Project Core

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

Dr. Emilie Smith conducts community-engaged research that seeks to promote positive development of youth and families, particularly among minoritized groups. She uses rigorous scientific methods to test approaches that support empowering parenting and caregiving approaches that reduce disparities and foster equity. She is a Fellow of APA Division 27 (Community) and recipient of the SPR Award for Advancing Culture in Prevention Science.  

Emilie Smith

Linda Halgunseth
Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
halgunse@msu.edu

Dr. Linda Halgunseth’s research focuses on parenting and children’s health and well-being in African, European, and Latin American families. Dr. Halgunseth is Past Chair of the Latinx Caucus of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD).  She received the Early Career Award in Teaching Excellence from AAUP and the Early Career Award in Research from the SRCD Latinx Caucus. 

Linda Halgunseth

Julie Krupa
Assistant Professor, School of Criminal Justice
krupajul@msu.edu

Dr. Julie Krupa’s primary research interests focus on the intersection between public health and juvenile justice, violence reduction, juvenile delinquency, and program evaluation. Dr. Krupa and colleagues are working with criminal justice officials and community partners in the Detroit and Flint areas on several violence reduction initiatives including Ceasefire and Project Safe Neighborhoods.

 

Julie Krupa

 

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

Dr. Keunhye 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.

Keunhye Park

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

Dr. Lekie Dwanyen research agenda involves studying traumatic stress and its relational effects in families and communities exposed to civil war and organized violence. Her research has engaged communities resettled to the U.S. (Liberian caregivers, youth, and local leaders; Karen caregivers, youth, and translators) and those in post-conflict settings (northern Ugandan counselors, service users, mobilizers, and translators). 

Lekie Dwanyen

 

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

Melissa Yzaguirre’s research interests center on advancing culturally relevant practices among family therapists working with Latino families through an inclusive systemic application. Specifically, she seeks to understand the translation of ethnic-racial socialization practices into the therapeutic context for therapists to support Latino families navigating their unique experiences with ethnic-racial discrimination

Melissa Yzaguirre

 

Chris Melde 
Director of the School of Criminal Justice
melde@msu.edu

Dr. Chris Melde is Director and Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. Broadly, his research interests include the study of violence and its prevention, with special emphasis on the study of gangs and gang membership in the life course, school violence, and public perceptions of crime and victimization risk.

 

Chris Melde

 

Jennifer Cobbina-Dungy
Professor, School of Criminal Justice
cobbina@msu.edu

Dr. Jennifer Cobbina-Dungy is a criminologist whose research examines how the intersection of race, gender, and neighborhood context shape victimization risks among minority youth.  Dr. Cobbina-Dungy was awarded the 2021 Albert J. Reiss Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association Crime, Law and Deviance section, given in recognition of her book Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Why the Protests in Ferguson and Baltimore Matter and How They Changed America. 

Jennifer Cobbina-Dungy

 

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

Dr. Desiree Baolian Qin is a faculty member in HDFS with expertise in immigration and family. She is interested in diverse ways of knowing, healing and wellbeing.

 

Desiree Qin

 

Caitlin Cavanagh
Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies, School of Criminal Justice
cavana81@msu.edu

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. She is the recipient of the SRCD 2021 Early Career Research Contribution Award from the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD).

Caitlin Cavanagh

 

Sacha Klein
Associate Professor, School of Social Work
kleinsa@msu.edu

Dr. Sacha Klein is a social worker who studies the impact of public policies on parenting and child maltreatment. Specifically, she researches the ways in which child welfare and early childhood policies and programs affect vulnerable children and marginalized families, including those living in under-resourced neighborhoods, racial/ethnic minorities, and immigrants.

Sacha Klein

 

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

Dr. Pilar Horner’s research focuses on the impact of immigration policy on health outcomes for Spanish Speaking marginalized immigrant youth.

Pilar S. Horner

 

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

Dr. Yijie Wang’s research interests center on the development of adolescents, particularly those from racial and ethnic minority families. Her work investigates how socio-cultural processes (e.g., ethnic/racial socialization, discrimination) in multiple developmental settings (e.g., family, peer, school) influence youth’s psychosocial and psychobiological adjustment. 

 

Yijie Wang

 

Cheryl Williams-Hecksel
Evidence Based Trauma Treatment Certificate Coordinator, School of Social Work
will1534@msu.edu

Cheryl Williams-Hecksel is 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
Professor, School of Social Work
ander664@msu.edu

Dr. Gary Anderson is a professor in the School of Social Work. His research interest is in child welfare and organizational leadership to support children and families.

 

Gary Anderson

 

Deborah Johnson
Professor and Director for the Diversity Research Network
john1442@msu.edu

Dr. Deborah Johnson's research over the past 30 years explores racially and culturally related development, parental racial socialization and coping, cultural adjustment from early childhood through emerging adulthood, in both domestic and international children and youth. 

Dr. Johnson

Edmund McGarrell
Professor, School of Criminal Justice
mcgarrel@msu.edu

Dr. Ed McGarrell's primary research interest is in communities and crime and the development of evidence-based strategies for violence reduction. 

 

Edmund McGarrell

 

Francisco Villarruel
Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
Interim Director, Julian Samora Research Institute

fvilla@msu.edu

Dr. Francisco Villarruel’s research explores Racial and ethnic disparities for Latino youth involved in juvenile justice systems programs.

 Villarruel, Francisco A. Ph.D.

 

Core Department Heads and Deans

Mary Finn, College of Social Science Dean
School of Criminal Justice
mfinn@msu.edu

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

Anna Maria Santiago, Associate Dean for Research
School of Social Work
santia63@msu.edu

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

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

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

Claire Vallotton, Director of Graduate Studies
Human Development and Family Studies
vallotto@msu.edu

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

Dr. Vallotton

Chris Melde, Professor and Director
School of Criminal Justice
melde@msu.edu

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

Chris Melde

Christina DeJong, Director of Graduate Studies

School of Crimnal Justice

dejongc@msu.edu

 

https://cj.msu.edu/directory/dejong-christina.html
Christina DeJong

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