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Archive: 2013-2014 Academic Year

The Forum at HSPHAlison Earle participates in Harvard School of Public Health Forum on Delaying Pregnancy and Parenthood

May 21, 2014

Dr. Alison Earle, PhD, Senior Scientist at ICYFP, participated in a panel titled "Delaying Pregnancy and Parenthood: The Risks and Rewards" hosted by the Forum and Harvard School of Public Health. The panel was moderated by PRI's Carol Hills and focused on the rapidly rising age of parenthood for American women. The panel discussed the factors that are driving this trend, as well as health risk and benefits of older parenthood for both adults and children.

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Small State, Big Debate logoDolores Acevedo-Garcia Presents at "Small State, Big Debate: Inequality" Event at University of Hartford

April 29, 2014

Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, PhD, MPA-URP, Director of ICYFP, gave a presentation at "Small State, Big Debate: Inequality," a state-wide event hosted by the Connecticut Mirror at the University of Hartford. Her talk described the project, focusing on its unique ability as an information system to monitor equity in child health. The project, based at the Institute for Child Youth and Family Policy, is led by Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Principal Investigator, and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Connecticut Mirror is a non-profit, public policy news organization. "Small State, Big Debate" was its first state-wide event, and featured speakers, expert panels, data engagement, and student presentations. 

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Kerith Conron HeadshotKerith Conron Presents on Research Methodology in the Context of LGBT Public Health Issues

April 9, 2014

Dr. Kerith Conron, ICYFP Visiting Scholar and Fenway Institute Research Scientist, spent the afternoon presenting to students in HSSP100b: Introduction to Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Population Health. Through a social determinants of health framework, Dr. Conron challenged students to critically analyze study design, confounding, sampling design, effect modification, measurement and other epidemiologic issues of method and measurement as they apply to transgender and cisgender populations in a lecture concerning LGBT public health issues. Conron was the first coordinator of the Office of LGBT Health for the City of Boston and served on the first Steering Committee of the National Coalition for LGBT Health. Her contributions to transgender health include conducting some of the earliest cognitive testing research on survey measures to identify transgender youth, publishing the first US household-based study of adult transgender health, and organizing the national Gender Identity in U.S. Surveillance (GenIUSS) working group with colleagues at the Williams Institute.

Acevedo-Garcia headshotDolores Acevedo-Garcia Gives Keynote at 2014 Latina Researchers Conference

April 5, 2014

Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, PhD, MPA-URP, Director of ICYFP, gave the keynote address at this year's Latina Researchers Conference held in New York City on April 5th. The title of her talk was " Developing an information system to monitor equity in child health." The project, based at the Institute for Child Youth and Family Policy, is led by Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Principal Investigator, and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Latina Researchers Conference seeks to "Increase the Pipeline for Future Scholars" and is intended to promote historically disadvantaged populations with advanced degrees in social/behavior science or STEM degrees, or those who are in advanced research or academic positions. For more information about the Latina Researchers Conference, visit their website

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Cover of Diabetes Educator journalICYFP Graduate Research Assistant Drew Zachary Publishes Article in Diabetes Educator

April 4, 2014

ICYFP congratulates its research assistant, PhD student Drew Zachary, for the publication of a new research article in the journal Diabetes Educator. The article was written with colleagues at Johns Hopkins University and has been published online ahead of printThe title of the article is "Family and community influences on diabetes-related dietary change in a low-Income urban neighborhood." Available Online.

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Megan Madison headshotCYF PhD Student Megan Madison Awarded the Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being

April 2, 2014

Megan Madison, third year PhD student in the Child, Youth and Families concentration and participant in the 2012 ICYFP Summer Internship program, has been selected to receive the competitive Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being to support her continued dissertation research for the next two years. Megan's dissertation research will focus on the impacts that professionalization has on the diversity of the early childhood education and care workforce. Her research is grounded in Critical Race Theory, and her participatory research design incorporates both quantitative and qualitative methods. She will develop qualitative narratives with early childhood caregivers and educators of color exploring the ways in which professionalization policies have affected their career paths. The quantitative aspect of this study will use state variation to model the effects of professionalization policies on the diversity and stratification of the early care and education teaching workforce. Her research aims to influence policy in a way that will make early childhood systems both higher quality and more equitable.

This funding will enable Megan to spend the next two years working full-time toward the completion of this project and the dissemination of its findings to relevant stakeholders. In addition, the unique cohort model of the fellowship will allow her to learn from and connect with colleagues across a wide range of disciplines. 

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Drew Zachary headshotICYFP Graduate Research Assistant Drew Zachary Presents at Tufts Student Conference

March 29, 2014

ICYFP Graduate Research Assistant and Heller PhD student Drew Zachary gave a presentation on Saturday, March 29th, 2014 at the Tufts Student Conference on the Future of Food and Nutrition. The title of her presentation was "Expanding food purchasing resources in low-income communities: a framework for policy-making based on shoppers’ perspectives.” It formed part of a conference session titled "Retail, Food Access, and Sugar-sweetened Beverages: Current Topics in Nutrition Policy." In this study, Zachary and her co-author reviewed the existing literature on how qualities of the food environment influence food purchasing in low-income communities with the goal of developing policy recommendations. They found that resources as the individual, community, and shopping-environment levels influenced the perceived value of healthy and unhealthy products and led to infrequent shopping and purchasing of less healthy items. They concluded that "policy strategies that increase healthy food purchasing in low-income communities will be most effective if they are informed by the perspectives of residents of those communities. Policies should aim to increase individual and community-level food purchasing resources and create task environments geared toward healthy purchasing." Click here to read the full abstract (pages 13-14).

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Lindsay Rosenfeld headshotRosenfeld gives webinar presentation on health literacy at Albany Medical Center and the AIDS Institute

March 28, 2014

ICYFP Scientist and Lecturer Dr. Lindsay Rosenfeld, ScD, ScM, presented "Health Literacy: It's Not Just About Reading Levels!" to staff of the Albany Medical Center and the AIDS Institute as well as hundreds of health practitioners via webinar. She provided an overview of the field, discussed issues of practice, and provided practical tools for improving the health literacy environment, including hospitals, clinics, providers, patients, and materials.

The talk, including slides and resources, is available online.

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Dolores Acevedo Garcia headshot

Groundbreaking new website launches, giving public access to measures of child wellbeing and equity throughout the U.S.

March 12, 2014

The Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy (ICYFP) has launched, a new online data and analysis tool that provides unprecedented insight into wellbeing and equity among the ever-more diverse child population in the United States.The site allows users to create customized profiles, rankings and maps that make data visual and digestible. It also features a neighborhood-level child opportunity index, the first of its kind, developed in partnership with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University. In addition to providing this index and hundreds of standard measures broken down by race and ethnicity, this site also generates unique, equity-focused data on known structural factors that drive existing disparities among varying racial and ethnic groups. It allows users to zoom in from a national perspective to ever-small levels of geography: examining individual metropolitan areas, school districts, and in some cases even neighborhoods, providing pinpoint views of the often nuanced inequities present among children of varying racial and ethnic groups.

“The U.S. child population is increasingly racially and ethnically diverse, but unfortunately not all children have the same opportunities for healthy development,” said Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Director of ICYFP and principal investigator of “We hope that our data will equip users to become more informed advocates for all children and especially for vulnerable children.” 

The site’s launch signals the culmination of years of work at ICYFP on collecting the highest-quality data available on the U.S. child population and using it to tell a compelling story: child experiences in America vary drastically by race and ethnicity, often in ways that are systematically unfair and avoidable. The site’s launch is also accompanied by the release of two fact sheets, giving concrete examples to demonstrate how data contribute to our understanding of the systematic inequities that exist among U.S. children. logo

The team acknowledges generous funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Read the full press release or read a Q&A with Dolores Acevedo-Garcia to learn more about

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Alison EarleEarle Presents on Paid Leave Policies at Aspen Institute

January 28, 2014

ICYFP Visiting Scholar and Instructor, Alison Earle, Ph.D. was a featured speaker at The Aspen Institute’s event titled, Time to Care:  A Discussion on Improving Paid Leave Policies for Workers, Businesses, and Our Economy. The event, the fifth discussion in the Aspen Institute series titled Working in America, was held on Tuesday, January 28th at the Institute’s Washington D.C headquarters.  Also on the panel were Ellen Bravo, Executive Director at Family Values @ Work, John Feehery, President of Communications and Director of Public Affairs at Quinn Gillespie and Associates, and Makini Howell, Owner of Plum Bistro. Sponsored by the Ford and Charles S. Mott and Surdna Foundations, the event was attended by members of foundations, government, think tanks, local and national advocacy organizations, and academic research institutions. 

Earle outlined the significant economic consequences – wage loss, job loss – and the public and family health impacts (delayed medical treatment, diseases spread by children who go to school sick and adults who go to work sick, higher health care service use, etc.) caused by insufficient paid leave for workers. Her talk also highlighted the lessons learned from existing state and local paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave laws. Earle described research showing how far behind the US is compared to other countries when it comes to providing paid sick, family and medical leave, as well as evidence that enacting such policies would not inevitably harm U.S. standing as an economic competitor.

Earle discussed evidence of racial/ethnic disparities in access to the federal family and medical leave policy through analysis of data indicators of parental working conditions. This research is a part of ICYFP’s soon to be launched website: and will accompany a host of other indicators of parent employment and child wellbeing related to parent working conditions. Earle argued that in the absence of paid sick days and paid family and medical leave, and without equal access to good jobs, the current racial/ethnic and income disparities in children’s opportunities and outcomes – documented on – will grow.

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ICYFP team photographPress Release: The Heller School’s Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy receives $2.9 million grant

December 5, 2013

"The Heller School’s Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy (ICYFP) has received a $2.9 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to complete and launch, the first nationally comprehensive, interactive online database tool for finding data, policy information and analysis on the wellbeing of U.S. children across racial and ethnic groups. To launch in January 2014, will allow policymakers, researchers and advocates to compare child wellbeing data across states, counties, metropolitan areas, large cities and large school districts...ICYFP also received a grant of nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a four year project to evaluate changes to the Massachusetts child care subsidy program for low-income working families, with a focus on families that face increased barriers to access, such as immigrant families." (Read the full Press Release on Brandeis Now)

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Drew Zachary headshotICYFP Research Assistant Drew Zachary Receives Award 

November 2, 2013

Ms. Drew Zachary, ICYFP Research Assistant, received a "best presentation award" on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at the Society for African American Public Health Interests Annual Scientific Symposium. Her presentation was entitled: "Family and community influences on diabetes-related dietary change in a low-income African American community."

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American Public Health Association logoRosenfeld Presents at American Public Health Association Conference

November 5, 2013

Lindsay Rosenfeld, ScD, ScM, ICYFP Research Scientist, gave two separate presentations this past Tuesday at the annual American Public Health Association Conference, held this year in Boston, MA. Her first presentation, titled "Health Equity at the Intersection of Urban Planning and Public Health: An analysis of programmatic, discursive, legislative, and structural actions," reflects work that Rosenfeld has completed as Director of the Interdisciplinary Consortium on Urban Planning and Public Health (ICUPPH), in conjunction with her research at ICYFP. In addition to this valuable work, Rosenfeld also presented on her work in child equity, contributing to project research at ICYFP. Her second presentation is titled: "Where's the health equity focus? Youth digital media programs in the United States." Both presentations reflect valuable contributions to the field of public health as well as the strong interdisciplinary focus of the ICYFP team. 

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Russell Sage Foundation LogoICYFP Researchers Present to Russell Sage Foundation on Care Work 

November 1, 2013

ICYFP team members Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, PhD, MPA-URP, Director, Pamela Joshi, PhD '01, MPP, Associate Director, Alison Earle, PhD, Senior Scientist, and Lisa Dodson, PhD, MPH, Visiting Scholar, presented at the Russell Sage Foundation last Friday at a Meeting of the Care Work Working Group. The presentation focused on inequities among care workers associated with race/ethnicity and immigrant status. ICYFP's approach to research on care and care work examines these inequities for both paid and unpaid care workers as well as the effects that this may have on working parents and their children. The team's approach also includes a focus on the social mobility (or lack thereof) of the care workforce, and analyzes the policy context of care. Examination of these complexities can be enriched by exploring the perspectives of care workers, care consumers, and their families. 

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Where Integration Meets Innovation conference posterUpcoming Conference Sponsored by One Nation Indivisible: "Where Integration Meets Innovation"

November 8-9, 2013

Boston-based organization One Nation Indivisible, co-directed by ICYFP Visiting Scholars Gina Chirichigno, JD, and Susan Eaton, Ed.D., Ed.M., will hold a conference in Hartford, CT on November 8-9, 2013. The conference is titled "Where Integration Meets Innovation: Creating, Sustaining and Improving Dynamic & Diverse Public Schools for the 21st Century." This interactive 2-day conference will gather parents, educators, scholars and activists "who aspire to build innovative, racially and culturally diverse public schools that prepare children for learning, work and life in the 21st century." Registration for the conference is free and open to the public. To learn more about the conference, view the conference goals and agenda, or contact the organizers, please visit the Where Integration Meets Innovation page at ONI.

"One Nation Indivisible harnesses the power of storytelling and strategic organizing to support and celebrate people struggling to create, sustain and improve racially, culturally, linguistically and socioeconomically integrated schools, communities, workplaces and social institutions."

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Dolores Acevedo-Garcia headshotAcevedo-Garcia Contributing Author of Report: "The Business Case for Racial Equity" 

October 25, 2013

Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, PhD, MPA-URP, ICYFP Director, is a contributing author to a new report released by the Altarum Institute and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation titled "The Business Case for Racial Equity." Under the Kellogg Foundation's America Healing effort, this report strives to quantify the economic impact that racial disparity has on the United States from a business perspective. In light of the demographic shift that the U.S. continues to undergo, striving for equity among people of differing racial/ethnic backgrounds has become a goal that has not just moral and ethical consequences, but broad financial impacts as well. The data supporting this report show the potential benefits that racial equity could have on businesses, government, and the economy through increased productivity, purchasing power, and job opportunities for minorities. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation press release is available online and the full report is available for download. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is a funder of the and projects. 

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AACPDM conference 2013 logoEarle and Acevedo-Garcia Co-Author Poster Presented at the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine

October 16-19, 2013

ICYFP Director Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, PhD, MPA-URP and Alison Earle, PhD, Senior Scientist, contributed to a scientific poster titled "Impact of Caring for Children with Medical Complexity and Fragility due to Multiple Chronic Conditions (CMC) on Family Life." The poster was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine  in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This work demonstrates a continuation of ICYFP's focus on research for Children with Special Needs and Their Families and was developed in conjunction with Dr. Carmen Gomez Mandic, MPH, ScD, Associate Director for Research and Evaluation at the  Marian Wright Edelman Institute for the Study of Children, Youth and Families at the San Francisco State University. 

Citation: Mandic CG, Johaningsmeir S, Corden T, Okun A, Earle A, Acevedo-Garcia D, & Gordon JG. Impact of Caring for Children with Medical Complexity and Fragility due to Multiple Chronic Conditions (CMC) on Family Life. Scientific Poster presented at the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, Milwaukee, WI, October 2013.

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Lindsay Rosenfeld, ICYFP Research ScientistRosenfeld Presents on Health Impact Assessments at the 2013 Northern New England Planners Conference

September 20, 2013

Lindsay Rosenfeld, ScD, ScM, ICYFP Research Scientist, presented at the 2013 Northern New England Planners Conference, "Planning for Everyone." The session was entitled: Planning for Healthier Environments through Health Impact Assessment. The session introduced the concept of Health Impact Assessment (HIA), a policy method which evaluates the potential health effects of a project, policy, or program before it is implemented. HIA is used by public health practitioners, planners, and others--and is rapidly emerging in the United States. It serves to engage myriad partners in health and planning discussions that review available evidence and make policy recommendations based on these careful assessments. HIAs are recently being widely discussed and used throughout the United States as well as funded by the Centers for Disease Control, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trust, particularly through the Health Impact Project. In the introductory session, Dr. Rosenfeld presented an HIA "101," including costs and benefits, and also introduced two New Hampshire HIAs: the Second Street Corridor and the WOW Trail Expansion. The practitioners of the New Hampshire HIAs presented their results.

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Phomdaen Souvanna headshotSouvanna Presents Research on Gentrification in Urban Education

August, 2013

CYF PhD Student Phomdaen Souvanna, fourth-year PhD student in Child, Youth, and Family Policy, presented her research on gentrification in urban education at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems in New York City in August of 2013. Her presentation, titled “The Intersection of Gentrification and Urban Education,” examines the interaction between gentrifying populations and their local school systems.

Abstract: Gentrification research has mainly focused on the changes in housing patterns and residential choice. By focusing intently on these limited aspects of the urban landscape, gentrification scholars have essentially ignored how gentrifiers interact with local institutions. Inherent within the process are class-based practices that serve to reshape the local context and local institutions, such as schools. This presentation attempts to explicate the relationship between neighborhood gentrification and school reform efforts. An overview of the literature on the process of gentrification and school reform is provided in order to establish a foundation for discussing the link between these two normally distinct bodies of literature. The presentation highlights the two main ways in which gentrification and schools are linked the existing literature: 1) neighborhood gentrification as a mechanism to improve schools; and 2) school improvement as a mechanism for neighborhood gentrification. 

Citation:  Souvanna, P. (2013, August). The Intersection of Gentrification and Urban Education. 2013 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. New York City, NY.

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Kimberly Geronimo headshotGeronimo Chosen to Attend Research Connections Summer Data Workshop

June 21, 2013

Kimberly Geronimo, BA,  ICYFP Research Associate, has been accepted to attend the Child Care & Early Education Research Connections sponsored workshop, "Coordinated Data Analysis: Maximizing Early Care and Education Data," to be held July 29-31, 2013 in Ann Arbor, MI. This workshop will be part of the 2013 ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Science Research at the University of Michigan. More information is available on the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research website.

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