I am currently a visiting assistant professor in the Social and Behavioral Division at the University of Memphis School of Public Health. My research focuses on social and structural inequities, broadly around child development, family outcomes, health, and race. I have worked on a variety of studies including measuring the impacts of 500-year floods on academic success for poor grade-school students living in Iowa, assessing youth engagement in rural Vermont, and college student housing and food insecurity. Most recently my work has included an exploration of youth activism, justice-involved youth, and adverse childhood experiences, collaborating with faculty at the Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law.
I am currently developing a Photovoice project, with community collaborators, to work with justice-involved youth in order to better understand their experiences living in Memphis and going through the juvenile justice system. Our hope is that through the photovoice initiative youth will gain a sense of self-confidence and advocacy, and help them develop program and policy recommendations that will be presented to the city and significant stakeholders in order to create a more just juvenile justice system. As part of my advocacy work, I serve on the Countywide Juvenile Justice Consortium, where our focus is to support communities in Memphis experiencing high rates of juvenile detention while connecting organizations across the county working to decrease rates of youth violence and arrests. My other work in the community includes collaborating with United Way of the MidSouth to conduct an evaluation of Driving the Dream, a United Way “wrap-around service model” that aims to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of services provided to Memphis residents who are in need.
To see Dr. Turchi’s CV, click here.