Public Health, University of South Carolina
Cohort Seven Fellow

Academic Mentor
Rachel Davis, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health

Policy Mentor
Megan Branham
Director of Policy and Research, Palmetto Association for Children and Families

Areas of Expertise

Evidence Based/Evidence Informed Programs, Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups, Policy Research


Aditi is a PhD Candidate at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. Her dissertation is focused on communicating effectively to policymakers about the role protective factors play in preventing ACEs.

Aditi also serves as the Research and Community Impact Manager at the Children's Trust of South Carolina. In this role, Aditi manages and leads South Carolina Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Initiative. She is responsible for research efforts centered around ACEs; data dissemination and translation efforts both statewide and within the agency; and facilitating community-based prevention efforts to promote the health and well-being of all children. Aditi also supports the KIDS COUNT program in South Carolina by managing research and data products, developing data visualization to promote health equity, and supporting policy initiatives centered on child health and well-being.

Aditi holds a master’s degree in public health with a focus on federal health policy from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in American Government from the University of Virginia.


Helping Our Kids Thrive: Understanding and Effectively Communicating the Role of Protective Factors in Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences Through Policy Efforts

Since the landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study in 1997, 30+ states have collected ACEs data to better understand links between early childhood adversity and negative adult health and social outcomes. South Carolina began to collect ACEs data in 2014 through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (SC-BRFSS), a cross-sectional telephone survey of non-institutionalized adults. In 2016, eight additional items were added to the survey on some of the contextual factors associated with ACEs, including questions on the absence of a positive caregiver, food insecurity, homelessness, and poverty in early childhood. This dissertation has two specific goals: 1) to understand the role of positive environments on the prevalence of ACEs and the association between ACEs and adult health outcomes, and 2) to develop guidance for communities on how to frame persuasive messages to policymakers on the need for policies that support the prevention of ACEs.