Amanda L. Baden, Ph.D.
Amanda Baden is Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership at Montclair State University, New Jersey. Her research and clinical practice are focused on adoption triad members, transracial/international adoption issues, racial and cultural identity, and multicultural counseling competence.
Dr. Baden co-created the Cultural-Racial Identity Model for transracial and international adoptees. She co-edited the Handbook of Adoption: Implications for Researchers, Practitioners, and Families (Sage, 2007) and serves on the editorial board for Adoption Quarterly. She also co-chairs the Biennial Adoption Initiative Conferences held at St. John’s University, New York City. Dr. Baden was named an Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption and is a Senior Research Fellow of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.
Dr. Branco is a licensed professional counselor in Virginia and Maryland. She is an approved supervisor in Maryland, Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), and an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS). Dr. Branco earned her BA in Human Services and MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from the George Washington University. She earned a doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Virginia Tech. For fourteen years she maintained an independent clinical practice specializing in working with adults, children, and families connected to adoption and foster care. In addition, she has professional experience working in community mental health, prenatal care clinics, and with immigrant populations. She utilizes attachment theory, family systems, and trauma informed approaches in her clinical practice.
Susan has been an adoption and child welfare advocate for more than twenty-five years. Adopted from Korea in 1956, her life experience as an early international adoptee gives her a unique and personal perspective.Susan’s current and past board memberships include: Child Welfare League of America Adoption Advisory; The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute Ethics Committee; Women’s Campaign International; Oregon Korea Foundation; International Concerns Committee for Children; the Center for Family Connections; North American Council on Adoptable Children; the USAID Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid; The White House Council on Women in the America’s; the Joint Council on International Children’s Services and the Oregon Commission on Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs. In 2002, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption presented Susan with an “Angel in Adoption” award. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities in 2010 by Northwest Christian University and in 2016 she was inducted into the National Council for Adoption Hall of Fame.
Chris Downs has devoted the last 35 years trying to improve services and outcomes for older, at-risk youth in America. Dr. Downs is an accomplished Developmental Psychologist with scores of publications and presentations in his dossier including co-authorship of the landmark What Works in Foster Care? published by Oxford Univ. Press. Over the years he was lead author on numerous life skills assessments and resource libraries for youth used by over 2 million youth and their caregivers. Chris is a gifted teacher who delivers inspiring, cutting edge trainings on adolescent development to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. His Seattle-based company, The Downs Group LLC, offers training, assessment and consultation to all agencies that share one central concern: improve how they deliver services and lift outcomes for the youth they serve.
Hollee McGinnis, Ph.D.
Hollee A. McGinnis, Ph.D. was selected in the fall of 2019 to hold the inaugural position of program committee chair for the Rudd Adoption Research Program Conference. She is an assistant professor in the VCU School of Social Work and an active member of the Rudd Adoption Research Program Advisory Board.. She is interested in children’s mental health and well-being, child welfare and alternative care systems, and global social work. Her research broadly examines the social and cultural determinants of children’s mental health and well-being, with a specific focus on improving outcomes across the lifespan for children with histories of early childhood adversity and child welfare involvement in the U.S. and globally. This research is informed by her post-MSW training in children’s mental health at the Yale Child Study Center, work as the policy director at the Donaldson Adoption Institute, and founder of the non-profit organization for adult intercountry adoptees and adoptive families, Also-Known-As, Inc.
Grace is a junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst pursuing a BA in English as well as a minor in linguistics and certificate in Professional and Technical Writing. She became a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters in the fall 2019 as a part of the Adoption Mentoring Partnership (AMP). Grace is the president of the Adopted Student Advisory Panel (ASAP), a student organization that focuses on creating a space for adoptees on campus to speak about their experiences with adoption openly with other adopted persons as well as engage in forms of educational outreach within the larger community.
Julia Rimmer is Research Fellow at the University of East Anglia, England. Julia gained her PhD at University of Sheffield and has over ten years' post doctoral experience working on a number of projects in Health and/or Social Sciences at UK universities, often working with mixed methods but specializing in qualitative research. She is currently helping to lead a narrative analysis study working with Prof. Beth Neil on the Economic and Social Research Council funded study: ‘From being adopted to becoming a parent: when adopted people become parents and adopters become grandparents’. Please contact Julia ( Julia.Rimmer@uea.ac.uk ) for more details and publications.
Gina E. Miranda Samuels is an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, and Faculty Affiliate at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. Her scholarship explores processes of identity, belonging, relational (im)permanence, ambiguous loss, and the effects of chronic displacements from one’s experience of family and home among youth and young adults with histories of foster care, homelessness, and/or transracial adoption. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Miranda Samuels was a child welfare caseworker, a juvenile probation agent, and also a clinician with youth under court supervision for violent offenses.
Addie Wyman Battalen
Addie Wyman Battalen, PhD, LICSW is a therapist and team leader in the Counseling and Mental Health Services Department at Harvard University. Her research and practice interests broadly focus on developing and adapting clinical interventions designed to improve the mental health and well-being of children and families, especially among diverse populations, including sexual and gender minority (SGM)-identified parents and youth. Addie was a 2017 Rudd Adoption Research Scholar.