What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing!

(Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)

From Policy to Effective Programs: Building a Dream
July 25, 2016
From Policy to Effective Programs: Building a Dream

By Melissa Donze | July 25, 2016
MPH Candidate, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health & ETR Kirby Summer Intern

It’s hard to forget your first time on Capitol Hill. I was first there in the fall of 2012. I had just started working as the Pedro Zamora Public Policy Fellow at AIDS United (a DC-based nonprofit focused on ending the HIV epidemic in the United States through strategic grantmaking and policy/advocacy).

I remember how incredible it felt to walk those marble halls where so many great policymakers had walked before me. I remember how inspired I felt to see fellow advocates preparing for meetings with high-level members of Congress.

Read More
Tags: Policy, HIV / AIDS, HIV, Kirby internship, Syringe exchange, Sex education
How Collaboration Strengthens Program Evaluation and Can Lead to Program Sustainability: A Look Back
July 20, 2016
How Collaboration Strengthens Program Evaluation and Can Lead to Program Sustainability: A Look Back

By ETR | July 19, 2016
Note: We're posting about some of the presentations ETR researchers and professional development specialists are offering at the Office of Adolescent HealthTeen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference July 19-21.

ETR researchers are big fans of collaboration in program evaluation. “Collaboration can ensure that your evaluation design is realistic, appropriate and effective for the context,” explains ETR researcher Pam Drake, PhD.

She’ll be joining partners Mona Desai, MPH, from Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, and Sarah Kershner, PhD, from the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, to discuss the ways collaboration has supported effective evaluations in several teen pregnancy prevention programs.

Here are some other ways collaboration helps.

Mona Desai, Pamela Drake, Sarah Kershner. How Collaboration Strengthens Program Evaluation and Can Lead to Program Sustainability: A Look Back. Thursday, 7/21/16, 10:15-11:30 a.m. Panel in the Evaluation Track, Tubman A/B.

Read More
Tags: Research, Evaluation, OAH TPP, Pregnancy prevention, Adolescent health, Sexual and reproductive health
Evaluations: Adaptations and Fidelity
July 19, 2016
Evaluations: Adaptations and Fidelity

By ETR | July 19, 2016
Note: We're posting about some of the presentations ETR researchers and professional development specialists are offering at the Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference July 19-21.

Here’s a challenge facing anyone delivering evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs. Educators usually want to adapt programs to boost their relevance with the teens they’re working with. Program managers need to be sure any adaptations are done ways that maintain the fidelity and effectiveness of a program. If there is an evaluation component in the project, managers also need to be sure that adaptations have been noted and are taken into consideration when data is analyzed and reported.

How do you feel about fidelity monitoring of your teen pregnancy prevention programs? Have you faced challenges balancing these dynamics between adaptation and program fidelity?

BA Laris, MPH. Evaluations: Adaptations/Fidelity. Tuesday 7/19/16 1:00-2:00 p.m. Topical Roundtable in the Evaluation Section, Key-3.

Read More
Tags: Evaluation, Implementation fidelity, Pregnancy prevention, Adolescent health, Sexual and reproductive health
Masterful Marketing:  Resources, Tips and Strategies from the Field!
July 19, 2016
Masterful Marketing: Resources, Tips and Strategies from the Field!

By ETR | July 19, 2016
Note: We're posting about some of the presentations ETR researchers and professional development specialists are offering at the Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference July 19-21.

“You can’t affect the health and well-being of youth if no one knows you exist,” proclaims Kathy Plomer, MPH. Kathy is a member of ETR’s DASH Professional Learning Collaborative. In a perfect world, she acknowledges, doing good work would be enough to get people’s attention, support and participation.

“But we don’t live in that perfect world,” she continues. “Sometimes you need to employ some good, old-fashioned marketing techniques to get noticed.”

Laurie Bechhofer, Kathy Plomer, Timothy Kordic, Nicholas Slotterback. Masterful Marketing: Resources, Tips and Strategies from the Field. Wednesday, 7/20/16, 3:30-5:00 p.m. Poster #503 in the Sustainability Section, East Foyer of the Key Ballroom.

Read More
Tags: Professional development, OAH TPP, Nonprofit marketing, Pregnancy prevention, Adolescent health, Sexual and reproductive health
Measuring Consistency of Contraception Use Over Time Among Teen Mothers
July 19, 2016
Measuring Consistency of Contraception Use Over Time Among Teen Mothers

By ETR | July 19, 2016
Note: We're posting about some of the presentations ETR researchers and professional development specialists are offering at the Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference July 19-21.

Teen parents face a number of challenges. When a teen mother has a rapid repeat birth—a second (or more) child before age 20—the challenges become even greater. Almost 1 in 5 teen births is a repeat birth, and only about 1 in 5 sexually active teen mothers use the most effective birth control methods.

For the past 6 years, ETR researcher Pam Drake, PhD, has been collaborating with Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine on a project designed to support teen parents and prevent unintended repeat births. One strategy in the project is to increase the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). These contraceptives, including IUDs and hormonal implants, are the most effective available today, and are safe for most women, including adolescents.

On Wednesday, July 20, Dr. Drake and co-presenters Mona Desai, MPH, Leslie Clark, PhD and Vivian Okonta, all from CHLA, are offering a poster describing how they measured the consistency of contraception use over time with the teen mothers participating in their project.

Pamela Drake, Mona Desai. Measurement Consistency of Contraception Use Over Time Among Teen Mothers. Wednesday, 7/20/16, 3:30-5:00 p.m. Poster #210 in the Evaluation Section, East Foyer of the Key Ballroom.

Read More
Tags: Evaluation, OAH TPP, Pregnancy prevention, Teen moms, Adolescent health, Sexual and reproductive health
Connecting the Dots: Research, Program Development & Delivery, Professional Development
July 18, 2016
Connecting the Dots: Research, Program Development & Delivery, Professional Development

By ETR | July 18, 2016

A dynamic group of ETR researchers and professional development specialists will be presenting posters and panels at the upcoming Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference. The conference takes place in Baltimore July 19-21. The theme is “Connecting the Dots: Collaborating to Achieve Lasting Impacts for Youth.” We’ll be posting here about some of their presentations over the coming days.

We hope you’ll keep an eye out for these posts. Even if your work isn’t specific to the field of adolescent sexual health, you’ll find insights and information useful for program developers, health education researchers, front line providers and people who design and deliver trainings.

The conference hashtag is #2016TPP. Check the LinkedIn Teen Pregnancy Prevention Networking Group to hear more about TPP and to connect with attendees.

Read More
Tags: OAH TPP, Pregnancy prevention, Adolescent health, Sexual and reproductive health
A Team Approach to Data Collection and Evaluation Planning
July 18, 2016
A Team Approach to Data Collection and Evaluation Planning

By ETR | July 18, 2016
Note: We’re posting about some of the presentations ETR researchers and professional development specialists are offering at the Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference July 19-21.

“Evaluations don’t happen in isolation,” say ETR researchers Pam Drake, PhD and BA Laris, MPH. Programs need to involve developers, administrators, implementers and evaluators to come up with an evaluation plan that will produce meaningful results.

On Wednesday, July 20, they’ll be presenting a poster on A Team Approach to Data Collection and Evaluation Planning. “It’s important to think about both big-scope and smaller questions,” they explain. Here are some factors to keep in mind.

BA Laris, MPH and Pamela Drake, Phd. A Team Approach to Data Collection and Evaluation Planning. Wednesday, 7/20/16, 3:30-5:00 p.m. Poster #209 in the Evaluation Section, East Foyer of the Key Ballroom.
Read More
Tags: Evaluation, Teamwork
Memory and Learning: A Formula for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Impact!
July 18, 2016
Memory and Learning: A Formula for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Impact!

By ETR | July 18, 2016
Note: We're posting about some of the presentations ETR researchers and professional development specialists are offering at the Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference, July 19-20.

Learned anything new lately? Your brain is being bombarded by massive amounts of information every minute—sights, sounds, words, smells, sensations. What happens to all of that info? Thankfully, most of it is forgotten. Your brain takes a look at it and decides what to ignore and when to pay attention.

If you’re an implementer working with teens to build healthy skills for pregnancy prevention, you’ve got critical messages and skills you want these learners to attend to. What should you do? Use amazing brain science to make learning stick!

Debra Christopher, MSM and Tracy Wright, MAED. Memory and Learning: A Formula for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Impact! Wednesday 7/20/16, 3:30-5:00 p.m. Poster #107 in the Program Delivery & Improvement Section, East Foyer of the Key Ballroom.
Read More
Tags: Learning, Memory, Neuroscience, Pregnancy prevention, Adolescent health, OAH TPP
Sharing Learning Objectives: Think Like a Marketer, Not an Instructional Designer—Part 2
July 12, 2016
Sharing Learning Objectives: Think Like a Marketer, Not an Instructional Designer—Part 2

By Tracy Wright, MAED | July 12, 2016
Project Director, ETR

Are you a trainer or facilitator? You can improve the delivery of your learning opportunities by spending a little more time thinking like a marketer, and a little less thinking like an instructional designer.

In Part 1 of this post, we reviewed the use of learning objectives to support effective instructional design. I suggested that while carefully constructed learning objectives are a vital step in the design of a learning opportunity, they may not be the best choice when promoting or delivering a training.

Remember, the three most important purposes of sharing learning objectives with participants are:

  1. To describe what the event is about.
  2. To focus learners’ attention on the critical content.
  3. To motivate people to act (e.g., register for the event, attend the event, change their behavior as a result of the event).

Let’s look at some different but effective approaches to achieving each of these ends.

Read More
Tags: Training design, Learning objectives
Healing and Justice Matter
July 11, 2016
Healing and Justice Matter

By Robin Perlas | July 11, 2016
Training Coordinator, ETR

Last week will go down in history as one of the bloodiest in US history. In the few days following our nation’s Independence Day holiday weekend, racially-charged gun violence took the lives of a number of civilians as well as five police officers. Investigations are ongoing and many facts remain to be uncovered. What we do know is that a lot of people are in mourning, and our country is once again divided at its core.

I’m not writing to share the bloody details of these recent events. There has been enough coverage in news reports and videos on social media to make any heart succumb to grief. I’m not even here to talk about the abundance of scholarly research and governmental investigative reports that clearly indicate there are very real systemic inequalities in US society based on race and socioeconomic status, especially when it comes to law enforcement and police brutality. These are facts that cannot be disputed.

My purpose in writing this post is to share the one thing that remains absolutely clear to me during all this mayhem and confusion: regardless if we’re black, white, brown or blue, we all want our lives to matter. 

Read More
Tags: Social justice, Violence prevention, Public health
Four Innovative Methods to Recruit Community Samples of Young Adults
July 7, 2016
Four Innovative Methods to Recruit Community Samples of Young Adults

By Emily Waterman, MS | July 7, 2016
PhD Candidate at Pennsylvania State University & ETR Kirby Summer Intern

Young adulthood, the time of life around ages 18-28, is an exciting period for development. Young adults often establish lifelong health habits, solidify worldviews, and make important decisions about work and family life. They also tend to engage in more risk behavior than people of other ages do.

Read More
Tags: Research, Recruitment
Sharing Learning Objectives: Think Like a Marketer, Not an Instructional Designer—Part 1
July 6, 2016
Sharing Learning Objectives: Think Like a Marketer, Not an Instructional Designer—Part 1

By Tracy Wright, MAED | July 6, 2016
Project Director, ETR

Do you design or deliver trainings? Then try something with me. Think about your answers to these two True/False questions.

  1. When designing a learning opportunity, the first thing you should do is construct your learning objectives. This best-practice step guides effective training design. (T/F)
  2. When promoting the learning opportunity or delivering the training, best practice calls for sharing these same learning objectives with participants. (T/F)
Read More
Tags: Professional development, Training design, Learning objectives
At the White House: The United State of Women Summit
June 29, 2016
At the White House: The United State of Women Summit

By Vignetta Charles, PhD | June 29, 2016
Chief Science Officer, ETR

POTUS was there. FLOTUS was there. Joe Biden and Oprah were there, along with Amy Poehler and Gloria Steinem.

And so was ETR.

Earlier this month, the White House and partners put on the United State of Women Summit. I had the privilege of speaking there on a panel about women and HIV sponsored by the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. The summit focused on health and wellness, economic empowerment, educational opportunity, violence against women, entrepreneurship and innovation, and leadership and civic engagement.

Read More
Tags: White House, Women, Women's health, HIV, HIV prevention, Continuum of care
LGBTQ Pride: It’s a Public Health Issue
June 27, 2016
LGBTQ Pride: It’s a Public Health Issue

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | June 27, 2016
Senior Editor, ETR

The entire month of June is celebrated the world over as LGBTQ Pride month. This year, I started the celebration June 6 in my hometown of Santa Cruz, California. A few hundred marchers walked about a quarter of a mile along our downtown avenue, cheered on by neighbors and friends.

There were plenty of families and kids, dogs, bubbles, fairy wings and rainbow-themed accessories. The parade was over in 45 minutes. It was lovely and low-key. My wife and I talked about the easy-going vibe of the festival. The LGBTQ community achieved nationally recognized marriage equality in 2015, and now, in 2016, the fire and fury seemed to have quieted down.

And then Orlando happened.

Read More
Tags: LGBTQ, Pride, Social determinants of health, Social justice
How to Talk with Students About Electronic Dating Violence
June 22, 2016
How to Talk with Students About Electronic Dating Violence

By Pamela Anderson, PhD, & Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES  | June 22, 2016
Senior Research Associate & Senior Editor, ETR

Originally published at EdSurge.

Teens, tweens and even younger kids are on smartphones, tablets and computers a lot. Of course, tech can be a force for good. Parents, educators and youth themselves report many benefits from the presence of technology in young people’s lives—connecting with family and friends, sharing experiences with distant peers, learning, being entertained and more.

But there are also a number of challenges. These include cyberbullying and online harassment. Beyond these lies another troublesome area with less data and little recognition by young people themselves: electronic dating violence (EDV).

Read More
Tags: Electronic dating violence, Violence prevention, Teens, Technology
ETR’s 2016 Kirby Summer Interns: Ready to Work
June 17, 2016
ETR’s 2016 Kirby Summer Interns: Ready to Work

By ETR | June 17, 2016

It’s summertime. That means the 2016 Kirby Summer Interns have joined ETR’s team. They’ll be contributing to some of the research we’re doing—gathering and analyzing data, and co-authoring an original contribution to the professional literature. We’re thrilled to have them on board!

Melissa Donze is pursuing an MPH program at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, emphasizing Health Promotion Research and Practice. Emily Waterman is a PhD student at Penn State in the Human Development and Family Studies department.

Both bring a wealth of understanding and experience to their internships, and we’re looking forward to a lively exchange of ideas while they’re here.

Read More
Tags: Kirby internship
Preventing Sexual Violence: Notes from Our Blog
June 15, 2016
Preventing Sexual Violence: Notes from Our Blog

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | June 15, 2016
Senior Editor, ETR

Our nation has been engaged in a vital dialogue over the past couple of weeks about sexual violence. The so-called “Stanford rape case” has people talking about risk, responsibility and consequences. It has also shined a light on some of the particular issues related to sexual violence on college campuses.

This seemed like a good moment to take a look at some past posts from the ETR blog addressing the prevention of sexual violence.

Read More
Tags: Research, Sexual violence prevention
We Stand with Orlando
June 13, 2016
We Stand with Orlando

By ETR | June 13, 2016

Like others all around the world, we are stunned and devastated by this past weekend’s events in Orlando.

We stand with the people of Orlando and the LGBTQ community there. We stand with LGBTQ communities across the nation, and with all who cherish freedom, liberty and justice.

Our hearts are broken, but our will is undeterred. Peace to Orlando. Peace to us all.

Read More
“Out of the Office”: Keeping Our Sanity at Work
June 9, 2016
“Out of the Office”: Keeping Our Sanity at Work

By BA Laris, MPH | June 9, 2016
Research Associate, ETR

How do we keep our sanity at work? How many times have you heard that question?

How do we provide the best services and products possible? How do we meet the needs of our clients and customers? Our co-workers, our supervisors? Our Board of Directors and funders? How do we do all this and still maintain a healthy family and social life?

Read More
Tags: HIV / AIDS, Self care, Volunteer
Our Future: Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health & Wellbeing
June 7, 2016
Our Future: Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health & Wellbeing

By Amy Peterson, MSc | June 6, 2016
Project Coordinator, ETR

A few weeks ago I attended a symposium on the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing in London. The symposium marked the launch of the third and most comprehensive report the Commission has produced on the state of global adolescent health.

With over 1.8 billion young people aged 10-24 years old in the world, the promotion of healthy adolescents could have huge benefits to social and economic outcomes globally. Yet, historically, adolescents have largely been left out. They’ve lacked representation in global health indicators and a voice in the conversation about their own health and well-being.

Read More
Tags: Youth, Youth voice, Adolescent health, Global issues, Neurodevelopment, Kirby summit
Honor, Advocacy, Activism: National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
June 6, 2016
Honor, Advocacy, Activism: National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

By Donald Powell, MHS | June 6, 2016
Senior Director of Policy & Development, Exponents

When I was first asked to prepare something to commemorate National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, I jumped at the opportunity. After all, writing has always been my primary way to educate, process emotions and create.

But as I sat at my computer, I began to feel a little apprehensive. As an African American man with southern origins, I started to second guess my right to attempt this endeavor. Was I the person to speak to this commemoration?

I have worked as an HIV preventionist for more than two decades. In that time, I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside several powerful men and women of Caribbean descent. They have transformed and enhanced my understanding of how the intersection of ethnicity, HIV, gender identity and sexual orientation often plays out in Caribbean communities, and in other Black American communities as well. So I speak today to honor the achievements of this community and what I have learned from them.

Read More
Tags: HIV / AIDS, HIV, National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Community Impact Solutions Project, HIV prevention
Preventing Teen Pregnancy: Sharing a Message of Hope and Resilience
June 2, 2016
Preventing Teen Pregnancy: Sharing a Message of Hope and Resilience

By Raymond Blossom | June 2, 2016
Prevention Supervisor, Touchstone Health Services Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program

Note: Raymond Blossom participated in a recent training delivered by ETR Professional Development staff. We asked him to share some of his reflections after the event.

I grew up in the South Bay area of San Diego, California. There is a lot to witness there, a lot to learn and a lot to take in.

It is true there are beautiful beaches and weather that makes you never want to leave. But outside looking in, you may not see the lives lost too often to gang violence, families struggling to make ends meet, and the lack of opportunity for many young men and women.

As a teen, some of my closest friends were becoming parents before high school graduation. I never imagined I would one day have the opportunity to teach prevention and sexual health to teens, and to let young men and women know they do not have to become a statistic. 

Read More
Tags: Teens, Pregnancy prevention, Professional development
Looking to the Future: Educational Research and AERA16
May 25, 2016
Looking to the Future: Educational Research and AERA16

By Julie Adams | May 25, 2016
Research Assistant, ETR

The 2016 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting was held in Washington, DC last month. It marked the 100th anniversary of education researchers meeting to talk about current issues in education, research and policy. As a first-time attendee, I was inspired to see so many people gather in one place, all dedicated to improving the future of education.

I’ve been reflecting on the information shared by some of the most notable researchers in the field over the course of those five exciting days. Here are three ideas I believe are essential to keep in mind as I continue my career in research.

Read More
Tags: Research, Education research, Diversity in technology, Computer science education
Say It With Research: 4 Ways to Deliver Effective STD Messaging for Youth
May 19, 2016
Say It With Research: 4 Ways to Deliver Effective STD Messaging for Youth

By Cody Sigel, MPH, CHES | May 19, 2016
Professional Development Consultant, ETR

The history of sex education in the United States is fraught with horror stories, from fear-based tactics to blatant misinformation. Sadly, ineffective sex education is not a thing of the past. A recent CDC report shows that most middle and high schools around the country are not implementing effective approaches to sexuality education. It’s no surprise that statistics about the impact of STDs on young people are discouraging.

What’s more discouraging perhaps is that we have answers and proven effective programs and strategies that we could use to bring about positive change. When it comes to framing our messaging around STD prevention with youth, we should be using research to guide us to results!

Let’s take a look at four educational strategies educators can easily apply. Trust the science and the behavior change theories of public health and we will see a difference! 

Read More
Tags: STDs, STD prevention, Research, Evidence-informed interventions, Youth
Currently Reading: Thinking Outside the Binary Gender Box
May 16, 2016
Currently Reading: Thinking Outside the Binary Gender Box

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | May 16, 2016
Senior Editor, ETR

My car rolled to a stop at a crosswalk. A young man strode across my path. Even with my tired, end-of-a-long-workday brain, I noticed his confident bearing. He stared ahead, eyes slightly narrowed. His cap was pulled low on his forehead.

And then I did a double take. The young man was actually a client in my psychotherapy practice—a young lesbian I had just seen in a session. She glanced my way, smiled and nodded, and we both moved on.

A post by Emmie Matsuno on the Psychology Benefits Society blog (American Psychological Association) brought this memory, and that client, to mind. It’s titled, “Are You a Boy or Girl? No: Living Outside the Gender Binary.”

Read More
Tags: LGBTQ, Gender fluid, Transgender issues