Meet the Speakers
Stephanie M. Jones
Stephanie M. Jones (she/her/hers) is the Gerald S. Lesser professor in child development and education and director of the Ecological Approaches to Social Emotional Learning Laboratory at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research, anchored in prevention science, focuses on the effects of poverty and exposure to violence on social, emotional, and behavioral development from early childhood through early adolescence. Her career has centered on evaluation research addressing the impact of preschool- and elementary-level social emotional learning interventions on behavioral and academic outcomes and classroom practices, as well as new curriculum development, implementation, and testing. Jones is also co-director (alongside Nonie Lesaux) of the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative and co-principal investigator of the Early Learning Study at Harvard. She serves on numerous national advisory boards and expert consultant groups related to social-emotional development, early childhood education, and child and family anti-poverty policies, including recently as a member of the Council of Distinguished Scientists for the Aspen National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. Jones’ holds a B.A. from Barnard College and a Ph.D. from Yale University.
Velma McBride Murry
Velma McBride Murry (she/her/hers) holds the Lois Autrey Betts endowed chair, associate provost, Office of Research and Innovation, and University Distinguished professor in the Departments of Health Policy at Vanderbilt School of Medicine and Human and Organizational Development at Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee. Her research focuses on examining the significance of context to everyday life experiences of African American families and youth with specific consideration to processes through which racism, and other social structural stressors, cascade through families to influence parenting and family functioning, quality of life, and developmental outcomes and adjustment among youth, including mental and physical health. McBride Murry is associate director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Community Engagement Research Core, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, past president of the Society for Research on Adolescence, and president of The International Consortium of Developmental Science Societies. She was a former member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Children, Youth, and Families, and currently serves on numerous other boards and governing councils, including the National Academy of Medicine’s Culture of Health; Foundation for Child Development; and Society for Research in Child Development. McBride Murry is one of the 100 elected members to the 2020 Class of the National Academy of Medicine and appointed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve a four-year term to the National Institutes of Health Advisory Mental Health Research Council. She earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri–Columbia.
Michelle Sarche (she/her/hers) is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Colorado School of Public Health. Sarche is a citizen of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe. She has partnered with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes in research and evaluation related to maternal and child health and children’s development in the context of family, community, culture, and early care, education and home visiting programs and related to health and well-being. Sarche’s work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Administration for Children and Families; current projects include the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center, the Center for Indigenous Research Collaborations and Learning in Home Visiting, the Multi-site Implementation Evaluation of Tribal Home Visiting, the Native Children’s Research Exchange Network and Scholars program, the American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey, and two randomized controlled trials of a culturally adapted alcohol-exposed pregnancy prevention program. Sarche is an Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow, the 2018 recipient of the National Indian Head Start Directors Association Child Advocate of the Year award, and a 2021 inductee into the Academy for Community Engaged Scholarship. Sarche obtained her B.S. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Loyola University—Chicago. She completed her predoctoral clinical psychology internship and a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She also completed a two-year certificate in psychodynamic child and adolescent psychotherapy through the Denver Psychoanalytic Institute.
Suzanne Le Menestrel
Suzanne Le Menestrel (she/her/hers) is a developmental scientist and the Director of Science Affairs at the Society for Research in Child Development where she provides oversight of SRCD's four journals, solicitation and review of proposals from SRCD members for science-based initiatives including the Biennial and Special Topics Meetings, and projects such as the Small Grants Program for Early Career Scholars, and the Towards 2044: Horowitz Early Career Scholar Program as well as building relationships with SRCD collaborators and partners. Previously, Dr. Le Menestrel was a Senior Planning, Strategy, and Impact Officer at the National CASA/GAL Association for Children and a Senior Program Officer in the Board on Children, Youth, and Families, at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine where she directed five consensus studies on the well-being of children and families. Prior to her tenure with the National Academies, she was the founding national program leader for youth development research at 4-H National Headquarters, U.S. Department of Agriculture; served as the research director at the Academy for Educational Development’s Center for Youth Development and Policy Research; and was a research associate at Child Trends. Dr. Le Menestrel was a founder of the Journal of Youth Development: Bridging Research and Practice and chaired its publications committee. She has published in numerous refereed journals and is an invited member of several advisory groups including a research advisory group for the American Camp Association (ACA). She recently concluded a 3-year term as an elected member of the McLean Community Center Governing Board, is an elected member of the American Camp Association Board of Directors, serves on the Board of Directors for Brigade of Mercy, a volunteer-run charitable non-profit, and is a volunteer mentor for the Dream Project VA. She holds a B.S. in psychology from St. Lawrence University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in human development and family studies from Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Le Menestrel also holds a nonprofit management executive certificate from Georgetown University, and she is a certified association executive.