Project Core

Emilie Smith (Director)
Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, CSS Distinguished Senior Scholar 
emsmith@msu.edu

https://hdfs.msu.edu/people/faculty/smith-emilie-p-phd

I conduct community-engaged research that seeks to promote positive development of youth and families, particularly among minoritized groups.  My work explores the role of a positive racial-ethnic identity and the related socialization processes, and relationships to reduced problems (e.g. violence, substance use, mental health issues) and higher levels of achievement.  I use rigorous scientific methods to test approaches that support empowering parenting and caregiving approaches that reduce disparities and foster equity.  

Dr. Smith

Lekie Dwanyen
Human Development and Family Studies
dwanyenl@msu.edu

https://hdfs.msu.edu/people/specialists-and-fixed-term-faculty/dwanyen-lekie-ph.d.

Dwanyen, Lekie Ph.D.

Desiree Qin
Human Development and Family Studies
dqin@msu.edu

https://hdfs.msu.edu/people/faculty/qin-desiree-baolian-edd

Dr. Qin

Yijie Wang
Human Development and Family Studies
yjwang@msu.edu

https://hdfs.msu.edu/people/faculty/wang-yijie-phd

Wang, Yijie Ph.D.

Melissa Yzaguirre 
Human Development and Family Studies
yzaguirr@msu.edu

 

 

Chris Melde 
Criminal Justice
melde@msu.edu

https://cj.msu.edu/directory/melde-christopher.html

Chris Melde

 

Caitlin Cavanagh
Assistant Professor
cavana81@msu.edu

https://cj.msu.edu/directory/cavanagh-caitlin.html

Dr. Cavanagh is a developmental psychologist who studies how the juvenile justice system interfaces with children and families. Specifically, she researches the dynamic, reciprocal relation between adolescent development and contact with the juvenile justice system, and ways that law and policy can better support marginalized families whose children come into contact with the justice system.

Caitlin Cavanagh

 

Jennifer Cobbina-Dungy
“Rational Choice” in the Real World: Unpacking the Black Box of the Decision Process for Youth Violence
cobbina@msu.edu

https://cj.msu.edu/directory/cobbina-jennifer.html

I am currently working on a project in which we draw on the risk as feelings model of decision making to examine 25 in-depth interviews with youth living in neighborhoods high in concentrated disadvantage and violent crime who have experienced community violence. Namely, we ask: What does the decision process look like in recent incidents of violence or avoided violence?  Specifically, what preferences did the youth hold in relation to encounters with community violence? What were their perceived behavioral options and general likelihood of taking that course of action? What does their rationale for their selected behavioral option tell us about the processes (e.g., Type 1 and Type 2 thinking) that underpinned their ultimate course of action? 2) What factors (e.g., decision scripts based on prior experiences with community violence, presence of peers) shaped how the decision process unfolded during these incidents? Unpacking the decision making process that leads to avoided violence and violent outcomes in areas of concentrated disadvantage will shed light on the black box of human choice and how it is structured by the neighborhood context. 

Jennifer Cobbina-Dungy

 

Julie Krupa
Assistant Professor
krupajul@msu.edu

https://cj.msu.edu/directory/krupa-julie.html

Julie Krupa is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. Her primary research interests focus on the intersection between public health and juvenile justice, violence reduction, juvenile delinquency, and program evaluation. 

Julie Krupa

 

Pilar Horner
Associate Professor, School of Social Work
phorner@msu.edu

https://socialwork.msu.edu/directory/horner-pilar.html

The impact of immigration policy on health outcomes for Spanish Speaking marginalized immigrant youth.

Pilar S. Horner

 

Sacha Klein
Social Work
kleinsa@msu.edu

https://socialwork.msu.edu/directory/klein-sacha.html

Sacha Klein

 

Kune Park
Assistant Professor (School of Social Work)
kunepark@msu.edu

https://socialwork.msu.edu/directory/park-keunhye.html

Keunhye Park is an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University’s School of Social Work. Park received an MSW from the University of Michigan and a PhD from the University of Chicago. Park studies the connection between child welfare services and other systems of care serving marginalized populations. Park’s research interests include child welfare services and policy, juvenile justice services and policy, educational experiences of marginalized youth, and the transition to adulthood among foster youth. Park’s current work includes studies of justice system involvement among youth in foster care, and strategies for keeping those young people out of the justice system. Park’s work builds upon her field practice in public schools, juvenile detention centers, state departments of children and family services, and research institutes.

Keunhye Park

 

Cheryl Williams-Hecksel
Outreach Specialist - School of Social Work
will1534@msu.edu

https://socialwork.msu.edu/directory/williams-hecksel-cheryl.html

I am the Coordinator of the School of Social Work's Evidence Based Trauma Treatment Certificate for Social Work graduate students.  As co-lead of the University Partnerships team of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute I support the development of partnerships between public and tribal child welfare programs and Schools of Social Work as they commit to workforce excellence with a special focus on advancing racial equity, inclusion and tribal sovereignty.  

Cheryl Williams-Hecksel

 

 

Advisory Faculty

Gary Anderson
Social Work
ander664@msu.edu

https://socialwork.msu.edu/directory/anderson-gary.html

Gary Anderson

 

Deborah Johnson
Professor and Director
john1442@msu.edu

https://hdfs.msu.edu/people/faculty/johnson-deborah-j-phd

I have been studying racial-ethnic socialization with children from early childhood through adolescence and emerging adulthood for 30 years. To understand how parents transmit messages about race to children and how these messages were being translated to coping strategies, I was able to innovate in the development several measures paper/pencil, interview, video observational and picture/story approaches. The racial ethnic identity and socialization research focus extends to migrant, immigrant and refugee populations in domestic and  international contexts (Australia, Romania and South Sudan). Our early studies of adjustment in South Sudanese refugee youth emphasized a range of cultural and psychological adjustment processes (e.g., institutional engagement, interpersonal relationships and fosterage, race and prejudice exposure, and adaptation to American youth culture), and experiences surrounding contexts of adjustment.

Dr. Johnson

Edmund McGarrell
Criminal Justice
mcgarrel@msu.edu

https://cj.msu.edu/directory/mcgarrell-edmund.html

Edmund McGarrell

 

Francisco Villarruel
Interim Director, Julian Samora Research Inst.
fvilla@msu.edu

https://hdfs.msu.edu/people/faculty/villarruel-francisco-a-phd

Racial and ethnic disparities for Latino youth involved in juvenile justice systems programs.

 Villarruel, Francisco A. Ph.D.

 

Core Department Heads and Deans

Adrian Blow (Chair)
Human Development and Family Studies
blowa@msu.edu

https://hdfs.msu.edu/people/faculty/blow-adrian-phd

Claire Vallotton (Director of Grad Studies)
Human Development and Family Studies
vallotto@msu.edu

https://hdfs.msu.edu/index.php/people/faculty/vallotton-claire-d-phd

Dr. Vallotton

Mary Finn (CSS Dean)
Criminal Justice
mfinn@msu.edu

https://cj.msu.edu/directory/finn-mary.html

Mary Finn

 

Chris Melde (Director of Grad Studies)
Director and Professor
melde@msu.edu

https://cj.msu.edu/directory/melde-christopher.html

My research focuses on youth violence, school safety, and street gangs.

Chris Melde

Thomas Holt (Director)
Criminal Justice
holtt@msu.edu

https://cj.msu.edu/directory/holt-thomas.html

Thomas Holt

 

Anne Hughes (Director)
Social Work
hughesa@msu.edu

https://socialwork.msu.edu/directory/hughes-anne.html

Anne K. Hughes

 

Joanne Riebschleger (Director of Doctoral Program)
Social Work
riebsch1@msu.edu

https://socialwork.msu.edu/directory/riebschleger-joanne.html

Joanne Riebschleger

 

Anna Maria Santiago (Associate Dean)
Social Work
santia63@msu.edu

https://socialscience.msu.edu/about/leadership/assoc-dean-grad-studies.html

Anna Maria Santiago