2014 News

CSD’s 20th anniversary: Looking ahead

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this academic year, the Center for Social Development is expanding by bringing in new leaders and new bodies of work. 

“Instead of looking back, we’re looking ahead, which I find much more refreshing,” CSD Director Michael Sherraden told the center’s faculty and staff on Oct. 31.

CSD’s work is to conceive and test social innovations that can make a difference in the world, and some of the center’s new faculty directors are on campuses other than Washington University’s, Sherraden said. “We don’t have to be all on one campus to get things done.”

For example, Carrie Pettus-Davis, an assistant professor at Brown School, and Matt Epperson, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, are leading CSD’s new Smart Decarceration initiative. They aim to stimulate applied policy and behavioral intervention research that will reduce the incarcerated population in ways that are humane, socially just and sustainable.

Meanwhile, Patricia Kohl, an associate professor at Brown School, will lead the CSD’s new Child Well-being initiative with Patrick J. Fowler, an assistant professor at Brown School. Kohl’s scholarship is focused on strengthening, implementing and sustaining evidence-based interventions that improve the quality of care for vulnerable families.

Kohl was a panelist at the “Child Well-Being Symposium: Keys to Global and Community Success,” Nov. 12-13 at the St. Louis Federal Reserve and sponsored by the Policy Forum at Brown School and the Deaconess Foundation. (CSD co-sponsored the event.) In part of her presentation, Kohl emphasized the importance of fathers not only as providers but also as nurturers and teachers for their children. 

The new faculty directors will make strong contributions to CSD’s mission to “create conditions so people do better — so we all do better,” Sherraden said.

Watch CSD’s newsletter and website for periodic reports about the center’s new leaders and new bodies of work.