Virginia Commonwealth University

RICHMOND, Va., (Feb. 1, 2006) ? Virginia Commonwealth University is one of eight universities nationwide that has earned designation as a National Academic Center of Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The centers serve as models for the prevention of youth violence and foster an environment that encourages collaborations among health scientists, social scientists and the community with the common goal of reducing violence among youth.?VCU?s designation as a Center of Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention is a significant honor that speaks to the expertise, initiative and dedication of our faculty and staff who are committed to addressing youth violence prevention,? said Stephen D. Gottfredson, VCU?s provost and vice president for academic affairs. The VCU center, newly named the VCU Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development, will provide a basis for extending current efforts in the areas of youth violence research and community engagement. Faculty and researchers from the VCU Center for Promotion of Positive Youth Development and the VCU Center for the Study and Prevention of Youth Violence will be working together to develop and implement community response plans and to evaluate strategies for preventing youth violence.?Given the highly competitive nature of the selection process, the CDC?s selection of VCU represents a strong endorsement of the collaborations that have been established between VCU and the community,? said Albert D. Farrell, Ph.D., professor of psychology at VCU and the institute?s director.The institute also represents the types of efforts that VCU Community Solutions supports in strengthening VCU?s work on critical social issues in the community.The VCU Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development recognizes the contributions to the field of adolescent development by Maxine L. Clark, Ph.D., a former associate professor of psychology at VCU, and John P. Hill, Ph.D., former chair of the VCU Department of Psychology. Clark, who died in 1995, was involved with research that broadened the understanding of the development of African American adolescents and the role of culture in development. Hill, who died in 1988, was an acclaimed scholar in the field of adolescence. His conceptual and theoretical work shapes much of current teaching and understanding of adolescent psychology. In addition to VCU, the other CDC-funded centers of excellence are at Columbia University; Harvard University; Johns Hopkins University; the University of Hawaii; the University of California?s Berkeley and Riverside campuses; and the University of Illinois? Chicago campus. VCU psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology and community health faculty involved with the new center include: Robert Cohen, Ph.D., associate director; Kevin Allison, Ph.D., director of community mobilization; Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D., director of training and mentoring; Saba Masho, M.D., director of community surveillance; Aleta Meyer, Ph.D., and Terri Sullivan, Ph.D., research faculty; Torey Edmonds, community liaison; and Anne Greene, director of operations. Elizabeth Erwin, Ph.D., is the director of qualitative inquiry and is from the University of Virginia School of Nursing


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