College of Liberal Arts

Population Researcher Named William T. Grant Foundation Scholar

Wed, May 31, 2017
Julie Maslowsky
Julie Maslowsky

When Julie Maslowsky was 15, she was a counselor at a summer camp for children and adolescents with severe mental health problems. The experience was so profound she chose a career in academic research, focusing on reducing inequality by improving adolescent health. 

Now an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education and faculty research associate in the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin, Maslowsky’s research accomplishments have led her to being named a 2017 William T. Grant Foundation Scholar.

“Even at age 15, I understood that many child and adolescent health and adjustment problems are born of inequalities in income, health care, and education, and the social consequences of those inequalities,” says Maslowsky. “I decided to dedicate my life to reducing inequalities and improving health among children and adolescents.”

Maslowsky is one of just three researchers chosen from across the United States. “This is tremendous recognition for Dr. Maslowsky and her work, and for the College of Education. We are proud that her research has drawn national attention and support from an organization as prestigious as the William T. Grant Foundation,” says Manuel J. Justiz, dean of the College of Education.

Maslowsky’s project, “Preventing Unplanned Repeat Births to Hispanic Teens,” will focus on identifying developmentally and culturally appropriate strategies for reducing unplanned repeat births among Hispanic adolescents, with a focus on postpartum long-acting reversible contraception. “Reducing unplanned repeat births to young mothers is an important opportunity to reduce inequality in two generations—the mother’s and her offspring’s. I am particularly excited to do this work in Texas, which has the largest population of children and adolescents in the U.S,” she says. Eleven percent of all U.S. children live in Texas.

 “We are very excited for Dr. Maslowsky and this award,” says John Bartholomew, chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. “The William T. Grant Foundation is highly competitive and her award speaks to the quality of her work to date and the real promise of her work to come.”

Scholars receive $350,000 to execute rigorous five-year research plans that expand their skills and knowledge across new disciplines, content areas, or methods. They will build mentoring relationships with experts in areas pertinent to their development and their professional development will be furthered through annual retreats with fellow scholars, foundation staff and other senior researchers.

“Through this program, we’re supporting a new generation of researchers. By providing five years of support and encouraging innovative thinking, we hope the foundation’s investment in early career researchers will have a significant and long-term impact on the field. These scholars are a force for young people, their development, and how programs and policies can reduce inequality in their lives,” says Vivian Tseng, senior vice president of the William T. Grant Foundation.


This story first appeared on the UT Austin College of Education website. 

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