Noll named American Psychological Association Fellow

image of Jennie Noll
Jennie Noll is director of Penn State’s Child Maltreatment Solutions Network and professor of human development and family studies.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jennie Noll, director of Penn State’s Child Maltreatment Solutions Network and professor of human development and family studies, was recently awarded fellow status in the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 37, the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, for her outstanding contributions in research, professional service, and practice.

Established 25 years ago, the APA’s Division 37 is committed to the application of psychological knowledge to advocacy, social justice, service delivery and public policies affecting children, youth, and families in a diverse and inclusive society.

According to the APA, fellow status is a peer-nominated honor bestowed upon APA members who have shown evidence of unusual and outstanding contributions or performance in the field of psychology and whose work has had a national impact.

APA’s Division 37 recognized Noll’s vision to impact public policy including her work to conduct, compile, and disseminate cutting-edge research that impacts state and federal child welfare policy and to translate relevant research into white papers and policy briefs that can assist legislative staff in supporting various policy initiatives. 

In particular, Noll is being recognized for her direct federal and state child welfare policy work of conducting briefings and hearings at the federal level, including the U.S. House of Representatives (Education and Workforce Committee) and the U.S. Senate (Finance Committee) regarding expanding the reach and resources of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, and being appointed to Governor Wolf’s Council on Reform to Protect Vulnerable Populations.  She is also a past president of the Division 37, the Section on Child Maltreatment.

In 2013, Noll became the first director of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State — a strategic hire of 12 faculty across five colleges ­– which  functions as a model for other states and countries on how to launch an academic response to a grave public health issue.

She also is the principal investigator of the nation’s first NIH-funded P50 Capstone, Penn State's Translational Center for Child Maltreatment Research Studies, also known as the Center for Healthy Children. P50 Capstone Centers are awarded for the purposes of creating a national resource for a particular field; in this case, the field of child maltreatment research and training.

According to Noll, the ultimate goal of the Solutions Network and the P50 Capstone Center is to change the culture around how society views the complex problem of child maltreatment. “We are facing an epidemic where over 12% of children will be victims by the time they turn 18, and where more children die of maltreatment each year than all pediatric cancers combined,” said Noll. “The impact of child abuse and neglect can span the lifecourse, affects future generations, and costs society billions. The impact of our work is to orient the public as well as policymakers that the detection, prevention and treatment of child abuse is worthy of large public investment.”

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Jennie Noll