MaVRI is being implemented and directed by faculty and staff from University of Maryland’s Department of Family Science in the School of Public Health.
Sally A. Koblinsky, Ph.D., is the Principal Investigator of MaVRI. She is also a Professor in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health. She recently served as the University’s Assistant President and Chief of Staff (2008-11) and was formerly Chair of Family Science (1996-2008) and Acting Associate Dean of Administrative Affairs in the School of Public Health (2005-2007).
Dr. Koblinsky has been actively involved with student veterans’ initiatives. She and her colleagues completed a study of student veterans’ adjustment to the college campus, and she is a founding member of the University of Maryland Veterans Task Force which oversees a U.S. Department of Education Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success grant. She also directs the Military Families Internship program which prepares college seniors to assist military families with health, educational, employment, and child/family services at military installations, health centers, and nonprofit agencies addressing military family needs. She is the Evaluator for the Serving Together Project, a 4-year Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant (to the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County) that is coordinating and strengthening behavioral health and other support services for military families in the county. Dr. Koblinsky recently served on a U.S. Air Force Resilience Planning Committee, chaired a panel on services for military children and families at the national Workshop on the Scientific Study of Military Children, and is a member of the University's Longitudinal Military Study Committee.
Dr. Koblinsky's research and publications focus primarily on family relations and child development, examining predictors of risk and resilience in at-risk families. She has received federal, state, and foundation grant support for 25 research and demonstration projects, including those that evaluate community interventions targeting mental health, parenting, community violence, homelessness, nutrition, and substance abuse issues with families from diverse cultural backgrounds. She earned an A.B. in Psychology from the University of California/Santa Cruz, a M.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences from Oregon State University.
Leigh Leslie, Ph.D., is Co-Investigator of MaVRI. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health. She has researched family stress, coping, and resiliency, as well as clinical programs and interventions with families and children for the last 20 years. Her work has focused on vulnerable populations, such as immigrant families and interracial couples, as well as stressors experienced more broadly across populations, such as work-family balance. Social support and other factors that moderate stress have also been a focus of her research.
As a licensed psychologist and family therapist, Dr. Leslie has been involved in the development of psychoeducational programs and services for at risk populations. In 2002, she developed, implemented and evaluated a cognitive-behavioral stress management program for elementary age children affected by the attacks of September 11th. More recently, she helped develop the University of Maryland, Center on Healthy Families’ clinical services program for active duty personnel, veterans, and their families. She was also a member of the University of Maryland team that assessed and made recommendations on educational and support needs of OIF/OEF veteran students. Currently she is a member of the Marriage and Family Counseling Collaborative, which supports providers who work with military families. She recently spoke on the Department of Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) national webinar on “Support Strategies for Military Families.”
Dr. Leslie earned a B.A. and M.S. in Family Studies from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University.
Sandra Crouse Quinn, Ph.D., is Co-investigator of MaVRI. She is also the Associate Dean for Public Health Initiatives, Professor in the Department of Family Scoeince, and Senior Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity at the School of Public Health.
Dr. Quinn is the Principal Investigator (with Stephen Thomas) on the Center of Excellence in Race, Ethnicity and Health Disparities Research, funded by the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), and within it, she is also the Principal Investigator on a study,Uncovering and Addressing Cultural Beliefs behind Vaccine Racial Disparities. She is also the Principal Investigator on a study, Investigating Factors Associated with Participation of Racial & Ethnic Minority Populations in FDA Regulated Research, funded by the US Food and Drug Administration; co-Principal Investigator on the Research Center of Excellence in Minority Health Disparities, also funded by NIMHD, NIH; and the site Principal Investigator on the school's subcontract for the Mid-Atlantic Public Health Training Center, funded by HRSA with a five year grant to the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. She was the Principal Investigator on the recently completed Building Trust between Minorities and Researchers: A Bioethics Research Infrastructure Initiative, funded by the NIMHD and the Office of the Director, NIH. She has worked for more than twenty years on addressing the legacy of the US Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee.
Dr. Quinn earned her B.S. in Social Welfare from Virginia Commonwealth University, her M.Ed. in Counseling from the American University, and her PhD in Health Education from the University of Maryland. Prior to her doctoral work, she worked in substance abuse and mental health treatment programs in two local health departments.
Emily Cook, M.S., L.G.M.F.T., is the Project Director of MaVRI. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in Family Science at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. An experienced project director with excellent administrative skills, she has 6 years of experience managing university space/staff utilization projects for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Ms. Cook has clinical, research, and professional experience working with military service members and their families in Maryland. She has been trained by the Center for Deployment Psychology in couple therapy for military families and veterans, and is currently working with this population as a licensed couple and family therapist in private practice. She has also lead groups for service members who experienced deployment trauma and their spouses and who are transitioning into civilian life. Ms. Cook’s dissertation research focuses on the health and resiliency of military couples, especially those who have experienced challenges due to deployment. She has also worked as a research consulant for The Coming Home Project, a community-based non-profit organization in California recognized by the Defense Centers of Excellence as a model post-deployment reintegration program. Ms. Cook is also an instructor of Family Science courses at the University of Maryland, and is an experienced presenter of behavioral health and family science research at national conferences.
Ms. Cook earned a B.A. in Psychology with Highest Honors from Emory University and a M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland, College Park.