Welcome To Our New Research Advisory Board

August 23, 2016

We are excited to announce the selection of five leading academics and researchers to join the Born This Way Foundation’s Research Advisory Board. The incoming board members are experts in issues related to youth wellness and mental health, social and emotional learning, and bullying. The Board guides the Foundation’s research-related initiatives and helps to ensure all of the organization’s programming is grounded in the latest scientific understanding. Dr. Susan M. Swearer, PhD of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will continue to serve as Chair of the Research Advisory Board and Dr. Dewey Cornell, PhD will also return as a Board Member.

“We are thrilled to welcome these new additions to our Research Advisory Board,” said Cynthia Germanotta, President and Co-Founder of Born This Way Foundation. “Our organization is dedicated to empowering young people to live healthy, vibrant lives and we understand that doing so requires a firm basis in quality research. These men and women are leading experts in their fields whose collective decades of experience will help to guide Born This Way Foundation in accomplishing its mission of building a kinder, braver world.”

So, who are these new researchers? Here’s a little more information!

Dr. Susan M. Swearer, PhD is the Willa Cather Professor of Educational Psychology and a Professor of School Psychology at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She is the co-director of the Bullying Research Network and Director of the Empowerment Initiative. For over the past decade, Dr. Swearer has developed and implemented a data-based decision-making model for responding to bullying among school-aged youth and has conducted staff trainings in elementary, middle, and high schools, and higher education settings with the goal of helping to establish cost-effective and data-based strategies to reduce bullying behaviors.

Dr. Marla R. Brassard, PhD, is Professor and Director of Clinical Training for the APA-Approved PhD School Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. For over 30 years her research and advocacy have focused on psychological maltreatment of children by parents, teachers, and peers – its assessment, the emotional/behavioral injuries that result, contextual factors that moderate the effect of maltreatment, prevention/treatment, and how schools and child welfare agencies, by embracing a child rights approach, can prevent violence and neglect before it occurs by valuing all children and creating environments and communities that promote their full development.

Dr. Dewey Cornell, PhD, is a forensic clinical psychologist and Professor of Education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. He joined the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1986 and has studied youth violence for nearly 30 years. As a researcher, Dr. Cornell has conducted studies of youth violence, psychopathology, giftedness, bullying, and school safety.

Dr. Shelley Hymel, PhD, is the Lando Professor in Social and Emotional Learning through which she has established a Masters program concentration as well as a teacher training specialization in social-emotional learning. She serves on research advisory boards for the interdisciplinary Human Early Learning Partnership at UBC, aimed at optimizing child development through research, the Life Synergy for Youth program of Calgary, AB, and the Committee for Children in Seattle, WA. She is team leader for PREVNet, a Canadian national organization for “Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence,” and on the Board of Directors for the BC Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre in Vancouver.

Dr. Michael Shore, Ph.D. is currently Vice President and Head of Global Consumer Insights and Foresights at Mattel, responsible for research on all Mattel brands including American Girl and Fisher Price. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Shore established Mattel’s global research infrastructure and has had responsibility for investigating kids’, parents’ and adults’ attitudes towards leisure time and play across all categories and platforms including entertainment, traditional toys, digital/video gaming, robotics, sports and emerging connected toy platforms. Dr. Shore is internationally recognized as one of the foremost industry experts on play behavior and toy preferences.

Dr. Brian H. Smith, PhD, is a Research Scientist at the Committee for Children where he translates and synthesizes research from a wide range of fields to inform the development and evaluation of school-based social emotional learning and bullying prevention programs. Dr. Smith received his doctorate from the School of Social Work at the University of Washington where his research focused on the science behind effective interventions to promote youth development and prevent youth problems. Prior to that he spent 9 years working as a counselor and social worker in K-12 schools and providing substance abuse and mental health counseling to teens.

Dr. Elliot Tebbe, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interests focus primarily on the health and well-being of sexual and gender minority individuals and communities. Dr. Tebbe is particularly interested in exploring the role of positive identity in increasing well-being and attenuating distress. In addition to his research activities, he has served in leadership roles for several organizations including the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns (CLGBTC) and is now President-Elect of Section IV (Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns) of Division 35 (Society of the Psychology of Women) of APA.

We are so excited to welcome these new members to the Born This Way Foundation team. We can’t wait to work with them to create a kinder, braver world. What research would you like to learn more about? Tell us in the comments.