Gretchen Cusick

Research Fellow

Dr. Gretchen Cusick is a Research Fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Her research aims to support the transformation of youth-serving systems, to improve the responses to and experiences of youth involved with the legal system, and to inform community-based services and strategies. She is currently collaborating on a study of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice’s transformation efforts and on an evaluation of deferred prosecution for juveniles. Cusick has experience with program evaluation, mixed-methods studies, administrative data analysis, and randomized controlled trials. She also brings to her work a rich experience building partnerships, which informs her collaborative approach to research and evaluation.

Cusick previously operated a consulting firm aimed at building data and analytic capabilities of not-for-profit and other social impact organizations. She also served as the Director of Investments for Chicago Beyond, where she oversaw a portfolio of postsecondary education and violence prevention efforts. As the Research Director at the University of Chicago’s Crime and Education Labs and in her former research role at Chapin Hall, Cusick conducted evaluations of violence reduction and educational support programs. Her research has focused on multi-system involvement of youth, the transition to adulthood among vulnerable populations, public system responses to youth affected by trauma, and the reentry into communities of formerly detained youth. Cusick has taught an MBA course on Decision Strategy at the Baumhart Center within Loyola University’s Quinlan School of Business, masters-level courses in Data for Policy Analysis and Management at the University of Chicago, and courses in research methods and juvenile delinquency.

Cusick obtained a PhD in Sociology with an emphasis in Crime, Law, and Justice from The Pennsylvania State University in 2004 and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Miami University in 1998.

PhD in Sociology and Crime, Law, and Justice, The Pennsylvania State University

Master of Arts in Sociology, Cleveland State University

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Criminology, Miami University

Grewal-Kök, Y., Cusick, G., Anderson, C., Weiner, D., Thomas, K., & Heaton, L. (2023). Economic and concrete supports: Core strategies to promote family well-being and race equity. In K. Briar-Lawson, P. Day, & L. Azzi-Lessing (Eds.), Child neglect, inequity, and poverty: Contextual issues and implications (pp. 1–42). Child Welfare League of America.

Walker, L., Smithgall, C., & Cusick, G. R. (2012). Making community an authentic part of school and community partnerships. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Cares, A. & Cusick, G. R. (2012). Risks and opportunities of faith and culture: The case of abused Jewish women. Journal of Family Violence, 27(5), 427–435.

Smithgall, C., Cusick, G. R. & Griffin, G. (2012). Responding to students affected by trauma: Collaboration across public systems. Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court: A Collection of Reports to Inform the National Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnership. New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children.

Cusick, G. R., Havlicek, J. R., & Courtney, M. E. (2012). Risk for arrest: The role of social bonds in protecting foster youth making the transition to adulthood. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82(1), 19–31.

Cusick, G. R., Courtney, M. E., Havlicek, J., & Hess, N. (2011). Crime during the transition to adulthood: How youth fare as they leave out-of-home care. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Haynes, S., Ruback, R. B., & Cusick, G. R. (2010). Courtroom workgroups and sentencing: The effects of similarity, proximity, and stability. Crime & Delinquency, 56(1), 126–161.

Cusick, G. R., Goerge, R., & Claussen Bell, K. (2009). From corrections to community: The juvenile reentry experience as characterized by multiple systems involvement. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Goerge, R. M., Cusick, G. R., & Guiltinan, S. (2009). How active are teens during their out-of-school time?: The view from Chicago. Chapin Hall Issue Brief. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall Center for Children.

Cusick, G. R., & Courtney, M.E . (2007). Offending during late adolescence: How do youth aging out of care compare with their peers? Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, Issue Brief No. 111.

Goerge, R., Cusick, G. R., Wasserman, M., & Gladden, R. M.  (2007). After school programs and academic impact: A study of Chicago’s After School Matters. Issue Brief No. 112. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Keller, T. E., Cusick, G. R., & Courtney, M. E. (2007). Approaching the transition to adulthood: Distinctive profiles of adolescents aging out of the child welfare system. Social Service Review, 81(3), 453–484.

Butts, J., Mayer, S., & Ruth, G. (2005). Focusing juvenile justice on positive youth development. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, Issue Brief No. 105.

Courtney, M. E., Dworsky, A., Bost, N., Ruth, G., Keller, T., & Havlicek, J. (2005). Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago.

Ruback, R.B., Ruth, G.R., & Shaffer, J. (2005). Assessing the impact of statutory change: A statewide, multilevel analysis of restitution orders in Pennsylvania. Crime and Delinquency, 51(3), 318–342.

Osgood, D. W., Foster, E. M., Flanagan, C., & Ruth, G. R. (Eds.) (2005). On your own without a net: The transition to adulthood for vulnerable populations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Osgood, D. W., Ruth, G. R., Jacobs, J. E., Eccles, J. S., & Barber, B. L. (2005). Six paths through the transition to adulthood: Their predictors and consequences. In On the Frontier of Adulthood: Theory, Research, and Public Policy. Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr., Rebeun G. Rumbaut, and Richard A. Settersten, Jr. (Eds.) Chicago: University of Chicago Press.












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