May 2018 Newsletter


Doris Duke Fellowships Embracing New Opportunities

As you may have seen on our website, the Doris Duke Fellowships is turning a new page. Click here to read more about the future of the fellowships.


Mid-Year Meeting a Success!

The University of Oklahoma welcomed 46 current and graduated fellows for the Doris Duke Fellowships Mid-Year Meeting on April 11 – 13, 2018.


Fellows gathered to network with fellows from other cohorts, workshop their research, and attend informative presentations from graduated fellows and leaders in the field of child well-being.

Speakers included:

  • David Finkelhor, University of New Hampshire, on the trends in child well-being in the US 1990-present;

  • Jane Silovsky, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, on multi-site research on problematic sexual behavior of youth;

  • Dolores Subia Bigfoot, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, on the status of child maltreatment in American Indian and Alaska Native communities;

  • Deborah Shropshire, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, on creating systems of resilience.


A highlight of the meeting was learning about Native American culture in Oklahoma. The meeting’s opening reception featured a dance performance by the Oklahoma Fancy Dancers, a professional and highly acclaimed Native American dance troupe from various tribes. Also, Dr. Dolores Bigfoot led all Mid-Year-Meeting attendees in a water ceremony at the closing of the meeting.

The Doris Duke Fellowships team at Chapin Hall is extremely appreciative of Dr. Barbara Bonner, University of Oklahoma, and her team for guiding the meeting planning efforts. Fellows and staff left feeling inspired and energized to continue the important work of promoting the health and well-being of children.


Writing Retreat Recap from Lisa Schelbe, Cohort One

Following the Mid-Year Meeting in Oklahoma City, seven Doris Duke fellows from six different cohorts participated in a writing retreat in a house rented in Norman near the Oklahoma University campus. The structure of the retreat was writing in blocks of time from 1.5 to 3 hours with breaks between the writing sessions. Over the course of the weekend, the group collectively wrote over 70 hours. Each fellow had individual projects that they worked on, including manuscripts, grants, conference abstracts, and a dissertation. All of the fellows expressed being thrilled with the progress made on their projects. A few noted that they were able to accomplish significantly more than they expected during the weekend.


In the downtime between writing sessions, fellows connected and talked about their work and shared their professional experiences. In the evenings, the fellows enjoyed seeing the sights of Norman and spending time getting to know one another better. The fellows who participated included Annie Davis, Cohort Seven; Jackie Duron, Cohort Two; Megan Hayes Piel, Cohort Three; Ericka Lewis, Cohort Five; Katie Maguire-Jack, Cohort One; Abby Ross, Cohort Four; and Lisa Schelbe, Cohort One. The fellows have discussed organizing additional writing retreats in areas where there are multiple fellows (i.e., New York; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago) as well as before or after conferences attended by fellows. More information about upcoming writing retreats for fellows will be posted on Ning, the Doris Duke Fellows Facebook group page, and in future newsletters. All fellows are encouraged to organize writing retreats and can get more information about the structure through contacting anyone who participated in the writing retreat!


Spotlight: Outstanding Mentor, Laura Edwards

By: Gracelyn Cruden, Cohort Seven


Laura Edwards has been in the field of public health and working with communities to promote well-being for over 20 years. She constantly works to cultivate and continuously re-engage partners from local non-profit organizations, government organizations, health care agencies, the business sector, and community-based groups. Her primary interest lies in working with communities across North Carolina to develop community-appropriate, evidence-based programs that respond to community-identified priorities. Laura's work lies at the intersection of public health, population health, policy, and practice, and she consistently pushes boundaries to improve the lives of North Carolinians.

As a policy mentor, she has been a constant source of encouragement and support, offering her extensive experience and professional network to me whenever I need it. She selflessly offers her time for monthly phone calls and emails in the interim to address mentorship opportunities both large and small. Laura's commitment to tirelessly working together across sectors, often without recognition or funding, is a model for the field for bridging researchers and communities, policies to practice. Her energy is infectious and those in her professional and personal network can immediately feel her passion for what she does. Communities around North Carolina continually benefit from her work, such as helping to define the Healthy North Carolina 2020 goals, and her current service as the project director for a CDC-funded project to develop a Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support toolkit. Thank you, Laura, for your mentorship! 


New Blog Post Showcasing Fellow’s Research!



Lindsey Bullinger, Cohort Six, published a blog post about the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Breastfeeding Outcomes. Click here to read more!




National Foster Care Month


May is National Foster Care Month! To celebrate, Child and Adolescent Social Work created a virtual special issue focusing on foster care guest edited by Jennifer Geiger, a Cohort One fellow. It also features articles written by Doris Duke fellows Megan Hayes Piel, Cohort Three; Francie Julien-Chinn, Cohort Five; and Colleen Katz, Cohort Three. Articles in the virtual issue are free to access until June 30, 2018. The special issue is available here.


Fellows Updates:


The University of Kentucky News highlighted Jay Miller, Cohort Two, as a Hero of the University of Kentucky. Click here to read about Jay’s journey and his incredible character, compassion, and commitment to becoming a voice for youth. Congratulations, Jay!





Lindsey Bullinger, Cohort Six, Graduated in April and will be starting a position as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech in August. Congratulations, Lindsey!





Katherine Paschall, Cohort Four


Upcoming Dates:

  • Doris Duke Fellowships Annual Meeting: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 – Friday, September 14, 2018 at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. More information to come soon!

  • NRCEC Happy Hour: Tuesday, June 26 at 5:30pm. Location TBA. More information to come soon!