Nehal EldeebBerkeley Social Welfare Ph.D. studentNehal Eldeeb is one of 13 doctoral students in the U.S. awarded the Grand Challenges for Social Work (GCSW) fellowship for her project addressing the Grand Challenge of Ensuring Healthy Development for All Youth entitled “Centering Parent Voice: Exploring Parents’ Needs and Preferences.” The GCSW is a singular initiative that champions social progress powered by science that awards fellowships to doctoral students committed to tackling some of our nation’s biggest societal challenges. Fellows will join the GCSW mentoring program and receive a $3,000 stipend to support research that better connects their dissertation or capstone project to the people and communities they are studying. In our Q&A below, learn more about Nehal’s research project, and what inspires her. Tell us more about yourself. Why did you choose to pursue a PhD in this field? Why did you choose to attend Berkeley? I chose to pursue a PhD in the applied field of Social Welfare because I have scholarly curiosities for practice problems. As someone with a scholar-practitioner mindset, I am especially interested in questions that can close the gap between science and practice. At the same time, it was integral that I pursue my PhD in a field that prioritizes addressing social injustice. I chose UC Berkeley because when I communicated with students and faculty in the School of Social Welfare before enrolling, I found a community dedicated to promoting positive social change and questioning the status quo. Nehal EldeebBerkeley Social Welfare Ph.D. studentWhat inspired your project entitled “Centering Parent Voice: Exploring Parents’ Needs and Preference”? Many effective parenting programs exist that prevent child maltreatment and promote child and youth well-being. However, parents are not engaging in these programs for various reasons (i.e., stigma, logistical barriers, etc.). We also know that parents are increasingly engaging with parenting information online and that the internet is a more accessible platform. Therefore, instead of continuing to address the barriers and facilitators to parent engagement of in-person parenting programs, I decided to try an alternative approach, one that centers on parents and their use of online parenting information. For this project, I had two main objectives: 1) to explore what parents want to learn about when it comes to online parenting information and 2) to understand how they seek, evaluate, and use online parenting information. Ideally, this line of inquiry will inform the development and dissemination of effective online parent-centered parenting interventions. What do you plan on doing with the fellowship? I am incredibly grateful to be awarded The Grand Challenges for Social Work (GCSW) fellowship to Ensure Healthy Development for All Youth. I intend to use the fellowship by seeking mentorship from scholars in the GCSW network advocating for the same goals. Additionally, the fellowship will support my dissertation and enable me to compensate study participants.