Dr. Alaina Brenick, Ph.D.

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Alaina Brenick (Ph.D. 2010), Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Connecticut, received a pre-doctoral traineeship from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to obtain her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland prior to becoming a postdoctoral fellow at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany. Her research examines individual, micro-, and macro-level factors that contribute to intergroup conflict, as well as the conditions necessary for reducing prejudice, discrimination, and victimization across development. Specifically, she analyzes how diverse groups of youth in the U.S. and in other regions of the world—sometimes with vastly different societal structures, norms, and expectations—experience, reason about, and respond to intergroup peer relations and bias-based victimization (e.g., discriminatory bullying or exclusion). Dr. Brenick’s work provides a fundamental knowledge base for creating contextually and developmentally appropriate intervention programs, designed to promote social just, equitable, and empowering experiences for marginalized youth that translate into positive intergroup relations and wellbeing for all youth. Finally, her scholarship is deeply connected to her mentorship model. Her student mentees (60% underrepresented minorities) are integrally involved in her work, and helping guide meaning research questions. Not just graduate mentees, but a strong lab of undergraduate mentees have worked with Dr. Brenick and co-authored over 16 manuscripts, and numerous international and national conference presentations. She is dedicated to provided top quality one-on-one research training to minority undergraduate and graduate students.