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Meet Our Senior Fellows

The intent of NCAP’s Senior Research Fellows Program is to improve the quality and usefulness of our work; to conduct research that we will disseminate and learn from; and, most importantly, to bolster the value and impact of our efforts so we can achieve the highest standards and help the most people.

Kathryn England Aytes, M.S., EdD

Kathryn, a Board member and trainer for the Native American Children's Alliance, presents internationally on child forensic interviewing and cultural awareness within multidisciplinary team settings. She was a founding director of a Children’s Advocacy Center in Oregon, and served many years as a child advocate for a program in that state’s Judicial Department, which provided case planning and placement recommendations to the juvenile court. She currently teaches psychology at California State University, Monterey Bay.

Abbie E. Goldberg, PhD

Abbie E. Goldberg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Clark University. Her research examines diverse families, including lesbian- and gay-parent families and adoptive-parent families. A particular focus is the transition to parenthood for same-sex couples, with attention to the role that supportive and unsupportive contexts play in new parents’ mental health. She is the author of over 75 peer-reviewed articles and two books; co-editor of LGBT-Parent Families and editor of the Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies.

Michael Grand, PhD

Michael is a highly accomplished researcher, trainer, speaker and consultant based in Canada. He joins NCAP after a distinguished career as a Professor and Director of Training in the Graduate Program in Child Clinical Psychology at the University of Guelph in Ontario. He co-directed the National Adoption Study of Canada and has published – previously as Michael Sobol – on such diverse topics as search and reunion, family and personal identity, adoption demographics, and paths to open facilitation. His most recent book is “The Adoption Constellation: New Ways of Thinking About and Practicing Adoption.” 

Jeanne Howard, PhD

Jeanne has conducted research and training on adoption and foster care issues for 30 years, with an emphasis on children adopted from care. She is a Professor Emeritus at Illinois State University, where she headed the Center for Adoption Studies. She also served as the Research and Policy Director for the Donaldson Adoption Institute, researching and authoring numerous reports that have had a positive impact on adoption-related law, policy and practice. Her passion is Lifebook work, on which she will focus her consulting and training.
Dana Johnson, MD, PhD

Dr. Johnson is a Professor of Pediatrics and a member of the Divisions of Neonatology and Global Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, where he co-founded the International Adoption Clinic in 1986, the first academic program focused on understanding the medical needs of adopted children. His research centers on the short- and long-term effects of early social, medical and nutritional deprivation on child well-being. Current projects include investigating the physiological links between stress, growth, pubertal development and cognitive abilities through the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, the first randomized, controlled study of foster vs. institutional care.

Ruth McRoy, PhD

Ruth McRoy, a professor of Social Work at Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, is one of the most highly regarded scholars in the field of adoption and child welfare. Her extensive body of work includes such topics as transracial adoption, family preservation and open adoption, and she has published over 100 articles and 10 books. Her many honors include the St. John’s 2010 Outstanding Scholar in Adoption Award; the 2013 HHS Adoption Excellence Award; and the 2014 Child Advocate of the Year Award from the North American Council on Adoptable Children.

Laurie C. Miller, MD

Laurie is an internationally respected physician, researcher, author and educator. She comes to NCAP from the Tufts University School of Medicine, where she has conducted pioneering work as founder of the International Adoption Clinic. At Tufts, she also is a Professor of Pediatrics; Adjunct Professor of Nutrition; and Adjunct Professor of Child Development. Laurie has developed and overseen major humanitarian projects abroad, and has served as a pediatric consultant in over a dozen countries. Her books include The Handbook of International Adoption Medicine.

Ellen Pinderhughes, PhD

Ellen Pinderhughes, PhD, is a leading scholar in the field of adoption. She is a professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University, and is a developmental and clinical psychologist who has worked as a therapist and a clinical consultant. Her research focuses primarily on the complex interplay of family dynamics in adoptive and biological families with children at risk for problematic outcomes. With 30 years of research  and clinical experience, she is nationally known for her work on older child adoptions, international adoptions and transracial adoptions. She serves on the editorial board of  Adoption Quarterly, and has written extensively on adoption-related issues in books and journals.

Susan Livingston Smith, LCSW, MSSW, ACSW

Susan is an accomplished researcher and scholar in the realms of adoption, post-adoption services, foster care, permanency and child welfare. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has practiced and conducted research and training in the field for over 30 years. She is a Professor Emerita of the School of Social Work at Illinois State University, where she co-directed the Center for Adoption Studies. Before coming to NCAP, Susan was the Program and Project Director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute for 10 years. 

Paul D. Steele, PhD

Paul is a pre-eminent researcher and speaker on child welfare issues. He has served as a Fellow of the Oxford University Roundtable, Director of Morehead University’s Center for Justice Studies, developer of Children’s Advocacy Centers across the U.S., and member of the Native American/Alaska Native Advisory Committee. He trains and consults on research and program evaluation, social policy analysis, local and community influences on child welfare, social networks and interagency collaboration.

Amanda Baden, PhD

Amanda is a leading scholar in the adoption field. She is a professor at Montclair State University, where she teaches and advises students in the Master’s and PhD Counseling programs. Amanda was adopted from Hong Kong and raised in a transracial family. Her personal and professional experiences have led her to focus her research and clinical practice on adoption triad members, transracial/international adoption issues, racial and cultural identity, adoption microaggressions, and multicultural counseling competence. She is an editor of The Handbook of Adoption: Implications for Researchers, Practitioners, and Families.

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Hollee McGinnis,MSW, PhD.

Hollee is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work. In addition to being adopted from South Korea, she has more than 25 years of community organizing, practice, policy and research experience relating to the life course of orphaned and separated children in alternative care (adoption, foster, institutions). Hollee’s research broadly examines social and cultural determinants of mental health and well-being, with a focus on improving outcomes for youth and adults with histories of childhood adversity and involvement in systems of child welfare. Prior to receiving her doctorate at Washington University in St. Louis, she was Policy Director at the Donaldson Adoption Institute. 

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