innovation Training & Research Appoints New Research Scientist

Behavioral science research organization strengthens resources

 Durham, NC (July 3, 2014)—innovation Research & Training (iRT)—a behavioral sciences research company—today announced that Dr. Susan Haws has joined the company as a research scientist to help further develop the company’s growing portfolio of prevention and treatment products and services.

Susan brings a wealth of industry experience, having worked for more than 10 years in a number of research positions, including work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Washington.  In addition, she spent more than 10 years as an educator in both secondary and higher education settings.

As a researcher, Susan has previously worked to examine adoption and implementation of prevention planning systems and evidence-based prevention programs in school and community settings. She has also conducted theory-based research on the influence of the school context on adolescent substance use. At iRT, she will add a public health perspective, which emphasizes both individual and contextual influences on health behavior, to the strong developmental perspective that informs the organization’s work.

“Susan’s wealth of experience and industry knowledge has already made her a key addition to the iRT family,” said Dr. Janis Kupersmidt, iRT president. “We view her appointment as a sign of our commitment to being the leading company in our industry. Our new advances and the increasing demands from within our industry led us to look for an addition to our team who will fit in with our ethos of innovation and exceptional service.  We are very fortunate to have found someone of Susan’s caliber to fill this role.”

Susan earned both a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in health behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She also holds a B.A. from Davidson College.

As a research scientist, Susan will work with other iRT scientists to develop, coordinate, and conduct behavioral research in child and adolescent development. Specifically, she will focus on projects in iRT’s youth mentoring portfolio of projects, taking a lead on a study of youth initiated mentoring (YIM) with late adolescents.  YIM is an innovative approach to mentoring in which youth identify and recruit concerned adults from within their communities to serve as mentors.  Youth voice and choice is then embedded in the recruitment and matching process, expanding the limits of traditional mentoring, including creatively addressing a solution for the high demand for mentors that has resulted in long wait-lists.

“I am excited to start a new challenge within iRT and look forward to working with the team to further develop their current extensive product and service suite,” she said. “I am fortunate to be joining such a respected company that prides itself on the development of top quality products and services.”

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About innovation Research & Training
innovation Research & Training (iRT) is a behavioral sciences research company committed to identifying and solving significant real-world problems facing children, families, communities, and organizations. By using evidence-based and culturally sensitive methods, iRT researchers investigate, develop, and evaluate behavioral, educational, psychological, social, and community assessment, prevention and treatment programs and services. iRT’s staff includes experts in basic and applied research in a variety of areas, including substance abuse prevention and treatment, youth mentoring, social and emotional development, mindfulness education, media literacy education, pregnancy prevention and sexual health, child and adolescent mental health, adult and juvenile justice programs, drug courts, drugged driving, tobacco use and underage drinking.  For more information about iRT, visit

Media Contact: 
Yvette Ruffin, APR
Director, Marketing and Communications
innovation Research & Training