Uncovering a deeper understanding

Preventing adverse childhood experiences

Headshot of Sunny Shin
Sunny Shin, Ph.D.

Professor Sunny Shin, Ph.D., leads a project training pediatricians to provide parents with education and resources to reduce the risk of traumatic events, abuse or neglect. The Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control are funding the project, with the goal of mitigating health risks in childhood and later in life.

“The occurrence of adverse childhood experiences is not a social worker’s problem. It’s not a medical doctor’s problem. It’s a social problem that has a very close and strong influence on public health,” Shin says. “The hope and premise of this project is to let us see if we can prevent adverse childhood experiences in Virginia using this evidence-based model.” ⇨ Learn more

‘Housing is essential’

M. Alex Wagaman headshot
M. Alex Wagaman, Ph.D.
Maurice N. Gattis headshot
Maurice Gattis, Ph.D.

Associate professors M. Alex Wagaman, Ph.D., and Maurice Gattis, Ph.D., were awarded a  continuation grant for an ongoing youth-shared housing program for LGBTQ+ youth, pregnant/parenting youth and those at the intersection who are experiencing homelessness. The project, Marsha & Marian's Neighbors, received $805,875 from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

The program partners with youth leaders with lived experience and expertise as well as local organizations. In its first year of implementation, the program served 56 people (young adults and their children) and housed 20 households. “It is truly remarkable to see in action what we know to be true – housing is essential to young people's well-being," Wagaman says.

Research by the numbers 2022-23. Publications - 87 published, in press or accepted; 12 revisions and submissions; 42 manuscripts submitted for peer review. Presentations - 72 at national conferences; 21 invited presentations/local engagements. Projects - 42 active; 34 proposals submitted; $3 million in internal/external funding, FY23

Faculty scholarship and research