November 2016 Newsletter


Applications for Cohort Seven Close TOMORROW

Applications to join Cohort Seven of the Doris Duke Fellowships for the Promotion of Child Well-Being are open for one more day! Doris Duke fellows receive an annual stipend, mentoring from academic and policy leaders, and opportunities to collaborate with an interdisciplinary group of like-minded doctoral students who are future leaders and change agents in the field of promoting child and family well-being.

Please visit the Apply section of our website to download application materials, view frequently asked questions, and learn more about the fellowships. The deadline to apply for Cohort Seven is 11:59 PM central time on December 1, 2016. Please email with any questions.

Updates on Doris Duke Fellows

Fellowships, awards, publications--the list of accolades goes on! It has been a busy year for our current and graduated Doris Duke fellows!

Clinton Boyd, Cohort Six Fellow, was selected as a ZERO TO THREE Fellow this year and co-authored a book review on the Journal of Urban Affairs’ blog with his Academic Mentor, Dr. Dierdre Oakely, in June on Mitchell Duneier’s new book, Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea. In March 2017, Clinton’s forthcoming book review of Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City will be published in Sociological Forum. Clinton is also engaged in a collaboration with Dr. Whitney Rostad, a Cohort Two Doris Duke fellow, regarding fathers enrolled in an Atlanta-based home visitation study.

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Carly Dierkhising, a Cohort One fellow, was appointed by the Governor of California to the State Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention this summer.



Kaela Byers, a Cohort Three fellow, has accepted a position as a Researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.




Kerri Raissian, a Cohort One fellow, received the Raymond Vernon Memorial Award from the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM) for her paper, “Hold Your Fire: Did the 1996 Federal Gun Control Act Expansion Reduce Domestic Homicides?”, which was first published in the Winter 2016 issue of JPAM. The Vernon Memorial Award, created by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) in 1985, seeks to annually recognize excellence in research through the selection of a paper published in the current volume of JPAM. Kerri’s paper provides the first empirical examination of the impact of the 1996 expansion of the federal Gun Control Act on domestic homicides and thus provides an important contribution to the literature regarding the role of criminal justice system interventions on family violence. 

Byron Powell, a Cohort Two fellow, recently edited a special issue of Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research that focuses on advancing implementation research and practice in behavioral health systems. This special issue includes an introduction coauthored by Byron, 12 articles based upon original research, and additional commentary from leaders of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services. This year, Byron was awarded the Early Career Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Dissemination and Implementation Special Interest Group. Additionally, he recently served on an expert panel for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for a project titled, “Developing Criteria for Assessing Feasibility of Implementing Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Findings.” 

Anika Schenck-Fontaine, a Cohort Six fellow, started a pre-doctoral fellowship at the Institut National d’Études Démographiques (The French Institute for Demographic Studies) in France, where she will be for most of this academic year.

Emily Warren, a Cohort Five fellow, presented a paper in November at the annual conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management in Washington, D.C. titled, “Do EITC Refunds Increase Housing Stability?” 


Featured Fellow Interview:
Dr. William Schneider

Each month, Sarah Wagener, Fellowship Network Coordinator at Chapin Hall, connects with a different graduated fellow to showcase the many different ways in which Doris Duke fellows prevent child maltreatment and promote the health and well-being of children and youth.

This month, Sarah connected with Dr. William Schneider, a Cohort Two fellow, who currently serves as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

Sarah Wagener (SW): What projects are you currently working on as part of the Two-Generation Research Initiative Team at the Institute for Policy Research?

William Schneider (WS): As part of the Northwestern Two-Generation Research Initiative team, I’m currently working on a few different projects. We are in the final stages of analyzing and publishing findings from our first intervention, which estimates the impact of a model two-generation program on parent’s human capital development. We are also at work on two manuscripts; the first proposes a number of specific policy options for operating two-generation programs at scale, and the second draws on qualitative data from our ongoing studies to describe the important role that a parent’s career identity plays in human capital development.

Our team was recently awarded a grant from the Administration for Children and Families to extend our work for an additional 4 years. To that end, we are currently at work on designing, piloting, and implementing a number of surveys, qualitative focus groups, in-home data collection, and administrative data collection to measure the effect of our two-generation program on child well-being and academic outcomes, parenting, and parent’s human capital development. I wasn’t very involved in experimental research while in graduate school and one of the things I really value is how much I’ve learned about running experimental research studies.

SW: The Two-Generation Research Initiative is led by a developmental psychologist and a policy expert. You have a background in social work and social policy. How does the team’s interdisciplinary make-up affect the work the team does? What strategies have you found to be successful in aiding effective collaboration?

WS: I think the interdisciplinary background of the researchers working on the project is a real strength of the Two-Generation Research Initiative team. The project includes developmental psychologists, economists, policy experts, and sociologists, as well as a strong relationship with our non-profit partners. The project seeks to understand how to build human capital for children and parents by combining higher education career pathways and job training for parents with high quality early education for children. This work requires a diverse range of expertise, in adult education, job training, parenting, child development, and early child education. Working on an interdisciplinary team has been fantastic and has helped me to discover fields I had not previously been involved in, while simultaneously providing new insights into areas I have long studied.

I think that the best strategy that I have encountered for effectively working on an interdisciplinary team is to be true to your training and interests. That is to say, my training in social work has provided me with a particular set of skills that are unlike those of someone trained exclusively in developmental psychology or economics. Although I’m interested in econometrics and child development and am able to contribute to discussions on those topics, I think that my best contributions to the team come by adding my perspective as a social worker.

SW: A paper that you authored was recently published in Demography. Have the implications of this research informed your work in the Two-Generation Research Initiative? If so, how?

WS: This paper, “Relationship Transitions and the Risk for Child Maltreatment,” was one of my dissertation chapters and I’m super excited that it has been published. The main premise of the paper is that researchers, policy makers, and child welfare professionals have long viewed single parenthood as a risk for child maltreatment and marriage as protective. Much of the prior research has viewed relationship status as a static state. However, increasingly we know that parents and children are likely to experience a great deal of relationship churn. This paper asked whether different types of relationship transitions experienced by mothers and fathers have different implications for the risk for child maltreatment.

The findings from this project have influenced and informed my work on the Two-Generation Research Initiative in a few ways. I think that findings from my dissertation have helped me to better understand the extent of familial and work instability that low-income parents can face, and how instability can increase stress and make it difficult for parents to engage in school and parenting activities. One of the guiding tenets of two-generation theory is that child care for low-income families should not be viewed simply as a work support for parents, but rather as an avenue through which both children and parents can gain important skills and human capital. However, this work also recognizes that there are significant barriers for parents seeking to balance the demands of work, school, and family.

SW: How has your experience as a Doris Duke fellow influenced your current work or professional trajectory?

WS: The Doris Duke Fellowship has played a very important role in influencing my work. I was accepted into the fellowship early on in my doctoral studies. As a result, the fellowship meetings, small group projects, and overall interactions with such passionate and engaged peers really deepened my interest in pursuing child maltreatment research and helped to shape the kinds of questions I asked in my dissertation. The Fellowship has also played an important role in my ongoing professional career. I remain in contact with fellows I met during my time in the fellowship, and have also made new connections with current fellows. These relationships have helped me to broaden my research interests and given me opportunities to co-author with peers. I think this fellowship is unique is that it gathers groups of doctoral students from different disciplines but who are guided by an interest in child well-being and helps them to connect with and work with one another. I’ve been struck by how willing folks in the peer network are to give advice, share data, co-author, and support one another, and I think that the interdisciplinary nature of the fellowship has helped inform my research, as well.

SW: What advice would you give to those who may be interested in working at a policy research organization or in a postdoctoral fellowship after completing their doctorate?

WS: I would highly recommend a postdoctoral fellowship to anyone considering it. In my experience, a postdoc has simultaneously allowed me to pursue my individual research interests, expand my expertise in new areas and methods, and learn from senior scholars who I would otherwise not have interacted with. Finding ways to do research in a policy relevant way is an important skill to learn. The Institute for Policy Research is a unique place insofar as it focuses on combining rigorous academic research with real world policy recommendations.

If you would like to connect with William, he can be reached at

Policy Update: Improved Employment Outcomes for Foster Youth Act of 2016

In September 2016, Representative Jim McDermott and Representative Dave Reichert, both from Washington, sponsored the Improved Employment Outcomes for Foster Youth Act, which amends the Internal Revenue Code to expand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to include the hiring of qualified foster care transition youth. This act would broaden the available jobs for former foster youth. More information can be found here

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Noteworthy Resource:
Implicit Bias Review from the Kirwan Institute

The 2016 Review from the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University examines implicit bias literature in conjunction with contexts of criminal justice, employment, education, health and health care, and housing. The report may be useful for researchers as they attempt to understand and develop strategies that curtail the effects of implicit bias.