Research TeamThe research team at Committee for Children helps us ensure that our programs, products, and services achieve their intended effects: promoting the social-emotional development, safety, and well-being of children. Before anything is made available, our researchers translate current research in the field into practical application for classrooms, school staff, and parents. After a program is published, external researchers conduct randomized control trials to independently evaluate the effectiveness of our programs. Our research advisory board and leading experts in the field also provide consultation and guidance to our staff. The research team is led by Tia Kim, vice president of Education, Research, & Impact. Join our growing team! Visit our Careers page to learn about our current openings. Lyscha Marcynyszyn, PhD Senior Research Scientist × Lyscha Marcynyszyn, PhD Senior Research Scientist Lyscha Marcynyszyn designs, implements, and manages evaluation studies on education and prevention programs. She is passionate about conducting applied research that can mitigate risk factors and improve life course outcomes for children and youth. Lyscha received her doctorate in developmental psychology from the Department of Human Development at Cornell University, where her graduate work focused on child development in the context of adversity. She has written over a dozen peer-reviewed publications on topics ranging from family instability to the effectiveness of parenting programs delivered in child welfare settings. Before her current role at Committee for Children, she worked for five years as a research analyst for Casey Family Programs. Research Advisory Group Dorothy Espelage, PhD × Dorothy Espelage, PhD University of Florida Dr. Dorothy Espelage is professor of psychology at the University of Florida. She is the recipient of the APA Lifetime Achievement Award in Prevention Science and the 2016 APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy, and is a fellow of APS, APA, and AERA. Over the last 20 years, she has written over 140 peer reviewed articles, five edited books, and 30 chapters on bullying, homophobic teasing, sexual harassment, dating violence, and gang violence. Her research focuses on translating empirical findings into prevention and intervention programming and she has secured six and half million dollars of external funding. She advises members of Congress and the Senate on bully prevention legislation. She wrote a 2011 White House Brief on bullying among LGBTQ youth and attended the White House Conference in 2011, and has been a consultant on the stopbullying.gov website and consultant to the National Anti-bullying Campaign, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Espelage has appeared on many television news and talk shows, including The Today Show; CNN; CBS Evening News; The Oprah Winfrey Show; Anderson; Anderson 360 and has been quoted in the national print press, including Time Magazine, USA Today, People, Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal. Sandra Graham, PhD × Sandra Graham, PhD University of California, Los Angeles Dr. Sandra Graham is a distinguished professor in the Human Development and Psychology Division in the Department of Education at UCLA and the University of California presidential chair in education and diversity. Her major research interests include the study of academic motivation and social development in children of color, particularly in school contexts that vary in racial/ethnic diversity. She is principal investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Dr. Graham has published widely in developmental, social, and educational psychology journals and received many awards. Among her awards, she is a 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award from the Society for Research on Child Development and the 2014 E. L. Thorndike Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Educational Psychology, Division 15 of the American Psychological Association. Most recently, in 2015 she was elected to the National Academy of Education. Nancy Guerra, EdD × Nancy Guerra, EdD University of California, Irvine Dr. Nancy Guerra is the dean of the School of Social Ecology and professor of psychology and social behavior at UCI. Her research focuses on preventing youth violence and promoting healthy youth development. She has been the lead investigator for a number of large-scale projects, including the Southern California Academic Center for Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention (2000–2011) funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Before that she was the principal investigator on an eight-year development and prevention study in the Chicago Public Schools, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. More recently she has been involved in international programs, as associate provost and senior international officer at the University of Delaware (2011–2015), and as a consultant for international agencies, including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and USAID. She currently serves as co-chair for kNOw Violence, a global initiative to prevent violence in childhood sponsored by the Public Health Foundation of India. Kevin Haggerty, PhD × Kevin Haggerty, PhD Social Development Research Group, University of Washington Dr. Kevin Haggerty is the director of the Social Development Research Group, University of Washington School of Social Work. He has specialized in the development and implementation of prevention programs at the community, school, and family levels. Since 1993 he has been the project director for the Raising Healthy Children study, a school-based approach to social development. He is an early implementer and trainer of the Guiding Good Choices parenting program. He is principal investigator of the NIDA funded Family Connections study, testing the Parents Who Care program, and the Focus on Families study. He is an investigator of the Community Youth Development Study, testing the effectiveness of Communities that Care. Shelly Hymel, PhD × Shelly Hymel, PhD University of British Columbia Dr. Shelley Hymel’s research addresses the interface of social and academic functioning, with the goal of understanding social developmental processes in order to support children and youth in school settings. Of primary interest is research to promote social and emotional learning (SEL) in children and youth. Her research is conducted through ongoing school-university partnerships and in collaboration with graduate students in the Social and Emotional Development and Education (SEED) research laboratory. John Love, PhD × John Love, PhD Retired Dr. John Love began retirement after 18 years with Mathematica Policy Research, where he was senior fellow and area leader for early childhood policy and research. He now provides independent consulting in early care and education research, program evaluation, and policy. He has been involved in teaching, research, and evaluation studies of programs for children birth to age five and their families for more than 40 years. Dr. Love is an authority on early childhood program evaluation and assessment. He has directed numerous program evaluations that have included randomized control studies, implementation/process studies, and qualitative research. He was a key player in Early Head Start research and evaluation studies from the infant-toddler phase through its prekindergarten follow-up study. He directed a multisite study of preschool curricula for the U.S. Department of Education (the Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research or PCER project) and a single-county study of universal preschool for First 5 LA.