PROGRAM DEVELOPERS & ADVISORS
Judy L. Cameron, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of Pitt Science Outreach (www.pittscienceoutreach.com) at the University of Pittsburgh. For 10 years she was a member of the McArthur Foundation Research Network on Early Experience and Brain Development and she is currently a member of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child and the Scientific Council for the Child Mind Institute. She has a well-established research program studying how life experiences shape brain development and lifelong brain plasticity, focusing on the impact of social stresses, exercise and nutrition. Dr. Cameron is also a member of the Dana Alliances for Brain Initiatives, a nonprofit organization of neuroscientists committed to advancing public awareness of brain research in an accessible fashion. She has given numerous public lectures translating science to the public and has spoken at national meetings for science educators and is now a member of the editorial board for ‘BrainFacts.org,’ a website targeted toward providing accessible information about the brain to the public. Dr. Cameron has overseen the development of all aspects of Working for Kids: Building Skills.
Jeanette Trauth, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Behavioral & Community Health Sciences, in Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. Jeanette has significant expertise in health behavior change theory and methods to guide the design and evaluation of health interventions. She is trained in the conduct of community based participatory research and has used this approach in working with underserved populations for over 20 years. Previously, Jeanette collaborated with Judy Cameron on a highly successful Adult Science Literacy Project for Mental and Addictive Disorders, which included the development of videos and accompanying educationalmaterials for general audiences: “No More Shame: Understanding Schizophrenia, Depression, and Addiction”; an evaluation of the effectiveness of the materials when used in community settings; and community outreach and dissemination. These videos have been distributed worldwide by Films for the Humanities & Sciences, a leading provider of educational media. Dr. Trauth is overseeing both the formative and summative evaluation of Working for Kids: Building Skills. At the formative stage, data will be collected to improve implementation of the community-based pilot program to promote healthy brain development in preschool children. The summative evaluation will focus on the effectiveness of the pilot program in achieving this goal. Dr. Trauth is playing a critical role in the development and evaluation of the first test of the program in communities around Pittsburgh, as well as development of the program in Alberta Canada.
Alexandra Miragaia, M.D., is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health. As an undergraduate at Duke University, Alexandra successfully founded and sold the startup company Shoeboxed Inc. that today has over one million customers. After attending medical school in Brazil, Alexandra took an interest in early childhood brain development and has worked with Dr. Judy Cameron on translating important neuroscience of development principles to the general public. She has been instrumental in developing the Working for Kids: Building Skills training program and educational materials. Her ultimate goal is to join scientific knowledge and an entrepreneurial approach in order to reduce mental capital disparities worldwide.
Pat Levitt, Ph.D., is the Scientific Director of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, Provost Professor of Pediatrics, Neuroscience, Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Southern California and Director of the Developmental Neurogenetics Program of the Institute for the Developing Mind at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He is an international expert in neurodevelopmental disorders. His research focuses on the development of brain architecture that controls learning and emotional and social behavior in children. His long-term goal is to understand the biological bases for neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. For 10 years he was a member of the McArthur Foundation Research Network on Early Experience and Brain Development. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. Dr. Levitt serves as an advisor to Working for Kids: Building Skills.
Susan Nall Bales, is founder and president of the FrameWorks Institute (www.frameworksinstitute.org), an independent nonprofit research organization founded in 1999 to advance the nonprofit sector's communications capacity for framing the public discourse about social problems. It has become known for its development of Strategic Frame Analysis™, which roots communications practice in the cognitive and social sciences. FrameWorks designs, conducts, manages and publishes multi-method, multi-disciplinary communications research to prepare nonprofit organizations to expand their constituency base, to build public will, and to further public understanding of specific social issues. Ms. Bales is a senior fellow at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. She has served as a visiting scientist in the department of society, human development, and health at the Harvard School of Public Health and a visiting scholar in education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was awarded the Rural Sociological Society’s 2004 award for excellence in translating research findings to policy. Ms. Bales serves as an advisor to Working for Kids: Building Skills.