Social work faculty researcher Brown awarded 2020 Harris Fellowship

Samantha Brown
Dr. Samantha Brown

Samantha Brown, an assistant professor in the Colorado State University School of Social Work, has recently received an Irving Harris Program in Child Development and Infant Mental Health Fellowship through the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Brown is a social work scholar and researcher who focuses on the identification of barriers, promoters, and pathways through which adversity shapes the health and development of children and families experiencing psychosocial risk.

Established in 1996, the Harris Program Fellowship is a competitive opportunity which trains postdoctoral psychology fellows and community professionals with advanced clinical and research skills in infancy and early childhood mental health.

The year-long clinical Fellowship focuses on training in clinical, research and systems factors related to infancy and early childhood. The fellowship also integrates diversity-informed research and practice in early childhood development and intervention relevant for working with families in a socially just and anti-racist manner.

About Samantha Brown

At CSU, Brown leads a laboratory, the Parent-Child Relationships and Well-Being Lab, designed to advance understanding of the impact of early life adversity on lifespan health through biobehavioral pathways, such as stress physiology and sleep, and integrates a stress-buffering model to identify factors that may be protective to positively influence child development, health equity, and parent-child interactions.

Brown’s group also develops and tests family-oriented and mindfulness-informed interventions, most recently the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute’s Implications of Mindfulness-Informed Interventions for Trauma-Focused Practice. The group aims to promote positive outcomes for children and families with multifaceted needs, including those at risk for maltreatment or experiencing poverty.

“My goals are to receive advanced training in the risk and protective pathways that shape family outcomes during the perinatal period, which is a particularly vulnerable time for many families experiencing psychosocial risk,” Brown said, “as well as understand the transcultural differences and treatment issues that impact families most in need.”

“The collaborations built and knowledge gained from the Harris Program Fellowship will inform my clinical and translational research program to affect meaningful change for underserved and marginalized children and families,” said Brown.

The School of Social Work is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.