For Immediate Release

June 19, 2007

New York, NY – Dr. Michael MacKenzie, assistant professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work, has been selected to participate in the “Leaders for the 21st Century” fellowship program developed by ZERO TO THREE, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the healthy development of infants, toddlers, and their families.

During the two-year fellowship program, Dr. MacKenzie will investigate how risk and stress factors faced by burdened families can impact perceptions of infant behavior and care giving capacity.  He will also be exploring the mechanisms in operation within the parent-child relationship that account for the association between negative perceptions of infant crying/feeding/sleeping behavior and subsequent maltreatment.

The “Leaders for the 21st Century” fellowship program, which began in 1981, is guided by the principles that babies do better when the professionals that serve them and their families are connected across disciplines, are well versed in the latest scientific advances, and are well equipped with the leadership skills needed to manage complex organizations.  The work of ZERO TO THREE is informed by the scientific evidence that infants’ and young children’s earliest experiences impact the development of their brains and shape their ability, as children and adults to learn, to work, to play, and to contribute to society.  Through the fellowship program, ZERO TO THREE connects, enriches, and inspires the multidisciplinary community of professionals dedicated to advancing the healthy development of very young children.

The 23 members of the 2007-2009 Fellows hail from 14 states, Canada, and a U.S. military base abroad.  They come from universities, state government, health, mental health and child care agencies, and the courts.

For more information about the program, please visit www.zerotothree.org. To interview Dr. MacKenzie, please contact Jeannie Hii at 212-851-2327 or jy2223@columbia.edu.

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