About the Institute: People

Milena Batanova
Postdoctoral Scholar
Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development
Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development
26 Winthrop Street
Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155
Phone: (617) 627-4489
Email: milena.batanova@tufts.edu

Milena Batanova is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development. She earned a B.A. in Psychology and Critical Cultural Studies from Macalester College, after which she worked as a mental health practitioner providing integrative services for adults with mental illness. She then earned her Master's in Communication from Arizona State University, after which she worked as a service learning community coordinator out of the College of Teacher Excellence and Leadership at ASU. Milena then obtained her PhD in Health Education from The University of Texas at Austin, where she specialized in risk and resilience during adolescence and became actively involved with BeVocal, a campus-wide initiative to promote individual skills and community resources necessary for people to intervene in harmful situations.

Milena's research aims to investigate three interrelated topics: 1) mechanisms and protective factors in youth aggression/victimization and bullying involvement (including bystander intervention; 2) ways to cultivate empathy and other positive assets in youth; and 3) why seemingly competent youth engage in problem behaviors and how/when personal and social resources can be used effectively to reduce risks and optimize strengths. Overall, Milena is passionate about applying research to practice in the areas of bullying prevention, positive social and emotional development, and health promotion in children and adolescents. Given her interests, Milena is primarily involved with two projects at IARYD: the Arthur Interactive Media Study (a collaboration with media experts at WGBH to develop and evaluate an interactive, technology based curriculum based on the Arthur cartoon series) and Doing the Right Thing (a cohort-sequential, mixed-methods examination of character development in youth).