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Washington State University


Logo for the IMPACT lab

The IMPACT (IMproving Prevention through ACTion) Research lab is led by Drs. Laura Hill, Brittany Cooper, Louise Parker and Elizabeth Weybright, and includes undergraduate and graduate students interested in the prevention of social, emotional and behavioral health problems for youth, families and communities. Our research is aimed at closing the gap between the science and real-world practice of prevention, and therefore strong collaborations with prevention practitioners and policymakers are central to our approach. Specifically, our goal is to better understand what it takes to get effective, culturally relevant prevention programs and policies widely disseminated, implemented with high quality, and sustained across time in diverse community settings. To this aim, we engage in action-oriented, mixed-methods research on quality implementation, and sustainability, and conduct evaluations (including non-experimental evaluation in real-world settings) of evidence-based prevention interventions.

News & Noteworthy

2020 Elizabeth's CROP+TR project is featured in the WSU Insider

The WSU Insider recently highlighted the WSU Center for Rural Opioid Prevention, Treatment and Recovery (CROP+TR), a two year project co-led by IMPACT's Dr. Elizabeth Weybright and the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine's Dr. Michael McDonell. The two-year project has just completed year one and aims to help rural families and communities in Washington State address and prevent opioid addition through technical assistance, training, and education. Click here to read the WSU Insider article.

2020 Gitanjali is selected for the Early Career Reviewers Program for Prevention Science

Gitanjanli was selected for the incoming cohort of Early Career Reviewers Program for Prevention Science! The program aims to mentor early career prevention scientists by fostering an appreciation for and understanding of the peer-review process in the field of prevention science. As a reviewer, Gitanjali will commit to completing four reviews a year for two years. Congratulations, Gitanjali! Click here to learn more about the Early Career Reviewer program.

2020 Laura is elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences

IMPACT's Laura Hill is one of seven WSU faculty recently elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences. Laura, along with the six WSU colleagues, is recognized for history of strong scientific and technical work, providing and highlighting the current best practices for the State of Washington. Specifically, Laura was recognized for her work in the field of prevention science, studying effective implementation, evaluation and scale up of prevention programs that reduce risky behaviors and enhance protective factors. Click here to read more in the WSU Insider piece.

2020 IMPACT Lab Anti-Racist Statement

The IMPACT Lab released an Anti-Racism Statement condemning the continued violence against and murder of Black Americans. Click here to read the IMPACT lab's Anti-Racism Statement.

2020 Brittany is elected to the SPR Board of Directors

IMPACT's Brittany Cooper was elected to the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) Board of Directors. Brittany will serve on the Board of Directors until June 4th, 2023. Congratulations Brittany!

2020 Brittany Cooper is elected to the WSU Faculty Senate

In addition to her roles as an IMPACT Principle Investigator and Director of the Prevention Science Graduate Program, IMPACT's Dr. Brittany Cooper was recently elected to the WSU Faculty Senate. In this role, Brittany will collaborate with the rest of the Faculty Senate to provide recommendations to WSU leadership on all of WSU activities, including education, research and service. Recommendations will also pertain to the general welfare of WSU. Brittany will serve in this role from 2020 to 2023. Congratulations Brittany!

2020 Brittany is appointed to editorial board for Implementation Research and Practice

IMPACT's Dr. Brittany Cooper has been appointed to the editorial board of the Implementation Research and Practice, an international, peer-reviewed journal focused on advancing implementation science and practice across diverse contexts. Click here to visit the journal's website.
Undergraduate Research Assistant Kayli Elwyn

2020 Undergraduate RA Kayli graduates with her bachelor's degree

IMPACT Undergraduate Research Assistant (RA), Kayli Elwyn, graduated from Washington State University with her bachelors degree in May 2020. During her time with the lab, Kayli has assisted faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students on a variety of projects including the Evidence-based Program Directory and looking at recruitment and retention within the Strengthening Families Program (10-14) in Washington State. Kayli has been accepted into the Master of Social Work program at Eastern Washington University. We're proud of you, Kayli!
Image of Kayli's SURCA poster

2020 Kayli presents her research exploring recruitment and retention for the Strengthening Families Program

IMPACT undergraduate research assistant, Kayli, has spent her last semester at WSU exploring effective recruitment and retention strategies for the Strengthening Families Program (10-14). Kayli's research abstract and poster were accepted at Washington State University's 2020 Showcase for Research and Creative Activities (SURCA); however, SURCA was cancelled due to COVID-19. Kayli was able to present her work to the IMPACT lab via Zoom.

2020 FoodMania! study featured in the WSU Insider

The WSU Insider recently highlighted work by a team at WSU, including IMPACT's Louise Parker, that explored a family-centered, media literacy oriented intervention. The group explored how empowering caregivers and children to skillfully use media could enhance family nutritional knowledge, decisions and consumption while simultaneously reducing marketing influences. Click here to read the full story.

2020 Penn State Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Brittany Cooper

IMPACT's Dr. Brittany Cooper was featured in Penn State University's College of Health and Human Development Alumni Spotlight in March. Dr. Cooper graduated from Penn State University with both her Ph.D and M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies. Dr. Cooper also spent time as a pre-doctoral fellow and evaluation specialist at the Penn State Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center. Click here to read the original Alumni Spotlight piece.

2020 Brittany presents at the Penn State Prevention Research Center and Methodology Center

Brittany was invited to speak at the Penn State PRC & MC Joint seminar in March. Her talk, titled Leveraging D&I Science to Advance Understanding of Evidence-based Prevention Program Scale-Up, presented results from three different studies to illustrate how dissemination and implementation approaches and frameworks could be used to further our understanding of evidence-based program scale-up. Scale-up is essential in order to help programs, policies, and practices, which have been shown to prevent the increasing prevalence of behavioral health and related problems, impact population health.

2020 The IMPACT Lab continues to find community during COVID-19

Under Washington's Stay Home, Stay Healthy emergency order, the IMPACT lab members, like many around the world, have gotten creative in order to continue collaborating and connecting remotely. We feel lucky to have the opportunity to continue our research and academic work remotely. We hope that you and your communities are healthy.

2020 Elizabeth provides insight on boredom and COVID-19 in the WSU Insider

IMPACT lab's Elizabeth Weybright provides insight into boredom and leisure during COVID-19 with the WSU Insider. Weybright's work and interests have focused on adolescent development, leisure and free time use, positive youth development, substance use and prevention science. Click to read the WSU Insider's recent post on boredom and COVID-19.

2020 Elizabeth receives CAHNRS Early Career Excellence Award

IMPACT's Dr. Elizabeth Weybright is awarded the Early Career Excellence award for faculty and staff in the WSU College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). This award is given to faculty who have outstanding contributions to research, teaching and WSU extension during the early phases of their academic career. Congratulations Elizabeth!

2020 LIFT Faculty Fellowship featured in the WSU Insider

The WSU Transformational Change Initiative (TCI) LIFT program was featured in the WSU insider in January, showcasing it's resulting increase in student and faculty engagement. TCI aims to help WSU become a university were students are supported emotionally, socially and academically, promoting individual lifelong success among WSU graduates. LIFT is just one component of the larger TCI initiative. IMPACT Lab's Laura Hill is on a team of WSU faculty leading TCI. Click to read the WSU Insider's recent coverage of the LIFT program.

2019 Laura Hill hands off Prevention Research Subcommittee Co-chair position

Laura Hill (WSU IMPACT Lab) and Rico Catalano (UW Social Development Research Group) have served as co-chairs of the Prevention Research Subcommittee for the last several years. They are now stepping down as co-chairs, as Brittany Cooper (WSU IMPACT Lab) and Kevin Haggerty (UW SDRG) step into the roles beginning in January 2020. Thank you for your co-leadership Laura!

2019 Gitanjali graduates with her PhD in Prevention Science

IMPACT lab graduate student Gitanjali Shrestha successfully defended her dissertation at the end of November. Dr. Shrestha was hooded by Dr. Laura Hill, her mentor and dissertation chair, on Saturday 12/8/2019 at the Washington State University Commencement celebration. We are excited to have Gitanjali continue with the IMPACT lab as a postdoctoral research associate!

2019 Brittany Cooper awarded best presentation at the Washington State Prevention Summit

Brittany Cooper was selected as the best presentation at the Washington State Prevention Summit Providers Meeting. The Washington State Health Care Authority thanked Brittany for her thoughtful presentation and the feedback that it catalyzed. Pictured: Brittany Cooper (second from the right) with WSU Prevention Science Graduate Students, including IMPACT Lab's Kyle Murphy (far right) at another joint Prevention Summit Workshop.

2019 Elizabeth Weybright's work in adolescent boredom is featured in the WSU Insider

IMPACT PI Elizabeth Weybright's work in her adolescent health promotion lab investigating boredom trends among adolescents was recently featured in the WSU Insider. After a decade of monitoring adolescent boredom, Weybright and her colleagues work has shown that boredom is on the rise for adolescents and is increasing at a more rapid pace for young women. Click to read a recent press release in the WSU insider.
IMPACT Lab undergraduate Sabrina DiGennaro is awarded a Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery Prevention Fellowship

2019 Sabrina DiGennaro awarded DBHR Prevention Fellowship

IMPACT Lab undergraduate Research Assistant Sabrina DiGennaro was awarded the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery Prevention Fellowship! Sabrina has been working with the IMPACT lab since April 2019 while simultaneously finishing her bachelor's degree (major: Human Development, minor: Psychology) at Washington State University. In January 2020, Sabrina will head to Olympia to begin phase 1 of her fellowship at the Washington State Health Care Authority. We're excited for you Sabrina! Congratulations!
Award for outstanding oral presentation for excellence in bridging science and practice

2019 SIRC Award for Outstanding Oral Presentation

The IMPACT lab's Dr. Brittany Cooper was awarded Outstanding Oral Presentation for Bridging Science and Practice at the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration (SIRC) Conference in Seattle. Dr. Cooper's oral presentation was titled: Evidence-based Policymaking to Prevent Youth Substance Misuse: Where the Rubber Slams into the Evidence-Based Program Implementation Road. The presentation was representative of work that IMPACT Lab members, Drs. Cooper and Hill, had completed in collaboration with the University of Washington, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP), and the Washington State Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR). The group has been exploring evidence-based policymaking and conducting cost-benefit analysis in relation to Washington State Initiative 502 and it's legislative mandate to fund state agencies for prevention and reduction of substance use. The presentation shared the group's collaborative approach they have used to address logistical barriers and provide recommendations for how other researchers, policymakers, and practitioners can use cost-benefit evaluation data to inform on-the-ground implementation decisions.

2019 Elizabeth Weybright and WSU team are awarded $1.1 million dollar SAMSHA grant to address rural opioids in WA state

IMPACT's Elizabeth Weybright is co-leading a multidisciplinary team with Michael McDonell (Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine) working towards the Center for Rural Opioid Prevention, Treatment and Recovery. The project will leverage WSU’s Extension system to provide training to rural communities to help them prevent and treat opioid addiction in Washington State. Click to read a recent press release in the WSU insider.
Photo of IMPACT Lab and Sarah Mariani accepting the NPN Award

2019 National Prevention Network Award of Excellence

The IMPACT Lab was awarded the 2019 Award of Excellence from the National Prevention Network for their work demonstrating effectiveness of community substance abuse prevention efforts in Washington State. Pictured here: IMPACT Lab Members (L to R: Gitanjali Shrestha, PhDc, Dr. Laura Hill and Dr. Brittany Rhoades Cooper on the far right) with collaborator Ms. Sarah Mariani from the Washington State Health Care Authority.