Scientific Holiday Symposiums : Institute for Innovations in Developmental Sciences - Northwestern University (2024)

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DecSci annually hosts Scientific Holiday Symposiums to bring the scientific community together and highlight contributions to the field. Our 2023 symposium featured Megan Roberts and the 2022 symposium honored Lindsay Chase Lansdale.

2023 Holiday Symposium

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Learn more about the 2023 symposium

DevSci hosted its annual Holiday Scientific Symposium & Reception on highlighting work onReduce the wait for an autism diagnosis: Evolving Lessons on Community-Research Collaboration. Meg Roberts, PhD, Laura Sudec, MSW, and a community panel shared challenges around the waitlist to recieve an autism diagnosis and what they are doing to reduce the wait.

Scientific Holiday Symposiums : Institute for Innovations in Developmental Sciences - Northwestern University (1)

After rounding the bend to the end of the complex year of 2023, we came together for our holiday gathering to celebrate the blessing of our engaged and supportive DevSci community just as we were about to roll out our DevSci 2.0 Strategic Plan. Strategic Plan Priorities are Accelerating innovation, translation and impact; Inclusive excellence; Expanding national visibility and public engagement; and Sustainability. A key element of the Acceleration priority is creation of an Impact Accelerator to generate and support novel forums, training, and tools that synthesize traditional developmental science methods with those of community engaged research and implementation science.

For this year’s symposium, we were SO fortunate that DevSci faculty and Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Meg Roberts, PhD and her research-community partnership team kicked off DevSci’s Impact Accelerator initiative by presenting collaboratively on their bold new “Reduce the Wait” initiative. Reduce the Wait leverages creative partnerships and methods to increase equitable, earlier access and reliable identification of young children with autism. It does so via novel partnerships with speech and language pathologists across the state of Illinois’ early intervention system. To highlight the ways in which this bold initiative breaks new ground, were are also SO lucky to have reflections from two leaders of our broader Northwestern community: implementation scientist, Rinad Beidas, PhD, Chair, Department of Medical Social Sciences, and neurologist and developmental pediatrician, Josh Ewen, MD, Chief, Lurie Children’s Hospital Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

Scientific Holiday Symposiums : Institute for Innovations in Developmental Sciences - Northwestern University (2)

Scientific Holiday Symposiums : Institute for Innovations in Developmental Sciences - Northwestern University (3)

2022 Holiday Symposium

DevSci hosted its annual Holiday Symposium & Reception: Honoring the Generative Scholarship of DevSci Founder Lindsay Chase-Lansdale at the Nexus of Child & Family Science, Policy, & Practice: NextGen Scholarship from her Mentees on December 7th, 2022. Former mentees of Dr. Chase-Lansdale served as the presenters and panelists, as they shared aspects of their work that reflect the impact of Dr. Chase-Lansdale’s legacy as a transformative scholar and mentor.

Learn more about the 2022 symposium

Scientific Holiday Symposiums : Institute for Innovations in Developmental Sciences - Northwestern University (4)DevSci Director and Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Laurie Wakschlag, PhD, was Dr. Chase-Lansdale’s first doctoral student at the University of Chicago. She kicked off the afternoon with an insightful presentation on observational methods and tools. Dr. Wakschlag reflected on on Dr. Chase-Lansdale’s capacity to build bridges across scholarly communities in order to address real-world problems. She noted her advice, stating: “If you can imagine it, you can do it. Sally forth and build your village. Don’t ever lose sight of what matters.” Dr. Wakschlag also brought nostalgic props that she shared during the presentation, including a bound copy of her dissertation and several items of clothing she wore at her defense.

Next, Terri Sabol, PhD, who was a postdoctoral fellow of Dr. Chase-Lansdale’s from 2011-2014, shared her work on the Science of Child Development to Improve Early Care and Education in the United States. “Lindsay is remarkable in so many ways, but the way that I think she’s most profoundly influenced me…is [through] her unequivocal belief in the magic of human development and the power of developmental science to transform lives over time,” shared Dr. Sabol.

Terese Sommer, PhD followed with an informative presentation on Two-Generation Education Investments: Defining the Field and Building the Evidence. “Lindsay has defined [the] field of Two-Generation education programs and, with her team, has built an incredible body of evidence,” shared Dr. Sommer. She was Dr. Chase-Lansdale’s postdoctoral mentee from 2008-2010, and has worked alongside Dr. Chase-Lansdale for over two decades, serving as the Co-Director of the Northwestern Two-Generation Research Initiative (NU2Gen) from 2013-2021.

Highlighting the fact that mentorship comes in many forms, Onnie Rogers, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, spoke next about the impact that Dr. Chase-Lansdale had on her career as an informal mentor. She describes Dr. Chase-Lansdale as putting forth, “[an] audacious and unapologetic effort to do the work which I think is so important.” She shared some of her own research on identity development with a presentation entitled: Outside In: Centering The “Macro” in Developmental Research. In a nod to Dr. Chase-Lansdale she stated: “We live in a system that’s designed for certain kids to fail. We have to be bold and audacious.”

Rounding out the event, Matt Davis, MD, MAPP shared his experiences of being a student of Dr. Chase-Lansdale’s at the University of Chicago from 1998-2000. “Lindsay’s influence on me has inspired me really to pursue better policy and programs for children and families through the power of highly relevant research.”

He concluded by summarizing the themes that emerged from each of the presenters’ talks stating, “Development matters. Research matters. Context matters. Bridging matters. Generations matter.”

We were thrilled to have a successful event and are grateful to our DevSci community and mentors such as Dr. Chase-Lansdale.

Scientific Holiday Symposiums : Institute for Innovations in Developmental Sciences - Northwestern University (2024)
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