Amanda Roy received a Research Award from the Spencer Foundation!!!

Amanda Roy, recipient of a $50,000 Spencer Foundation grant.

Roy, assistant professor of psychology, was awarded $50,000 as co-principal investigator of a project entitled “On the Brink of Adulthood: Understanding Education and Work Decisions Among Low-Income, Racial/Ethnic Minority Youth.”

Roy and Christine Li-Grining of Loyola University Chicago will examine data on post-high school plans, predictors of such plans, and related decision-making among low-income, racial/ethnic minority youth who participated in the Chicago School Readiness Project as Head Start preschool students.

They will also conduct focus groups and in-depth interviews with participants to learn more about teens’ decision-making processes related to goal-setting and pursuits, facing obstacles, and revising goals.

The study, which aims to inform policy and intervention efforts to reduce socioeconomic disparities in education, is an extension of Roy’s ongoing work that explores the ways that poverty and environmental risk factors, such as neighborhood poverty and crime, can influence health and development.

Roy, who came to UIC in 2014, is a former postdoctoral research associate with the Chicago School Readiness Project and the MacArthur Network on Housing Quality and Child Development. She earned her doctorate and master’s degree in community psychology from the New York University, and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

The Spencer Foundation was established in 1962 to support education research, fellowship and training programs. Its Midcareer Grant program aims to enrich the work of academic scholars who are seven to 20 years post-doctorate and intends to provide support for those who are interested in advancing their understanding of a compelling problem of education by acquiring new skills, substantive knowledge, theoretical perspectives or methodological tools. The Small Research Grants program supports academic work that will contribute to the improvement of education in a broad range of topics and disciplines.