The Michael Sullivan Diversity Scholarship Fund committee has selected two winners for 2015. They are Caitlin Cavanagh of the University of California, Irvine and Barbara Wood Roberts of Idaho State University.

Caitlin Cavanagh

cavanagh-caitlinCaitlin Cavanagh’s research focuses on the overrepresentation of Latino youth in the juvenile justice system. To understand the mechanisms of support that may differ among Latino and non-Latino youth, it is necessary to investigate the primary support system for youth on probation: their parents. In an effort to improve how the juvenile justice system works with families toward youth probationary success, Cavanagh’s study examines justice system treatment, offending trajectories and how the youth-mother dyad dynamically responds to justice system contact for Hispanic/Latino families. Using a sample of first-time youth offenders and their mothers interviewed longitudinally, Cavanagh’s goal is to develop a cultural framework around which to create recommendations for policy makers.

Cavanagh received her bachelor of arts from the University of Rochester and is currently in her final year of the PhD program in developmental psychology at The University of California, Irvine.

Barbara Wood Roberts

wood-roberts-barbaraBarbara Wood Roberts’ research explores whether culture has an impact on the accuracy of perspective-taking and pain perception in a health care setting. Roberts’ project will illuminate the scientific community and the public about the differences in how we listen to each other in one of society’s most important relationships: the patient/provider dyad. Adding to the body of information about the ways that cultural interactions effect health care disparities means the results of this study can possibly play a role in the reduction and eventual elimination of such disparities.

Roberts’ is especially humbled to receive the Michael Sullivan Diversity scholarship. “I'm so delighted to have been selected; this is an important achievement for our lab. Thanks to opportunities like the Michael Sullivan Diversity Scholarship, important research is made possible,” she said.

Roberts’ received her bachelor of humanities from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Roberts is currently a second-year PhD student in experimental psychology at Idaho State University.