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Prevention Portraits

Welcome to PREVENTION PORTRAITS, a series of informal interviews* with scientists, professionals and other stakeholders who are contributing to prevention knowledge and practice around the world. We are hoping to bring you closer to their brilliant careers, experience and their professional path in the prevention field.


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Thank you for joining us and enjoy. 

*The views and opinions of our guests are personal and do not represent those of their institutions or Applied Prevention Science International Inc.  



J. Douglas Coatsworth, Ph.D. is Betsey R. Bush Endowed Professor in Behavioral Health and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dr. Coatsworth is trained as a child clinical psychologist and completed a postdoctoral training prevention science. He has been working in the field of substance use treatment and prevention research for the past 30 years. His work has primarily involved the development and evaluation of family-based programs designed to work with families of adolescents using substances and to promote parenting and family skills to prevent adolescents from using substances. Part of his research has involved adapting treatment interventions to be effective as preventive interventions and to modify interventions to be culturally appropriate for non-majority groups in the United States. His research also focuses broadly on aspects of risk and resilience and the development of competence in adolescence and emerging adulthood, so he is particularly interested in how family-focused interventions promote adolescent skills and characteristics that help prevent problem behavior during these age periods. He and his collaborators are currently researching the development and evaluation of an adapted version of the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14, which integrates mindfulness activities. The intervention applies mindfulness principles and interventions within a preventive intervention to teach parents and youth how to deal more effectively with daily stressful situations, especially in their relationships. He is also actively involved in working with community organizations and schools to design, select and evaluate programs to prevent substance use and build health and resilience in youth. He is working with organizations to build University-Community-State partnerships in Tennessee to promote the use of evidence-based prevention programs throughout the state.


New Jersey native Nicholas De Mauro is the Executive Director for L.E.A.D. (Law Enforcement Against Drugs), a non-profit (501C3) organization that addresses drugs, drug related crimes, peer to peer/cyber bullying and violence in communities in collaboration with educators, community leaders, families and other national, State and local organizations. Mr. De Mauro has over 35 years of experience in law enforcement, youth services and substance use prevention. With a B.A. in Human Services, his law enforcement career moved quickly from patrolman to detective (New Milford), also featuring the creation the agency’s Juvenile Division. Observing the destructive effects of substance abuse, in 1990 he founded the New Jersey chapter of the D.A.R.E. program, expanding it by 2015 to the nation’s largest statewide program. In the 1990s, Mr. De Mauro oversaw 25 statewide non -profit agencies throughout the United States. Because of his commitment to evidence-based programming, Mr. De Mauro was appointed Executive Director of L.E.A.D., inheriting the collaboration of hundreds of schools and over 1,000 enforcement officers he helped train in providing school- based programs. The demand for his services requires his extensive travel and lectures throughout the United States. His volunteer work with young people in educational settings has included interscholastic team coaching at New Milford, New Brunswick, West Windsor, Plainsboro and Elizabeth High Schools in NJ and the Burr and Burton Academy in VT. Mr. De Mauro is a member of major professional organizations, charitable Boards and has received many awards for his leadership and community service (e.g., from the NJ Conference of Mayors and the NJ League of Municipalities).


Rebekah Hersch, Ph.D., is Interim Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia (Workplace). Prior to Dr. Hersch joining the staff at George Mason University, she was Senior Research Scientist and Senior Vice President at ISA Associates in Alexandria, Virginia. Dr. Hersch received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Clark University in Worcester, MA and her Ph.D. in Applied Social Psychology (with a concentration on health) at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hersch has been conducting workplace-based health promotion and substance abuse prevention research and development for over 25 years. The recent focus of her research has been on the application of multimedia technology and health behavior change theory and science to address behavioral health problems and improve the wellness. The programs developed and field-tested address a myriad of health problems including substance abuse, cardiovascular disease, stress, and mental illness and have be tested in a wide-variety of workplaces. Dr. Hersch was the Principal Investigator or Senior Research Scientist on a number of technology-based multimedia programs designed to address substance use including Parent Power: Raising Safe and Drug Free Kids; Prevention Connection: Integrating Substance Abuse Prevention and Health Promotion; Going Forward, a relapse prevention program; and Healthy WorkLife, a health promotion and substance abuse prevention program for young, working adults. Dr. Hersch also served as a Research Scientist on the evaluation of Power Tools, a substance abuse prevention program for construction industry workers; and the Young Adults in the Workplace (YIW) project, which tested the effectiveness of a wellness and substance abuse prevention for young, hospital-based workers. Dr. Hersch also served as a senior member of the research team evaluating the effectiveness of other web-based programs for working adults including: Health Connection, addressing stress, nutrition, and exercise; Stress and Mood Management, focusing on stress management, depression, and anxiety; and Healthy Past 50, designed to address health and wellness among working adults age 50 and over.


Jeff Lee is a consultant and former Executive Director of International Society for Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals. Jeff has recently completed his role as Project Manager for the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) Phase II project at Liverpool John Moores University where he also undertook a part time role for the ERANID project. He previously worked as Executive Director of Mentor International, a substance abuse prevention focused international NGO with the primary aim to identify, support, and disseminate best practice in prevention for practitioners and policy makers, particularly through their "Prevention Hub" initiative. Before that Jeff was the Director of The Advisory Council for Alcohol and Drug Education, a UK National NGO based in Manchester. From his initial background as a teacher Jeff has always asserted the role of education and the need to promote personal and social skills and competencies within a health behavior context as a key element for tackling substance use prevention. He has undertaken a range of project management work around the world and developed a particular reputation for his training and resource development particularly in the field of personal, social and life skills education. Jeff has worked in more than 80 countries and which has included consultancy work for governments, the EU, WHO and UNODC. Jeff has a commitment to communicating the findings from science and research as relevant and accessible to the practitioner and policy maker. He is actively involved with the Society for Prevention Research as a member of its International Task Force and with the European Society for Prevention Research where he serves as a Board member. Jeff has written and contributed to a number of publications including: The European Drug Prevention Quality Standards Phase II ( ) Educational and Family approaches to Drug Prevention for Young People (in process, with Eric Carlin, 2014); Prevention of Substance Abuse through Health and Sport ( for Mentor/International Olympic Committee with Lee S; Adunmade A.); Tackling Doping in Africa through Partnership: World Sport Law Report Vol 11, Issue 1,2013; Prevention Smart Parents ( for Mentor with Winters K; MacKenzie R., 2011 Drugs and the Developing Brain (Winters K., Lee J., Hazelden, 2011); Developing Best Practice for Effective Drug Education ( NCCM/UNO DC/Arab Region, 2005); Principles of Best Practice of School Drug Education (UNODC,2005); Life Skills Education and Prevention ( ICAP, 2004); Lessons Learned in Drug Abuse Prevention: A Global Review (UNODC, 2004).


Dr. Mallie J. Paschall is a Senior Research Scientist at the Prevention Research Center (PRC), Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, in Berkeley, California. Dr. Paschall received his doctorate in 1995 from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill School of Public Health. Dr. Paschall has 25 years of experience conducting research on the epidemiology, etiology, and prevention of substance use and violence among adolescents and young adults. Dr. Paschall has been involved in a number of NIH- and SAMHSA-sponsored studies on the etiology and prevention of heavy alcohol use among young adults, college students and adolescents, and he is currently the Associate Director of the Environmental Approaches to Prevention Center Grant funded by NIAAA. As part of the Center Grant, Dr. Paschall has directed multi-city studies in California to examine effects of local alcohol policies and enforcement on alcohol use among adolescents and young adults, and alcohol-related problems such as drinking and driving. Dr. Paschall has been a co-investigator for other community trials to evaluate environmental strategies to reduce alcohol use and misuse among college students in California and adolescents in Oregon. Dr. Paschall also directed 30-campus study on the effectiveness of AlcoholEdu for College, an online alcohol education and prevention course for college freshmen. Dr. Paschall is currently evaluating effects of recreational marijuana legalization and local retail availability of marijuana on cannabis use among adolescents in California and Oregon. Dr. Paschall is also involved in a randomized trial in Peru to evaluate effects of a Universal Prevention Training Curriculum to increase implementation of evidence-based interventions to improve school climate and reduce substance use among adolescents.
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