2021 Keynote Speakers

Thursday Morning Keynote

Resilience in Science and Practice: Pathways to the Future
Ann S. Masten, PhD

Thursday, March 18, 2021, 10:00 - 11:15 am ET


Opening Keynote is supported by Rogers Behavioral Health.

Dr. Masten will highlight recent advances in theory and research on resilience in human development, with reflections on early lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. Resilience science emerged when researchers and practitioners recognized variation in the adjustment and outcomes of individuals believed to be at risk for psychopathology. From the outset, resilience research had translational goals. recognizing the power of intervention students to test evolving hypotheses about the processes that support adaptation in the context of adversity. In contemporary transdisciplinary theory, resilience is defined as the capacity of a system to adapt successfully to challenges that threaten the function, survival, or development of the system. This definition is intentionally scalable across levels of analysis and portable across disciplines.  

Individual resilience is distributed across multiple systems, drawing on interconnected processes within the organism as well as relationships with other people and interactions with socioecological systems. Resilience is dynamic and multisystemic, changing with interactions of systems within and between the individual and context. This perspective on resilience has gained salience for multiple reasons, including the infusion of systems theory into development psychopathology and the necessity of integrating knowledge on resilience from different disciplines to address mass-trauma threats such as COVID, disasters, or war. Dr. Masten will highlight the alignment of findings in research on resilience in individuals, families, and communities, the transdiagnostic significance of protective processes, and implications of multisystem models for practice and policy. Exciting new directions for integrated research and practice bridging levels of analysis, systems, and disciplines will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

  1. Define resilience from a contemporary systems perspective for scalability and collaboration across disciplines
  2. Delineate a resilience framework and strategies for promoting resilience in practice and policy
  3. Describe new directions of multisystem translational research on resilience

Ann S. Masten Biography 

Ann S. Masten, Ph.D., is Regents Professor of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She studies resilience and the processes that promote competence, mitigate risk, and prevent problems in human development. Professor Masten directs the Project Competence research on risk and resilience, including studies of young people exposed to homelessness, war, natural disasters, and migration. She is a past-president of the Society for Research in Child Development and the developmental division (7) of the American Psychological Association. In 2014, she received the Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology from the American Psychological Association and published her book, Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Development. She teaches a MOOC on Coursera about “Resilience in Children Exposed to Trauma, Disaster and War: Global Perspectives.”

Friday Morning Keynote

Resilience to Adversity and the Early Origins of Disease
Gene Howard Brody, PhD

Friday, March 19, 2021, 10:00 - 10:45 am ET

For the past quarter century, scientists at the Center for Family Research at the University of Georgia have conducted research designed to promote understanding of normative developmental trajectories among low socioeconomic status African American children, youths, and young adults. In this presentation, an expansion of this research program is described using longitudinal, epidemiological studies and randomized prevention trials to test hypotheses about the origins of disease among African American youths. The presentation also describes how family-centered prevention programs have health benefits by reducing inflammation, inhibiting cellular aging, and promoting neurodevelopment.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the contributions of economic hardship, downward mobility, neighborhood 

    poverty, and racial discrimination to biomarkers that act as indicators of the biological weathering of young, rural African Americans’ bodies.

  2. Describe what is “skin-deep resilience” and how it contributes to health disparities.

  3. Describe how family-centered prevention programs designed for rural African Americans have health benefits years after participation in prevention programming.

Gene Howard Brody Biography

Gene Howard Brody is Distinguished Research Professor of Human Development and Family Science in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia, where he has taught since 1976. He is also the founder and director of the University of Georgia's Center for Family Research and a part-time research professor in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He is known for his research on the physiological and biological effects of psychological stress, poverty, and discrimination. 

Friday Morning Keynote

Noelle Hurd, PhD
Centering a Resilience Perspective in Work with Marginalized Groups

March 19, 2021, 10:45 - 11:30 am ET

In this presentation, Dr. Hurd will unpack what it means to employ a resilience perspective in research, practice, and intervention with members of marginalized groups. Specifically, she will discuss 1) contextual risk stemming from systems of oppression and 2) opportunities to build on pre-existing strengths in marginalized individuals' lives. Dr. Hurd will draw from her 15+ years of experience conducting research and implementing interventions with marginalized youth. She will review the ways that a resilience perspective can be leveraged to advance equity and justice in society, as well as the ways it can be misused to undermine these objectives. Dr. Hurd will conclude this presentation with a discussion of the need to move beyond a sole focus on enhancing resilience among marginalized groups to greater efforts to disrupt systems of oppression.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify how systems of oppression manifest as contextual risk.
  2. Develop a better understanding of how to employ a strengths-based perspective in work with marginalized youth.
  3. Consider opportunities to move beyond a sole focus on resilience to think more about opportunities to disrupt systems of oppression.

Noelle Hurd Biography

Dr. Noelle Hurd's research agenda has primarily focused on the promotion of healthy development among marginalized adolescents and emerging adults. Specifically, her work has focused on identifying opportunities to build on pre-existing strengths in youths’ lives, such as supportive intergenerational relationships. Increasingly, her work also has focused on opportunities to disrupt systems of oppression. She runs the Promoting Healthy Adolescent Development (PHAD) Lab at the University of Virginia. She is a former William T. Grant Scholar and a Spencer/National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellow. In 2015, she was recognized as a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science. In 2017, she received the Outstanding Professor Award from the UVA Department of Psychology. In 2019 she served as a Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellow. Her research has been funded by the William T. Grant Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the National Science Foundation. 


Opening Keynote is supported by Rogers Behavioral Health.