Who Wrote It?

pregnancy prevention sexual assault college STI

Private: Dr. Janis Kupersmidt

Dr. Kupersmidt is the President and a Senior Research Scientist at innovation Research & Training (iRT). She is also a licensed clinical child psychologist focusing on delinquent, aggressive, and substance abusing youth. During her research career, she has been the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on approximately 50 grants or contract awards and has published over 80 papers, chapters, and books on the topics of aggression, delinquency, social information processing skills, peer relations, substance abuse, prevention, mentoring, mindfulness, media literacy education, and positive youth development. In addition, she has authored or co-authored many evidence-based prevention programs including the Aware, Connected Scholars, Media Detective, Media Ready, Media Aware, Preparing for Mentoring, and Buddy Builder programs. She has conducted numerous training workshops around the world and completed over 150 presentations at scientific conferences. She is the co-editor of a book, Children’s peer relations: From development to intervention, published by the American Psychological Association Press. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia, and then, retired as an Associate Professor at UNC-CH to found iRT.

pregnancy prevention sexual assault college STI

Private: Dr. Sarah Schwartz

Dr. Schwartz is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Suffolk University. She holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a master’s degree in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on prevention and intervention programs for children and adolescents, with a particular interest in youth mentoring. She has authored a number of publications, including studies on school-based mentoring as well as on youth-initiated mentoring, a new model of mentoring which empowers adolescents to recruit mentors from within their existing social networks.

Dr. Stella Kanchewa

Dr. Kanchewa is a clinical psychologist who completed her doctoral training in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at the University
of Massachusetts Boston. Her research focuses on risk and resiliency in adolescence, with a specific interest in youth mentoring/intergenerational relationships as a preventive intervention.

pregnancy prevention sexual assault college STI

Private: Dr. Jean Rhodes

Dr. Rhodes is the Frank L. Boyden Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has devoted her career to understanding and advancing the role of intergenerational relationships in the intellectual, social, educational, and career development of youth. She has published three books, four edited volumes, and over 100 chapters and peer-reviewed articles on topics related to positive youth development, the transition to adulthood, and mentoring. Dr. Rhodes is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association and the Society for Research and Community Action, and was a Distinguished Fellow of the William T. Grant Foundation. She has been awarded many campus-wide teaching awards for her advances in pedagogy and scholarship, including the Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Scholar Award, the Student Government Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Chancellor’s Outstanding Scholar award at UMB.

“It made me more aware of how I should be networking more and how networking isn’t as hard as it seems.”

The Problem

  • Low college completion rates, especially among first-generation students and students from low-income families
  • College engagement varies dramatically across students
  • More educated parents have broader social networks
  • Youth from affluent families have a wider range of informal mentors
  • Cultivating mentors is a lifelong skill that is rarely taught
9 %
of children from the lowest family income quartile earn a bachelor’s degree by 24 years of age
77 %
of children from the highest family income quartile of families earn a bachelor’s degree by 24 years of age
< 28 %
of college graduates strongly agreed that their professors either encouraged them to pursue their hopes and dreams, or cared about them as a person