Independent Studies

Independent Study Opportunities

Dr. Ken Dodge is the Pritzker Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He is also a faculty fellow at the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, which he founded in 1999. Dodge would like to work with a student who has ambitions to complete an honors thesis. Possible topics include prevention of child abuse and how chronic violence develops across the life span. He can provide access to several large, funded research studies that link social science to clinical practice and public policy.


Dr. Katie Rosanbalm is a research scholar with the Center for Child and Family Policy. Trained as a child clinical and quantitative psychologist, her work at the Center has focused on program evaluation in the areas of child maltreatment prevention, self-regulation development, and early childhood systems. Current research topics include: evaluation of a preschool social-emotional curriculum, coordination of child mental health and child welfare systems, and creation/evaluation of trauma-sensitive schools. Contact:


Dr. Liz Snyder, a research scientist with the Center for Child and Family Policy, is trained as an experimental psychologist, with a focus on cognitive development. Since joining the Center in 2006, her work has focused on program evaluation within the child welfare and mental health systems. Currently, she serves as the evaluation co-director for the SAMHSA child mental health initiative in Durham, North Carolina. This grant builds upon Durham’s System of Care by targeting transition-age youth (16-21) who are experiencing mental health challenges. Another project includes the evaluation of the East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI), which is modeled after the acclaimed Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), and seeks to provide a pipeline of services and supports that allows children to become high academic achievers and successfully complete college or vocational training. A third evaluation project includes the Book Babies Home Visiting program in Durham. Contact: