Affiliate Profiles

Affiliate Profile: Rachel Chazen Cohen

Background Dr. Rachal Chazan Cohen Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Human Development and Family Sciences Department at the University of Connecticut. Her main research interest is in how early childhood programs support children’s development and family well-being

Affiliate Profile: Caitlin Lombardi

Background Caitlin Lombardi, Ph.D is an Assistant Professor in UConn’s Department of Human Development and Family Sciences . Her primary research interests are the role of family, early care and education, school, and community in promoting cognitive, language, socioemotional, and health outcomes and the ways in which socioeconomic disadvantage is related to children’s development

Affiliate Profile: Jessica Hollenbach

Background Jessica Hollenbach, Ph.D. is Co-Director of the Asthma Center at Connecticut Children’s and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Her primary research interests include the implementation and dissemination of effective asthma programs in underprivileged communities

Affiliate Profile: Jaci VanHeest

Background Jaci L. VanHeest, Ph.D is an Associate Professor in the Neag School of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology. Her primary research interest is the endocrine control of bodyweight and how that is impacted by physical activity among elite female athletes and children at risk of obesity.

Affiliate Profile: Ran Xu

Background Ran Xu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences and is interested in using statistics to address various social science problems. After earning his bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Dr. Xu became interested in how math and statistics can be applied to model human behavior and improve public outcomes.

Steering Committee Member Profile: Michele Femc-Bagwell

Background Michele Femc-Bagwell is Associate Professor in Residence in the Department of Educational Leadership in the Neag School of Education at UConn. She is a former high school English teacher, middle school assistant principal, principal, and holds a Connecticut Superintendent’s certificate

Steering Committee Member Profile: Lindsay DiStefano

Background Lindsay DiStefano is the Athletic Training Program Director and an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at UConn. With a background in athletic training and sports medicine and an appreciation of working with children, DiStefano found that “working to prevent sport-related injury in a youth athlete population was a natural fit.”