College of Education and Human Services Launches Two New Centers

Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health and Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services

The Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health (CAECMH) serves as a center for professional development, education, clinical services and research around the issues of autism, infant and childhood development, and early childhood mental health.

The Center is led by Dr. Gerard Costa as Director. Dr. Costa is a widely respected expert on both autism and infant/early childhood mental health. He is a member of the Board of Directors, DIR and Graduate Faculty of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL). He also serves as a national consultant and trainer for Coming Together Around Military Families (CTAMF), a ZERO TO THREE initiative to help staff who work with families of infants and young children affected by deployment. He is a former Head Start Director and has worked as a psychologist in Early Intervention for over 25 years. He is a recipient of many awards for his service in the areas of early intervention and childhood mental health.

The Center is anchored in a developmental approach to meet the needs of infants, children, adolescents and their families, and is supported by theoretical, research-based methods and clinical application. The work of the Center is based on the role of social-emotional/mental health development at the core of developmental and educational progress and incorporates strategies to integrate mental health and “relationship-based” approaches to development and education.

For more information about the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health, please visit the Center web site.

The Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services (CREEHS) conducts high-quality research and evaluation studies that address the most pressing issues in education and human services. CREEHS collaborates with and provides services to educational agencies and institutions, community organizations, and government and human services agencies. Using a variety of research and evaluation methods, CREEHS performs or assists with studies that provide useful answers to questions about organizational and programmatic processes, contexts, and outcomes in education and human services. CREEHS staff members also provide technical assistance and training to help organizations build their capacity to interpret and use evaluation results and other types of data to improve their services and outcomes. 

The Center’s Director is Dr. Huey Chen.  Huey T. Chen, Director of CREEHS and Professor of Health and Nutrition Sciences, is an international expert on the theory and practice of evaluation.  Previously, he was a Senior Evaluation Scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One of his contributions was to take a leadership role in designing and implementing a national monitoring and evaluation system for HIV prevention.  Dr. Chen has worked with community organizations, health-related agencies, government agencies, and educational institutions. He has conducted both large-scale and small-scale evaluations in the U.S. and internationally, including evaluating programs in asthma control, HIV prevention and care, drug abuse prevention, and anti-smoking. Dr. Chen is author of several evaluation books and has also published extensively in journals. Dr. Chen serves on the editorial boards of New Directions of Evaluation and Evaluation and Program Planning. He received the American Evaluation Association’s Lazarsfeld Award for Evaluation Theory and the Senior Biomedical Service Award from CDC for his evaluation work.

For more information about the Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services (CREEHS), please visit the Center web site.