Osborne connects research with policy in internship
September 30, 2020
Author: Cami Crosby  |   | More about Cami

Kimberly Osborne, a doctoral student in the department of human development and family science, recently completed a summer internship made possible by the Josephine Martin Emerging Leader in Policy Award.

The fund provides financial support to a FACS student who has a demonstrated interest in policy, with a preference for students interested in policy centered on health and nutrition.

Osborne’s internship was with Family Connection – Communities in Schools (FC-CIS) of Athens-Clarke County. The nonprofit organization is the official planning and coordinating body for policies related to children and families in Athens, focusing on issues affecting the health and wellbeing of the community.

Part of Osborne’s responsibilities was to serve as a resource on the Early Care and Learning Strategic Action team as a research assistant.

“A good part of my internship was researching what cities are doing well and poorly with reopening childcare centers during the pandemic,” she said. “I also researched what cities and counties appear to be doing the best work in terms of addressing early care and learning.”

Osborne developed a guide for childcare facilities in Athens regarding reopening due to COVID-19 and created a policy factsheet that was given to decision makers at the Georgia Association for the Education of Young Children (GAEYC).

As an undergraduate, Osborne was a psychology major with a child development and family studies minor. She originally planned on becoming a therapist, but found herself drawn to the HDFS field.

“I think it’s really interesting how HDFS takes into consideration how interconnected and important family systems are,” she said.

Osborne said she’s noticed a recurring theme of how developmental outcomes and inequality of income and wealth can be traced back to policy decisions.

“There are many folks in the HDFS world that acknowledge this and are making strides to connect their research to policy,” she said.

Without the Emerging Leader in Policy Award, Osborne said she would not have been able to have had this experience.

“I’m very grateful,” Osborne said. “I just don't think that I could have afforded it in terms of expenses and time.”

The award is named for FACS Honor Hall of Recognition member Josephine Martin.

In this category: Family