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Alumni briefs: Barker ’89, Brezenoff ’00, Charles ’09, Pettus-Davis ’11

Molly Barker, MSW ’89, is featured in Runner’s World magazine’s “The 50 Most Influential People in Running.” Barker is the founder of Girls on the Run, an international program for girls ages 8-13 that employs running and sports as an intervention platform to enhance the self-esteem, social support, and well-being of young women.

Daniel Brezenoff, MSW ’00, is now an adjunct faculty in the Human Services of Cal State Dominguez Hills. Brezenoff is also working for the mayor of Long Beach, Calif., Dr. Robert Garcia, as his deputy chief of staff, handling communications, constituent services, and city council meetings.

Pajarita Charles, Ph.D. ’09, a lecturer and researcher at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, has received a federal grant for a new project. The study, “Promoting Healthy Development among Children of Fathers with Antisocial Behavior,” is being funded through a 5-year Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the NIH. The K99/R00 is an advanced training and research grant that will enable Charles to expand her research focus in order to launch a research agenda in an innovative area of work. The negative impact of fathers’ imprisonment and criminal behavior on children calls for interventions to promote positive father engagement and parenting. The K99/R00 career development, training and research grant will allow her to develop, implement and test an intervention intended to break intergenerational cycles of antisocial behavior and promote positive outcomes among children of fathers who exhibit antisocial behavior.

Carrie Pettus-Davis, Ph.D. ’11, an assistant professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, will be a featured speaker at a symposium hosted by the School, “Innovations for Social and Health Impact.” Faculty will discuss their social innovations to address important local, national and global challenges. Pettus-Davis is the director of the Concordance Institute for Advancing Social Justice, a Brown School research center that partners with an independent service provider, the Concordance Academy of Leadership, to invent, implement, test and disseminate the best reentry practices and policies to support incarcerated individuals returning to the community.