June 3, 2023

Associate Professor Margaret Kuklinski, director of the Social Development Research Group (SDRG), a UW School of Social Work-affiliated research center, was selected to receive the 2023 Lewayne D. Gilchrist Doctoral Mentor Award. This honor recognizes faculty members who have dedicated their careers to the promise and success of their students.

“I am so honored to receive this award,” said Kuklinski. “For me, mentoring students is one of the high points of being a professor. I love getting to know and support students in their individual professional journeys through our work together.”

Kuklinski, who joined SDRG in 2010, became its fourth director in 2021--the first woman to hold that post. Her research focuses on the intersection of prevention science and health economics. Both are central to her goal of promoting positive development in young people by demonstrating the long-term health impacts of effective preventive interventions, building policy support and increasing access.

At SDRG, Kuklinski leads efforts to disseminate interventions and research studies that promote healthy behaviors and positive development. She serves as acting director for Communities That Care and co-principal investigator on the longitudinal evaluation of the Communities That Care prevention system. She is also co-principal investigator on a multisite trial, testing the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing Guiding Good Choices, a prevention program for parents of adolescents

As co-chair of the Health Economics Working Group for projects that are part of the HEAL Prevention Initiative, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, she champions programs that prevent opioid misuse in adolescents and young adults. As a health economist, she has been involved in national efforts conducted under the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine as well as the Society for Prevention Research to establish best practices for cost, benefit-cost and cost-effectiveness analysis of interventions for children, youth and families. She routinely consults and lectures on health economics and prevention science, and is an elected board member of the Society for Prevention Research.

Kuklinski has a bachelor degree in economics from Harvard University and earned a master’s degree and PhD, both in clinical and community psychology, from the University of California, Berkeley.

The doctoral mentor award is named for Lewayne Gilchrist, professor emeritus, who was known for her commitment to student mentorship and teaching. Gilchrist was affiliated with the School for some 30 years, starting in 1988 when she was its inaugural dean for research until her death in 2018.