Michael MacKenzie Named 2014 William T. Grant Scholar

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The William T. Grant Foundation has named Associate Professor Michael MacKenzie as a William T. Grant Scholar. He is one of five grantees in this year's scholarship cohort, each of whom will receive $350,000 to execute rigorous, five-year research plans that stretch their skills and knowledge into new disciplines, content areas, or methods, under the guidance of mentors and in an area that brings research to bear on the goal of improving the lives of young people.

Dr. MacKenzie will be researching “Children in Limbo: A Transactional Model of Foster Care Placement Instability.” He proposes to examine why some children in the child welfare system experience placement disruptions that increase in frequency and speed over their time in care.

Dr. Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, the Virginia & Leo Marx Professor of Child Development at Teachers College, will mentor Dr. MacKenzie on his overall approach to the topic. Dr. John Schulenberg, professor of psychology and a research professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and the Center for Human Growth and Development, will provide guidance on the methodological portion of Dr. MacKenzie’s study, which involves developing a novel longitudinal design that allows for taking a more nuanced look at children’s experiences of life disruptions.  

In addition to these mentoring relationships, Dr. MacKenzie will attend annual meetings with fellow Scholars, Foundation staff, and other senior researchers.

“We are pleased to support this terrific group of young Scholars,” said Vivian Tseng, vice president for program. “They are tackling important questions facing young people of color in our nation’s schools, neighborhoods, and social service systems.”

Launched in 1982, the William T. Grant Scholars Program supports the professional development of promising early-career researchers in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. Each year, the Foundation selects four to six new William T. Grant Scholars from a highly competitive pool of applicants, who are nominated by their supporting institutions. To date, the program has sponsored more than 150 up-and-coming researchers, who have gone on to become leaders in their fields.

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