Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D.

Research Scientist


Linda Charmaraman is a Research Scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). She originally arrived at WCW in September 2006 as a National Institutes of Child and Human Development (NICHD) Postdoctoral Research Fellow, a position she held for two years. She became a Research Scientist in 2008 at WCW and the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST). In 2012-2013, she was named the Susan McGee Bailey Research Scholar. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Education from the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Education. Currently a New Connections grantee with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and collaborating with the Boston Childrens Hospital, Center on Media and Child Health, Linda’s work is centered on positive youth development, including innovative electronic methods of identifying hard-to-reach vulnerable populations and how media and social networking communities influence adolescent risk or resiliency. The RWJ study aims to understand how media use affects adolescents’ sense of community and personal awareness of stigma and stereotype reflected in messages which can challenge the value of one’s social identities. Preliminary results of this project can be found in her panel discussion during a recent RWJ-sponsored national webinar on how using technology can improve the health of underserved populations.

In 2015, Dr. Linda Charmaraman was accepted into the first cohort of 14 NIH-funded Scholars of the Mixed Methods Research Training Program for the Health Sciences, which is jointly based at Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. The program aims to provide early stage investigators who have demonstrated achievement in external funding a training program that provides ongoing mentoring and individualized feedback on designing and conducting rigorous and systematic mixed method investigations. She has conducted mixed-method research on positive youth development, youth media production, social media, teen sexuality, bullying, cyber bullying and online harassment, sexual harassment, adolescent racial/ethnic identity development, and youth program improvement.

Partnering with local and out-of-state organizations, Charmaraman currently is co-principal investigator of the APT Validity Study II, funded by the William T. Grant Foundation, which focuses on developing and testing a video-based training and online feedback system that prepares experienced users of the APT (Assessment of Program Practices Tool) to meet rigorous standards of accuracy for higher stakes purposes. Charmaraman was principal investigator of a multi-media strategy project, funded by the Schott Foundation for Public Education, to promote public awareness of the road to educational equity for girls of color. She and Rosa Lau produced a documentary video to disseminate widely on social network sites to multiple audiences and educational stakeholders. The video entitled, “It’s Our Time: The empathy gap for girls of color” can be viewed on the project website (click here), which was presented at the American Psychological Association 2014 annual meeting in Washington, DC. She was the principal investigator of the Media & Identity Project, funded by the WCW 35th Anniversary Fund, which targeted and recruited diverse, hard-to-reach populations of youth nationwide using novel recruitment procedures. The study examines the role of televised media,social media, and civic engagement in influencing how young people form their racial/ethnic/cultural, gender, sexual orientation, and political identities.

Recently completed projects include the Kellogg Foundation funded evaluation of the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum, led by Peggy McIntosh (WCW); the Planned Parenthood middle school comprehensive sex education evaluation, led by Sumru Erkut (WCW); CDC-funded research on middle school bullying and sexual violence, collaborating with Nan Stein (WCW) and Dorothy Espelage (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign); the NICHD-funded Mixed Ancestry Measurement R21Project, led by Sumru Erkut (WCW); evaluating the West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology afterschool program; evaluating BE SAFE, an initiative aiming to increase afterschool program staff and youth knowledge regarding sexual and mental health, substance abuse, and violence; evaluating Out of Harm’s Way, a Boston-based initiative attempting to eliminate violence as a barrier to learning and healthy development in middle school students. Charmaraman has published in both peer-reviewed journals and edited books (Journal of Adolescent Health, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Journal of Youth & Adolescence, Journal of School Health, Learning, Media, & Technology; New Directions for Youth Development, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Sociological Studies of Children & Youth, Journal of Family Issues) as well as publications intended for practitioner audiences (Afterschool Matters, School-Aged Notes, Journal of Youth Development).

Charmaraman was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Asian American Psychology at Wellesley College, has guest lectured at Boston College and Northeastern University. Mentoring undergraduate and graduate students has always been a passion of hers, evidenced by her dedication to training, collaborating, presenting, and publishing academic papers with students from multiple institutions. Throughout her doctoral program, she was the coordinator of graduate student diversity recruitment in her department and an appointed student delegate of the Equity Committee. For over six years, she maintained a strong commitment to providing a forum for women artists and activists to be showcased by being a host/producer of a local "Womyn in the Arts" radio show, collaborating with the Empowering Women of Color Conference, and directing the Women of Color Film Festival in the Bay Area. She was also on the Advisory Board for the national women's film festival, Lunafest, which raises money for the Breast Cancer Fund and local nonprofit organizations.