May 2019 Newsletter


Spotlight: Clinton Boyd, Jr.

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Clinton Boyd, Jr., Cohort Six fellow, recently accepted a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Samuel Dubois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, starting Fall 2019. During his tenure at Duke University, Clinton will be jointly mentored by Dr. William (Sandy) Darity, Jr. and Dr. Anna Gassman-Pines, where they will assist him in continued development as a scholar, while also preparing him for a faculty position within the academy. While he is grateful for the opportunity to learn from these two noteworthy scholars, he is especially looking forward to studying under the tutelage of Dr. Darity. Similar to Dr. Darity, Clinton is also an advocate for race-conscious policies. Therefore, he is interested in learning how Dr. Darity persuaded a cadre of 2020 presidential hopefuls to adopt several of his race-based policy proposals as they strive to close America's racial wealth gap.

Reflecting on his time as a Doris Duke Fellow, Clinton stated that, “it surely had a transformative impact on my life. As someone who mulls over how to best improve the lives of marginalized populations, the fellowships’ interdisciplinary focus on creating system change – at the organizational and policy level – helped to hone my thinking in many respects, particularly concerning my work with Black fathers.”

Traveling in this vein, in Fall 2019, the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities of Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School will publish a concept paper Clinton wrote with his Academic Advisor, Dr. Deirdre Oakley, as part of their What Works Volume. Within the concept paper, Clinton describes his plan to develop a place-based, multifaceted fatherhood empowerment program for Black fathers with young children. The fatherhood empowerment program has three central components, which includes the following:

  1. Parent education programs

  2. Parent treatment services

  3. Policy advocacy workshops

Ultimately Clinton hopes that the program will equip Black fathers with the necessary skills and knowledge to disrupt the systemic forces mainly responsible for our societal subjugation.


Doris Duke Fellowships Leadership Committee Meeting May 15-16, 2019

The Doris Duke Network Leadership Committee met on May 15-16, 2019 at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. The meeting started with a discussion with Deb Daro and Lee Ann Huang about the value of the network and the contribution it can make to the field as we transition beyond a fellowships structure to leveraging and growing the network. Throughout the two-day meeting, the Leadership Committee revisited the question Deb Daro posed, “What is the value proposition of the fellowships?” and had lively conversations about what the key components of the network are and should be as we plan for the future.


The Leadership Committee revisited the timeline and goals for the first year and were pleased with the progress made. The workgroup tasked with researching comparative fellowships structures and sustainability (chaired by Megan Finno-Velasquez, Cohort Two fellow, with members Alysse Loomis, Cohort Seven fellow, Francesca Longo, Cohort Five fellow, and Kerrie Ocasio, Cohort One fellow) presented their report highlighting lessons learned through the process. The Leadership Committee discussed several current projects including the SRCD special topic meeting (chaired by Francesca Longo, Cohort Five fellow), the development of a listserv (led by Maria Schweer-Collins, Cohort Eight fellow and Alysse Loomis, Cohort Seven fellow), and priority enhancements to our website (chaired by Jackie Duron, Cohort Two fellow). Fellows across all cohorts are encouraged to reach out to Leadership Committee members to get involved.


Virtual Writing Retreat Success!


The third writing retreat of the Doris Duke Fellowships occurred on the afternoon of May 16th and all day on May 17th with the new addition of a virtual component. Following the Doris Duke Leadership Committee meeting, several fellows in the Chicago area joined fellows in town for a writing retreat. In a response to the original invitation for the writing retreat, Carlo Panlilio, Cohort Three fellow, suggested and organized the virtual component and Kaela Byers, Cohort Three fellow, and Mickie Anderson handled all the logistics at Chapin Hall. Several fellows used the video platform Zoom to join the handful of fellows writing together in person. The schedule was writing in 90-120 minute blocks and taking 30-minute breaks to process the writing and discuss the projects fellows were working on. Projects fellows worked on included: dissertations, grants, book chapters, outlining papers, and revisions of manuscripts. While not everyone was able to attend the entire time, those who did wrote for 9 hours across the two days. Overwhelmingly, fellows shared they were thrilled with their productivity during the writing retreat and commented about enjoying both the accountability and comradery of writing together.

During breaks, plans were made to have a virtual writing retreat for fellows. Three writing retreats are scheduled for the summer: Friday, June 14, Friday, July 12, and Friday, August 9. If successful, the plan is to continue scheduling virtual retreats regularly.


Outstanding Dissertation Award for Doris Duke Fellow, Kate Stepleton

Kate Stepleton, Cohort Six fellow, received the Dean’s Dissertation Award for outstanding dissertation research at Rutgers University School of Social Work. Kate’s dissertation examined the effects of providing health care coordination to children receiving in-home child welfare services in New Jersey. This work addressed a gap in the field’s knowledge about the physical health needs of children in intact, child welfare-involved families and the extent to which services addressing these needs might prevent future maltreatment or removal. Among other findings, Kate’s research suggests that many families of children with health needs who are receiving in-home child welfare services face multiple, overlapping challenges that may compromise their ability to secure timely and appropriate health care for their children. Services that address children’s health needs in the context of cumulative family challenges may have the potential to mitigate risk of future maltreatment and removal to foster care. Further, these services may be a valued support to child welfare staff, who are not typically trained in identifying or addressing children’s specific medical needs.

Kate Stepleton is a Senior Research Associate with MEF Associates, engaged in research projects examining social policies at federal, state, and local levels.


Reminder: Student and Young Professionals Career Development Institute: APSAC 2019


The Young American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, a committee of the larger American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), is partnering with the Doris Duke Fellowships this year for their annual Institute at the APSAC Colloquium in June in Salt Lake City. The full day Institute offers opportunities for students and young professionals to engage with more seasoned professionals and discuss career paths in the realm of child maltreatment prevention and treatment. The event includes panels of experts in these fields, resume/CV review, small-group discussions, and networking opportunities. Several fellows are participating in the event, as is Fellowships Manager, Lee Ann Huang, and we’ll have a reception at the end of the day for more informal networking.

For anyone interested in being a part of the Institute, please contact Cohort Six fellow Julia Fleckman at


Fellows Updates:


Katie McGuire-Jack, Cohort One fellow, has accepted a position as an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School Of Social Work. Congratulations!


Christina Padilla, Cohort Seven fellow, successfully defended her dissertation and graduated from Georgetown University. She accepted a Post-Doctoral State Policy Fellowship with SRCD at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s Division of Early Learning. Congratulations!


Debby Moon, Cohort Eight fellow, successfully defended her dissertation and graduated from University of Kansas with honors. She will start as an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh this fall. Congratulations!

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Scott Brown, Cohort Six fellow, co-authored the Prevention Services Clearinghouse Handbook of Standards and Procedures, which will be used to conduct systematic evidence reviews on programs and services intended to provide enhanced support to children and families and prevent foster care placements.


Hannah Espeleta, Cohort Eight fellow, was recently awarded Oklahoma State University’s Women’s Faculty Council Student Research Award. She also defended her dissertation this month. Congratulations!


Lisa Schelbe, Cohort One fellow, received a University Graduate Teaching Award at Florida State University for her outstanding contributions to student learning success. Congratulations!


Upcoming Dates: