Childhood anxiety prevention programs traditionally have been troubled by low participation, especially in underserved communities. In 2011, Nicholas Mian, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, received a $10,000 Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Scholarship to study whether enhanced outreach would lead to higher levels of participation in an anxiety prevention program for low-income parents in underserved communities. 

The Koppitz scholarship allowed Mian to devote an entire semester to completing his dissertation project. He found that parents were three-and-a-half times more likely to attend an intervention session focused on alleviating anxiety symptoms with enhanced recruitment efforts.

“Carrying out this project changed my approach to preventive intervention research,” says Mian. “Rather than focusing on the design of the intervention itself, it may be more beneficial to focus on the delivery of the intervention to maximize dissemination in underserved communities.” 

Mian successfully defended his dissertation early in his internship year in 2012, giving him the opportunity to apply for postdoctoral fellowships and positions that would not otherwise have been available.