Dr. Mitchell’s research focuses on the causes and consequences of family formation behavior. He examines how social context such as neighborhood resources and values influence family processes and how those processes interplay with an individual’s genetic and epigenetic makeup to influence behavior, wellbeing, and health. His research also includes the development of new methods for integrating the collection and analysis of biological and social data.
Joseph Ryan, PhD, is Associate Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work and Faculty Associate in the Center for Political Studies, ISR, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Prof. Ryan’s research and teaching build upon his direct practice experiences with child welfare and juvenile justice populations. Dr. Ryan is the Co-Director of the Child and Adolescent Data, an applied research center focused on using big data to drive policy and practice decisions in the field. Dr. Ryan is currently involved with several studies including a randomized clinical trial of recovery coaches for substance abusing parents in Illinois (AODA Demonstration), a foster care placement prevention study for young children in Michigan (MiFamily Demonstration), a Pay for Success (social impact bonds) study focused on high risk adolescents involved with the Illinois child welfare and juvenile justice system and a study of the educational experiences of youth in foster care (Kellogg Foundation Education and Equity). Dr. Ryan is committed to building strong University and State partnerships that utilize big data and data visualization tools to advance knowledge and address critical questions in the fields of child welfare and juvenile justice.
Alter’s research integrates theory and methods from demography, economics, and family history with historical sources to understand demographic behaviors in the past. From 2007 to 2016 Alter was Director of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, the world’s largest archive of social science data. He has been active in international efforts to promote research transparency, data sharing, and secure access to confidential research data. He is currently engaged in projects to automate the capture of metadata from statistical analysis software and to compare fertility transitions in contemporary and historical populations.