Lockheed Martin Funds Ph.D. Fellowship

The Georgia State University School of Public Health (SPH) has announced that Lockheed Martin will provide a $25,000 fellowship for a Ph.D. student to work with child maltreatment researchers in SPH’s National SafeCare Training and Research Center (NSTRC) on the Dad2K project. The student selected to receive the Lockheed Martin Fellowship is Elizabeth Chege, who will begin her Ph.D. at Georgia State this fall.

“As a clinician, I have come across vulnerable and maltreated children multiple times, and every single case is heart-breaking,” says Chege, a physician who has worked on public health issues in the UK and Africa. “The Lockheed Martin Fellowship represents a significant new chapter in my career and will allow me to wholeheartedly plunge into academic public health.”

Dad2K is an adaptation of the SafeCare program for fathers. SafeCare is an evidence-based program for the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect and is housed in the School of Public Health’s National SafeCare Training and Research Center. The SafeCare program has been adopted across 17 U.S. states and internationally. To date, the majority of SafeCare delivery has been to at-risk mothers. NSTRC’s Dad2K will target at-risk fathers with young children (1 1/2 to 5 years old) and will provide in-home sessions to teach fathers how to bond with their young children and how to effectively manage child behavior. The Dad2K sessions include an interactive portion that utilizes a a tablet computer as well as practice time with the child. Researchers at Georgia State are examining whether the availability of assistive technology in the field of child welfare, through programs like Dad2K, has an impact on treatment outcomes.

“As we continue to study and adapt SafeCare for new populations, support from corporate partners like Lockheed Martin can make a huge difference in providing student support for this work, which ultimately, will lead to a better understanding of how effective the new programs are for the families we serve,” said Shannon Self-Brown, Ph.D., director of the doctoral program at SPH and a leading researcher at NSTRC.

“Investing in the next generation of public health professionals can help drive the improvement of health care across the board,” said Al Forte, senior manager, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) programs at Lockheed Martin. “Supporting the School of Public Health at Georgia State, as it studies how science and technology open new avenues to address important health issues, is an ideal opportunity to partner with researchers developing best practices and to strengthen the public health workforce in the greater Atlanta region.”

Lockheed Martin’s Health & Life Sciences division has supported the CDC’s Office of Public Health and Preparedness since 1999, providing around-the-clock IT and emergency operations during public health incidents and normal operations. The company supported staffing and training for CDC’s Emergency Operations Center and is partnering with them on a dashboard to enable federal, state and local agencies to share real-time data.