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Meet Our Team

Meet the CPTC staff, researchers, students, and expert and youth advisors. We believe in the potential of all youth and are committed to strengthening family relationships.


  • Aletha Akers, MD, is a Faculty member at the CPTC and an adolescent gynecologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is one of the experts featured in our video series and authors pieces for us. Dr. Aker’s brings expertise in community-based research and translating research into educational materials.
  • Allison Gilbert, is a Senior Writer at the CPTC. Her pieces cover an array of topics, including self-care, bullying, and resilience. Allison is also author of numerous books and speaks across the country to corporations, non-profits, and community groups.
  • Kenneth Ginsburg, MD, MSEd, is Co-Founder and Director of Programs, including, at the CPTC, and a Professor of Pediatrics and adolescent medicine specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He travels the world speaking to parent, professional and youth audiences and is the author of 5 award-winning parenting books as well as a multimedia professional toolkit on “Reaching Teens.” The CPTC follows his strength-based philosophy and resilience-building model.
  • Jacques Louis, MS, is the Director of Operations at the CPTC. He brings nearly two decades of experience in positive youth development settings and oversees the center’s operations, ensuring the CPTC stays mission-focused.
  • Eden Pontz, is the Executive Producer and Director of Digital Content at the CPTC. She oversees digital media content development and production for She also writes, copyedits, and produces podcasts and videos for the site. Her pieces cover a range of topics, including resilience, teen development, peer pressure, and mentoring. Eden brings years of experience as a former Executive Producer of Newsgathering at CNN, as well as a field producer, writer, and reporter for CNN and other news organizations.
  • Andrew Pool, PhD, MSc, is the Senior Research Manager at the CPTC charged with ensuring our content is rooted in the best available evidence. Dr. Pool authors our Research Roundup series and brings a decade of experience in behavioral research. His doctorate is in Public Health from Temple University and he is passionate about bridging the gap between what we know from research and the public’s ability to incorporate credible and effective findings into their lives.
  • Matthew Rouselle, is a Media Assistant at the CPTC. He assists with filming, video editing, photography and other digital media efforts of the center.
  • Elyse Salek, MSEd, is the Senior Manager of Center Operations at the CPTC charged with administrative oversight of the center. She edits and writes pieces for the site on a range of topics and is co-author of the Say This, Not That podcast series. Elyse’s background is in Psychology and Human Development and she brings a decade of experience managing research and outreach projects at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.


The CPTC’s Research Core studies how healthcare professionals can partner with parents to support the health and well-being of adolescents. We have ongoing research programs that examine the role of parent-targeted interventions in primary care and that further understanding of how parent-teen relationships and communication impact health outcomes later in life. Our research team includes:

  • Carol Ford, MD, is Co-Founder and Director of Research at the CPTC. She also spearheads the Scientific Linkages to Health Project. As an Adolescent Medicine subspecialist physician and adolescent health researcher, Dr. Ford has a long history of research and clinical work to improve adolescent health.
  • Elizabeth Friedrich, is a Senior Research Coordinator at the CPTC. She coordinates and manages the Strengths Intervention Project for Dr. Miller.
  • Victoria Miller, PhD, is a Faculty member at the CPTC and Director of the Strengths Intervention Project. She is a clinical child psychologist and behavioral health researcher, with expertise in psychosocial aspects of chronic illness, child and family decision making, and pediatric bioethics. Dr. Miller’s research focuses on independent self-management of chronic illness and the development of decision making autonomy and competence. She has significant research experience with measure development, observational methods, and qualitative design and analysis.
  • Karol Silva, PhD, MPH, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the CPTC. She is exploring how parents’ perception of adolescents may influence teens’ well-being and how parenting styles contribute to the development of self-control in adolescents.
  • Reyneres Torres, is a Research Assistant at the CPTC. She assists Dr. Miller with the Strengths Intervention Project.


We are grateful to both past and present students and interns who support various aspects of the CPTC including film and media production, website development, research and social marketing efforts. They come to us from a variety of local institutions and their expertise, passion and hard work bring our center to the next level.

Expert Advisors

We are fortunate to partner with some of the leading experts in the country from the fields of medicine, psychology, character and positive youth development, journalism, social marketing, and more. Our experts review content for consistency, accuracy, and to ensure that our materials are, as best as possible, not culturally biased and relevant to families across America. Many of them are also contributing authors.

  • Marvin W. Berkowitz, PhD, Inaugural Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education, Co-Director of the Center for Character and Citizenship, University of Missouri, St. Louis
  • Martie Bernicker, Executive Director, SpeakUp!
  • Melinda Bier, PhD, Associate Director for the Center for Character and Citizenship (CCC), College of Education, University of Missouri, St. Louis
  • William Damon, PhD, Professor of Education, Stanford University, Director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence
  • Melissa Ford, Digital Campaign Manager, WomenOnline
  • Ettya Fremont, MPP, Doctoral Research Assistant, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University
  • Renée R. Jenkins, MD, FAAP, Professor and Former Chair, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Howard University
  • Mary Keller, EdD, President & CEO, Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC)
  • Nat Kendall-Taylor, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, FrameWorks Institute
  • Richard M. Lerner, PhD, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science, Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University
  • Jason Marsh, Director of Programs, Greater Good Science Center
  • Morra Aarons-Mele, Founder, WomenOnline
  • Denise Pope, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Stanford University Graduate School of Education, Founder, Challenge Success
  • Scott Seider, EdD, EdM, Associate Professor of Education, Boston University
  • Yalda Uhls, MBA, PhD, Founder and Executive Director, Center for Scholars & Storytellers at UCLA, Senior Advisor Youth Development, Common Sense Media
  • Jennifer Urban, PhD, Professor, Montclair State University, Co-Director, Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation
  • Joanna Lee Williams, PhD, Associate Professor, The University of Virginia Curry School of Education

Youth Advisors

We maintain an active board of youth advisors from across the country to support with content review and production. They help recruit friends for our youth video series, write pieces for us, and review our content to ensure we represent the youth experience accurately. We value their insight and expertise!

Parent Advisors

We are grateful to the parents around the nation who offered us input and guidance. In particular we are appreciative to the Parents of SpeakUp! who allowed us to benefit from their commitment to open communication between parents and teens.


In helping to accomplish our mission, we are fortunate to receive editorial contributions from a range of multi-disciplinary experts, pediatricians, journalists, young people and more.

  • Anisha Abraham, MD, Pediatrician, Adolescent Medicine Specialist, University of Amsterdam
  • Edith Bracho-Sanchez, MD, Pediatrician
  • Andrew Chang
  • Brianna Higgins, MS, RD, Clinical Pediatric Dietitian, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Alex Kaplan
  • Christine Norris, Communications Manager, Center for Injury Prevention Research, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia