Flower Professor in Urban Sociology at the University of Chicago and Director for the Center of Aging at the National Opinion Research Center. Her research focuses on how marriage changes people's behavior in ways that promote economic, emotional and physical well-being. She also has studied the decision to cohabit, the transition from cohabitation to marriage and the characteristics of cohabiting unions. One of her books, The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Healthier, Happier, and Better Off Financially ( Doubleday 2000), received the 2000 Outstanding Book Award from the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education.
Dr. William J. Doherty is a leading family therapist and Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Minnesota. He has authored several books on the subject, including Take Back your Kids: Confident Parenting in Turbulent Times (2000), The Case of Overscheduled Children (2005), and Putting Family First: Successful Strategies for Reclaiming Family Life in a Hurry-Up World (2002). Several of his publications have received national attention with articles in USA Today, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and appearances on Oprah, 20/20, the Today Show, and the CBS Morning Show. He is also a past president of the National Council on Family Relations, the nation's oldest interdisciplinary family studies organization. His work has been recognized by various awards, including the Significant Contribution to the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy Award, the Margaret E. Arcus Award for Outstanding Contribution to Family Life Education, and the Outstanding Community Service Award from the University of Minnesota.
Christian Smith is currently the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, Director of the Center for the Sociology of Religion, and Principal Investigator of the National Study of Youth and Religion. He recently served as Associate Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from 2000 to 2005. Smith worked at UNC Chapel Hill from 1994 to 2006. Before moving to UNC Chapel Hill in 1994, Smith taught for six years at Gordon College. During his years at UNC Chapel Hill, Smith has brought in about eight million dollars of research grant money from the Pew Charitable Trusts and Lilly Endowment, Inc. Smith is the author, co-author, or editor of numerous books, including Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers ; Moral, Believing Animals: Human Culture and Personhood ; The Secular Revolution: Power, Interests, and Conflict in the Secularization of American Public Life, American Evangelicalism: Embattled and Thriving , and The Emergence of Liberation Theology: Radical Religion and Social Movement Theory . He is also author or co-author of numerous journal articles. Smith’s scholarly interests focus on American religion, cultural sociology, adolescents, and sociological theory.
Dr. Moore is a Senior Scholar and Program Area Director for Child Trends a nonprofit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to improving the lives of children. Dr. Moore is a social psychologist who studies trends in child and family well-being, positive development, the determinants and consequences of early sexual activity and parenthood, fatherhood, the effects of family structure and social change on children, and the effects of public policies and poverty on children. Dr. Moore was a founding member of the Task Force on Effective Programs and Research at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a member of NICHD Advisory Council, and served as a member of the bipartisan federal Advisory on Welfare Indicators. In 1999, Dr. Moore was awarded the Foundation for Child Development's Centennial Award for her achievements on behalf of children. She also was designated the 2002 Society for Adolescent Medicine Visiting Scholar and received the 2005 American Sociological Association's Distinguished Contribution Award from the Section on Children and Youth. Dr. Moore headed Child Trends for 14 years, and she has recently chosen to return to full-time research. Dr. Moore has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Sara McLanahan is a professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. She is a faculty associate of the Office of Population Research and is the founder and directory of the Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. She currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Future of Children, a journal dedicated to providing research and analysis to promote effective policies and programs for children. She is the past president of the Population Association of America, and has served on the National Academy of Sciences - Institute of Medicine Board on Children, Youth and Families and the boards of the American Sociological Association and the Populations Association of America. she currently serves on the Advisory board for the National Poverty Center and the Board of Trustees for the William T. Grant Foundation. Dr. McLanahan is the author of many articles and books and has received numerous awards and honors. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979.
James Q. Wilson is currently the Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. Dr. James Q. Wilson has enjoyed a long storied career in the public policy arena. From 1961 to 1987, he taught political science at Harvard University, where he was the Shattuck Professor of Government. He was the James Collins Professor of Management and Public Policy at UCLA from 1985 until 1997. He is the author or co-author of fourteen books, the most recent of which are The Marriage Problem: How Our Culture Has Weakened Families (Harper Collins, 2002), Moral Judgment (Basic Books), and the Moral Sense (Free Press). His others include American Government, Bureaucracy, Thinking About Crime, Varieties of Police Behavior, Political Organizations, and Crime and Human Nature (with Richard J. Herrnstein). In addition he has edited or contributed to books on urban problems, government regulation of business, and the prevention of delinquency among children. Many of his writings on morality and human character have been collected in On Character: Essays by James Q. Wilson. His textbook on American government is more widely used on University campuses than any other government textbook.