Urban Education, Prevention & Policy Research Print E-mail

Core prevention and intervention research activities conducted in the area of Urban Education, Prevention & Policy Research (UEPP) examine cultural and contextual factors that impact school achievement and the social-emotional development urban adolescents identified as being at high risk for school failure and other negative developmental outcomes.

Conceptualized within developmental, ecological, and cultural theoretical frameworks, our research efforts serve to inform the design of comprehensive school-based preventive interventions that promote adaptive functioning and resilience among minority adolescents in multiple domains. The area's consultation and evaluation activities examine the extent to which educational reform initiatives adequately address issues of school equity, access, and educational attainment of disadvantaged minority youth in improving their educational trajectory.

Sustained through established partnerships with key state level entities, universities, and school districts across Connecticut, UEPP strives to influence current educational policies and procedures that support the manner in which we engage, educate, and sustain urban adolescents.

Our Team:

Nadia L. Ward, M.Ed., Ph.D., is the Director of Urban Education & Prevention Research at The Consultation Center and Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry.  Her extensive work in the area of academic achievement for African American and Latino youth has spanned 18 years and has included training and consultation to universities, public school systems and private organizations, curriculum development, program development, implementation, and evaluation. Dr. Ward has worked extensively with high-risk as well as high achieving urban youth and their families in a variety of capacities.  She has designed and evaluated academic enrichment and competence enhancing substance abuse and violence prevention programs in school and community settings.

Barb Nangle, M.A., is the Program Coordinator for The MAAX, as well as for Urban Education, Prevention and Policy Research at The Consultation Center. She has worked for the past nine years on programs that support urban youth. Barb holds a master's degree in sociology from the University of Connecticut. She is dedicated to working toward dismantling of the structures of inequality in our society.

Tamora Callands, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Division of Prevention and Community Research, Department of Psychiatry, at Yale University School of Medicine. Tamora completed her doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology at Purdue University in Lafayette, IN. Her research interests focus on understanding the link between context and risk-taking behavior. Tamora also has experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating school-based interventions with children ranging from Pre K - 12 as she has served as an assistant Mental Health Consultant to Head Start in Indiana and as Mental Health Assessment Assistant to a GEAR-UP project in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a Postdoctoral Fellow, Tamora is currently working on two projects under the mentorship of Dr. Nadia Ward and Terry Freeman, LCSW, MAT, implementing school-based interventions within New Haven Public Schools. On the first project, Tamora serves as the lead trainer in the MAAX programs weekly supervision session with program facilitators. On the second project, Tamora is the lead facilitator for two groups at a local high school, one focuses on building healthy relationship and decreasing sexual risk-taking behavior, while the other one focuses on substance abuse prevention and promoting positive decision-making skills. Tamora's career goals are to develop a school-based culturally sensitive prevention program that encourages safer-sex practices, positive self-esteem, and cultural awareness among ethnic minority youth.

Lance Linke, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist in the Division of Prevention and Community Research, Department of Psychiatry, at Yale University School of Medicine is oversees the program evaluation efforts of the UEP Area. He is a developmental and educational psychologist who is interested in social and emotional development. Dr. Linke's experience with educational evaluation started over a decade ago working with the design of graduate school student data bases. His academic interest in psychology initiated an intention to better understand how people in various cultures perceive and interpret the world, and how these perceptions and interpretations influence behavior. Accordingly, Dr. Linke pursued studies in Educational Psychology to explore the influence of culture on learning. His interest in developmental psychology has centered on cognitive and emotional information processing as these relate to decision making. Dr. Linke has worked in undergraduate and K-12 settings, acting as a program director for research and evaluation of student performance and behavior. His employment experience also includes working with federal and private grants to improve local education intervention delivery. Lance has worked internationally with departments and ministries of health and education to create interdisciplinary, collaborative frameworks that focus on the importance of psychological development in formal education environments. He continues to evaluate student development, and the many variables that influence this, with respect to academic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal domains.

Kai M. Perry, B.A., has acquired over seven years of experience in the fields of youth development, urban education, and social service. She has worked in both nonprofit and academic sectors. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Hampton University and is currently completing her thesis for an M.A. in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University. At present, she serves as Cluster Liaison for the Yale-Bridgeport GEAR UP Partnership in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. In this role, she coordinates educational and enrichment programming for a cohort of approximately 500 students and their families. She establishes and maintains relationships with community partners, school administrators, students, and parents by working collaboratively with local organizations and school planning teams, facilitating parent workshops, and coordinating social-emotional enrichment activities for students. Ms. Perry plans to pursue a doctorate degree in Community Psychology in the near future.

Eddie Quiles, B.S., is a graduate of the University of Bridgeport where he received his degree in Human Services as well as Criminal Justice program certification. He joined the Urban Education & Policy Research at The Consultation Center in 2009, under the YALE GEAR UP Partnership program as a Cluster Liaison for the Central High School cluster of schools. Over the past 10 years he has provided youth development, career counseling, and academic intervention opportunities among others to youth and families in the city of Bridgeport and surrounding areas as well as the Bridgeport School District. His proficiencies extend to the areas of program development, implementation, and administration.

Alisha Smith, B.S., is a graduate of Charter Oak State College with a degree in Child and Youth Development. Currently, she is working on her M.S. degree in Instructional Design and Technology. Alisha is the Bassick Cluster Liaison for the Yale-Bridgeport GEAR UP Partnership and has worked collaboratively with the Bridgeport public schools for the last eight years. Alisha served as Program Director for the YMCA/Ralphola Taylor Center in Bridgeport, Ct. and the Greater Hartford YMCA Metro office and was responsible for implementing after school programs for youth ages 13-18. Alisha is passionate about seeing young people succeed and believes that all children deserve a "high quality" education. Alisha is a graduate of the Americorps Program and the Bridgeport Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) and works closely with parents in the Yale-Bridgeport GEAR UP project. She enjoys singing, attending Broadway plays, and being a mom to her wonderful, vivacious 3-year-old daughter Jayla.

Michael J. Strambler, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist at Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. He earned his doctoral degree in Clinical and Community Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Strambler's research interests concern understanding and addressing achievement disparities, especially among ethnic minority and at-risk youth. He has a particular interest in how social environments and the dynamics that occur within them play a role in academic underperformance and how this problem can be addressed by school interventions and school reform efforts. His experience in applied research, program evaluation, and program design in these areas has spanned from elementary school to high school. Dr. Strambler's research has been published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Child Development, and American Psychologist, as well as The Handbook of Race, Racism and the Developing Child.