People & Partners

The Penn Futures Project was launched in 2016 as a cross-disciplinary initiative spearheaded by the Deans of all three schools—Penn School of Nursing (SON), the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), and the Graduate School of Education (GSE). As the program grew, the Penn Futures Project hired an Executive Director in 2019, Dr. Christopher Ashford, and appointed two Faculty Directors, Dr. Vivian Gadsden (GSE), and Dr. Terri Lipman (SON), to lead the spearhead the Penn Futures Project vision, expand its reach in the community, and oversee its projects.

The Deans of all three schools, Dean Pam Grossman of GSE, Dean Sara Bachman of SP2, and Dean Antonia Villarruel of SON, continue to guide the work of the Penn Futures Project, while affiliated faculty and staff members across Penn’s professional schools work to fuel its projects. Penn faculty and staff collaborate with community partners, stakeholders, students, and government agencies to implement these innovative programs aimed at addressing the complex issues facing Philadelphia children and families.

Leadership Team

Christopher Ashford, PhD

Executive Director, Penn Futures Project

Christopher Ashford holds a Ph.D. in education and human development from the University of Pennsylvania’s…

Vivian Gadsden, PhD

Faculty Director, Penn Futures Project; William T. Carter Professor of Child Development and Education; Graduate School of Education

Terri Lipman, PhD, CRNP, FAAN

Faculty Director, Penn Futures Project; Miriam Stirl Endowed Term Professor of Nutrition; Professor of Nursing of Children; Assistant Dean for Community Engagement; Interim Program Director, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program; School of Nursing

Deans

Sara S. Bachman, PhD

Dean, School of Social Policy and Practice

Sara S. Bachman, PhD is Dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at…

Pam Grossman, PhD

Dean, Graduate School of Education; George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education

Pam Grossman is the Dean of the Graduate School of Education and the George and…

Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing; Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics; Director of the School’s WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership

Dr. Villarruel’s research focuses on interventions to reduce sexual risk behaviors among Mexican and Latino…

Penn Futures Project Affiliated Faculty & Staff

Lisa M. Lewis, PhD, RN, FAAN
Bland Faculty Fellows, School of Nursing
Toorjo Ghose, MSW, PhD
Bland Faculty Fellows, School of Social Policy & Practice
Ed Brockenbrough, PhD
Bland Faculty Fellows, Graduate School of Education
Maggie Hart, MS Ed.
Project Manager, Penn Futures Project
Katherine Barghaus, PhD
Executive Director, Penn Child Research Center; Senior Research Investigator, Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy Network; Graduate School of Education
John Fantuzzo, PhD
Albert M. Greenfield Professor of Human Relations, Graduate School of Education
Deborah Becker, PhD, ACNP, BC, CHSE, FAAN
Practice Professor of Nursing; Director, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program, Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist program, & Adult Oncology Specialty Minor
Amy Castro Baker, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Social Policy & Practice
Cynthia Anne Connolly, PhD, RN, FAAN
Rosemarie B. Greco Term Endowed Associate Professorship in Advocacy Associate Professor of Nursing; Co-Faculty Director, Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research, School of Social Policy & Practice; Associate Director, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing; Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics; School of Nursing
Kate Kinney Grossman, MA
Associate Director, Teacher Education Program; Graduate School of Education
Dennis P. Culhane, PhD
Professor; Dana and Andrew Stone Chair in Social Policy; Co-Principal Investigator, Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy; Director of Research, National Center for Homelessness Among Veterans; School of Social Policy & Practice
Erin Cross, PhD
Senior Associate Director, Penn’s LGBT Center; Lecturer, Graduate School of Education; Senior Fellow, Nursing’s Center for Global Women's Health
Michael Johanek, EdD
Senior Fellow; Director, Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership; Director, Penn Educational Leadership Simulations Program (PELS); Graduate School of Education
Antonio Garcia, MSW, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Social Policy & Practice; Co-Director, Child Well-Being & Child Welfare (CW2); Specialization Chair, Racism Sequence
Janet A. Deatrick, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor Emerita of Nursing; School of Nursing
Amy Hillier, PhD
Director, MS in Social Policy Program; Associate Professor, School of Social Policy & Practice; Associate Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning, PennDesign
Marsha Richardson, PsyD
Lecturer, Human Development and Quantitative Methods Division; Graduate School of Education
Anne Weiss, MSW, LSW
Director of Field Education; School of Social Policy & Practice
Jeanne Stanley, PhD
Adjunct Professor; Graduate School of Education
Catherine C. McDonald, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor, School of Nursing; Assistant Professor in Nursing in Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine
Caroline Watts, PhD
Senior Lecturer, Director of School and Community Engagement, Human Development and Quantitative Methods Division; Graduate School of Education
Allison Werner-Lin, PhD, AM, LCSW
Assistant Professor; Adjunct Investigator, National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology And Genetics; Director, Social Work in Health Care; Specialization Chair, Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice; School of Social Policy & Practice