Dr. Valerie is a graduate of Montclair State College where, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and teaching certification in Secondary Education in 1980 and a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling, Human Services and Guidance in 1984. Upon graduation from Montclair State, Dr. Maholmes worked in several capacities including Director of Admissions and Caldwell College in Caldwell, NJ and Education Development Specialist at the Educational Opportunity Fund Program at Montclair State. After completing her Ph.D. in Psychoeducational Studies with a concentration in research and statistics at Howard University in 1992, she was a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Yale University Child Study Center in the School of Medicine. Upon completion of her post-doctoral training, she joined the faculty at the Yale Child Study Center. After serving in numerous capacities, she was awarded the Irving B. Harris Assistant Professor of Child Psychiatry—an endowed professorial chair in research and social policy. She was the first African American woman to have this distinction. She was the Director of Research and Policy for the Child Study Center’s School Development Program where she provided educational, clinical and technical support to schools in low-income neighborhoods and communities around the country. Dr. Maholmes earned a sixth-year degree in School Psychology with a concentration in neuropsychological and psychosocial assessments from Fairfield University. In 2003, she was awarded the prestigious Science Policy Fellowship sponsored by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS). Her expertise has been sought after by the media. She has been interviewed by Reader’s Digest, the New York Times, The Hartford Courant, and has been on such radio shows as the NPR’s The Tavis Smiley Show.
Dr. Valerie Maholmes currently serves as Chief of the Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health. In this capacity she sets the vision and priorities for research that addresses the continuum of psychosocial, behavioral, biological, and physiological influences that affect child health outcomes in trauma, injury, and acute care.
A recognized member of the community, Dr. Maholmes served two terms on the New Haven Board of Education for the New Haven Public Schools, where she was served as Vice President/Secretary and Chair of the Curriculum Committee. She also served as President of the Board of Directors for the Arnold Gesell Institute of Human Development and as a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Education Association’s Membership Insurance Trust. In September 2010 she was named one of Who’s Who in Black Washington, DC and in 2015 named to the list of Strathmore’s Who’s Who.
Dr. Maholmes is the author of numerous peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Notably, she edited a text titled, Applied Research in Child and Adolescent Development: A Practical Guide (Taylor and Francis, Psychology Press, 2010) and co-edited a comprehensive volume based on the NICHD supported Science and Ecology of Early Development (SEED) initiative which examined the impact of poverty on children’s development. This volume title the Oxford Handbook of Child Development and Poverty was published by Oxford University Press. Maholmes followed this volume with an authored book titled: Why Hope Still Matters: Fostering Resilience and Well-being in Children and Families in Poverty, also published by Oxford University Press in 2014. Her most recent book Post Dramatic Relationship Syndrome: How to Find Your Drama-Free Zone is an effort to address critical issues regarding women’s health and well-being. She intends to hold community conversations to raise these issues to a higher level of public discourse.