Penn State research center to host Annie E. Casey Diversity Program Scholars

The Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State will host two postdoctoral researchers from the second cohort of the Annie E. Casey Foundation 2018 Leader Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) program.

The LEEAD program, launched by the Casey Foundation in 2016, was created to expand diversity in the field of prevention research. Twenty scholars will participate in the year-long program consisting of coursework, a mentorship and residency at a research organization.

“This is an opportunity to help scholars further their careers and research abilities,” said Sarah Chilenski, senior research associate at the center. “This program gives them legitimate experience in research and evaluation and holds a lot of potential and promise.”

The scholars will provide evaluation support to two flagship programs at the center: Evidence2Success, which Chilenski leads; and the Tribal REDI program, led by Janet Walsh. 

Only evaluation organizations of high esteem are selected to host scholars. Organizations that hosted the first cohort of 15 mid-career scholars included the American Institutes for Research, Child Trends, Harder & Company, Mathematica, ORS Impact, RAND Corporation, the University of Memphis and the Urban Institute.

The guidance that the scholars receive throughout LEEAD ensures that scholars are well-prepared to immerse themselves in the field of prevention science in a way that will successfully further not only their careers, but the field in general. The goal of LEEAD is to promote the business of evaluation sciences in young, diverse researchers who can truly make an impact.

LEEAD is a program of the Foundation’s "Expanding the Bench" initiative, which focuses on race and ethnicity equity and inclusion. For more information about the program, visit