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Washington State University

IMPACT Lab

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

2021 CROP+TR Participatory Action Research with Teens featured in the WSU Insider

The Center for Rural Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery (CROP+TR) is a joint project between the College of Medicine and Department of Human Development that aims to provide training and technical assistance to rural Washington communities on opioids. The Participatory Action Research with Teens (Take-PART) engages teens (14-18) by teaching them about the science of addiction, withdrawal, and prevention. Teens also learn data collection and research techniques. Click here to read the WSU Insider's news piece.

2021 CROP+TR Youth Participatory Action Research in Spokane featured on KHQ News

The Center for Rural Opioid Prevention Treatment and Recovery (CROP+TR), a SAMHSA funded grant project co-led by Dr. Elizabeth Weybright (WSU Human Development, IMPACT Lab) and Dr. Michael McDonnel (WSU College of Medicine, BHI Lab) is working to develop and disseminate technical assistance and training related to opioid misuse in Washington. This project will aim leverage our statewide Extension-based drug use prevention infrastructure, our expertise in providing training and technical assistance (TTA) for opioid treatment and recovery and our relationship with other SAMHSA TTA efforts to provide rural Washington communities with high quality TTA they need to combat the opioid epidemic. WSU Extension Spokane is an active part of the CROP+TR team working on developing opioid-specific curriculum adaptations along with treatment and recovery resources to the evidence-based intervention Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR). Click here to watch the news clip and skip to time point 3:00 to see Jennifer Fees, WSU Extension Spokane staff and CROP+TR project team.

2021 WSU team Nerd Immunity wins the Sloboda & Bukoski Cup

WSU IMPACT lab graduate students Kat Bruzios, Erica Doering, and Jordan Newburg competed on team Nerd Immunity at the Society for Prevention Research Sloboda & Bukoski Cup in 2021. Each team receives the competition data set 2 months before the conference, at which point they conduct a literature review, generate hypotheses, and conduct analyses. Teams then present their results during the SPR annual meeting. A panel of senior prevention scientist judges and the audience at the symposium will rate the quality of the research work and of the presentation. Team Nerd Immunity was mentored by Dr. Jen Duckworth and their presentation was titled Bioecological Building Blocks for Neighborhoods: Considering Safety and Race in Child Development. We're proud of you all!

2021 Undergraduate RA Elvia Garcia graduates cum laude with her bachelor's degree

IMPACT Undergraduate Research Assistant (RA), Elvia Garcia, graduated cum laude from Washington State University with her bachelor’s degree in psychology in May 2021. During her time with the lab, Elvia has assisted faculty, graduate students, and staff with a plethora of tasks for the Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative, the Children Youth and Families at Risk, and the DBHR Prevention Fellowship projects. We appreciate your hard work and are proud of you! Congratulations, Elvia!

2021 Undergraduate RA Melanie Simpson graduates summa cum laude with her bachelor's degree

IMPACT Undergraduate Research Assistant (RA), Melanie Simpson, graduated summa cum laude from Washington State University with her bachelors degree in May 2021. During her time with the lab, Melanie has assisted faculty and graduate students with a plethora of tasks for the EBP Registry Project. Melanie has been a critical part of a team conducting a literature review to summarize existing research on the effectiveness of substance use prevention environmental strategies. We appreciate your hard work and are proud of you! Congratulations, Melanie!

2021 Graduate Student Elizabeth Purser presents her work at WSU Showcase

IMPACT's Elizabeth Purser presented her work exploring the relationship between flourishing and young adult alcohol use at the WSU Showcase. Showcase is a weeklong celebration and recognition of WSU Faculty, Staff, and Students for the scholarly work that they have been completing. Click here to see her poster. Elizabeth, Erica, and Dr. Weybright found that flourishing is associated with greater annual alcohol use in young adults. Elizabeth was awarded third place for her presentation by the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) Research Exposition!

2021 Graduate student Erica Doering presents her work at WSU Showcase

IMPACT's Erica Doering presented her work on College Student's Conceptualization of Boredom at the annual WSU Showcase. Showcase is a weeklong celebration and recognition of WSU Faculty, Staff, and Students for the scholarly work that they have been completing. The group found seven themes for Boredom Conceptualization. Click here to see her poster. Erica also received a scholarship award for her presentation and work! We are proud of you, Erica!

2021 Prevention Research Subcommittee Meeting

The Prevention Research Subcommittee (PRSC) met virtually for the March quarterly meeting! The PRSC is comprised of individuals representing the Washington Health Care Authority Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR), Washington State University, the University of Washington, the Washington State Department of Health, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and leadership/staff from other Washington State agencies or research organizations. Led by co-chairs Dr. Brittany Cooper (WSU) and Dr. Kevin Haggerty (UW), the group meets quarterly to provide a forum for prevention researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to identify and address emerging and evolving substance misuse prevention and mental health promotion service and research needs in Washington State. The theme for March's meeting was COVID-19.

2021 Elizabeth Presents to the Washington State House Commerce and Gaming Committee

IMPACT's Dr. Elizabeth Weybright presented to the Washington State Legislature House Commerce and Gaming Committee in March. She was joined by colleagues from the Washington Health Care Authority Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery as well as colleagues from the University of Washington. All presentations were given to help examine the effectiveness of programs to prevent youth access to and use of alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, and vapor products. Elizabeth's presentation was titled, Effective Approaches for Youth Substance Use Prevention and starts around timepoint 1:35:40. Click here to watch the recording!

2021 Transformational Change Initiative featured in the WSU Insider

The WSU Insider recently highlighted work by the Transformational Change Initiative (TCI) project and IMPACT Lab's Laura Hill. TCI is a three pronged project consisting of a parent-student handbook through the First Years Away From Home (FYAH) project, the LAUNCH program for students and Learn, Inspire, Foster, Transform (LIFT) for faculty development focused on the student classroom experience. Click to read the WSU Insider article.

2020 Undergraduate RA Alexis graduates with her bachelor's degree

IMPACT Undergraduate Research Assistant (RA), Alexis B. Schmierer, graduated from Washington State University with her bachelors degree in December 2020. During her time with the lab, Alexis has assisted faculty and graduate students on a variety of projects and tasks including qualitative coding, focus group transcript cleaning, comparative analysis of current opioid related work in Washington State, and assisting with IRB completion and submission. We appreciate your hard work and are proud of you! Congratulations, Alexis!
Undergraduate Research Assistant Alexis

2020 Alexis B. Schmierer awarded DBHR Prevention Fellowship

IMPACT Lab undergraduate Research Assistant Alexis B. Schmierer was awarded the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery Prevention Fellowship! Alexis has been working with the IMPACT lab since January 2020 while simultaneously finishing her bachelor's degree (major: Human Development) and two certifications (Early Childhood Education and Family Studies) at Washington State University. In January 2021, Alexis will begin phase 1 of her fellowship at the Washington State Health Care Authority. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Alexis will begin her fellowship remotely. We're excited for you, Alexis! Congratulations!

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 Elizabeth named Interim Director of Extension Youth and Families Unit

IMPACT's Elizabeth Weybright was named the Interim Director of the WSU Extension Youth and Families Unit in July of 2020. Congratulations Elizabeth! Click here to read more in the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences Newsletter.

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. Click here to see Kayli's poster.

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.