Headshot of Meg Small

Meg Small

Director for Social Innovation

316 Biobehavioral Health Building
Pronouns: she/her

Download CV

Introduction & Projects

"I am committed to innovation and research translation to improve health and well-being in our everyday lives."

Meg Small is the Director of Social Innovation at the Prevention Research Center and serves as the Director of the Health and Human Development Design for Impact Lab. As a Penn State alumna, Meg received her B.S. in health and human development and went on to receive her Ph.D. in public and community health from the University of Maryland. Meg has worked in prevention research for more than 20 years, and initially became interested in the field as a graduate student who wished to help with the eradication of HIV.     

At the Center, Meg is particularly passionate about creating interdisciplinary collaboration and entrepreneurial mindsets to improve the translation process and impact of prevention science. She is interested in developing practices that use innovative methods and frameworks for evidence-based action in the public and private sectors. Her favorite part about working at the Center is the collaborative culture and interdisciplinary opportunities that present themselves. She loves the passion and commitment everyone at the Center has towards improving outcomes for children, adolescents, and young adults.

Prevention-related Projects

Recent Publications

Cultivating compassion for self and others: A School-based pilot study for peer-nominated caring adolescents

Colaianne, B. A., Lavelle, B.D., Small, M. L., & Roeser, R. W. (2002). Cultivating compassion for self and others: A School-based pilot study for peer-nominated caring adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12795

Time use during first year of college predicts participation in high-impact activities during later years

Small, M. L., Waterman, E., & Lender, T. (2017). Time use during first year of college predicts participation in high-impact activities during later years. Journal of College Student Development, 58(6), 954–960. PMCID: PMC5709808

Related News

September 22, 2022

Cultivating adolescents’ compassion skills for the self and other

Read more.
Penn State's logo with the College of Health and Human Development displayed at Times Square

July 18, 2022

Venture Equity Project aims to remove barriers for entrepreneurs of color

Read more.
Father looks on as his 4-year old daughter builds a small wagon at her desk

December 02, 2021

Penn State partners with science center to give children 'Science Adventures'

Read more.
Image of the Focus areas for Penn State's PAMT program

June 11, 2021

Training scientists in substance use prevention the focus of $3.2 million grant

A $3.2 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will fund the continuation of Penn State's Prevention and Methodology Training (PAMT) program, which focuses on training the next generation of scientists in preventing substance use and addiction.

Read more.
Image of Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center

January 22, 2021

New Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center partnership tackles access and equity

PRC Director of Social Innovation Meg Small and PRC affiliate faculty member Max Crowley are quoted in this Penn State News story.

Read more.
photos of Mark Feinberg, Taylor Scott and Greg Fosco

November 23, 2020

Video: Penn State prevention researchers respond to COVID-19

Read more.
Image of "The Symbiotic Podcast" logo

October 27, 2020

Podcast features researchers collecting local COVID-19 data for action

On Oct. 19, The Symbiotic Podcast teamed up with the hosts of Podward State — a Penn State student-produced podcast — to interview researchers working on a profoundly collaborative project designed to measure multiple impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents and students in Centre County, Pennsylvania.

Read more.
Data 4(four) Action COVID-19 banner

May 19, 2020

COVID-19 Data 4 Action Project will help inform local decision-making

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented disruption to Centre County, impacting every aspect of our daily lives and economic well-being. A new project will give a voice to community members, allowing them to share their experiences and impact decision-making as the region moves forward.

Read more.

October 28, 2019

New report offers key recommendations for supporting principals and creating caring schools

Based on decades of evidence, report calls for action at every level

Read more.

February 11, 2019

Prevention Research Center to chart course for social emotional learning

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Experts agree that social and emotional skills are necessary for children to grow up healthy and successful as students and later, in all aspects of life. Over the past two years, the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) have published the most comprehensive examination to date of the research on social emotional learning (SEL).

Read more.

November 19, 2018

Cross-college teams pitch health-focused mobile apps in mHealth Challenge

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ten intercollege teams of enterprising students recently pitched ideas for innovative mobile health applications during Penn State’s mHealth Challenge. The challenge, which held its final round on Nov. 12 as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week Penn State, is a cross-college initiative in which student teams develop a mobile application prototype that addresses a societal health need associated with a specific target audience.

Read more.

November 07, 2018

mHealth Challenge encourages undergraduate innovation, engagement

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — This fall, undergraduate students are working together in cross-college teams to develop original mobile health prototypes that address societal health needs associated with specific target audiences. This year’s teams are developing apps to lessen the stress of pediatric hospital patients, ensure healthy eating habits, improve sleep routines, assist with medication reminders, monitor opioids in the bloodstream, and broaden the abilities of smart smoke alarm systems to alert families to health-threatening situations, among a host of other issues. 

Read more.

May 15, 2018

Students' lab experience helps open door to graduate school

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Some Penn State undergraduate students credit their applied research work in the Health and Human Development Design for Impact Lab (HUDDIL) for helping them chart a future course to graduate school. 

Read more.