Past Awardees

The program is designed to bring students into the life of the Center and to support the remarkable educational opportunities available at UMass for developing expertise in family research. The program began in 2010.

David Albright
CRF Family Research Methodological Studies Award
Research:

David Albright is a doctoral student in social work at the Florida State University's College of Social Work. His research focuses on the coordination of care for individuals with chronic and complex clinical and social needs. Albright's dissertation research is funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs and is examining costs and utilization of social work services in combat-related polytrauma patients. He was a 2010 Summer Associate at the RAND Corporation's Center for Military Health Policy Research. Recently the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) awarded him the 2010 Outstanding Student Achievement Award. Prior to joining the College of Social Work, Albright was an Abuse Registry Supervisor with the Florida Department of Children and Families and served in the United States Army. He holds a B.A. from Centre College in anthropology, and the M.S.W. and Certificate in Aging Studies from the Florida State University.

Irene Boeckmann
CRF Family Research Assistantship
Research:

Irene Boeckmann is currently a Graduate student in Sociology at UMass Amherst. She has studied Social Work at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and at Charles University in Prague in the Czech Republic. After receiving her MA in Social Work in 2003 she worked for the Fairplay-at-Work campaign promoting work-family policies for fathers at the Swiss Federal Office for Equality and as a research assistant in a project examining domestic violence from the perspective of children at the University of Zurich. Her research interests include gender, parenthood, labor market inequalities, social policies and welfare states, and cross-nationally comparative analyses. Currently, she is a research assistant for professors Michelle Budig and Joya Misra.

Jillian Crocker
CRF Family Research Assistantship
Research:

Jill Crocker is a graduate student in the Sociology Department at UMass Amherst. Her research focuses on inequalities of work time, informal workplace resistance, and work-family policy. Her current research examines the role of coworker support in nursing assistants' efforts to resist workplace rigidity. This CRF fellowship will support her work with faculty mentors Dan Clawson and Naomi Gerstel investigating the impact of parenthood and family structure on work-schedule variability among both nurses and nursing assistants.

Andrea Gromoske
CRF Family Research Methodological Studies Award
Research:

Andrea's research interests focus on the etiology of child maltreatment and harsh parenting practices. Her dissertation will investigate the discipline strategies of early and later childbearers, with an emphasis on exploring how their disciplinary behaviors change over time and the predictors of such change. Andrea is also interested in exploring ways to bridge the gap between research and social work practice and the implementation and translation of evidence-based practice and programs.

Andrea received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. She spent the next year and a half working with adults with developmental disabilities. She then attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and earned her Master's in Social Work in 2008 with an emphasis on children and families, as well as school social work. She is currently a dissertator in her third year of the social work doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Heather Lavigne
CRF Family Research Methodological Studies Award
Research:

Heather Lavigne is a Graduate Student at University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Psychology department. She holds a B.A. in Communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (2004) and a M.Ed. from Harvard University (2005). Her research examines how media impacts children's cognitive development and real world behavior. Heather's current projects address the impacts of foreground television on parent language and the effects of educational programming on children's subsequent toy play.

Holly Laws
CRF Family Research Assistantship
Research:

Holly Laws is a fourth year Clinical Psychology graduate student at UMass Amherst. Her overarching research interest is in how close relationships influence mental and physical health over time. Holly graduated from Wesleyan University in 2002, and received an M.A. in general psychology from Hunter College, City University of New York, in 2007. In her time at UMass, Holly has become versed in statistical methods appropriate for the analysis of dyadic data, under the mentorship of her primary adviser Aline Sayer. Holly's dissertation will compare three dyadic statistical models of cortisol coregulation in married couples, drawn from Paula Pietromonaco and Sally Powers' larger study of newlywed couples. Holly will use her CRF Fellowship to apply novel dyadic modeling techniques to address the question of how relationship quality predicts cortisol coregulation within couples, under the advisement of Sally Powers.

Amanda Otto
CRF Family Research Assistantship
Research:

Amanda Otto is an Anthropology Major with a concentration in biological/medical anthropology and a Minor in Political Science. She is very interested in health practices and outcomes around the world. Her current research interests are in female reproduction and sexuality and how it is influenced by culture and biology. With the CRF assistantship, Amanda will conduct research with Dr. Lynnette Sievert that examines the connections between vasomotor flushing during the post partum period and hot flashes experienced during menopausal transition.

Owen Thompson
CRF Family Research Assistantship
Research:

Owen Thompson is a doctoral student in the Department of Economics. Before coming to UMass he completed a master's degree in public policy at the University of Minnesota and undergraduate work at Evergreen State College. Owen's current research focuses on the empirical relationships between early childhood environment and socioeconomic outcomes such as wages, health, and academic performance. He is particularly interested in racial disparities in these outcomes and policy interventions designed to remediate those disparities. Owen will work under the advisement of Dr. Michael Ash on a project titled: “The Determinants of Racial Differences in Parenting Practices”.