Dr. McCauley is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Michigan State University. A scholar trained in global health and social epidemiology at Harvard University, Dr. McCauley’s research portfolio focuses on the prevention of sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and reproductive coercion, with emphasis on LGBTQ+ communities. Currently, she is MPI of an R21 study funded by NIMHD & NCI to develop novel measures of minority stress among transgender & gender diverse people (Co-PIs: Puckett & Anderson-Carpenter). She is Co-Investigator on two CDC-funded studies -- an evaluation of sexual violence policy implementation in Michigan school districts (PIs: Smith-Darden & Kernsmith) and an evaluation of a social marketing campaign to reduce sexual harassment and bullying in Georgia high schools (PI: Reidy). Dr. McCauley is also involved in the 2021 revision of the Sexual Experiences Survey, a multidisciplinary collaboration led by Dr. Mary Koss. Previously, she was PI of an NICHD-funded study to understand the contexts of sexual minority women's abusive relationships and a Center for Victim Research-funded Research-to-Practice Fellowship to develop measures of resilience among transgender and gender diverse survivors of sexual violence (Co-PI: munson). She has been Co-I on multiple NIH-, NIJ-, and CDC-funded randomized controlled trials of violence prevention interventions in college health centers, family planning clinics, school-based health centers, and high school athletics programs. She has authored or co-authored more than 80 journal articles and book chapters on these topics in outlets spanning a variety of health and social science disciplines.
In Michigan, Dr. McCauley serves as Research Director for the Public Will Campaign to End Child Sexual Abuse, in collaboration with the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center (https://www.public-will.org/). Nationally, she is Associate Editor of the multidisciplinary research journal Psychology of Violence and is on the Editorial Boards of Violence Against Women and Journal of Family Violence. She is a grant reviewer for the National Institute of Justice and the National Institutes of Health. Since 2013, Dr. McCauley has served on the Board of Trustees at St. Lawrence University. In this capacity, she serves as Chair of Academic Affairs.
Dr. Smith-Darden received doctorates in Social Work and Developmental Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2008 and draws from 40 years of experience in the fields of special education, speech and language pathology, social work, and developmental psychology. She’s trained, practiced, consulted, and evaluated service delivery in a variety of settings including; schools, non-profit community agencies, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, and the Michigan Bureau of Juvenile Justice. She is an applied federally funded researcher and interdisciplinary scholar, holding the Ruth T. Koehler Endowed Professorship in Children’s Services at the Michigan State University School of Social Work. She is also affiliate faculty in the MSU Center for Gender in Global Context. Her research focuses on examining the etiology of intimate partner violence within evolving contexts – including early relational experiences, social norms, gender norms, and the influence of both masculine and feminine discrepancy stress on behavioral trajectories. Dr. Smith-Darden is a published author in the fields of social work, psychology, and public health, presenting her work locally, nationally, and internationally; and is a grant reviewer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
She has significant expertise in building community partnerships and implementing longitudinal community engaged research projects – from conceptualization and design, implementation, analysis, and evaluation. Dr. Smith-Darden is currently Principal Investigator on two CDC-funded studies -- an evaluation of sexual violence policy implementation in Michigan school districts and “Youth Empowerment Solutions for Healthy Relationships (YES-HR),” a four-year prevention implementation study. She is also Co-Investigator on a CDC-funded evaluation of a social marketing campaign to reduce sexual harassment and bullying in Georgia high schools (PI: Reidy) and on an NICHD-funded RO3 focused on longitudinal trajectories of electronic dating abuse (PI: Fleming). She previously served as Principal Investigator on, “Strengthening Supports for Healthy Adolescent Relationships and Environments (SHARE): A Gender-Sensitive, Mixed Methods Analysis of Protective Factors for Intimate Partner Violence”, a CDC Cooperative Agreement that provided foundational etiologic data for YES-HR.