PhD Candidate Rachel Ludeke Admitted to Child Well-Being Research Network
By NYU Silver Communications OfficeJul 20, 2021
The Child Well-Being Research Network selected PhD Candidate Rachel Ludeke as a new member of its interdisciplinary, collaborative network of scholars who are passionate about promoting child and family well-being. Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Inc. and housed at Chapin Hall, the network provides members opportunities for collaboration and access to resources and infrastructure for the conduct and dissemination of their practice and policy-relevant research.
Rachel said she found out about the network from her mentor, Associate Professor Dr. Darcey Merritt, who encouraged her to apply. Among many other benefits, Rachel said she is excited about the opportunity the network affords to work with fellow child welfare researchers and to leverage findings to effect policy changes. “I am hoping this will position me to not only get access to grants and learn more about policy analysis and policy development,” she said, “but also to collaborate with other people in my research area.”
Rachel’s research interest is foster care outcomes, primarily in education and employment. Her dissertation research used a social network analysis to explore transitioning foster youth support networks as they consider educational and employment opportunities after aging out of care. She is now completing the writing of her dissertation and hopes to defend it in Fall 2021. She is also in talks with the head of the organization where she conducted her dissertation research about conducting a longitudinal follow up on the young people she interviewed to assess the long term impact of the program.
Acceptance into the Child Well-Being Research Network is only the latest of many honors Rachel has received since she entered NYU Silver’s PhD Program. In 2019, she was awarded scholarships to attend three competitive summer training programs: the Summer Social Work Graduate Student Mentoring Workshop on African American and Latinx Research at the University of Michigan School of Social Work; the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research; and the Kempe Interdisciplinary Summer Institute at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. In 2020, she was selected as a NICHD funded Fellow for the Social Networks and Health Workshop at Duke Population Research Institute, a fellowship that was extended through 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She will present her work at the upcoming 2021 Kempe International Virtual Conference: A Global Call to Action to Change Child Welfare Conference taking place across North America, Europe, and Africa October 4-7, 2021. The conference aims to confront and change oppressive laws and institutions by shifting power and decision-making back to children, family, and community.