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Meet the ECPN Steering Committee!

Steering Commitee Members

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Christian Connell

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Kerry Green

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Mildred Maldonado-Molina

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Keryn Pasch

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Guillermo Prado

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Ty Ridenour

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Jessica Samoulis

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Heather Warren

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David Wyrick (Chair)

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ECPN Steering Commiteee Biosketches (PDF)

CHRISTIAN CONNELL
Christian Connell is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine. He is interested in examining ecological risk and protective processes that influence developmental and other outcomes for child and adolescent populations exposed to adversity – with a particular emphasis on populations in contact with the child welfare and children’s mental health systems. In addition to understanding developmental and system’s level outcomes for children, he is interested in the policy and programmatic implications of this research. A second area of research focuses on examining ecological risk and protective factors associated with involvement in substance use and associated behaviors (e.g., antisocial or delinquent behavior) among adolescents. Finally, a broader interest is in understanding and applying advances in multivariate quantitative data analytic methods to examine risk and protective processes associated with developmental processes in behavioral outcomes.

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KERRY M. GREEN
Dr. Kerry M. Green is an Assistant Professor of Public and Community Health at the University of Maryland College Park School of Public Health. She has a MA in Human Development from the University of Maryland College Park, and a PhD in public health with a concentration in social and behavioral sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Prevention Science with the Johns Hopkins Prevention Intervention Research Center. Her research focuses on lifecourse development, in particular on how early risk and behaviors affect later physical and mental health, drug use, criminal involvement, and social role functioning. She is particularly interested in childhood school-based interventions aimed at altering early risk. Her work has focused on urban African American populations and gender differences in development. She is skilled in advanced statistical techniques, including latent variable modeling and propensity score matching. She serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Marriage and Family and the American Journal of Health Behavior and is a member of the Society for Prevention Research and the American Public Health Association.

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MILDRED MALDONADO-MOLINA
Dr. Mildred Maldonado-Molina is Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Health Policy and the Institute for Child Health Policy at the University of Florida. She is a methodologist with interests in longitudinal methods and the prevention of substance use, particularly alcohol use. She has published in the areas of underage drinking, alcohol and substance use prevention, and evaluation of alcohol-related policies. She is a co-principal investigator in a project examining the effects of alcohol tax policies on risky behaviors and health outcomes. Dr. Maldonado-Molina also is also involved in projects examining outcomes of a prevention program targeting racially diverse and economically disadvantaged urban youth, testing the effects of DUI penalties in reducing underage drinking, and evaluating patterns of substance progression among Hispanic adolescents. Her substantive research interests include the study of patterns of substance use among adolescents, prevention of alcohol use among youth, and evaluation of alcohol control policies. Her methodological interests include latent class and latent transition analysis, latent growth modeling, and multi-level models. She received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University.

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KERYN E. PASCH
Keryn E. Pasch, M.P.H., Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas, Austin. She received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology with a minor in Interpersonal Relationships Research from Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota and her Master’s in Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Education from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Pasch was also a National Cancer Institute Postdoctoral Fellow in Cancer Prevention and Control in the Michael and Susan Dell Center for the Advancement of Health Living at the Austin Regional Campus of the University of Texas School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the social, personal, and environmental influences on child and adolescent health, specifically the areas of substance use and obesity. http://www.edb.utexas.edu/education/departments/khe/AcadProg/grad/hed/about/faculty/2356/

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GUILLERMO PRADO
Guillermo (“Willy”) Prado obtained his Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Public Health from the University of Miami in 2005. He is currently a faculty member at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Prado has published 28 articles in the area of drug abuse and HIV and is a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on five NIH and CDC funded grants. His research interests are to prevent drug use and HIV risky sexual behavior among Hispanic adolescents by (1) understanding the ecological determinants of drug use and HIV risky sexual behaviors; (2) applying advanced statistical methodology to identify at risk subgroups of Hispanic adolescents; and (3) developing, evaluating, and disseminating theory-driven, evidence-based interventions designed to target the ecological determinants of drug abuse and HIV risky sexual behaviors. Prado’s future work will focus on (1) empirically identifying youth who are at high risk of drug abuse and HIV risk behaviors, (2) establishing empirical “clinical cutoffs” for ecological determinants associated with drug use and HIV risk behaviors and (3) evaluating preventive interventions (e.g., Prado et al., 2006; Pantin, Prado, et al., 2005) to prevent drug use and HIV among at risk Hispanic youth. Prado also plans to evaluate the efficacy of a streamlined version of a family strengthening intervention found to be efficacious in preventing and reducing cigarette use and illicit drug use as well reducing unsafe sexual behavior (Prado et al., in press). Prado’s research has been recognized by the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse, and most recently by the Society for Prevention Research.

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TY RIDENOUR
Ty Ridenour, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Research in the NIDA-funded Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research at the University of Pittsburgh. His primary substantive interests are the etiologies and prevention of substance abuse and antisocial behavior. Much of his research involves advancing methodologies that can improve intervention. Recently, he has developed the Assessment of Liability and EXposure to Substance use and Antisocial behavior© (ALEXSA©) which is an audio computerassisted self-interview with demonstrated validity for youth as young as five years old through middle adolescence.

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JESSICA SAMUOLIS
Dr. Jessica Samuolis is currently on staff at National Health Promotion Associates, Inc. (NHPA) in New York as a Research Scientist. At NHPA Dr. Samuolis’ research efforts focus on the prevention of substance use among adolescents and young adults through the development and evaluation of skills-based prevention programs. Prior to her position at NHPA, Dr. Samuolis held a postdoctoral research fellowship in the School of Public Health at Columbia University. Dr. Samuolis holds a doctoral degree in Applied Developmental Psychology from Fordham University (2001) and has taught courses on general, abnormal, and social psychology. Additional research interests include adolescent self-esteem and identity development.

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HEATHER K. WARREN
Heather K. Warren, Ph.D. is an applied developmental psychologist and associate research professor of psychology at George Mason University. Her research focuses upon social-emotional development in infancy through childhood. She has coupled her research training in basic emotional processes with prevention and intervention training in preschools and Head Start classrooms under Drs. Mark Greenberg and Celene Domitrovich.

Dr. Warren is specifically interested in the measurement of early social-emotional skills such as emotion self-awareness, emotion regulation, and self regulation, the application of this knowledge to early academic settings. To date, her research has been funded by NIMH, AAAS, APA, and IES. She is currently Co-Investigator on an NICHD/ACF Measurement Consortium grant focusing on the refinement of portable, cost-effective, and developmentally appropriate assessment of social-emotional skills for young children. Dr. Warren received an M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University.

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DAVID WYRICK
Dr. Wyrick is an Associate Professor of Public Health Education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG). Dr. Wyrick’s research and program interests are focused on alcohol and other drug prevention, primarily at the college and high school levels, and survey research methods related to the collection of sensitive information. He teaches courses related to evaluation theory and methods, adolescent health, and alcohol use among college athletes. Dr. Wyrick is also working with the Athletic Director at UNCG to incorporate an innovative approach to alcohol prevention by requiring all incoming student-athletes to take a 1-credit hybrid course that focuses on alcohol-related content of particular interest to student-athletes.

Dr. Wyrick earned his B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science from Elon University (1994), his M.P.H. in Public Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1998), and his Ph.D. in Educational Research Methodology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2002). He has been involved as a principal investigator, co-investigator, or evaluator for over 12 NIH grants. He has authored several academic papers on survey methodology, drug prevention, and distance education as well as co-edited a book on alcohol use and harm prevention for college students. Dr. Wyrick is the Chair for the Early Career Preventionist Network (ECPN), serves on the Board of Directors for the Society for Prevention Research, serves as a reviewer for Prevention Science and various NIH committees, and is a member of several university committees.

Dr. Wyrick is also President of Prevention Strategies, LLC. The mission of Prevention Strategies is to improve the overall health and well-being of young people. The company strives to provide schools, colleges, and community agencies with up-to-date information and evidence-based programming for the prevention of health compromising behaviors. Prevention Strategies is committed to the idea that good health will lead to a promising future. Available programs include College Alc, a web-based alcohol education course for college students and Crossroads, a comprehensive high school drug prevention program. Additionally, Prevention Strategies currently has NIH grant funding to develop an innovative web-based drug and alcohol prevention program that will meet the drug education requirements of college athletic departments and be relevant to studentathletes. Evidence-based mediators will be targeted within the context of intercollegiate sports with the goal of reducing substance abuse and related consequences among student-athletes and improving the safety and well-being of other students on campus.

Dr. Wyrick lives with his wife, Cheryl, and three daughters, Katherine, Caroline, and Elizabeth in Greensboro, NC.

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