Bridging the Gap: Connecting Researchers to Policymakers

This roundtable event connects policy influencers with SRA attendees to help bridge the gap between research generated by our members and policies related to adolescent development and wellbeing at local, state, and federal levels. Experienced policy influencers representing policymaking and policy advocacy organizations will discuss their experiences and meet in small groups with session attendees. Panelists will have experience in a variety of areas relevant to SRA members, such as immigration, juvenile and criminal justice, poverty and child welfare, healthcare, education, and police and community violence. During moderated small-group sessions, panelists and attendees will actively engage in discussions about research-policy collaborations in the panelist’s content area. By interacting with policy influencers in small-group sessions, attendees will expand their professional networks and gain understanding of how to work with policymakers to effect change. 

Julie Maslowsky, PhD, Moderator

Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences
University of Michigan
[email protected]

About: Dr. Julie Maslowsky is Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences at the University of Michigan. She is a developmental psychologist and population health scientist who studies the development of adolescent health and health behaviors, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health. She is the founder and director of Youth Reproductive Equity, a national research consortium focused on contraception and abortion in adolescents and young adults. Her work has been funded by NICHD, NIDA, NIMH, NIMHD, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Laurie R. Garduque, PhD, Panelist
Director, Criminal Justice

MacArthur Foundation

About: Since joining the Foundation in 1991, Laurie has focused on advancing juvenile justice and criminal justice reforms. In this role, she led development of Models for Change, an initiative that worked with government officials, legal advocates, educators, community leaders, and families to make juvenile justice systems fairer, more effective, rational, and developmentally appropriate. And more recently, she helped launch the Safety and Justice Challenge, which gives support to local leaders from across the country to tackle the misuse and overuse of jails. 

Laurie received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Jill Fraggos, MPH, Panelist
Vice President, Government Relations
Executive Director, Collaborative for Children’s Health Policy
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (“Lurie Children’s”)

About: As Vice President of Government Relations, Jill is responsible for managing the analysis, development, promotion and implementation of policy and system change strategies in support of Lurie Children’s public policy goals.  She has held this position at Lurie Children’s for 26 years.  At the hospital, Jill serves on the Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities Internal Advisory Committee. Outside of the hospital, she serves on the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center Government Relations Advisory Council, the Children’s Hospital Association CHGME workgroup and the West Side United Policy Committee. Jill also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Reading in Motion and is a 2007 fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago. Jill also serves as the Executive Director for the Collaborative for Children’s Health Policy. This is a new statewide collaborative that will advocate to improve health, safety and wellbeing of Illinois children and adolescents. Prior to her work Lurie Children’s, Jill was an account executive with a small employee benefit-consulting firm for six years. Jill received her bachelor's degree in French and Humanistic Studies from Saint Mary's College in South Bend, Indiana and her master’s degree in public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1995.

Shobha L. Mahadev, Panelist

Clinical Professor of Law
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Bluhm Legal Clinic
Pritzker School of Law
Northwestern University

About: Shobha L. Mahadev is a Clinical Professor of Law and the Assistant Dean for Clinical Education at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s’ Bluhm Legal Clinic. Shobha represents adolescents, as well as adults, facing trial or convicted for offenses that occurred in their youth, on appeal and in post-conviction and clemency proceedings, and supervises students working on those cases. Shobha also serves as the project director for the Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children, overseeing policy and litigation strategy with respect to advocating for fair sentencing laws for youth and young adults. The Coalition’s work and Shobha’s expertise have contributed to significant reforms of sentencing laws in Illinois and across the country. She has co-authored numerous amicus curiae briefs submitted in the U.S. Supreme Court, state supreme courts, and other courts of review. Shobha was also the primary author of The Illinois Juvenile Defender Practice Notebook, a training manual for attorneys representing youth in court. Shobha was appointed to the Illinois Resentencing Task Force from January 2022 until December 2022 and currently serves as a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Courts.

Prior to joining the CFJC, Shobha was a litigation associate at a Chicago-based law firm and an Assistant Defender with the Office of the State Appellate Defender, First Judicial District, where she represented indigent clients convicted of criminal offenses on appeal.

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