Rachel Cohen, HDFS Faculty Spotlight, July 2023

Rachel Chazan CohenRachel Chazan Cohen joined the UConn HDFS faculty in August 2020. While starting a new position during a global pandemic and teaching online for the first time certainly posed challenges, the last three years has been a very productive period, much of which she attributes to the UConn context. 

Rachel’s work continues to focus on factors influencing the development of children, and on the creation, evaluation, and improvement of intervention programs for families with infants and toddlers. She is extremely proud of the UConn early childhood faculty and the work that they do to prepare students to work with young children and their families. Rachel and Caitlin Lombardi formed the ARC lab in Fall 2022 and have been successful in bringing together a community of postdocs, graduate students and undergraduate students to work on grants and contracts to study the accessibility and effectiveness of services families receive when their children are young.

Rachel’s overarching goal is to bridge the worlds of research, practice, and policy. She works with local early childhood programs on improving practice as well as with states and the federal government on policies to support programs and families. Over the past three years she has made connections with the CT Office of Early Childhood and especially focuses on how CT serves families with infants and toddlers.

The last three years have also brough many changes on her home front. Rachel’s children (twins) started college in Fall 2022, giving her a new perspective on working with undergraduate students. In her last faculty spotlight in September 2020 she mentioned a plan to start making wine in her basement…that has come to pass. She is now making very tasty red, white and rosé wine.  She and her husband continue to enjoy travel, hiking, and playing with their energetic adult dog.

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